…in part, presumably, because gay marriage is legal and homosexuality seems to be more widely accepted. You certainly won’t see any military floats at pride parades in the States, but there they were at Vancouver Pride last Sunday, along with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, numerous government officials, the border patrol, and much more (above is Miss Greater Vancouver – who apparently sees things a bit differently from, say, the former Miss California). Also, where most pride parades in the States that I’ve witnessed have been heavy on the G in LGBT, the LBT part seemed to get a solid percentage of the attention at this particular parade.
I used my D700, 24-70/2.8, and a 105/2.5 AI-S manual focus lens borrowed from my brother. Ideally I would have had my 80-200/2.8, but I decided not to bring it on this trip to save weight while traveling. If I’d known I was going to have the opportunity to shoot a parade, I definitely would have stuck it in my bag. Oh well. The 105 served decently for a few shots (like the two shots above), but I’m so out of practice with using manual focus lenses in fast-action situations that I ditched it in favor of the zoom after only 20 minutes or so. If my D700 had a split prism focusing screen it would have been different, but… it doesn’t.
So, 24-70 it was, and unfortunately I wasn’t often able to get close enough to go very wide. So I have tons of shots taken at 70mm, at f/2.8 or f/4.0, trying fruitlessly to get some subject isolation. I just didn’t have enough focal length to get anything but a bunch of ugly, cluttered backgrounds. Damn. I uploaded a ton of photos to Flickr, but only because the subjects were so compelling that I think they’re fun photos, not because the photos are technically great or even anywhere close. Still, there were a few times that a parade participant got close enough to me to make things interesting:
As I mentioned in the previous post, during the tail end of the parade I was able to get onto the street and go wide. I still got massively cluttered backgrounds, but at least my compositions were better. As for the rest of my shots, here are just a few favorites, or check out the highlights set for a more concise version of the photoset linked to above.
There was an uncharacteristic heat wave in Vancouver the weekend of pride (really the week before), and lots of people – parade participants and spectators alike – were rather scantily clad.
Others, though, were seriously in costume (not that the dude above isn’t “in costume” per se!) and I can’t imagine how uncomfortably warm they must have been. There was even a guy wearing a full suit of metal armor (no joke), but I didn’t get a good photo of him.
“Public nudity is illegal” was clearly printed in the guidelines, but plenty of participants – and some spectators – apparently decided that public half-nudity isn’t covered by the law. I felt a little weird taking photos of naked people but most crowd members certainly didn’t seem to have any qualms :) One of my favorite photos has some incidental nudity – this woman was a spectator (as far as I know) but she was dressed up and totally into it, to the point that people in the parade were stopping to get photos taken with her. She hammed it up for me: