11 hours, 1755 frames but I got more than just soggy shoes

So my friend LuLu tells me that she and her long time sweetie Chris were finally getting married. Since their little mountain town throws a huge party on 4th of July they thought "why not join in?"  She is a chef and he is the drummer in the popular Phish tribute band Phix so you know that it was going to be a good time. How's the day going to start?, I ask. "Well", she says, "we are riding the fire truck in the parade and there's a kazoo marching band …" AaaahG! I'm in! How can you pass THAT up? So I assigned myself to be their officially unofficial photographer.

Well the area has been getting monsoon weather lately and it didn't let us down – as in downpour. It rained and rained but luckily it stopped for the hour of the ceremony and some family pictures then it rained during the reception but then it cleared for the big fireworks display that this tiny town somehow finds the money every year to put on. Which is odd considering how many cities canceled their fireworks due to budgetary issues. Anyhoo it was a total hoot. This little town is nuts in the best mountain hippy way possible. Here's some of my faves:

During the parade, which is about 6 blocks long, there was this kid who made this hat from a cardboard box. Love it!


Except during the ceremony I pretty much shot everything with my Nikon D700 and Nikon AF-D 28mm f/1.4 wide open. I so love this lens.


Lu 2


 Like I said: it rained but that didn't stop them from dancing like the happy bunch that they are. I found the hard way that the weather seals on the D700 work really well. I was totally drenched shooting the dancers but the camera acted as if nothing happened. Whoo-Hoo!



There were dogs everywhere and not a clean one in sight.


This is the kind of shot that frankly you just couldn't get a few years ago. It's shot with my AF-D 28mm f/1.4 wide open at ISO 3200 at one and a third seconds; yes with a tripod. The files these days are so clean at what used to be insane levels of sensitivity that it's stunning. Combine that with long exposures that don't give hot pixels and an available darkness shooter like me is in heaven. This was done at EV-2 which is a stop below the lowest light level that Nikon says that the camera will autofocus at. By using the autofocus on the guys Nike shirt I was able to get a focus point in conditions where our eyes could never ever register as sharp. Man do I love this technology.



The red glow is the fire fighters setting off fire works while the moon shines through the evening fog. Kinda spooky huh?


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