Using primes on an event like this is quite tricky because its often quite fast moving and because you have to shoot from a static position there is very little opportunity for reframing. But the extra light those two lenses gave and the fabulous bokeh and sharpness made up for it. The extra light meant I could use ISO 100 and still get fast enough shutter speeds to keep everything crisp.
To add to the challenge the autofocus wasn't coping very well with the moving targets so I used manual focus all the way through.
There didn't seem to be quite as many bands and floats as in 2006 and our home grown parade participants just didn't seem to put much effort into it. Guys, if you are reading, a matching set of tracksuits and a handwritten sign does not make a thrilling parade. People want to see colourful costumes, some tumbling and perhaps some mild peril.
The american girls were out there having the time of their lives performing in the freezing cold, wearing miniskirts and performing feats of acrobatics that had me fumbling for the delete button on my camera, lest I get found with images of young girls legs akimbo flashing their knickers.
The English girls on the other hand were in scarves and tracksuits with expressions of pure misery, flinging the occasional baton in a desultory manner and complaining to their guardians about the cold or having to walk or something.
If the Americans stopped coming there would be no parade. Click any of the images to see the full set.