Monday, June 21, 2010

Mermaids and Other Living Things, or the 2010 Coney Island Mermaid parade

This year I was armed with not one but two cameras. A tiny point and shoot Canon and my trusty old Nikon D70 with a cheap telephoto lens. This lens is persnickety and occasionally growls, stutters, and refuses to focus for reasons I can't fathom. No matter, I got plenty of good shots anyway. And what wouldn't fit in the telephoto, got shot with the Canon. The elephant, for instance.

Last year I analyzed why my snaps were not as good as the photos by pros. I mean apart from the obvious about vocation and skill. I decided it is about getting right into someones face, something I feel shy about, but with a telephoto you can be close and far at once. Sort of like Skype.

This is a point-of-view exercise. I could take general shots of the whole scene, but that is akin to writing a dull poem about parades and neither the viewer or any particular parader is brought into focus. So my best photos showed a strong contrast between systems (ie: signage at odds with costumes) or narrative moments that both reveal my fascinations and the subjects expressions. So many of my poems need to be rewritten because the "I" is not clear.

As expected, BP was given plenty of coverage with oil-slicked dead mermaids and angry signs carried by tiny children.

My daughters Natalie and Caitlin, with friends Krysia and Bianca, wore their spandex and marched despite the very hot day. What a bizarre mash up of visions passed by. Creativity and crassness--ah, Coney Island.
Natalie (green), Krysia (blue), Caitlin (blue/purple), Bianca (pirate)

1 comment:

Deborah Atherton said...

Fabulous pictures, Claudia! Did you get a poem out of it?