Like Stars

More than you know.

These things are delicate, very delicate. They usually last less than a day. Wind, water and animals destroy them just by touching them.

They can be very hard to photograph. Get too close and they sway in the light breeze you created. Get even closer, touch them and they fall apart. Stand over them to make a picture like this one and your shadow makes them too dark, which is why you should wait for an overcast day.

It’s a timing thing. It always comes down to timing. I suppose that’s what I call photographer’s luck. Look one way and you see the picture. Look the other and… nothing.

When I post to Instagram, it’s all New Orleans culture and locations. Yesterday, I posted a picture of a Black Masking Indian that I made during Big Chief Bo Dollis’ funeral.

A woman who is a friend of a friend really liked it. She said so. I thanked her and replied, “Photographer’s luck.” She replied with “LOL,” and some laughing emojis.

She mostly photographs birds and flowers.

She has no idea how hard it is to work in the street during any of the cultural events that I photograph. I always liken it to working in a rugby scrum. There’s pushing and shoving. There’s twisting and turning. There’s looking and seeing nothing.

Making a picture in that environment is damn near impossible. And yet, we do it. Almost every Sunday. Or, at least, we did. Maybe, soon, we will once again.

I still say that after not being able to properly mourn our New Orleans dead for over a year that we need one giant second line and jazz funeral. God’s own second line. Twenty divisions. All the social aid and benevolent societies. All the Indians. All the brass bands. Let it stretch from one end of the city to the other. Thousands of people watching and dancing.

Wouldn’t that be something?

And, that’s how I got from a dandelion to New Orleans culture.

As I wrote on the other side it’s hard to photograph these delicate little wildflowers.

They are easy to find during springtime, but you have to work carefully in order to get even as close as this picture is to photographic perfection. And, that’s not very close.

Even as good as the base exposure was, the picture needed help. It looked too thin to my eye.

So, I layered it. I layered one finished layer over another. The picture looks richer and fuller. And, it doesn’t really look that over done.

I fine tuned it a little and I was done.

It didn’t take all that long to do the work, but I had some idea of where I wanted to go which wasn’t far.

Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay mighty. Wear your mask. Wash your hands. Keep your distance. Get your jabs. Look after each other. Be patient. Enjoy all your days because you never know.



7 responses to “Like Stars”

  1. MamaMickTerry Avatar

    Magic stars – no coincidence we were both shooting them. And you totally caught the challenge of an ethereal, dainty subject. I tend to assume it’s my lack of skills when I struggle to get the photo I have in my head. You’ve taught to look at what’s in front of you and they will give you gifts beyond those pics in my head.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

      The photo in your head can never be found in the world. If you worked in the studio you might be able to come close.

      I try to use a routine to get me into a sort of Zen zone. I try to empty my head of preconceived ideas and just react to what I see. I can’t do that for long, maybe three hours and I’m exhausted. NJ and I work in the same way. She works for about four hours recording with a band and she’s done. Exhausted.

      In both cases it’s magic. Sometimes I wonder who made the picture. That’s where you want to be. And, take your time. Don’t be in a rush to post anywhere. Give yourself time to forget how you felt in the field so you can cull coldly.

      That’s what I’d do.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. cigarman501 Avatar

    Beautiful photo, and words.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Avatar

    lovely image! i cheat so much when i shoot dandelions….I bring then inside where they sort of behave during their photo shoot. I never thought to layer and layer and layer the same image…just love the starry glow.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ray Laskowitz Avatar

      Thank you. I’ve never thought of bringing them inside. Layering helps the image to be what I see in my mind’s eye.


  4. myyellows14 Avatar

    nice please check out my blogs too

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: