Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Grand Parade

Fourth of July; Northside; Cinncinnati; Parade; Flag; Classic Cars
©David Sorcher 2010

Everybody loves a parade, right? The marching bands, baton twirlers, floats and costumes, classic cars and hand-shaking politicians...well, maybe not the politician part. 
I must say that there is no parade i look more forward to than the Northside Fourth of July Parade. We take a certain pride here in Northside (that's in Cincinnati in case you are not from around here) in presenting one of the most eclectic, wacky and weird Fourth parades around. It's not that we don't have the usual patriotic flag waving (see photo above), but perhaps we just don't take ourselves quite as seriously as some and our parade provides plenty of room for the left-wing and underground elements that thrive so well in our little off-beat community. 
Fourth of July; Northside; Cinncinnati; Parade, Bodybuilder
©David Sorcher 2012

I usually shoot this parade as a personal assignment so my approach is a bit casual since there is never any pressure to get "THE" shot. Still, i guess i always hope to anyway. I shoot it most years and on the occasions when i have chosen to leave the camera at home that decision has generally been accompanied by regret. It is true that we do often get the "usual suspects" marching along the avenue every year, like our bodybuilding friend above, but there is always something new to see. This Thursday's parade should be interesting as we have a bit of celebrity scheduled to appear. Gabby Giffords will be in town and apparently made a specific request to march (i guess they've heard about us even in Arizona). This should draw more people to the parade and probably a bit more security so i'm not quite sure how i feel about it yet.

Fourth of July; Northside; Cinncinnati; Parade; Band; Marching Band
©David Sorcher 2012

Most years i stake out a spot near my friend house, for the friends and party of course, but also for the fun shots i can get at marchers cool off in the walk-through sprinkler system he sets up every year. 

Fourth of July; Northside; Cinncinnati; Parade; Band; Guitar
©David Sorcher 2012

Advice for those serious about shooting parades; don't try to shoot them as a spectator from the sidelines. You will rarely get any good shots that way. Step into the action. Confront the parade. March along with it, back-peddle as you shoot it. Swim upstream a bit, then drift back downstream with a section you find interesting. You may have some trouble doing this if you are un-credentialed in something like the Macy's Thanksgivings Day Parade in NYC, but in a small town affair like this it is doubtful that authorities will kick you to the sidelines. One other suggestion. Remember that often both you and your subject will be in motion as you are shooting so use a higher shutter speed when you can to ensure sharpness. 

Fourth of July; Northside; Cinncinnati; Parade; Flag; Classic Cars
©David Sorcher 2013

So have a safe and happy Fourth folks. And if you are in the area come on down to Northside and we'll show you how it's done... ;-)
Oh and just for fun, a gratuitous shot of my wife at the after-party sucking on an ice pop. :-D

©David Sorcher 2012


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