Friday, August 27, 2010


I had to take you back to the Indiana State Fair this week to introduce you to the talents of Sarah Kaufmann, A.K.A. "The Cheese Lady."
The Indiana Dairy Farm Families has presented Sarah's talent in the "Our Land" pavilion for the past 4 years.  Sarah is nationally known for her sculptures made of cheese.  This year's sculpture was made from of a total of 1,498 pounds of cheese: 1,280 pounds of Indiana cheddar cheese, 120 pounds of white cheddar, 94 pounds of Gouda, and 3 pounds of string cheese.   

According to the signage at the display, it takes one year from start to finish of the creation, including:
the idea, a series of pencil sketches, selecting the final draft, creating the draft in color, selecting the cheese textures and colors, ordering the cheese, carving a miniature version of the final draft, and then building a foundation to support the 1,498 pounds of cheese. 
Sarah begins carving her masterpiece at the opening of the fair. She works non-stop for 2-3 days before the big unveiling of her creation.

The theme of this year's sculpture is "Fuel Up-Play 60."  Fuel-Up Play 60 is a new youth program sponsored by National Dairy Council and the National Football League designed to empower students to take action for their health and improve their school environment.
And so, this huge dairy inspired sculpture of a cow and pig playing football incorporates dairy, football, and also the 2010 Indiana State Fair theme 'The Year of Pigs.'
Sarah went one step further to tie her masterpiece to Indiana: She embellished the final sculpture with Indianapolis Colts flags and included BLUE, the Colts' mascot!
At the close of the fair, the cheese from the sculpture was re-processed into animal feed.

To learn more about Sarah Kaufmann and to see more of her cheese creations, click here
(Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 24-105mm f4 IS lens, 1/40 sec @ f4.5, ISO 400)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Motion in a Still Image

A moment frozen in time.  Photographs are often described in this manner.  However, Sometimes we like to see movement  in our photographs.  This can be accomplished in a variety of ways.  This week, I will show examples of images which show an object in motion achieved by slowing down the camera's shutter speed during exposure.  A perfect time to experiment with this technique is at night, when the light is low enough to naturally produce slow shutter speeds.  (This technique can be successful during daylight, as well, with the use of a neutral density filter.)
This week's images were made at the Indiana state Fair. 

For this image of the Yo-Yo, I had my camera mounted on  a tripod to keep it steady and waited for the ride to begin to make my exposure.  Using a slow shutter speed keeps the lens open longer allowing the moving lights to paint across the sensor.  One can get a feeling of motion in this example because of the contrast of the spinning ride vs the static lights at its base.  (Canon EOS 1-D Mark IIN, Canon 16-35mm f 2.8 lens, 1/5 sec. @ f 5.0, ISO 200)

Again, with camera mounted on a tripod, I made this image of a ride called "The Mix."  I knew by watching it twist and turn while spinning, the photographic result would be a colorful whirl of motion. For this image, I lowered my ISO and stopped down to get the slowest shutter speed needed for the desired results.  (Canon EOS 1-D Mark IIN, Canon EOS, Canon EOS 24-105mm f 4 lens, 2 seconds @ f16, ISO 100)
Finally, I spotted the Yo-Yo from this angle and set up for another shot.  As the ride geared up to full speed, I captured this moment when it looked like a flying saucer rising above the concessions stand.  Mixing movement with a static object accentuates the feeling of motion. (Canon EOS 1-D Mark IIN, Canon 28-105mm f 3.5-4 lens, 0.5 sec. @ f 20, ISO 100)

Friday, August 6, 2010

~The 2010 Indiana State Fair ~

The heat of the summer is upon us and the deafening song of the cicadas fill the Indiana air. It can only mean one thing: time once again for the Indiana State Fair!  The fair begins today and is celebrating its 154th anniversary.  This year's theme: The Year of PIGS.  Indiana is the 5th largest state for pork production in  the United States and so it seems fitting that is is being sponsored by the Indiana Pork Producers.
Each year the Indiana State Fair chooses a signature food to be featured at the fair.  This year, in keeping with the theme of the fair, the choices included Country Fried Bacon, The Garbage Burger, Pig in a Pancake, Pulled Pork Taco, and Root Beer Ribs.  All 5 choices will be served at the fair, but the winner for 2010 is the Garbage Burger- A ground pork burger topped with pulled pork and seasoned with barbecue sauce.
Last year, Chocolate Covered Bacon was featured at the fair...I never had the desire to try it and I wonder if it will return this year in honor of the year of the pig?? 
One thing I always enjoy seeing while visiting the fair are the new litters of piglets.  They can be heard squealing the moment one enters the swine barn and there is always a crowd of visitors around their pig pen. This image (awarded Editor's Choice in the Pets category in the book 'Capture Indy'- Pediment Publishing -2009) was made shortly after these pigs finished nursing.  They didn't seem to care where they fell asleep after having their fill.  However, I doubt their fill consisted of either the chocolate covered bacon or garbage burger!
The fair runs for 17 days allowing an ample time for Hoosiers to visit and experience the rides, shows, animals, food, concerts and exhibits.  (And this year, according to the Indianapolis Star, one is able to view the mama pig and her piglets from home on the Indiana State Fair "Ham Cam" !)
(Canon EOS 1-D, Canon 28-105mm lens, 1/25 sec. @ f 5.6, ISO 800)