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St Charles Avenue night parades are always something very special, particularly during the weekend leading up to Mardi Gras (day) in New Orleans.
There always seems to be a more serious atmosphere among the bead catchers that line the streets of this famous Big East avenue. It can lead to a quite electric atmosphere as the parades become bigger, the throws become more elaborate, the floats get brighter, and of course, the crowds (and riders) become ‘drunker’! Therefore, for a photographer, getting right in among the crowds is, for me, the key to getting great Mardi Gras images. You really do have to ‘live’ this madness to have any appreciation for the shots you are trying to get.
However, to call it madness may be a little misleading – it may well somewhat manic, but it is thoroughly enjoyable. This is why I chose to add a texture to this shot – to try an convey a more magical atmosphere – and a memory of which I am very fond.
In chose to give this particular Mardi Gras shot the texturized treatment as it seemed to have a number of the elements of parade night that I remember so well – the colourful parade floats, the slowly darkening sky that still has a hint of colour, and the kid resting on someone shoulders in a prime spot to grab the more interesting throws.
This shot was taken with a Nikon D300 during a night parade in 2010.
October 5th, 2012
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