The 25th Annual Indian Summer Winter Powwow

The 25th Annual Indian Summer Winter Powwow in Milwaukee, Wisc. is an urban, non-contest powwow that is held as a fundraiser for the Indian Summer Festival, also in Milwaukee. The powwow was held over two days in March. In addition to the powwow dancing there was also a few food vendors and many vendor booths selling authentic Native American crafts. Head drum was The Bucks from Milwaukee, Wisc.

In the majority of my photographic journey I’ve used zoom lenses, standard and telephoto, however in the last year I’ve switched to primes lenses. In my evolution as a “powwow” photographer I’m always trying to explore my technique. It is my desire as a powwow photographer to to accomplish two goals; the first and foremost, to document the lives of Native Americans, and second,  is to create interesting and unique powwow images. The second goal is one of the reasons why I’ve recently switched to prime lenses.

Telephoto zoom lenses allow photographers to stay an unobtrusive distance away from their subjects, and while sometimes this necessary for what is being photographed, it’s not how I like to work. My personal style pushes me to get close and intimate with my subjects in order to make pictures that are more personal.


For this powwow I used my trusty Canon 5D Mark II full frame camera and two prime lenses. I used a Canon EF 24mm f/1.4L wide angle lens and a Canon EF 50mm f/1.2L standard lens. What those two prime lenses have that zooms do not is larger maximum apertures. Basically, big aperture lenses let in more light so you can use a faster shutter speed, a must when shooting powwows. And an added bonus is that large apertures blur the background better.

In addition to those two primes I also brought a Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L, but I didn’t use it. In fact I didn’t even think about using it. I just love my primes so much right now.

To see more of my work follow me on Instagram and Sings In The Timber Photography on Facebook. And to see more from the 25th Annual Indian Summer Winter Powwow check out my photo album on Facebook: 25th Annual Indian Summer Winter Powwow.

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Bully Tomaw helps his son Joseph with his regalia during the 25th Annual Indian Summer Winter Powwow in Milwaukee, Wisc. —Photo by Adam Sings In The Timber
Photo Info: Canon 5D Mark II & Canon 50mm f/1.2L; ISO 640, f/2, 1/200

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Fancy Dancer Dallas Grabowski, Menominee, dances during the 25th Annual Indian Summer Winter Powwow in Milwaukee, Wisc. —Photo by Adam Sings In The Timber
Photo Info: Canon 5D Mark II & Canon 50mm f/1.2L; ISO 1250, f/2, 1/160



Martin Williams

Grass Dancer Martin Williams dances during an inter-tribal at the 25th Annual Indian Summer Winter Powwow in Milwaukee, Wisc. —Photo by Adam Sings In The Timber
Photo Info: Canon 5D Mark II & Canon 50mm f/1.2L; ISO 1250, f/1.4, 1/200

Daniel Prescott

Chicken Dancer Daniel Prescott dances during the 25th Annual Indian Summer Winter Powwow in Milwaukee, Wisc. —Photo by Adam Sings In The Timber
Photo Info: Canon 5D Mark II & Canon 50mm f/1.2L; ISO 1250, f/1.4, 1/200

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A pair of Jingle Dress Dancers and a pair of Fancy Dancers dance during the 25th Annual Indian Summer Winter Powwow in Milwaukee, Wisc. —Photo by Adam Sings In The Timber
Photo Info: Canon 5D Mark II & Canon 50mm f/1.2L; ISO 1250, f/1.4, 1/200

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A young traditional dancers waits for Grand Entry to start during the 25th Annual Indian Summer Winter Powwow in Milwaukee, Wisc. —Photo by Adam Sings In The Timber
Photo
Info: Canon 5D Mark II & Canon 50mm f/1.2L; ISO 1250, f/1.4, 1/200

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The drum group Young Eagle sings during the 25th Annual Indian Summer Winter Powwow in Milwaukee, Wisc., Drumming from l to r, Ronnie Preston, Ray Ackley, Kenny Ackley and Does Williams, singing backup are Emma Carufel and Elisabeth Carufel. —Photo by Adam Sings In The Timber
Photo Info: Canon 5D Mark II & Canon 24mm f/1.4L; ISO 1250, f/2, 1/100

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A young Grass Dancer during the 25th Annual Indian Summer Winter Powwow in Milwaukee, Wisc. —Photo by Adam Sings In The Timber
Photo Info: Canon 5D Mark II & Canon 50mm f/1.2L; ISO 800, f/1.6, 1/160

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A group of powwow dancers during the 25th Annual Indian Summer Winter Powwow in Milwaukee, Wisc. —Photo by Adam Sings In The Timber
Photo Info: Canon 5D Mark II & Canon 24mm f/1.4L; ISO 1250, f/1.4, 1/125

Sophia Ford, Emma Carufel,

Jingle Dress Dancers enter during Grand Entry at the 25th Annual Indian Summer Winter Powwow in Milwaukee, Wisc. —Photo by Adam Sings In The Timber
Photo Info: Canon 5D Mark II & Canon 50mm f/1.2L; ISO 1250, f/1.4, 1/200

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Traditional Dancer Pat Defoe enters the arena during the 25th Annual Indian Summer Winter Powwow in Milwaukee, Wisc. —Photo by Adam Sings In The Timber
Photo Info: Canon 5D Mark II & Canon 50mm f/1.2L; ISO 1250, f/1.4, 1/200

Kelly Summers

Traditional Dancer Kelly Summers enters the arena during the 25th Annual Indian Summer Winter Powwow in Milwaukee, Wisc. —Photo by Adam Sings In The Timber
Photo Info: Canon 5D Mark II & Canon 50mm f/1.2L; ISO 1250, f/1.4, 1/200

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A young Grass Dancer looks up to dancer Ronnie Preston Traditional Dancer Pat Defoe enter the arena during the 25th Annual Indian Summer Winter Powwow in Milwaukee, Wisc. —Photo by Adam Sings In The Timber
Photo Info: Canon 5D Mark II & Canon 50mm f/1.2L; ISO 800, f/1.8, 1/160

LJ Flores

Traditional Dancer LJ Flores Traditional  dances during the 25th Annual Indian Summer Winter Powwow in Milwaukee, Wisc. —Photo by Adam Sings In The Timber
Photo Info: Canon 5D Mark II & Canon 50mm f/1.2L; ISO 800, f/2, 1/125

David Cleveland

Fancy Dancer David Cleveland, right, dances during Grand Entry at the 25th Annual Indian Summer Winter Powwow in Milwaukee, Wisc. —Photo by Adam Sings In The Timber
Photo Info: Canon 5D Mark II & Canon 24mm f/1.4L; ISO 640, f/1.4, 1/400


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