Leeds Pride

Yesterday saw Leeds Pride march down the HeadRow in Leeds in all its multicoloured gay glory.

Jack Sparrow 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.Free Hugs

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.

Jesus Loves you...

04082013-DSC 9640It 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.

Ripley Show 2012

Sunday the 12th August saw the Ripley show in all its glory. Overcast, yet hot the conditions where great to get out with my camera.

Chase the Boar race was the firsrt event I saw, a 10Km run around the estate, and not a easy 10Km either. The racers gathered for the off, in the sweaty heat of the day.

And their off by Michael Thompson (mikethompson) on 500px.com
And their off by Michael Thompson

It was a good 15 mins before the first of the runners got back, with a commanding lead over the rest of the runners. It was such a long time, I thought he had disposed of the others.

Untitled by Michael Thompson (mikethompson) on 500px.com
Untitled by Michael Thompson

Center ring is where they do the judging, mostly horse based events, and the crowds to the end of the day where centerd there, mostly around the beer tent strangely enough 🙂

Feet tired, I sat down in the shade of the trees by the lake, and watched dogs chasing sticks and jumping into the water. Some very acrobatic dogs who clearly loved the water. Switched the camera to shutter priority and auto ISO, as it was quite gloomy and only having a 70-300mm f/5.6 on the camera. Minimum shutter speed at 1/800 of a second to try and freeze the dogs jumping. Didn’t quite work, as the dogs where moving faster than that and I got a little motion blur on a few of the images, but nothing to bad.

Untitled by Michael Thompson (mikethompson) on 500px.com

Untitled by Michael Thompson (mikethompson) on 500px.com
Untitled by Michael Thompson

I love to watch people, hence my love of street photography, and the best people to watch are Judges at country shows, The sheer concentration on their faces, the concern, they cycle through a range of facial expressions.

A lot to lean my dear by Michael Thompson (mikethompson) on 500px.com

One of the judges appeared to be teaching a young girl, on what to look for in heavy horses. His face said a lot, disappointment, disbelief. As if she should know what to look for as he explained it a million times.

From the heavy horses, we went onto the Carriages. Some classics round the ring, gorgeous jet black horses.

Untitled by Michael Thompson (mikethompson) on 500px.com
Untitled by Michael Thompson

And that was about it for the day, and I decided to head home with a full memory card.