GCSB Protest, Auckland, NZ (Image heavy) Feat. OMD and Ricoh GR

Chrisnmn

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Auckland, New Zealand
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Chris
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Disclaimer: I know social or political issues are not allowed in this forum, and this is NOT intended to express or point ANY political issues. This is for mere documentary and personal purposes. This about the images and the story behind it, and has NOTHING to do with my personal beliefs. Im not intending to raise ANY political discussion just to tell you my story and share this images.
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Since i dumped my 5DMKII ive been lusting for a Ricoh GR camera, first they got their sensors really small and didnt want that, and never got its film version as i have 5 or 6 other film compact cameras that i was not using since i came to NZ. Because developing film here in NZ is extremely expensive, but thats another topic. So never got one. Till now!. On tuesday last week i finally received my Ricoh GR as the price was exactly the same as getting the Olympus 12mm lens that i wanted. But i got a "camera" for free with the lens. anyway. super happy with this GR. its simply marvelous piece of camera. no bells or whistles. simply straight and pure photography. brilliant, fast, STUNNING handling and operation, friendly UI, SHARP SHARP lens. etc. cant find a negative thing in this camera yet. maybe the only problem is, that if you dont get a long with the 28mm FOV, this is not the camera for you.

to much bla bla....so i grabbed my new toy and wanted to properly shoot with it and test it. So during my lunch breaks grabbed some snaps here and there, and waited to the weekend to do it more extensively. Decided that on saturday i would go to a local flea market, but then while on my way there figured it out that they were not doing it on saturdays but only on sundays because of winter. dang!. So we headed downtown to grab some lunch and wonder the streets while snapping away.

So when i was walking downtown i saw this guy wearing a Guy Fawkes mask writing down a poster on its own in the middle of the main square. hmmm interesting i thought, so i got closed to him and shoot a picture. But i decided that instead of walking away, to actually talked to him and im so glad i did.

I said, whats with that poster I said. - You're obviously not from here aye (in typical kiwi manner), he replies. Nope, im not. why?. Then he goes explaining how GCSB in charge of all communications in the country are "spying" on New Zealanders, and selling that private information to big corporations overseas. And there was this one politician called Peter Dunne that his vote could reverse this intelligence service to spy on civilians, and he voted yes. - Wow I said, thats terrible man. And he says "You should come at 2 o clock, were going to gather here and protest about this".

And so we did. we went to have some lunch with my wife and stepdaughter, and waited till 2 o clock. when we got back to that main square, there were thousands of people gathered.

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peoples kept coming an lots of posters and lots of propaganda came up. Brilliant! i thought. perfect event to try my new Ricoh and my trusty OMD. Usually in this social gatherings and protests theres a lot going on, specially on the side, were crazy characters and situations arises.

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Funny that this guy with a Guy Fawkes mask was toping up his cellphone plan in the middle of the protest.

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This guy was for me, THE character of the whole protest. He would just walk among the crowd, dressed like that, without saying anything, he would just walk around with his hands in the back and serious look. So i thought i would chase him up and grab some pictures, and so i did, then he realize im taking pictures and he stops, looks at me, and standstill. I moved around as i knew i had seconds to get my shot, and after the second shot, I realized the poster in the back, moved around and bam!, i knew i had my shot, but now this guy starts walking towards me. So i thought, well, what the heck, keep shooting a couple more, never losing eye contact, i already did. and he keeps coming to the point he is really up my face, and the only thing he says, whispering almost, is: "Kill the prime minister". And walks away.

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I was amazed how peaceful protests like this are in NZ. For me coming from Chile, every protest ends up and means: trouble and danger. Lots of fire, police shooting and stuff like that. While here people was just screaming and speaking, but with respect. And police helped along by stopping traffic and stuff... good one NZ.

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Even dogs were part of it!.

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and kids, bored, after a while.

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Lots of Anti-Capitalist and Anti-American propaganda going around.

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Until i noticed this guy in the crowd with the "Special U.S. War Correspondent" patch in his jacket. I grabbed two or three shots till i noticed the CCCP poster in the background and move my way around to get both little icons together. As i believed both of them were not the point of the whole protest.

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People just kept coming, we are talking about a couple of thousands here according to some media reports.

Lots of speakers, Green Party and Labour Party flags all over the place.

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All of the sudden i saw this guy polishing and brushing this "protester" shoes. I thought it was part of the show or something, so i grabbed this, then the guy looks up and laughs, and realizes the situation and I said, that was brilliant! thanks. Then i walk away, but he says, do you want to take a picture of this? and points this weird NZ note i havent seen.

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He then explains, that this bill was part of an old NZ table game. Apparently some "Monopoly" or something like that. You can still see his fingers with shoe polish.

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Now the crowd started moving and walking through the main street of the city. Police walked along stopping traffic making way for the protesters.

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This white truck, was leading the way, with a guy screaming different songs. Also it was fully packed with photographers jumping in and out, trying to get the "shot". Amazing how some looked armed to the bone with HUGE zoom lenses, and harnesses, so funny. Like they were on pain or something. ill post some of that later on.

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The crowd was getting louder and louder. they are pissed. more people joins the cause.

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Some skaters, are super happy to get the main avenue of the city all for their own. they just go cruising.

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And the last one to close my little story.

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Hope you guys like it. This are some personal shots, not for any newspaper or media outlet. I might do a little something with it as a personal thing. anyway, was super fun, peaceful protest, that hardly ever happens in NZ. NZ is not a country known for taking the streets, so if they did, like they did on saturday for this, its because they are really pissed.

All this photos were taken with my Ricoh GR and my Olympus OMD +P25 nothing else. So how did the Ricoh behaved in terms of AF and quickness? , well 100% on par with my OMD, and because of something else. When AF would get slow or struggle when you half press the shutter, you can just full press the shutter and automatically would use a zone focus setting. and that is brilliant. this camera is "reactionary". with its snap focus setting nothing is ever going to be faster than that. so this IS my trusty companion to my OMD. Also by using this two primes rather than zooms like i saw among all the photographers around the protest, it made me work my shots, if this angle didnt work, i moved onto another angle to make it work, if it didnt work after 3 or 4 clicks, i moved onto another photo. and so on. I think this has helped me a lot.


long post i know, if you made it to this point, well thanks for watching and reading, and hope you enjoyed it. All comments are more than welcome!. :drinks:
 

jloden

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Very nice Chris! I found a 28mm equiv lens to work great photographing this sort of thing myself, so I'm not surprised the Ricoh and OM-D were a good duo. Some great shots (as usual!) and juxtapositions you got there. Really enjoyed the set, thanks for sharing.
 

Chrisnmn

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Apr 26, 2012
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Auckland, New Zealand
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Chris
Thank you guys, really appreciate it. It was a fun afternoon for sure!. :2thumbs:

Very nice Chris! I found a 28mm equiv lens to work great photographing this sort of thing myself, so I'm not surprised the Ricoh and OM-D were a good duo. Some great shots (as usual!) and juxtapositions you got there. Really enjoyed the set, thanks for sharing.
I hear you Jay, yes it is great to have two small cameras that can pack this punch. its really impressive were technology has gone. It was fun seeing the "pro"s with huge gear. ill post some images when i get home. it felt almost ridiculous.

Im glad you liked the set!. thanks!.
 

Reynard

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Jul 1, 2012
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67
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Cleethorpes, UK
Very interesting and well executed. Some terrific shots in there, you really put us in the middle of the protest, Great stuff. :2thumbs:
 

caimi

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Caimi caimiphotography.com
Great work from the composition to the tonal range to the capture of the sheer excitement of the moment.
 

macalterego

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Jul 10, 2012
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Lawrence, KS
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Jeffrey McPheeters
Very, very good shots. Now I'm sure my third camera, to augment my two OM-D E-M5s will be a Ricoh GR. Was hoping to see how it works with the OM-D.
 
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