I took this informal portrait of a waitress at the VooDoo BBQ restaurant on St. Charles Avenue in New Orleans. She wasn’t the least bit self-conscious, as I think you can see in this photo. I was.
And it occurs to me that when I am self-conscious as a photographer, I am not conscious of other, more important considerations than me. For example, if I had been totally “focused” on the task of getting a decent portrait of this young woman, I would have checked the full frame. I would have removed the styrofoam cup behind her. I would have tried to frame the photo so there wasn’t a distracting bright area in the upper left corner of the photo. And I would never had tried to take a portrait with a 1/50 sec shutter speed.
Why was I self-conscious? Well, I don’t normally take semi-posed photos of people I don’t know. And I had 5 of my photo/media students sitting at the table watching me.
Like so many other subjects and places I’ve photographed, I’d like to have another chance at the VooDoo BBQ restaurant.
Canon 5DII 1/50s f/3.2 ISO1000 50mm
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This isn’t a Photoshop manipulation and I’m guessing there’s only a small chance you are under the influence of psychotropic drugs or absinthe. Kendra is a real person and this scene is exactly what the camera saw.
The unreality is due to the fact that I am photographing Kendra’s distorted reflection in a chrome sculpture in the sculpture garden next the the New Orleans Museum of Art. Needless to say, Kendra doesn’t look like this.
See yesterday’s post for a different look at the same sculpture.
Just beyond the pottery featured in yesterday’s post I encountered this scene. Maybe it’s not at special as I think it is, but I liked how the human on the left complemented the figure on the right. It results in symmetry that would be absent with the standing woman. This was taken at the New Orleans Museum of Art.
New Orleans is gearing up for Mardi Gras and so some of the shops along Bourbon and Royal streets are stocked with masks. This one struck my fancy because of its color, though I’ll admit that the processing for this one (as with yesterday’s post) involved some pretty strong software filters.
I am going on my third full day in New Orleans and I still haven’t found what I would called a “brilliant” photo. Nor has one found me. In analyzing this, I realized that when I’m not attending the photo conference I am at, I am more tourist than photographer. And there’s a difference.
The difference lies in intent, I think. I carry my camera almost everywhere but generally I am more intent on seeing things or on soaking up the culture and ambiance of New Orleans. I am not really intending on taking photos.
When I go out to take photos, normally nothing else matters. Hunger, thirst and often even self disappear. And when I’m a tourist, that generally doesn’t happen. And when I am in the company of people as I am at this conference, I can almost guarantee that it doesn’t happen.
Tomorrow is my last day here, and I will try to find the opportunity to become a photographer. Meanwhile, I am posting a photo I took near Jackson Square. Though the musicians were great, I found dancing girl especially intriguing.
By the way, I have a parallel Microblog called “The Things I See” and I’ve posted a few of the photos I’ve taken in New Orleans. Go here:
The Things I See
There was very strong sunlight backlighting this bluegrass group and I wasn’t sure how my camera would handle it, but I think it turned out OK.
I wouldn’t normally shoot into the sun as much as I did in this photo but I guess this is a good example of the “what have you got to lose?” philosophy.
How about a group portrait of 4 of my second year Photo/Media students? And how about posing them in the famous Lafayette Cemetery #1 in the Garden District of New Orleans? Perfect!