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?
One of the go-go dancers from Secrets, the all-male strip bar.
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.
Another “I don’t know what contingent he is with” shot. But pink feather boas are a sure-fire attention getter.
The majorette for DC Different Drummers, the gay marching band.
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.
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”.
Aah, part of the perennial favorites at the parade, Dykes on Bikes. They’re always the lead-off contingent in the parade.
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.
And finally, I close this one out with the cowboy (spiritual cowboy, anyway) in line for the JR’s bar outdoor beer garden.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.