"beads! beads! beads!" they said as they shambled toward the parade.
OK, so a couple of things I've learned from the Mardi Gras night shoot:
1. Bring a fast lens. I went with the slower zoom in hopes that I could frame my shots better. Bad plan -- the extra stops were needed. I wish I'd have brought the 50mm f/2 instead.
2. If you're shooting at a noisy iso speed/exposure, lose the color. There's some funky color in this scene that I could have caught with a faster lens, but the noise is really too much with the d3000 sensor at hi iso, a reasonable shutter speed and a slow lens. Post processing to B&W gives a better image.
3. Don't trust the LCD preview in low light. I knew I was underexposing, but not by how much -- the camera was making things much brighter than I would have liked in preview.