• some instax photos.

    A couple of Instax instant photos I snapped while going to breakfast on Sunday with K.

    Two Instax instant photos, one of a dark haired girl with glasses sitting in front of her breakfast, and another of pink flowers in the sun.

  • Digital Photo Class at City Park, June 2022

    Last June, I took the second photo class that Christy Lorio offered over at City Park. I’d really enjoyed the first one she offered, focusing on the basics of composition that could be used with any camera. The second one was more about fully learning about photography with a DSLR. It was a drizzly day when a few of us met up at Cafe du Monde again, but luckily the rain ended right before the class, leaving the sky gray and overcast.

    This was actually good, because I’d become WAY too used to taking pictures with full sun and blue skies, and so I was able to play more with my aperture and shutter speed to see what worked in this kind of lighting. I still struggle sometimes with aperture when it comes to lighting – yeah, I know the Sunny16 rule – but I still tend to take a lot of “test shots” to see what the right setting will be. I don’t know why I struggle with it so much, but I just do. I have found that when I am doing those test shots and seeing the difference, it helps make it stick more for me.

    We stuck closer to the Cafe this time since rain was still imminent, but there’s a small island close by that has some really cool overgrown spots and foliage, which I found very cool.

    I’m always drawn to locations that have that “overtaken by nature” or “deserted” feeling – old houses back in the woods, decaying structures, graffiti, weathered wood and stone and rust. I am terrified of trespassing, so you’ll never find me sneaking into the old Six Flags site or an abandoned home – but IF there was someone who would LEGALLY bring me there and stay with me while I walked around and shot pictures, for safety reasons, I’d be happy as a clam. I ain’t about getting arrested or falling through the floor for a hobby. Sorry. *shrug*

    Anyway, these are some of my favorites that I took that day. I like how the colors are just slightly muted – except the greens. After the rain, grasses and trees POP in summertime and stand out beautifully.

    Thank you, Christy, wherever you are now, for the lessons you taught me and for the super short time we got to meet.

  • Digital Photo Class at City Park, April 2022

    Back in April 2022, I signed up for a digital photography class with a local photographer, Christy Lorio. I’d been following her on Instagram and Twitter, and the course focused on teaching us about the general basics of photography that could be used either with a phone camera or a digital camera. About five of us attended the class, and we spent the afternoon walking around the Cafe du Monde area at City Park and grabbing shots of what caught our eye. We went back to the Cafe afterwards and then did a review of what we took, where everyone got to see what we shot and we discussed what we liked and all talked about how we could improve or tweak what we shot to be better.

    It was a really good class, and I got the above shots from it. She hosted a more detailed class a couple of months later, which I also took, and I’ll post those pictures in a separate post.

    Sadly, Christy passed away last year from cancer, but she was a real treasure and the time I got to spend with her talking about photography and learning from her was wonderful.

  • X-Pro Adventures: City Park 2004

    These are the second part of the cross-processed slide film I took on my day out back in 2004.

    The City Park Peristyle has always been one of my favorite places to go in while there. It’s also one of the most frequented places on weekends due to its popularity for weddings, photo shoots, etc. It overlooks Bayou Metairie and is the perfect place to sit in the shade on stiflingly sunny days.

    One weekday evening, YEARS ago (probably 1998-99 or so?), my roommate and I wanted to get out of the apartment that night but we didn’t have the money to go out to dinner or to a bar. So we picked up some cheese, olives, deli meats, a baguette, and a bottle of cheap “wine” (probably some kind of Boone’s Farm), and went to the Peristyle. It was dark except for the moon and the streetlights from across the bayou. We sat out there for hours. Cost us less than $20 all together, we had sandwiches for lunch the next day, and it pretty much cemented my love for nighttime picnics.

    Most recently, my friend Allison and I picked up some Japanese sandos from a popup and spent almost an entire afternoon sitting out there, trying different sandwiches, and just talking about stuff.

    Anyway, back to photography…

    I’d really like to get my hands on a couple more rolls of slide film and do some more cross-processing, although I’d have to check with my local lab to see if they handle slide film anymore. I really like color shifts and looking back on these always gives me a sense of pride. Maybe next time I’ll get pictures of people. That’s actually something I really need to work on – I take SO many pictures of foliage and flowers and buildings, but I am so hesitant to turn the camera on people, especially strangers.

  • Canon DSLR – National Gallery of Art, DC

    The first full day I was out, we went to the National Gallery to use up a little time between meet-ups. We knew we only had a couple of hours and couldn’t see everything, but I’m glad we went because there was no way I was going to be able to see everything there in one visit. I found myself drawn to the sculptures a lot and how the light reflected off of them.

    The piece that hit me emotionally the most was this one. Leonardo da Vinci’s Ginevra de’ Benci.

    I wasn’t even aware that there was a da Vinci at the National Gallery until we were talking to one of the security staff and they mentioned that was their favorite place to just go sit. The four of us only had a short amount of time before we had to leave so we headed up to see it. The room was fairly crowded (the above photo was taken another day when very few people were there), but you could get fairly close to the painting – well, as close as the guards, pedestal, and glass would let you.

    It’s small – the frame makes it look larger – but I just had this moment as I was looking at it.

    “This is a real-life da Vinci painting. And you’re in front of it. You only thought you’d ever see a da Vinci painting in books or on TV when you were little. You thought you’d never get to leave Louisiana. You never thought you’d be able to come to DC, or London, or Los Angeles, or anywhere else you’ve gone. And now, at 45 years old, you’re in front of an honest-to-God da Vinci painting, with friends, in a huge art museum.”

    As we were leaving the room, I asked my friends if we could sit for a second, because I was having a pretty emotional moment. They asked if I was okay, and I explained what was going through my mind. They sat there and felt it right along with me, no judgement, no snark. That right there is why I love my friends.

    And then we left and went to a Tiki bar and had nachos and fruity drinks.

    I went back a few days later when I was toodling around DC by myself, and got to see some of the other exhibits and rooms that I missed the first time around. I was kind of sad that the entire modern art section was closed off due to renovations, but OH DARN I guess I’ll have to go back after it reopens.

  • Canon DSLR – Hirshhorn Museum, DC

    I took a trip to Washington DC to visit some very good online friends back at the end of April/beginning of May. As much as I wanted to bring tons of assorted cameras and such, I also didn’t want to deal with carrying a checked bag AND two or three carry-on bags. (I already have to deal with two carry-ons when I fly thanks to my CPAP machine.) I figured that bringing my Canon DSLR and my trusty 24mm pancake lens was the best option, and it did not let me down. (Well, except for the day I went to the Library of Congress and I forgot to put my battery in the dang camera, but that’s not the camera’s fault.)

    My first full day in, I went to the Hirshhorn to see the Yayoi Kusama exhibit with a group of friends. It ended up being a beautiful day so my friend Jen and I walked around the sculpture garden first before heading in to meet up with others to go through the Kusama exhibit. It was amazing being in the infinity rooms, but my favorite had to be the first one, Infinity Mirror Room—Phalli’s Field (Floor Show) (1965/2017). You only get 30 seconds in there, and I went in by myself. When the door closes, it’s eerily quiet, and you’re just surrounded by yourself and this never-ending field of polka dotted fabric sculptures. Standing there for the short time I had, I could briefly understand how someone may begin having odd experiences if they were shut in here for longer than 10 minutes. But I’d go in again, and beg for another minute if I could. The second infinity room, Infinity Mirrored Room—My Heart Is Dancing into the Universe (2018), is beautiful, and gave me a much more joyful feeling, but the doors are also open the whole time, so you can see the outside, which for me, broke up the infinity room aspect of it.

    I have a lot more pictures, especially from the National Gallery of Art, along with another story from there, but that’s for another post. 🙂

  • Lomochrome Purple 100-400 – Sept 2020

    Hello hello! It’s been a while. Things have been…well, I don’t really need to explain. Everyone in the world has been dealing with the past two years of dumpster fires in their own way. A lot has gone down in our lives – things both good and bad – and I’m not where I used to be, both mentally and physically. Maybe I’ll dig into that in a future post that will be more than just a gallery of photos.

    Anyway, after essentially abandoning this blog and site since October of 2020, I decided it’s time to return. Like I said above, things have changed, and I’ve felt myself becoming more creatively charged over the past couple of months. So I pulled my cameras out of storage – both the digital and film ones – and began using them more. I took a composition class with an excellent local photographer, Christy Lorio, and I’ve even signed up for her technical photography class. (I still struggle with a lot of the numbers concerning manual photography – most of the stuff I’ve been doing is all point-and-shoot.) I even took my DLSR with me to Washington DC! I only brought my pancake lens, but it was the first time I traveled with my DSLR and I feel a lot more comfortable about taking it with me places now.

    So while I was digging through photos, I came across a folder of this entire roll of Lomography Lomochrome Purple I shot with my Minolta Maxxum 5, back when we lived in Mandeville. As y’all know, I love the color skewing of cross-processed slide film, so when I saw that this film offered a similar color shift without the need to pay for cross-processing, I snagged a roll of this and of the Lomochrome Metropolis film. (The Metropolis is currently sitting in my fridge.)

    I really like how this shifted everything green to this pinky-purple shade, and also shifted the color of the sky. It’s been a while since I shot this, but I’m pretty sure I did it on an overcast day before fall shifted into summer, so things were still extra green in our yard. Looking at these, it’s just a strong reminder that I need to get back out there and shoot. Film, digital, doesn’t matter, just do it. It brings me joy, it feeds my need to stay creative in some form, and I need more of that in my life.

    I really like the effects of this and want to grab a couple more rolls to try, maybe in Couterie Forest at City Park or an early morning at the Fly in Audubon Park.

  • B&W Adventures – Kodak T-Max 100 – 2004

    These were taken on the same day that I went to explore Greenwood Cemetery back in 2004. These were taken in both Greenwood and Holt Cemetery.

    I had never heard of Holt Cemetery until I came across it that day. From the Save Our Cemeteries website:

    Originally a cemetery for the city’s indigent population, Holt Cemetery passed through several rounds of ownership before being established by Dr. Joseph Holt, a city board of health official, in 1879.

    Holt is a potters field cemetery in New Orleans, and nearly all of the gravesites are below ground. The sites are taken care of by the families of the deceased, and there are a lot of homemade gravestones or memorials. Even though the city has done a lot of repairs and upgrades over the years, the cemetery still shows significant neglect, with some graves showing human remains.

    It’s such a drastic change from the well-manicured above-ground tombs of Greenwood.

  • Sunrise – Konstruktor w/ Lomo 400

    Back in early September, I decided to get up super-early one Saturday morning and head to the Madisonville boat launch to catch pictures of the sunrise. I brought my Konstruktor loaded with Lomo 400 and managed to get some really beautiful shots of the sky.

    I am always surprised how nice the shots I get from the Konstruktor are. Yes, they’re slightly soft and fuzzy, but I like the dreamy feel it gives. Not bad for a plastic camera I built myself.

  • X-Pro Adventures: Greenwood Cemetery 2004

    These are probably some of the oldest film scans on my laptop, back from when I was working at Lakeside Camera. During the majority of my time in the lab, I either spot checked the photos or worked the photo printers – one was an Agfa and another a Fuji printer that I had used at Eckerd Express Photo. I was working the Fuji one day when I got a roll from another employee and was surprised to see the colors on the screen – I’d originally thought we messed up the development, or the monitor had gone funky, or something like that. I asked them about it and that’s when I learned about cross-processing. I instantly fell in love. Those color shifts were just so cool, like something off of a 1990s band album cover photo shoot.

    See, as much as I loved processing photos and seeing other pictures, I was always hesitant to do anything more than the souvenir snaps of friends and such. Seeing that sparked my creativity and curiosity about what I could do. That afternoon before I left, I bought some rolls in the store and decided to do something with them on my next day off.

    On that day, I loaded up my camera bags with the Minolta and some B&W and slide film, and headed over to Greenwood Cemetery. It was a summer weekday morning, so there weren’t many people out and about. I stopped in the main office to see if it was okay for me to walk around and take pictures in the graveyard. They told me sure, as long as I stayed away from any services that were scheduled (of course!), and I parked my car somewhere in the middle of the graveyard and went walking.

    I scanned them the next time I went to work and was totally shocked at how awesome these came out. Even today, I don’t want to edit them. These scans are exactly how that film came out, no retouching or anything. They’re still some of my favorite photos I’ve done to this day.

    I ended up finishing up the rolls in City Park – that’s another post though.