2013. március 17., vasárnap

26/52 St Paddy's Day

As you all may know, today is Saint Patrick’s Day (happy Saint Patrick’s Day!), this day is an Irish national holiday and people all around the world celebrate Ireland, being Irish and especially celebrating Guinness! Since I lived in Ireland for 3 years, I feel a bit Irish too, so when I heard that Budapest had a Paddy’s day celebration I felt I had to be there, and if I’m going to a place like this, why not take a camera with me?

So this aren’t the usual pictures you would see in my project, but I decided I’d skip the set up shots and take a break, just walk around and take pictures… It felt so good, not to stress about where to put the strobes and how to composite the images later on in Photoshop. Such a relief…

So the celebration started on Freedom Square (Szabadság tér), I arrived pretty early, but this gave me an opportunity to take pictures before the parade started. I met some great people, some were wearing great costumes and some were painted in Irish national colors and shamrocks… or both!

And of course the drinks… There were some very nice Jameson girls giving away cider, which was pretty good and forced my to practice my hard earned party photographer skills: operate the camera with one hand without spilling the drink in the other hand. Not as easy as it sounds with a huge DSLR, but I have practice, don’t worry…

I just walked around and if I saw someone interesting, I snapped a photo, sometimes I asked someone to pose, sometimes they asked me if I could take a picture of them and everyone was very nice and helpful… plus they looked awesome!

The parade started on time, which is quite surprising, since it was organized by Irish, but it was great fun, we walked through town, a band turned up with a bagpipe and drums, the people were cheering and smiling, two guys were walking on these huge wooden legs, leading the crowd.

The parade ended at Deák square at the Akvárium club, where there were/still are concerts and probably enough Guinness to drown a smaller city, but the parade mostly consists of Hungarians and Irish, so I don’t think much Guinness will be left by morning, neither of these nations are bad at drinking contests… I didn’t remember how Guinness tastes, the last time I tried it I didn’t like it, but I guess I didn’t like any types of beer back then, but now it was pretty damn good, I really do understand why the Irish love it so much. Pity it’s so expensive in Hungary…

The only bad thing was that I couldn’t get one of those Guinness hats, so if you have one left and don’t need it, just send it to me! But I had my good old Viking hat from my days in Ireland, so I didn’t stick out of the crowd…

All in all it was an awesome experience and I’ll definitely come back next year! And I’m glad I bought my camera with me, it was great to grab faces out of the crowd and make some more personal portraits.

The Geeky Stuff

So I noticed my blog was a bit boring to non-photographers, so I just decided to write more about the story behind each photograph, then add a part to the end where I explain all the technical details behind each shoot. So it’s a win-win situation to everybody: maybe some more people get entertained by my blabbering about each shoot and the photographers also get their daily dose of tech-talk!

So this time this part is very short and simple, since this was a shoot that required near to none preparations, I just cleaned my 50mm F1.8 lens, threw it on my camera, set it to Aperture Priority mode, set it to F1.8 and fired away… I wanted some portraits, some people sticking out of the crowd, so I used the shallow depth of field to separate them from the background.

Quick tip: never be afraid to talk to people, ask them to pose for you and I’m sure they won’t say no, you’re there with them, dressed in similarly crazy clothes and all of you are out there to have a good time! (Note: this only applies to Paddy’s day, I’m not sure people will be that nice on anti-government protests!)

I'd like to wish you all a very happy Saint Patricks Day!

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