The 2013 Jamaica Independence Grand Gala Celebration held at the usual location, the national stadium. In my honest opinion this year it was slightly underwhelming it really didn’t feel like a $100million event which is what was the budgeted figure if I remember correctly for this years celebration event.
The organisers planned around the print media and apparently didn’t intend for us to be able to work as we had zero access to the field which is where everything took place which means to get any worthwhile images you needed at least a 400mm at about f/2.8 or at least f/4. After a bit of back and forth with the some of the orderlies of the event we were able to convince them to escort us on the field for some close up of the performers on stage as long as we remained orderly and vacated from the field when necessary. This worked fine until the final performance which was the two headline cultural artiste of the Grand Gala i.e Junior Gong and Queen iFrica. Their act took place with a field full of dancers so we had to shoot from the sidelines which means the images weren’t that great.
For the majority of the event I used a Nikon D7000 and a Nikon D300s equipped with a Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 and Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 and at some points I switched from the 70-200mm to a 80-400mm however eventually I’d switch back as the 80-400 just isn’t as fast as I need in the stadium’s light situation. When Camped out behind the stage and shooting the performances the 70-200mm was perfect however when I’m all the way on the sidelines I needed more reach so I’d have to switch to the 400mm and work at a really High ISO. to compensate for the 5.6 Aperture at 400mm.
Here are a few images from the Independence Grand Gala Coverage
Here’s a few of my colleagues buying water from a vendor at the Grand Gala the cost of water was $150 JMD. Now for anyone that doesn’t know water retails in any supermarket in Jamaica for approximately $50jmd. The vendors at the Grand Gala however thought it necessary to mark up the price by 200%, needless to say I was not amused.