Having gone to last years I was a little disappointed that it was not the same or even better this year, it seemed to be less intense and far fewer people taking place and the later parade of the floats was either on at the same time or earlier as we missed it altogether.
The only thing that was as good as last year was the enthusiasm of the young people taking part.
One of the main reasons I thought was a crack down on the drinking by Police and a lot of posters dissuading revelers from drinking and driving.
I was as usual running and gunning it so I had to get my settings right and then not worry about them again.
I was using my Nikon D810 with my basic 24 to 85mm standard lens which although is not the sharpest lens it is great for holidays giving me great landscape and portrait capabilities as well as everything in-between. I set the lens to its 24mm knowing that with the 36 MP I could crop in a lot in post production.
The ISO was set to 400 with an aperture of f16 and shutter speed of 1/100th sec. this took care of all the daylight situations. When it got darker I used my flash which was off camera held in my left hand, high and pointed down whilst using the camera free hand in my right. Most of the subjects were going to be in the 6 feet to 12 feet range from me so to get the best coverage I set the Zoom on the flash to 24mm and put the power to 1/16 (for rapid recharging using fresh batteries). My ISO stayed at ISO 400 and the aperture was set to f5 with a slow shutter speed of 1/30 which although was very slow for one handed operation with the very fast flash duration I would always get a reasonably sharp image. I used back button focusing and kept my finger on it so the camera would focus on whatever I pointed it at.
I am not saying that the shots I got were great but you definitely get a feel for the occasion, I did take a medium soft box with me but decided due to the crowds that it would get in the way but it would have soften the light and I wouldn't have got the harsh shadows, all in all I am reasonably happy with the results.