Bristol Renaissance Faire – 7.20.14
I got an opportunity to go on walkabout at the Bristol Renaissance Faire this weekend, and I took the new lens with me. 1800 images shot, of which I’ve chosen to keep just over 500. I’ve posted some of the better ones here, and the rest are on Flickr.
It has been awhile since I’ve done a proper blog post. Quite a bit going on lately, scrambling for work in particular. Of late I’ve been committing more and more time to photography. After some recent investments, I now have some equipment that allows me to capture images of a quality that is close to what I envision when I shoot them.
The most recent purchase has been a 70-200 f/2.8 lens from Tamron for my Nikon D7000. I can’t speak highly enough of this lens. Over the past two weeks I’ve been putting it through its paces, and am still amazed when I see the quality of the images it is capable of. For those of you who don’t speak photo-jargon, this is a really expensive lens that tends to be a minimum standard for those who claim to be professionals. I decided to invest in this as I started to see just how many jobs present themselves at different times of the year for those with the right equipment. I have another lens on order that I am expecting to arrive next week, and that will also open a number of doors as far as the quality of what I am capable of shooting.
I have further outings planned, the next month will include the Milwaukee County Zoo, another 5K race/charity benefit, and a couple of outings at the Wisconsin State Fair. This last weekend was a trip to Bristol for the Renaissance Faire. I am hoping to get out there again at the end of the season, for closing weekend.
The thing about the new lens is that it’s really heavy. And big. Which means it’s a chore to lug around all day. I invested in a sling strap and a Lowepro lens exchanger to wear on my belt, so I wouldn’t be burdened by my backpack all day. I also found a few rolls of some old film I had sitting around, and decided to take my Dad’s old Nikon F with me to shoot film. That was fun. I haven’t finished shooting that roll, so I can’t post those images yet, but soon.
I knew the Ren Faire would be a great way to test my gear, and see how I handled the stress of walking around with it all day long. I got there around 9:30 am and was there until after 6pm. It was a long day of walking around, being dehydrated, and dealing with people walking into my shot.
The down side of a DX format camera body is the crop factor. That plays out in terms of the amount of available light to the smaller sensor, and also the reduced field of view. It’s commonly stated that crop-format cameras get a greater telephoto, but that’s really not true, it’s just a reduced field of view. The compression remains the same, you just see less of the image in the shot. The reason for using telephoto lenses is to get the compression and shallow depth of field, which help to isolate the subject from the background. A reduced field of view means that I have to be further from the subject to get everything into frame, and by doing so, it is more likely that some passerby will inadvertently stand between my subject and I, ruining the shot.
Photo-jargon aside, it was a pretty good day of shooting. I took home over 1800 images, and got to capture a few portraits for my portfolio, as well as some action shots of the joust and other performers throughout the day. The new camera strap held up well, I almost trust it to hold my camera. I didn’t end up changing lenses at all that day, which of course meant carrying around an extra couple of lenses for no reason, but better to have them and not need them than need them and not have them.
The weather was bright sun and partly cloudy, a humid day in the 80’s, which is not my favorite. I definitely got some sun. I managed to sneak in a couple of meads throughout the day, and took home some roasted almonds. There were a few things I wanted to shoot that I missed, like the Royal Falconer, Tartanic’s main stage performance, and a few other things, but I got to elbow into the crowd of photographers at the end of the jousting yard, to get some action shots of the performers. The lens did its job well, I don’t think I changed the aperture from f/2.8 all day. I did notice the lens does what it does best when it’s between 135 mm and 200 mm focal lengths.
What I’ve also noticed over the past two weeks has been that I am looking for very different scenes to shoot, tending now to favor subject matter that will showcase the bokeh and shallow depth of field. This means looking for subjects within a space that have a deep background behind them. I found myself considering roads and paths, doorways and other settings that I would not have considered when using a more normal length lens.
It also means looking for subjects that are more closely grouped and will fit in the tighter frame. As a street photo lens, the 70-200 really requires anticipation. There were a number of great shots that happened just too close to me to get with that lens. An interesting problem, actually.
At any rate, there were way too many images to post here. To see the rest, visit my gallery on Flickr.