in san francisco, pink saturday is the day before the annual gay pride parade. the parade itself is a spectacle in itself, with an estimated 1.2 million attendees. the night before the parade, however, is when the craziness happens. a large swath of castro street and market street are blocked off. the area becomes a multi-stage concert venue and block party.
as is our annual custom, we went to a house party in the castro before coming outside to brave the crowds out on the street. i decided to bring what i’ve called the party camera, a crown graphic with a sunpak 444d and four grafmatic backs. entering a sweltering house packed with people, bringing such a huge camera, heavy camera might not cross your mind.
preparing for the party reminded me of last year’s folsom street party, where i felt really disconnected with the scene. this was a little different. it felt more like bringing along one of my crazy cameras to a party where all my friends were. “oh, you need to let schlachet take your picture with his crazy camera!”
i did learn a few lessons from shooting with this setup. first, when the subject is very close i should be looking through the camera and ignoring the sports viewer. second, when i slow down and think my shots come out much better.
overall, i am pretty pleased with the set. it’s quite an experience shooting hand-held 4×5 at night, let alone seeing your friends at a party in large format.