Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Assignment 2: Contact Sheets

Summer in Munich brings many different events, varying from street parties and beer festivals through to major sporting competitions and political meetings.  Another long standing tradition are parades that go around the cities old town ring road and then end at the city center for a concert/demo.  One of these, the Christopher Street Day parade, run in conjunction with similar events all over Europe and the world.  It is held in memory of the Stonewall Riots of 1969 that protested against police assaults on the New York homosexual community in Christopher Street.

The parade is an outrageous splash of vivid colour, noise and celebration of the gay community in Munich.  The parade was on the 17th July, just as I started to work on the photo's for the second section of the course.  My initial intent was to use the parade to test shooting with a 200mm lens, but once there I realized this would be an ideal place to work up images for the second assignment.

The parade went in a large circle around the city and moved quite slowly, meaning that I could shoot the whole parade as it passed by my vantage point, then run across the inside of the circle to set up again at another location and wait for the parade to come by once more.  This also gave me time to review the images as I shot and to swap lenses between wide angle and telephoto zooms.  The parade was also very inclusive, if you wanted to join in, no problem.  This meant that actually walking in the parade was encouraged and offered interesting angles for shooting.  Finally I was also working with a group of people who welcomed a photograph, camera shy transvestites are rare!  The challenge was more associated with avoiding too much participation in the shot.

As I needed to be mobile I carried a light weight selection of lenses, a 200mm f/2.8 prime, a 70-200mm f/4 zoom, and a 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom.  These went on my new Canon EOS 7D, perhaps an unwanted variable for a day shooting for an assignment.  The 7D with its crop factor and high speed shooting is a great camera for sports, nature, and for shooting moving targets at longish ranges, so a good choice for a parade. However, it was tough to learn a new camera and shoot an assignment, I would have been more comfortable with my tried and tested 5D, plus a 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom and 70-200mm f/2.8 zoom.  Still a workman should not complain about his tools and with the 7D I quickly picked the differences in control and function.

All in all I shot around 800 images over a period of about 5 hours.  I have whittled these down to 112 candidate images for the assignment and created the following jpeg contact sheets from them.  These sheets show the colour and variety of image I was able to capture.  Next task will be to start working through these and select about 20 images as the candidates for inclusion in the submission.  The submission needs to divide between telling moments and explaining the activity, I think these images have both in abundance, choosing the best will be hard.

The first two photo's are a colour and grey card target to ensure that I get consistent colour when doing the final edit.  The day was hot, but overcast so lighting was fairly consistent throughout.

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