Archive for the Ramblings Category

Camping makes memories

Posted in Ramblings with tags , , , , , on June 19, 2011 by bayouphoto

Or in my case brings back memories. When we were camping, up at Lake Chicot state park, I told Beth I was going to use the Coleman lantern even if we did have electricity. There is just something about the hiss of a lantern that sounds like camping. I know the old white gas lanterns are dated and the new propane ones are faster. However it is just part of the disposable age. It started with Bic lighters, pens and razors and continues in our society today. We live in a throw away society.

I also still use an old Coleman 413G gas stove and a 1950’s era catalytic heater. The heater and lantern were courtesy of Bet’s dad, Coach Don Cummins. I rescued them from his old shop and brought them back to life.

My love of camping started back in elementary school when my brother, George, bought me an army play set that included a genuine reproduction pup tent. Set up under the big oak tree, in the front yard, it was the scene of many campaigns and battles. Of course once it got dark you headed into headquarters in the house.

In the little community where I was raised there were many boys within a year or two of age that attended Lamar church. This lead to many bike rides and eventually a camping trip. It was to take place in Mr. Cedrick Fletcher’s hay barn. We snuggled down in the hay loft for our adventure.

Dalton Oliver had cleared and was farming the old McElwee place and it included a strip of river bank along side the Bayou Macon. We loaded a piece of “Visqueen” plastic for a tent some rope and cooking gear on the bikes and set off for a trip. We camped on the bank of the river and cooked rabbit over the open fire. All of us had a sleeping bag, knife and flashlight we kept ready to go. We also were fortunate enough to eventually buy and old camper and put on the river.

But back to the lanterns. It was going to our deer camp that I was first introduced to the workings and sounds of a Coleman lantern. We had some 12 volt lights rigged for early morning or coming in after dark but the lantern was the main light.

I guess all those nights under the stars and out on adventures fueled the passion I still have for camping and the outdoors. I don’t hunt anymore, the old bones don’t like the cold hard ground, I know sleep in a comfy pop up camper but I still love cooking with cast iron on a Coleman stove and listening to the hiss of a lantern.

Dads on this Fathers day make a vow to take your kids camping. Teach them how to make a fire, cook over an open fire and enjoy the great outdoors.


What is the best camera for me?

Posted in Ramblings, Rants with tags , , , , , on February 21, 2011 by bayouphoto

How many of you have been asked this question or have asked it yourself?

As the local resident “expert” I an asked this question on a daily basis.

Now, before any of you think I am tooting my own horn remember I live in a town with a population of 50 in a very ruralĀ  area with not many photographers. As to answering the question I always tell them “The one you have with you when you need it” This tongue and cheek answer is also quite true. A $5,000 camera does you no good if it is not with you when a photo opportunity presents itself.

Case in point, yesterday evening the clouds to the east were showing an alpen glow that we don’t get often. If i had went inside, got the camera, changed lenses andĀ  come back outside the moment would have been gone. I used my Palm Centro phone with it’s 1.3 megapixel camera to at least record the moment.However it does give me a record of the moment. I don’t claim these are very good photos and even for a cell phone they are not up to I Phone standards.I also need to clarify what I put in my last blog, about my phone. I should have said, a “new to me phone.” I am not anti technology I am just anti upgrading just to keep up with the latest and greatest. If it still works and serves the purpose why throw something away just for the newest whiz bang gadget. I drive a 1995 Mazda, use and old Canon 20D and used lenses. My cell phone is a 3 year old Palm. I still use knives and guns that are at least 20 years old. I have a zippo lighter that I bought in 1976. OK OK enough of the ranting and rambling.The next time someone wants to know what camera is best you know the answer

Photos through the eyes of a child

Posted in General, Ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 21, 2010 by bayouphoto

My Great niece Mikala is 8 years old and loves to take photos. She has been doing it for at least three years now. She has had several little P&S digital cameras. Recently I borrowed a little Nikon from my friend Beth. She was here this weekend and just had to take some photos. I know I am biased but she does do good for an 8 YO.

Click the photo to see it larger

Her Kittens Fuzzy and Smut but



Her Dad

I showed her one time how to turn it on, zoom in or out, acquire focus and set macros mode and she was off. Teach your kid the things you love, if they have an interest nurture it. Then you both have something to share.

Photo Friday: Death of a city

Posted in Photo Friday, Ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on July 16, 2010 by bayouphoto

Click photo to see it larger

This is old highway 80 or US80 through downtown Delhi, La. The building on the left is the old dairy delite drive in. The blue building on the right used to be Cutler Chevrolet, and the tan building was a service station. Downtown Delhi used to be a thriving place during to travel boom of the 50’s and 60’s.

Then the death knell. Interstate 20 was put in and bypassed Delhi to the south. Sure new shiny plastic fast food joints replaced the old drive ins like the Dairy delite and the Sip and Nip. The convenience stores replaced the old downtown stores and the service stations. Fast, quick and convenient replaced quality, friendly family owned service. No one socialized around the drive ins on Saturday night. Our hang out in Winnsboro was Jeanettes then the name was changed to Shipley’s drive in. We spent many hours in the parking lot or cruising downtown. The same was done in Delhi on the weekends.

I have become more of a two lane back road person than an interstate speed demon. I guess I like to stop and smell the memory of cooking oil and ice cream.

I chose this dark dreary day for my photo as it symbolizes the fate of many small towns downtown area when the big interstate rolls through.

Old versus new

Posted in General, Ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 14, 2010 by bayouphoto

The city park in Delhi, La. is a place of marked contrast. You first have playground equipment from at least the ’60’s and then you have the newer, plastic, colorful junk. The old metal stuff I first remember playing on in the mid ’60’s. You know the type, the old merry go round, the metal monkey bars and such.

Click photo to see larger

Some of the new plastic junk is already coming apart. It will never last 40 or 50 years. I wonder how many little hands and butts it took to get the smooth finish on that metal. None of it is rusted so it is still in use. When I was a kid every park, playground, or school yard, had see-saws, monkey bars,


and a slide.

But to city planners the new colorful plastic junk makes it seem more appealing. However, if you go by you will see the kids still on the old metal equipment. The Delhi city park is on the side of US Hwy 80 another timeless wonder, from another time, that refuses to go away. Replaced by a new shiny interstate. Charles Kuralt said ” Interstates give you the ability to go coast to coast, and see nothing.” It is like this new versus old in the playground. New shiny plastic fast Gee Whiz or the old slower time-tested fun.

It is a sign of the times, nothing is built to last. I call it the “disposable age”. We have become a throw away society. It started with the Bic lighter. Now, no one carries a 20 year old pocket knife, or uses an old Zippo lighter. Real razors are passe replaced by the plastic, one use, throw away. Maybe we should go back to metal and steel designed to last a lifetime and forget the plastic disposable.

Photo of the week: Jeep

Posted in HDR, photo of the week, Ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2010 by bayouphoto

Every since I was a kid and first rode in my brother in laws old Jeep I have loved them. The jeep Lawrence had was an M38A1 mid 50’s version. It was strictly a hunting vehicle without brakes, tags or registration. However, later on he got an older WWII version that was painted red and it was street legal. I remember riding in the topless open Jeep with my sister.

As Beth and I made a short road trip yesterday I spotted this old warrior rusting away. I wish I had the money to buy it and rescue it. I get the same feeling animal lovers do when they see an animal in the pound.

Click photo to see larger

It is an M version from the WWII/Korean war era. Original front and rear seat and front bumper. If ol’ LEH was still alive we would be dickering on that jeep. Not long before he passed away he had expressed the desire to get another old Jeep ” Just to have something to tinker on”

This is a 3 exposure HDR processed in Photomatix and Nik filters Tonal contrast.

Championship tour

Posted in General, NFL, Ramblings with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 8, 2010 by bayouphoto

I had the honor of seeing and photographing something that since 1967 I never thought would happen. A New Orleans Saints super bowl trophy.

The organization is taking the display on a wide tour of the Gulf south. The first stop was the Civic center in Monroe, La. My sister Linda and I went to see it.I have to commend the organizers for going all out and providing a full experience for the viewers. There was entertainment for the kids.A display for 2010 Hall of Fame inductee Ricky JacksonThe Ring displaySuper Bowl memorabiliaSome of the Saintsation cheerleadersAnd of course the main attractionIt was a great day and an experience I will cherish forever. I was very surprised and humbled by the respect and reverence I saw displayed. No running, shouting, pushing or shoving. Fathers talking to kids and telling them what it meant. One father told his son “This is history” Everyone was so appreciative and just glad to get a chance to view it. One man in a wheelchair said he didn’t think he would ever get the chance. I personally thank everyone involved in organizing this event