Yesterday, I ventured into the city centre of Milan to capture some colourful and happy images of city’s annual Pride Parade with interesting results. With Italy being the home of the Pope/Vatican and all I wasn’t sure what to expect! Conservative? Yea right!
Preparing on which gear to take needed some thinking. I had the option of:
- Trusty 24-70mm
- Zoomy 18-200mm*
- Wide 10-20mm*
- Sharp 50mm
Like a soldier ready for war, I opted for two cameras (my Nikon D800 and older Nikon D7000). On my D800 I plugged in the super wide 10-20mm and on the D7000, the zoomy 18-200mm (cropped sensor so it’s more like 24-260mm). That way I pretty much had 90% of the angles covered. The 24-70mm is quite a heavy lens so decided to leave it at home.
Looking for simple & strong concepts
I was looking to avoid taking snapshots and constantly searched for simple concepts that newspapers/blogs can easily pick up on, such as the following:
Focusing on one person
In a large crowd, it’s tempting to take wide angle shots to show the chaos of the whole scene. They do have their place, but if you want really really strong shots, I recommend focusing on one person and getting a really close shot/crop, such as the following:
Keep in mind that going ultra-wide will distort your subject’s face. For best results, keep the subject in the middle of the frame. For another tutorial on using wide angle lens when shooting architectural photography (it’s ideal and most common use), click here.
For best results, squat down and shoot from below at <18mm, such as the following:
Using the zoom lens
Zoom lens came in handy in the following shots:
I have to admit that I found the zoom lens quite soft on the focus at times, even if there was more than ample lighting. I’ve asked Santa for a 70-200 F2.8 and I’ve tried to be a good boy this year…
Behind all the fun there are some serious messages that many of those attending wish to communicate. Italy, perhaps because of the Church, is still behind most Western European countries when it comes to LGBT rights. Capturing images of demonstrators holding placards are bread-and-butter editorials.
The obligatory same-sex kiss is another bread-and-butter editorial favourite. Wide angle and close up.
Unfortunately I couldn’t find two men kissing but I’m sure there were many occasions!
Time for me to hit the gym
Most gay men are in such good shape! I’m going to take a page of inspirational and start hitting the gym more regularly.
On that less than serious note, I’ll end this piece. Hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed shooting these! I’m off to France-Spain-Portugal next week so will be back with more updates.
I’m an eccentric guy on a quest to visit all corners of the world and capture stock images. I’m determined not to waste my life away as a corporate drone and have devoted five years to making it as a travel photographer and freelance writer. I hope to inspire others before it’s too late.
I’m proud to have written a book about my adventures which includes tips on making it as a stock travel photographer – Brutally Honest Guide to Microstock Photography
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