This article shares over two dozen images of pumpkin creativity that were on display in our local town on the evening of November 1st. The event, Grimsby Glows Pumpkin Parade, was presented by the Rotary Club of Grimsby.
NOTE: Click on images to enlarge.
This was the second annual event, and we’re certainly hoping that it continues in the future.
Since my wife and I did not attend last year’s event we didn’t know what to expect.
I fitted my E-M1X with the M.Zuiko PRO 12-100 mm f/4 IS, and brought my stool along.
My initial thought was that I could use my stool for additional support to shoot handheld at quite slow shutter speeds as the light disappeared.
This proved to be an unrealistic plan given the huge crowd and the number of pumpkins on display.
My wife and I arrived just before 6 PM and left 30 minutes later. During that timeframe I captured 137 handheld images…. or about 1 photograph every 13 seconds on average.
All I had time to do was bend from the waist… drop my arms down to about my knees… then compose my images from the rear articulating screen of my camera.
Even though I was working extremely quickly I doubt that I photographed more than 20-25% of the pumpkins that were on display.
As I made my way up, and then back down, the paved pathway in the park, I photographed whichever pumpkins caught my eye.
The pumpkins were placed on either side of the pathway leading from the main street in town down to the public swimming pool… a distance of perhaps a couple of hundred metres.
There were a number of occasions when I needed to leave the paved path so I could get close enough to a subject pumpkin that was on the park’s grassed areas.
In retrospect bringing the M.Zuiko PRO 12-100 mm f/4 IS was not the best choice of lens. The PRO 40-150 mm f/2.8 will be my choice for future events of this type.
Having an extra stop of light, as well as an additional 50 mm in focal length range (efov 100 mm), would have given me more flexibility.
Many of the details on the pumpkins really needed to be photographed in decent light, rather than waiting for the pumpkins to be illuminated from the inside.
Next year, my wife and I will plan to arrive at the park as soon as the event opens to the public at 5:30 PM.
Hopefully the crowd would be smaller, allowing for more room to roam.
This may allow me to capture some additional images before the light totally fades.
I had my E-M1X set for Auto-ISO up to ISO-6400, as I have no problem shooting at this ISO level.
As the light continued to fade, many of my images ended up being woefully underexposed at ISO-6400.
Fortunately the auto-focus on my E-M1X worked flawlessly and helped me acquire focus even in very dark conditions.
Since all I had time to do was capture one image attempt per pumpkin, having accurate and reliable auto-focus was critical.
Above is an out-of-camera jpeg that I captured towards the end of our 1/2 hour visit.
Illustrated above is a processed image created from the corresponding RAW file. To further illustrate the auto-focus capability of my E-M1X under dark conditions, here are two more examples.
Like most other photographers, it certainly is not my preference to work in post with underexposed high ISO RAW files. Having said that, this situation was a worthwhile learning experience.
During our visit to the Grimsby Glows Pumpkin Parade I decided to test out a new pair of gloves.
These were not ‘photographer’s gloves’, but rather a pair of thinner gauge gloves used by runners. These gloves can be used with the touch screens on cellphones.
I learned that I needed to be careful when using these gloves as the palms and fingers are covered with small, rubberized gripping bumps.
These bumps work well when adjusting camera settings, but if I wasn’t mindful when working very quickly with my camera, I could inadvertently change shutter speed or aperture settings.
My attempts to carve a pumpkin over the years have been rough and unimaginative when compared to the creations that were on display in town.
I found a lot of inspiration in these wonderful examples of pumpkin creativity. Hopefully you found some inspiration as well.
Photographs were captured handheld using camera gear as noted in the EXIF data. Images were produced from RAW files using my standard process in post. This is the 1,328 article published on this website since its original inception in 2015.
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