Shooting stock photos – 4th of July parade

Shot stock photos at Ypsilanti’s 4th of July parade, I just love 4th of July parades, I get all sorts of emotional and patriotic…  Here’s what I did right and what I’ll do differently next time:

– I researched the parade route, figured out a good place to park, got there early, played with camera settings. Went with ISO 100 since it was a nice sunny day, shutter priority with my shutter speed at 1/500 to ensure good focus.

– I used my 70-300 mm zoom camera to get close-ups but when I look at my photos few went beyond 100 mm, and you’ll see I missed some good shots because I couldn’t zoom out enough.  Next time I’ll stick with my 18-105 mm lens.

– I wanted to get some shots with the iconic Ypsilanti water tower, so I placed myself on the right side of the road and I did get some nice shots with the tower:

Fire department truck at Ypsilanti 4th of July parade 2014
Fire department truck at Ypsilanti 4th of July parade 2014

but being on that side of the street also meant that I ended up with more commercial logos in the background than I wanted on the close-ups:

Save the bomber plant supporters at the Ypsilanti 4th of July  parade, 2014.
Save the bomber plant supporters at the Ypsilanti 4th of July parade, 2014.

Luckily I was able to catch them after the parade and got a nice photo with the water tower in the background:

Save the Bomber Plant supporters at the Ypsilanti 4th of July parade, 2014
Save the Bomber Plant supporters at the Ypsilanti 4th of July parade, 2014

I was very nice and smiled and waved to everyone, and they waved back and would pause to get their photo taken:

Omega Psi Phi group at Ypsilanti 4th of July parade, 2014.
Omega Psi Phi group at Ypsilanti 4th of July parade, 2014.

Here’s where my zoom lens was a mistake, next time like I said, 18-105 mm…

Got some good shots of the Ypsi cheer team:

Ypsilanti High School cheer team at the Ypsilanti 4th of July parade 2014
Ypsilanti High School cheer team at the Ypsilanti 4th of July parade 2014

and of veterans:

Vietnam veteran at Ypsilanti 4th of July parade, 2014
Vietnam veteran at Ypsilanti 4th of July parade, 2014

Even this quite close-up one was only 70 mm, so I clearly didn’t need the zoom, should have switched back earlier…  Live and learn…

People will give you every chance to give you a nice photo. This was my 4th try at this guy, other participants kept getting in the way:

Parade participant at Ypsilanti 4th of July parade, 2014
Parade participant at Ypsilanti 4th of July parade, 2014

again, though, note the crowded background – next time, other side…

Having gained confidence from people wanting to have their photo taken, when I was not happy with my shots of Debbie Dingell, who is running for her husband’s position in the US Congress, I ran ahead and tried again and asked “Mrs. Dingell, can I have a photograph?” and she paused for me:

Debbie Dingell at the Ypsilanti 4th of July parade
Debbie Dingell at the Ypsilanti 4th of July parade

Note I was on the other side of the street with trees in the background… I’ll go with this angle next year…

So to recap:

– What I did right:  Good research, good camera settings (ISO 100, shutter priority at 1/500), good shots with iconic water tower, friendly attitude, nice close-ups.

– What I’ll do differently next year:  Alternate to other side of street for cleaner background, go with 18-105 mm lens.

That’s the thing with photography, always learning… I’ll process the photos tonight and will report back on Shutterstock results…

Susan
PS All the ones I submitted got accepted! You can find the collection here.

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