County Fair at Night in Zeiss 35mm

I recently procured a Zeiss 35mm lens for my Sony a7. It’s a full frame lens and one of the few Zeiss’ that has auto-focus capability (Zeiss AF is available only with Sony at this time). I decided to take it for a spin last weekend at the Washington County Fair in Hillsboro, OR.

I figured a night photo walk would be a good test, to see how it handles low light and the fluorescent or neon conditions of a fair. Documentary photography, particularly of people, in these light conditions seemed a good run out for it too. I must say the results were great. We all know Zeiss makes a top quality lens, but having one with AF on a compact full frame camera is truly a fantastic thing. This will most often be my street photography lens and camera going forward.

The images are tack sharp and rich in detail. It did very well with hand-held shots and low ISO in an environment where the range between dark and light was extreme. Best of all, photos did not require much development or sharpness adjustment in post-processing, which is something you would expect from Zeiss. With that all said, Sony and Zeiss are doing some cool stuff together and hopefully they keep it going. I recommend giving it a try.

As for the photos, I like them for their human quality and their Americana. It feels genuine to me. Hopefully you like them too.

A Lemon

photo of lemonade stand 2013 Washington County Fair Hillsboro Oregon

I was looking through my “extras” file of photos taken over the summer and this night shot of the Washington County Fair gave me a good laugh. Not much else to say, other than dig the sneakers making a cameo on the lower left and his expression is rather priceless given the circumstances.

Balloon Darts

Washington County Fair Oregon 2013

Washington County Fair in Hillsboro, Oregon.

The Washington County Fair this weekend was an opportunity for me to capture some fun night photos using only available light. It seemed like a challenge to do it with only hand-held shots and if possible, to use a 55mm focal length or somewhere near it.

I used my press pass to soothe the nerves people might feel when they see me walking around with a DSLR. I’d say it worked. People were relaxed and themselves, which is my favorite form of environmental portraiture or candid photography. Others wanted to pose, including a hilarious and spontaneous photo-bomb from a Washington County Sheriff Deputy.

My focus, however, was on capturing the various lights of the carnival rides and people behaving naturally in a setting such as this.

giant slide washington county fair oregon

Good times at the Washington County Fair.

I love the first photo you see here because of the color and symmetry of the balloons. Also, the look on her face is priceless to me. The second shot of the giant slide was a stroke of good fortune. He was behind her most of the way down and at the last bump they were even as they entered the light. It’s good old fashioned fun for the two of them and I felt lucky to be there with my camera.