This week’s blog saw me head off to the Royal Winter Fair. It’s been at least 10 years since I’d been, so I thought it would be a great place to revisit. For those who don’t know, I grew up on a farm so the smell of manure and silage just gives me flashbacks to heading out to milk our goat Suzy on cold winter mornings. Fun fact, Suzy seemed to be our default white goat name, so many Suzys came and went over the years:) I spent a lovely couple of hours wandering around checking out the animals, fruits and vegetables and discovering that the butter tart vendor and the hot apple dumpling people were practically within arms reach of each other.
For the camera people: for this shoot I took a 50mm prime lens on my camera. That meant the camera was not able to zoom in and out, I had to do that with my feet.As well, I was trying a new setting on the camera, Auto-ISO (with an upper limit of 6400). I did this entire shoot in Aperture priority, and let the camera choose the shutter speed and ISO (light sensitivity) automatically.
The first thing that caught my eye, was this wall of sheep fleece. The various colours and textures mixed in with the brightness of the ribbons made for an interesting landscape.
Everywhere you look in the fair, you’ll run across vegetables of all types and shapes. This row of gourds, pumpkins etc really jumped out of me. I decided to take this shot that has the middle section in focus and the rest blurred. Now that I have had some time to think about it, I’m thinking I should have taken it so the whole row was in focus.
For those of you who were thinking that the Royal Winter Fair was a family friendly event with no scary things, may I present this vendor. You can get this hanging things that have your childs photo for the face. I found this incredibly creepy!
I came across these sheaves of grain. I liked the geometric shape of the two levels. I ended up having the aperture a little too wide, so as a result the top grain is not in focus when the bottom one are. I did move around this setup until I found an angle that lined the sheaves up in this way.
I then focused in on just one sheaf. Again, I focused just on the grain and let the rest blur out. I found the detail in the bunch quite interesting.
Then, I was off to the giant vegetables. They had a number of giant gourds, this baby weighed in at 1550 lbs. I needed to get some humans in this picture for a sense of scale. I took a number of shots but eventually lucked out and got this Mom and her little one. The look on their faces helps sell how amazing this pumpkin was.
The butter sculpture section was much smaller than I was used to. It presented an added difficulty in that I had to shoot through a not so clean glass that was reflecting the room back at me. I chose this one as the concept was very cool, but the work that went into the fleece on the jumping sheep was amazing.
They did have a fairly large petting zoo area and this llama caught my eye. Not only did he participate by looking my way, he made a great face as well.
Although this kid is lucky he has any fingers left, I was so happy I got this shot. I’ve cropped the picture right in so that you just get they sheep’s head with the little hand poking through.
Finally, this was not even the shot I was trying to take. The woman was doing a session with a number of sheepdogs, and I was trying to get shots of the dog and sheep doing their thing. This Mom and her little one just happened to walk in front of the camera. However, I loved the way it turned out with them out of focus looking on. It sums up the Winter Fair for me as kids get to be introduced to the concept of raising animals.
Well, that wraps it up for this week. As we’re about to start heading into the holiday season, I suspect the blog may start shifting in that direction.