The day started off bad. It continued to get worse. There is only one solution. Reschedule everything. Even things that supposedly can’t be rescheduled. And, just give up. Go back to the place where I made this picture. Lay there. Fall asleep. Luckily, this place isn’t very far from our kitchen door. That’s important. It’s easier for people to bring me stuff. Something cold. Something to fill my belly. More cold stuff.
How bad is it? I almost can’t get through this post. The mouse and keyboard keep freezing every few keystrokes. That’s after rebooting the computer because it froze. I have no idea why. I put the thing to sleep last night. It woke up in a bad mood.
I’d better post this before I can’t.
The picture. Look all around if you are making pictures. I made this one laying on my back.
Another storm picture. Rain never stops us. I think a lot of us were fooled because we weren’t ready for the intensity of the rainfall. Never trust the weather people on your local news. They mean well, but if I got about 90% of what I said wrong, I’d fire myself.
I’ll talk about this picture. That’s it for today.
I made it with my new magic smart phone. This is the one that makes a 12 megapixel file. Usually, I process in the phone with Snapseed. I started thinking that I didn’t really like the final product, so I started experimenting by downloading the file to my main machine and using onOne to develop it and do the finishing post production.
What a difference.
The newest version, OnOne Photo RAW 2019, even has a template for making words. At this point, I cull in Photo Mechanic and Edit in OnOne and that’s it.
Goodbye Adobe. Again.
Finally. I don’t have to pay $9.99 a month forever.
Keeping today photographic, more about this picture. The first thing to know is that I made it through the windshield in between wiper swipes. This was another time that my phone thought I had a dirty sensor.
I made a lot of pictures this way.
All I knew was that my umbrella changed hands and I wasn’t going out in the pouring rain. I sat on the car and made pictures. Either I’m smart or just lazy. A betting person would take the latter.
That explains the softness in my subject’s face. We know that she likes bottled Coca-Cola, which is sort of ironic because the bottling plant for Louisiana is less than a half mile away.
Yep. That’s a New Orleans summer. I was telling somebody in yesterdays comments that eventually you get acclimated to our summer. You have to, because in the words of Rosanne Cash, “It’s hot from March to Christmas.” Besides, our humidity keeps your skin soft and moist. You have fewer wrinkles because the minute you go outside you are hydrated in a global sauna. Heh!
You do find ways of keeping a little cooler and dryer. Typically, my pace slows down. I walk on the shady side of the street. I eat cooler foods. I drink a lot more water. Stuff like that.
This guy, may have found the best of a couple of worlds. The umbrella keeps him a little cooler and on a day like last Sunday when there was intermittent rainfall, it kept him a little dryer. Besides it looks kinda cool. And, it attached to his head. How’s that for fun?
I like working in it. Rain. Snow. Slush. Ice. Even wind. I often quote National Geographic’s Sam Abell who said, “When the weather turns bad, the pictures get good.” I probably live in a good place for that. Although we don’t often get snow or ice in New Orleans, we do get a lot of rain. Misty rain. Sprinkles. Hard rain. Sideways rain.
This picture was made in 1995. In New York City. I was mostly working with a lot of color slide film by then, but often I would shoot a little black and white.
Generally, I was falling into one of the patterns you see today. Some of my better work was produced while I was on my way to someplace else.
This picture was made with a Nikon F90. Yeah, the “Rest of the World” version of the of the N90, which I believe was only sold in The United States. I’m not such a gear guy, that I know those sorts of things. For sure. Especially something from 20 years ago. The lens was a 105mm. F 2.8. The film, as usual, was Kodak Tri-X black and white film.
Here’s where the fun begins.
The film was rated at 320 ISO. The lens was set to f5.6 and the shutter speed went wherever it needed to go using auto metering. I’m guessing this picture was made at 1/4 of a second. I also took off the lens hood. Doing that made me a little less conspicuous. Mostly, I wanted to capture the feeling of being in a rain storm. I usually think feeling and sensing are better than documenting.
All that weird refraction and blur along the edges of the picture was caused by photographing through rain drops on the lens. Yes. I know. That’s not a great idea. Protect you gear at all costs. But, what’s the point of having cameras and lenses if you can’t break them while you are making pictures?
Seriously. The lens didn’t stay wet for very long. It does illustrate how far I’ll go to make the picture in my head.
It rained. A lot. Sort of a semi-tropical storm that built up in the Gulf.
Normally, most second lines will run regardless of the weather. Not today. The leaders had the time to make a decision.
Today, I learned something about why second lines walk in bad storms. Or, walk when nobody shows up. It’s pretty simple. The parade leaders waited too long to cancel. They lose their city permit money if they postpone later than two hours before starting time.
Second line investments are pretty costly. If a parade is large like today’s was supposed to be, the organization spends a lot of money for the permit itself, policing, paying the bands, post parade clean up and so on. They hold all sorts of fund-raisers throughout the year to do this. It’s hard work. They don’t want to just toss their money away.
The parade was shut down about two and half hours before start time. As nature would have it, the rain stopped before start time and did not resume until much later. It was supposed to start falling again about mid-parade. It didn’t. Sheesh. When have you ever known a weather person to be right?
There’s more. About second line rescheduling.
I looked at the second line schedule for this season. There is no open Sunday through the end of the year. A friend of mine as they would just reschedule on a Saturday. Nope. By tradition, only the Black Men of Labor walk on a Saturday.
Can you guess why?
When second lines began to walk free of jazz funerals, many of the social and aid clubs’ members worked six days a week. Sunday was church day, and a time to relax with family. That tradition holds true today even though many members of the clubs work a more normal five days a week, or own a businesses, or work in professional jobs or so on.
A bell rang way in the back of my brain. It seems like this happened in either 2013 or 2014. The club who postponed their second line did walk on Saturday. But, they joined the Black Men of Labor’s second line to do it. I suppose something like that will happen this year. Both social clubs — Young Men Olympian Jr and the Black Men of Labor — are very old line and well-respected. They’ll work it out. It’ll be a massive parade. I’m guessing that it will have at least four divisions and four brass bands.
That said, “When the weather turns bad, the pictures get good.”
Out I went into the night. To the French Quarter. To Bourbon Street.
This picture was taken at f5.6 at I have no idea how many seconds. Probably 1/4 or 1/2 a second. In a case like this, I pick the aperture and let the camera pick the shutter speed… up to a point. I want my shutter speed to be somewhere around 1/8 to 1/2 a second. The way to control this easiest is with the ISO control. Of course, the higher the ISO, the more potential you have to introduce a lot of noise. Going to Bourbon Street was by design. It’s better lighted. It’s brighter. The colors are warm. I didn’t have to crank up the ISO quite as far. I also don’t want to have to fiddle with the controls. I just want to make pictures.
Oh yeah. I can check the EXIF data to learn exactly how I shot the picture. But, I don’t really care. I’ve been at this long enough to be fairly certain of what I did. I’m not a pixel peeper.
As the saying goes, “when the weather turns bad, the pictures get good.” So it does. I don’t even like walking on Bourbon Street. It’s crowded. The people are partying and have been for a long time. Maybe too long. Every sort of huckster, scam artist and two-bit dealer plies his or her trade here. It’s mostly a street filled with cheap dives and bars that cater to the tourist trade. I can’t think of very many locals who go here. Most of us have no reason to do anything but cross this street at some corner on our way to someplace else. But, there are nights when the skies open and rain pours down. You know. Almost that sideways kind of rain. That’s when I head to Bourbon Street. All the glowing neon reflected in the wet streets makes it a sort of adult Disneyland. Sometimes, I get very lucky and somebody with an umbrella races by. Those people who do are usually locals who are prepared for Southeast Louisiana’s spring and summer sudden downpours. All the rest? They just get wet.
The picture? Easy. Slow shutter speed and try to shoot at about f5.6. The rest just happens in front of me. I didn’t have to do anything. Just stand there. In a doorway.
I was going to change directions on Storyteller. I was about to publish more unrelated, semi-artistic pictures of something or other. But, then I received and email from Corrie. It said, “Sammy got down on his knee…” It’s the best email I’ve received in days. Weeks. Months. Of course I congratulated them. But, that’s nothing. What to do? What to do? Then I thought, “Hey. Wait a minute. I publish a blog that a few people read. I’ll just publish more Memphis pictures.” And, here they are…
Sammy and Corrie. I couldn’t be happier for you.
The pictures. You guys know me. I just stick cameras in front of things. Locations. People. One more thing. I’m not the most original guy in the world. My headline is Sammy’s. He posted it on Facebook a coupla hours ago. I couldn’t come up with anything better.
I’ve written a lot about second line parades. I’ve shared pictures that were mostly little snatches, snapshots and scenes of Uncle Lionel’s various second line parades. But, what does it look like when you stand back? Well. It looks like this…