Friday, November 6, 2015

The Story of Three Photographs

The Halloween shooting on Bourbon Street was fast and furious. Time between shots was used to scourer the crowd for other possibilities. Many, many shots were missed, lost, went belly up—I did not see it in time or something or someone came between me and the intended subject. I often shot so quickly that the camera did not have time to focus or focused on the wrong object. It was fun. It was hectic. I would love to have stayed till midnight or after but I knew that was not going to be a possibility. I was doing all I could to get as many shots as I could before I had to leave.

Thus begins the story of three photographs from Bourbon Street.

As I mentioned previously, I enjoyed the costumes but what I was shooting was people that just happened to be costumed.


The first is a photograph of a young man. I am ignorant of much of life so I do not know if there is some symbolism to the skull cap mask that he is wearing. What I see in this photograph is a young man that appears to probably be fairly good looking. There is a willingness on his part for me to take the photograph but in his stiffness there is no indication that he relishes the idea. That’s okay. I greatly appreciate his cooperation, his willingness—for that he gets points. However, the background suffers badly.

The second photograph is a total miss. I wanted to use the neon sign but I should have waited for a better subject. It was down and dirty and as quickly missed.

The third photograph, a manipulation, combines what I like best about each of the first two photographs and the young man has a much more interesting background.

Now, everyone is going to think that all the photographs are manipulated. Only two of those posted were. The other was another miss where the couple I wished to photograph ended up in the lower right corner of the image with nothing in the rest of the image to support it. A desaturated face from Mardi Gras World (the duck à l’orange face) came to the rescue.

Another photograph that was posted that I felt was greatly improved by manipulation was the werewolf. I saw him and a young lady coming toward us and knew it could be a good photograph. I asked if we could move to better location but he misunderstood and thought that I wanted a photo of him walking toward me. As a result I got three or four photographs but only the first quickly grabbed and very underexposed shot was usable. Chaos of street signs and other debris ruined the remainder. I am positing the original along with the ‘manipulated’ image. All I did was remove the metal posts, the bracelet, watch and desaturate his body for a much stronger image. After all it is strong images that we look for as photographers.

Let the 'got it in camera' enthusiast hang to their myth that the camera makes photographs. Cameras take photographs. Photographers make photographs. Okay, maybe I shouldn’t tell everything that I know but I will tell this--I shot everything, and I mean every photograph, in JPG.

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