Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Website Reconstruction/Fujis

My website has been revamped/reconstructed/updated, more user-friendly/simplified; and I put up a new portfolio of Fujichrome positives - fabulous color positive ASA-50 film. I always take the Canon F1 with me, and these are some curious ones I've collected in the past five years. I still have two rolls of Fujichrome shot at Cheniere au Tigre, but I'm keeping them secret for a while...

Monday, October 10, 2011

Exhibition at Hubbell Library - Prospect New Orleans

As part of Prospect New Orleans (Prospect.2), the largest biennial of international contemporary art in the United States, I am having a solo exhibition of my work at the Hubbell Library, 225 Morgan Street in Algiers Point, October 22, 2011 through January 29, 2012, with a presentation on December 13th at 6PM.

I will feature Louisiana Coast images from the years 2007-2011, and will also feature nine brand new prints from this year's excursion to Cheniere au Tigre and the Rainey Wildlife Refuge, made just for this event.
The exhibition is also being co-sponsored by PhotoNOLA (December 8-11).

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Barataria Preserve, Jean Lafitte, LA

Settled by Native Americans perhaps as long as 2,000 years ago and
later the haunt of privateer and smuggler Jean Lafitte and his Baratarians,
the preserve near the town of Jean Lafitte, only 30 minutes from
New Orleans, still maintains a sense of mystery and quietude; a perfect
escape from the city on a weekend afternoon.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

White Lake, Vermilion Parish

There are few available images of White Lake in Vermilion Parish,
Louisiana, and it's easy to see why; no roads lead to it.
There is no marina or park anywhere around it.
Yet web image searches for White Lake
seem pretty common; it's seven miles wide north to south,
and about fourteen miles wide east to west; it's pretty big.
Maybe everyone wants to just be sure it's there.

So here it is...

I managed to get to its shore one cool and windy morning in mid-March 2008,
where I was only able to stay a few minutes and snap the three
images you see below before beating a quick retreat to Pecan Island.
White Lake appears shallow, extremely muddy, and chock loaded
with oil and gas infrastructure. Zooming in on the images
shows rigs everywhere on the horizon, perhaps four or
five miles offshore.

So here they are - currently the only ground-level photos of White Lake available on the web.
Click for larger view.
(Reminder: do not download or use without permission!!)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Lake Arthur, LA

Lake Arthur, in Jefferson Davis Parish, is another spot on Louisiana's long list
of well-kept secrets. With a population hovering around 3,000 residents,
it is the quintessential southern small town, and is a very charming and very
photogenic spot. I first visited it in 2006, taking the long way home from
another one of my trips out into the Cameron Parish prairie.

Lake Arthur is technically a lake, but seems more or less a widening of the
Mermentau River, making its way south, down to the Gulf of Mexico at Grand
Chenier in Cameron Parish. Along the way, the water flows through various lakes
in places where it widens.
The anonymous young girls in the images here are my daughter
and the daughters of a New Orleans friend, who invited us to spend a night at
his family camp along the lake. As you can imagine,
Lake Arthur is a terrific spot for a quiet family respite.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Paul J. Rainey Wildlife Sanctuary

The Rainey Sanctuary makes up the wetland area north of Cheniere au Tigre,
leading up to Intracoastal City, where I was picked up daily by boat. Rainey gives
what is probably the best picture of what most of
Louisiana's coast looked like before countless canals were dug through the marsh,
upsetting the saltwater balance and eating up land.
There were vast areas of healthy wetlands as far as the eye could see,
and at the southernmost reaches of the sanctuary (second image from top),
the boat anchored in another "keyhole" canal, I could see the Gulf of Mexico
just beyond the scant tree line marking the coast. Even though the photo was taken
from half a mile off the coast, I could still hear the waves hitting the shore,
with a steady south wind carrying the sound toward me. The sanctuary is
as large and impressive as it is relatively silent - the closest comparison might
be the Everglades.
For most of the day, the only sound I heard was the steady low hiss of south winds
blowing through the endless marsh grass.

(Click images for larger view)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bonnet Carre Spillway Opening

The Bonnet Carre Spillway in Norco, LA has been opened in advance of the Mississippi River flood water that is now moving south of Memphis and headed for Louisiana. Reports say that there is more water in the river now than any other time in modern history, and it's coming this way. Later this week, officials also plan to open the Morganza Spillway, which will divert the river to the Atchafalaya Basin, flooding Morgan City instead of New Orleans.
From the New Orleans Times-Picayune:

If the Morganza Floodway is not opened to funnel 300,000 cubic feet per second of water from the Mississippi River into the Atchafalaya River basin, the additional water could cause levees to fail along the river from Morganza to Plaquemines Parish, including all of the New Orleans area, resulting in as much as 25 feet of floodwater, according to a map provided to state officials by the Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday.

Monday, May 9, 2011

New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival 2011

This year's Jazz Fest was notable for being the first festival in nine years where it never rained on any day. The weather was gorgeous; low humidity, few clouds, cool breezes. (Nevermind that we're in a drought here and haven't seen rain in over 30 days.) Nevertheless, it was a blast. Thanks to Matt Goldman and Elise Gallinot for ensuring photographer's access this past Thursday.

Performers, top to bottom:
Amanda Shaw
Lucinda Williams
Little Freddie King
Robert "Bilbo" Walker
Fi-Yi-Yi and the Mandingo Warriors

Monday, April 18, 2011

Gulf Oil Spill Anniversary

One year ago this week, the BP/Macondo well experienced a major blowout, some 50 miles southeast of Port Eads, Louisiana, sinking the offshore rig Deepwater Horizon and killing 11 workers. For the entire summer we watched oil wash up on Gulf Coast beaches. I made a good handful of trips to the coast to photograph the mess; here are some of those images. There is also a feature at the Wonderful Machine blog about my experiences there as well as an oil spill gallery at my main website.

Visiting Grand Isle yesterday, we found that Grand Isle State Park's beaches are still closed, as well as Elmer's Island, and Fourchon Beach, where cleanup is still going on, picking up tar balls from the BP spill, as well as a more recent "minor" spill in Louisiana's West Bay (near Southwest Pass) which happened when a Houston oil company was trying to plug one of their wells.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Grand Isle

Off to Grand Isle tomorrow morning for closing day of this year's juried art exhibition.
I am curious to see how this year's art will reflect the chosen theme, "Land/Currents/Undercurrents" with regards to the BP spill. When I delivered our pieces a few weeks ago, I was hoping to use the afternoon for photography, but the sky was a dull flat grey, and it was certainly no day for photography, so I took a long walk on the beach anyway. They are still cleaning up last year's oil. Tar balls still wash up daily, and the beach is constantly being sifted by these Zamboni-type vehicles that pick up sand and separate out the tar balls or other oily things. The beach appears nice, but you know there's gunk just a few inches below. At least the smell is gone. I wonder if the annual tarpon rodeo will be on this year...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Same Place Four Years Later

I tend to revisit my favorite spots if I feel like trying for a "remake" of a
photograph. This is one example. The place here is on Trosclair Road
near Rutherford Beach Road in Cameron Parish. The first time I visited
this spot, in May 2006, the tree line just caught my eye, so I pulled over
for a shot, resulting in the bottom image. The trees were still in saltwater
shock from Hurricane Rita, which had struck Cameron Parish in September
2005; the leaves haven't grown back all the way yet. At the height of
Rita's fury, the water here would have been up 15 feet from the trees' bases.
You can also see the man whose land the trees stand on,
tending to the garden to the right with his
granddaughter (barely visible at lower right). I asked his permission
to photograph his trees, and after he said 'sure' I made two exposures
and quietly left.

Four years later (June 2010, image at top) I visited the same spot out of a desire to get more of the tree line in, again making just two quick exposures. Although I was happier with the trees
this time - I missed the old man. There was no sign of him or his trailer on the other side of the
road, put there after Rita took his house. I haven't found out anything about what happened to
him, and when I asked about him in Cameron later that day, no one could tell me anything.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Grand Isle Juried Art Exhibition

This April will mark the sixth year in a row I have had work selected
to be in the annual Grand Isle Juried Art Exhibition (April 9-17, at the
community center in Grand Isle).

Last year I won the Award of Excellence for a large print of my photograph
"Cheniere Caminada August 2009"; a lucky moment on a 100F day where the
light was at my back, facing toward the historic cheniere. (This image is
viewable in the Gulf Coast gallery at my website.) This year, we decided
to make it a family event, so Shannon and I made a little joint husband/wife piece,
and luckily it was selected by the juror for the exhibition.
"Elmers Island 2010" combines a large canvas print of an aerial photo
taken of Elmer's Island last summer while photographing the BP oil spill.
I stretched the canvas over a large wood panel, and then nailed in other
canvas prints of black and white 35mm photos taken of Grand Isle and
other areas over the years. Shannon and I just sort of talked our way
through making it, and once we agreed on the visualization of the whole
thing I put it all together.

My 6-year-old daughter, Maureen, also made her own acrylic painting
of a pelican and eggs which was selected for the children's exhibition, seen

As is our yearly tradition, we will be headed down to Grand Isle for
the exhibition on closing day, and grabbing some oysters at Toupsie's
in Port Fourchon on the way home. It's always a great trip, and I look
forward to it as much as I look forward each year to Jazz Fest or Mardi Gras.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Three Views of the Crescent City Connection

Early morning, view is from the east bank looking toward
Algiers/Gretna. Weather in New Orleans has been beautiful lately.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Mardi Gras Faces

All of these images were made at the Zulu and Rex parades
the morning of Mardi Gras (March 8th), on St. Charles Avenue,
near Josephine Street. (Click any photo to enlarge.)