12 – 18 March ’11
This weekend we packed up the kids and headed for Mangaweka – we haven’t been up there since our Christmas/New Year holiday. It just happened to be Gumboot Day in Taihape on Saturday. (For those who don’t know, Taihape is the Gumboot Capital of the World). Yeah! More photo ops for me. My Lovely Man and Trev decided to stay at base and potter. So the kidlets and I made the short drive up to Taihape to check out the fun.
A Country Day Out
The festivities had not officially kicked off when we arrived, so we wandered around the stalls. All your usual fare – ice cream, wooden bird feeders, kiwiana printed tees and some rather ingenius wall art made with paper serviettes glued on to canvas frames. The Singing Cowboy had set up to entertain the crowd with his country tunes. A good keen man was demonstrating the fine art of sheep shearing.
And then, of course, there was the gumboot throwing.
Kiwi comedian Te Radar (Andrew J Lumsden) was the MC for the day. As he made the official introductions and got the day under way the kids had already started throwing gumboots.
Next up was the Magician, Andrew Wilson. He had the children sit on the grass (thankfully nice and dry) and began his show. Disappearing and re-appearing foam balls, silk handkerchiefs that knotted themselves together, a rabbit that jumped from house to pocket, and an arrow that kept switching directions. I really think the Mums and Dads were more impressed with his clever tricks than the kids were. But the children loved the balloon creations, especially the twitchy pink mouse who kept trying to run away.
A little later on, Te Radar was back on the stage to introduce the dog barking competition. Now, this was not what you might think. No canines were in evidence. “The Person who can Best Bark Like a Dog” might have been a better title. The youth competition was first. Jake decided he’d have a go. I think he had the best bark – but I guess I’m a little biased. The wee boy who took the prize won on cuteness alone.
Cat entered the adult competition, and she made good go of it. But the crowd voted for someone who’s obviously more comfortable with a microphone. As it turns out, Cats aren’t very good at barking like dogs.
Once I had my camera set up for the extreme bright light, it didn’t change much. The Exif for all these shots is pretty much the same. I was using my ‘nifty fifty’ lens, so focal length is 50mm, I stuck with ISO200 and settled on a shutter speed of 1/1600sec. Only the aperture varied between shots, switching from f/5 to f/4.5.
Super bright mid-day sun makes for lots of deep shadows – particularly on faces under hats. My lack of a flash means that I’ve had to spend a lot of time in post-processing selecting and brightening up those areas left underexposed in the shadows.
(For the write up of how I processed the shot of the red Chevrolet in the gallery below, check here )