How many of you went to a 4th of July parade this year? I suppose if you don’t live in the United States the odds are slim that you did, but if you live over here maybe you got to enjoy some patriotism on wheels! Or hooves as the case may be.
I was extra lucky. I was in the South, on a lake that just happens to have some very patriotic water lovers. Every July on the 4th a huge community of jet skies and boats circles part of the lake at full speed.
This year I got to shoot images of them as they went by. It was a big group, probably more than a hundred total.
But I’m getting ahead of myself.
First there was the gathering of everyone. The waiting for the prompt 10:00 a.m. start. The chatting with friends. The smiles. The admiring of costumes and decorations.
The increased anxiety for me.
You see we had been out on the lake the day before, talking to friends, telling them I’d be out there shooting. We told them to look for us and come by as close as they could.
We told them to smile.
I hoped I wouldn’t let them down. I’d be sitting in a boat moving up and down over choppy waters. They’d be out in the middle of the chop, moving fast across my bow.
Anything could happen.
It was a beautiful day, bright blue skies, puffy white clouds, beautiful water. Perfect for a parade.
At two minutes to ten they took off. We high-tailed it to the other side of the lake and a particular point near where we planned on anchoring.
They’d have to go around us.
I was as ready as I could be. Extra batteries. Extra memory chips. And advice on shooting action shots from my friend Heather, aka Snap Happy Gal who does phenomenal work. You should visit her web site.
How did it turn out? Well, it was a blast. Here’s a slideshow of some of my favorite shots.
It was a perfect parade. I didn’t notice the waves much while I was shooting. But when I took the camera away from my face and saw the waves heading toward me I sort of freaked. They looked at least 3 feet tall! They looked like they’d swamp the boat! I scrambled toward the back of the boat a couple of times, but we stayed sea-worthy.
It was an honor to photograph these people enjoying their holiday. I especially liked to capture the families that were riding the waves together. My brother has posted some of these photos to a lake Facebook page. I will post more soon.
I hope you enjoyed my representation of a 4th of July lake parade. But honestly? You should have been there.