My Final Photo for July 4, 2019, continues the tradition of making a photo of Westerville Reserve Police Officer Ted Bretthauer accompanied by a few kids saluting the Honor Guard as it leads the July 4th parade through Uptown Westerville.
Bretthauer is not always at the same intersection and has some times been so far away that I couldn’t find him Uptown. This year he was at Main and State and ready for his annual action photo.
The photo chosen for My Final Photo is different than any of the other years I’ve made this photo. It is with a wide-angle lens showing Bretthauer and the children at the far right of the frame with the Honor Guard proceeding down the center of State Street as they cross Main. Included the sky, the perspective slanted view of storefronts, and the Main Street sign.
Using a wide angle requires good composition and the selection of storytelling elements that eliminates distractions. This photo is divided into thirds with the left element (Honor Guard) balancing the right element (Brettauer and kids) with the center third an open space that works an an open space indicating movement by the Honor Guard. The traffic signal arm, usually a great distraction, works to balance the open space of the sky and acts as a frame to keep the viewer’s eye from falling out of the photo.
I’ve never attempted, with great expectation, shooting this photo with a wide-angle usually because the background does little to contribute to the story that makes the photograph important enough that it can become a personal marker challenging me to be better next time or as a discovery of a new way to see an ordinary event.
The compositional elements were in alignment, the scene was bright and backlit, and the colors rich. Even caught the Honor Guard with their heels hitting the street in perfect step.
The only thing I’d like to have different is for that golf cart to not have parked behind the kids when the Honor Guard passed. I had to watch my angle to get it obscured as much as possible.
I’ve included a second wide-angle view and a telephoto version (my normal view) for your appraisal and discussion.
Westerville Reserve Officer Ted Bretthauer salutes as he stands with his three young charges as the police department Honor Guard passes at the lead of the 4th of July parade through Uptown Westerville. My Final Photo for July 4, 2019.