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For several years I have been photographing the Fremont Solstice Festival parade. Originally, I photographed from the parade route. I quickly realized that the moments were too fleeting and the participants too distracted to be able to make memorable photos in that way; I repaired to the staging area.  

Although this gave me more freedom for interaction with my subjects (and the ability to talk with them and even ask their permission to photograph them), I still felt that the situation was too hectic to be able to record them in an interactive way. 

In 2007 I brought my studio view camera (a very "retro" medium--it requires a tripod to support the camera and a black cloth for focusing) and set up a "studio" in the PraxAir parking lot just off the beginning of the parade. It was away from the congestion of the parade which proved to be a blessing and a handicap: I could work with my subjects without distractions, but there weren't any participants available--I had to find them. And, the garage doors in the background proved distracting in the pictures. 

In 2008 I moved the studio to the opposite end of the building, right in the center of the staging area. The grass and landscaping proved a pleasant background and I was besieged with subjects. However, this also attracted a horde of lurkers, leerers, voyeurs and other would-be photographers who don't have the courage or courtesy to ask semi-naked women permission to photograph them. These assassins usually "shoot" the women from the obscurity and anonymity of the crowd; the availablity of semi-naked women actually standing still and posing was like catnip to a housecat. Still, my subjects were very appreciative and cooperative. (I guess when you are in a parade you expect that every pervert in Seattle will be there with a camera.) 

I continue to make candid photos in the staging area, but here are the images from my "Studio Project". Technical information: Cambo 4x5 View Camera, Caltar 150mm and 210mm lenses, Kodak TMax 100 film; all photos have strobe fill.

Click on thumbnail to see a larger image