Parades and any sort of street gathering are great places for the urban photographer to find great candid and documentary pictures. However it can also pose a lot of difficult problems as well.
Finding a good vantage point from where clear shots can be taken without being jostled and pushed off balance will be a major issue.
Being able to adapt to the changing situations around you whilst keeping your camera equipment safe and accessible, is often the secret to achieving great candid street pictures.
It is also a good idea to know your camera so well that changing settings comes as second nature and to have your day planned in advance, so that you don't miss any of the action.
The four photographs I have chosen show a different aspect of parades and how they can be captured by photography to illustrate the feeling of the day.
This first image by Alaskan Dude shows a single participant in a street procession.
Isolating the figure using a zoom lens has allowed only the dancer to be in focus and has cut out any other distracting objects around them.
The main figure is completely in focus and it is easy to tell that this picture was taken during the middle of the day where the sun is producing its harshest light.
I think the photographer has used this harsh light well, keeping enough of the subject well lit while producing some nice shading on the face.
It helps to give the image a hot, sunny happy feel.
The next image by God Speeder shows a group of people joining in the parades march. It appears that the subjects are completely unaware of the photographer and so has a completely natural feel to it.
The positioning of the figure on the left leads the eye into the picture and creates a sort of funnel effect into the picture.
Filling the frame with only the people and avoiding any other clutter to encroach on the image has created a very vibrant and engaging photograph.
I also like the fact that the image has a limited colour range of oranges and blacks. Perhaps this was another reason why the photographer framed it in this way, so as to enhance this tonal effect.
Stormy dog has captured the very American phenomena of the tick a tape parades. I love the framing and focusing of this image.
They have managed to keep the background fairly in focus so as to allow the viewer to see the people in the windows behind, whilst at the same time allowing most of the streamers to also be fairly in focus.
This gives the whole image lots of depth.
The angle of the shot against the very bold lines of the building behind has also helped the picture to come alive. It really does give you the impression of looking up into the tick a tape shower.
This last image by Informtique shows another aspect of many parades, the music.
It was very clever of the photographer to decide to not just shoot a picture of a marching band but to pick out the reflection of the band in the shiny brass horns.
You can see that the camera was focused on the reflection, as this is where the image is most sharp.
The cropping of the image into a square works well with its circular subject matter of the horns.
The composition works particularly well as once again a lot of unnecessary clutter has been kept out of the frame.