Strange light.

There came a storm. Until it didn’t.

By around 10:30 pm, the night before the big event, everything changed. No storm surge. The river would only rise to 17 feet. Well below flood level. And, the rain will average around 6 inches over 24 hours in New Orleans.

Yes. It’s windy. We may still lose power. So, I’m writing this around midnight just in case.

A grateful city is happy. I’m happy.

But.

I’m so disappointed in national news coverage. The Washington Post flat out printed fake news. NOLA Twitter responded as only we could. The same thing happened with national television stations. Worse, the gold standard, The BBC went beyond fake news.

As many of you know, I started my career as a photojournalist. I made pictures. I edited. I managed photo staffs. I built a chain of weekly newspapers within a daily newspaper. I would have never published the nonsense I read today.

Like what?

The Post said something about how fearful we were. And, that we were fleeing. Nobody that I know was fearful. Some people with children left. Family first. But, they weren’t panicked. We’ve been through this before.

The city, state, even the federal government got involved. We had emails, tweets and texts. There were the obligatory press conferences and so on. That was all good.

But.

I remember that prior to the evacuation for Hurricane Katrina, a lot of my neighbors said they weren’t leaving because the city always reacted to potential hurricanes extremely and nothing ever came of it.

The rest is history.

When do people start disregarding hurricane lead ups again? What happens when the real deal occurs again and people don’t take it seriously?

Beyond my pay grade. I guess the Mercedes Dome will be a place of last refuge again.

One more thing.

I’m speaking only about New Orleans. I’m sure it will be rough when Barry makes landfall, wherever it makes landfall.

Have a good thought for all of us.


HK143
Photographing Kowloon’s Ladies Market.

This going to be more about the technique than it is about the picture. The picture, itself, was made in Mong Kok, in Kowloon. For those of you who don’t know much about the geography of Hong Kong, Kowloon is a peninsula that extends down from the mainland, which means China. Above Kowloon are The New Territories. Then, China. Hong Kong is an island and is often referred to as Hong Kong Island. It is divided into districts. There are also small districts which were once stand alone towns located on Kowloon. Mong Kok is one of those districts. Mong Kok is a very Chinese place. It is blue-collar. The people are hard workers. Generally, they make or sell things. The Ladies Market is a night market. No. You can’t buy ladies. But, once upon a time mostly women shopped at this outdoor market. Not so much anymore. Everybody shops for just about anything. There are outdoor restaurants and tea shops. There are all kinds of fresh food stalls. Fish. Meat. Poultry. Vegetables. Dairy. Fruit. There are all sorts of inexpensive clothing stalls and tables. You can find cheap jewelry, watches, tools, art, plants… well, you name it. The people selling this stuff ask high prices. They expect you to negotiate. Trust me. This is no festival. The is a blue collar market.

The picture. As you know, I’m big on the “sense of things.”  One way to express this in a way that can be photographed is found in the phrase, “what is it like to…?” I don’t know who said it first. But, I heard from my old friend, John Fulton, who said it to me when we were riding in a New York taxi as it careened through the streets of Manhattan as we were going to an appointment. You know. It was, “what is like to ride in a New York taxi?” That morning it was pretty scary. I wasn’t in New York to take a thrill ride. Or was I?

Anyway. This picture was made at The Ladies Market at the height of its rush hour. I could done this any number of ways. I could have set down a tripod and set the shutter speed really slow and let the people sort of flow around me. That would have been fine if I didn’t want the tripod after I finished making the picture. In a crowd like this, somebody would have surely knocked it over. It probably would have been stepped on. Broken in two. Mashed. Crashed. Maybe the camera would have went with it. I only have so many cameras. So. I did what I do in situations like this. I set the shutter speed and F stop about where I thought I wanted it. Then I held the camera as close to my body as I could and started making pictures. Yes, there is some motion in the image. But, that’s okay. The crowd was moving. The sellers were moving. Motion is the name of the image if you really want it to be about the Night Market. I think I captured the feeling. It’s really claustrophobic. And me? I really don’t like crowds. Arrrgh.