June 12, 2018

Warriors Championship Parade

Not to sound spoiled (even though I am), I've covered my fair share of championship parades. I covered two Giants World Series parades. (I wasn't yet working with USA Today Sports Images [then still US Presswire] during their 2010 win, but have quite the memory of kayaking to McCovey Cove for game 1). The 2012 parade Giants one was fair enough, I was stationed to the stage and got some pretty standard photos. Nothing portfolio. The 2014 parade, I had a pass to join the players on the double decker bus and made some photos I'm really proud of and enjoyed taking.

covered the Warriors 2015 parade and it was a total nightmare. The event management team designed to organize was anything but. Maps were wrong, credentials weren't there nor were staff. They said you could shoot parade -or- rally and that no photographers would be allowed in the rally area after a certain time so anyone covering parade route wouldn't be let in. Myself and a few other photographers sat on a raised platform in the sun for HOURS waiting for the parade to reach the rally location, only to find that contrary to their stated rules, they let photographers who were walking the route walk right up to the base of the stage. My photos of the rally were garbage compared to anything taken from that vantage point, and certainly compared to anything on the parade route. And there wasn't wifi so it was an extra nightmare.

I hoped to never photograph a parade again and managed to get out of it in 2017. But when my assignment editor asked if I could, I caved and agreed.

Early wake up to beat the crowds, walking to Bart with my gear on my back (MindShift makes fantastic backpacks but I always prefer to roll when I can), standing around for HOURS waiting for the parade to start (20 minutes late) I was a bit of a Krabby Patty (understatement). Klay Thompson was just on his phone before the parade because a) that's how engaging a parade it b) phone addiction is so real c) his mom was texting him d) all of the above?

As I would photograph each double decker bus with players (poor Patrick who? accompany Stephen Curry) and follow them along the route for a while, while the other community/Warriors staff groups that I didn't need photos of were in between. I had plenty of time to then walk back to the start and grab the next player bus.

But then suddenly, well before I planned to walk back towards the next double decker of players, is JaVale McGhee walking along the route high fiving fans, taking off his shirt, tossing into the fans and just LIVING it!

Then Nick Young, in his silk robe and cigar in mouth, feeling himself!

Their energy, enthusiasm, and engagement with the fans totally turned around my mood.

Like Draymond Green's trolling t-shirt MOOD... 

I went to edit from Specialty's Cafe (free public wifi!) hung around to let the crowds (I think there's people somewhere behind all those phones) die down while Cary stayed along the route, and then caught BART home.

I still wouldn't say I have any desire to shoot a championship parade in the future, but it was as terrible as I dreaded it would be.

In better news, even though my new MacBook Pro (don't buy unless you have to) doesn't fit in My 2nd Brain 11 that use to love to bring my MacBook Air in, it DOES fit in my MindShift Gear Rotation Panorama 22L. Along with an EM-1 Mark II body in the main compartment. And then I had another EM-1 Mark II and two lenses (40-150mm f/2.8 and 7-14mm f/2.8... in retrospect the 12-100mm f/4 may have served me even better if I had it) in the rotating waist pack. Nick Wong caught me in action. Don't mind my really cool visor and expertly coiffed hair ;)