Jul 10, 2009

Failure is a learning tool... right?

I thoroughly enjoy parades, especially July 4 parades.  Being a patriotic American, it is fun to see some celebration of our country.  I will not bother to rant here about the lack of knowledge of our great history amongst our citizenry, because I would only show my own ignorance.  

Photographically, parades are a bit of an overload.  My goal for shooting at the Kaufman, TX (my other hometown) parade was to pre-visualize a shot, and then make it happen.  Here is how that played out.  The good news is that I have plenty of time to practice between now and the next parade.

It was a very bright Saturday morning.  People were hanging out in shady spots, so I found a spot where the trees also shaded the road, with the idea of evening out the exposure.  

Sitting on one side of the street were two ladies and a boy, all with American flags.  Perfect!  Mom and son waving flags at passing parade..  perfect photo op.

At the front end of the parade, the newly re-elected mayor Dr. Bill Fortner cruised by in a convertible.

Take 1.  How many times have I said "pick a good background" on this blog?  Lots.
Sooo,  I should have found another shot and moved on.  Add to the busy background the white of the shutters, and the camera's meter has me underexposing the shady spots that I looked so hard for.
Take two..  Flag over face..
Take 3..  well, at least you can see the mayor and it even tells you on the car who he is.  

Next up is the County Clerk, in a wonderful classic red Ford truck.  Still with the metering issue uncorrected, and I'm not really sure what I focused on, maybe the bricks of the house.  Focus is sort of important, you know?  Total snapshot failure with pretty colors.

I took some time to review at that point and saw that the house was just too much, but I still wanted to get something decent from the situation.

One of my favorite things to do is motion blur with slow shutter speeds, so I set Shutter Priority mode (Tv) to 1/10 of a second, and waited for the next float.  Of the five images I took this way before heading up the street, this was my favorite.
I like the waving flags, motion of the float and feel of the photo....   but I can't do anything about the very distracting background.  Next year, I will take my own advice.

My favorite shot from the morning came before the start of the parade as the folks from B&L Farms got their big green wagon ready to go.  There is a lot going on in this photo.. it really puts you in the atmosphere I think.  

You can also get an idea of the mule's feelings about being dragged out to go parading through town on a hot July morning.

Now think up a picture, then go make it.. you will definitely learn something, even if it doesn't turn out like you wanted.

Happy Shooting,

don j

No comments:

Post a Comment