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Photographing a Parade

By Chris Corradino on September 22nd, 2010
New York Institute of Photography: On Location

As part of the NYIP On Location videos, this installment of our series shows photographers at work. The series is designed to demonstrate to NYIP students and other interested photographers the best way to handle different types of situations. Memorial Day and Veteran's Day are the two days of the year when we remember those who served, and those who died or were injured in service to the United States. Chris's video will give you lots of ideas about how to photograph parades and observances that will take place both on Veteran's Day and Memorial Day. In recent years, honoring our veterans has taken on a new dimension with the many men and women returning from duty in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

This is my salute to the men and women in uniform serving both at home, and abroad. I thank you for your service, and appreciate all you do. Photographing these heroes amongst thousands of spectators was a true honor, and one I won't soon forget. All of the images were taken at the 2009 Veteran's Day Parade in Manhattan.

As detailed in this video filmed by NYIP Web Guru Alex Baker, I had two lenses, a 17-40mm, and a 70-200mm. The telephoto proved to be much more effective at filling the frame with interesting subjects and details. At a big parade, access can be limited due to thick crowds, and curious bystanders. To get a better perspective I stood on street benches, and lamp posts. I wore sneakers, and hustled up and down the parade route to capture all of the action. When possible, the Zoom H2 field recorder worked well to gather quality audio from the parade. The Flip video also came in very handy when I had a brief moment to speak with Mr. Bill Toledo, one of the surviving members of the legendary Navajo Code Talkers, who transmitted messages our World War II foes couldn't crack.

I hope you enjoy the video, and find some helpful tips in my approach to photographing a parade.


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