A Walking Night of Art and Photography

'Orpheus Descending' bubble tent shadows by Jimmy Stamp, Sergio Padilla and Frederick Stivers. Light, shadow and silhouettes in the New Orleans French Quarter. (Copyright 2009/Andrew Boyd)

'Orpheus Descending' bubble tent shadows by Jimmy Stamp, Sergio Padilla and Frederick Stivers. Light, shadow and silhouettes in the New Orleans French Quarter. (Copyright 2009/Andrew Boyd)

There’s nothing better than a night of art and photowalking through the New Orleans French Quarter, and that’s what I got to do with my wife the other night. The DesCours 2009 exhibits of architect-inspired art installations was last week in New Orleans, a series of nighttime-only installations in secret courtyards and other locales not generally open to the public. We were going on the last night of the 4-day-only event and the night was thick with fog, thick enough that I needed a rag over the camera for protection.

Pedestrians in) a foggy Jackson Square, New Orleans.(Copyright 2009/Andrew Boyd

Pedestrians in a foggy Jackson Square, New Orleans.(Copyright 2009/Andrew Boyd

The French Quarter is a starkly beautiful, mysterious place at night anyway, but adding  in the fog made this night one to remember.

Knowing that this evening of walking would be as much about art and socializing as photography, I did what I always do when faced with too many attractive choices: I simplified. I put my 50mm f2.5 Canon macro on a camera body, stuck in a big flash card and walked out the door. I’d see things with the 50 and figure out how to shoot things with the 50, or move on. I’ve always found this to be a great strategy: construct some walls to your playpen and you’ll really find out how to shoot inside that playpen.

What follows are some photos from that foggy, artsy photowalk. It was all free: you walked from site to site, coming upon obscure addresses, no one around, then you’d enter to discover a party of like-minded art lovers checking out the venue. We saw some really cool installations, things that were imaginative in their use of their respective spaces with lots of great lighting to help define those spaces. I made some pictures, some of which follow. We came upon a Chanukah Second-Line band, making its way through the outdoor tables of our famous Cafe du Monde coffee shop. All in all, a magical night of art and photography!

'Yellow Smoke' detail by Sadi Brewton and Jonathan Davies. (Copyright 2009/Andrew Boyd)

'Yellow Smoke' detail by Sadi Brewton and Jonathan Davies. (Copyright 2009/Andrew Boyd)

Detail from 'Lateral Loop' by Tiffany Lin & Mark Oldham, a series of painted bamboo loops illuminated by black light. (Copyright 2009 / Andrew Boyd)

Detail from 'Lateral Loop' by Tiffany Lin & Mark Oldham, a series of painted bamboo loops illuminated by black light. (Copyright 2009 / Andrew Boyd)

'Night Garden' by Virginia San Fratello and Ronald Rael. (Copyright 2009 / Andrew Boyd)

'Night Garden' by Virginia San Fratello and Ronald Rael. (Copyright 2009 / Andrew Boyd)

'Chime' by Jennifer Hiser,  made from soda bottles, cut and reconfigured. (Copyright 2009 / Andrew Boyd)

'Chime' by Jennifer Hiser, made from soda bottles, cut and reconfigured. (Copyright 2009 / Andrew Boyd)

'openHouse,' by Francis Bitonti and Brian Osborn, a earie canopy of LED-illuminated fabrics which move based upon the kinetic energy of those below. (Copyright 2009 / Andrew Boyd)

'openHouse,' by Francis Bitonti and Brian Osborn, a earie canopy of LED-illuminated fabrics which move based upon the kinetic energy of those below. (Copyright 2009 / Andrew Boyd)

Clarinet player, the New Orleans Community-Wide Chanukah Second-Line Parade. (Copyright 2009 / Andrew Boyd)

Clarinet player, the New Orleans Community-Wide Chanukah Second-Line Parade. (Copyright 2009 / Andrew Boyd)

Related Posts: Video on Descours at NOLA.com

selfport1aHi, I’m Andrew Boyd, a.k.a. The Discerning Photographer, and I hope this post has been interesting and informative. Please leave me a comment about it, let me know what you’d like to see more of on the site! You can also sign up for  email delivery of all future articles or my RSS feed. Thanks!–DiscerningPhotog

Posted in: Inspire

About the Author:

Photographer, videographer and photo editor. Host and creator of The Discerning Photographer web site. Currently a Canon shooter.

5 Comments on "A Walking Night of Art and Photography"

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  1. christine says:

    Taking photos at night requires a patient photographer –You took beautiful and surreal images! I like the 6th picture! What camera you are using in taking pictures at night time?

  2. Justin says:

    Once in my life, I’d like to visit New Orleans. The photos here are amazing and you definitely took shots that a normal eye can’t detect. Keep up the great work!

  3. Teri Mobile says:

    Wow nice, you’ve got a wide imagination and it shows in the pictures. We would never appreciate this scene if seen in person but your lenses captured the best in it. Very creative I like it.. keep it up!

  4. John Vest says:

    Very distinct imagination! cool shots! nice in the eyes!

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