It's in the Bag, Mummer's Parade Edition

In in the Bag, Mummer's Parade Edition

I'm a firm believer in starting the New Year doing what you want to do all year. For me, that's taking photos, writing, and eating homemade pizza. I didn't get a run or motorcycle ride in today, but there are only so many hours in the day...

I hemmed and hawed this morning—should I go to the Mummer's Day Parade or shouldn't I? Should I stay home and write or venture out into the world? In the end, the cat decided for me, striking another cute pose and tempting me to take another cat photo. Enough! Enough cat photos. I've got gear that needs a workout! Let's go.

The Pentax zooms (DA*16-50 F2.8 and DA*50-135 F2.8) got the nods today, as I suspected that there would be a lot of action at different distances. The 16-50 is shown mounted here on the K-5 with grip but the 50-135 actually got most of the workout today. At first, that was all that I was going to bring, then I thought, "I need a backup. I need video in case there's music." That's when the K-01 got thrown in the bag with the DA21mm F3.2 Limited. I knew the K-01 didn't really have the reflexes for this kind of event, and I don't like using it with zooms either, but it's got better video and can be a backup in a pinch.

And then for some reason, the Q got thrown into the bag (a Timbuktu Snoop Messenger SM), tucked into a LowePro water bottle holder at the last minute. Why? I'm not sure—I didn't use it once today. It's just so small though that it's always tempting to bring along. Today I should have left it home as there were so many cameras about that the K-5 did not draw much attention to itself.

At the end of the day, the K-5 and zooms were the right choice. I actually met a guy shooting a K-5 IIs—that's one of the few times I've met another Pentax shooter. I'm still going through photos—a bit of a chore when you're shooting in bursts, but I'm already seeing a fair share of OOF shots. I believe the 50-135 is the culprit as its focus has always been a touch slow. IQ is excellent, but it's not the best sports lens. I also wonder if the K-5 IIs would make the lens focus faster. Everything I've read says that there's not much of a difference in good light, and today qualified as pretty good. I almost wish that I have the Nikon 1 V1 with me, but that's on loan to my niece. I will say that the K-5 with grip plus the 50-135 gets a tad heavy after walking around with it for several hours. Makes me feel bad for those lugging full-frame equivalents.

The K-01 was handy for some video shots. Each group comes by with music—either a live band or a speaker system. When the horns came marching by, I knew that I needed the sound. One of these days if I'm motivated I'll edit the photos and sound together.

I did realize something today, and it's kind of insightful. As I stood there watching the parade float by, I realized that had I not had the camera with me I might have been bored. Sure, it's cool just being there, but I'm not a good spectator. I get fidgety. And bored. The camera gives me something to do, transforming me from a spectator to a participant of sorts. And that's why I'm a photographer.

The next several posts will be shots from the parade. Hope you all had a good New Years and that this coming year brings much happiness. And great photos.

The Flutist of Philadelphia City Hall
The Flutist of City Hall, Philadelphia PA

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