Sunday, 20 May 2012

NYC's United We Dance Parade With The X Pro-1



All Photos ©2012 Tewfic El-Sawy (Click To Enlarge)

Serendipity was the reason I stumbled on New York City's 6th Annual Dance Parade yesterday.

Barricades and police presence around St. Marks Place can portend a lot of things these days, but when I was handed an announcement for United We Dance, I suspected I'd have a good time. This was corroborated by a woman standing besides me who predicted I'd also get fantastic photographs.

I only carried my Fuji X Pro-1 fitted with the Fujinon 18mm f2.0, and since the barricades had been erected along the route of the parade, I wasn't sure it'd work with such a short range lens. I was on the verge on hurrying back home and get my Canon 5D MarkII and the 70-200 f2.8 that serve me well in such events....but as the police seemed to not be in the mood to restrict photographers, press affiliated or not, I chose to stay and ignore the barricades.

 It worked.

Naturally, I had to compete with other photographers who had the "appropriate" gear,...DSRLS mostly with long zoom lenses, but I had reasonable access to the dancers as they performed. I chose a spot on 8th Street that was in the shade (the other side of the street was very sunny), took a reading off the asphalt, and kept my camera's setting at 1/500 sec and an aperture of f2.0 (for a shallow DOF).

In a way, it was both frustrating and liberating to shoot with the X Pro-1. I was frustrated in not having the 70-200 lens (or even a 24-70mm) with me for some close portraiture of the gorgeous dancers...and frustrated that the X Pro-1 seemed to 'oversleep' sometimes. I probably missed about 4-5 photographs because the X Pro-1 didn't respond as quickly as I wanted. Its AF also seemed to be confused  in some situations.

The liberating aspect of having the X Pro-1 is that it forced me to be close and personal with the dancers.   Its size makes it so much easier to be unobtrusive, although the dancers were eager to be photographed, so stealth was a little difficult.

The JPEG photographs were processed (minimally) in Photoshop.