Sunday, February 19, 2012

Galveston Mardi Gras & Street Photography

After a week of off/on rainy, cloudy, and cool weather - but we decided to venture down to Galveston to check out a little of Mardi Gras.  Visiting during the day we hoped to see some interesting sights, but not the shocking/interesting sights that "might" be around at night.  This (I thought) would also be a great opportunity for me to really step outside of my comfort zone & attempt some street photography.  At least this post will be entertaining & include more pictures than usual (and these are all straight out of the camera - maybe straightened & cropped - but no crazy HDR or adjustments - just photos).

View looking down the Strand (street)

We drove to the Strand/Historic district & found out that admission to just walk on the streets was $17/person - so we ended up people watching from behind the fence - for free.  Luckily we caught a parade & they threw us beads too - even though we were behind the "designated" area.  We didn't find out if kids were free - the $17/adult was more than our budget would allow (we planned to eat out too - not to mention the $10 to pay for event parking). 

The parade was short, but we still caught enough beads.
Police horses were decked out in Mardi Gras beads too.
We were looking for interesting people as well (my entire family enjoys people watching), here's a few who caught our eye - there were some more elaborately dressed, but my introvert self just couldn't point the camera directly at them for a picture.  I cheated & used a longer lens for most of these, then cropped to get closer.  Street photography is such a giant step outside of my comfort zone - I easily took pictures of the people as they were walking away from me & sometimes that accidently worked for the best. 

Not sure where this guy got those huge beads - they didn't look very comfortable to wear.
Some parties were throwing beads from the balconies of historic buildings - some of the buildings now have loft apts.

Here's my comfort view for street photography - taking pictures of people as they walk away -- interesting head piece - sometimes what people have on the backside is more interesting than their frontside.

Beautiful Mardi Gras head piece
And one of my attempts at straight-on street photography (from my safe distance, using my long lens) - but I figure it is a step forward.  I still think the guy knew I was taking his picture.. not sure if he liked it or not (maybe he was just cold - it is February after all).

Unknown man walking away from the party - but he was still "inside" the fence.
And finally - my other attempt at real street photography & I used a 50mm for this one, so I was relatively close.  The guy's shoes were very interesting - they were platform, but with holes - like they were made for comfort.  This was outside of a Starbucks right outside of the Strand area, so not sure if he came from the party or was a Starbucks employee.  You can't see the shoes as well as I wanted to - but the anxiety this picture caused me was ridiculous. 

I put in B&W like I've seen other street pictures.
I really wanted to take a picture of an elderly man inside Starbucks - reading his book, listening to everyone's conversation (he would smile from time to time & look up), but he was too close to us & I just couldn't muster up that kind of courage (but I did think about it). My husband is so encouraging - he said "just do it" -- yeah easy for him to say - he would only wear 1 bead necklace -- so yeah he's really the show-off kind of guy (not).

I'm happy I at least tried to capture more of the street happenings, even if at a safe distance.  We had a good time on the Island; watching crazy people surf (had decent waves - for Galveston), people starting to really party, ate somewhere we've never been to before, and wrapped it by taking night pictures along the seawall - lighted fishing piers, seawall traffic, etc.  It was good to get out - even if the weather wasn't perfect.   What adventure have you taken lately - a spur of the moment one?  And how do you get the courage take strangers' pictures that close up?


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