What do you see?

Yes. What do you see? Pictures like this one take some seeing or you’ll just pass them by. But, you must be careful. You may see the things that you want to see, not bothering with reality.

We all do it.

We do it in relationships. I’m not talking about romantic ones. I’m talking about how we relate to everything.

There are times when you see clearly, but there are other times when you walk away, or look back, and wonder what the hell you were thinking.

I’m in that period of reckoning. I seem to be forgetting the good things. I’m remember the questionable things. I feel like I owe apologies to a lot of people.

There are also things that I can’t seem to see clearly. I remember them but I don’t remember the circumstances or context.

How does that happen?

I must be blocking something out. Usually that indicates some degree of pain. But, I can’t remember the pain. That’s probably a good thing.

I’m pretty sure that this is what comes from having too much time on my hands, driven by lockdown city.

And, that’s another thing. I’ve had my jabs. Today is my 14th day so they are fully effective. There is a big Mardi Gras Indian funeral later today. Between the vaccinations and masking I should be just fine.

Yet, I’m a little afraid to go, to photograph, to honor the big chief who passed at the age of 37.

Self preservation is one thing. But, this just seems ridiculous. I’m a little young, but we all gotta go.

I pretty much told you how I made the pictures. It’s how I make every picture.

See it. Shoot it. Process it. Publish it. Forget it.

See? I told you I was dealing with my past mistakes.

My biggest mistake with my later work is not marketing it in a way that works well with our modern digital age.

I think that I understand the technical processes. But, I don’t understand the emotional process.

I usually laugh at the so-called influencers that are usually found on Instagram. But, some of them earn a serious amount of cash. They travel well. They have fun.

Photographers usually can’t get into that position. For sure there are a few. But, they are usually gear head blogs who find sponsorships from gear makers. Nothing wrong with that, but you know me.

Others sell things to other photographers. Online classes, in person workshops, or some other kind of one on one tutoring. That market is saturated. It seems like half the posts on my Instagram feed are trying to sell me the ten secrets that will make me a better photographer.

If I haven’t learned them by now there is no hope for me.

That’s the state of the digital world right about now.


The season.

To everything there is a season. And a time for every purpose, under heaven. A time to be born, a time to die. A time to plant, a time to reap. A time to kill, a time to weep. To everything, there is a season. And, a time to every purpose, under heaven.

If you celebrate, Happy Easter.


Pretty in the springtime.

All the yellows of the day. There’s a song with that line in it, but I can’t remember it. Not Kodachrome. That was “greens of summer.”

There’s a little place by the sidewalk that I can be sure to find dandelions. Every year. Right about now. I don’t know about you, but they make me smile. Once they start blooming I know spring is here.

Along with wildflowers, we set the clocks aside early this morning. I don’t know who got the idea that it had to be done at 2am. Nobody I know does that. It’s either before bedtime, or when they stumble in the door after a Saturday night out.

Since very few people go out right now I suppose it’ll be the former. Or, maybe I should just speak for myself. Maybe that’s all I should do. Heh.

This is another of those scenes that I photograph every year. At least this time I found a different way of looking at it, and a different way of editing it.

That’s something, at least.

And, it’s a nice Sunday picture.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Have a good thought for the person who taught me this. She’s very sad. A death in the family.

Johnny’s Garden. That’s what it reminds me of. The name is a title to a Stephen Stills song.

The story as I know it goes something like this. After his big success with Crosby, Stills and Nash, he moved to London and leased Peter Sellers old house. Or, Ringo Starr’s house. It came with a gardener. You can figure out the rest. Either that, or he watched a movie with about the same plot.

With Stills, you never know.

I saw the scene. I found a way to photograph it a little differently than I had in the past.

It was in development and editing, where it really took off. That’s the entire story of my own Johnny’s Garden.


Another yellow photograph.

More yellow. I don’t know why. I guess during the winter months I like color. Yellow is warm. It’s inviting. In the world of big commercial presses it is used to give “lift” to a photograph. Most importantly, it makes me smile.

I’d like to revisit yesterday’s discussion for just a few minutes. Okay ten minutes.

The person who asked the questions that turned the discussion into chaos is well regarded in the photo community. He’s not a great photographer, but he is a person who raises up photography and photographers. He discusses our work, our projects, our books and what he believes a picture could be.

He can be a little sheltered since he mostly looks at the photo art world, which is often an enigma to me. I had to laugh once when he looked at an old friend of mine’s work and proclaimed how good it is. It is good, but in my world that photographer is a legend.

All of that said, he really never came back to the discussion, which angered a lot of people on both sides of the issue.

I expected a wrap up the next day. All he said was that he didn’t expect such a reaction. He moved on to his next question which was something along the lines of the previous question. Huh?

I thought to myself, “Are you just going to drop a discussion that prompted such emotional responses?”

There are topics that deserve serious discussion despite what I may think of the work of one or two particular photographers. This is one of them.

His next topic, by the way, is about one of my former mentors who has been accused of being a sexual predator by a number of young women. “Young” is important because he is 75 years old. The women in question are in their early twenties. He is in a position of power with the ability to make or break somebody’s career.

Notice the use of the word “former.”

I can’t abide by him.

On to something else. This is easier. I have made it a point to not name names even in a complimentary way. Do y’all think that I should continue that? Even though I learn some things quietly, it eventually gets published anyway.

Experiments. I like doing them. It’s how I learn. Success or failure doesn’t matter to me, as long as I learn.

This photograph is a grand experiment.

It’s layered with the same image just slightly skewed. If nothing else I’ve found a way to control the yellow. I suppose I could perform another test where I layer the same picture without skewing it.

In the commercial printing world that’s called a double hit. An example of that is Coca Cola Red. It cannot be done in one pass. So… a double hit.

I don’t know what you think, but I kind of like this picture. To me it’s about the cycles of nature. And, while nature is patient she is always moving.

That’s it from the right side.

Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Look after each other. Enjoy nature.


A kindred spirit with a stranger’s face. That’s how it starts. A friendship. An album. A project. A life. This photograph.

I keep stealing words from a friend. She’s gonna want a word with me. Eventually. But, not right now. For me, the words are just a good place to begin. That means something to me too. But…

I found these flowers planted near a little pocket park. They don’t belong here. They aren’t native to the area. They are like me.

I got into one of those conversations.

The ones that make me crazy. The ones where somebody who was born and bred in New Orleans says that I’m not from here so I don’t know about things.

Normally I would explain that I’ve lived here for twenty years. Not this time. Since I’ve emerged from whatever funk I was in I’ve been feeling my oats.

This time I looked that person straight in the eye and said, “Thank God for that.”

Try as he might he couldn’t get me to move off of my position. He gave up when I said, “Why would I want to have your inbred southern ways?

The end.

No, not the end. I don’t really feel that way. But, don’t push me. I’m glad that I’ve lived all over the place. I’ve been lucky to absorb bits from many cultures, from many races. I feel at home in many places. I’m from many places. I’ve gotten to know many different kinds of people.

You know. The words that I began with. A kindred spirit with a stranger’s face.

Lucky me.

I mean that.

Yellow flowers in New Orleans. Maybe. But not this shade. Not this bright.

These flowers are especially bright because they are backlighted. That’s what caught me eye.

That’s also what caused such extreme contrast. Little phone sensors just can’t deal with it.

There is an HDR setting. I used it. This is the result.

Oh well. You know what I always say. Perfection is for angels.

Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Look after each other. Notice all the light.


Something for winter.

Something for winter. Something yellow. Something bright.

The change is coming. In one day. Many of us will be watching it online via the socials. Many of us will be happy.

There are also those who have convinced themselves with no evidence that there is no way Biden could have won the election.

The pillow man thinks that he uncovered all sorts of thing. He brought them to the president who wasn’t interested and suggested that he bring them to the DOJ, who said that’s nice and promptly forgot them.

That’s it.

I’m sorry that the current president won’t even be at the inauguration. He’s skipping out. Heading to Florida. He wants to leave will he’s still president. That call sign, “Air Force One” is important to him. He doesn’t want to fly on a plain old plane.

What a punk.

I know that there is a chance he could be convicted by the senate. I know he has financial and commercial troubles that could choke a horse.

I don’t care.

Let the folks who deal with that stuff deal with it. I want to move forward. That’s what’s important to me. Even though I’m searching for me I know that working to benefit others will help.

So, that’s where I’m headed. To the future. See y’all there.

Bright flowers. Sun flowers. I didn’t even know that they could be grown down here.

Then I read that there are huge fields of them in Mississippi just across the border.

These aren’t them. I have a neighbor who grows everything. He’s got a small greenhouse. He’s got a hydroponic garden. He’s got a regular garden.

There are sunflowers in his greenhouse. I asked if I could photograph them. Obviously, he said yes. In return I’ll give him some prints.

The image is the result of layering. There are five layers of the same picture. Each slightly skewed. Doing this was so easy that I didn’t even have to adjust the picture.

That’s it.

Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Look after each other. Enjoy the future.


Not spring. Still winter.

Yesterday. After the riot and the final certification of Joe Biden as president, you would have thought that the day would have been calmer. For sure, it wasn’t dramatic as Wednesday but the stupidity kept going. The far right senators like Ted Cruz tried to blame the riot on Antifa. They said the rioters are Antifa members pretending to be Trump supporters.

I realize that he lives in Texas where things are slower, but surely he most know that cameras are a thing. And, that cameras were able to pin the tail on the elephants.

Even the woman who was killed was well known in San Diego. She was a Qanon leader. She was an Air Force veteran who apparently forget the oath she took when she joined the military. She certainly wasn’t defending the Constitution when she was shot.

I’m sorry that she was killed. I don’t want anybody to die like she did.

I read enough to know that the whole world was watching. Our allies were sad and concerned. Our enemies just laughed.

I hope and pray that Biden can heal my country. He has the full congress behind him and turtle face no longer runs the senate. I fear the country is so divided that the hatred will last.

That’s some of the news that is not fit to line your birdcage. I promise that I’ll be back to art and other happier stuff.

Flowers in her hair. Flowers everywhere. A line from an old song from the happier days of hippiedom.

I keep saying that our winters are mild. This picture proves that.

Just as I write those words, the fine folks at weather central are predicting the possibility of snow this weekend. The temperature has certainly dropped enough for that to happen.

The last time that occurred was when we were exiled to New Mexico. But, during the winter prior to Hurricane Katrina’s arrival, we had so much snow that I slipped and slid my way to The French Quarter to make pictures.

I can drive in snow, but most New Orleanians can’t drive in good conditions. If it wasn’t dangerous, I would have enjoyed the show.

It’s true. I made this photograph a few days ago. I wonder how they’ll look with snow on them.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Look after each other. Enjoy all the winter flowers.


Souther winter tree.

Down in the swamp. No restaurants. No bars. No Mardi Gras parades. No fools. No fun. No matter. We have nature. We have a mild climate during the winter months.

So.

We have scenes like this in January. Even if the trees look like they do in your neighborhood durning autumn, I assure you that I made this photograph a few days ago.

A big bright, colorful, happy picture. One that you can hang on your wall. One that makes you smile. Something to hold onto when life gets a little tough.

Here’s the thing. This week has already turned weird. The president thinks he’s the godfather of a crime family. He’s deranged. The vote in Georgia could change the complexion of the government. Accept or celebrate. The official congressional counting of the electoral votes follows that. I think those congressional people who are trying to delay the count are fools. No matter. Look at this photograph during the week and have some fun.

Remember. No fools. No fun.

Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Look after each other. Enjoy all the color.

Red, orange, yellow. That’s what caught my eye. The scene was slightly backlighted. Not enough to change the light dramatically, but enough to make the photography bright and energetic.

The rest, as you know, is always easy. As a wise man once said, “The hardest part about making a picture is getting there.

Remember that.

It has existential properties. It could mean distance, or it could mean the time it took you to learn to make pictures.

You know.

The first 10,000 marginal pictures that you took before you learned to make a picture. One picture.

I wish you peace.


Mellow yellow.

Gulf Coast. Fall. Florida too. This is one reason why people move down here. Mild autumn and winters. Some flowers die or hibernate. Many do not.

You’ve seen these flowers earlier this year during spring. Here they are again in autumn. Apparently, they thrive in cooler weather, which a Gulf Coast summer is not.

I say this with no snark, but while you are cold and snowy in the north, we are mild and colorful. I freely admit that I like cold and snow. My poor spine does not.

That’s what happens as you age. If we wanted to stay somewhere along the Gulf Coast, we should probably move to someplace like Destin or Tampa, both of which are in Florida. For us it would probably be Tampa because we do like an urban environment.

There are a couple of other places too. I’m not talking. I don’t want to casta bad spell on those options.

Oh. More about the flowers. They appear to be growing on Elephant plants. I think that’s wrong. They are growing between them. They are their own flowering weed. I prefer wildflower.

The flowers are greatly enlarged in this picture. They are no bigger than my thumbnail.

Seeing. These yellow flowers called out to me from about 50 yards away. They are very bright. They are also brand new, which means that they haven’t faded.

It’s kind of the same old thing for me. See it. Photograph it. Develop it.

That comes with a lot of practice. Don’t be afraid to photograph everything.

When people look at me as if to say what are you doing, I usually say out loud, “don’t you wish you were taking pictures?”

Pictures are fun. Not work.

Stay safe. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Keep your distance. Wash your hands. Look after each other. Enjoy all the flowers.