<<< o >>>Blackpool Gay Pride 2006 #2 38 comments + add yours

This is the second of five shots that I'll be putting up from Blackpool's Gay Pride 2006 festival that I went to yesterday; probably the least 'dramatic' of the five, and the one furthest away from summarising the nature of the event. Nonetheless, I like how it turned out.

On a related matter: one of the things I like about events such as this, particularly ones that explicitly celebrate a culture, is that people like to be photographed. When I shoot street portraits I often find that people can be suspicious – "why do you want to take my photograph?" – but at public events, especially those of a more carnivalesque nature, people are much more willing to take part.

Update: if I'd been just a bit more efficient I would have been able to tell you that this is a shot of Vicky and Vicky (yes, they're both called Vicky) rather than having to wait until Vicky left a comment identifying herself :-)

focal length
shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
2.15pm on 20/5/06
Canon 20D
EF 70-200 f/4L USM
200mm (320mm equiv.)
aperture priority
+0.0 (-2/3 FEC)
C1 Pro
people [portraiture] + fylde coast + no print
comment by Tomasz at 06:29 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

Good framing and composition. For my taste a bit too blurry. I would love to see this one really sharp and maybe with some more contrasting b&w.

comment by EssPea | Photography at 06:30 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

I think the softness works in this image. Give it a dreamy feel.

comment by Jackie at 06:31 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

I really like the soft focus and close crop, which seems to capture a very comfortable, loving relationship. Nice portrait.

comment by djn1 at 06:33 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

Tomasz: when I first started processing this one I didn't intend to leave it quite as soft as this, in terms of either contrast or sharpness, but ended up quite liking the somewhat dreamy feel – it seemed to suit their expressions better.

comment by mooch at 06:49 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

The post processing really makes this pleasing to view. The guy on the right looks rather pained.

comment by Paul at 06:51 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

I think this really works well, I don't know if they are a couple but the softness and overall feel of this image makes me believe they are.

comment by djn1 at 06:52 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

mooch: "she" will be especially pained that you can't tell the difference between men and women ;-)

comment by ojorojo at 06:57 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

I generally like the blurry effect in your portraits but in this case, I think you over did it. The other thing that would have made this a better pic is sense of place. To see these people in the context of a Gay Pride parade. Otherwise, it feels like a family shot.

comment by micki at 06:58 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

You make a wonderful point about the willingness of people to be photographed at these types of events. One that should be kept in mind as a great opportunity for practice. This is a fantastic example of those opportunities. Wonderful work!

comment by djn1 at 07:01 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

ojorojo: I'm not sure why you think it would have made the photograph better if I'd contextualised them. Sure, it would have been different, but I'm not sure why it would have been better.

comment by Mike at 07:56 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

David this is a great series. We have a pretty famous gay pride parade in our neighborhood here every late summer.

comment by Mark at 08:03 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

I find the 'softness' others comment about exactly right for this image. If the images was tack sharp everywhere the concept would have lost its feeling.

comment by ojorojo at 08:05 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

Having seen yesterday's picture and knowing how unhibited these events are I thought you could have taken more advantage of the situation. We have seen many good portraits like this on your site but it could well have been shot indoors. I am not talking about a wide angle shot but a close up with a sense of place. maybe better implies judgement. I meant different for the sake of variety. Regards from "darkest" Peru!

comment by Libby at 08:16 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

Ojorojo - Sorry, but for me that's the whole point. It wasn't posed, lit and shot indoors; but a relaxed natural shot, taken at an open air concert, in poor weather 'as it happened'.

comment by Seesaw at 08:34 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

This is simply - Beautiful!

comment by Rui at 08:42 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

so beautiful!
gorgeous b&w!

comment by nuno f at 08:54 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

Beautiful expression on their faces. Her eyes have a fantastic glow and radiance.

comment by djn1 at 08:58 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

ojorojo: yep, I can see your point, but a muddy damp carpark doesn't make the best backdrop ;-)

comment by Jay at 09:17 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

I like the softness alot. Typically though, you'll leave the eyes sharper in a portrait like this. It doesn't appear that you did that here.

comment by coxcorns at 09:29 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006


comment by shaped at 09:47 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

nice shot. love the softness! beautiful portrait

comment by djn1 at 10:31 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

Jay: normally I would have sharpened the eyes a little, but the original, shot at 200mm, was a bit too soft. It looks better this way, at least in my opinion.

comment by Sysagent at 10:58 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

The lass on the right has nice teeth :-)

Good shot, looks good for the softness, I partiicularly like the pinspot light to the pupils, good work Dave.

comment by rambohoho at 11:41 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

two faces, like two sculptures. great shot.

comment by ojorojo at 11:47 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

Libby: My point is that even though I know what you say is true, it is not clear from the picture. I have to read the text to know that the picture was shot outdoors, unlit and not posed. I do not dislike the picture.
Dave: From what you wrote I thought you shot it during a colorful parade. I look forward to see tomorrow's photograph.

comment by pete at 11:53 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

This is a good, if senitimental, shot. The softness is great.

comment by djn1 at 11:54 PM (GMT) on 21 May, 2006

ojorojo: apologies, I should have explained this better. The day did start off with a parade, but all the shots I'll be putting up were taken at after the parade, in a carpark set aside for the rest of the day's events.

comment by mooch at 12:11 AM (GMT) on 22 May, 2006

Oops, looked like a young boy...

comment by Brian at 12:34 AM (GMT) on 22 May, 2006

Re. your response to mooch: to my shame, my second reaction was, "What? The person on the left is male?" To my greater shame, my first reaction was, "What are this [girl/boy] couple doing at a gay pride march?" And to compound matters, in between, I was thinking that the girl [on the left] looks just a leeetle bit like K.D. Lang... Sigh; talk about stereotyping!

The more I look at this, the more I like it. But though the girl on the right is staring right at us, and the directness is almost disturbing given her slightly-pained expression, the girl on the left seems to have her head in the clouds! For me, the softness really works, as does the colour cast. I wonder whether you were horizontal, or whether you tilted the camera to bring their eyes (almost) into line? (Actually, it's the centres of their noses that are lined up!) Either way, it's a lovely composition.

comment by Mark at 06:07 AM (GMT) on 22 May, 2006

That's a really good point about this type of event and the willingness of people to be photographed. Perhaps this is an easier route in for those of us who are a little cautious of "people" pictures. I love the composition and processing of this picture.

comment by mihai at 09:06 AM (GMT) on 22 May, 2006

postprocess work very well done!

comment by St├ęphanie at 01:11 PM (GMT) on 22 May, 2006


Thank you for your wonderfull pictures. I'm very impressed by the quality of the light and the colours.

I have myself a blog. Even if it doesn't have so much in common with your work, I would be very pleased to add you to my favourites. Then, others would also have the possibility to admire your pictures.

Waiting for your answer,


comment by Vicky at 01:15 PM (GMT) on 22 May, 2006

I love this picture, however i am slightly bias as it is me and my girlfriend (yep SHE isnt a boy).

comment by djn1 at 01:33 PM (GMT) on 22 May, 2006

Hi Vicky, I'm glad you like it :-)

comment by djn1 at 06:00 PM (GMT) on 22 May, 2006

Thanks everyone :-)

comment by Lautreamont at 11:37 PM (GMT) on 22 May, 2006

What an amazing texture. Lovely pic.

comment by Navin Harish at 12:22 PM (GMT) on 24 May, 2006

The soft focus works well in this shot and the synchronised faces are quite cool

comment by Andres at 03:14 PM (GMT) on 24 May, 2006

Very nice expressions. The eyes of this girls are beautiful. They look to the camera in a very profound and nice way. I like the composition too. And the rythim given by the position between the two faces is exellent ,givin to the image a sense of armony. This one talks a lot about you and the way you get in touch with people. Really nice and great photo.