D.C. has lots of great parades, including the Memorial Day parade coming up on Monday. But parades can be difficult to photograph. Even if you get there early and get a good spot, last-minute arrivals can surge into the street and block your view.
So here are some ways to get good photos despite the obstacles:
- If the parade route is too crowded, go to the block before the parade starts, where the groups are lined up. Often they start their parade routine on this block while waiting their turn.
- Find where the groups are rehearsing, which can yield interesting images.
- See the parade twice. If your starting viewing place is near the beginning of the parade, you can see the full parade there and then walk to the end of the parade and see the second half of the parade again.
- Try to find a good clean background, or if you can’t, use a zoom or aperture that helps to blur the background. Or take close-ups of the parade participants to eliminate the background entirely.
- It is usually mid-day, sunny with harsh shadows, and the parade participants often wear hats or costumes that shade their faces. So either try to get their faces exposed correctly, or lighten them in post-processing.
- And if you can’t get good shots of the parade participants, take photos of the crowd.