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Guide To Parade Photography
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Guide To Parade Photography

Before you head out to photograph a parade, make sure you have the right gear for parade photography.

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Parade photography has a few quirks that require specialized items to make your photos the best they can be. Here are four accessories you may want to consider before you head out to the parade.


Photo credit: Flickr via Daniel

Kelly Moore Libby Bag

Kelly Moore Libby Bag $219.00

  • Compatibility for laptop and gear

  • 2 front pockets6.5" x 7.5" (5.08-16.51cm x 19.05cm) zipper pockets

  • 1- 10.5" (2.54- 26.67cm)zipper pocket

  • 2 side pockets6.5" x 8.5" (5.08-16.51cm x 21.59cm) open pockets

  • 1 back pocket11" zipper pocket

  • 1 laptop divider - Will hold up to a 17" laptop

  • 5 padded, removable, adjustable dividers

  • Outside dimensions (Tall x Wide x Deep)13.5" x 16" x 6.5" / 34.29cm x 40.64cm x 16.51cm

Sometimes, you don’t want to advertise that you have thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment while you are walking to a parade route. A great way to camouflage your gear when doing any parade photography is to put it into a camera bag that is designed to look like an everyday purse or tote, such as the Kelly Moore Libby Bag. The key is to make sure that the bag has enough pockets to hold and organize all of your accessories but still offers enough protection to keep your camera and lenses safe.


3Pod PTT1H Table Top Aluminum Tripod with Ball Head

3Pod PTT1H Table Top Aluminum Tripod with Ball Head $24.95

  • Black

  • 3 year warranty

  • Steel

  • Accommodatescameras up to 6 lbs.

  • Compatible withall medium and light DSLR cameras

  • Dimensions equal7 inches

Many think that you don’t really need a tripod for parade photography, but what if it is a night parade? A still camera takes the best night photos, right? Of course, but you don’t want to lug around a full-size tripod, especially when you are trying to dodge around the crowd. A small, portable tripod like this one will allow you to steady your camera on the hood of a car, park bench, window ledge or any other handy flat surface. The ball head is a great feature because it allows you to quickly adjust your camera angle.


Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM Wide Angle Lens

Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM Wide Angle Lens $2,159

  • Focal length and maximum aperture equal14mm f/2.8

  • Lens construction has14 elements in 11 groups

  • Diagonal angle of view is114 (on full-frame cameras)

  • Focus adjustmentAF with full-time manual

  • Closest focusing distance is7.9 in. / 0.2m

  • Filter SizeGel filter holder at rear of lens

  • Max. diameter x length3.2 in. x 3.7 in. / 80mm x 94mm

  • Weight is22.8 oz./645g (lens only)

  • Canon limited warranty

Using a wide-angle lens for parade photography can help you get more of the action into one image and prevent blurred edges by decreasing the depth of field.Most photographers use this type of lens for landscape photography and a parade can be viewed as a type of living landscape with moving hills called floats.The more action you capture in one shot, the more your viewer will get the overall feeling of the parade.


Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom

Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L II USM Ultra Wide Angle Zoom $1,499

  • Focal length and maximum aperture is16-35mm f/2.8

  • Lens construction has16 elements in 12 groups

  • Diagonal angle of view is10810’-63

  • Focus adjustmentAF with full-time manual

  • Closest focusing distance is0.92 ft./0.28m

  • Filter size is82mm, P=0.75mm/1 filter

  • Max. diameter x length3.5 in. x 4.4 in./ 88.5mm x 111.6mm

An ultra-wide lens is 17-21mm and is used to make viewers feel like they are right in the center of the action, which is what you are really trying to accomplish with parade photography. The key to using this lens to its best advantage is getting close to the action, so you will need to make sure you have a plum spot along the parade route. If you are too far away, your subjects will look tiny and not very impressive, even when you zoom in on them. With larger parades like the Macy’s Parade or Rose Parade, this may mean staking out a spot days in advance.

With these four tools, you will be prepared to take great parade photography shots that will make your viewers feel like they were at the event. Not to mention, they’ll make the whole process a lot easier for you.All of these items, among many others, can be further explored at Adorama.


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What is your favorite go-to tool for parade photography?

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