Sunday, July 29, 2012

Chicago Gay Pride Parade - Post 8 - Outfits... or the lack thereof (beta) - 6.24.12

Okay, back from my trip down south.  And back to the Gay Pride parade... at least for the moment.  This is clearly a massive undertaking (I did mention starting with 4000 photos, right?)  So I'm going to post this group today and then go to do a few shorter events and then I'll go back to these when I have time.

Every year one of my favorite groups is Folia Brazil.  They're a Samba group and they are so bright and so colorful with so much energy, that to me, they kind of epitomize what the Chicago Gay Pride Parade is about.  They're way more fun than this group from the Chinatown event I went to a while back. Possibly because they fit into the venue, but definitely because of their costumes. And two years later, I'm still trying to understand Samba at Chinatown.

 This girl was very invested in getting the crowd worked up.  It's always fun when the performers have an interest in the observers. ;)
 This was the only guy in the group, but his outfit is amazing.  I can only imagine how that costume makes the dancing exponentially more difficult.  If it were me I'd be constantly worried that I bent a feather or something.  But the visual impact is astounding. He also had fun interacting with the crowd.
 This girl was an astounding dancer.  I have no idea how she could move like that without losing that incredible headdress.
 Here she is again with someone who clearly looks like her outfit was inspired by the sun.  Again, how do you dance in these headdresses without losing them?

I don't think  she was associated with the guy from above, but she also made awesome use of the quail (?) feathers.

 I really do love it when people just look like they're having the time of their lives in the parade.  By the end of the three hours you always see people who really look like they'd rather be anywhere else.  So it's really nice when you get the shots of people who are just *happy* to be there doing what they do.
 Now, I did find this interesting.  You'll notice in the shots above how easy it was for me to isolate individuals.  They had tons of space where they could do their thing and be in the spotlight.  Then there was this group in the back.  The costumes are scaled way down, and they're all in a line.  I'm wondering if this group is the apprentice dancers or something.

And, of course, they come with their own accompaniment.  I'm not sure why, but their drum major decided they needed to stop, right in front of me and play.  I don't know if he was bidding to get their picture taken and posted somewhere, or what, but here they are!  The drum line for the salsa dancers. :)

Okay, so now I'm going to pop out and work on the photos for a few shorter trips/events.  I suspect I could post on this parade for months, but it's time to shake it up.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Chicago Gay Pride Parade - Post 8 - Outfits... or the lack thereof (alpha) - 6.24.12

I found myself editing these pictures on a plane.  I was looking at 6 folders of different outfit categories and trying to decided where to start.  When I noticed the five year old sitting kitty-corner behind me, I realized it would probably be poor form to start with the folders called "a whole lot of skin" or "topless or nearly topless".  The little boy could see my screen after all. ;)

So I'm starting with the costume characters.  People dressed as other people/things, sometimes despite the heat and what had to be a ridiculously hot costume.

 What parade would be complete without an Elvis impersonator?
 This guy cracked me up.  When the float comes through it looks like just another float full of people, waving and tossing out candy...

Then you notice something... "Hey! That guy looks just like President Obama!"  He's just stuck in the crowd with nothing to call your attention to him.

I find that hysterical.

Also, this guy totally should be doing Obama impersonations... he looks remarkably like the guy.  Unlike a few impersonators I've seen.
I'll talk a little more about the composition of this post tomorrow, but this was a party bus full of pirates.  Well, mostly pirates.  Some of them were just people decorated with skulls and crossbones. 

But I love the effect the bubbles had.
This crew... a little more piratey-looking.
Then there was the "mascot"...
This started off as a nice, normal blow up orca.

I have no idea what they made the lips from, but then...

  • Blue frisbees for eyes.
  • A bikini top (no bottoms...) stuffed with something
  • Flip-Flops
  • A wig
I'm not entirely sure why... but I guess it is pretty funny.

Another example of reclaiming language...

And the Queeros in question.  Or should I say, "outfits inspired by"?  Because I'm pretty sure the 'actual' Iron Man outfit looks a little different.  And I'm sure, was a lot hotter.  Accompanied by Captain America and Wonder Woman.  I'm not sure who the purple and black character is, but I'm absolutely no authority on comic book heros.

And last but not least, Tofu Man.  Who, you know... looks like a stick of tofu.  I had to think that it was pretty warm in that box.  I did like that if you look carefully you can see the guy behind the actual mask.

So those were the fun and recognizable characters. Tomorrow I'm going to talk for a minute about motion in pictures, but then I'll be back to being amazed (and occasionally dismayed) by what people wore (and didn't) during the parade. :)

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Discussion: Workflow - What to do with 1400 pictures from one parade.

Sorting through all the parade photos has really made me look at my workflow.  I mean, I took 1400 photos during the three hours of the parade.  I'm pretty sure no one wants to see all 1400 of them.  And even once I bring it down to something that approaches a manageable number, I'd have to break them into groups for posting.

Some I knew were crap when I took them.  Others I knew were 'markers' of sorts for me.  Pictures of the signs and things so that I could reference groups by names later.  But they weren't pictures that I needed to worry about cropping and editing to show anyone.

So the first pass in my particular workflow, is on my iPad.  Once I take a card full of pictures, I put all the shots on my iPad and delete the ones that are absolutely garbage.  After I'm down to the shots that bear a good look, I move them onto my computer.

Once I'd done all that, I was down from 1400 to a little over 1000.  So the good news is, my shooting is getting better.  There was a time where 'getting rid of the total garbage' meant throwing out at *least* half of my shots.  This wasn't quite a third.

Then I started sorting them out by topic.  I tend not to like to blog an event simply chronologically.  If people wanted to see the parade in order, they could, you know, go to the parade.

So I broke the 1000 pictures down into 16 folders.  While I was sorting them out I was trying to winnow down the shots actually worth sharing, so I also had another folder of 'unsorted' shots, that were either the marker shots or duplicates or 'I thought this would be a good shot to share, but maybe not in comparison to a million other things.'

That folder was a little over 600 shots.  So Now I'm at 400 that are reasonably useful in 16 folders.

But some of the folders like, "Outfits or the lack thereof" still end up with about 110 photos.  I mean, this is Chicago's Gay Pride Parade.  It's *all* about what people are (or aren't) wearing!   Which means breaking them down into even further folders.  In this case there were six, with anywhere from 5 to 30 shots on a given theme.

Which means some of those folders of 30 will either need to be broken down into multiple posts or just plain thinned out.

Which all just goes to show that any given event can contain a really ridiculous amount of work before you even get to the cropping, correcting and posting part!

So what does your workflow look like?  How do you manage the ridiculous number of pictures we can now take for 'free' (compared to the days of film and developing on paper)?  When you have 1000 pictures (literally), how do you manage, store and share them all?

Okay, tomorrow... more actual pictures of outfits or the lack thereof.

Chicago Gay Pride Parade - Post 7 - Signs of the Times (t-shirts) - 6.24.12

Okay, so these aren't technically signs, per se, but it's the text that matters.  So... t-shirts of note at the Gay Pride Parade.

 This guy was with the anti-circumcision group I wrote about the other day.  (That may have gone without saying, right?)
Okay, I tried to get a shot of the whole text of his shirt, but I missed.  It says, "Bump. Set. Spike. Bang. Repeat." And then there's a little volleyball under the text.

Now, I played volleyball in school.  Bump, Set, Spike... all terms I'm familiar with.  I don't know what 'bang' is supposed to mean in that context, but I can tell you how it would be interpreted at a Gay Pride Parade. ;)


These shirts were from a group celebrating the progress made in the 43 years since the Stonewall Riots.

Believe it or not, that doesn't say, "Start a Boot Riot."  It says "Booty Riot".  I'll leave it up to you to decide if that's much better or not. :)
 Okay, this guy wasn't actually in the parade.  He was just heading down Broadway before it started.  I'm not sure I'd wear a shirt labeling me as "Psychopathic".  That said, I first read it as "Psychopathetic" which was even more of an interesting thought.
She wasn't in the parade either.  She was across the street from me.

I just love this shirt.  All I could think was, "When I was a kid, there was no way in hell people would walk around in a shirt like this."  So, yeah.  Awesome.

Yay!  Done with signs/text oriented stuff.  Now we'll get to some of the really *ahem* fun stuff. ;)

Monday, July 2, 2012

Chicago Gay Pride Parade - Post 6 - Signs of the Times (epsilon) - 6.24.12

So I was mentioning that there was one more set of signs, that were all from one group.  It's a group, that in about ten years of going to the parade, I don't remember ever seeing before.

It's a GLTB (I'm assuming it's all inclusive, even though everyone in the parade was a guy) sobriety group.

Talk about people who could be in a closet in a closet in a closet...  So I think it's pretty cool that these guys got up and marched in the parade.

 Right down to your undies... at least as far as we can see. ;)
 I find the one on the left interesting.  "You're only as sick as your secrets".  I can't decide if I have a problem with it or not.  I think sometimes we need secrets.  But in their context, I guess it's not quite as... problematic.  I don't know...

The guy on the right has one of the weirder signs.  It says (since I'm sure you can't read it through the glare), "I texted what to whom last night?!"

 Not much to say here, other than, "You go!"

 Another one where I didn't really get a good shot of the sign.  It says, "Grateful to be sober, Proud to be Gay."

"Where's my car?"  I'm guessing if you don't know, you aren't sober enough to be driving it, so...?

But what's interesting is the juxtaposition of some of these signs.  "Where's my car?" guy is right next to "You'll never have to be alone" guy.

Anyway, I thought their signs were interesting.  Mostly because about half of them were so incredibly serious... the other half were decidedly not.

T-shirts tomorrow, then I think I'll start on the folder I have labeled "Outfits or the Lack Thereof". ;)

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Chicago Gay Pride Parade - Post 5 - Signs of the Times (delta) - 6.24.12

Okay, one more set of random signs.  (Then a set of less-than-random signs, then t-shirt 'signs'...)  I'm starting to get the idea I could be posting this parade until Halloween. :p

 Okay, so this group is here every year.  I guess as a female I don't really get to have an opinion on this, but it seems that the only time I hear about this (supposedly) massive movement to leave little boys intact is at the Pride parade.  Is it that big of a deal?

I will say this: they have a bucketload of information on their signs, which typically go by pretty fast.    So apparently there are two websites about restoring a removed foreskin and two on how to end circumcision.   But the fun stuff is in the small print.  On the left, "Over 200,000 men are restoring their foreskins."  And all I can think is, "Right now?  This second?"  And how do you even *get* stats like this?

On the right it says "About half of US boys are being left intact.  Two-thirds in the four Western states."  Which has me going, "Why do we need that geographical breakdown?"  And also, "Is Alaska the fourth?  Or Hawai'i?" I'm assuming the first three are California, Oregon and Washington.  But then I come back to... why do we care about the geography of it all?

 This sign gets the pendant in me all worked up.

First of all, how do you ask a baby? Second of all, little girls don't even know that the body part in question even exists, so I can't imagine they have any opinion on the matter at all.

And then the whole "Male is not a diagnosis" thing.  I'm pretty sure no one is saying it is.  Since circumcision is cosmetic surgery, of a sort, that would be like someone who says a woman who just decides she needs breast augmentation is saying that 'female is a diagnosis'?  Does that make sense?  Not to me.

But like I said, it's not a debate I wade hip deep into since a.) I don't have the body part in question and b.) I don't have a son I need to make the decision for.

 Okay, back to the less controversial.  More cool signs by the ACLU.  At least I think it's ACLU.  It could have been part of the PFLAG group.
 I do love that for all the very carefully prepared, fancy-pants signs that we get at the Pride Parade, we also get someone who just has an opinion and wants to share it.

I also like her opinion. :)
Ah!  This is the other ACLU sign picture I was thinking of.  So I guess the one above was PFLAG.

Alright... that's all the random signs.  Tomorrow is signs from a new group (at least that I don't remember seeing before), then t-shirts with opinions. :)