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Old Oct 10, 2005, 8:55 PM   #1
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It's the renfest season. So I thought jousting might just be fun to photograph while I was there. The light was harsh that day and it kept changing on me because of all the trees and movementbut I think I did ok. Tell me what you think.


















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Old Oct 11, 2005, 1:29 PM   #2
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Jane,

Thanks for sharing. It's been a few years but I used to enjoy going to the festivals. IMHO, the pictures here generally fall into 2 categories:

1. Interesting subject but not enough detail

2. Not interesting enough subject.

The second picture would be the best of the lot but for all the shadows. You can try recovering some of them in post processing. Great job of capturing the action but without the detail of the face, the picture is lacking. If you have a camera with external flash mount you might want to try that .

On the other pictures, you have to ask what story do you want to tell? Considering the subject matter - a knight on a charger - a good way to capture the action is to position yourself behind one of the jousters off to the side so you can get a shot of the other knight charging forward - i.e. emphasize the power. Or you could try to emphasize the colorfull garb - which requires closer framing on just the knight and tackle.

Also, not knowing what camera you have - do you have the ability to control aperture? A wider aperture will get some seperation between your subject and the background by bluring the background. For instance in the picture with the knight bringing the ring towards the maiden - The knight should be the focus point (since it's his face you see) - so a wider aperture would blur the maiden more and focus the attention on the knight.

Just some thoughts for next time Keep practicing and enjoying yourself.

Thanks again for posting and sharing something different!
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Old Oct 11, 2005, 3:27 PM   #3
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Well... I'm confused. How on earth would I use a flash in this situation? I was in the back of the arena. Flash light doesn't reach that far does it? That would have to be a killer flash man. The aperture was a wide as it would go. If anything I think that a couple of those pictures needed a smaller aperture.To bring out the detail. The one with the maiden and the man standing with the rings about his neck ... I don't want out of focus. Those elements DO tell a story. Take them away and you have a different picture.

I work with what I have and I'm not interested in lots of bulky equipment. That is what the scene looked like to my eyes. Why change it?
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Old Oct 11, 2005, 6:48 PM   #4
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I would agree that flash probably would not help in this situation. Also, a smaller aperature would have resulted in longer shutter speeds, which would not have frozen the action as well as you have here.You would have had to raise your iso to get the shutter speed needed to freeze action. Under the circumstances, you haven't done too badly. Picture number two is very good. You could perhaps recover some detail out of the shadows by selectively brightening, or using a plug-in like shadowfixer which doesa nice job bringing out shadow detail.

I would have liked to have seen more actual jousting action. For someone who has never been to a renaissance festival or witnessed live jousting, I would have gotten a better feel of the sport by seeing the 2 combatants together. That's why pic 2 is so strong for me. The pictures of just single jousters don't really do much for me.

Thanks for sharing.
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Old Oct 11, 2005, 7:05 PM   #5
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Jane,

You asked for opinions and I provided one. Don't get defensive if the opinion wasn't one you cared to hear.

As for the flash, simply move closer. Unless it is assigned seating (which wasn't the case with the several faires I went to).

If you don't want constructive criticism then don't ask for it
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Old Oct 11, 2005, 10:15 PM   #6
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rjseeney wrote:
Quote:
I would agree that flash probably would not help in this situation. Also, a smaller aperature would have resulted in longer shutter speeds, which would not have frozen the action as well as you have here.You would have had to raise your iso to get the shutter speed needed to freeze action. Under the circumstances, you haven't done too badly. Picture number two is very good. You could perhaps recover some detail out of the shadows by selectively brightening, or using a plug-in like shadowfixer which doesa nice job bringing out shadow detail.

I would have liked to have seen more actual jousting action. For someone who has never been to a renaissance festival or witnessed live jousting, I would have gotten a better feel of the sport by seeing the 2 combatants together. That's why pic 2 is so strong for me. The pictures of just single jousters don't really do much for me.

Thanks for sharing.


Thank you... that is something that makes sense to me. You are right I hadn't thought about that. I was actually payingmore attention tothe motion of the horses and not the actual jousting. When I got there the stadium was filled so I had to do with standing on a back bench. There were children up close at the rails and I wasn't about to take a spot away from them.:G

But once the show began, it didn't last long. They did a couple of passes by each other and I was actually disappointed in the lack of the jousting that happened. It might have been because it was an on going show through out the day and I made the last one. I don't know. I was thinking about going back though next month. Maybe, if I do, I'll try for more combat action type pictures. That's hard though... horses are neat.


see... I got distracted... this was my favorite.


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Old Oct 17, 2005, 4:27 PM   #7
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Wow! What a great event! I have limited experience shooting action, so my observations are based on my personal experiences, not any level of expertise.

If you are shooting with a point and shoot camera, I'm not sure what to tell you, but if you are using a DSLR, here are a couple of things that have helped me:

First, what is your ISO setting? What I have found, at least with a Canon Digital Rebel, is that high ISO settings (800+) seem to give me higher contrasts in bright sunlight; I've gotten better results with ISO set at 400 in these conditions. My backlit shots also look better at ISO 400. I haven't tried anything lower yet, so I'm not sure if that would help or hurt. Anyway, trying different ISOs might be worth a shot.

Also, do you have Photoshop? I think these pictures could probably be helped using Levels and Highlight/Shadows settings.

Again, I'm no expert, so take this advice as one novice to another.

Good Luck
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Old Oct 27, 2005, 7:22 AM   #8
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First, what is your ISO setting?

That day I thought I'd try using the automatic ISO setting. I usually set my own ISO but I thought I'd see what the camera would use for the sake of well... seeing. I've been working on exposure because I somehow always end up in light that is dappled and end up over or under exposing, mostly under. So I set my ISo to auto and concentrated just on exposure. The contrast on these pictures seemed off to me but I couldn't tell exactly how to go about fixing it. I wasn't sure if it was just because the dust that was kicked up was white and the colors at the festival were so vibrant or what but something seems just slightly... off.

I piped the pictures into photoshop and used auto level ... pfffttt I'm learning that auto anything doesn't seem to work the way I want it to.

The one thing I haven't learned yet is spot metering and auto lock exposure. I'm wondering if that would yeild better results in this kind of lighting. I want to keep the shadows and highlights. I like the way it looks but something else is wrong with these pictures. bleh... I can see my own mistakes I just am not sure how to fix them.
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