If you want your photos to tell a story really capture the moment, don’t just point, shoot and send that digital image off to your lab. The difference between a snapshot and a strong photo image comes down to the editing in your digital darkroom.
One challenge with parade shots can be lighting. As you can see in this shot, the marchers are back-lit so I needed to compensate for that in my exposure, but that gave me a very overexposed street. Also, even with a zoom lens set 70mm, we have a lot going on in the image.
Here’s the same shot after editing in Photoshop:
Same image, but I’ve cropped it to focus tighter on the marchers and also burned in the asphalt so it is less distracting in the photo. So I’ve gotten rid of a lot of distractions (buildings in the background, overexposed street surface), color-corrected the images for deeper reds in the kits and hoisery, and have a much more pleasing photo.
Even if you don’t have a long lens, doing some work on your photos after you’ve taken than will provide your images with more punch.
Software like Photoshop Lightroom can be used for much of the editing needs that could only be done years ago in the more powerful Photoshop. It’s not inexpensive, but well worth it.