South Sudan Flag Raising

Boston City Hall, Boston, MA

Maria Ajang (cq), who was kidnapped into slavery in Northern Sudan at the age of nine-years old, was with her family and over 100 Sudanese now living in the New England area to celebrate the independence of Africa’s youngest nation: South Sudan. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ MET

Behind the Scenes:

Sometimes we cover events at City Hall Plaza and they are just not that visually interesting. However this one proved to be the contrary. Brightly colored dresses, white feathers (I was told this symbolize pride), dark skin against bright skies all framed by high emotions. It was a visual cornucopia.

  • I usually go by the rule of using my camera at first in aperture priority mode and then after taking a couple of shots and looking at them, I then switch to manual and take over.
  • This was an extreme case since it was a bright and sunny (high contrast) day and some of the subjects in these photos had skin so dark that it completely threw the camera’s internal light-meter readings completely off.
  • So there was a lot of trial and error until I was satisfied with the exposures. But even then the slightest movement on their part, just looking up versus looking down made the exposures change all over again.
  • Lots of patience required for this one but the results speak for themselves.

Tech Stuff: 16-35mm 2.8, 70-200mm 2.8 w 1.4TC. ISO 200-320, apertures 2.8-5.6, speeds 1/800th of a second and above.