Coming Out of the Door

Young and original.
Young and original.


There is a lot of tradition in a second line even though it looks chaotic. To the naked it eye. To the uninitiated. To the passerby.


Young people honor old. The banner is cherished. The band follows the main liners. The second liners follow the main liners. We treat each other nicely. It’s fairly simple.

There are other details. You’ll learn about them if you hang out long enough. For instance, if a club member passed during the previous year, they are mourned and celebrated. Many Central City second lines pass in front of Lafayette Cemetery Number 2. They stop. The band plays a dirge. Then, they play a song of celebration. And, move on.

These pictures are about the very start of the second line. The founder comes out of the club headquarters. The banner is protected. The band passes through the waiting crowd.

The difference in these pictures is mostly shooting technique. Not in post production. In fact, there is very little post production going on. Mostly, just making the point of the picture a little clearer. Even though the work is digital, the work I did in these pictures is very old school. Burning and dodging. Light cropping. Comes out of  wet darkroom techniques.

The shooting technique is what I call layering. It’s hard to do. On the surface, it’s putting parts of the subjects in and out of focus. The important thing is what happens to the main subject. It should be in focus. That’s what I want the viewer to see.

Normally, I’d say that gear really doesn’t matter. In this case it does. The lenses matter. I like to work close and tight. For these pictures I used either a 16-50 mm very short zoom lens and a 60 mm very, very short telephoto lens. Of course, with APS sized sensors they “see” like a 24-75 mm and a 90 mm lens.

Even though I did mention gear, it’s more about finding the right place to stand. As NGS’ Jim Richardson says, “If you want better pictures, stand in front of better stuff.”

I hope that helps.

Holding the flag.
Holding the flag.
The band leads.
The band leads.


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