New Orleans is famous for its numerous carnivals and above-ground crypts. It’s also a place to indulge – eating and drinking too much and taking in the sights and culture. I’ve been there a few times; I had previously avoided many of the touristy attractions. But on a recent visit I acquiesced and went to Mardi Gras World and some of the cemeteries with photography in mind.
I’m hesitant to shoot what everybody shoots. Particularly when it’s photography of someone’s art [such as the figures and floats created for Mardi Gras]. It seems wrong to me to call an image my own when the subject matter has been created by somebody else. I can only rationalize shooting such ‘found art’ is OK because it then becomes unique imagery with my choice of subject and frame. Focusing the viewer to see what I see – as a visual narrative. The titles I give my images can sometimes be revealing too.
Besides the many moving carnivals / parades in the ‘Crescent City’ there are the sedentary elevated cemeteries. Some are very old. As the reader may know, I’m much attracted to photographing old things. Decaying crypts are very poignant as an example of the transience of mankind and its creations – one of my go-to photographic themes.
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“I see the shot as a beginning, as an image I can get ‘painterly’ with – giving it visual richness, abstracting it, or making it more conceptual.
As darkroom technique has always been an essential part of the photographer’s mastery of imagery – Photoshop is my darkroom. This process of post-production enhancement completes my relationship with the image”