On January 21st I attended the Women's March in Portland Oregon. I'm not going to get into some big long political rant as to why I attended because quite honestly, I don't feel like I need to. The pictures I'm posting here and the numerous photographs (i.e. millions) from others pretty much explain that far more than my ability to wordsmith ever will.
Estimates on the size of the crowd range from 75,000 to 125,000 people depending on the source you go by. I like to just split the difference and call it a nice round and even 100,000 strong. It certainly felt like it. I've been front and center at stadium concerts that have felt less compact.
I can honestly say I have never been in a crowd of so many people at the same time. There were several points in the day when I wanted to get up to a higher vantage point to capture images illustrating the large number of people, but moving swiftly in such a big crowd was difficult at best. Besides, feeling the energy of all the people at "ground level" was more fun anyway.
To say the day was wet would be a bit of an understatement. In typical Pacific Northwest fashion it was raining off and on the entire morning and afternoon and by the time I got home ever single inch of my person was soaked through and through. My socks were wet, my jacket and sweater the consistency of a wet dish rag, even the few dollars I had in my wallet were damp. Most difficult of all, my hands became numb after the first hour or so of marching which made operating a manual camera a bit challenging.
Amazingly the rain didn't seem to dampen anyone's spirits at all. In fact, the even felt downright cheerful and festive. People were singing, beating drums, hugging, laughing, and best of all gaining a sense of empowerment. Maybe that last attribute above all is the reason I walked away grateful for having attended myself.
All the photographs in this post were made with a Minolta SRT-101 and a 50mm f/1.4 lens. Film was Kodak Tri-X and all the images shown here are from a single roll.