St. Joseph’s Night

Coming out.

A big night. A huge night. A colorful night.

St. Joseph’s Night.

It is a traditional night. A time when the streets all over the city are filled with Mardi Gras Indians. Uptown. Downtown. All around town.

For some people, like me, it’s the first time seeing the new 2018 suits even though they make their first appearance on Mardi Gras Day. Normally, I would have seen most of them on Super Sunday which is usually held on the Sunday before St. Joseph’s Day (and Night.) But, it rained. Or, so the weather folks said. There was rain early in the morning. That was about it. The Indians take no chances. The finery you see in this picture would be easily destroyed in rainy conditions.


This is sort of a teaser.

I was very, very lucky last night. I made a number of good images. That’s hard, working in the dark stumbling over our potholed streets in a large crowd of people who want to get as close to the Indians as possible. I’ll show them to you over the course of the remaining week.

The picture. You already know what I’m going to say.  F8 and be there. Press the button a lot because you won’t know what you are going to actually capture. Don’t bother looking at your LCD to check. I think it breaks your workflow, but try doing it at night in a crowd. You’d get trampled even though the people around you will be trying to pick you up.

The most important thing about working this way, especially if you are new to it and it feels a little overwhelming, is to have fun. Move to the beat. Dance with your feet. Go with the ebb. The flow.

I’ll tell you a little secret. Most of you know about my hip and back issues. When I get going out there, they all disappear. It’s the music, the people, the sense of place that does it. And, from a more medical perspective — I asked about this — everything warms up, gets loose and stays that way until I cool down.

Published by Ray Laskowitz

I am a visual storyteller. I've been making pictures for some 40 years. I travel the world in search of the right image. in the right light at the right time. You can reach me by phone at 505.280.4686, or by email at or For a quick look at my work please go to

12 thoughts on “St. Joseph’s Night

    1. I recommend ed something? Oh… not looking at the lcd? In my world they call it chimping. You can guess why. Seriously, unless you are photographing something that doesn’t move, what good does it do? You can’t get the picture back.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This recommendation: “The most important thing about working this way, especially if you are new to it and it feels a little overwhelming, is to have fun. Move to the beat. Dance with your feet. Go with the ebb. The flow.” It’s the mindset and the attitude advice that really helps.


    1. Thank you, Tim. That kind of zone is a big deal to me. I have routines that I do before I photograph in which I try to completely empty my mind and not think at all. I just react. The hardest thing about this kind of work at night, is part of my focus os split between working and moving around on potholed, very crowded streets.


      1. As mentioned before, you’ve developed an intuitive sense of anticipation to deal with the obstacles that are there. Obviously there are times when someone enters the scene and throws all of that out of wack by being new and not knowing how to react. My best example of this is when first arriving in Taiwan I was intimidated by the motor scooters. Instead of continuing to walk across the road and have the scooters anticipate my movement, I’d stop and that would through everything into a kilter.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hahahaha… I did that in Shanghai on bicycles. And, Bangkok.

        Seriously, it really becomes a problem at night. During the day, most of my internal radar kicks in. At night, like everybody, I lose a lot of peripheral vision. That’s the killer.

        As far as new photographers on the scene, they rarely do what I do. They stand on the sideline and try to shoot in. Eventually they figure it out.

        Liked by 1 person

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