Winterfest 2016

I know it’s only the second post on this blog (have you read the first one yet?), but I thought I’d do a quick break from the street photography.

Last weekend I went to Winterfest in Parramatta. It’s a medieval fair that has lots of historic re-enactments and displays. And tarot cards and gem stones.

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These guys were showcasing the hand to hand combat. There was a range of groups: some performed more of a choreographed style of fighting; others showed more of a “hit each other as hard as you can with these blunt swords” style of fighting. These guys were the latter.


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The birds are amazing. I have no idea how you train a bird (that’s free to fly away whenever it feels like it) to always fly back to you, but it’s damn impressive the way they’ve been trained to hunt and return.

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The cosplay was great. A lot of it was period-inspired. Some of it drifted away from historic and more into fantasy. And some of it just took the word “cosplay” and went with that. Batman was there, along with other comic book characters and a Space Wolf space marine.

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And fully armoured knights doing actual jousting!

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All in all, it was a fun day.

From a photography point of view, it taught me that I would like to go to more fairs and conventions with cosplayers, as a means to improve my street photography.
For a while now, I’ve wanted to try taking street portraits. This is where you actually stop people on the street, chat to them for a bit and then ask if you can take their photo. This way you have control over the background and the lighting, and can write a little more about the person other than “I think this guy’s shoes looked cool.”
Having had a long career in retail, you’d think I would be able to approach people no problems, but it’s something I’ve still not been able to do.

People who do cosplay are being stopped all the time by people asking if they can be photographed. For the photographer, it’s a great way to practice and build up the confidence. This is similar to the way I practiced street photography in touristy places like Darling Harbour before I took camera out on the “normal” streets: everyone has a camera there and is taking photos all the time. In the same way, stopping a cosplayer and asking them for a photo won’t feel so daunting because everyone else is doing it.

Did I do that this time? Did I ask anyone at Winterfest if I could take their photo? No. But, you know. Baby steps. I will next time.
Click here for the full gallery of photos from Winterfest. Next post will be another street photography set of 5.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

As always, the photos here are all licensed under Creative Commons 4.0 – Attribution. This means you can do what you like with them, so long as you credit me. I suppose there’s not much I can do if you don’t credit me, but you really should.
No model releases are available for anyone in any of these photos, so don’t use them for advertising.