Sunday, March 24, 2019

Huh? What Did You Say? Ear Plugs?

The city of Millbrae held a Lunar New Year Parade this year. So far as I can remember, this is the first time that a Chinese dragon made an appearance, courtesy of the Mills High School Dragon Team, an event far grander than the usual Lion Dances used to bring good luck to grand opening of a Chinese owned business. In many cases, martial arts clubs will offer to perform the Lion Dance, complete with drummers and firecrackers, in exchange for a donation to a local charity.

In spite of the exaggerated perspective introduced resulting from a wide angle lens, you can get an idea of how many people are required. I found a You Tube clip of the Mills High School Dragon Team performing during the 2019 San Francisco Chinese New Year's Parade here.

Heavy Overcast Days: Shooting outdoors just before it starts to rain can be the worst possible lighting environment. All of the colors lose their saturation. I could have achieved better results if I positioned my flash farther from the lens axis (it was shoe mounted), but sometimes, when working so close to subjects who are trying their best to ignore me, it just isn't possible. I had to be content with just adding some visual content to the shadows, even when it wasn't really necessary.

Ear Plugs? Huh? I was standing about three feet from the drummer in the lead photograph. This is not the first time that I placed myself close to an enthusiastic drummer or overly ambitious woofer or tweeter. And while I regularly suffer from the incessant whine of tinnitus, I need to take steps to prevent my hearing from getting any worse. So I'm adding some disposable earplugs to all of my carry camera bags, just in case my next photo puts me next to something really, really loud.

The little plastic container is a GI surplus case issued to the troops for carrying their own earplugs for use during marksmanship practice. The handy chain will allow me to attach it to any available strap where they will be seen, and used. It will easily hold two pairs, just in case Cissie needs some protection, too.

For those of you who don't have the need to have a dedicated plastic case, hardware stores often sell foam earplugs sealed in plastic and packed in pairs. This is a much better solution, so long as you can keep them from getting crushed at the bottom of your kit bag!