Archive for November, 2013

November 26, 2013

The stand alone

Not sure why this tree was left to the middle of the expanse while the others were given the opportunity to congregate, but it always stood out to me as I drove US 190. I’d forgotten about it until passing it again this summer about five years after my last fly-bye, and because of this I wasn’t prepared. This became a shot across the back of the car, through the window. Therefore, I had to massage every last pixel out of it to make it as I saw it – calm and light, but still very grounded. Louisiana is so green!
The stand alone
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November 25, 2013

The house sitter

We were rolling around downtown Opelousas when we came across this house. It was seemingly one of those older ladies from the town’s better days, but despite its current suffering the charm still kind of came through. Behind it there are several interesting homes with cool paint jobs in the neighborhood, but I didn’t have time to shoot them all. This one was my favorite, because the more you look at it you realize that the property is sagging in a way that there are potentially no straight lines at all.
The house sitter
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November 24, 2013

Whichever way

The older I get the more I realize that Robert Frost had it right.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I-
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

That’s from The Road Not Taken, and it could be read as taking the less typical path is the better way to go about things, but I don’t think so anymore. I think all he’s saying is for him it was best to take the one he took, and that’s what makes the difference. It’s about doing what you wish to do, and seeing where it takes you. The deciding factor isn’t the path you take, it’s that you take one. I personally like the one he took, but that’s another story entirely.

I drove down one of these one-ways late after work one night, and a cop thought I was drunk. It was one of those moments where you have driven the area hundreds and hundreds of times, and yet the one time you do something wrong there’s law enforcement ready to pounce on you. He let me go, backwards, as I was already headed.
Whichever way
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November 23, 2013

The barn in deep blue

I wandered these 150 paces or so from the house because I was feeling miserable. That seems like a strange thing to say, but on this night I decided to begin my fight back against the broken leg I’d sustained some 15 days prior. Here, on the 4th of July, I’d learned to stumble about in discomfort rather than pain, my misery derived more from the lack of ability to shoot than the injury. With a limited cache of shots from an important trip back to one of the places I can call home, it was time to wander about and take with me what I could. In the deepest moment of blue hour the light over the barn became most attractive in a subtle way. The colors went all green underneath it’s heavy glow. It was just weird enough to warrant a photo, and I was back on my way.
The barn in deep blue
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November 22, 2013

Stars quilted by clouds

I made several mistakes while shooting the night sky in Louisiana – one of which was standing in the back of a pickup truck for a few of the long exposures. Any time I moved things got precariously wobbly, and because I was in a walking boot for my broken right leg, wobbly was the norm. I was lucky enough to find I could balance myself against the cab of the truck in a way that I could make it work. It was so dark that I had to push the upper limits of my camera’s ISO capabilities. You get a ton of grain out of the clouds for that very reason, but it actually coaxes out the stars kind nicely.
Stars quilted by clouds
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November 21, 2013

Traffic patterns

After shooting an Indian wedding, one in which the groom entered by yellow Lamborghini, I found myself meandering back to the car through a sporadic population of hotels. They were really ugly hotels for the most part, kind of flat and straight without any regard for Neomodernism. That’s perfect for getting something slightly abstract out of something mundane – just drop it on that straight-lined nothing serving backdrop to a sprawling old tree.
Traffic patterns
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November 20, 2013

The fisherman

Near dusk on Kincaid Lake, after eating shrimp and cornbread, I spent a handful of minutes out on the deck of the restaurant. The wood boards creaked and gave, but when nobody sauntered by it proved stable enough for the tripod. There’s a strange dullness that occurs at this time on the right day. It’s like the surroundings become lazy before everything goes to night. While the other fishermen were packing up this last one cast his line a few more times in front of a gathering crowd.
The fisherman
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November 5, 2013

Late burn

There’s that colorless part of night in the countryside where the sun goes away and the lights don’t take over, because there aren’t any. It’s kind of depressing, because you know when you get where you’re going the day is already done. It lasts only 20 minutes or so, but it’s kind of unsettling, even with other cars cruising along the interstate at 75 mph. I always get that feeling of the inability to relax despite the day melting away entirely. Every mile covered makes the destination somehow slide further off the horizon. In the Deep South pine trees obscure the way. On this night the sky went totally flat, acting like a curtain.
Late burn
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November 4, 2013

Abbreviated tree line

I have a very good memory, most of the time. If you put a list of 20 things in front of me, then take it away after I’ve read them over twice, I’ll remember 19 of them (in order) the rest of the day. If you have me drive a piece of road for an hour and ask me to recall significant landmarks in reverse order several hours later, I can probably name 15 with ease.

This became very apparent when I used to drive chunks of Louisiana on a daily basis. Down there, nobody gives lock-down directions you can follow on a map – they all flip a landmark or two into the navigating, like “turn at the fourth big house down the second dirt road.” It can get confusing if you aren’t paying attention. Anyway, there’s this little stretch of road going west out of Alexandria called 28 West, and just outside of town, where it narrows to two lanes and rises up a ridge and past a dwelling or two, there’s this opening on the left to Tunk’s. I went right past it last time I was there, but you should eat there. This is the view I took from that little trip.
Abbreviated tree line
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November 3, 2013

The lights are on

When I was taking this shot a lady walked by with her significant other and asked, “How long you been takin’ photos?” That’s not usually the first question asked. I told her 12 years, which wasn’t right, but it was all I could think to say. “That’s cool,” she said, walking away. I asked her why it’s cool. “Because you doin’ it!”

It’s hard to argue with that. This building always has most of its lights on, no matter the time of day.
The lights are on
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