Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Fishers Freedom Festival Parade, 2014

Many communities throughout the country have Fourth of July observances, and many of those include parades, fireworks and festivals. The annual observance in Fishers, Ind., is called the Freedom Festival, a two-day affair that begins on a Saturday with a 5K run/walk and includes various activities at the circular Roy G. Holland Park, which is in one of the community's mainstay subdivisions, Sunblest.

This year's Fishers Freedom Fest was last weekend. A mid-afternoon parade on Sunday helped set up the fireworks, which launch after dark. I had an itch to photograph people and variety, so the parade fell right into my bailiwick.

There was concern at the beginning; as spectators lined up along the parade route just minutes before the scheduled 3 p.m. start, light sprinkles passed over. Fortunately, the shower was light and fleeting; it had dissipated by the time the lead-off entry reached the intersection of 116th Street and Holland Drive, where I was stationed. Skies remained mostly cloudy for about three-quarters of the event before the sun broke out and cast some dramatic lighting on the final floats and entries.

One of the most interesting entries was the giant red inflated tiger enveloping a U-Haul truck trailing the Fishers High School football team. I had time to pull off only one shot of the tiger, featured in the lead-off photo. My attention had been distracted for a moment, so I didn't notice it was upon me until it was almost too late. I was shooting with just one camera -- my Canon 6D equipped with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS lens -- so the shot would have been out of my range if I hadn't gotten it when I did.

Among my favorite shots are the two creative spectator-and-parade-participant "selfies" I was fortunate to notice and quickly capture.

These photos are from that shoot. A full gallery of images from the parade can be found at my SmugMug site.

Above and next two below: In the minutes before the parade's start, the primary concern was the rainfall, and umbrellas were out in an array of colors and styles. 

Above and next two below: The Hamilton Southeastern High School Royal Command & Guard. 

Above and next three below: The Fishers High School Tiger Band.

Zoe Parker, Fort Wayne, Miss Indiana Teen (above) and Audra Casterline (below), the first Fishers resident crowned Miss Indiana. She won the title just last month and will compete in the Miss America pageant in September.

Above: Representatives of The Twilights at Wishes Dance Club.

Above: Moments before I grabbed the above image, the Wishes Dance Club mascot posed for one of two spectator-parade float interactive selfies I grabbed (below). Several parade entries later, the same youngster and an accomplice pigeon-holed another animated character for yet another selfie (second below).

Above and below: A couple more "stuffed" animals, who had to be a tad uncomfortable in the heat and humidity, although the one below caught a slight break under cover of the cart. I don't know if the "selfie" boy scored with these two, but at least one youth (above) was fortunate to slap skin with this one.

Above: Not sure what entry this combo was performing for, but I do recall that it was religious and/or faith based.

Above: A smile from a girl riding on the float of Primrose School of West Fishers.

Above and next two below: Classic cars and racing cars are popular entries in parades everywhere.

Above: The national and state colors.

Above: Pet Pals TV's Patti Spitler, a former longtime news reporter and anchor at WISH-TV (Channel 8) in Indianapolis.

Above: A member of the Title Boxing Club in Fishers.

Above and next five below: A favorite past time at parades is recording the spectators and their reaction to the goings-on, which I hope these images adequately convey.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Jeff Day at the Ale Emporium

It had been 10 months since I last photographed a live music performance, so when I got the opportunity to capture local singer-guitarist Jeff Day perform at Ale Emporium in Castleton on June 25, I took it.

Jeff, who hails from Bedford, Ind., but now lives in the Indianapolis area, performs mostly as a solo artist, playing an array of tunes, much of which harken to the 1970s and '80s. He also does gigs as part of a combo. On this night, he was by himself. These pictures are from that set.

The shoot threw a challenging curve my way early on when the sun and pub awning played shadow games with the lighting on Jeff, who was staged outdoors about 20 or so feet from the pub's main entrance, singing to the crowd seated in the patio seats. I hesitated to shoot with that contrasty lighting ... until it hit him in an interesting way that some of the last pictures below will depict better than I can explain.

For a look at the full shoot, you can visit the gallery at my SmugMug site.