I jumped at the chance cover Occupy Wall Street when asked if I wanted the job. I never got to shoot any of the original protests and was excited for the assignment.

I arrived in New York City mid-day to find small groups of protesters demonstrating all over the city. I followed the crowd, which lead me through the city from mid-town, Bryant Park, Union Square and finally to the financial district. Working in NYC is a challenge, it’s nearly impossible to follow a group and also use a tripod. Finding a way to brace yourself and hold your breath while shooting video with the 5DMKII is a must. The advantage of working with a small DSLR is weight. You can hold the camera for long periods of time and still pull off a good video clip without a traditional tripod.

For some shots I decided to shoot still frames for an effect or to eliminate camera shake. During an assignment, I’m editing in my head while gathering content. At one point in the day, I stood off to the side for several minutes and intermittently shot about 70 still frames in the same position. During the edit, I imported them into FCP as a time-lapse. An interesting effect that creates a different feeling of movement for the piece.

I also wanted to make a few portraits at very low depth of field. For this I chose the Canon 24mm f/1.4L ii, an amazing lens that allows for extremely low depth of field while being very close to your subject. Used in a multimedia piece, it can highlight points of the story in a unique way. At the end of the day, police had set up barricades to allow the protesters to march from Union Square down Broadway to the financial district at Wall St. With the tremendous number of people, there were many possibilities for imagery. I was searching for a closing shot and decided, based on the story, the Wall St. sign would work really well. Without a tripod to eliminate camera movement, this was also a still image.

OWS, an assignment that will be hard to forget.



Camera: Canon EOS 5d Mark II – 5DMKII
Lenses: Canon 24mm f/1.4L II, 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II, 2x EF Extender III – 24mm,  70-200mm2X Extender
Sound: Sound Devices MixPre-D – MixPreD
Microphone: Sennheiser Wireless EW 100-ENG G2 – 100-ENG G2


Special thanks to Newsday’s Bobby Cassidy, Meredith Daniels and Jessica Kelley for their editing critique. Also to Howard Schnapp for vantage point access.

Copywrite: Newsday

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2 Comments. Leave your Comment right now:

  1. by Brendan

    Great job, Mr. Ware. As you know, I was out there shooting that day too, and for you to get all those great shots amidst all that chaos is fantastic. Keep it up!

    • by chris ware

      Thanks Brendan Awerbuch! I appreciate the compliment. It was an exciting day. Hope to see you again soon.

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