Parade Shooting

If there’s one thing I’m learning about photography, each shoot is different and presents unique challenges from the one before.  In some ways, it reminds me of when I went through what I’ll call “my triathlon phase.”

I thought I would be able to do a triathlon and look at my times and compare them to the previous triathlon to see if I’d improved.  In reality, there were so many variables from one event to the next that there was never a good comparison.

Unlike triathlons, I don’t spend hours every day training only to be left exhausted, run down, and incredibly sore.  Perhaps this is why I don’t feel so discouraged when I come away from a shoot and feel like I’ve backtracked instead of making progress?

Shooting the Mainx24 Parade presented several challenges.  First, the parade started at 11AM on a wonderfully sunny day just when the light was getting really hard and bright.  Adding to the challenge, the parade participants marched with the light mostly behind them.

In addition, a parade is somewhere between a portrait shoot and an action shoot–the people are moving at such an incredibly slow speed that you think you have plenty of time.  Yet, with each step forward, the light changes, the people rearrange and get closer–just when you think you’ve figured it out, they have their backs to you.

To further complicate things, I’d decided to try shooting with two cameras for the first time.  I had my 70-200mm on my trusty old 40D and my 24-70mm on my 5D Mark III.  I haven’t shot with my 40D in so long that I had to get out my glasses to find the on button!

I took a tripod to simplify dealing with two cameras.  I set up my 5D on the tripod–I would likely have knocked myself unconscious in front of an oncoming horse if I were juggling two cameras.

I found the tripod had an additional advantage.  It allowed me to create a space to shoot in that most people respected–they tried to stay out of my shots for the most part.  Of course, when candy was being thrown to the children, all bets were off.

However, it was also restrictive and unnecessary give the shutter speeds I was shooting at.  On the flip side, I did pop the camera off the tripod from time to time, so it wasn’t like I had to use it.  I’m on the fence as to whether its advantages outweighed the difficulties.

The images in today’s gallery were all shot with the 40D.  I probably should have put it on the tripod and panned with people.  MIght have made for some better images.

In the end, this was not a banner day.  But, it was fun and I met a couple of other photographers in the process.

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3 responses to “Parade Shooting

  1. Pingback: Let Your Colors Burst | nomadicmainstream

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