Colorful, Laskowitzpictures.com, Photographs, Pictures, Ray Laskowitz
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The Leader of the Pack


The parade leader.

The parade leader.

Even with a little better mobility, I still get stuck in the middle of second lines. I’m sure that will get better with time. But, for now, I take advantage of my positioning and just be part of the parade inside of the ropes and kind of away from the crowd of spectators. Sometimes it works out. Sometimes I pretty much am in danger of getting run over. I was fast enough last Sunday not to let that happen.

But, I did manage to make this picture. The orange version of the blue picture. Or, something like that. I wasn’t trying for that. It just happened. You really can’t plan this picture. Or, the other one.

Who is this guy? What is he holding? Well, he’s the flag or banner bearer. He is in the absolute front of the parade. He leads it. Not only does he walk in front of the second line, but he carries a pole with a huge banner with the name, date and other embroidered information on it. This thing weighs at least twenty-five pounds. Imagine carrying that for five or six miles. Imagine carrying that on a 95 degree day with the humidity hovering around 90%. You can’t imagine it. You can’t do it. I can’t do it. This is a strong dude.

Most of the participants in the parade — not the second liners — are pretty strong. They walk in costume, dressed to the nines, playing musical instruments and dancing. Think about that for a minute. If I sound like I respect them, that’s because I do. A lot.

Photographically speaking. I always photograph this guy, or one like him, full frame with the banner in full display. Here’s a tip. I’m old school. Even though I would probably never publish that picture, I do it as a way to identify my take. In the old days of film photography — and for some of us, right now — there was no data attached to every frame. So, we just took an identifier picture. Today, even with all the methods of metadata capture, I still do it to back myself up.

That subject leads me to another subject that is sort of related. In those days of yore when we shot film, we never threw anything away. We generally filed our negatives in strips of five or six. It was much easier to make a contact sheets and store the negatives. Not only that. We also learned from them. Especially from our mistakes. Trust me. I made a lot of mistakes. Sheesh. I still do.

Today, people look at those little itty bitty LCDs on the back of their cameras and start deleting the “bad” pictures. Huh? What can you see on those screens? Save every picture. Mass storage is inexpensive. Buy more SD or CF cards. When you download them at home or at the studio save everything. Study the outtakes. Keep your shoots together. Once again, mass storage in the form of external hard drives and cloud storage is inexpensive. Why are you hoarding space?

If you are blowing pictures so badly because of over exposure, under exposure or terribly out of focus pictures that you feel compelled to delete those, don’t. Save all of them. They’ll inspire you to learn how to use your camera, its light meter and histogram.

Technically speaking. Now that I’m very comfortable with scheduling posts, I was thinking about writing about a week’s worth and just scheduling them. Then, I thought about it. I thought about it again. I decided to save that for when I’m in transit and can’t really post. Because why? Storyteller is kind of organic. I’m influenced by things that happened in the previous 24 hours. It’s not exactly real time. But, it’s close.

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