John Lennon once called times like these clean up times. And, so they shall be. But, first I want to thank every one of you who reached out to me about the passing of Sophie Rose. It means more to me than I can say. I appreciate each and every one of you.

I will miss her more than you can know. Even just writing these few words brings that sting to my eyes.

As someone very dear to me said, “You can have until the start of the week to languish, then it’s time to pull on your pants and get to work.” The last time I heard that was after Hurricane Katrina struck and the late great chef, Leah Chase said the same thing about rebuilding the city.

They are both right.

So, was Lennon.

I don’t know what that means for Storyteller. I don’t even know what it means for my photography. I do know that it will be very hard looking for the “little pictures’ I used to make with Sophie Rose. I also know that second line and Black Masking Indian photography is a thing of the past. My illnesses won’t let me work in the middle of large disorganized crowds. That probably means Mardi Gras photography is done as well.

Worse.

Music hurts me now. I’ve always found solace in music. Now even the screaming guitar of Jimi Hendrix brings tears to my eyes. I don’t know why.

So.

I carry on. I’ll make needed and necessary changes to this blog. To my work. To my life. And, how I look at things.

And, one day.


Flower, my way.

Happy Mother’s Day.

For a long time I used to post a picture that I made in 1980 of my mother and grandmother. It’s called, “Two Before Me.” Make no mistake that may be one of the best pictures that I ever made. But, I feel like moving on.

My grandmother passed in 1982. My mom passed 25 years ago in 1996. I’m not going to forget them. It’s just time for other pictures. At least here, on Storyteller.

I was testing my new phone. I returned to an iPhone and wanted to see how the camera function had improved. I made this picture. I intentionally photographed a portion of the flower because capturing the whole flower seemed too boring.

The image was a little soft, but I thought that this was for Mother’s Day so I softened it some more. Then, I made it dreamy. There, all done.

Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Get your jabs. Read the latest CDC advisory. Look after each other. Be patient. Give your mom a kiss from me.


On Easter Sunday.

On Easter Sunday.

A day about redemption. A day for reflection. For us, a quiet day.

Right now the world is in terrible shape.

Leaders want to be dictators. Leaders who lie. Small wars in many countries. Church burnings in my own home state. Church bombings today, Easter Sunday, that killed at least 220 people and hurt around 500 others in Sri Lanka. A mosque fire in the Middle East. Notre Dame burning in Paris. Scared people trying to escape death in their countries being turned away at our border. A general shift in immigrants from the Middle East to Europe. Bad water in Flint, Michigan. People in Puerto Rico still struggling from their last hurricane And, more. Much more.

Sheesh. I haven’t even included the mother of all issues. Climate change. How it already affects us. How it will affect us in the future.

There doesn’t seem to be much to celebrate on this Easter Sunday.

Yes. I know.

If you are Christian, you celebrate Jesus rising from the dead. After three days.Those must have been three, long tortuous days for his followers, believers and friends.

What does that mean for us, 2019 years later?

For me, it lies in my headline. In a small way. For sure, most of us can’t help directly with some of the bad things I mentioned above. I’m not going to Sri Lanka to help the people recover from a most despicable act. I can give some money to help them recover, but that seems to be sort of any easy way out.

In my country, at least,  I can support the political candidate of my choice and vote the wannabe dictator and his ilk out of office. That’s the right thing to do. And, it’s peaceful. It’s how my country was founded and is supposed to work.

But.

Maybe more direct action is necessary. Help our neighbors when they need it. Help strangers when they need it. It can be anything. The smallest of things.

Today, I held a door open for a young woman who was carrying a couple of boxes. She controlled the boxes okay, but she couldn’t open the gate. She was so thankful when I opened and held for her to pass through. I’m not special. It was the very least that I could do. When did doing such a simple thing become so extraordinary? It shouldn’t be.

So that’s it.

My challenge. To me. You can do whatever you like. I’d like you to try it.

Do three things for someone else. Tasks that are so simple you normally wouldn’t even think about it. Do this daily. Do it one day at a time. Seems that I heard that somewhere. Don’t go chasing around looking for stuff, but when it occurs you should do it. Why three? I’ll tell you later.

If my belief that 1 + 1  = 3 is right, pretty sure we can change some things on a local level. Maybe, eventually, we can all climb out of our silos and talk to each other. Talk to people with whom we disagree, but are trying to understand. Maybe that leads to collaboration. That’s how things used to work. There is an old saying that if a negotiation was successful, everybody left the room pissed off. Fair enough.

Maybe, that leads to some kind of energy and bigger issues are solved.

I honestly don’t know. But, it’s worth a try on this day of redemption. On any day.

Peace. Happy Easter. Shalom. Happy Passover.


YMO Second Line.

One every Sunday.

Sometimes.

The Young Men Olympians second line parade was postponed because — you’ll love this — their shoes didn’t arrive on time. Missing shoes caused scheduling problem all down the line.

They made it out on Sunday. The second line was worth the wait. Six divisions, composed of groups who joined YMO. One division was made up of the children. You’ll see that later this week. It’s enough to say that, man, they could really dance. Almost enough to make me considering making videos.

For me, personally, it was an interesting day. I started photographing from almost the minute I got out of my car. I walked with them for a long ways. Most telling, I didn’t have my usual hurts and pains. I felt so good that I didn’t even need my usual recovery time. Of course, everything tends to equal out. I slept way too late today. Now I’m racing to catch up.

Oh well.

The good news is that I also feel pretty good today. My exploring dog was patient and was rewarded with a very long walk. All still good.

The picture. Not much to say. It’s just straight photojournalism. No improvements were needed. Notice my choice of genre. I didn’t use street photography because that term has become so broad that it has become meaningless. Crowdsourcing isn’t always right.

 


Summer’s glow.

A little peace on a hot summer Sunday.

A day for thoughts and reflections.

I’ll leave you to them.

Or, you can jump in the pool and start the Independence Day right. Right from the start of the week, which is what usually happens when the holiday falls right in the middle of what is normally the work week.

Oh. The picture. Photographed. Then, worked and slightly reworked in post production to make the final image sort of painterly. But, not quite.


On a purple Sunday.

Sunday. A quiet Sunday.

It’s hot here. It’s humid here.

Only a few flowers seem happy in these conditions.

Since one of the local weather people let it slip and admitted we had started our seemingly never-ending summer’s heat, all I can say as, “Oh goodie.”

Five months of intense heat. A lot of rain. And maybe, a hurricane or two. Yes. That season starts in eleven days. I’d better go buy some canned and potted meat. Some bottled water. Some batteries. And, some other stuff. But, I forget what that is.

Happy Sunday to you all.


A Sunday stumble.

I had big plans today.

Hahahahahaha! You know the old joke about that.

I was going to photograph a second line. I haven’t done that in a while. But, my back and legs hurt a little too much for that. So I took some pain meds which didn’t really work. I thought that I post this a little early. My Apple computers decided that all sorts of things should go wrong including not being able to “see” my mouse or trackpad. Rebooting a Mac takes a lot of time. It also means that any of the apps with which I work also must reboot.

Two hours passed by.

Here I am.

The cool thing about this picture is that I made it two and a half hours ago. You could have seen it 30 minutes after I made it. But, nooooo…

Since I am somewhat disabled today, I guess I’ll go watch my local American football team, The New Orleans Saints, lose their third consecutive game as their die-hard fans scream about firing everybody. That might help. The team has no talent. And, I’ll look to see how the players react to the man I refuse to call president last racist speech and tweets. Personally, I liked world-famous basketball player Lebron James’s twitter reply in which he called him a “bum.”

The picture. iPhone and be there. A little light post production.


On Sunday. Mother’s Day.

Happy Mother’s Day to every mother in Storyteller land. For those of you who live in countries that don’t celebrate today, happy Sunday. Or, Monday if you live on the other side of the dateline.

I have a classic Mother’s Day picture that I’ve posted in the past. Guess what? Our friends at Facebook dug it out of their archives as one of those “this happened in the past, do you want to share it again” things. So, I shared it. Without thinking about it. The picture received a lot of likes. But, I also shot my load in doing that.

So.

You get flowers on Mother’s Day. That’s not bad. Is it?

The picture. kind of a combination. Old style. New style. I couldn’t take this picture very far. That would sort of send the wrong message.

Oh, what the heck.

Two Before Me.

My mother and my grandmother. The picture was made in 1980. 37 years ago. My mom passed when she was 80 years old. In 1996. My grandma passed not long after this picture was made at 96 years of age. The picture. Tri-X black and white film.