Readers’ wildlife photos

July 7, 2021 • 8:00 am

Today our wildlife is H. sapiens, and the photographer is Lewis Lorton, who photographed the doings at a Fourth of July Parade in Washington, D.C. Here, then, is a slice of Americana.

Lew, formerly in the military, is now a professional photographer, and you can see his website here.  His captions are indented, and you can enlarge the photos by clicking on them.

I am a street photographer and a retired Army officer.  When I lived near Washington, DC, I tried to attend every July 4 parade that I could. Inevitably it was hot and humid but, just as inevitably, the crowds were happy to be there to take part and to see everyone else.

Each parade starts with a color guard from the military ceremonial units based near Washington followed by the precision-marching ceremonial units themselves.  The color guard is traditionally led by an Army Lt. Col. with officers from the Army, Marine Corps, Navy and Air Force. each of the rank of Major or equivalent.

Both those marching in the parade – and the crowds – are a remarkable display of Americana.

The Washington and Northern Virginia area has a large collection of ethnic minorities from recent immigrants, and these groups have colorful floats and bands.

One signal characteristic is the number of children that take part, the care in which they dress and the obvious affection within the families.

Floats and bands and displays come from all over the US and represent all that we like to think represents the good part of the US.

My attitude towards photography, particularly street photography, is that a ‘good’ picture should be more to the viewer than just a reproduction of what the lens sees and the sensor captures.  A good photo should engage and resonate with the viewer and give some idea of what the photographer was seeing, thinking or feeling. A good photograph should be a window into the world the photographer sees.

22 thoughts on “Readers’ wildlife photos

  1. Lew, thank you. These are certainly ‘good’ photos by your definition….ie they gave me a wonderful window into a world of happy americans who are enjoying one another and their day. After all the recent distress, i found these to be very uplifting.

  2. These are amazing photos! In particular, the shot of the kid with the ice cream lips, wearing the flag umbrella hat, made me smile and laugh out loud. That’s a happy American!

  3. Lew, what lens(es) did you use? I ask because for tight shots like this, I almost always use a “standoff” lens: A longish telephoto (200m to 300mm equivalent). Thanks!

    1. Most of these, certainly all the crowd photos, were shot with a Nikon D700 and Nikkor 24-70 2.8 as I don’t like the ‘flattening’ effect of a longer lens. The rest were shot with a 70-200 Nikkor.
      Early on I learned to keep the camera at my waist, and raising it to my eye only momentarily to shoot and then quickly dropping it. That keeps the ‘I’m-staring-at- you’ impact to a minimum.
      Once I set the exposure, I shoot on manual and correct exposure with exp. comp.

      1. Thanks. Yes. a “surprise” or “stealth” tactic is important. The long FL helps of course. I used to use the same tactic.

        My current rig has an EVF and a flip screen, so I can look almost anywhere while I frame on people, including down at my waist area (like a Rolleiflex) or overhead for a high viewpoint. That is quite effective too.

        My AE is so good that I don’t bother with manual anymore (I used to be 100% manual, included not using the light meter) and my eyes are too bad for MF anymore. All the quality AI in cameras came along at the right time for me.

  4. What Jim Batterson said in comment one above. These photos are very uplifting to me as well. I’m so glad to see so many different people come together to celebrate our nation, what it is, and the unceasing hope for what it can become. Thank you for these!

  5. Wonderful collection showing what America represents. Your photos made me smile and gave me a lump in my throat of pride.

  6. Thank you all for your welcome comments.
    It is nice to think of the US as ‘the city on the hill.’

    To save the servers, I sent these photos at high compression thus the images don’t do justice to the lovely Nikkor lenses.

  7. Thank you all for looking and taking the time to comment. I am off to Santa Fe for ten days to take a class on film and look for a possible new place.


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