|Mardi Gras Indians on MardiGras Day|
|Mariska Hargitay on Mardi Gras Float
Mardi Gras reminds me how unique a place New Orleans is, a city that goes mad for days on end. There is no getting around it. Everything is affected by the parades. It is better to participate than to fight it, catch some beads and, in my case, photograph the action. This year I found myself chasing stars, hoping to license some photos since star power helps. Some of my star shots populate a slide show on The Guardian’s website. On Marid Gras Day I caught up with Ken Bauvier, the chief deputy of EMS, who showed me a map of all the spotswhere ambulances were stationed throughout the city. I asked him what his team had been dealing with. While EMS took a woman away who had a heart attack near Gallier Hall, another woman was rescued by bystanders before EMS got to her, making her spit up a corndog she was choking on. More Mardi Gras specific, EMS treated a couple of people with head injuries, the victims hit with coconuts thrown from Zulu floats, one with a badly broken nose. While I’m a person who doesn’t hang on to much in the way of material objects (having learned a life lesson to stay light on my feet, too long a story for this blog entry), I left the parade with a a real Mardi Gras treasure, a Zulu firetruck necklace given to me by Clancey DeBos.I went back home to file my shots when I got a tip the Mardi Gras Indians were gathering along Claiborne Ave. under the I-10 overpass near Esplanade. I followed the the Yellow Pocahontas Mardi Gras Indians and photographed them in front of the Basin Bar, shooting them cast in magic hour glow. On my way back to my bike I saw smoke rising. Cars and motorcycles were marking up the road, doing donuts in Mad Max style. Check out a video clip here. Here is a set of my photos shot throughout Marid Gras 2012 availble through Corbis and more in a set on Flickr .