It’s that time a year again, when Renaissance Fairs across the country come alive with jousts, swordplay, maypoles, and costumes galore. I recently attended one of these fairs and took some photos to share with everyone for today’s 30 Days of Creativity post. Originally I planned to post the pictures only, as the act of taking the photo itself abounds with creativity. But I found I just can’t leave editing out of it when I get an idea for a picture in my head. So I am sharing with you some of the photos I took and edited.
This first capture is of a bagpiper and his drummer playing outside the Chapel of the Holy Grail. (I didn’t make up the name.) I thought the original image needed a little something so after I cropped it down to size, I turned it sepia and added a bit of grain to give it an old-time feel. I realize we are centuries before the invention of the camera and film, but I like the effect.
What would a Renaissance Fair be without a joust? A poor imitation, indeed. Good versus evil dueling it out in the lists, and the final battle is usually to the death. Jousters are very skilled and travel from fair to fair (as do vendors and other acts) riding their well-trained horses into combat. I recently saw a reality competition show on television featuring jousting. Who would have thought it to be such a popular sport in the 21st century?
As for the details, this image was captured as our evil knight made his rounds greeting guests lined up to watch the show. The color original was still a pretty good shot, but I started playing with presets in Lightroom® and hit upon one I don’t often use that removes all color except for red. I had to go back through with a brush to remove background red (for example, from spectators’ clothes and skin) by de-saturating all colors and painting the areas where I wanted to remove color. (The preset is made by desaturing all colors except red.) Since his costume is mostly red (the little skulls also hinting that he is the bad guy) this gives a saturated contrast to the image. I did several adjustments to the original before turning the image black/white/red, which does improve the quality of the final product despite the B&W nature of the final photograph. (That’s a blog post in and of itself.)
No Renaissance fair is complete without some choreographed stage-fighting. I didn’t do much editing to this image other than to crop it down to size, punch up the colors and add a little sharpening. The creativity in this one is solely from capturing the shot. And that, my friends, is where it all begins.
Lastly, what every fair needs is a little funnel cake. I took a picture of mine because it reminded me of a Celtic knot. Out of period but oh so yummy! Besides, I ate my turkey leg first. 😉
So there is this year’s adventure at Faire (proper old-world spelling for those in the know). I hope you have enjoyed my little photo trip and inspired you to go to see your local (or even semi-local) Faire this year.
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