Fairs and Festivals

Copyright © 2014 Deborah M. Zajac. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Greetings Good Gents, and Ladies!

I spent Saturday at the Northern California Renaissance Faire with friends. Attending this faire one steps back in time. The language, characters, and costumes are all in keeping with the period, and patrons often attend in costume. It’s a Photographer’s playground! I get such a kick seeing the elaborate and crazy costumes. The shows are fun, and the Joust is exciting, and  it’s great fun cheering on your favorite Knight.

I went gear light; only taking my D700 with my 85mm f1.4D lens, and for fun my LensBaby Composer II w/ Double Glass Optic. I took a lot of images and can’t share all of them in this post, but here are a few I took with the Lensbaby Composer Pro II.

I  just passed this little plot of lovely flowers while on my way to meet friends Theresa, and Glenn- we were car-pooling to the faire.  when Theresa called and said they ran into traffic and would be about 10 minutes late, so I turned around and went to take photos of these flowers. They were so cheerful on this gray, overcast morning.

Taken on the way to the Faire
Taken on the way to the Faire

I used an aperture of f11 in the LensBaby Composer Pro II, and for the portraits I used On Camera Flash using my SB910 to open up the shadows under the hats, and eyebrows.  I had it in iTTL balanced Fill Flash mode, and adjusted my Flash EV t/- anywhere from +3 to -1.7 depending on the light. The light was mixed; deep shadows when under the trees, and bright light when out in the open once the morning fog burned off. My goal was to balance the Ambient light and flash without blowing out the images and looking like I used flash. How do you think I did?

Tatiana, Queen of the Faeries

Faerie Queen,Titania

Bird Cages, and a Broom

Bird Cages and Broom

A Harp Player- Fantasy Character

Harp Player

A Cornucopia of Stuff

A Cornicopia of Stuff_3793

One last image of my friend T’s husband.  It’s Celtic Week-end at the Faire so there were lots of men in Kilts. Glenn wore his. I don’t know about you, but men in Kilts make me go week in the knees! HUZZAH!


More to come…

6 thoughts on “Fairs and Festivals

  1. I really miss Renaissance Fairs.

    I’ve looked at Lens Baby a few times — they even have a new fisheye. It looks like your really happy with yours. Is set up shot to shot quick? I like so many of the images I’ve seen, but we never see the rejects online, so I’m still hemming and hawing.

    1. Steven, it takes a full day or so of practice with the LensBaby to get the feel of where the “sweet spot” is, and playing with the different aperture rings to find the right fit/look that suits one’s own style of shooting I think. At least in my experience. Once you figure that out focusing and composing is pretty quick.
      You might consider renting one first for a week-end. I just knew the shallow depth of field, and dreamy look was something I wanted to incorporate into my Portfolio so I bought the Composer Pro II with double glass optic, soft focus optic, and the macro kit. My only regret ….not getting it sooner!

      FWIW- The first day I did have plenty of rejects. Like all lenses it has a learning curve. If you like the look renting one would be a good place to start. Borrowlenses.com rents it. I’ve rented from them several times, and it’s always been a good experience. I’d rent from them again.

      1. Thanks.

        I live in Tokyo, so rental options are different — and much more expensive. I did rent some circular fisheyes to find out it’s not for me, but I really, really want the tilt-shift I borrowed. 🙂

        Do you use photoshop? I wonder how much of the effect you achieved with Lensbaby could be edited into a photo with PS.

        BTW, since I commented I did have a chance to go an electronics shop in town and try LB out. It definitely would take some getting used to.

        1. Hi Steven,

          Now that you’ve had an opportunity to play with a LB just a little bit let your thoughts and feeling marinate a while. 🙂 It may grow on you or not.

          I do have Photoshop, but I don’t think it would be easy to recreate that look that LB has with the tools in PS. I think you’d always be able to tell you used Photoshop. The Nik Software Suite-plug-in for PS has some really nice filters that I use on my flower images that I think are better than PS’s blur filter.

          Kathleen Clemons the Georgia O’Keefe of LB flower photography uses the Nik suite to enhance some of her images. Have you seen her work? Here’s a Youtube tutorial she did. I’ve watched it a few times.

          A much less expensive way to go is to purchase a soft focus filter for your lens…like a macro lens or a 50mm; one that has a great minimum focusing range. Put your filter on and shoot wide open you’ll get close to the LB look. Extension Tubes also are another way to get that dreamy look close up look. That’s actually what I was doing before getting the LB Composer.

          Tilt/Shift lens. I hear ya! I’ve wanted one for a long time. I’ll keep saving and dreaming about one. 🙂

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