With the Holidays upon us, I wanted to put up some documentary pictures that I shot last year at Westminster High School’s Las Posadas celebration/parade/march. The event was a lot of fun, it included Mary, Joseph and even a real donkey. There were candles, guitars and lots of singing. The large crowd moved from church to church through the old town area of Westminster and ended up back at the high school for refreshments after the march.
It was pretty cold, and very dark, so photography was a challenge. I wanted to document the event, but using flash would have been very intrusive and would have looked awful – red eyes and blown out faces with pure blackness in the background. Instead, I chose to shoot in the available light (err – darkness). I utilized the highest ISO the camera would allow and then under exposed by about a stop, and I also used my fastest lens. It was too dark for the camera to auto-focus (without an annoying AF assist lamp) , so manual focus was the order of the day.
Even though these pictures are very grainy, I think they do a good job capturing the spirit of the event. They are authentic. They illustrate the setting of the event – the cold and dark of a December night, punctuated by the warmth and light of community and candlelight.
You can click on any of the images to see them larger and read a caption. Enjoy…
Nikon 50mm f1.8
ISO 3200 (underexposed, so more like 6400)
It was DARK!