Winged King Tut - 2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade

I received the best compliment this morning! Art by Davey, the maker of this fabulous Winged King Tut costume, which appeared in the 2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade, wrote this via Flickr:

"what amazing shot!!! King tut Gold
thank you again ...great composition...!!!!!!"

Considering how difficult it is to shoot people in parades, and how many photographers end-up getting the same stale images chock-full of background noise, I consider this a huge compliment!

Davey is going to post it on his website,

Thanks so much, Davey - all the best to you and your fab costume!

Happy Shooting!

Perfect Photos Aren't Perfect. Or Necessary!

At the far end of the throngs of mermaids at the 2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade was a group of friends dressed in red ensembles. What I loved about this group of young folks is that they seemed to be having an awesome time, and they didn't give a rat's butt about the fact that they weren't really mermaids at all.

What I love about these images is that they're not perfect. Blown out, very contrasty... I threw a filter on them and I love it. Why? Because it shows their emotion more than the costume or the background or the perfection of rest of the half-naked people at the parade.

I love this group of mermaids and this photo. It's one of my favs from the Mermaid Parade.

Thanks for the real emotion girls! Rock on!


Should I bring a zoom lens or prime lens to a parade?

I have to say that so far, this is one of my favorite photographs of the 2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade. And this image was caught with Nikon's 18-55mm f4-5.6 zoom lens.

It's a kit lens.

This year the parade was chock-full-of-photographers. In fact, there were so many photographers that the costumed parade-goers often looked confused and slightly overwhelmed.

One thing I would suggest if you're in this situation as a photographer is to definitely bring a zoom lens. While the prime lens will produce wicked sharp images, the chances of you actually getting the composition that you want is slim.


Take the 2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade for example: there were so many photographers in the way that when I moved, I bumped into other photographers who were right on top of me. Within an hour I switched back to my D80 with the zoom. The zoom - as a matter of fact - that is a KIT lens. Folks may scoff at kit lenses but I was able to get a few royal shots that are already awarded on Flickr.

Small yaye! More tips to come...

Happy Shooting!


Via Flickr:
2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade
Coney Island, New York

For the full set of high resolution, printable images of the 2011 Coney Island Mermaid Parade, please go to