What a Colorful Life

It’s taken me a few weeks to cull through the photos I took at the Gay Pride festival in Minneapolis in June, but I finally finished. I whipped up this slideshow to showcase the ones I picked along to the soundtrack of Diana Ross singing “I’m Coming Out”…. appropriate, right?

Again, here was an event that I had made plans to attend with friends, and have done so in the past always wishing I had taken pictures. I’ve brought my camera before, but I never take any. This year has a theme to it, and I’m going to name it “DO IT”. This year I simply planned on taking the photos as my main assignment, and fun was secondary… although I knew full well that I’d have plenty of fun. I had to choose the friends I hung out with wisely for the festival, people who would respect and understand my “photo-centric” focus for the day, but in the end I was able to enjoy the festivities AND take some great shots during the parade. The only flaw this year was not being brave enough to shoot photos in the park where the vendors, booths, concerts,  and drag shows were taking place…. but in my defense, the parade itself was almost 3 hours long and I was exhausted and over stimulated trying to compose shots in the hot sun that long. I had contemplated shooting the whole week long to get a wider breadth of imagery, but that can be next years assignment (I just needed better planning).

I took along only one lens (which is never enough), and settled on taking my Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM. My logic was that it would give me great wide views of the parade from my limited “spot”. I really was jealous of the official shooters walking around amongst the floats and parade walkers getting up close and personal with multiple viewpoints, but I knew that wasn’t available to me this year. I still think I was able to pull of some decent shots, nevertheless. I chose not to bring a tripod to reduce how much I had to carry, and how much space I took up, besides it was a bright sunny (windy) day and wouldn’t have to worry as much about low shutter speeds. Set my ISO to around 100, f-5.6, and just fired away. I filled up a 4gb and a 2gb CF card just during the parade. Next time I’ll have to plan better and bring more storage, but I managed to erase a few shots in camera to make room as I went. I hate deleting things before I’ve have a chance to view them on my computer, but sometimes you just know when something is way out of focus or you didn’t capture the right moment.

One of the things I struggle with in my photography is pointing the camera at people I don’t know. Candid shots. Part of my assignment during Pride was to explore taking those social “event” type shots that retained a bit of my personal style and perspective. I didn’t want to just take shots that looked like someone else’s shots, but rather develop my own skills at telling visual stories. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m pleased with my start.

Hope you enjoy the slideshow I put together, and the campy music I used.


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