Marching, Marching, Marching…


The band plays despite the heat.

Brass bands.

You know me. There is something special about them. The minute that I hear them,  my poor hip and back feel better. I move easier. I move freer. I move faster. I dance with them. I am more flexible. I am convinced my pictures are better than usual.

I’ll get to the pictures a little further down, below the tuba picture.

A musician friend of mine who lives in the Pacific Northwest once described brass band music as being chaotic.

I suppose.

What do you expect? The musicians first heard the music on the streets. It’s very likely that they learned to play their instruments in high school. Different high schools for each of them. And, they rarely rehearse. The members come together on the street right before the second line begins. If they don’t have enough members on the scene, musicians from other bands show up to fill in the gaps.  Cell phones are working overtime.

Yeah. They all know the same songs because the music is among New Orleans standards. But, each of them might play a song slightly different. Yes. That breeds chaos.

That’s just wonderful. After all, at her best, New Orleans is the home of wonderful chaos.

Isn’t that what many of you come to the city for?

The tuba starts it. Always.

The pictures. I think you have to be in the middle of something to be able to make the best pictures. These pictures were made with a wide angle lens or a very short telephoto… like 70mm. The scene sort of envelopes me.

I have the same theory about music. I never use ear buds. Even when they are free. I sometimes use over the ear cans, when I have to be quiet or I want to hear a certain detail. Mostly, we just have a bunch of speakers that put us in the middle of the music. We can hear. We can share.

I feel the same way about pictures. Standing on the sidelines is the same way. Sometimes you have to. And, that’s fine. I don’t imagine the NFL would be very happy if photographers worked in the huddle or the line of scrimmage.

But, when you can you should try.

It’s a whole different sense of place. For me. For you.

This works even with travel pictures. For instance, I recently saw a picture of Jackson Square in the French Quarter. Everybody makes a picture like that. Then I saw one from inside the steeple. Whoa. That was something. I imagine getting permission takes some time and effort. That’s tough enough. But, what if you want to work around golden time and blue hour. Good luck. But, oh, what a picture.

That has me thinking. Hmmmmm.

The drummers pound out the beat.

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 Ray@Laskowitzpicturess.com or Pictures34@me.com. For a quick look at my work please go to www.laskowitzpictures.com.

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