Summer rain leaves droplets on the leaves.

S

ummer is our rainy season. We had an amazing amount of rain this month. They said we had five times the normal amount of rain for a July. That’s something for us because July is very wet.

The constant rain gets a little bit tiresome, but it does yield scenes like this one. It’s a combination of nature and magic.

Look at those reds. Those blues. Those purples. Those colors are something aren’t they? They look like fall colors except that it’s July.

It’s all about the water.

I’ve written a lot about the lack of water in most of America. We don’t have that problem. We have another problem. We have too much water. We don’t take drought seriously. When we talk about it, it’s after ten days of no rain.

It’s a matter of perceptions.

Those of us in the Gulf Coast States don’t think about the lack of water when we should be thinking about how to distribute our water to people living in the west.

It’s a funny thing. I was thinking about all of the infrastructure proposals and I haven’t seen anything about water issues. Nothing. Zero. Zip.

Well, I have a proposal. Let’s move some of our unneeded water west. A series of giant pipes might be cost prohibitive, but maybe not. Not if we want fresh fruits and vegetables.

Or, maybe there’s another way. I’m not the smartest person in the room but others are. It’s time we start thinking about this. It’s time for those smart folks to get going.

After all, we all get thirsty.

T

his picture didn’t take much post production. I made the picture as I saw it and added a bit of color that the sensor couldn’t seem to see.

But, I only added enough color to make the photograph look like the scene that caught my attention so that you can see it too.

I had to be careful because these rich blues, reds and purples are some of my favorite colors. My natural inclination is to take them too far.

That’s the trick sometimes, knowing when to stop. Maybe that’s the trick with everything in life. Knowing when to stop.

I dunno. I’m just thinking out loud.

Maybe I should stop.

O

ne more thing. You knew it. I couldn’t stop.

Seriously, after a lot of thought, I’m staying here on WordPress.

The basic community building theory is what’s most important. I know a lot of you here. I can’t build that again, because it’s only taken me eleven years.

There’s more too. It’ll take a lot of time to build anything. Time is short these days. Time is expensive. No matter how you use it.


Nature’s art.

J

uly is the month that you really know where you are; Southeast Louisiana. This is when your windows always have condensation producing water droplets in the morning.

That’s what you see as I look into the garden. Later in the day this dries out and you can see reality again. Not that reality is such a big deal. These days, like so many of you, I think that reality bites.

I just don’t want to deal with anything hard these days. I avoid them as much as possible. Sleep, once came with difficult, now seems easy to come by. That’s not me. I’m usually a six hour a day sleeper. Now, I am a ten hour a day sleeper.

I’m not feeling fatigued. I start reading anything and pretty soon I start to drive and think, “This feels good” and I’m gone.

I did it yesterday. I started working around 8am. I took a break at 11:30am. I thought I’d read the news. I awoke at 3:30pm. Huh? Where am I?

And you?

T

his is the anti-technology column today.

My new iPhone has a 90 day no questions asked return policy.

I might use that.

I’m not sure if it’s me, or the sensor or the lens, but it makes photo files that are almost unusable.

My first attempt at in phone processing of this image was terrible. Even after turning down the contrast to the bare minimum all the darks where clumped into an unreadable mass.

So, I download a completely unprocessed file and worked on it in OnOne, barely doing anything.

That worked.


All about rain. No. This isn’t Hurricane Sally. These pictures were made during a typical gulf coast summer storm. Usually, the humidity collects and sometime in the afternoon all that water needs a place to go.

It’s interesting to see. These pictures were made in a grocery store parking. It was raining pretty hard where i was parked.

At the other side of the lot, nothing. The pavement wasn’t dry because there had been rain earlier. But, nothing was falling while we were getting soaked.

Waiting game.

Anyway. Hurricane Sally may not be much in New Orleans. She’s slowed way down, picking up more water from the gulf. She’s also turned further east. We are not even in the cone any longer.

We’ll probably get a little wind and some rain, but nothing like we were expecting earlier this week.

Droplets on the windshield.

The pictures. I decided to wait out the hardest rain. I get bored easily so I decided to make a few pictures. These are mostly just point and shoot. I see this kind of work as being close to photojournalism so I don’t tinker with them.

The real trick is to get as much information as you can into the frame. That means a wide angle lens. Smartphones usually have the equivalent of a 28mm which is intended to keep every part of the subject sharp.

Some smart phones have an adjustable lens. Mine does. The lens “sees” anywhere from 28mm to 600mm. This gives me some great reach, but good luck keeping it steady. Generally speaking one out of about every six images is sharp, and that’s with good bracing technique.

I could use a little tripod, but who does that while you are carrying your phone everywhere?

Looking back.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Enjoy every burrito.


Gentle.

Like Asian art.

Gentle. Calming. Relaxing.

When I saw it, I knew. This was not about the original file. It was about what could be done with it. It was about my vision. My intent after I brought the image home.

To be clear, it wasn’t about heavy post production. It was about doing just enough studio work to bring forth what I saw in the scene. I saw it as something Asian. Maybe Japanese. Maybe Chinese. Makes sense. They borrowed from each other.

It was also about the color green. It’s said to be calming. We all could use a little calming.

These days have gotten completely out of hand. I try not to read much news. That’s one approach. But, that’s like turning down a fast flowing water spigot. It just keeps trickling out. My only alternative seems to be to shut it all down. But, I like baseball. In order to get to it, I have to wade through various news publications and websites.

Also, we are in the middle of hurricane season. I do need the storm alerts. The best storm information comes via Twitter. As much as I try to follow artists, musicians and local people, the news that I want to avoid seeps out.

I’ll figure it out. Eventually.

The picture. I pretty much discussed it at the start of this post. I saw it. My brain broke free of its rust and realized that there was something to this grassy shape.

 


Finally, leaves on top of leaves.

The light was flat and formless.

I wasn’t expecting to make any pictures. But you know what I say. Make the picture first. Worry about it later. Never self edit in the field. Never chimp. Never delete. If you must delete a really bad picture, do it after you’ve had time to look at on a bigger monitor.

That’s really sort of the basics.

The rest, like camera and lens selection is really just stuff.

I always suggest that a new photographer have one body and two lenses. The two lenses are the kit lens that came with the camera. The second lens is one of your choice. Right now the so-called “nifty-fifty” is popular. 50 mm lenses are great. But, when I was young and still learning the very basics, it was out of favor. I trained myself to see another way. My second basic lens is either a 20 mm, a 24 mm, or a 28mm.

The 28mm is the lens of choice for most serious street photographers. It sees more like our eyes do. It is not so wide as to distort a subject to whom you are very close. And, it’s generally sharp throughout the frame when you set the  aperture  at f 5.6 or smaller.

Some people like an 85 mm lens because the background is softer and you don’t have to work closely to film the frame with the subject. I think that it is a great portrait lens.

As usual, it all depends.

On to this picture. I made it while walking. As I mentioned the light was flat and gray. Just like it is today. When that happens I look for details that I can enhance in post production. It wasn’t happening. Then I saw a bunch of newly fallen leaves covered with water droplets. That was better. Than I found the picture you see. The original capture was light and lacked contrast. I helped it along in post production.

That’s the story.

Oh. One important thing. Tomorrow is my birthday. Don’t forget to buy my a coffee. 🙂