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

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