ND – Grey, Blue
On Sunday 14th November 2010…
…At 11am the gathered crowds and various representative groups of the armed forces fell silent for 2 minutes in respect of those that had died to defend us.
In 2010 the annual Remembrance Day Parade in Birmingham was centered on Centenary Square and I took a camera along to see if I could record something.
I have photographed events in Birmingham on a number of occasions, from the EDF Half Marathon to Rock Bands or Opera at Artsfest. I’ve covered Protest Marches to Single Individuals in Art Galleries, yet I felt less comfortable about covering the Remembrance Sunday Parade because it was a solemn and respectful occasion.
There were others around me, sporting a pair of high-end DSLRs around their necks, one with the standard pro’s 70-200mm F2.8 and the other with a large wide-angle pro lens. These people were roughly pushing past everyone or climbing all over every bit of street furniture in order to get the shots that they wanted. Sometimes I wish I was that pushy, but in this particular instance I didn’t feel it was right. So many of the shots that I would like to have made never happened.
However, with some care, I tried to approach some of the people involved in a way that they had a chance to turn away if they saw me, or nod a disapproving glance in my direction before I had hit the shutter button.
I really like ‘Salvation and Reflection’. I was at the back of a crowd, trying to get a view through the swaying heads in front of me of the Salvation Army Brass Band that was quite close by. The Nikkor 70-300mm lens I was using gave me the reach that I needed for this candid shot, and I used all of it to finally grab this one image when the view was wide enough for me to take it. I really like how just this one instrumentalist has been isolated, yet you can clearly see a reflection of some of his colleagues in the shiny brass of his instrument. In post-processing I fully de-saturated it as I felt a monochrome approach was more solemn and in keeping with this occasion, and I pushed the contrast up a little, but otherwise kept the image a little ‘soft’ in sympathy.
This is another favourite shot, and became more so when I started to read about the Hussars. In this case we see The Queen’s Royal Hussars. For me the thing that makes this shot, and I believe sums up this group, are the looks (in order, L-R) of Pride, Adventure and Humility on the faces of the three gentlemen at the front.
I hope pointing a camera lens at various people didn’t offend, and I’ll try to keep it low-key when I attend this event again in 2011.