High Heel Race, Dupont Circle, 2014 – Part 1

Last night I went to the annual High Heel Race in Dupont Circle. It’s a tradition in DC going back to the mid-80s of taking over several blocks of 17th Street, getting all tarted up in the finest (and I use that term extremely loosely, as you’ll see) drag, sashaying up and down for two hours to see and be seen and get lots of attention, culminating in a thirty-second flurry of activity as men in heels and outrageous costumes RUN three blocks.

I’m going to deviate a bit from my standard protocol in posting these and instead of arranging them in logical or thematic groups, I’m just going to post these as a stream-of-consciousness bit in the order in which they were taken. It gets a little overwhelming to manage so many images. Maybe after they’re all posted, I’ll come back through and do a separate “best of” post edited down to a top ten or so.


I’ve seen Cruella deVille here before at past Races and/or in the Pride parade.



Miss Tina Turner says, “You better be good to me!”




The “husband and wife” were celebrating their Virginia gay shotgun wedding to commemorate the instatement of Marriage Equality in Virginia thanks to the federal courts.



Even one of the Nationals’ bubblehead mascots got in on the fun.


This shoot was a bit of an equipment test, as I had bought an external lithium-ion battery for my flash to test out. The battery is a Bolt brand Cyclone PP-310 battery (I ordered mine from B&H, but you can also get them through Amazon, but I don’t think there’s actually any savings at one over the other). It will provide up to 500 full-power flashes on a single charge. I know when I was shooting the Mummers’ parade in Philly a couple years ago, the combination of the sheer volume of shots (I think I took around 300 pics) plus the cold weather really put a strain on my flash and the batteries were failing partway through. I didn’t want to have that happen again, so I invested in this Bolt external battery pack, which can be clipped to my flash bracket or worn over my shoulder on a strap. Being able to keep the battery in a coat pocket would be really helpful in cold weather.

Anyway, the battery performed flawlessly – I shot over 100 images last night, and it barely put a dent in the battery’s capacity. It was still showing four out of four power levels at the end of the night. Another plus- I was expecting it to be heavy, as I remembered the old Quantum batteries that used lead-acid batteries being noticeably heavy, even the small capacity one, but it almost feels like an empty plastic shell, the battery is so light. It’s quite the contrast to the rest of the rig (Canon 5D with vertical grip, Stroboframe flash bracket, 580EX II flash, off-camera TTL cord, and Canon L 24-105 f4 zoom lens).

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