Waldesian Festival (critique welcome)

dsiglin

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Valdese, NC is a quaint town in western North Carolina. It is nestled at the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, part of the greater Appalachian range. Valdese is named after the Waldesian people, a sect of Christianity who suffered great persecution in medieval Europe after being named heretics by the Catholic church. You can read their long bloody history here. Not for the faint of heart.

Modern Valdese is pretty much your average small town, maybe with a bit of old Europe flare. This past Saturday they hosted the annual Valdesian festival which includes lots of BBQ, home made ice cream, hot rods, and live music, among other things. I went Friday night and Saturday afternoon. Here are some photos from Saturday, I still need to edit the ones from Friday. I shot with the Helios 44m-7 mostly. I think a few might have been the Sigma 30 but I got a bit miffed having to rely on autofocus. Just set in my ways I guess.

Oh, and I also happened upon a Hexanon 57mm 1.4 lens (for $10) at a local antique shop. Not a bad weekend.

Enjoy. And as the title says, C&C much appreciated.

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dsiglin

dsiglin

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And here are some photos from the first night of the festival, friday night. Most of these were shot in such low light I had to ramp to ISO to 3200-6400. For most of the photos it worked once converted to B&W. The VW shot I am really surprised any detail was in there at all, there was almost no light and I had to horribly underexpose to maintain a decent shutter speed. That's why I love raw. On the Elvis photo do you guys see blue and black "stripes" above his head? I edited these on my home computer and the background looked solid black. However on my much crappier work monitor I see those stripes. Just curious what everyone else sees.

The main street was filled with a mix of hot rods and people dancing. The most unexpected happening of the night was Elvis making an appearance. Ever notice how Elvis impersonators normally are doing an "old Elvis" look? Guess it's easier as you get to be overweight. :)

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hyeunny

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amazing colors! such style and perfect capture of the ambiance! almost feels as if I were there!

man. I can't even explain how much I love that picture of the lady with the parasol and the older gentleman in the diner. I want to be able to take photos like these.
 
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dsiglin

dsiglin

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That's very high praise hyeunny, thank you. I will try and post what settings I used in Adobe Raw. For the parasol lady I know I adjusted individual color saturations and burned the background a bit to make it recede.
 

hyeunny

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I normally do not just throw out praise like that, many times I can appreciate a photograph technically, but there's no lasting value after that, there's just something about your style though, it really pops out at me. You took very everyday, dare I say mundane things and created images that really make me feel as if I was there in person or something, hats off to you
 
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dsiglin

dsiglin

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That's about the best thing you can tell me. I find the mundane very interesting. I love breathtaking vistas and events like everyone else, but there is beauty and drama in the everyday that often gets overlooked. So here's two screengrabs showing the settings for the older gentleman. Besides these tweaks I dodged his face a bit to make it stand out more and give a more pleasant lighting of it.

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Just for fun I made a B&W version of the photo. I cropped this one to focus on the gentleman more. I like how he pops out more in the B&W version. But I'm a sucker for B&W.

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hyeunny

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Thanks for sharing the settings! I really dig the black and white tone, but not a fan of that crop I feel like the original photo has more room for his gaze to "breathe". This one seems a little cramped. The original framing with black and white would be killer!
 
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dsiglin

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I can see that. There's so much detail on the guy it's a shame you lose it when downsizing for uploading. So here's an uncropped version and shots of most of the important settings. I did burn quite a bit around him to help him pop out more.

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