Author: Ray Laskowitz

A Little Bling


Second lines and drums. The tuba may start it, but the drums fill it. And, help to set the pace. Speaking of pace, I’m a little late today. I got really jammed up. Between some major dental work, finishing the technical issues of this computer that concluded with a power loss in the city so I had to redo everything, and taking pictures, time slipped away. But. I got it done. All of it. Of course that means, you’ll see two posts within about 18 hours of each other. Hopefully, you’ll like that. This is another view from the Undefeated Divas second line. Check out all the sticks. This guy is prepared. Break one or drop one and he can just keep going. Sort of like me. I hope to never drop one, but cameras do break. I usually work with two. Same bodies. But, very different lenses. One is wide. The other is longer, for tighter work. If something should happen to one camera, I still can work with the other. That’s very old …

More Winter


A little more winter. Bare trees. Foggy days. Warm air. Yes. Warm air. We’ve gone from very cold days — for us — to spring-like weather with temperatures just under 80 degrees. So, I thought I’d show you a few more pictures from around the house. And, once I get processing again, I’ll show you a butterfly. Not just any butterfly, but the most amazing butterfly ever. It’s lavender and purple and magenta. It’s about the size of my fist and it is growing on a bush that has those color flowers. The streets? Oh, more pictures are coming. I’ve just had a month’s worth the technological problems in three days. I haven’t been able to process or edit very many pictures. As usual, various companies’ software doesn’t play well with one another after various upgrades. In this case PhaseOne, my basic editing software does not like the new Mac operating system. It shows its dislike by grabbing onto all apps and even my internet browser and not letting go even when I force it …

In the Middle of Things


The thing about second lines is that everyone is a participant . Even photographers. Even the beverage vendors. And, the food vendors. None of us have permits. Nor, do we have any special right to be there. The only folks that do have a parade permit and a police permit are the social clubs who host the second line. Even for them, parades are fairly chaotic. The do get to control about a 20 yard piece of street in front of the mainline and that’s about it. That’s the blessing. And, the curse. Y’all can imagine why. For me, regardless of the pictures, it’s just great exercise. It’s like being in the middle of a sporting event. Something like rugby comes to mind. That’s how I think you have to look at it. You’re going to get bounced around. You’re going to have people jump in and out of your “perfect” picture. Oh well. So what. Whatever. Smile. Then, there are guys like the one on the cowboy hat. He’s at every parade. He rarely …

As They Say…


… the Tuba starts the second line. And, so. It should start my second line parade photo coverage. Especially when a tuba is plastered with a New Orleans sticker. This is the Undefeated Divas second line parade. Another Sunday affair. Warmer than last weekend with a little overcast which helped control the shadows. Especially on faces. And, on shiny things. That’s all I have for today. A lot of things aren’t working. Mostly in the technology world. I have to fix them. Again. Every Monday.

It Ain’t Easy


This picture says it all. About getting your hair cut. About getting photographed. About being forced to do anything. I’m not exactly sure about the interaction between the barber and his customer, but the man with the shears has a pretty good grip on the kid’s head. While the barber was cool with my work, his customer might not have been. Hard to know. Or… easy. Heh! The picture. I try to use events as a platform to photograph other community pictures. While I was photographing the second line and the people getting ready to walk, I also made pictures of anything else that caught my attention. Even though the Hot Spot was functioning as the club’s dressing room, the show still had to go on. So, while some folks were putting on the final touches to their suits, others were just going about their Saturday business. Getting their hair cut. For instance. Technical stuff. I don’t really know. I could check the meta data, but I won’t. Knowing me, it’s f5.6 or greater since there’s pretty …

Bead Tree


This is where Mardi Gras beads come from. They grow on trees. All over the city. You pick them when they are ripe. But, seriously… They mostly come from China. The same place just about every inexpensively manufactured product comes from. Some glass beads still come from the Czech Republic. But, they are pricey and few. In the six years since we returned, I can count on one hand how many glass beads we have. We keep those. On the other hand, if we hadn’t given most of them away, I could have weighed the plastic ones by the pound. Trees. Once, many years ago, I remember seeing one bead tree located in one neighborhood along St. Charles Avenue. It was created by accident. The krewes riding the parade floats threw beads out far, wide and high so the people standing the back rows of the crowds could catch some too. This one particular tree was located in a place where beads just seem to collect. They also collect on power lines. Phone lines. Streetcar power lines. …