Brass Bands and Other Things

Hot 8 Brass Band

He kept posing for me. That was great. You know me. I wanted a little more. I dropped down and photographed looking up. This gave the musicians sort of an iconic look to them. It also cleared out some of the background which was a little too noisy, especially with a very wide angle lens.

As I mentioned earlier, this parade — The Lady & Men Second Line — was about the first one I photographed since last May. Even though I am feeling physically better, I still have to knock some rust off. If I photograph a parade a week for the next month or so, I’ll get a lot better. Of course, Mardi Gras will get in the way. There is some discussion about that. Mostly, in my head. I haven’t missed a Mardi Gras parade season since my return from New Mexico in 2011. That’s good. But, I am thinking about bowing out this year. Most of New Orleans is closed for at least a week of that time. It might be a nice time for a road trip. Or, not.

What do y’all think?

Make no mistake. I’m not a Mardi Gras Grinch. I have neighbors and friends who hate carnival season for every kind of reason. Not me. I’d just like to see what Tuesday is like in the rest of the country. You know, the day we hold so dear down here. Mardi Gras Tuesday. Fat Tuesday. It’s just another Tuesday in most places.


The next day is Ash Wednesday. It’s also Valentine’s Day. Worse. Easter Sunday falls on April 1. April Fool’s Day. I know some Catholics who are going to be really messed up over these two cross-bred holidays. Heh!

The picture. I didn’t do much more than bend my knees and simply take it. I cleaned out the shadows and added a lightly gold toned glow making the image look and feel like I made it in early morning.

By the way, yesterday’s wide angle lens discussion was driven by a comment that they can be hard to use, difficult to control. I mentioned in my comments that I’ve used a 20mm or 24mm lens as my go to lens for most of my career. The trick is not to produce an image with total front to back sharpness. The picture becomes very busy if you do that. Shoot around f 4 or f 5.6 and let the subject pop out. Or, you can stand back and make sort of a panoramic sort of picture that is about as sharp as you can make it.Ā  Mostly, you need a sharp foreground subject and not just a general scene. That means you probably have to work close. Many “street photographers” don’t like to do that.

This method of working isn’t “my” method. I was taught by one of my mentors who was taught by one of his mentors who was taught by…Ā  oh you get it. It’s only “my”method to a lot of very new photographers who can’t be bothered to study the history of their new “love.” And, who think they don’t need help because everything is on YouTube. That might very well be. But, it sure is nice to have a real human to talk to when you don’t understand the concept. And, yeah there are rules. Like it or not.




      1. It’s probably just a different view from the one we are used to that makes it interesting. Same thing with drone pictures. When you get down to it, most of them are kind of broing, but since they are made from above….

        I tend to agree about Mardi Gras, but despite being some kind of edgy and artistic place, most New Orleanians are sort of bound by tradition. It’s weird.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Krewe of St. Anne’s is a walking parade that start in the Marigny and makes its way through the Quarter in Mardi Gras Day. It usually gets blended into Mondo Kayo and Pete Fountain’s Half Fast krewe.


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