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Carnaval 2015 San Francisco

I attended the 37th annual San Francisco Carnaval Parade on Sunday May 24, 2015. This was the third consecutive year that I have attended as part of the Fogo Na Roupa contingent. I am allowed to walk the parade route with my camera, because my eleven year old daughter dances. I took some photos again this year.

 (bryan farley)

There were more than sixty groups participating this year. We arrived about two hours before the parade started so that we could park and find our spot.

 (bryan farley)

I probably enjoy the parade preparation more than the actual parade. Photographers and groups mingle with each other. The dancers rehearse and complete their costumes.

 (bryan farley)

Some participants finalize their floats.

 (bryan farley)

Once the parade began this year, I still enjoyed myself. It’s Carnaval.

 (bryan farley)

Even the dogs are friendly.

 (bryan farley)

People of many different ages and appearances participate at Carnaval. Carnaval provides a positive experience for many body types and abilities. You can dance to your own drummer or you can dance with a bunch of different drummers. All drummers are welcome.

 (bryan farley)

My family also attended the 2014 Carnival. (You can see more of those images here.)

The 35th Annual San Francisco Carnaval was held Sunday May 26, 2013 in San Francisco's Mission District. My children danced with the local Fogo na Roupa. (bryan farley)

The 35th Annual San Francisco Carnaval was held Sunday May 26, 2013 in San Francisco’s Mission District. My children danced with the local Fogo na Roupa. (bryan Farley)

The 2013 Carnaval was my first. I will never forget it. Both my children participated. Here is the 2013 Carnaval blog post. You can see the images too. I took a few decent pictures.

 

Train Concert Photos Revisited – and the Photo Not Revealed

The Bay Area band Train is touring California again for their new album Bulletproof Picasso. I photographed two shows during their previous Mermaids of Alcatraz Tour for the California 37 album. The Script and Gavin DeGraw played both shows. Ashley Monroe joined Train during their set in August of 2013.

Can’t believe how time flies by.

The Bay Area rock band Train headlined a concert  at the America's Cup Pavilion in San Francisco, California on Sunday August 11, 2013 during their Mermaids of Alcatraz tour. Train performed with The Script, Gavin DeGraw and Ashley Monroe. (Bryan Farley)

I wrote a really good review for me … I mean, I wrote the review so that I would enjoy reading it. I don’t know if anyone else would find the review useful, but I thought I was quite clever. I liked my pictures too. I photographed the bands and the audience, and while some of the pictures were decent, I never posted my single most amazing concert photo. Perhaps I will share it with the lead singer some day.

The Bay Area rock band Train headlined a concert  at the America's Cup Pavilion in San Francisco, California on Sunday August 11, 2013 during their Mermaids of Alcatraz tour. Train performed with The Script, Gavin DeGraw and Ashley Monroe. (Bryan Farley)

A couple years ago, I was developing a project about artists who donate time and money to charitable causes. Some famous people probably contribute because their publicity agents direct them to do so, but many starts contribute because they care. Train and their lead singer Pat Monahan fit into the second category. For many reasons, these contributions are not often photographed well. Perhaps it takes a unique talent for a photographer to deal with fame and tragedy.

The Bay Area rock band Train headlined a concert  at the America's Cup Pavilion in San Francisco, California on Sunday August 11, 2013 during their Mermaids of Alcatraz tour. Train performed with The Script, Gavin DeGraw and Ashley Monroe. (Bryan Farley)

On Train’s new album, the song (and video) “Give It All” promotes suicide prevention. Just as many other music fans, I have my own personal story with suicide so I appreciate the message. The video includes a link to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. Train also supports other charities. Pat Monahan performed at the Acoustic-4-A-Cure concert to benefit the Pediatric Cancer Program at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital. Many artists also visit patients and families to raise spirits.

 (bryan farley)

In 2009 I passed an opportunity to photograph a life changing event. (I made the right decision.) Something similar happened during Train’s 2013 Sacramento area concert when an enthusiastic fan showed Pat her support. I had quickly turned to photograph the crowd and snapped a few photo. I don’t use flash. It was dark and yet somehow the photo is composed perfectly without any edits. (The RAW file is saved on my Photoshelter site.) I know Pat saw the woman too, because he paused while singing. Nobody needs to know who it was, because that is not really the story.

But it is a good story.

 

A Birthday Epilepsy Stroll (with my favorite aliens and the NSA)

Writing is linear. Living with epilepsy is not.

So this blog post has started to resemble my life. I am trying to translate it for “you normals.”

First: I had an amazing birthday on Saturday. My two children spent the day with me. They woke up early and followed the schedule that they had created. We left the house so that we could arrive early to volunteer at the 23rd Annual Epilepsy Stroll. I photographed the event for the Epilepsy Foundation of Northern California . My children were beautiful and supportive.

I felt blessed.

 

 (bryan farley)

Second: I noted how I had grown as a person with epilepsy during the last six years. Six years earlier, I attended my first epilepsy walk. In 2009, the epilepsy stroll was also on my birthday. I look different now. I act different. In 2009, I was afraid to identify as a person with epilepsy. In six years, I have become an outspoken advocate. While my children have learned that epilepsy is a life threatening medical condition, my children have also learned that epilepsy is an amusement park (and a concert… and an opportunity to serve others.) My son smiled when he told me how much he enjoyed seeing me happy on my birthday.

 (bryan farley)

Third: The challenge – translating for others

In 2010, I discovered how to explain epilepsy to those who have never had a seizure. I created invisible aliens who shoot electric ray guns. The aliens only shoot us. We can’t see the aliens, but we begin sensing when they approach. Sometimes we can feel them… maybe smell them. Their auras smell like invisible aliens who wear almond extract and shoot electric invisible rays.

Invisible Electric Alternating Current Aliens

 (bryan farley)

Forth – Being Cavalier

Want to know something funny? I don’t know how to measure my effectiveness. For the last three years, it seems that the only person who has read my blog is Brad Paisley and my mother. (I am not making up the Brad Paisley comment; not so sure about my mom.) On the old Epilepsy Foundation site where I was the only featured blogger with epilepsy, the page views declined.

I wonder if Eric Snowden and his mother read my blog. If Snowden never read my blog, nobody reads my blog… not even the NSA. If I can’t attract an idealist whistleblowing computer geek who has epilepsy, I should just post photos with silly captions.

 (bryan farley)

Fifth: Always Grateful

So, I might not be always grateful, but I get there eventually. If I fall down, I hurt, but I find a way to be grateful for the lesson. Sometimes it takes a long time.

I am grateful to the superheroes who support their friends and family. You inspire me. I am grateful to people who encourage me to keep shooting these types of events, especially in the beginning when I didn’t feel comfortable.

If you want to learn more about my first 30 years with epilepsy and how I became grateful, you can read my old blog posts here. It took a while.

 (bryan farley)

Sixth – More Family

I often join team and photos. (I joined the Moore Family above). The greater epilepsy family is one of my many families. I have been fortunate to comment about our growing family the last few years. I hope that I can continue to do so. My posts will continue to be added here for now.

 (bryan farley)

I can also continue collecting photographs that are epilepsy related. Here is my collection of the last six years.

 (bryan farley)

This simple photo is one of my favorite epilepsy photos. I took it before we entered the staff entrance Saturday morning. My daughter is smiling and holding my tea mug that one of my photo students gave me this year. My son is wearing a green Mission San Jose Warriors beanie. Mason is also sticking “rabbit ears” over my head. The rabbit ears remind me of the photos I took at my first national walk for epilepsy. I was so nervous, I did not know how to be a person with epilepsy and a photographer. All the people looked like they had something sticking out of their head… aliens.