Yesterday saw Leeds Pride march down the HeadRow in Leeds in all its multicoloured gay glory.
I went out with a standard street kit, as the subjects I would be photographing where not really that far away from me, and the Parade its self was not hemmed in by barriers, so I was free to move about and get the better angles.
Up until 2pm, everyone was stuffed into Millennium Square, waiting for the parade to start. There was all sorts of people there, all interesting. I had a hard time taking my camera away from my eye 🙂 There was quite a lot of Police about, but they where enjoying the day, giving out candy, and having their photos taken with the kids. I saw one Police officer at one point do the YMCA, to the amusement of his colleagues. It’s good to see the Police engaging in events like this, instead of being aloof and above it all.
At 2 pm, the parade started, to the cacophony of whistles and drums galore.
The parade route was down the Headrow toward the main stage at Briggate, where Sophie Ellis-Bextor was due to play. I followed the parade down, on the opposite side of the road. Getting ahead of people I was getting in place on the traffic islands along the route, and crouching on the corners to get the shots. However, I committed my cardinal sin on a few occasions, I was so busy taking the images, I forgot to check and alter the settings on the camera a few times. I really need to stop and think sometimes.
It was good not to be hemmed in by barriers, and be able to move about through the parade, it makes a change as I am used to having to battle my way around the crowds to find the angles. I had taken my standard street kit, but most of the images, I used my standard 50mm, I switched to a 30mm once. I never used my 85mm at all. there was just no need for that extra reach. I had packed a flash. I took it out of the bag the night before to save weight. I really wish I had taken it now. By the end of the parade, the light had changed massively, rain clouds where acting as a giant shade and I had to boot up the ISO to compensate. A flash would have helped massively in these conditions. Oh well, cant be right all the time.
It was hard work, by the time I got down to Briggate I was knacked, but I was slap bang in the middle of the parade, and I could not get shots fast enough. So many interesting faces, where to point next? I was aware of the other photographers around me, but I was the one in prime place, and I loved it.
It was a great day, and I’m please I had the opportunity to photograph the event.
You can see more images, other on my ipernity album http://www.ipernity.com/doc/mikethompson/album/479779 with more being added as I work through the massive amount and edit them.