The subject’s bandanas are in excellent focus, but the tips of the fingers of his glove are pretty blurry. I'm guessing that must be because of a very shallow depth of field. It couldn’t take much of an adjustment to remedy that in that shot. Greater depth of field may have me this shot better as well:
My guess is that in glorious sunlit conditions, as were present most of the day in Oakland, many photojournalists primarily use A-mode. Just a hunch.
Confrontation and/or fire and smoke is the money shot, seen here (scroll down to the second photo), at such an event. Stay at the front of the parade.
I got a few decent shot mingling about half-way back, but the money shots happen at the front of the parade which is where confrontation is most likely to happen and where the most fervent protestors will be. In certain situations, there is one ideal angle and its opposite parallel, illustrated by Stephen Lam's incredible shot linked above and this great shot by Glenn Halog:
Also, the best wide “crowd/march” shots will generally be shot from the front at a high angle:
Be ready to use fill-flash when the sun starts going down. I’m very proud of this shot, but a flash might not have hurt it. This isn't the greatest example, but you know what I mean:
If there is a photographer or a bunch of photographers in your shot, you got at least a bad, but likely a worthless shot:
Gotta love the helmet in the middle shot immediately above. I'll admit, I did not consider the distinct possibility that all hell would break loose that day. Naaaaa--it's just Oakland. Silly me, right? If the photog in your shot is angling perpendicular to your angle, you probably don’t have a great angle. However, in many situations, if there is a photographer on the opposite side of the action looking directly at you or close to it, you probably have a pretty good angle. I think the bottom shot here is a fine angle and there is a camera way on the other side looking almost directly at me as there is, oddly, in the top shot above. (As far as I know, there was nothing interesting behind me at that point. He really does look like he's taking a picture of me.)
Keep AF-Area Mode on “Single Area” and centered for shooting through/over a crowd or anything else, really. I know this is a really obvious one, but I had the camera for 10 days at this point. It should be default in every mode if you ask me. This must be standard among photojournalists. I didn't get a decent shot of this gentleman who got arrested before the rally, mainly because my camera wouldn't focus and therefore wouldn't shoot at all on many of these attempts which were in a crowd, of course. I think I got one that wasn't blurry and I wasn't happy with it. If my camera was on center-focus, I'd have gotten at least couple good shots here, and probably a few better ones during the tear-gas, etc:
All those super sexy mind-bending shots, like this one and maybe this one, must be achieved, I presume, by using a wide-angle lens with a short focal length and getting very close to the subject or, in a wide shot, having someone or something/s in the very near foreground.
It’s ok to chop off the very top of someone’s head to ensure they’re not too low in the frame. Better put, it's better to have too little head-space than too much, particularly in a horizontal shot:
How bad is it to have a TV station's mic in the shot, btw? Nobody else would use it, right?
In regard to left-to-right composition, my shots from the day are pretty strong for the most part. Many of my shots could have been better if the camera was aimed a little lower or a little higher:
Am I in the ballpark on these things?