Carnival event photography is enjoyable and pleasing to the eye.
The colours, the characters, the music, the costumes and the dance routines, are just a few elements that can make the occasion a paradise for photographers.
It doesn’t matter what type of photographer you are, or what you enjoy photographing. The summer is here and the photographers are out enjoying the taste of carnival event photography.
Well, that was my plan for this weekend.
The weather was warm and I travelled lightly with a Canon 7D and a Sigma 15-50mm /f2.8 EX DC lens, and headed of to Leeds.
Its 2017 and it marks the 50th Leeds West Indian Carnival. This can only mean more celebrations, more people, more colourful costumes and it will be one big party!
The Carnival King, Queen, Prince and Princess costumes were joined by unbelievable troupes with sound systems and steel pans on floats pumping the infectious sounds of the Caribbean.
In Potternewton Park there was music, and global cuisine – including the Carnival ‘must taste’ Jerk Chicken – plus arts, crafts and fun fair rides. There was also a DJ stage at the back of the park.
There was so much to photograph, but my main objective was to capture portraits, expressions and candid images.
I arrived early at Potternewton Park, because I wanted to catch the dancers getting ready. It was the best time to catch the portraits, before they set off on the parade.
As I entered the park, you can observe a sea of colours in the distance, with the music pumping out load. I quickly went around the packed crowd of people with in the park, and started picking my subjects. There were some great characters, and they were the ones that I was looking out to photograph.
As you can see from the above gallery that I was spoiled for choice, but I stayed focused. I spent a good one and half hours in the park, picking my subjects and taking candid photographs at the same time.
I love taking images of their expressions and close up portraits.
Then the time came when the organisers started indicating to the participants to take their stance, line up and head to start the parade. It was at this point I took some more photographs, as these were the more dynamic scenes.
I spent a good 45 mins at the entrance, as groups of people passed me by dancing in beautiful colours. The crowds were behind the barriers on the pavements, which gave the photographers and organisers on the main parade route more room is do their duties.
From my above experience, I would suggest that you should travel light, make sure you keep hydrated, wear good walking shoes, be prepared to be told off by the public to get out the way and smile as you photograph your subject.
Its a fast pace experience and exhausting , but worth the images!