Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Planning for the Streetparade

We have one of the largest "Love Parade" type festivals in the World, held every August in Zürich.

Upwards of 1 000 000 people come and enjoy the atmosphere.

Zürich main station becomes a party hall

The nineteenth Streetparade will be held on August 14th 2010 and I'll be there.

It's only a short route, 2.4 kilometers long but such is the mass of people attending that the Lovemobiles take several hours to complete it.

The organisers say (about the route):

"The unique Spirit of Street Parade also includes, of course, the stunningly beautiful route around Lake Zurich and the fantastic view of the lake and the mountains....

...a demonstration that calls on everyone to live in peace and tolerance with each other. A demonstration that is open to everyone who would like to enter into the Spirit of Street Parade, dancing to electronic music

I love this type of photography. Everything is constantly changing, wild vibrant colours, pretty girls, hunky men, bewildered old people etc.

The only thing that doesn't appeal to me is the music. A constant thump thump thump of bass that penetrates your whole body. Luckily, the organisers give out free ear plugs throughout the route. (they also give out free condoms, suncream and other "goodies")

 Security was pretty lax this year

I've been attending almost every year since 2000 but I'm a bit of a "fair-weather" photographer when it comes to the SP. If it is raining I simply won't go because sunshine, blue skies and the SP belong together. I just can't work up the enthusiasm to photograph the dancers in soggy costumes.

I'm hoping also this year to actually join the revellers on one of the Lovemobiles. I've already written a few emails and am waiting for an answer.

If I don't manage to get on a Lovemobile then shall have to plan my photographic experience carefully.

As I mentioned earlier, there can be around 1 000 000 people attending the parade. This can make navigating through the crowd, a bit difficult especially when lugging a camera bag. Plus, when things get tight, you are never sure if someone is dipping into your bag to help themselves. For this type of job, I'll be wearing my Agfa photovest. I won it a couple of years back in a photo competition and love it. It has lots of pockets, is splash proof (did I mention the water pistols that many of the youngsters carry?) but above all is comfortable because it distributes the weight of your gear across your upper torso.

 Me in my parade wear

I'll be shooting with my EOS 7d which will have the 28 - 135mm Canon zoom attached. As this is a small sensor camera, the equivalent focal length will be 44 - 216mm. I'll couple this with my EOS 5d and the 17 - 40 canon zoom. That way, I'll have all focal lengths from 17 - 216 covered. A Speedlite (set to minus 1 stop) will be sitting on top of the 5d. I use this to soften any harsh shadows from the sun.

Those two cameras will be over my shoulder and around my neck. In the pockets of the photojacket, I'll have spare batteries, memory cards, water, a snack or two, notepad and pen, business cards, suncream,earplugs, plastic bags (if it rains then I'll cover the cameras), mobile phone, wallet, a micofaser cloth to wipe the cameras if they get wet, and a longer lens. Probably my 70-200 as this will give me a 320mm equivalent (at the long end) on my 7d.

If you'd like to see a selection of my pics from previous years then point your mouse here.

More pics will follow..... weather permitting :o)


  1. Thank you very much for this useful information.

  2. You're welcome. I like to share the experience that I've picked up over the years.
    Thanks for stopping by.