My Fellow Citizens




15 thoughts on “My Fellow Citizens

  1. Have you carnival in town? Or is there another event. It is a dynamic photo. Neat! 🙂
    We should have the Pride Parade on Saturday. Do not know if I’m going out and take pictures yet.

    • This shot is from the last Hamilton Mardigras Carnival. One hasn’t been held in a few years. The HMC tried to throw an authentic Caribbean festival in Hamilton every August.

      People who like France’s, Rio’s, New Orleans’ or Toronto’s versions of celebrating Mardi Gras should see Hamilton’s (many of the participants actually help put on Toronto’s Caribana). It’s smaller in scale but no slouch, and some of the best street photos I ever take are during the parade. More colour is added to the city, and even more out-of-towners drop in. It doesn’t matter what you are, what you look like, who you are or where you’re from, everyone gets to literally dance and sing in the streets.

      One hasn’t been held in a few years due to budgeting constraints and seemingly the fact that no one has taken the leadership since the last organizer passed away.

      Such setbacks have occurred before so time will tell if this event will be resurected.

      Hamilton Pride parades are usually held in June but they too have been fraught with financial issues in recent years. It’s been a while since I’ve shot one but give it time. The LGBTQ community will get them going again some day.

      The city needs more high profile multicultural events.

      • It’s really a shame that people cut back on costs, where the people can be brought together and can feel joy.
        While perhaps should be also enthusiasts who can keep that bit ahead and get started and organize.
        Hope you have order in the city economy again soon.

  2. Nice shot. It’s always great to photograph parades. So many different people and costumes. It’s perfect!
    I hope you shot more photos this day, because I would love to see more.

    • There will be more from this event, and from others.

      I actually find it tricky shooting the parades of Hamilton because, to be honest, most of them are boring. Why, because they typically have many automobiles slowly tracking through streets with placards and signs on them advertising businesses and community services. Interspersed here-and-there are marching bands and baton-twirlers, old fashioned fire trucks and police cars. Really not much more. I don’t want to slam the effort but truthfully, when you look at the Macy’s and Rosebowl parades in the US, and even historical photos of parades put on in Hamilton decades ago, what I’ve observed since 2000 is quite dull.

      Mardigras and Pride are by far the best ones because they are so lively. Culturally-based. Music is loud but pleasant whether contemporary or old. Costumes are eye-catching. People get up and dance and walk around. Cars may also be rolling advertisements but there are also some used as floats with designed aesthetics.

      Many times I’ve heard locals complain that this town is boring. What can I say? Although money is too tight to mention, that, not excuses, is exactly what has to be donated, raised and spent in order to make parades, festivals and other community events interesting.

      • I’ve never been to Mardigras, but I shot some photos at the pride parade in Oslo a couple of years ago and it was great: colorful costumes and happy people that loved posing for the camera.

  3. A great shot that shows the energy and passion in a carnival. I love the fact that you used black and white. Carnival is typically captured in colour, but I think colour may sometimes distract from the emotional impact.

    • Thank you, Otto.

      It certainly was a challenge. Most of the shots from this parade were meant to show off the vivid colour, including this one. I really had to judge very carefully as to which ones I was willing to convert to monochrome for a Hammer Home theme. There aren’t many.

    • When there’s a parade on, get in it. Literally. Get right into the parade, and shoot. Let the paraders walk, dance or whatever right up to you and by you. Watch them interact with you and each other. Tremendous opportunity in this.

    • You’re so right, Paula! No one has yet to officially say why Hamilton’s is thrown in the summer. It is only presumed that 1) it would be quite uneventful to hold it during the bitter cold and dampness of winter or early spring, and 2) seing that most of the volunteers who put it on also put on Toronto’s one week before, so it’s a matter of economics and logistical timing.

      Years ago, Hamilton had a different version that I believe was held a little earlier in summer. It was called Cari-Can. It ended due to a combination of financial issues and annual increases in the presence of violent Toronto street gang members. Caribana in Toronto had already started to see shootings at some of its parades. It was a number of years before the HMC was initiated to replace the old Cari-Can.

      • That’s a shame: violent gang members taking advantage of public gatherings to harm people. Thank you for additional information, Allan.

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