Tuesday, August 18, 2009

A Study of Art: Photography

A Study of Art: Photography

Many say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Or that artists see the world differently. But of course, everyone has their own opinion, and is rightfully entitled to it. Thus is the world of art.

Photography is a relatively young art form. It had to wait to be invented and improved. Even now new cameras and technologies are being developed that will again make previous models obsolete. However, with all the changes in medium, the concept of the photograph stays the same: to capture a moment in time. No other art form does quite the same thing without taking a considerable amount of time to produce the same effect as a single click of a button.

Anyone ca be a photographer whether young or old. My nephew centers images well and my grandmother would cut off peoples heads. Myself, I prefer inanimate objects so that I know it’s my fault if the image is blurry. The more serious of us will set up with tripods and extra lighting to achieve that “perfect” shot. Fortunately, the beauty of art is that anything can be perfect.

Location and subject matter will influence the quality of photo. Living in New Orleans, I’ve been lucky to have such a photogenic city. Sometimes though, I like to look for my inspiration in places other than the French Quarter. Crazy, right? You‘d be surprises to find plenty of subject matter right in your own backyard! All you have to do is pay a bit more attention to your surroundings and you’ll find plenty to photograph.

Sometimes photography isn’t just about subject matter, but about how you take the picture. Some pictures call for dramatic black and white while others need vibrant color. Focus is also changed to achieve a soft or full look. Lighting is important in how it plays on the subject. Changing any one of these settings can result in a completely different feeling picture.

The best tip I could give an aspiring photographer is to quite simply have fun. There’s no need to be all serious about pushing the little button. Enjoy taking pictures and enjoy your surroundings and your company, should you have any. Just smile and click!

To see the inspiration for my latest photos, visit http://www.photoworksneworleans.com/ to see the art of Louis Sahuc, local photographer of New Orleans.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Going Green in New Orleans

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Going Green in New Orleans

Recycling is one of those concepts with which some people would associate with tree-hugging hippies. Others with do-good citizens trying to help out Planet Earth. And still more who thing we’re just plain crazy. In this post-Katrina New Orleans, recyclers are the brave few who are willing to commit their monthly income to a service we took for granted, like many other things.

If you’re of the ‘Save the Earth’ mindset, there are ways to act! Although budget cuts have shut down city run recycling centers, there are two private curb-side pickup service companies: Phoenix Recycling and SDT Waste and Debris. By paying a nominal monthly fee, these companies will pass twice a month to pick up what you set out on the curb. There are restriction to what recyclable materials will be picked up, which can be found on the website or by calling and asking. In most cases, you will be asked to pre-sort and separate, and crush when available.

One recurring complaint I’ve heard is of the cost of the curb-side service, which is much higher in post-Katrina New Orleans. Yes, it’s a bit high, but isn’t saving the planet worth it? Or, look at it this way: if you’re interested in recycling but worried about the cost, have family and friends chip in with goods and money. This way you’re guaranteed to have enough recyclables to put out and the fee gets broken down into a more manageable, and less exorbitant, amount. Another option may be to talk to your employer about starting a recycling program at work. Of course the budget may be an issue, but if you get enough people to show interest in the program there’s a good chance your employer will consider a recycling program.

I believe it is important to bring recycling back to New Orleans. It should be considered another step in the process of rebuilding and restoring our city. We have the opportunity to integrate recycling into the sanitation systems of the city as we rebuild the city, instead of leaving it as an auxiliary program that can be cut from the budget, like it has been. Recycling also teaches our young to respect the earth that we live on, which can ultimately lead to less littering and trash around the city. Recycling can bring together people in a local area for a cause which extends over a global area. it is the ultimate unifier for the salvation of Planet Earth.

Join me in the fight to save the earth. Start recycling today.