We had a GREAT time on the Cindo de Mayo outing to Denver. It was Evan's first time riding a train, and he was fascinated. We took the light rail from the Mineral station, which was a great way to avoid the downtown Denver traffic and parking hassles.
We arrived at the light rail stop by the convention center, which was only a few blocks from the start of the parade. This is the "Blue Bear" at the convention center.
I flipped over to manual exposure to try to control the blown out sky, but forgot I had auto iso implemented, so the camera simply bumped the iso up to 3200 for this shot. This is why I need practice!
We soon found out that the start time listed on the Cinco de Mayo website was off by an hour. Luckily we were an hour early, so we walked down the block to the "Denver Diner," a cool 1950's style diner. Evan and Rebecca shared a cup of hot chocolate.
And an great omelet. Evan wanted to try the Tabasco sauce. . .
We wandered over to where the participants were gathering for the start of the parade, and had a chance to photograph the vaqueros and their AWESOME horses. This one was "dancing" to the mariachi band. It was pretty amazing to watch.
I used a large aperture in this shot in an attempt to blur out the uninteresting background. I started the morning on manual exposure, thinking that would give me more control over the exposure. It did; however, I also found that I was wanting to change apertures quite often depending on the depth of field I wanted for each image. It was easier to switch to aperture priority and dial in negative exposure compensation to protect the highlights. This resulted in quite a few underexposed images, but this was very easy to fix in post processing, and I didn't have to worry about blowing the highlights beyond recovery. (Contrary to popular opinion, you still need to protect against irrecoverably blown highlights with the D3.)
We had fun photographing the photogenic vaqueros and their spirited mounts.
And the beautiful folklorico dancers in their colorful dresses.
I think we came away with several good "stock" images, and it was certainly an excellent opportunity to try out different camera settings in a challenging high-contrast and fast-paced environment. I shot just under 500 images in less than 2 hours. I learned just as much from post-processing the images, and determining what worked and what didn't. (The images in this thread are a mix of Canon S3 (point and shoot) images and Nikon D3 images. If you want to see the shooting data for these images, you can find it listed under the image in the gallery.)
Hopefully you will be able to join us on one of our future outings, or organize one in your area and then share the results with the other folks on the forum.
Our next outing is to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo on 10 May. Hopefully we'll see you there.