On Saturday February the 13th, residents of Tunbridge Wells celebrated the coming of the Chinese New Year – The Year of the Tiger! My family and I joined in too, with our own lnaterns and me with my camera, eager to use my new flashgun.
How hard can it be? Well not that easy! Armed with a new Metz Flashgun 48 AF-1, that has so far proved more than powerful for home and garden, I soon found myself getting all sorts ofgood and bad results.
The parade began at Trinity Theatre in the centre of town. We arrived at 16:45 and found the place full of lanterns and people gathering for the parade. Bloco Fogo were there two, and I hoped to get some good colourful shots of them in action. The weather didn’t look too good, it was raining lightly. Thankfully the rain held off once things got going, though it did make me wonder, how sensitive DSLRs are to rain….
Bloco Fogo lined up and started drumming away in the car park, whilst the rest of us lined up behind.
I made my way to the front to try and capture the parade as they left Trinity Theatretowards the centre of town. I soon realised, that despite the parade being a slow walk, when you’re trying to capture it on stills, it all goes too fast!! This is especially true when you’re still learning.
The hardest thing of all was to get the right ballance of exposure and flash between the fore and background. Too much emphasis on the back and the front’s washed out and just right at the front, meant the back was too dark. This coupled with the fack the whole parade is moving meant for many blurred shots. I tried fiddling around with higher ISO, but that just introduced noise. Slower shutter speeds sort of worked, but too much lusk was required to ensure the right things were blurred/ not blurred.
So photographically, it was a bit disappointing, but then I guess with some right proper expensive kit, it might be easier. If anyone’s got any tips for such scenarios with similar kit to mine, I’d be very grateful to hear from you. For now, I’ll stick with daytime parades!
That aside, the evening was great, ending up at St Barnabas School on Camden Road for a hotdog and some more drumming from Bloco Fogo. My son enjoyed it big time, especially watching a couple of Chinese lights float of into the sky, listening to Bloco Fogo, and even tapping a drum himself! Hopefully I’ll be better prepared for next year.
Here’s the best shots of the lot…