How a Bird Shooter Shoots the Rose Parade
New Year’s Weekend I had planned to do some bird photography on the coast, but as it turned out a series of technical mishaps made me stay close to home without a whole lot to do. Since I had only a laptop computer available to me (that only had 12 Gb available storage left on it), I was really limited in how many images I could make.
Rather than do nothing, I gave myself a neat little assignment, photograph the Grand Daddy of all parades. The Tournament of Roses, but with a few conditions. First, it needed to be bird themed. Second, because of security, long lines, shuttle buses, crowds, and bag checks, I decided to take only gear I could carry on my body. Third, just to make it interesting, only one 1gb card. I was shooting like it was film.
I took 1 body, 2 lens (50 1.4 & 17-35 2.8), sb600 flash, polarizer filter, extra batteries.
In the end there were plenty of bird theme floats, actually a lot more than I was able to photograph, and it was a very fun and interesting day.
Oh Yeah, the best secret to successfully photographing a parade, in my opinion, is to not shoot the parade but rather do it before or after. It is really impossible to get good shots during the parade. Save that time for family and friends, maybe get a few reference photos of marching bands etc., but save your serious close up work for a time with less confusion. In the case of the Rose Parade even the post parade viewing was host to several hundred thousand people. Here is a link to a few of the photos I took.