Krewe of Carnivale en Rio Mardi Gras Parade, Lafayette, Feb. 15, 2020
These photos of the Krewe of Carnivale en Rio Mardi Gras Parade, held in Lafayette, Feb. 15, 2020, were taken between about 8:15 and 9:15 p.m. as the parade rolled by on Johnston Street in the block past St. Mary Boulevard where McDonald’s is located.

I photographed the Rio Parade in about the same location in 2012 on a very chilly evening when the crowd was much smaller than in 2020. This time, the temperature was in the low sixties, weather that helped bring out a large crowd pressing against the barricades on both sides of the street. The area is now illuminated with sodium street lights, creating a color cast that actually made photography more difficult than in 2012. I tried both flash and available light shots taken with Nikon’s lower quality utility 28-300 mm f/3.5-5.6 lens and with my better quality 24-70 mm lens. I brought along a 70-200 mm lens that I really should have used for better quality telephoto shots, but, squeezing against the barricade and trying to get clear shots in the middle of the crowd, I relied mostly on the 28-300 mm lens. Many of the shots were taken at ISO 10,000 or 12,800 (with subsequent noise reduction using Topaz Denoise AI). As I processed the photos, I realized that, in many cases, I should have zoomed in further to reduce cropping.

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