ometimes the pictures are better along the way rather than at the event I was going to.
I was going to photograph Krewe du Vieux which is one of the earliest parades of Carnival. The parade was as I expected, too crowded and nowhere to do work arounds. Oh yeah, with the exception of a few pools of light, everything was in shadows.
I made some okay pictures at the parade, but this was the best picture of the night. It’s prime French Quarter. It’s got a food store that mostly sells alcohol, a bike and a guy in a hoody waiting to do God knows what.
I think this was the beginning of Mardi Gras 2020, which means two months before we were blamed for holding a massive super spreader event before anybody knew what CoVid 19 could do.
It was so weird back then. In many ways, I’m glad I stayed out of the crowds as best I could. Which brings me to…
We’ve been watching a Netflix produced three season show called “Formula 1-1, Drive to Survive.” It’s a deep story about the story of Grand Prix drivers and the teams behind them. It’s very, very good.
We are into the third season. 2020. It took us right back to the confusion of the early days of the pandemic.
The first event starts in Australia, where the drivers and teams have just started hear about this new virus. They had no idea what to do.
Quick backstory. The drivers are great athletes. The train in all sorts of ways to handle the stress of driving a car at 200 mph without dying. They are smart as hell. And, they are personable.
Back to the story. One driver finds out that the virus is called Corona Virus. He walks over to a hospitality tent, pulls out a bunch of beers, hands them all around and he kiddingly says, “This will take care of it.” Corona Beer.
The first five events are cancelled. Everybody goes home. The first Grand Prix is held in Austria. Everything has changed. The teams are wearing masks. The drivers, who normally sign autographs with whatever pen they are given, tell their fans they can’t use other people’s pens.
Keep in mind, this is real life. There are no actors.
One more story.
In 2019, there is a heartbreaking accident. It starts out with Lewis Hamilton (at the time he was four time world champion and the face of Formula 1 Motorsports. He’s now six time champion and still the face of the sport.) He’s casually talking to some media and looking up at a monitor. He says, “Oh wow,” and stops the interview. His eyes were wide open.
There was a horrible accident. When Netflix didn’t show it, I knew. There was a fatality. A young driver racing in the Formula 2 category was killed.
The next scenes are heart rending. Drivers, like anyone who does something dangerous, are brothers. It doesn’t matter if they are normally competitors. They gathered on the track, in circle. They prayed. They shared stories about the driver. His helmet was on a stand. One by one they put their hands on it as they left to go to their cars.
Then, they drove as hard as they could.
all know what I’m going to say about this picture. There’s nothing to it. Except that I can hand hold a camera in available darkness.
You probably can’t.
One day I won’t be able to hand hold a camera at night. That might be now since I haven’t tried in a long time.
We’ll have to test that out one night.
But, not tonight.
I have other work to do since I slept on and off until 2:39 pm.
That’s what watching Netflix will do.
It was some start to my very busy schedule. I’ll start tonight and work tomorrow and catch up.
Let’s get back to the picture for a minute.
One of the reasons I learned to hand hold a camera is because of a theory called, “Shoot and scoot.”
That means if I keep moving there is a lesser chance of being mugged or killed for my photo gear and my wallet.
Think about it. Using a tripod forces me to stay in one place, maybe for too long. On the other hand, it could be used as a weapon if the timing was right.
I’d rather not need to do that.
So, I make a few pictures and move on. I tuck my camera under my shoulder so that in low light it’s not easily seen.
It’s worked for a long time.
Then, there’s the swagger theory.
It works this way. Working photographers sometimes develop a pretty good way of walking, like a swagger, but not. It works best, when you’ve got about a third of cigar in your mouth and are surrounded by smoke.
Nobody messes with that.