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Posts tagged “Halloween

Halloween 2


_DSC2701 copyThis seems to be an annual rite. There is a body artist, Andy Galub. He paints his half naked models on the street right before the parade. And hordes of photographers are right there with him. It is quite a scene. Lately Andy has been trying for more attention by painting in the middle of Times Square. I have not been in NY To witness the event but it makes for interesting interaction with the public and the police. Anyway it’s all strange but true.


_DSC3261 copyThis year will be the first Village parade I have missed since leaving NY. Last year was canceled because of Hurricane Sandy. There are a lot of participants and the avenue is lined 10 deep from Spring St to 23rd St. It’s a wild and crazy night. This couple got married right before the parade and like Cinderella rode a coach up the parade route.


Well, I’ve been to the Village Halloween Parade in NYC for the past seven years. Not this year… I didn’t realize it had become a tradition for me. The first couple times I went as pure spectator without a clue as to what to do. Then one year I wandered into the staging area. The NYC police keep everyone out. But it’s hard to tell the participants from the organizers. It’s chaos and therein lies opportunity. By the good grace of the organizer, Jeanne Flemming, I have been granted a press pass in recent years. It finally made me legal to wander. One of the unique things that happens in the staging area is Andy Golub and his entourage who engage in body painting. He never fails to draw a crowd. Naked women tend to do that. His work goes by so quickly during the parade, that it’s hard to believe the fuss. It’s dark and I would guess that many of the parade audience never notice that the costumes are just paint. In the staging area, the entertainment is the prep work that goes into high gear hours before sunset. The latest: It turns out that 2012 Superstorm Sandy has caused the cancellation of this year’s parade. So it looks like i didn’t miss it after all. You can’t have a parade if no one can get there to march and there’s no one to watch.


Ethereal. Don’t ask how I got this shot. Maybe the ghost just jumped onto the image sensor. Sometimes I don’t have any idea what the camera did to produce the image capture and especially what I have in this photo. It was one of the Village Halloween Parades. Mist, motion blur, halogen lighting, and a ghostly figure to the left are all that I see. How it came together is spooky. My best guess, rear curtain sync flash with a depleted charge on the battery.

Visual Dellusion

My first time at the Village Hallween Parade, I was cramped along the restraining rails. My elbows were pressed closely together as I tried to maneuver my camera for each shot. As the participants passed, most folks were looking forward and not at the spectators. To my surprise the crowd of marchers parted and for a moment, my subject turned toward my camera and I fired off a shot. I thought I had taken a picture of a naked woman. Please understand that it was dark. And the moment passed in a second. While the scene was brilliantly by my flash, it was a fraction of a second. Then we were in street darkness again. It wasn’t until I sat down to edit the images, that I realized what I had on the memory card. I didn’t know. What? Was it a body suit, just body paint, or what? Was it a woman? Was she Frankenstein’s wife? Oh boy, was I surprised to see his shot. Talk about gender issues!


Same parade, different time, there I stood waiting. On the sidewalk behind me along comes this would be parade marcher. “Borat!!” Ok, I’ve been living under a rock. I did not know the character. Sacha Baron Cohen, aka, Borat, is fairly well known. And now I know him too. But at that moment when I snapped this image, I thought that this man was just another demented New Yorker. Placate, don’t look them straight in the eye, and above all, keep something between you.


One of the things I look for is reflections. At least that’s how it seems lately what with tomatoes, pears, and oranges in other posts. The opportunity just comes up. In this photo from the Halloween shoot, everyone was to my right photographing the young model. I moved to the side of the car to catch her reflection in the auto’s glass. I came away with a different image. Maybe it’s not a better image but different.

Technical: Nothing was special here. I just let the meter do its work. Even with failing daylight a flash would have reflected bright spots off the auto glass.

More at Imaged Event (see sidebar).


Part 2: There were so many photo ops, you didn’t know where to turn your camera. (See also my other blog Imaged Event for more images.) So maybe it wasn’t so many people? The estimate on the website is about 60, 000 marchers. It literally took about two hours to get everyone onto the parade route. The director Jeanne Fleming says that she sees the parade through the eyes of the photographers who are there to record the event. Indeed, one person can’t be everywhere and the number of people moving and the size of the geographic space makes it impossible to even get a fraction of the parade and the costumes. There are many photos that get repeated. Some parade attendees wear the same costume each year. Some folks come early and are a photographic subject for all the photographers who otherwise would not have a subject. These early arrivals get a lot of attention. It’s chaotic. And, I guess it’s a little claustrophobic. But when you’re seeking out the next costume, the weather, the chill, the crowd and the noise are not too much of a deterrent. The parade organizers put the wedding party in front. Bringing up the rear, Occupy Wall St got a big crowd into the parade. It seems that they may have been making a statement again, but I’m not sure. Most photos don’t require explanation. But, there was this male nun dressed in lace women’s underwear…. The theme was ‘I’ of the beholder, hence, all the eyeballs.

More at Imaged Event (see sidebar).

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Wedding Day, Halloween

Rev Yolanda and Rev Glen were married in the midst of preparations for the Greenwich Village Halloween Parade. The location was the triangle below Spring St. With all the people in the assembly area it was hard to distinguish between guests and curious onlookers. After the ceremony the happy couple was at the front of the parade in a horse drawn carriage. Congratulations to the both of you. For me, it was another unexpected wedding encounter. (More at Imaged Event)

Halloween Body Art

I break down Halloween in parts because there were so many images. This post is mature for some folks. My other blog Imaged Events is definitely more detailed. Be warned. An artist named Andy Golub is a tradition at the parade. According to every other photographer, man and woman, they all recall this scene during the preparations for each parade. Photographers and spectators gather around with every manner of recording device, from camera to iphone to ipad. The girls are mostly different every year. They march in the parade, chill, warm up in the escort car, and emerge again to hand out promotional material. Each girl is body painted as artwork. The process takes time. Several photographers are officially designated to document the event. It’s weird, funky, and very New York. Yes, it’s perfectly legal according to local law. Mr Galub has done work in Times Square as well. His models have linked up with the Naked Cowboy (he’s in the Hurricane Irene post in my other blog) another Times Square icon.

So, when I arrived I did not realize that the girl in the colored T shirt standing in the middle of 6th Avenue between the traffic light change was body painted. But before you know it I had followed her and watched the fascinating process unfold. Many of these images were shot before the artwork was complete and the anatomy not so obvious any longer.

Technical: For the daylight shots, there was really no problem. The late afternoon sun gave some excellent light and shadow. As the light progressed to evening I had the ISO on my camera set to auto and the ISO got upward to 1600.

More at Imaged Event (see sidebar).

Gallery and slide show: (more…)

Halloween, Greenwich Village

The Village Halloween Parade. The parade has long since surpassed the narrow streets of Greenwich Village. It starts in Soho and  is conducted up 6th Avenue. I don’t know exactly how many people attend. But it is easily a  million. The avenue is lined with spectators six deep from Canal Street to 16th Street. There are as many marching participants as want to come down and get into the action. About as many people are along the sidelines and spill over into Greenwich Village. In fact some of the more interesting costumes have been on the side streets. I got there early this year. Finally! The girl in the picture is half naked and getting body painted. It’s a tradition, I guess. The group that organizes this seems to have new girls each year who submit to the arduous process of being painted in front of horde of photographers. It was chilly but not bitter cold like last year. Even so the girls were pretty chilled anyway. Well, what do you do to make a pretty half naked girl smile. Try this guy. He wandered onto the block with blood dripping and with a New York attitude. Yeah, she laughed. I just went over the images on a first pass to edit. There were 1659. I will whittle the number down to a more manageable few and then post more images here and on my other blog which was set up to do galleries. How did I pick this image? Just randomly, because there were so many and I usually don’t have a signature image with so many choices.

About half the images were shot with flash. My secret is to use a Quantum rechargeable battery. It recycles quickly so there’s no lag. And I ran up the ISO to 320 this year in order to extend the battery life. I didn’t trust the system so I bought along another battery and flash just in case. I could try off camera flash or a diffuser but it’s Halloween and the images with direct flash have an edgy feeling. And, that’s what it’s about.

More at Imaged Event (see sidebar).


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