Archive for May 21, 2010

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.