Saturday morning, 10-04-14, time for the annual Jackson County Youth Fair Parade. It's a big deal in Edna, Texas. I get up early, load my gear and family and head to the parade staging area. I went early so I could get some BTS (behind the scene) shots before the parade started. Nice glaring white sunlight with no clouds in the sky. Perfect for a parade, terrible for photography. Not a problem for a pro, just slap ND filters on my lenses. (Neutral density "ND" filters are kind of like sunglasses for a camera.) Problem is, I can't find my ND filters. Not in my camera bag. Not in my pockets. No where. Must have left them at home. Well, I have my large 5-in-1 reflector/flag, but no assistant. And, there are horses in the parade. Horses tend to not like huge round discs flopping around. Nix the 5-in-1. Get to work.
All the images were taken with my Olympus OMD-EM5 paired with a Panasonic 35-100 f/2.8 zoom (equivalent to 70-200 mm on full frame cameras) or my Fuji X100S (35 mm full frame equivalent). I decided to shoot JPEG, not RAW. I did not intend to spend a lot of time post-processing, and both the EM5 and the Fuji produce excellent JPEG files with plenty of light. And I had plenty of light.
About half of the images in the galleries are SOOC (straight out of camera) and about 40% required some minor tweaks in Lightroom. The remaining 10% spent some time in my ICU. Everyone at the parade was great about changing positions, turning around, whatever they could to help me get the shots. I didn't have to explain much, as the participants were already having eye strain from squinting in the Texas October sun.
Once the parade was about to start, I left the staging area and headed for the parade route. I wanted to stay near the start to stay of the spectactors' way. I briefly went to the courthouse area to see if I could find shaded areas, but the sun was bouncing off too many storefront windows. Back to the start. At the parade start, I positioned so I could use the first open intersection of the route and have the tan brick Methodist church as a backdrop. That worked fairly well. Wish I had my ND filters. Then, as the parade neared the end, I remembered something. My Fuji has an built-in 3-stop ND filter! (What a dumb-#$$). I go menu diving on the back or my Fuji and engage the ND Filter. Knocking the bright sunlight down a few stops was a blessing, as I stood across the street from the church.
Parade over. Two couples who didn't want their pictures taken now want me to take shots of them. No problem. Even found some semi-shade and snapped away.
I dealt with some extreme outdoor lighting conditions. Plus glares and reflections. Hatchet lighting. Extreme back and side lighting. Broad light. Short light. Even some lucky Rembrandt-esque looks. But, that's what pros do.
I first round edited down to 731 images, then pared that to about 300 good and salvagable images. Post-processing was a mixed bag. I used Lightroom as my editor and post-processor. I had to use Photoshop on one image to get rid of some background elements. I had to render a few in black-and-white because to intense sunlight, shadows and strange relections. In the end, I only used one of the B&W's.
The images are posted in three galleries. The first gallery is the BTS of the participants in the staging area. The second gallery is of the parade and the third gallery is parade spectators.
You can use the images freely, with some limitations. NO commercial use, NO business use without a written license. NO printing from the shareable digital files. (My logo is on the images. I don't want my images seen from a cheap inkjet printer.) For the small prints you will need, click the "Buy" button. When you find you need a print larger that 5x7, call or email me.
You can share the images by using the "Share" button or clicking below the image on the Tweet, Google +, Pinterest or Facebook badge. You CANNOT cover or obliterate my logo from any of the images.
The Edna High School Cowgirls travelled to Vanderbilt to take on the Industrial High School Cobras in volleyball Tuesday, 09-30-14. There was a spirited turnout, as usual. Click the link for the images.