Monday, March 4, 2013

New York City: Chinese New Year Parade 2013 (Year of the Snake)

Last week, before my son's accident, I was retouching images and getting ready to post them here to the blog. Well, now that my son is improving and things are settling down back at home, it is time to get back to the photos.

These photos were taken on my trip to New York City, when I got a chance to shoot the Chinese New Years Parade with my good friend, Joe Dimaggio.

We got to the parade at 11am, to shoot the preparations. Even though the weather had been pretty good all week, this particular Sunday turned out to be a really cold and windy day. Not easy for a California guy to deal with 20 degree weather and 40 mph winds, but I bundled up and made the best of it.

It was a little comical watching these poor people trying to inflate balloons and keep them from blowing away.

About 45 minutes prior to the start of the parade, these two people came out in full costume and made perfect subjects for some portraits.

I photographed them from all angles, trying to key in on the beautiful colors and patterns of their clothing.

As they hopped in this amazing old car and prepared for their ride along the parade route, I got down low and shot this image of them. I used the Canon 24-105mm lens at 24mm to accentuate the long hood of the automobile.

Even the police were getting in on the photo opportunities.

At one point, I got down low to the car to see if I could get a photo of the two subjects reflecting in the front mirror. As it turned out, I could only get one of them at a time, but I still liked the angle and shot this photo.

Final preparations for the grand marshall.

The color guards moved into place as the parade was minutes away from starting.

There were lots of kids in the crowd...

...and the crowd was rather large. I was really happy to have parade credentials, so that I could move around freely to photograph, and not have to fight the crowds.

This guy came cruising up the parade route, before the parade started. I have no idea what he and his dog were doing there, but I found him humorous and shot this photo.

And then the parade started at 1pm.

For this shot, I held my Canon 5D Mark III low to the ground and, guessing at the composition, shot numerous frames to see if I could capture the flags from a unique angle.

As with most Chinese parades, there were lot of people with poppers and confetti.

The grand marshall made his appearance, now all buttoned up and ready to go.

Senator Chuck Schumer made his appearance.

I watched these girls marching towards me, and quickly decided that this would make a good slow shutter shot, to show movement in the flags, while trying to get a sharp shot of the girls. So...I slowed the shutter to 1/80 sec and waited for them to swing the flags around quickly.

And, you can't have a Chinese New Years Parade without the dragons! I waited for the head of the dragon to come close to me and grabbed this close shot. But, I really wanted something more interesting than this. I wanted to get a photo showing all of the people working the dragon and show it's length.

I waited for the dragon to pass by me, and then I held my camera as high as I could, and shot this photo over the crowd.

Knowing that I got the wide shot that I was looking for, I then ran ahead to get in front of the dragon once again.

The parade only lasted one hour, which was a bit of a surprise, but it was fun nonetheless. This last photo was taken towards the end of the parade, and it made me laugh. This one girl was smart enough to climb on a trash can to get a better view, high above everyone else. She was also nice enough to wear a bright red jacket, making her stand out from the crowd. And what does the sign say right above her? "No standing", but then again it was Sunday and there is also an exception sign for that!


EastVan Photography said...

Great shots Jeff, nice work. Parades are better to photograph than to simply watch in my opinion. Good to hear that your son is doing great by the way.

west side long term stay hotel in NYC said...

WOW!! The pictures are perfect.This seems to be a very special festival..

Anonymous said...

Jeff, The guy with the dog is a neighbor regular..He goes to all the parades in Manhattan. Great shots..Sorry I missed this years parade

Vernon said...

This is cool!