Once in a great while…

St. Joseph’s Night. Uptown.

As the Mardi Gras Indians emerge from the club that is their dressing room, other unsuited Indians play and sing them out. For the unsuited Indians it is a tradition and a show of respect. They play as if their lives depend on it.

For me, it’s how things start. Loud. Noisy. Joyful.

I made this picture with a 16mm lens. Very wide. Very close. That’s how I like to work. In the middle of things. The Indians allow me to work like that because I show them the proper respect. If I can yell out loud enough, I thank them. If not, I give them a thumbs up and a nod of my head. I give somebody with pockets my business card. For them, my pictures are free.

On this night I was trapped between these guys, the Indians who were coming out on the street and the crowd trying to get close to either take pictures, or say hello to their friends and neighbor Indians. It was a good place to be trapped. All I needed to do was turn around because pictures were everywhere.

The picture. I call it “The One,” because every now and then I make a picture good enough to be my yearly signature picture. Obviously, I can’t predict the future. I may make other even better pictures as the year rolls on. Even though I certainly will try, I doubt it will happen. This was my magic moment.

To me, this picture says everything about the street, traditions and rituals. But, as I’ve learned in the past, you have to be there. If I show it to you in some place where our traditions aren’t well-known, you’d likely say something like, “Yeah, that’s nice,” and move on to another picture. I get it and it never bothers me.

The technical stats for those of you who want to know, are f 5.6 exposed for around 1/15th of a second using all the axis stabilization possible. Auto ISO. No flash. All available light. I was lucky, they were singing in a pool of light.


6 Replies to “The One”

  1. Stunning Ray. This really tells the story of emotion. So often I associate the Mardi Gras Indians through their musical instruments, wonderful costumes and not their voices. Thank you for taking me in a different direction and allowing it to speak to me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Many MGI are known for their voices. They have big, rich, deep voices. They can sing without instrumental backing or with just percussion instruments. Those are the Indians who work all year around on stages and with really tight little jazz/funk bands. No, bo, no… Thank you. If this work is speaking to you than I’m successful. That is the hardest think to do.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I was think more in the metaphysical terms when giving voice as you pointed out in the last part of your reply. However, it is nice to know more about those who have a voice that is used extensively for others to enjoy.
        In simple terms, YES, your images are successful in speaking to me. Thank you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I see. I was speaking more in pure physical terms. I can hear them from blocks away. I’m not sure it’s used just for others to enjoy. MGI pay respect to Native Americans, by singing in the way that they do they are reaching into their souls and memories. For instance, MGI are singing from their history of slavery, back through Haiti and Africa. I suppose that’s metaphysical.

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Creative Attributes

Where creative art is appreciated

Child of the border

Short stories and poems about my experience with growing up near the U.S. Mexico border.

Halyna Viktoria


Karine Leroux Photography

Textures - Patterns - Minimalism - Abstraction




Don't let her be "The one that got away".

Relax with Bronte

Self care isn't self indulgence... Self care is self respect.

Sea Turnstone

Photography, Travelling, Wildlife


Photographer, Designer, Editor and Educator Ray Laskowitz talks about pictures and their back stories.

... le blog de Walter PASCOLI

Art contemporain , peintures et dessins ...

Vova Zinger's Photoblog

The world around through my camera's lens

The Bouquet

A collection of beautiful things and thoughts

The Trichordist

Artists For An Ethical and Sustainable Internet #StopArtistExploitation

Curious Appetites

Exploring the flavors of home, around town and nearby communities

Cumbria | The Lake District

An Eclectic Mix Of Revelation By Baldy. A Blog About Cumbria, Home Of The UNESCO Lake District National Park. Photographs, Paintings, Sketches & More. Mountains Are My Bones; Rivers My Veins; Forests My Thoughts.

Unpopular Judge

Exploring the Death of Storytelling in Movies


Through Photo, we speak our language

The Art of Blogging

For bloggers who aspire to inspire

%d bloggers like this: