Wednesday, April 24, 2013

The Greenbrier Mall Carnival

I got a new tablet 50mm lens and external flash for my birthday, so I spent some time playing with those.

I love the clarity, and the brightness of the photos taken with the new lens.  I can now get perfect indoor photos without using the flash at all, which is amazing!  The downside?  Because it's a prime lens (fixed focal length) I have to physically move myself to change the framing, and the 50mm lens in particular takes really close-up photos.  The zoom lens that I've had right on along is a lot more versatile.  I cannot tell you how much I'd undervalued being able to zoom in and out so easily!  But, the pictures aren't always as crisp, and, for whatever reason, it won't always let me choose the shutter and aperture combinations that I want. (More info on prime and zoom lenses here and here.)

The external flash is great because it is more powerful, it can be redirected, and I have a handy little diffuser that can further soften the light of the flash. It illuminates the whole area, rather than just what's immediately in front of the camera.  So wonderful!  The drawback to this is that it's huge, and kind of heavy.  I will definitely be using it, but probably not for everyday photo-taking.

I got my first chance to really get a feel for the new lens at the little fair that came to town a few weeks ago.   It was great for taking pictures of the girls while on the rides, but not so great for taking pictures of someone right in front of the camera.  This is where we really came to appreciate the versatility of the zoom lens.  In hind sight, I ought to have put the other lens back on for this particular outing.  Oh well.  You live, you learn.

The carnival was tiny.  It seemed to me to be a lot smaller than even the St Teresa's fair back home, but maybe that's because it's been so long since I've gone.  It was perfect for us, though.  We got drinks, cotton candy, and tickets (in that order) then, and we drank our sodas, walked around the fair to get an idea of what was there and what we wanted to do.  

We ended up letting Elora make most of those decisions.  She chose to do the Ferris wheel first.  It was one of the smaller ones, and the seats could only two each.  Brandon took Elora up with him, and I took Kaylie with me.  Now, I've always liked the Ferris wheel, and while I always feel a little shaky when I'm at the top, I don't think that I'd ever been afraid of the Ferris wheel until that day--when my tiny little girls were getting on it.  I kept at least one hand on Kaylie the entire time and tried not to think of the things that could go wrong.  Obviously, nothing did, and the girls loved it.  
After that, we did the two big slides.  And when I say "we", I mean, everyone but Kaylie.  Brandon took Elora up on the big twisting slide, and I took her on the wavy yellow one, but poor slide-loving Kaylie was too small to do them.  I was especially sad that she had to sit out the yellow slide, because that was what I'd been most looking forward to taking her on.  :(  Next time, right?

She wasn't able to go on the race track ride either, but after that, we found the grouping of rides intended for the little ones, and thank goodness.  She kept trying to climb onto the racetrack ride after her sister, and was not please at being excluded yet again.  When we got to the train ride, she tried to haul me in there without so much as a by-your-leave to the attendant.  When it was over, she was so upset about leaving that we ended up just letting her ride it again while Brandon took Elora to the dragon ride right next to it.

By this point, our supply of tickets (50!!) were nearly depleted.  We had enough for them to ride one more together, and then for Kaylie to ride the dragons and Elora to go on the merry-go-round with her Daddy.

It was nearly dinner time when we finished, so we drover around Red Robin, on the other side of the mall.  Elora loves the place, because they have a TV in the floor near the entrance, and a 4' statue of a red bird in the dining area.  It isn't my favorite restaurant (poor desert menu) but they do have good burgers and it was nice and cool.  I took the opportunity to play a bit more with the camera, and was really excited about the pictures I got.

I haven't touched these, except to arrange them for posting.  Had I taken those with my old lens, they would have been super dark.  Maybe I'm doing something wrong with the other one.  Maybe  I need to do a bit more research into how to use it to get the best results.  But in the mean time, I am loving that lens!

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