Thursday, June 18, 2015

Capturing Summer

by Judy

The weather is finally warm and summer is almost here! (Can I hear an amen??!)   There are so many fun things to do during the summer months, including visiting some of your local festivals. I always take my camera with me, but sometimes photographing a festival, or other large event, can be challenging.  Here's what I do...first, I take what I call an establishing shot, like the one above.  It's a wider view of the festivities, which gives one a feel of the crowds and excitement.  However, if you only took shots like this it wouldn't tell the complete story. 

 I tackle festivals and events the same way I tackle all of my photography.  First I capture the big picture, and then I begin narrowing down my view.  I try to tell the whole story with my pictures. These photos were taken this past weekend at a local strawberry festival. Everywhere you looked there were long lines of people waiting for their fresh made biscuits and strawberries, their strawberry lemonade and their chocolate dipped strawberries. Lines, lines, lines!  While I was in line, I captured the line of people in front of me.  It definitely tells a huge part of the story of this festival. 

I always like to capture the behind the scenes "stuff" too to round out my story. I couldn't resist shooting these huge bowls of strawberries.  There were people sitting and hulling box after box of strawberries, while the person next to them mashed and macerated the berries.  It was a wonderful sticky mess!

And I couldn't leave without capturing this photo of the fresh made shortcake biscuits they were making on site.  Oh the aroma!  And they tasted good too!

The festival volunteers sure worked hard that day, and were a huge part of this particular festival. They served up bowl after bowl of the strawberry topped biscuits.  The sticky red mess, and the volunteer's empty cup of lemonade help tell the story. 

As do the piles of empty strawberry boxes!

When photographing festivals I keep my eye open for the unexpected.  All you need to do is scan the crowds.  As I waited patiently in line I saw this man and his bird.  Now this is not something you see every day!  Capturing the unexpected, or odd and unusual things you see at the festival, rounds out your story.  It's not all about the strawberries and the biscuits - it's also about the many different walks of life who visit the festival as well.  

I could not resist zooming in on this group of friends in line.  Although the photo is not perfect compositionally, I had to capture the perfectly heart-shaped strawberry on this woman's cup!  What a find! It sure brought a smile to my face, and really summed up the feel of the whole festival. 

Don't forget your camera when you head out the door to visit a festival in your area.  Give my tips a try and really tell the story of your festival through your photos.  

For some more tips on photographing festivals, you can read an article I wrote for 'Manfrotto Imagine More' a couple of summers ago. 

Happy Summer!


Dotti said...

I love this post! You've told a fascinating story of the strawberry festival, it makes me want to visit. These are great tips and I think they'll be useful on my upcoming trip. Stay tuned ... more tomorrow. (yes, I'm not above shameless plugs)

Anonymous said...

Nothing says summer like a strawberry festival! Love all the red in the images and the vignettes are great. That reed apron really caught my eye. It's gorgeous. Now I want to have some juicy strawberries!

terriporter said...

Wow, did you ever capture the essence of this festival! I feel almost as if I'd been there! You're right, it's so important to get a wide overall shot and then gradually zoom in to the smaller elements. Love that shot of the table and the people hulling the berries and your perfect focus on the bowl of strawberries! And the pops of red in almost every shot really unifies them. I agree with Sherry, now I want some strawberries!

Carol said...

Great post, Judy! I love pictures that tell a story, and I am so relived that summer is finally here, after the winter we had! These shots are so vibrant! True to form, I like the behind the scenes one the best!

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