Advice: Prepare for DC Protest? Lot o' questions Locked

Started Jun 23, 2020 | Questions thread
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johnvr1 Regular Member • Posts: 202
Re: Advice: Prepare for DC Protest? Lot o' questions

Bassam Guy wrote:

johnvr1 wrote:

johnvr1 wrote:

I haven't read all the replies, so apologies if this has been covered.

While I haven't shot the recent protests, I have shot protests, riots and parades both in Europe and in New York over the years.

Based on that, if it's about getting the shot, carry two identical cameras, each with a zoom. The faster the aperture, the better. Aim for wide angle to medium tele total reach. Get close for the best shots. If you need the files for social media, I'd shoot RAW and JPEG on all cameras.

Absolutely don't bring extra stuff. It's not fun losing your balance in a crowd and not being able to move quickly if necessary. Any protest can have nasty moments. Also, water and a snack will be more important than a lens that will likely see no use.

Likewise, I don't see a need for flash, unless you know that the light will suck (for example, the Puerto Rican parade in NYC always moves south to north at midday on 5th Ave, so photographers know they'll shoot into the sun).

Have your extra batteries and memory cards in a place where you can easily reach them. Anything that can easily fall off your camera, tape it with gaffer tape or remove it. You might also want to gaffer tape the corners of your gear, in case it's really crowded with photographers or you go low to the street and your gear gets scratched.

Finally, take care of yourself. I don't know the nature of the protest, but my experience is that often neither the protesters nor the cops trust you. They each seem to think you belong to the other group. I've been pushed by cops on horses and yelled at by protesters, even while carrying a press pass.

Now that I've read a bit more, seeing that you will shoot a bunch of celebrities and politicians in a politically charged time and a few months before the elections, you're likely to be among many other photographers, esp. early on.

They'll all try to get the same shots. I don't know who's hiring you, but if that person is close to the most prominent people there, you'll be brawling with your colleagues.

My client is one of the prominent people (not Sharpton). The actual leaders will be the families of George Flotd, Eric Garner, etc. That's why I'm bringing a flash, to get cooperative portraits & group photos without harsh shadows. The flash will be pocketed when/if moving in the crowd. My nephew will primarily do the crowd.

This means cameras hitting into one another, photographers walking backwards and elbowing you. It's a bit like runners lining up at the start of a race, except you're going backward while everybody still wants to be in the front to get the shot of the people walking toward you. Not sure how TV will cover this, but the guys with the big TV cameras will be most pushy since they need to film continuously.

A bit further in the march, things should quiet down considerably as they all run off to file their images (unless there's a threat of violence or something else happening, in which case they stay around).

And again, I speak from experience. The damaged corners of my old amateur Pentax still show the impact of heavy pro Canons and Nikons banging into it.

Sounds like a marketing opportunity, a camera case with spikes

Ok. Just make sure you can actually get close and that you don’t need a special media pass. Also, any chance Biden will show up? That would make the whole situation different in the front of the march.

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