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Listen, I want to make something clear about the French Quarter.

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Yes, I take those photos I do for various reasons. Flowers, for example, because they are flowers.

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You know that the French Quarter is not French, correct? The present day layout, the Cabildo, the cathedral, Napoleon House and all the older buildings are Spanish design and architecture, built under Spanish building codes against fire (because the French Quarter burned to the ground, twice, so they specified tile roofs and stucco).

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Of course, Nature was a primary motivator for my photographic interest. But that interest has grown to include architecture, contrasting and complimentary lines, actually. Color is a huge interest. Although I admire monochrome I almost never do that. Lately I have begun to take people pictures too!

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The Spanish occupiers and government officials of New Orleans spoke French anyway, so when they got New Orleans from France in a treaty they set about reforming things but not language, allowing all sorts of progressive things like local governance, up to a point.

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I had to develop a sense of what I considered reasonable behavior when taking people pictures. That took a while. Also, a certain comfort level with doing so.

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Many of the old street names are Spanish too. Santa Ana (Saint Ann), Royale (Royal), Borbonne (Bourbon) come to mind right off. Though, admittedly, Borbonne was a royal family name in Spain and France, both. Of course, names conjure images, preconceptions, and ‘Spanish Quarter’ has an entirely different connotation than ‘French Quarter’ has.

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With people pictures, sometimes they are incidental to the photo and sometimes the subject and those are different circumstances in my mind.

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I don’t think I made it quite, quite, clear, the older architecture is Spanish Colonial and similar can be found in South and Central America, Mexico and New Orleans. Cuba too! I recognized it right off, first time I was in the French Quarter and was a bit puzzled until I read there is agreement the name ‘French Quarter’ is a misnomer.

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If people see me taking a picture and walk into it anyway, I consider them fair game, never to make them look bad, of course. Just part of the scene. And participants at events are people pictures, almost necessarily. They really have to expect that, why else are they out there unless it is to participate, to see and be seen?

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OK, OK! You win. Why don’t you post some photos of flowers or nature, color, architecture and one of shapes and lines, just to be clear? I realize that these photos will contain more than one element from the above. Oh, and one of ‘incidental people’ too.

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You know, last weekend I heard a tour guide telling some tourists how the Cabildo and cathedral, under French rule, yada, yada. I was, like, ‘say what’? The Cabildo (now a museum) web site says it is Spanish, I mean to say.

🙂

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