Archive for May 2010

day three, music and alligators

I am home now and trying to remember the events of the third day. It’s quite honestly a blur. Workshops are so intense: the relationships, the discussions, the image making. What I do remember is a fantastic discussion with my group in the morning, a lunch at the local burger joint, an enlightening conversation with Carlan, and meeting some great people sitting on the boat in the bayou. After all that, we took a two trip into the darkness of the bayous and looked for alligators. What a day.

day two: music, horses, music

What a day. We started out early this morning and headed to Fred’s in Mamou to listen to great Cajun music. The music club opens every Saturday (and is open only on Saturday) at 8 am and fills up gradually, until it’s completely full at 10 am. It was wild. Harley Davidson riders, retired tourists, buses of locals and a handful of regulars.

Then, we headed to Eunice and listened to an impromptu jam session of musicians. I had the opportunity to sit in the center of the musicians and I just closed my eyes and felt the music seep through every part of my body. It was the most moving experience and the highlight of my day. After a meal, we headed to a place where they race horses and buggies. Something I have never seen before. I ended talking more to the spectators than watching the horses.

The last stop of the day was a cajun dance hall. I was getting to the point of being tired, but managed to pull off some images. The ones posted here are from throughout the day, but are from my digital. My film will be ready in the morning…

day one: gumbo and cypress

Last night was the first night of the workshop. Every time I land in Louisiana, I am always struck by the unique culture here. It’s certainly a place of it’s own. The food, the people, the way of life. Unfortunately, just like in the rest of America, big box stores and the homogenization of culture is slowing eroding the fabric of this area.

It was an early morning with a 6:30 flight out of Madison. Once in Baton Rouge, I need to drive over to Breaux Bridge – a good part of the ride was on one the longest bridges anywhere – 20 miles through the bayous. It was at times an unnerving experience since there was no real escape or way to get off it.

I arrived at Debbie’s rambling southern house at 6 p.m. and was greeted by an amazing group of people. There are seven of us in the workshop – hailing from California, Colorado, Arizona, New York and Philadelphia. All of us are from different backgrounds, but there is one thing we do have in common: the love and desire to create images.¬†After getting to know each other for awhile, we enjoyed a fabulous meal of gumbo, potatoes and banana pudding. Then, a dance lesson of zydeco let us burned off some calories!

Our day started at before 8 o’clock with a boat ride through the bayous. Many people used to live in houseboats, but today, with the rise of gasoline prices, it’s cheaper to live on the land. There were a few houseboats here and there, but for the most part, the bayou is an stunning vast, empty landscape of majestic cypress trees. These large trees were like statues dipping their feet in the water. Delicate, yet strong.

When I click the shutter, I can only hope that my images capture the fragility and tranquil beauty of this landscape.