PHOTO SET: New Orleans Vietnamese Lunar New Years Celebration


New Orleans Vietnamese Lunar New Year Celebration – a day of documentary photography.

The Vietnamese New Year (Tet) is the biggest celebration in Vietnamese culture. Each year the Mary Queen of Vietnam Church in the New Orleans East neighborhood holds a three-day celebration of it’s unique culture, food, and traditions.

The event features food, carnival games, dragon dances, concerts and other surprises to celebrate the Lunar New Year and ancient traditions of Vietnamese heritage. Many Vietnamese resettled in America as the Communist regime took over and many of these families settled in South Louisiana.

In the immediate Post-Katrina landscape, this exact Vietnamese community were resilient in rebuilding, connecting, and strengthening their neighborhoods and resettling efforts. I actually live about 5 miles from this community so I decided to strap on my Black Rapid RS Extreme Sport, Canon 5D Mark III and my Sigma 50mm 1.4 and see what I could see. I wanted this document to be simple, effortless, and fit a vision I had of telling the story through a particular “eye”.

Choosing 1.4, and 1.8 on my aperture, I could adjust my shutter speed as I went in and out of the harsh sun/shadows contrast on this day. I had on my Circular Polarizer to help knock down the exposure since I wanted to shoot at 100 ISO and such a wide aperture. I really could have used my 4x Neutral Density Filter though, I never got to use my speed light…next time!

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