Sunday, November 11, 2018

Dia De Los Muertos

I attended the Dia De Los Muertos celebration in Redwood City simply because I was on the peninsula anyway, and having never photographed the event, decided to drop by. I arrived late for the event (scheduled time 4:00 pm, arrival time 4:20 pm) thinking this would be a walk-around hunt for photos. It turns out it was a stage show, and as a late comer, had to take a third-row orchestra position, meaning I would have many heads to shoot over. In addition, it was getting close to sunset and the stage was a mixture of direct, low angled afternoon sun and open shade. I followed my own advice of keeping my subjects "all in" the shade, or "all out", meaning afternoon sunlight.

I decided that I would limit myself to two Fuji lenses: my go-to 10-24 F 4.0 and my 50-200 variable aperture zoom. I thought I'd have a chance to move in our out if I needed a lens between the 25 and 49mm gap my lens choice created. Stuck as I was in the mosh pit of spectators, I could  have tight close-ups or wide angle vistas, but nothing in between. Add to that the constant movement of the dancers and you find yourself really wishing for the faster predictive auto-focus provided by my heavier but more responsive DSLRs, but a choice is a choice, and my shoulders were thanking me for choosing a lighter kit. The sharpness of the opening shot of this post was because my subject was stationary, making it easier for the camera to lock focus.

I continued to make satisfactory, but unsatisfying, photos of the performers. I left after an hour of shooting, concluding that a number of these photos would do, but none jumped out at me.

1/8 second, F 5.6, ISO 1600
Just as I was leaving, I decided to try to make one last photo, much as a fisherman decides to cast out his bait one last time before quitting. With the lit trees and the fading skyline as a background, I photographed these two sisters using a flash bounced from the walls of a convenient food kiosk. This was a photo I could live with, and shortly afterward, went home.