Either I’m working much slower, or I’m working much more. Or, both. Either way, I can’t seem to keep up on my posts. While I’ve edited and processed my raw files, I’ve got a long way to go until they are ready to be seen.
This is an image that I made on my phone, with the intent of posting it to Instagram. I like the picture just fine. In fact, I like it a lot. It just wasn’t my thinking to post something on Storyteller that I captured quickly via phone.
One parade today. The Krewe of Barkus. The dog parade. Yes. The hounds in this house like to go even though we are no longer krewe members. I like to photograph dogs and their people so it works out just fine. I’m not sure how far we’ll walk with the parade as it winds through the French Quarter. Wall to wall people, except the center of the street where the dogs and their people walk.
You know what I wrote about crowds. And, me.
No matter. There is plenty to see and photograph without getting squashed in the Quarter.
My plan — yes, I have one — is to finish the edit of about 900 pictures and get them ready for you and my agencies, who need a specific kind of picture. I’ll do this tomorrow after the dogs on parade.
This picture was easy. See it. Check its reflection. Try to stay out of the picture. (I didn’t succeed.) Push the button. It’s almost like two pictures for the price of one. It helps to have multiple tuba players with well polished instruments.
The first one. The first Uptown Mardi Gras parade.
Normally on the first night shoot during Mardi Gras, I’m trying to knock off the rust. Not this time. I had an almost perfect shoot. Not only that, but getting there and parking was easy. I parked as close to the parade route as I could. I returned home easily. All of this matters.
The pictures. Let’s put it this way. I could see. I could see as the pictures revealed themselves to me. I suppose that put me in a good mood and place. It seemed like everybody I photographed was happy and having fun. Or, it may have been me.
That shows in the work.
You know me. I like to work at the start of a parade so I can make more than just the usual, “float rolls down the street” picture. I made a lot of good pictures. You’ll see them eventually. For today, you are seeing only one. I’m a bit late and should be on my way to some day parades. Their time has been moved up since we are expecting pretty violent storms.
Anyway the lead tuba player was looking over my head into the crowd for somebody or something. I managed to make the picture in poor light. But, not as poor as this picture indicates. WordPress got me again. Their compression software about killed the image quality. When I look at it on my monitor via OnOne, the image looks great. Not so much here.
I thought that I’d photograph the Dumaine Street Gang second line. It was mostly fun. I worked it in slightly different way. I set out to photograph little slices of it. Trying to capture the entire sense of the second line is almost impossible in Treme’s tight streets. Next time, I’m not going to stand where we all stand, at the coming out place. It’s too hard to get ahead of a second line once the first line passes by. Especially in those tight streets. And, with my slow speed. These days.
A word about this trumpet player. I don’t know him. But, whew. Mostly what I hear on the route is sort of a chaotic blaring of music. It heard that. But, this guy… he was wrapping wonderful notes all around the inside of the song. And, he kept doing it as he and I walked.
The picture. Sometimes I start to wonder if I can produce a straight, documentary photograph. I think I proved that to myself yesterday. That gave me the framework to mess around after I made the original image. I’m not sure I could tinker with this particular picture, but there are some that would be pretty good candidates for playing, maybe producing my kind of art. Also, it felt really great using a real camera. Smartphones are fine, but there is a certain join joy in holding and working with a camera. Especially since I understand it way more than I do my current phone.
I did something good for me today. Normally I read the news in the morning. Today, I didn’t. I read sports, arts and a wonderful column about 41 by The New York Time’s Maureen Dowd who was The White House reporter during his administration. I barely even looked at social media. The places I look at have become too infected with politics, which has become like watching a sporting event. Everybody counting balls and strikes, or touchdowns and field goals.
Things were lost. Things were broken. After looking back, I wouldn’t change a thing.
I’ve been posting some pretty ragged “New Orleans” pictures. Lately. But, this one. This is the one you came to see. A musician carrying his tuba — it’s a sousaphone, as a friend of mine rightly says, but say that on the street and laughter begins — to work.
This guy is a member of the Treme Brass Band. They get a lot of paid work playing in the commercial second lines in the French Quarter. This are not neighborhood walks. They are usually paid for by a wedding party, some corporate event or even just because somebody wanted to parade around the Quarter and has a few dollars to spend. There are somewhere between 20 and 30 a day. They don’t walk far. Usually a few blocks or around the corner. But, the musicians who work them have a pretty good income stream.
Now. It seems.
Some neighborhood organizations would like to dip their toes in that pool of money. Seems they’ve enlisted the help of the Jazz & Heritage Foundation, some local well monied folks and are testing the waters of this on Rampart Street. Mark my words. In a year or so, some major street or two will be blocked and controlled. In order to actually get close to the parade you’ll have to buy a ticket.
Like I’m gonna do that.
The picture. Well, you know. On my way to some place else. In Treme. Walking near Armstrong Park. That Armstrong. Louis. The guy with the amazing trumpeting skills and gravelly voice. This picture was almost taken from the hip. I added a little in post production to make it look like a felt on a great early spring day.
A word that is about us all. Everyone. Everywhere. All the time. Race. Creed. Political leanings. It doesn’t matter. We are all human
When my blogging colleague over at A Frank Angle asked me to illustrate a post that he was writing, I kind of gulped. The words he chose — acceptance, compassion, cooperation, goodness, humility, integrity, kindness, love, patience and respect — are big, huge words. There are intimidating when you try to put pictures to them. Even though I have the pictures in my archives, I struggled to cull them into something that make sense. This picture is sort of a lead in to the 11 pictures that Frank posted on his blog.
Here’s the backstory. As I wrote, we at the Krewe of Barkus were forced to deal with some pretty rainy weather. Early on we were able to duck under some overhangs in Armstrong Park. Yes. That’s Louis Armstrong. Satchmo. New Orleans’ own. “What a Wonderful World.” That guy. We were jammed in all over the place. Wet dogs. Wet people. Wet Mardi Gras stuff. As I walked around looking for pictures, I ran into my buddy. Well, that’s a stretch. We know each other to say hello to. We see each other at a lot of second line parades. He’s working. I’m working. So, I asked if I could photograph him. He was happy to do it. When I showed him the pictures on the camera’s LCD, he loved them. He asked if could I make him few prints. I’m happy to do it.
He liked the vertical. At least, as he saw it on my little bitty LCD. It’s kind of formal even though it looks like we are in a jail or something. I like the top picture, the horizontal one. It shows him as I know him. When he’s walking in a second line and playing his tuba, he’s always smiling. He always looks happy. He likes his work.
What do you think?
Likely, I’ll give him both, but I’d love to hear what you like.