St. Patrick’s Day Parade: Stuck With One Lens

Here was my problem on the parade route: I was stuck in one position.  As it turned out, that position was too close. My 70-300mm lens was great for people on the far side of the road, but inevitably cut off people on my side.  And, given some circumstances, I couldn’t move to get a new lens on the camera.  So I made the best of it.  It’s a great photographic exercise to see the world at one focal length (or range of focal lengths).

It just didn’t take long before I noticed that every picture I took had the Dunkin Donuts sign in the background.  The person on the parade route the perfect distance from me at that angle was always passing by the friggin’ Dunkin Donuts sign.  I tried to wait for them to block the sign to take my pic, or wait till they walked a little further down, but that often meant getting an awkard profile shot, or getting the shot blocked all together by other parade revelers.

Looking back at the pics now, I see there was no choice.  I was standing across the street from a strip mall. If it wasn’t Dunkin Donuts, it was going to be the bowling alley.  If this were a serious assignment, I would have walked across the street and shot back, where the backgrounds would be far emptier.

I also noticed, after all was said and done, that even at 70mm, I was cutting off feet from parade walkers.  I should have cropped tighter in camera over their heads to keep their feet above the bottom line.  Argh!

St. Patrick's Day parade Pearl River NY Feet got cut off in picture

"Argh! My feet! What happened to my feet?!?"

Another lesson to learn: It was so bright out, the LCD was nearly useless. The only real solution to that is a Hoodman Loupe.  Just what I needed — another camera gadget.  One thing that I could see, even through the overhead sun, was the blinkies on overexposed images. That helped a little.

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