Chinese New Year

The Chinese New Years was last week, so in usual New York City Sunday style there was parade going through Chinatown.

Before I get into the photography, I will like to mention that I particularly dislike these cultural parades. It’s not because of the crowds, but more so the series of commercial floats that having nothing to do with the culture the parade is the displaying, history, or community. It disgusts me. Fortunately there was enough cultural content to make this parade enjoyable.

The lens I carried:

    14-54mm f2.8-3.5
    135mm f2.8
    40-150mm f4-5.6

The 135mm would seem to overlap the 40-150mm, but I like the depth of field it provides and I find events like these an opportune time to practice manual focusing techniques.

One of the challenges that I came across was trying to capture the balance between light and shadow. Since the parade started a bit after 1 o’clock, the sun started to shift behind the buildings quite early into the parade. Yet, at the same time I believe it assisted in creating some interesting shots as shown here.

I also have a habit of shooting into the sun. Perhaps it’s an addiction to lens flare, a tool I used too much in my early days of graphic design. Nevertheless, there is something about the clear blue sky exposed against the contrast of everything else that announces drama.

I also conducted what some photographers like to call “spraying and praying”. Albeit not a reliable technique and perhaps even frowned upon by certain photographer do to the lack of planned composition; however, if used strategically, capturing interesting images from interesting angles can be achieved that otherwise may not occur while looking through a viewfinder under a pressure situation.

For example, this low angled shot was achieved through a calculated series of spraying and praying. Although I did not know the exact frame of the shot, I could predict the angle, set the aperture (f4-5), and adjust the focal length to get close to desired result if I was looking from that angle (there are camera out there now that have swinging rear LCD live-view screens to frame shots in such situations). I would say that it works 50 percent of the time, but I rather have 50 than no percent in cramp, crowded situations.

I hope you like the shots and you check out 20 of the images over on flickr. Also, if you like reading this blog and my work, follow me on Facebook.

Take care and please keep reading.

(Side note: I haven’t forgot about posting the review of the Vivitar 135mm 2.8 lens. The review should be up this coming Sunday)

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