Monday, May 17, 2010

Viking Fest

This weekend was Viking Fest, a celebration of Norway's Constitution Day. Poulsbo is referred to as "Little Norway", so festivities are in order every May. I have never gone to Viking Fest with the intent to photograph, or document the happenings. I haven't been in a few years because parking is always a complete disaster. When I was younger my family lived in the hub of downtown so we were always within walking distance. That is not that case any longer. This year though I was really interested in capturing Viking Fest so I made it work.

As an adult I have decided that it's not as fun as it used to be. I don't know if I have greater entertainment expectations now than I used to, or if perhaps as a child I was much easier amused. There's even a chance that the festival has gone downhill, although I do hope that isn't the case. I don't regret going, at least I had company for both visits and that definitely made up for the lack of inherent fun.

The biggest thing I was interested in photographing was the Saturday parade. I was incredibly disappointed. I think the parade needs a new coordinator because it was severely lacking in the organization department. I think it could use some more music too. There were very frequent gaps between one showing and the next. Parade watchers were pretty restless and kept spilling into the street to go and find something else to do. I got a few photos that are sort of OK, but overall the parade was unable to keep my attention so Jacki and I wandered elsewhere.

My best photos came from the carnival portion that contained rides and crappy games. That's where the people were most interesting. The people running the booths were extremely aggressive and made it difficult to want to approach the tents to take some up-close photos. I tried to hang back and wait for a customer to pre-occupy them so I could sneak to the other side of the tents and take pictures of things. I didn't bring my camera bag, it was way too hot and I was doing a lot of walking, so I was unable to change lenses to get closer. I had my 24mm on the whole time which ended up being a pretty good decision. I'm happy with the few up-close photos I did manage to get, so all was not lost.

When it came to editing I was so thankful for all of the technical knowledge I've been acquiring this last school year. I now shoot in RAW mode to take the most advantage of post-work, and I do almost all of my work through the RAW editor in Photoshop. I didn't bring any flash or diffusion material and it was a very sunny day. As a result a lot of the photos I took had severely blown out highlights. Thanks to the miraculous technology of RAW I was able to bring those highlights down (and the shadows up!) to create a more uniform picture that was pleasant to look at. I just made me so happy to know how to do it and to have the capabilities.

So here are a few more images from the weekend. Some from the parade and a few of Jacki! Also, one of Jake and me before we headed back home.





-MJ

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MJ said...
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