The photograph above was taken at Clough Co Down, one of the centres where the Orange Order were parading throughout Northern Ireland on the 12th July. On the day I surprisingly took very few exposures but this image is one that stuck in my mind. It’s not a particularly well composed image and it was taken early in the day before the parade started. So why did I take?
There were several reasons, firstly I noticed the cowboy boots, the lyrics to ‘These Boots Are Made for Walking’ by Nancy Sinatra came to mind! Another reason for seeing this picture was the fact that nearly everyone else in the scene is standing and the main subject is sitting, so there is a certain juxtaposition. The fact that the heads of the people standing are cut off help the viewer to concentrate on the main figure. I lowered my position when making the image so that I was almost at the same level, obviously the person saw me take the image which has not spoiled the photograph.
This image conveys a relaxed atmosphere in anticipation for the parade yet to commence. Probably the dominant feeling was …will it stay dry? In actual fact it did stay dry until around 5pm! There is nothing threatening or decisive conveyed by the image, unlike many images of Orange Order parades that you will find in the media.
Photographs are a powerful means for conveying messages and you are really depending on the honesty of the photographer. In this case Clough was really about a family day out and meeting up with friends.
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