Another Version

It’s a struggle. 

It’s a struggle to figure out how to include my followers and friends from the Wordpress version of Storyteller. While I’d like to package everything here, on my website. The one that is www.laskowitzpictures.com. I cannot for the life of me figure out how to automatically send emails from here. More research is needed.

In New Orleans, the weather finally turned a little cooler. More fall-like. When I say finally, I really mean that. The weather – we call it @NOLAHeat on Twitter – just would not cool down. As late as Monday, we were reaching record high temperatures. We were getting grumpy. By we, I mean me. That’s not quite true, but you get the point.

The picture. I saw the leaf and took it home, back to the studio. I photographed it very simply on a light table. That picture was elegant and clean. 

I wanted to do more.

I started tinkering and tinkering. I created about twenty versions of the image you see. Some were more colorful than others. I selected one version for Wordpress Storyteller and this one for here at www.laskowitzpictures.com.

Even though my work is known for bright, punchy color, I tend to experiment on Storyteller. That’s why you are getting a toned down monochromatic picture. 

Stay tuned. 


The Last Quarter

October first. The first day of the last quarter. 


For me, a day of a little magic and light. A picture that was so easy to make that it came from someplace else. 


I think most artists know this. Our best and most easy to produce work isn’t ours. It comes from someplace else. We are mostly just a vessel. A portal. The work just comes. Comes from… the cosmos, a higher power, nature. 


Who knows?


Before you think that I’ve lost my mind, musicians say this all the time. Musicians like Dylan, Young, Jones have no idea where their best music comes from. One day they sit down and write two, three, fours songs. Quickly. Easily. All the songs are good. 


For sure, artists listen, watch, look, and see along day long.  Often, we just take it in and do nothing with it… until it’s ready. 


Think about that.


Oh, for sure. There are dry days. Days when I can’t see. Days when I think that I’m blind. Days when one picture after another fails. This can go on for a long time. Especially if I force it. For me, it’s better if I just empty my mind and just look without much thought. 


Oh yeah. The picture.  On the original Storyteller, which can be found at www.laskowitzpictures.org I talk a little about the technique used to make the picture.


Here goes.


I photograph a little everyday. Sometimes it’s just practice. Sometimes it’s more than that. Sometimes I make pictures that I know will be used as a component of another image. That’s how this image started to be. I saw light for circles as it was filtered through a screen onto the dark background. On its own, it wasn’t much.


But, I knew. 


When I returned to the studio I developed that image along with whatever else I saw.  I immediately knew what archival picture would work with it. A golden and orange fall picture. It would be laid underneath the black circular picture. It took one take. No muss. No fuss. Done

.

See what I mean by coming from someplace else? 


Think it over. 


Young Men Olympians Social & Benevolent Society

I haven’t been out to a second line in a while. But, everybody comes out for a big event like this one. The Young Men Olympians were rolling to celebrate their 135th year of serving the residents of Central City, New Orleans. 

A little bit about YMO. They were founded in 1884, when post Civil War racism ruled the south. African Americans could not buy certain services. Medical care, groceries, insurance and burials were among their basic needs. Social and Benevolent Societies began to emerge in Black communities. They bought groceries for those who couldn’t buy them elsewhere. They took care of medical expenses using Black doctors. They paid for burials and provided money for the family of the person who died to get back on their feet.

As the years rolled by, many of these services became common for all people. Black and White. Many of these groups started to fade into the mist. Not YMO. Today they work with youth. Young members – some as young as six or seven  – join the club. They sign contracts that ensure they will get good grades in school, will not use drugs, get arrested and that they will be respectful and obedient in school and at home. They cannot wear some of the current “hood” style clothes and they must dress appropriately for whatever they are doing. 

They say that it takes a village to raise a child. Well, here’s the village. 

The pictures.

I photographed what I saw, with this little kicker. I tested my baby Leica. It’s a great camera for some things. But, it is limited in some respects. It has a fixed 28-75 mm short zoom lens. In order to fill the frame in the way that you would like, you have to work closely. Since I like to work from the inside out, that wasn’t a problem. I think both it and I did pretty good. Especially since the temperature was in the mid-90s. Working in an urban and very crowded environment made the “feels like” temperature seem like it was in the triple digits. Someday, we’ll cool off. 

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