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.
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