Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A day at the Indiana State Fair

I'm still playing catch-up with my recent shoots, and today's post is directed at a visit of mine on Aug. 10 to the Indiana State Fair. It was a big deal for me, as I hadn't been to the State Fair "in years," and since "in years" usually means a long, long time, and since I can't remember exactly when I was there last, it applies here.

It was the first real opportunity I had to use my "one camera, one-do-it-all lens" plan for shoots when I know I'm going to be out and about for a long while, doing a lot of walking and not wanting to lug around a gear bag or even a backpack with heavy lenses and other stuff. That's why I bought the Tamron 18-270mm f/3.5-6.3 Di II VC PZD lens in May -- to turn to for shoots like this. Plus, it's already proven that its vibration compensation feature (VC) enables me to hand-hold the camera when bracketing shots for high-dynamic range (HDR) renderings, which means ... no lugging of a tripod!

I did also bring along my wide-angle lens, but it's portable enough to carry in a small bag so wasn't too weighty. I had a sense I might want to use it for some creative shots, and I was right. All of the vintage tractor shots you see here were taken using the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 lens; I was able to get as close as a foot away from the vehicles in most instance, still fit the whole thing into the frame and also get that nifty, exaggerated look I was going for. I also used it for shots I took of the track grandstands from the south promenade, one of which is the final photo in today's post.

I enjoyed my day at the fair; I saw stuff ranging from livestock to a Lego building of Lucas Oil Stadium. My plan was to walk as much of the main loop thoroughfare and however many sidetracks I could come across, and in about five hours time, I did just that.

Here are a few of my pictures from my day at the Indiana State Fair.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Scenes from ... the Mass Ave Criterium

On Aug. 13, the fourth annual Mass Avenue Criterium cycling race was held along a triangular course in downtown Indianapolis. The heart of the course (the hypotenuse) was a two-block-long section of Massachusetts Avenue, one of Indianapolis' six cultural districts; Vermont and East streets provided the other legs. Riders in several skill level categories competed throughout the day, not only for race championships, but also state championships.

The pictures in this post are from that competition, an all day affair that didn't end until dark, when the last race -- the men's category 1/2/3 -- was cut short because it was struck by the same storm that would topple the stage scaffolding at the Indiana State Fairgrounds right before the country band Sugarland was to take the stage, killing six people. The storm kicked up a very stiff wind along Mass Ave as the race announcer yelled out the bell lap, and organizers managed to get the podium ceremony for the last race finished moments before the downpour began.

The top photo is the women's category 1/2/3 photo finish, won by Jane Weakley (far right and first photo below). Finishing second and third were Jennifer Cvar (far left) and Briana Clark (middle). In fourth place, on the far right, and just missing a spot on the post-race podium, was Marian University team cyclist Jackie Kurth, who just last month had won the women's category 1/2/3 competition in the second annual Indy Criterium, also in downtown Indianapolis. As the top finisher from Indiana, Cvar earned the state championship.

Eric Young (last photo below, center of podium) won both the men's category 1/2/3 race and the men's 1/2/3 Indiana championship. Kirk Albers and Chad Burdzilauskas finished second and third in the race; Burdzilauskas was runnerup and Jonathan Jacob third in the state championship. The podium show at the very bottom is from the podium ceremony for the state championship.

A full gallery of images from this event is available at my online site at

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Indy's Old Northside neighborhood:
a treasure reflected in photographs

Since May, members of the Indy Meetup Photo Club have been photographing various aspects of the Old Northside neighborhood of Indianapolis, one of the first "suburbs" of the city that is now an integral, and fabulously revitalized part of the inner city.

The project culminated Sunday with a display of approximately 200 of our club member photographs at the Propylaeum (above) and its Carriage House. Together, they form a stately complex that now serves as home for a women's club at 1410 N. Delaware St. 

The Propylaeum and IMUPC formed a partnership that embraced Aug. 21 as a fundraising open house for the Propylaeum. We had two streams of decent traffic Sunday. One early, another late. It was a fitting afternoon to show off the work invested in composing our works, and I saw some splendid results among the submissions of my fellow club members.

In this post, I offer a sample of my images; almost all of these were captured in three bracketed exposures to later meld into one using high-dynamic range (HDR) software. To view a gallery with an extensive number of shots from my full catalog of Old Northside photographs, visit this link.