Eeyore’s Birthday Party, the 2015 edition: Experimenting to keep things fresh

Antler Woman, Eeyore's Birthday Party 2015 - Austin, Texas

Antler Woman, Eeyore’s Birthday Party 2015 – Austin, Texas

It was unusually hot and crowded this year at Eeyore’s Birthday Party. Much too hot for this very Austin, spring event. It’s my fourth visit and I know the drill. Acrobats over there past the food stands, the main drum circle underneath the trees on the left, another small circle further down past the jugglers and the hula hoopers. Yes, it’s familiar now, but it’s still fun to go. People watching and people photography being the primary draw.

To keep things interesting, I tried a different shooting style and of course changed up my gear. Last year, I shot with just the Fujifilm X100S. This year, the Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II along with the Olympus 17mm lens, which gives me the same framing as the X100S — I really like the 35mm focal length. I also brought two other mystery cameras which I hope to talk about in a future post.

Ash, Eeyore's Birthday Party 2015 - Austin, Texas
Jordan, Eeyore's Birthday Party 2015 - Austin, Texas
Ash and Jordan, Eeyore's Birthday Party 2015 - Austin, Texas

I experimented with backlit portraits this year. I was at Eeyore’s later than usual and the sun’s lower angle was favorable for this type of shooting. I added up to a stop of exposure compensation and the EVF easily allowed me to judge the desired amount.

Surrounded by Cute Dogs, Eeyore's Birthday Party 2015 - Austin, Texas
Beer makes everyone happy, Eeyore's Birthday Party 2015 - Austin, Texas

And I think the bright exposure better represented the mood that I wanted to express on that hot, sunny day. Despite using a lens hood, I still had some flaring but it was generally well controlled.

Drum Circle #1, Eeyore's Birthday Party 2015 - Austin, Texas
Drum Circle #2, Eeyore's Birthday Party 2015 - Austin, Texas
Drum Circle #3, Eeyore's Birthday Party 2015 - Austin, Texas

The drum circle is the gateway to an alternate state. The rhythmic drumming and other stimulus seem to overcome those who enter. It’s my favorite thing to capture. I’m generally immune from its effects since I’m busy shooting, which is a convenient excuse. The truth is, I’m not the kind of guy that typically lets loose despite the pull of the primal beat.

Dancing Girl #1, Eeyore's Birthday Party 2015 - Austin, Texas
Dancing Girl #2, Eeyore's Birthday Party 2015 - Austin, Texas

I’m attracted to the free spirits, at least photographically. And the fun and energy rubs off on the surrounding onlookers. I find it peaceful shooting here, like shooting by the sea. It puts me in a meditative state.

Amazing Bubble, Eeyore's Birthday Party 2015 - Austin, Texas

I’m not sure if the giant bubbles are new or I just don’t remember them from last year. Either way, their fantastic shapes attracted the children.

Selfie, Eeyore's Birthday Party 2015 - Austin, Texas

As usual, there were a large number of photographers but I didn’t notice them as much this year. I saw modestly sized, predominantly entry-level, DSLRs and more mirrorless cameras but smart phones were the majority, of course. Perhaps it was the time of day but I didn’t see as many “Pro” DSLR toters. You know the kind. Some of which have two big cameras dangling from both sides — ready to draw at a moments notice.

The warrior and the princes, Eeyore's Birthday Party 2015 - Austin, Texas
Into the light, Eeyore's Birthday Party 2015 - Austin, Texas

Finally, two more backlit images to round out the post. The danger of bringing too much equipment is distraction. While the two other cameras did complete for attention, the Olympus E-M5 Mark II was the primary. With only one lens to worry about on the Mark II, things worked out better than I hoped. I had sufficient keepers to not disappoint.

I also feel that It’s instructive to look at past works from the same event. And after looking at previous Eeyore Posts (2012 and 2014), I feel relief that they don’t all look the same. While I’m not sure if my photography is improving, at least it’s changing. It appears that I’m still exploring and experimenting, which is fine by me.


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13 thoughts on “Eeyore’s Birthday Party, the 2015 edition: Experimenting to keep things fresh

  1. I have to laugh because I think there are people in that park than we have in our town. And such attractive young women!!

    I ordered the new Olympus PEN PL-6, the “Pen Lite.” It’s actually got some features I think I will use (press to focus specific areas, for example) and the price was right (I had some Amazon credits, so it came in for around $250). It reminds me very much of the PM-2 which I love. Check it out when you have time. I have high hopes for it.

    1. The free-spirits are everywhere.

      Sounds like you got a great camera. You are building up quite a camera collection yourself. Let me know how it goes.

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