I felt sorry for the chickens. At least they wouldn't know what their transport boxes had previously contained. (Click the photo to get a better look...).
There weren't a lot of attractions, although the sponge throwing was popular and it was good to see that coconut shies are still going strong. Well, still going.
It's easy to see why these traditional, yet modernised, local events are so beloved of British photographers. It's the very amateurishness that somehow you don't associate with similar events in, say, the USA. I think it's the small scale that accounts for that. Where there is a large enough population to make a more professional event there isn't the same drive to run them. Where bigger events are organised they are a little more dull. England continues to live up to its reputation for eccentricity and bodging.
One thing that attending local events does bring home to me is how my natural shyness affects my lack of ability to do the kind of photography which is generally associated with this kind of day out. It's a problem I have with photographing people, although that's what I like to do. I know it's a confidence thing, and I'm always surprised that when I do point my camera at a stranger they usually let me photograph them. But that's one thing. Taking candid pictures is different. It feels more intrusive. I have no problem whatsoever doing it in the company of people I know well. A little more reticence with total strangers further from home. But when it comes to people who I know only by sight around the village there is a nervousness that holds me back. Of course, if they are having wet sponges thrown at them it's a different matter!
Timing action shots like this is difficult when you can't see when the thrower is ready and anticipate. Not even at many frames per second. Being left-eyed means I can't keep my right eye open to widen my field of view. I tried putting my right eye to the viewfinder, but it was like trying to write with my left hand!
If people are engrossed it's easy to snatch a candid. These days the mobile phone, especially when being used as a camera, consumes people's attention a lot of the time. That can make for reasonably interesting pictures, but I think sequences are more telling. Sequences, or at least pairs, of photographs are something I find tell more of a story than single shots in some instances. Not just sequential frames, but pictures taken over a longer space of time. More on this, perhaps, at a later date.
But is my inability to take the people pictures I'd like to take such a bad thing? If I could take photographs like a Martin Parr or a Tom Wood they would most likely be imitative. Instead I make pictures of bits of people, and continue to frame shots with large areas of nothingness. This latter stylistic tendency kind of annoys me because I know it breaks all the rules, and I'm not sure if it works. However, it is not simple laziness, it's a semi-conscious one. I frame the shot, think to myself that I shouldn't be doing it that way, yet do it regardless. I don't know why. It's something I seem always to have done.
After my dodgy lens experience I was using one which had functioning vibration reduction this time out. It didn't stop me taking blurry photographs, but as some managed to be sharp enough at full zoom I was satisfied to put the soft ones down to good old operator error. At least I managed to remember to pop the flash up for some fill when I photographed the lady wearing a broad brimmed hat. It's not often I remember technical things like that until I get home!
Continuing the technical theme I upgraded to Lightroom 6 the other day. The main reason being that it has a panorama stitching feature added. Quick trials with that seem to work okay. Apart from my old PC being dreadfully underpowered and it taking an age. One thing I did try was taking four shots in a grid, rather than a strip. The video tutorial said it stitches vertical panoramas, so I wanted to see if it would stitch vertically and horizontally at the same time. It does. Unfortunately that means it's creating a 96mp image if I use my latest camera! Nothing to show here, but I'll probably be playing with the feature in the future. The stitched image is saved as a DNG file, by the way. Plenty of scope for messing around. And if you are that way inclined there's an HDR merging feature too.
When I came to put together a gallery for today's pictures I found that LR6 no longer supports the Flash gallery I used to use. It does have a new gallery option which I must admit I like. I've uploaded it here to see if it works and embedded it below for similar reasons. Click on an individual picture to enlarge it, then scroll through either by clicking the arrows or using the keyboard left/right arrows. (Edit: to view the gallery in full screen it looks like you have to click the link, then the full screen icon which doesn't work in my browser from the embedded gallery.)