Saturday, June 7, 2014

Be Ready

Political Rally - Athens

After an all-day drive from the north of Greece, I entered Athens at rush hour and worked my way toward the center of the city. Heavily armed police were everywhere; they seemed to be anticipating trouble.

I learned that the prime minister was about to give a speech in Constitution Square, just a block from my hotel. I wasn't sure whether it would be safe, but something compelled me to go out anyway.

a photo of a political rally in athens greece
Political Rally - Athens

I lined up with the other tourists to take some photos of the changing of the guard, but I noticed a crowd gathering in the square. I attempted a photo of the group against the color of the setting sun, but the difference in lighting was too extreme. The colors of the flags weren't registering.

When the prime minister made his entrance, two of his supporters lit flares. The flares provided enough light to make the shot work against the gradually darkening sky.

There was a lot of traffic on the street. I clicked off several shots, but most of contained at least part of a passing automobile.  Two unobstructed exposures were all that I could manage.

The flares produced a lot of smoke very quickly. Within a few seconds, the entire scene was obscured by a thick cloud. I had taken my shots at just the right moment, a moment that would be impossible to repeat.

Be ready. It's in my signature because of the number of photo opportunities that I've missed by failing to follow this simple axiom. I'm fortunate that I didn't miss this special moment in Greece.

 Nikon D800E
Lens:     Nikon 70-200 f/2.8G AF-S VR2

Light happens.  Be ready.  Shoot hard.

Copyright © 2014 Daniel R. South
All Rights Reserved

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