Colorful, Laskowitzpictures.com, Photographs, Photography, Pictures, Ray Laskowitz
Comments 17

Weather Patterns


Rain gear.

Patterns. Plastic. It might be all the same this year.

Most local media are saying this year’s Mardi Gras is one of the wettest on memory. Most national media don’t care. After all, while today is the Sunday before Mardi Gras for us. This is just another Sunday without football for the rest of the country. And, for the rest of the world it’s the end of a weekend.

That said, it has been wet. Very wet. The most annoying thing is that during some of the day, it’s been dry. Or, dryish. It has been very humid. After all, spring starts very early in the gulf south.

Then parade time rolls around. The clouds gather. The rain falls. The biggest parade, Endymion, started dry and then got wet. Very wet. I awoke this morning to very wet ground. The kind of ground you see ten minutes after the rain has stopped. I’d like to go to Bacchus this evening. It rolls at 5pm. It’s a big Uptown parade. Unfortunately, there are earlier parades on the same route which will making parking almost impossible even with my little tricks. There’s a little timing gap that you have to slip into.

And, yes, you guessed it. Rainfall is predicted.

We’ll just see what happens. At least the rain is warmish. The temperatures are going to be in the low to mid 70s. But, there are gear issues when it comes to heavy rain. Yeah, yeah. My gear is supposed to be sealed. I’ve learned in the past that doesn’t mean a lot.  There are way too many points of entry for heavy rain to find. Then, there is me. How many times do I want to walk around sloshing? After all, I did say that we weren’t even going to be in town for this year’s events.

Sheesh. Talk about my own apparent OCD.

Getting back to Endymion. It is the mother of all parades. Last year when it rolled, bad stuff happened. It got hit by a drunken driver. Many people were hurt. I’m sure that was in the back of the krewe members minds. But, the show must go on. And, it should go on.

I never go to that parade. Well, I did once. Years ago. It’s almost too big to even move around the way that I do. The crowds are very deep and aggressive when it comes to throws. However, I was reading a little bit about it. I know that it’s huge. I know that the floats are huge. I didn’t know that one float is 336 feet long. Let that sink in. One float is the length of a football field. Over 110 yards. Isn’t that something?

The pictures. This was more about old-fashioned editing than actually making the pictures in the street. There was a piece on National Geographic’s website explaining what picture editors do. They framed the discussion in my very old school way. They made clear to say picture editors are human beings, not pieces of software that you use to modify pictures.

That said, These images were made at four different parades. When the local media starting talking about Mardi Gras wet weather days, the lightbulb in my brain went off. I decided to illustrate that on Storyteller. “Weather Patterns” came into play when I realized that’s mostly what I’ve been talking about for the last few days. When a thing start repeating itself, it becomes a pattern.

All plastic and no place to go.

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17 Comments

  1. I think that posts like this are wonderful because they illustrate that the show, indeed, does go on in NOLA. And the marchers and merrymakers are prepared; the storytellers, too. I’m glad you mentioned the gear because I’ve been wondering about that. I have a new DSLR camera that’s just right for an amateur like me and using it makes me more curious about what the pros do.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Kim. The show must go one. Not only because it must, but for more practical reasons. Krewes have in vested a year their parade. That is both time and money. There is little room for weather adjustment since the parades are packed in, one after another. Usually, the only moves the city can make is an hour or so on other side of the planned time.

      What would you like to know about gear? My way with parades like these is to always keep moving. I try to get under roofs or even the edge of a float when the rain starts falling hard. You can wrap your gear in plastic, but for me, it makes it very hard to work.

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      • As usual, that depends. If I were just walking around whilst traveling I would use one body and one lens. The lens would either be my wonderful 18-105mm Zeiss lens. Or, if I really wanted to travel light, a 24mm which sees about like I do. However, when I’m working a little more seriously, I use two bodies and two lenses. I don’t work out of a bag anymore. That’s what wore my hip out over the years. Since we aren’t shooting film (much), I just put everything in my pockets… extra batteries, extra cards, filters and a lens cleaning cloth.

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      • I never ever would go that far. That’s like some kind of guy on safari. Sheesh. 🙂

        As Neil Young said in a song, “the thing that makes you who you are will kill you in the end.”

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      • Sorry, I didn’t mean to be insulting about the “uniform”. But safari, that might be a good analogy for what you’re doing out there; not that you are out to kill something, but that you are on the hunt for visual / photographic treasure.

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      • It wasn’t insulting. The older I get the more I fall back on a couple of my mentors’ way of thinking. Just let the picture come to you. You know that picture, “the secret garden?” I was leaning against a fence, taking some weight off my poor hip. Pretty soon those young woman walked into that little alley between the houses. All I did was turn and make their pictures. I didn’t even think about it. It is to me, the most natural of acts.

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  2. It is great you are helping amateurs as Kim describes herself and give an old pro like me a jump start as well. Up here the rainy Pacific Northwest, we have had one of the wettest winters on record and it is not over yet. As a note to Kim, you can do fine shooting in the programed mode for most situations, the P mode selects both the lens opening and shutter speed but I would highly encourage you to learn to use the S (Shutter speed mode) as a backup for some shooting situations. It will allow you to limit the focus by using a higher shutter speed and give you more depth of field with a slower speed which allows for more creative control. Once that is mastered learning to use manual controls might be worth the effort. Although I don’t use one near as often as I should, the best light tool around is a good tripod.

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    • Doug, I really appreciate the advice, in addition to Ray’s. Those are the kinds of things I don’t know how to do yet, but do want to learn. I have a question for both of y’all – do you think that this online photography class from Annie Leibovitz is worthwhile? https://www.masterclass.com/classes/annie-leibovitz-teaches-photography?refresh=true#/ Google must have figured out that I have a new camera, because it keeps pushing this ad to me.

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      • Those classes are all over Facebook. As I understand it, she mostly teaches philosophy and not a lot of technique. That’s not bad thing, but if you are wanting to learn nuts and bolts, her class my not be the one you want.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I depends. yes, I’m big on that. 🙂 It’s not a bad idea learning how to think hotographically. There’s a lot of theory to this… btw, you never said. What is your new camera/lens?

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      • My camera, which is probably like a toy camera to you, is a Nikon D3400 and I have an 18-55mm lens and a 70-300 lens, both AF-P NIKKOR DX VR (whatever all that means). I’ve never used a “real” camera before; even back in my youth before digital my cameras were simple little things. I have always been the one to document our lives in photos (and I’m the family historian in many other ways) but I’ve never had the time to learn how to do it right. I know almost nothing, so the basics are where I need to start. I do like the idea of learning to “think photographically,” though. Perhaps there’s a book I can start reading?

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      • At certain point a camera is a camera. That’s a starter, but you can make it do whatever you want. When you learn that camera and feel you are ready, you move on and keep it for a backup. DX is for the APC sensor. VR means vibration reduction, which means that you can work at slower shutter speeds than normal in low light. If you want to learn to think about pictures almost anything by Jay Maisel. Jay is in his 80s now and still full of energy. He is one of the fathers of modern color photography along with the late Pete Turner and late Ernst Haas. His books are photo books, but if you read what he writes, he’ll inspire you to quit your day job. (Kidding) He’s also my backyard neighbor in Brooklyn, but that’s a story for an email. 🙂 One of the things he talks about a lot is always making pictures. After Hurricane Katrina destroyed so many photographers’ archive, he was asked what he would do if that happend to him. He said, “I’d go out and make more pictures.”

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