Junior Parade of Bands - Trinidad Carnival 2017
The Junior Parade of Bands during Port of Spain, Trinidad's Carnival is basically a Carnival for kids. Lots of elaborate costumes, the same music and just as much fun as the adult Parade of Bands on Fat Tuesday. It's not only great to photograph as an event in itself, but it's good practice for the Carnival Tuesday parade. Same venue, Queen's Park Savannah, much fewer photographers, and easier access to different parts of the stage.
The one thing that you should notice almost immediately is that, on the stage at Queen's Park Savannah, you're shooting into the sun. Keep this in mind because it will be deja vu all over again on Carnival Tuesday. In a situation like this you have two choices - (a) shoot with a flash, which the majority of the photographers do, especially the ones on deadline, or (b) lighten the shadows in post. Since I wasn't on deadline and I was shooting with the Fuji XT2 which has a ton of latitude for recovering both highlights and shadows, I opted for the latter. Certainly an argument can be made that a flash will increase the vibrance of the costumes but it will also produce that "deer in the headlights" look on faces, which I don't really care for. And since the kids are constantly moving you don't have a lot of time for lighting experiments.
I took photos on the parade route and on stage. You can see by the looks on some of the kids on the parade route that the costumes are getting to be a little heavy. This all fades away when they hit the stage and the music starts cranking. Of course, the fact that the judges boxes are facing the stage probably has a little bit to do with the extra enthusiasm.
For this event a medium wide zoom is the go-to lens. I used my 16-55mm (24-70 full frame equivalent) for the whole event. You can get pretty close to whomever you want to photograph so a longer zoom just isn't necessary. Plus you have more room in your bag for water bottles. Don't forget the sunscreen and hat.
Next stop - Panorama, the Carnival steel band competition. Have fun.