Another year and another Halloween has passed us by. For the fifth year in a row I made my way into Manhattan for a photo journey around the Halloween parade. Me and a million other people.

I don’t actually go to the parade because Sixth Avenue, the parade route, is way too crowded to move around on let alone take pictures. My friend Bunche and I usually walk down Seventh Avenue to Christopher Street taking photos as we go. Then we set up on the cross street and get our own parade as everyone in costume walks by us to get to Sixth Avenue.

This year is was a washout photo-wise. It was pouring rain most of the time we were out which made photography especially difficult. Of course most Halloweens have been bad for me photographicly. On a nice night, which the last four Halloweens were, photography is difficult at best. I wasn’t really too disappointed that that I didn’t get to take many photos. Almost all of my Halloween parade photos have been awful and useless.

I’ve taken many street photos in Manhattan over the years. Most of them just sit on my hard drive but some of them I make into finished photos. More of them get used as reference material for drawings. But in looking back at four years of Halloween parade photos I realized I never once made anything out of any of them. I have not one finished photo that involves any of my Halloween pics.

It’s just a tough situation in which to take photos. Since it’s dark out and I’m on a crowded street I have two choices. Use a flash or hand hold and get blurs from long exposures. Neither is a great choice as my results show. I tend to like the blurry hand held photos better but I don’t need Halloween to take those. Halloween should be about taking interesting pictures of people in interesting costumes. Instead I get boring pictures. That’s life. Everything can’t be a critical success.

Aside from the photographic aspects of the trip I had a good time. I walked down Seventh Avenue with a few friends and we chatted and enjoyed the night. We were lucky that despite the rain it was an exceptionally warm night. It was in the high 50’s and at that time of year it could have easily have been in the low 40’s. That would have made for a miserable time. As it was I was quite warm despite being wet.

I was amazed at how crowded it was that night. It has gotten more crowded year by year but this year it was exceptional. Probably because Halloween fell on a Saturday night but I also think because of tourism. A lot of foreign languages can be heard in New York City on any given day but I hear more on Halloween than any other day. It could just be because everyone is on the streets that day but I think more and more people have been coming to New York from overseas just for Halloween. Lots of people like to play dress-up and Halloween in NYC affords them that opportunity.

The streets were so crowded that we couldn’t even make it to our usual spot. The parade was on Sixth Avenue but Seventh Avenue was so crowded that people filled up the sidewalks and we couldn’t get by onto the cross street. It was crazy crowded scene. Of course it didn’t matter because it was pouring rain and I couldn’t take picture anyway but, wow, that was a lot of people.

So there you go. Fun but no photos. Life is like that sometimes.