On Rosenmontag (the Monday before Mardi Gras), there is a huge parade in Cologne, rivaled perhaps only by the parades in Rio de Janiero or New Orleans. This year as last, I went into the city to get a feel for the day and make some pictures that exemplified it.
This man seems to have just stuck on a red nose in order to watch the parade from the grandstand. He's wearing a very modest costume: red jacket and nose, little black feather hat and a colorful scarf. The red nose and the cathedral in the background - along with a hint of a costumed friend near him - tell us where we are and what day of the year it is.
Once again I chose the cathedral as a backdrop for this couple who were having a very nice time up in the bleachers.
As I walked past these two lovers, I took several shots of their long kiss, my 100-300mm lens pushing the low end of its reach.
This group of teenagers seems to have had enough already - and it was only 3:30 p.m.
Another tell-all picture: I like the way the vertical lines of the cathedral's facade are repeated in those of the grandstand.
I love the way this woman has to concentrate on drinking her beer because of the big nose she's plopped onto her face.
I love the light and the expressions on these faces. I couldn't have gotten a better picture of them if I had had them in a studio for an hour! This is the type of facial gesture you can't get by saying, "Now pose for me!"
Here is the Deutzer Brücke from the other side.
After the party is before the (next) party for these two couples.
This man is wearing a hat typical of the people who go to the Sitzungen where political jokes are made for hours at a time. He seems to have caught many "Strüßje" (flowers) at the parade.
This may be my favorite shot of the day. I like the way the telephoto lens seems to make the cathedral appear close to the people on the steps. As tempting as it is to process this one in B/W to make them all blend in better, I like the colors too much to do away with them here.
I waited to take a picture of this "king" until I could get the umbrella in the background, too. I just now saw the lipstick left from the kiss on his cheek.
I followed these two lions along the Rhine for a while until they were aligned with the two spires of the cathedral came behind them. When I pointed that fact out to my son, he said, "Yeah, and the apartment house has two peaks and so does that round building." What an eye!
In the train station, the sunlight was streaming in nicely after 5 p.m. I think that's Justin Bieber (in the background!).