Tag Archives: gay pride

DC Pride Parade 2015 – On the Sidelines

Here are some photos from yesterday’s Gay Pride Parade. These were faces in the crowd of people watching the parade.

This first picture is the reason why we need gay pride parades still – I was standing on the curb, waiting for the parade to arrive, and this woman carrying this sweet little girl came up to me and said, “She’s a Pride baby – she needs her picture taken! Take her picture, she’s a Pride baby!”. When I put the camera to my eye to compose the photo, the mother turned her head so her face would not appear in the photo, only the little girl’s.

Pride Baby
Pride Baby

These guys saw me standing with my camera and approached, asking to be photographed. They asked me where the photos were going to be used – “Will these be in the New York Times?” I told them I’m shooting for this blog, and they said “you can use our photos anywhere!”. I hope they find this photo and enjoy it!

Besties
Besties

I don’t know her name or if she is in fact a mother, but I’m calling her Pride Mama for all her ribbons and beads.

Pride Mama
Pride Mama

This is my friend, Sak Pollert, who owns Rice restaurant on 14th Street (where I parked myself to watch the parade, as the restaurant is on the shady side of the street in the afternoon when the parade is passing).

Sak P.
Sak P.

One of the waitresses at Rice – she put a rainbow flag in her hair like a chopstick.

Rainbow Waitress
Rainbow Waitress

I think this guy is one of the busboys/kitchen staff at Rice, out to watch the parade. I loved his Grumpy Cat T-shirt.

I Hate Mondays
I Hate Mondays

I don’t think this guy actually had anything to do with the goat in a trench coat sign behind him (I think it belongs to the guy in the black t-shirt to his left). When he saw me composing the image, he straightened up, made eye contact, and posed.

Boy, Goat Sign
Boy, Goat Sign

This young lady was standing next to me for a while, and I wanted to get a photo of the shirt with that caption.

Right Side of History
Right Side of History

This gentleman was all decked out in rainbow finery (if you call tons of sequins ‘finery’). He was certainly in the spirit of the day! Not visible except by interpolation were his six-inch platform heels.

Rainbow Top Hat
Rainbow Top Hat

I titled this one “Apres Parade” because I caught these two as we were all leaving the parade, heading home after a long, hot, fun day.

Apres Parade
Apres Parade

This was another experiment photographically. I shot the whole parade using my Helios 85mm f1.5 lens. This is the second time I’ve shot the parade with this lens – I did it for the first time the last time I photographed the Pride parade, and the lens was brand new to me then. It’s a bit of an oddity because it’s manual focus and it uses a pre-set aperture – unlike modern all-automatic lenses, this one you have to tell it to stop down the aperture on the lens by turning a separate ring. The lens has a particular signature to its look – when focused and configured properly, it produces a “swirly” background (most visible in the “Apres Parade” image in this post, and several others (Bright Wig, Bike and Miss Gay Virginia) in an upcoming post. The lens is big, heavy, a bit slow to use, especially because of the aperture mechanism, and exposures are sometimes a little off because there is no communication between the lens, camera, and flash. The “swirl” is something I’m still debating if I like. I might need to just shoot more with it to decide.

DC Pride Parade, June 7, 2014 – part two

I completely forget what group this “float” was with. I’ll just call it “Riding in Style”. Who wouldn’t want a size 200 Jimmy Choo stiletto?

Riding in Style
Riding in Style

One of the go-go dancers from Secrets, the all-male strip bar.

Dancer, Secrets
Dancer, Secrets

Synetic Theater company had a large contingent in the parade. I couldn’t tell if they were trying to show off their costume-making skills or if they were advertising a specific show. They were definitely showing off their bodies, though. Here are three for your consideration.

Synetic Theater #1
Synetic Theater #1
Synetic Theater #2
Synetic Theater #2
Synetic Theater #3
Synetic Theater #3

Another “I don’t know what contingent he is with” shot. But pink feather boas are a sure-fire attention getter.

Pink Feather Boa
Pink Feather Boa

The majorette for DC Different Drummers, the gay marching band.

Majorette, Different Drummers
Majorette, Different Drummers

I think he was with the contingent in front of DC Rollergirls, the roller derby team, and not with them. Many of the political contingents were tossing out beads to the crowd, so he could have been with one of them. I thought he was cute, anyway.

Handing out Beads
Handing out Beads

I think this float was for an entertainment venue here in town. But it could have been part of the Whitman-Walker Clinic contingent. This confusion is understandable – fake cocktail glasses being carried on platters by guys in waiter-esque costumes doesn’t exactly scream “health screenings”.

Village People
Village People

Aah, part of the perennial favorites at the parade, Dykes on Bikes. They’re always the lead-off contingent in the parade.

Dykes on Bikes
Dykes on Bikes

A young boy in a rainbow faux-hawk wig, watching the parade. Here is a shot that plays to the strength of that lens that I was talking about in the previous post. The background swirl really helps to concentrate focus on the boy’s face.

Youth Pride
Youth Pride

And finally, I close this one out with the cowboy (spiritual cowboy, anyway) in line for the JR’s bar outdoor beer garden.

Waiting for the parade
Waiting for the parade

DC Pride Parade, June 7, 2014

Sorry for being a week late with posting these. Life gets in the way of blogging at times. If you remember the last time I photographed the parade, I gave myself a little project to shoot the whole thing with just one lens, the 135 f2 L lens for my Canon 5D. This year I did something similar, but with the 85mm Helios f1.5 Russian-made manual focus lens that I have for my Canon. The Helios has a rather unique character to its out-of-focus areas, which you’ll see quite clearly in these shots. The lens is an odd bird in today’s world in that it is a pre-set aperture lens. You focus wide-open, then turn a manual ring on the barrel to set the aperture to the one you have pre-selected before taking the picture. It’s a holdover from the days when lenses had no mechanical interaction with the camera beyond mounting to the body. The upside is that it makes it easy to adapt the lens to any camera. The downside is, you have to remember to re-set the aperture after focusing.

When the lens is properly focused, it gives a unique signature look – the subject is tack sharp, and really pops out from the background because the background has a “swirl” to it reminiscent of but not the same as you would get with a vintage Petzval-design lens. I chose this lens as my one-and-only for the day not only for the out-of-focus effect but also because it is a shorter lens, therefore a little more intimate than the 135. Take a look and let me know what you think.

Rainbow Streamers, 17th Street
Rainbow Streamers, 17th Street

Politics:

DC Pride would not be complete without a major political section. Actually, in some way, shape or form, most of the parade is political (especially if you include the religious groups that march under that heading). This year marks the first time an official US Military Color Guard contingent was able to march openly in the parade thanks to the end of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Watching them march in the parade was a very emotional moment for many people.

US Military Color Guard
US Military Color Guard

This year’s honorary grand marshall was Chris Kluwe, the straight former kicker for the Minnesota Vikings who took a very vocal pro-gay, pro- same-sex marriage stance, replete with some very memorable if not entirely polite turns of phrase. It was an extremely brave stance for him to take, and ultimately it cost him his job. He was honored for being a relentless ally.

Chris Kluwe, Grand Marshall
Chris Kluwe, Grand Marshall

This couple marching in the parade with the police contingent showed up at the counter-protest to the Westboro Baptist Church looney-tunes protest of DC Pride, giving silent rebuke to the Westboro clan with a passionate kiss.

Police Officer Couple
Police Officer Couple

David Catania is running for DC Mayor as an independent. It is almost impossible to run for city-wide office anymore without participating in DC Pride – pretty much the entire city council was in the parade, and even several former-candidates who lost their primary elections had marching contingents.

David Catania Supporters
David Catania Supporters

My apologies to David for this photo, but it’s not my fault that he’d been hit by a super-soaker prior to marching past where I was taking photos.

David Catania
David Catania

This is Eleanor Holmes Norton, DC’s Congressional Delegate. She sits in the US House of Representatives but does not have the same rights and authority that a full congressperson has because DC isn’t a state. She’s a regular at Pride, though – I don’t think I’ve been to a single Pride parade in the last 20 or so years that she hasn’t participated in.

Eleanor Holmes Norton
Eleanor Holmes Norton