Tuesday, February 14, 2012

People-Watching at the Parade

We had taken our position a full 90 minutes before the Scott, LA, Mardi Gras Parade would pass by us.

Our choice was also popular with the newsman from KATC-TV in Lafayette. This fellow set up the camera on a tripod, positioned it to capture the floats turning just as they approached him, then positioned himself in front of the camera, and presented his report.

In addition, he grabbed the camera and shot scenes of the floats and their riders, who obliged by playing to the camera.

We were in some shots of the crowd taken as he walked by, but we didn't make it onto the 10 o'clock news.

This fellow was indeed a one-person operation.

We paid little attention to the vehicles towing the floats, but the "driver" of the truck pulling one of the floats caught our attention.

We attended this parade last year and took photos of the floats and the riders as they tossed beads to the crowd. This year, we took very few photos of the floats and focused on another aspect of the parade.

We had taken up our position at an intersection where the parade turned. From this position we could photograph our subjects very easily. We turned the cameras on the people viewing the parade.

We had hoped to catch scenes of beads flying into several outstretched hands;but even though our subjects were several feet away, catching beads in mid air was difficult.

We hadn't taken into account some of the strategies of the bead-throwers. While most people threw beads to those near the float, others were intent on throwing for distance.

Not only going for distance from the float to the back of the crowds assembled, but also going for distance from the float forward to the crowd ahead. So, while I was lining up a shot of the crowd before the float turned the corner, beads would still come flying our way. Two hits to my head changed my strategy.

So we caught shots of "crowd anticipa-tion" instead of "crowd capture" of Mardi Gras beads.

And then there were the exhorta-tions from a rider on each float with microphone in hand calling for the crowd to make noise to warrant beads being thrown.

Ah, yes. Wishing to comply with these
"demands," the young people around us responded.

The screams of these youth were piercing.

And the beads came flying our way. Our drive to collect as many beads as possible was less successful than last year, but it was not eliminated.

Our collection was modest, others were more successful.

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