Dear Readers, welcome to August—the month where we have all hit our heat limit and hold our breath in anticipation for the worst of hurricane season, the month that doesn’t seem to let up unless you are fortunate enough to find a cooling body of water to dunk your sweaty, swampy ass in. Usually, the only thing I have to look forward to in August is this issue of ANTIGRAVITY, our annual Photo Issue. We’ve given most of our writers and editors a much-needed break, and in their place, have an amazing group of local photographers contributing some of their best shots from the past 12 months. It is an honor to be amongst these talents—they hustle and sling their gear through heat waves, rain, and crowds all for the sole task of capturing and preserving this amazing and complex city we call home.
New Orleans has always been a unique place for creatives. We don’t have a “photo industry,” per se, like New York or L.A., so finding studio space, prop rentals, clients who have proper budgets, etc. is always challenging. I know that with looming technologies this task will become even harder. But alas, we are the community who adapts. We schedule shoots in torturous temperatures, lend out gear to friends, ask for last-minute assistants on social media, and in hard times find the courage to turn down unfair compensation. Somehow we’ve managed to hang on and foster some of the world’s best photographers. My hope for anyone passionate about photography is to keep going. Keep pushing. It will always be hard, but worth it knowing your images will stand the test of time. As I always say, nothing ages better than a photograph.
So with that, I’d like to celebrate our 10th Photo Issue by thanking the photographers who make it all possible. In the last decade, we’ve had a unique opportunity to see New Orleans’ underbelly through their lenses, and have published hundreds of images that might otherwise have gone unnoticed. Their mediums range from digital to film in the broad coverage of street, portrait, candid, press, live music, and still lifes. Hopefully you enjoy the spectacle of imagery in the pages to come and the lively year that accompanied them.
Stay cool, my friends. And don’t forget to put your film in the refrigerator. —Adrienne Battistella
illustration by Laura Frizzell
August 2023 cover (Bee on a sunflower at Coastal Ridge Farm in Picayune, Mississippi, June 2023) by Julie Dermansky.
Back cover (Love Wins NOLA gate at the Moonwalk Riverfront Park, February 2023) by Dan Fox