When there is no rain, there are a lot of opportunities for images. Look!? Place to place, there are images everywhere. I have realized that I must focus. Camera focus is automatic. No, I must concentrate upon the subject and the content of my image. Keep to one thing – color, pageantry, motion, detail….
It was a privilege to be at the event. We learn new things each time we attend. You cannot be everywhere at once. I wanted to feel like I got the essence of the event. I’m shy. At this event I was permitted to photograph, free to capture images uniquely showing people celebrating their heritage and culture.
I think I smiled the whole day. While I enjoyed my day job (neurosurgeon) and its challenges, I think I might have been a photographer if circumstances were otherwise. For me, this was a fun day.
I hate it when Colleen is right. She’s always predicting weather based on the weather report. When is the weatherman correct? Drat! Rain was predicted to fall right as the festivities began on Day 2.
And it did! Right on schedule. Right as predicted. When is the weatherman right?!
Uncanny! We went for pizza. Yes, we left. And, came back. The opening flag ceremony was just beginning. Few dancers were in attendance. Or, they were getting Chinese food? But the rains resumed – poured! There was a stampede to the exit.
Yup, raindrops… no one is getting their feathers wet. Do you wear your finest clothes in the rain? And, there was no audience.
“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
I am glad we were gifted with a spectacular Day 1.
Pageantry, color, people, costumes, politicians…. Colleen laughs and joins me reluctantly. I am drawn to the photo opportunity. We go. We learn. Images are everywhere.
Senator Carper showed up. I have not seen him for several years. Shocked. We were stunned by how old he looked. Stooped gait and cracking voice he had seriously aged since we saw him last time. Sad.
Color and pageantry were all around. Fun! We learned about dance, drums, and song. It was a grand day. I feel so fortunate to have attended.
Time has passed. 9/11 was more than 20 years ago. I remember the morning in New York City vividly. I was in my kitchen looking south toward the WTC and saw smoke rising. Soon enough the tragedy of the day unfolded as I shot slides from my rooftop as the buildings collapsed. I waited in disbelief as I waited for the buildings to reappear from the smoke. No building so massive could simply collapse. I am heartsick to this day.
Last year? Indian powwow. We attended. Had I forgotten 9/11? We were reminded amid the pomp and pageantry. A flag on a fire truck flew over the venue in tribute to the day and those we lost but have not forgotten.
Pearl Harbor happened before I was born. For many years in my childhood, the day was remembered. Memories fade. The remembrance of “infamy” is not so vivid nor talked about any longer. I wonder. Primary memory: I was there. Or? Collective sadness: it happened and great loss occurred.
9/11 – it was clear blue sky day, then and now.
Motion… close enough
Colleen is a good sport. We went back to the powwow for more… shots, and, a better vantage point (… and to roast once more). Our position on the day before was less than ideal. I got shots but… let us say that the second time around I was satisfied with our vantage (close enough to touch); it was blazingly hot. The crowd got to participate. Politicians made a cameo. Eastern war dancers (one) from Shinnecock got called out. The chief dancer has appeared in the same regalia in other pics in other years. Hoop dancers? … new to me. As I tried to absorb it, I captured some of the energy and motion. We even got a bird show. I am glad we went back.
The price? Dinner out. I got off easy. It was pizza. We were entertained (enlarge the image) with a wedding party – extra large – in the park across the way. Colleen, eagle eye, noticed the party. And, to finish? A “Bud” mug in the antique store. Priceless!
I presume you need some creds to walk in the Indian powwow circle. I presume that anyone with a costume is not allowed. It’s not a Halloween parade, is it? A red-headed Indian child? I took note of how much the appearances reflect diversity. Love is where you find it. Never before have I appreciated how much we are a melting pot culture.
Pick a few… more
On 9/11 this year, we found ourselves at an Indian powwow. Symbolically? Symbolically, a flag had been raised over the venue – hanging six stories up from a hook and ladder fire truck. We remember…. Pageantry was mixed in with somber remembrance. I shot 3000 images that day. (Hmmm, another symbolic number.) Whoa! What an edit! Why? Photo ops were everywhere. I was not always in a good position to shoot what I wanted. I made do. The venue was loose and the crowd did not stay glued to their seats. I moved about with some freedom to get the shots I wanted. I listened to a photographer, a retiree now, describe how he shot in RAW and post processed in Lightroom, to a woman who did not know what RAW was and who had proudly proclaimed she just found her camera yesterday to shoot images of her grandchild. Disconnected?
In this case I did a rough edit randomly gathering a few representative images to illustrate the day. There was joy and movement. The regalia was colorful and symbolic. Kids and adults participated. No sunglasses please, I was trying for authenticity. Surprisingly, there was a lot of plastic in the costumes I saw. I had not attended a powwow since 2014. It was nice to see another once more with Colleen. The price? … dinner out.
The Shinnecock Indians hold an annual Powwow on Labor Day weekend out in Southampton Long Island. I’ve been going when I can. It’s very colorful with native American costumes and pageantry. Anxiety? You go there hoping to see everything and to not miss anything. The key is to isolate the subject and to avoid modern life. So someone wearing tinted lenses does not make it. Most shots are close ups to focus on the face or costume excluding distracting elements. Contestant numbers are the most annoying things that spoil shots. This event is a recurring one and I have attended more than once. There are even a few participants I recognize from previous years. Imagine that?!
No matter, you go and never know whether you’ll get a good shot. Truthfully you cannot miss in this target rich environment. Just stay tightly focused on your subject.