Here’s the entire Chinese Zodiac in plushy costume form. Plus a random panda and white tiger.
Archive for the ‘Digital cameras’ Category
The parade featured a number of non-Chinese groups representing other East/South-East Asian cultures that also celebrate Lunar New Year. Most notable were the Koreans and Vietnamese in the parade. I’ve included some other faces in this post to show the general diversity of the audience in addition to the participants. That diversity I think is one of the strengths and beauties of this area – people from all cultures and walks of life coming together to enjoy a good festival, especially when the air temperature is hovering around freezing!
I went to ANOTHER Chinese New Year parade this past weekend, in Rockville, Maryland. Rockville is the county seat of Montgomery County, one of the most prosperous and most ethnically diverse counties in Maryland. They estimate that 17% of Montgomery County’s population is of East/South-East Asian origin, and growing. This is actually one of the new centers of the Asian community in the Washington DC metro area, along with Fairfax and Annandale in Northern Virginia. Although not gigantic, the parade in Rockville was several orders of magnitude larger than the one downtown DC in Chinatown (which is a pale shadow of its former self, now consisting of less than a dozen actual Chinese restaurants, perhaps a handful of other Chinese businesses, and a residential facility for the elderly, plus a bunch of other businesses like Fuddruckers, Comfort One Shoes, Legal Seafoods, a pair of Irish pubs, a Hooters(!!!) and a CVS pharmacy with Chinese-language signage trying to preserve the look of a real Chinatown). The parade was organized by the VisArts art center in Rockville, which is a terrific public/private partnership to make art accessible to the community. Here are a sampling of images from the parade and the crowds watching it.
Ok- I was a definite skeptic about this – after all, I’ve seen the examples and read the reviews but $50, for a piece of frosted tupperware? Proof is in the pudding, as they say. And with a particularly challenging subject – a white cat against a beige wall.
I’ll post some more examples that are better illustrations on more recognizable subjects (human portraits) in the near future. I’d say it’s worth it, but with one caveat – it fits just fine on virtually any shoe-mount speedlight type flash for most camera systems, film or digital. It does NOT fit on my big Metz 45-CL4 handle mount (potato-masher) flash. For that, I’ve improvised a piece of I want to say Rubbermaid or perhaps Ziploc re-useable food storage container with a hole cut through the lid and the interior buffed with sandpaper. Cost including the sandpaper? about $1. I’ll do a showdown between the two on the same subjects with the same lens and camera shortly to prove the value of the Gary Fong.
This is, for the most part, the “portrait” take on the Mummers Parade. With a few notable and obvious exceptions, these shots are of individuals in the parade. One of the things I found fascinating about the parade is the age range of the participants – everyone gets involved from toddlers in their first satin wench’s frock to seniors in mobility scooters. It’s a very family-oriented event despite the blatant public consumption of alcohol (frequently to excess, as my witnessing of a young, possibly underage, woman disgorging her beer onto the asphalt demonstrated. And NO, I did not document her embarrassment).
I’ll come back and do one more post of the Mummers Parade with the group shots, when I’ve got those organized.
Some more of my night photography. I went to Philadelphia for New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day this year. I wanted to see the Mummers’ Day Parade on New Years Day, which is a uniquely Philadelphia tradition. The best way to describe it for those who’ve never been is to say that it’s a bit like a PG-13 Mardi Gras (it gets the PG-13 for the alcohol consumption and the occasional bawdy reference in some signage). I’ll post my photos of the parade later – I still have several rolls of negatives to scan, plus a couple hundred digital images to edit before that’s ready. I went out on New Year’s Eve to have dinner, and dragged the Rollei along with me because I had seen the lights in Franklin Square Park on my cab ride from the train station to my hotel. I also thought about trying to get photos of the fireworks with Independence Hall in the foreground, but the buildings between the Hall and the river where the fireworks launch are too tall and you can’t see them. But I got my good night shot of Independence Hall anyway, so that’s my lead-off photo for this post.