First of all, I am not an expert on techniques and I am still learning photography so this is solely my opinion on how to work the scene. If you see something that I could do to improve or have experience in these types of events let me know. I am learning the best I can to improve my photography and these are just observations that I noticed in my contact sheets that I would like to share with you.
So the story starts me rushing into the airport when I heard that they are doing the last welcoming home party for the U.S. Military coming home from Afghanistan. I've battled through traffic and thinking that I am already late since there are a lot of people already in the scene. Fortunately, even though there were a lot of people already situated, I was not late so it gave me a sigh of relief.
To start off, I brought the Leica M6 with a 50mm Summicron Type 5 lens attached to it. I also put in Ilford HP5 Plus rated in 320EI since I am depleting my stock before I totally move on to Kodak Tri-X.
Here is the summary of what I did during this roll of film:
Frames 3,7: I got attracted to the Vietnam Veterans waiting for the troops to arrive. My heart really fell to photograph them since during their homecoming from Vietnam some protesters spat on their faces and maimed them coming home. Technically speaking, I think I could not use any of the frames since it was people's backs and I would have rather chosen photographing them from the front.
Frame 8: I looked back to see what is going on, I maybe also looked back since people were cheering.
Frame 9: I photographed the kid sitting down waiting for the troops
Frame 10: I looked back again to see if there is anything interesting
Frame 11: I did a vertical composition but it seems like someone was blocking the way on the right side of the composition, cannot use that frame.
Frame 12: Looked behind me again but I was too far from the subject.
Frame 13: I went to where the cheering was to see what the composition was like but I was too far from people coming out of the entrance.
Frames 14,15: I came in closer and started to crouch down to see if I can get something interesting. Troops are starting to arrive
Frame 16: I get closer
Frame 17,18: I am doing a vertical composition but as you can see there is too much space on top of the composition.
Frame 19,20,21,22, 23: Nothing really going, I feel that there are no gestures to take a note of or anything interesting in the frames.
Frame 24- I feel that there is something here, I feel that the Soldier is glad to be home but in the right of the frame the lady is blocking the photograph. It is a "maybe" for me at this time.
Frame 25,26,27: I am starting to get blocked by the crowd. People extending their smart phones trying to get a picture too so I moved to the right side of the crowd where the troops are going in on buses.
Frame 28: I think this is where I was lucky enough to capture this moment. I did not setup the background then but when I was editing in the darkroom I was very happy with the results. The background, the gesture of the soldier and the boy saluting made the photograph.
Frame 29,30,31, 32: The scene started to die down plus the composition of frame 28 disappears as I move in and out composing the frame.
Frame 33: There might be something in the composition but I have to make a work print just to make sure I am not missing anything interesting.
Frame 34,35,36,37: The scene dies down as I move around trying to find anything interesting. I feel that everyone is scattered at this moment.