Wednesday, May 11, 2005

new love found--portrait!

Here are two more of the photos from the Cinco de Mayo parade held in Pilsen last Sunday.

under the fierce sun
He is one of the charros (Mexican cowboys) on horseback, waiting for the parade to start at the Amoco station (of all places!). His stern expression and the flickring shadow his straw sombrelo casted on his face fascintated me. At first I kept a "safe distance" from them, using the maximum zoom of my camera, due to my poor social skills. (I am SO envious of people who know how to get friendly with their photographic subject, or anybody, on that matter.) But gradually I was drawn closer to get more intimate shots. Finally I found myself squatting on the ground about a yard from the hooves of their beautiful horses. Thankfully, they let me take thier pictures as much as I wanted, and this is my favorite among the charro shots. The focus on the embroidered sleeve, rather than the man's face is bothersome, however. There's nearly too much to pay attention to when taking pictures!

There was a "float" full of traditionally dressed children with dark skin and serene expression like he has. From behind the fence of their (massive) mothers, I took half a dozen pictures of them, also as they waited for the parade to start. It turned out that before the parade offered so much more to photograph than during the parade, mostly because the participants aren't self-conscious until it starts. Once it starts, all they do is put on artificial smile on their faces and to wave perfunctorily at the spectators.

I usually do not take portraits. Part of the reason is the above-memtioned less-than-satisfactory interpersonal skill of mine, but it didn't bother me too much. I didn't have much interest in people anyway. The Cinco de Mayo parade, however, might have changed it a hair. I'm still a same old anti-social hermit, but on that day I discovered the potential power of a portrait to strike people (as if I hadn't seen the National Geographic photo of a weeping Peruvian boy). To try to capture the elusive expressions on people's faces was so much fun, to top it all. I wouldn't be surprised to find myself sneakily pointing my camera at participants of other festivals and parades around Chicago this summer... (Plus, people aren't copyrighted, so tehre's no need to worry about security guards walking up to me furiously.)


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