Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Western Idaho State Fair 2010 –Part 1

A walkabout at the Fair

Met-up with fellow members of the Eagle Camera Club at the Western Idaho State Fair for one of our walkabouts—kind of a photo safari—looking for interesting people and/or things to photograph just for fun.  My self-assignment was “Colors of the Fair,” which I will talk about in part 2, but first we had to check out the photo competition.  Evidently there is a lot of interest in this competition from the various camera clubs around the Valley.  The Eagle Camera Club members showed keen interest, having won several categories last year.  The Boise Camera Club even had a display booth this year, and it appears that there is a bit of rivalry between the two clubs.  There were a lot of photos to look at with the combined entries in the professional and amateur classes exceeding 1600 prints. Our club did well with several of our members winning First Place in their respective categories, one Best of Show in Black & White, and I helped out with a First Place in Weddings and Third Place in Farm Scenes.  In Farm Scene the first place winner used the same subject I did, but it was iced-over…awesome print. I have attached my two winners for you to view and now to complete this part I am going to give the photo buffs some information about how these images were created.  So, you can read on for some light techy stuff or just hang around a moment and admire the images.

I have always enjoyed photographing weddings primarily because it proved to be the most challenging photography I have ever done.  On a wedding day your biggest obstacle, to creativity and technical perfection, is time…you have to be able to switch gears at a moment’s notice and there is no margin for error…this is your clients once in a lifetime event.  This image of a traditional Japanese bride was created as she was walking out of the building to be introduced to the guests.  I saw the finished image in my head and, in an instant, had her pause a moment so I could capture it.  The image was created by available light coming from an open doorway into this relatively dark room.  I had about 30 seconds to meter her dress, compose the image, zoom-in to focus and zoom-out to my desired focal length, ask her to turn her nose towards me a little and take three exposures before she walked out the door!  Then I had to reset the camera on the run and continue photographing outside. When you know the technical and your equipment without much thought wedding photography is always fun and challenging.

Nature photography…my first love.  I can’t tell you how much I feel like a kid in a candy store here in Idaho.  Everywhere I look I see such beauty.  I was coming back from an appointment and saw this field here in Eagle, bordering a business complex across the street from Arts West Academy.  The sun was setting and a ground fog appeared between the wheeled irrigation units and the row of trees in the background creating a soft painterly image.  I quickly stopped the car, got my camera out and began to play.  I used the same big zoom lens (120-300mm) on this image that I used on the Japanese bride, so it gave me many compositional choices.  However, the most important decision I made was about color since the sun was quickly sinking into the clouds and I was loosing light.  I quickly changed the camera’s color palette by choosing the slide film emulation mode and under exposed just like I did in the good old days of doing nature on Kodachrome slide film.  This is a really good example of knowing your equipment.  This way, I get the image I want without Photoshop manipulation.

Look for Part 2, which will be about my personal assignment, to be posted soon. 
~ Jerry