Blow the Roof Off

Pictured above, a hollowed-out, no roof  building on Texas Avenue in Shreveport. Remarkably, this ruin did not have a square inch of graffiti anywhere on its walls or the neighboring buildings with the same level of decay (one of them looking recently burned down). This is on a stretch of the avenue leaving what is considered the current city area. I refer to it as “current” because this area, of the pictured building, was once the downtown area teeming with the most traffic.

Louisiana’s jazz and blues music culture is obviously renown for New Orleans, but Shreveport had its own vibrant blues and jazz community that goes overlooked. The area could be described as a rest area for both the delta blues players and Nashville rhythm and blues players traveling west to Texas and beyond. Again, I’m just scratching the surface with some quick research, but this is the area where Huddie “Leadbelly” Ledbetter built his legacy and often did it on the popular rooftop parties down this avenue, like on the one missing from this picture. Albeit greatly removed from this history, rooftop parties still exist in the downtown area today. They are mostly on the tops of Casinos. Many of these older buildings on this part of Texas avenue were speakeasys during the prohibition. Not far from this same area is where Elvis premiered on the Louisiana Hayride in 1954. Hank Williams would also frequent this area also in conjunction with the Hayride. It’s no stretch of the imagination that these musicians stood inside this building at one time.

For processing, I liked the way the light fell into this building but again, the sky was flat and uninteresting. I cropped it down to get rid of most of the sky. The initial capture was done in brackets and processed in Photoshop HDR Merge. I then subdued the color in Lightroom and used Nik Color Efex to bring out contrast on the left wall, and then diffuse the scene as the light fell into the corner of the right side.

3 thoughts on “Blow the Roof Off

  1. Feels hot and muggy to me. Almost makes me feel warmer just looking at it. It’s been a while since I’ve been down to Louisiana. We traveled through as kids, but about 13 years ago, my wife and I made a trip to New Orleans and surrounds. Such a beautiful part of the world. Your recent pics of the trees really take me back.

    1. Thanks. I actually added blur to give it the more humid touch. In about a month though, I’ll have all the natural humidity & diffusion I can handle. New Orleans still continues to struggle in recovery from the storm a few years ago, but there is definitely a silver lining, like a wake up call for needing to preserve its heritage. They have really been fixing the place up.

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