Saturday, September 18, 2010

West Indian American Parade

Photographing parades can be pretty tricky.  On the one hand subjects are generally plentiful, and joyful expressions and colorful costumes make for great shots.  On the other hand when a parade is extremely crowded pushing and shoving tends to win out in the crowd and you have to fight for every shot you get.  The West Indian American parade that rolled through Brooklyn on Labor Day was more heavily weighted toward the latter.  

I started the afternoon at the end of the route, hoping to catch shots of the paraders in the final stretch.  Unfortunately after about an hour and a half of waiting only a few groups had managed to make their way to my position.  I walked about a mile up the route and figured out pretty quickly that disorganization was causing problems not just for the marchers, but for the viewers as well.  Directors were doing their best to communicate the proper order to marchers, but much of the instruction they were calling out was contradictory, and the frustration started to show on the faces of the beautifully costumed participants.  

As the crowd was particularly heavy I ended up getting the shots I wanted by standing on barricades and shooting blindly.  Having experienced my share of Mardi Gras parades I'm pretty accustomed to dealing with crowds, however, despite a heavy police presence crowd control was less than efficient.  After about four hours of shooting I ended up with some shots that I really love; these are my favorite shots from the day. 

Television: True Blood

Friday, July 9, 2010

A Visit to Spandex World

I saw Spandex World yesterday on my way to work and decided to come back and get a shot of it today. The weather was beautiful so I got off the train early and walked up. With the rain coming tomorrow it was great to get out and enjoy the sun. I think I saw 90 percent of the fabric they sell in Spandex World the week before last on marchers in the pride parade.

Music: Depeche Mode - Some Great Reward
Film: Casino

Monday, July 5, 2010

Happy 4th of July

New York City likes to do everything big, and 4th of July celebrations are no exception.  Yesterday I headed over to Hoboken, New Jersey on the PATH train around 12 noon in order to snag a good spot from which to view Macy's fireworks display.  In all more than 40,000 shells exploded over the Hudson River from several barges lined up along the west side. The day was clear and beautiful; perfect conditions for photographing the festivities.  As I was along the river for about 10 hours I was able to watch the set up and enjoy pretty spectacular views.  Here are some of the highlights of the afternoon and evening.  


Every year in June New York City is home to the NYCPride festivities. The oldest of its kind, the New York City Pride march has been an annual tradition since 1970. Marchers stepped off at noon on June 27th from 36th street and 5th avenue and made their way down to the route at Greenwich and Christopher streets.

There was more than a little skin on display along with elaborate costumes that drew cheers from the crowd of more than a million spectators. Among the marchers were LGBT community organizations like the Human Rights Campaign, churches, corporate sponsors, FDNY, NYPD, and many more. Having arrived early I managed to find a pretty great spot from which to photograph the parade as it made its turn onto Christopher street near the end of the route.

For me, parades are as much about the characters in the crowd as they are about the purpose of the parade itself.  I recognized a lot of faces among the marchers in the pride parade that I had seen at the Mermaid parade the week before.  These are some of my favorite shots from the afternoon.

Music: TiĆ«sto - Magikal Journey (The Hits Collection 1998-2008)
Film: Big Eden

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Coney Island Mermaid Parade


Every year Coney Island USA puts on the Mermaid Parade to celebrate the beginning of the Summer Season on the Coney Island Beaches.  The whole experience was fantastic.  Having spent so many Mardi Gras in New Orleans I was surprised by how much fun the Mermaid Parade was in comparison.  The ladies and gentlemen coming down the boardwalk ranged from scantily clad to in full drag and everything in between.  Here are some of my favorite photos from the festivities this year.  Because the parade is a trademark of Coney Island USA none of these images are available for sale as prints.