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August 1, 2014

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The Backstory:

Capturing the perfect circus cliche

Image

Steve Marcus

The Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus visited the Thomas & Mack Center on June 14.

Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, Thomas & Mack Center | June 14, 2012 | 7:02 p.m.

Photographers had only 15 minutes to shoot the circus’ opening act last Thursday, so I shot pretty much everything. When a woman came out riding an elephant, I thought it was the ultimate cliché image for the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus. I switched to my telephoto lens—photographers had to stay in place during the elephant parade, so as not to spook them—and I had just enough time to get off a few frames before she came too close. I chose this image because it had the perfect “parade wave.” It’s the kind of wave where the hand and arm stay almost still, and all the movement is from the wrist.

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