Started off as an attempt to complete the second half of a project I had already begun.
This involved meeting up with a martial arts school I had already started shooting a few weeks prior.
However, this was most difficult because I missed the rendezvous at Columbus Park before they had to go parade the Chinatown. The excitement & chaos of the parade conditions would prove this to be an impossible task.
After much searching, on both sides of Canal St. & The Bowery, I never was able to find them in the bacchanal.
What follows, though, are the moments that found & captured me along the way...
This is my first experience trying to capture a human event on this scale. So the first task was trying to figure out how to best setup to capture the day. I had my trusty FujiFilm X70 which has a fixed 18.5mm f2.8 (28mm FF equiv), & my lovely FujiFilm X-T1 with 3 XF lenses. The 16mm f1.4, 35mm f1.4 & last, but far from least the 56mm f1.2 (24mm, 50mm & 85mm FF Equiv respectively, & roughly speaking).
The below gallery shows images from the X70, 16mm, 35mm, & 56mm. in that order
The Set up - Due to its size, my FujiFilm X70 is my daily constant companion. Always found tethered to my wrist via a beautiful black leather Gariz strap, or close by in a jacket pocket. My X-T1 hung from my neck via a comfortable nylon Jabra convertible neck/wrist strap.
I initially mounted the 16mm to my X-T1, but quickly realized that it was giving me a slightly redundant focal length as my fixed X70, though not as fast. From that point on I formulated a strategy of using the the X70 to capture subjects that are close by & entire scenes, while alternating between the 35 & 56 on the X-T1 for subjects a bit further off. This proved to work quite well, I felt like some sort of dual weapon wheeling photographic samurai.
The only real issue I faced was my own unpreparedness. I'd only had my X70 for a few days when I shot this project & had not yet received the extra batteries I ordered, so it died almost half way through the day.
I did bring a battery charger but, if you are familiar with these particular batteries, they don't charge very quickly, & my day was done before it had enough juice to continue with my dual wielding strategy.
The big surprise for me however was how much I loved the 56mm in this chaotic situation. Usually reserved for portraits, which it absolutely excels at, I found it quite rewarding to use on the street in this madness, but only at around f8.
I found I had a better chance of getting my subject in focus at this depth of field, considering the AF not being the strongest quality of the XtransII system.
The below gallery shows select images from the XF56mm f1.4
All in, this was a great experience for me. & although I never got to full fill my original objective of completing my project, I subsequently learned a lot about shooting an event like this as a result of not being committed to documenting a particular group.
There were so many moments to capture. Mostly energetic excitement, but even within the chaos you can find some very touching scenes.
The below sequence really moved me
I look forward to the next big parade or festival to try out my strategy for photographing chaotic crowds & situations.
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Til next time, please enjoy this gallery of images.
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