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Lovefest and the Joy of Prime

Posted 10-25-2007 at 03:31 AM by Ari

(three links till I make a page that links to each, note the third link "parade" has one picture of male nudity (and now I've just doubled traffic from gay porn searches, trust me, it's not that pretty))

Lovefest B&W
Lovefest Upclose
Lovefest Parade

A couple collections of pictures from SF LoveFest 07. Lovefest is parade/dance-party centered around love, freedom, openness and of course techno that occured last month (I have finally sorted through the hundreds of images). It started at one end of Market street, the floats (ok, decorated speakers with a DJ) drove down market street to the civic center where they parked giving 8 different dance areas plus a grassy relaxing area.

Going early and possibly leaving early is the best way to experience it. Part way through the dance-party section the mood changed as the 'mundane' people who just came to gawk and party crowded the area and diluted the acceptance/love feeling. I spent most of my time snapping pictures and/or dancing, normally close enough to the speakers to feel the hair on my arms vibrate. All pictures were taken with my 35mm lens on my Rebel XTi. The small lens and body makes for a perfect small sized camera with good results and I could actually shoot in the middle of a crowd without being too annoying or getting my camera hit.

which brings me too why I enjoy my 35mm prime so much (prime being fixed focal length compared to a zoom which changes focal length). I saw plenty of serious photographers there with their huge bazooka like L lenses and giant EOS 1D(mark something) cameras and I'm sure they got some amazing and sharp shots but they also got a different reaction from their people and had a different experience. There is no way you could dance with that and participate in the fest while taking photos.

While zoom lenses are great anyone seriously looking into photography should grab a prime, and put the zoom on the shelf for awhile (I was told this plenty of times and just nodded my head, now I get it). Zooms make getting many shots easier but it makes for a very stiff photographer. Learning how to move or to physically get closer, right in the subjects face if need be, is just a completely different world. Not to mention most primes are cheap and often fast (low F-stop for better low-light photography).
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