Photogenic New Orleans and....
A few blocks off of Bourbon St is a quiet residential district with classic French Quarter architecture I was walking with my wife taking some snaps. As my wife and I walked up to one of the intersections I noticed a finely dressed gentlemen on the corner to the right of us. He wore a dapper hat and long black wool overcoat and carried what looked to be a vintage camera.
Across the street in front of us was a beige home of the period with great iron work. I decided I wanted to focus my shot on a close up of the iron work so I walked across the street toward the house, framed my shot and took this one.
My wife and I started to walk away from the corner where the well dressed man stood. Curiosity got the better of me. I had to meet the this guy with a vintage camera.
I walked back and he said he was waiting for me to come over and introduce myself. He mentioned that those that love photography come over to him often. I thought to myself what an unusual statement, and confirmed that photography is in my blood but still so much to learn. I asked him about his camera and turns out it is a Graflex Speed Graphic (1951 or 1959, I think) in mint condition. I admitted with some embarrassment that I only know digital. He asked me my name and I asked his, he gave me his name as Louis Mendes. We chatted a bit more and just before I said goodbye (my wife was being very patient back across the street) he encouraged me to take a different composition shot of the house across the street...this one with one of the horse head posts in the foreground.
I framed the shot in the viewfinder and knew instantly this would be much better shot. I took several, thanked him for the shot and I hustled over to meet up with my wife. Here is the shot:
I excitedly updated my wife on the conversation (a few seconds) and I looked back and he was gone! Not just gone but spooky gone...I even commented to my wife that maybe he was a ghost there to help wayward photographers like me!
Later that day we met up with our friends for dinner and talked about the upcoming game between the Razorbacks and the Buckeyes (GO BUCKS)! I mentioned the by-chance meeting with Mr Mendes and how spooky it was. We chucked a bit in general how strange New Orleans seems to be.
A famous Photographer - very much alive!
Turns out, the Louis Mendes is not a ghost but a very famous portrait/street photographer that travels the the United States photographing people in public places. Read about him here. Here is a link to a New York Times article on Louis - http://nyti.ms/gVo5SR and to his Facebook page - http://on.fb.me/gM6Kxx.
Thank you Louis for a great experience, the photo tip and a chance to read up on your great career! Quite the honor!
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Sunday, January 9, 2011
Saturday, January 1, 2011
|Tumacacori Mission - Near Tuback|
Interesting how learning to country western dance can lead to an "aha" moment for photography and pretty much in life.
There are plenty of opportunities to listen and dance to live country western bands in Tubac. Our friends who are very comfortable on the dance floor are always encouraging us to get up and dance. For Debbie and I let's just say that dancing the two-step is not the native language of our feet. Up until yesterday we were successful by promising our friends we will take lessons so as not to be too embarrassed on the dance floor.
Dateline, Tubac, New Years Eve 2010
Linda, a slightly older and good foot shorter than I am asked me to dance...gasp! I knew I was destined to have to dance and my excuses of not knowing how to move my feet would be quickly discarded.
We get on the dance floor and I move awkwardly. In spite of my awkwardness, Linda is dancing confidently, I relax for a moment but start to get pre-occupied with what my feet are doing. Linda looks at me and tells me...
"Don't look at your feet, look at my eyes"
I did what she asked and it worked!
In photography there is no shortage of technical details to keep in mind, so much so it is far too easy to start concentrating on our feet (gear configurations, right time of day, post processing) instead of the eyes (heart, emotion, feel...the memory we want to create) that moves us and those that view our work.
I know there is a balance between the technical and the art (we still plan on taking dance lessons), however I would venture to say it is our over-emphasis on the technical that results in missed photographic opportunities.
So, stop looking at your feet and start looking at the eyes and heart of your photography! Go shoot!
|Happy in his craft...|
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