Saturday, August 30, 2008


As I was sitting at the Acme Comedy Club tonight, laughing and having a good time, my mom was texting my phone like crazy with an update on hurricane Gustav. Apparently thousands of people have to evacuate their homes by tomorrow at 8:00 a.m., and there I sat content and as happy as can be. The world is a strange place.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Essay Ideas

-- Animal Shelters
* Follow an animal finding a home.
1) Establishing outside shot of shelter.
2) Environmental shot of inside of shelter.
3) Specific area that they live in.
4) Portrait with new owner.
5) Follow them home.
* Day in the life of a volunteer.
* Photograph the three main shelters and then changes that they’ve undergone.
- Louisiana Spca Animal Shelter- 701 Thayer St. (504) 368-5191
- Jefferson Parish Animal Shelter- 1 Humane Way (504) 736-6111
- Southern Animal Foundation- 1823 Magazine St. (504) 671-8235
- ARNO Animal Rescue New Orleans (504) 571- 1900
-- Nursing homes/ Hospitals
* Day in the life of a nurse.
* Day in the life of a resident.
* Find someone who was injured in Katrina and show the struggles that they’ve undergone. Maybe an amputee since my father is one and I feel like I could somewhat relate.
- Chateau De Notre Dame Nursing Home-(504) 866-2741
- Medical Center of Louisiana at New Orleans: University Campus- (504) 903-3000
- St. Margaret’s Daughters’ Nursing Home-(504) 279-6414
- St Anna’s Residence- (504) 523-3466
- Good Samaritan- (504) 246-7900
- Our Lady of Wisdom Health Care- (504) 394-5991
- Ferncrest Manor Living Center- (504) 246-1426
- Woodland Village Nursing and Rehabilitation Center- (504) 903-3000
- Comm Care Corporation- (504) 525- 1434
- Covenant Nursing Home- (504) 897- 6216
- Hancock Medical Center
- Louisiana Nursing Home Administration
-- Cemataries
* Find an interesting tombstone, find out more about the person and try to photograph things that describe them or their family.
-- Street Signs
* Photograph street signs and what’s behind them. For example, a photograph of the Humane Way Street sign and then a photo of the animal shelter.
-- Mrs. Leah Chase
* Day in the life of Leah Chase.
-- Audubon Zoo (504) 861- 2537
* Day in the life of a zookeeper.

The True Meaning of Pictures: Shelby Lee Adams' Appalachia

If I were to look at some of Shelby Lee Adams’ pictures without having any background information, my first reaction would be a positive one. I think they’re compelling images. Now that I do know more about Shelby Lee Adams and his photographs, I‘m just plain confused.
Shelby Lee Adams has spent many years photographing the Appalachian people and their lifestyle. There’s a lot of controversy over Adams’ images, as there should be. The people that are photographed seem to like the images of themselves. They also enjoy having Adams around and consider him a friend. For the most part, the people who know little about the Appalachian culture seem to dissaprove of his photographs. I found myself being one of these people until I really thought about it. I know next to nothing about the Appalachian culture, so who am I to judge? If the people in the photographs aren’t bothered by them, then nobody else should be bothered.
Although so far I‘ve been in mostly defense of Adams, I still have a few issues with the man. It bothers me tremendously that he has some photographs for his career and some photographs that are his “community service”. Nothing about what he does sounds like community service to me. These are his friends, his people. When I take photos of my family, friends, or even strangers, and I give them a copy, I don’t consider that community service. Not one bit. I also don’t understand why he needs to take separate photographs for his subject, and then another one for himself. These people deserve to have the photography that he seems to cherish so much. Is he trying to hide something from them by giving them a pretty portrait? I just don’t get it.
The pig killing bothers me too. Not only because it’s gruesome and painful to watch. It bothers me because these people hadn’t killed a pig for years. I was confused by this. Especially since Adams wants to “do right what the media has done wrong”. If he wants to show other people what the Appalachians are really like, then why did he make an effort to bring a pig for these people to kill, if pig killing isn‘t something they do on a regular basis?
As you can tell by reading this essay, I’m confused about how I feel about Shelby Lee Adams‘ work. I realize that I jump all over the place, but it’s only because I can’t seem to sort the controversy out in my mind.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

American Experience: New Orleans

To be honest, I really didn’t understand why anyone would want to live in New Orleans. After watching the video “American Experience: New Orleans“, it became a little more clear. Of course New Orleans is famous for Mardi Gras, Jazz, and food, but I learned that there are deeper reasons that people love it so much. Chapter seven of the video was the most interesting to me for several reasons. This chapter was all about the historic Dooky Chas’s restaurant. Dooky Chas’s was the first restaurant that African Americans were allowed to eat at. It was destroyed after hurricane Katrina, leaving the owner who worked there every day from 8 to close since 1941, with nothing left. The woman who owned the restaurant goes on to talk about why food is so special to the people in New Orleans, explaining that it’s like a healer to everyone and when they share food with other people it’s like they’re doing something great for them. There’s one thing in particular that she said that stood out to me, “People wonder why you do what you do, why you stay in the neighborhood, well you stay where you’re comfortable and you stay where you’re needed, and I feel that we need to be here, we need to save our neighborhood.” After hearing this it all started to make sense. This was the beginning of my inspiration. When this clip was over, it became apparent to me that this wasn‘t the only inspiration I would have. I‘m sure that I‘ll meet other interesting people and learn more things in seven days than I could in a quarter long class. Seeing the passion that this woman had for her restaurant and for her community made me realize why people would want to continue living there. After all if something so tragic were to happen to me, I wouldn’t want to leave the only place I’ve ever known.
After watching the clip I had to know more about the woman who owned Dooky Chas’s, so I googled her. Turns out her name is Leah. I read an interview that she had with “Global Gourmet” The article about the interview was published in 1997. She talks about a variety of things. For example, the people who’ve eaten there, her husband who is Dooky Chase II, and the “Creole Feast” book. So if you’re at all interested you can go to this link. It’s entertaining. I feel like I have to meet this lady!