Photo Opp: 2015 New York Puerto Rican Day Parade

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If you’re into red, white and blue, the Puerto Rican parade is your thing. Sunday, I spent once more several hours amidst the Puerto Rican crowds with their colorful flags, clothing and national pride to photograph the annual parade marching – dancing, actually – up Fifth Avenue in New York.

Last year, I wrote at length on how to photograph this parade and what to keep in mind. Most of that stands unchanged. If anything, this year the sun bearing down on the avenue made photography even more interesting or challenging, depending on your take.

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I found myself looking for shadows of dancers, whenever the sun was out. When a cloud moved in front of it, I sometimes missed a nice opportunity, but at the same time was relieved by the temporary shade.

The main difference this year was that I started at the very beginning of the parade, both in time and in location. [Read more…]

Shooting 2014 Fall Foliage in New York’s Catskills

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Spent the last few days driving around in the Catskill mountains of New York state, searching for opportunities to capture this year’s fall foliage colors. This is a quick update on my experiences, so that others planning to travel to the Catskills can benefit from them.

I’m by no means an experienced fall foliage shooter. I actually don’t really have ‘anything’ with trees. I like wide open landscapes and low skies. That must be my Dutch heritage. With trees, I just tend to think they’re in the way. Give me one tree on a hill over endless forests, at least when I have a camera in my hand. Otherwise, I do like that all those trees clean the air for us. Anyway, I’m not a natural at this, but I tried my best.

[Read more…]

Photographing New York’s 9/11 Tribute in Light

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It’s 9/11, a date that will never be free from the horrible memories of the terrorist attacks that killed almost three thousand people in New York, Washington DC and the fields of Pennsylvania.

Every year, the Municipal Art Society of New York commemerates the tragic events with its Tribute in Light, eighty-eight 7,000-watt xenon light bulbs aimed at the sky in a way that echoes the shape and orientation of the Twin Towers. The memorial reaches four miles high and is the strongest shaft of light ever projected from earth into the night sky.

Each year, numerous photographers gather with their tripods to capture this amazing sight.

Actually, the lights are tested briefly on the nights before 9/11, so a few of this year’s photos have already been shown on the web.

The lights will be on from dusk to dawn, but will be turned off for brief periods to prevent migratory birds from becoming disoriented.

The weather forecast calls for thunderstorms early in the evening and partly cloudy skies afterward.

The Municipal Art Society publishes a list of good viewing spots. There’s also a discussion on DPReview about where to go.

 

Image by Greg Chow via Creative Commons

 

Photo Opp: 2014 New York Puerto Rican Day Parade

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So, I did go and take pictures of the Puerto Rican parade Sunday. With almost 1400 shots, editing them down becomes quite a job. More about that in the next post.

My selects are below, intertwined with my impressions from shooting the parade. Hopefully, my experience is of some use to photographers planning to cover this or other festive parades in the future.

The crowd loved to be photographed. A little girl looking bored, pepped up and struck a cute pose the moment she noticed my camera pointed at her.

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You’d think I’m a popular guy, because every time I steered my camera toward the crowd, I got cheers and kisses thrown my way. People would call me over to be photographed. Only one time did a guy refuse to have his picture taken. He was a tough-looking guy with bright red sunglasses and a bright red bandana. Admittedly, I was right in his face, because it was extremely crowded. Still, it would have made an interesting shot.

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[Read more…]

Pentax K-3 Review – It’s Good, Buy It, Unless You Don’t Need It

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Pentax K-3 with Pentax-DA 40mm f/2.8 Limited – 1/100, f/6.3/ ISO 1600

I don’t really like to beat around the bush, so I spare you a lot of reading if you want to know my conclusion: the Pentax K-3 is a truly capable camera, probably the best of the APS-C DSLR bunch. Probably, because your humble reviewer doesn’t have enough experience with modern-day APS-C DSLRs to go beyond that qualifier.

That’s it. If you like Pentax and you want or need to move up from your current Pentax, buy it. If you like top-quality DSLRs that deliver a lot for a reasonable price and you don’t insist on full frame, buy it. If you rather have smaller top-quality lenses than the ones Canon and Nikon produce on a body that performs admirably, buy it.

So, there you have it. I’m done.

Kidding. [Read more…]