thought struck me. I have no idea if Mardi Gras parades will roll in 2022 or even if I will be able to go out to photograph them.
There are a couple of things that I know.
The mayor isn’t cancelling Mardi Gras, even if she could. Mardi Gras is tied to two more Catholic holidays, the coming of the wisemen and Ash Wednesday. If she cancels anything, it will be the parades that could become a super spreader.
A test parade walked for Halloween called the Krewe of Boo. This should be the weekend to learn if there is an uptick of CoVid-19 infections. With luck, there won’t be.
The city is rightfully gun shy, since the last Mardi Gras parades was a super spreader event and New Orleans was blamed for infecting the country. The former president claims that he knew that the virus was virulent but he forgot to tell us.
So, I’m a little impatient. I feel like posting Mardi Gras pictures now. Right now.
This investigating dog was part of the Krewe of Barkus. That’s right. A Mardi Gras parade for dogs. A dog parade. There’s a lot of barking and investigations and smelling going on. Most dogs are friendly and seem to like being photographed.
I’d rather make pictures of people by discovery. On the scene. Whatever the scene happens to be. I’d make their portrait without showing the event. This transports them — and me — to another place.
As it happens, these three casual portraits were made at various parades. The top two were taken at various Mardi Gras parades. The bottom picture, which I call wolf man for obvious reasons, was made at a second line. I think I mentioned them in writing about the pictures I showed you from these events.
Finally. Now you get to see them.
The pictures. The one thing to keep in mind is that these aren’t portrait sittings. They were made in the moment. On location. In about 30 seconds time for each of them. I learned to work fast in my newspaper days. I had to. None of my subjects wanted to sit and pose. Same thing today. These people were gracious enough to let me photograph them. That didn’t mean that they wanted to spend an hour with me. But, you do have to make some sort of connection. You have to think about that when you are working the street.
Lists. I may just be more aware of it this year. It seems that just about everybody is publishing a “Best of 2014” list. It could be anything. In fact, it is anything. Music. Movies. Books. Travel destinations. Bucket lists. Restaurants. Recipes. You name it and somebody has a best of list.
That’s cool. For them.
All art is autobiographical and the viewer, reader, listener, eater… whatever makes meaning of it. Meaning based on his or her’s life experience. That said, all of these lists are personal. I don’t care if you write for The New Yorker Magazine, Rolling Stone or “Fred’s Blog.” Best of lists are personal unless they are data-driven. You know. Something like, “Top ten selling books of 2014.” There is something you can measure. Sales. The rest? Opinions.
So, I thought to myself — that’s really a dangerous thing to do — what can I do differently? I thought of musician Joni Mitchell. In 1996 she released a two album set. “Hits” and “Misses.” You could buy one, or both. Not like the never-ending collection of boxed sets released today. I like the misses concept. Something that didn’t quite work. A failed experiment. Or, a non-seller. Then I saw that my blogging colleague over at “Cooking with a Wallflower” decided to publish “2014 Recipe Disasters” on her blog. Normally, her recipes are right on. They are fun and easy to make. But, we all experiment and with that we sometimes fail. She is on the right track. Ah ha. That moment. Ah ha.
So I decided to work back through my 2014 leftovers. Out takes.
That’s what these pictures are. Leftovers. You may have seen something similar. Or, you may have seen a picture that was taken in the same place. Or a nearly the same time. But, for some reason I decided not to publish these particular ten pictures on Storyteller. To me, they represent the breadth of my work over 2014. I photographed a lot of stuff. And, that doesn’t even to begin to account for the commercial, corporate and editorial work I did to pay the bills and buy kibbles for the dogs. More importantly, I experimented a lot. And… failed a lot. That’s good. Can’t grown without failure.
As far as turning the page with the change of the year goes… well, a lot of people seem excited about that. Not me. Not so much. Once, when musician Neil Young was playing a concert, a fan yelled out “the songs sound the same.” Neil Young replied, “It’s all one song.”
If you think that you need to make changes with the coming of the new year, make them. Keep in mind, it’s just a continuum.
Sometimes when I photograph events I use them to document more than the event itself. I look for little slices of life that might — I emphasize that — tell me something about the people who are taking part in the vent, or the location or just something about the parade, or second line, or… whatever. Usually, it’s nothing more than a fleeting moment. Since I can’t be everywhere, this usually works best if I let the subject come to me. I tend to see better. I’m not worried about tripping over someone or something.
So. This picture was made at a second line parade in Central City. Yeah. I know. Where else? The man in the hat is part of a band. He happened to see a friend — the man in the foreground — and they were talking.
Technically? The usual. F8 and be there. A little post production work in Snapseed on my i-Pad. I’m really starting to like that method of post. It’s portable and as long as it’s for web work or something very small., it entirely appropriate. Now that Google bought Nik, who makes Snapseed, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens.
Relax! Let you eyes wonder and quiet your mind with some visual therapy. A picture is always more than you can see. You will also find my own illustrations about things I find funny and interesting. Have some fun, life is short!