My Trip to New Orleans Part 1

My Trip to New Orleans | Louisiana

(A billboard in a parking lot of Canal Street)
In a recent post I mentioned that I’d start posting my personal art and travel photography on this wedding and family portrait blog. This is Part 1 of reportage in New Orleans from a recent visit for Pictage’s Partner Con. I love traveling and always make time to walk around, sometimes for 6-7 hours with my camera, making photographs.
On this recent trip I got really tired of carrying my Crumpler, sling, shoulder bag….it was killing my back, and shoulder so, on my return trip home I got one of these from Samy’s camera. I can fit two bodies, and three lenses inside and his allot of other pockets to store maps and a water bottle or two. I love Think Tank. They build smartly designed, bullet proof camera bags.

New Orleans = Visual Paradise

I really enjoyed my walk about in NOLA and instantly fell in love with its French and Spanish roots dating back to the 1700’s. Heck, Napoleon, used to get his drink on in the French Quarter (about a square mile of territory which is a Historic District and) the main attraction of downtown NOLA, just off Canal Street where the trollies run. The French Quarter dogged the floods from Hurricane Katrina when the levees failed in September of 2005. Other parishes experienced massive levels of flooding and were under more than 15 ft. of water. The visual evidence of the tidal flooding, a soft clue that something was amiss, was easily noticeable to me. The grounds of the famous graveyards that i visited were littered with thousands of tiny white seashells. While visiting, some of the locals told me stories that dead bodies from grave sites were floating around during the floods.

Graveyard Art

Throughout this blog posting you see some images with texture overlays. My friend and talented Los Angeles photographer, Jay Goldman turned me on to the idea of photographing some textures at some of the famous NOLA graveyards. The textures used are photographs of the walls of mosoleums dating back to the mid 1800’s. When using texture overlays, I like to keep an authentic feel by using indigenous pieces of culture.The Red Line trolley. For a buck twenty five, its a great way to get around and see the city.No trip to NOLA would be complete without a visit to Cafe Du Monde for some chicory coffee and bignets with heaps of powdered sugar. There was a noticeable police presence around the French Quarter. NOLA is known for one of the highest crime rates in the nation. I didn’t hear to much about the BP oil spill and how it affected NOLA. It is widely known that it was the worst oil spill in U.S. history spewing out over 25k gallons per day for over 3 months. Seems like NOLA was hit with a triple whammy. (1) Hurrican Katrina, (2) The Economic depression and (3) the BP oil spill. A cab driver told me that the city’s tourism and convention business was still down at least 50% from pre-Katrina.I’m guessing this shoe shine man’s wares were exposed to the ravishes of the levees waters. Probably buried beneath 10 feet or so of water. Shoe polish tins just don’t rust like this unless they’ve spent some time exposed to h2O.Some of the older street markets in the historic French Quarter.Old fashioned parking meters.Musicians playing on Bourbon Street. Antique bottles in the window at Greg’s antique store.A selection of hats at Meyer’s, one of the oldest hat shops in the United States. Founded in 1894 by Sam H. Meyer, his great grandson Sam runs the shop today. Couldn’t resist. I bought a hand made Panama hat, a Biltmore fine dress straw and a cool Bailey checkered and had them shipped to my photography studio in So. Cal. Voodoo culture is still practiced and is widely believed in. A trade mark of NOLA architecture are its balconies. A photograph of a balcony and its reflection in an antique store across the street.Star struck, I was tongue tied when I ran into the Gary, famed, cute and adorable star of the Geico commercials. He was on a layover from ATL and we chatted it up grabbed a quick Po-Boy and an Abita beer then parted ways.



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