2 Hours in New Orleans

On a recent business trip, I had a layover in New Orleans, Louisiana.  My buddy and I decided that rather than spend the evening at the hotel, we’d go for dinner in the French Quarter in downtown.  Camera in hand, we headed out for a couple of hours.

The first thing I came across that caught my eye was a shop with a guy inside who was hand rolling cigars.  The lighting inside was pretty dim and I didn’t have a tripod so I had to knock the ISO up a bit (3200-6400) in order to get a decent shutter speed; this guy works very quickly.  I honestly could have stayed in that shop for hours.  It was a veritable treasure trove of photographic opportunities.  I don’t like making people wait on me to take photos so I did my typical ‘shoot and run’.  The next time I’m in New Orleans, I’m making a beeline for this shop but I’ll go alone and I’ll bring at least one light and a tripod.

Sony A7r w/ Minolta MD 35-70mm f/3.5
Sony A7r w/ Minolta MD 35-70mm f/3.5
Sony A7r w/ Minolta MD 35-70mm f/3.5
Sony A7r w/ Minolta MD 35-70mm f/3.5
Sony A7r w/ Minolta MD 35-70mm f/3.5
Sony A7r w/ Minolta MD 35-70mm f/3.5

The next stop we made was to the French Market Inn.  My buddy who was with me had stayed there before and was telling me about it.  The building dates back to the year 1722 and it was converted from a bakery to an inn around 1832.  A fat orange tabby cat greets you when walk in the front door.  How cool is that?  He was happy to have his noggin scratched.

Here’s a view down one of the outdoor hallways with doors to the rooms on the left and right of it.  They’ve preserved the age of much of the building while modestly renovating the rooms for comfort.

Sony A7r w/ Minolta MD 35-70mm f/3.5
Sony A7r w/ Minolta MD 35-70mm f/3.5

I thought these crawling plants growing up the courtyard garden’s brick and stucco walls made for a neat shot.

Sony A7r w/ Minolta MD 35-70mm f/3.5
Sony A7r w/ Minolta MD 35-70mm f/3.5

From the Inn, we walked to Jackson Square to check out the music we were hearing from down the street.  A small group of guys were performing some really interesting music.  The lead instrument was called a Kora, also known as the African Bass Harp.  Two sets of strings on each side of the bridge provide a substantial range of sound, from solid bass all the way up to the crystalline notes of traditional harp.  The body of the Kora had an instrument microphone mounted to it so that it could be amplified for the noisy street environment they were playing in.  I would describe the sound of their music as a cross between Dave Matthews Band and Bela Fleck.

After writing this post, I found out the band has a website.  They have a few songs available to stream from there.  Check it out:  http://www.bukubroux.com

Sony A7r w/ Minolta MD 35-70mm f/3.5
Sony A7r w/ Minolta MD 35-70mm f/3.5

Accompanying the Kora player was a saxophonist, and a drummer from Brasil.  That drummer had an excellent technical sound, demonstrating the understanding that drums too can be effectively played pianissimo as much as fortissimo for good blend with the other instruments.

Hungry and tired, we reluctantly left the good music for some dinner.  After eating, we did a quick pass down Bourbon Street before heading back to the car.  While walking down the street, I saw this guy sitting in the cove of a building.  He had an interesting look to him as he sat there, lost in the sound of a woman across the street singing old hymns.  I stopped and asked if he would mind if I took his picture.  As we chat for a minute, he settled back into his cove and I got my shot.  Thanks AJ for your good spirit about being photographed by a stranger.

Sony A7r w/ Minolta MD 35-70mm f/3.5
Sony A7r w/ Minolta MD 35-70mm f/3.5

That pretty much sums up the two hours.  We drove back to the hotel and the next morning flew back to Houston.  Speaking of Houston, here’s a shot I got a few days before when I visited the downtown area.  I didn’t really feel up to shooting that day so this is really the only photo from that and not worth writing about in a separate post.

Sony A7r w/ Minolta MD 35-70mm f/3.5
Sony A7r w/ Minolta MD 35-70mm f/3.5

All images were shot with a Sony A7r with the superb Minolta MD 35-70mm f/3.5 (3rd Gen)

 

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One thought on “2 Hours in New Orleans

  1. Street music is awesome… like open mike nights, you never know what you’re going to come across. Next time you go, you should shoot some video!!
    If you haven’t ever heard of it, you should check out a DVD called “Playing for Change”.. it is a musical project that is fascinating- this guy recorded a street musician playing the old Ben E, King song- “Stand By Me”- and then got musicians from all over the world to join in, listening to his lead on headphones, playing their own unique styles and instruments. Really worth watching. We gave the DVD’s as gifts one year.

    Like

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