Thursday, May 16, 2013

Medieval Fair 2013 - Making rings for chainmail

I have dressed up as Robin Hood and gone to the Medieval fair in Gumeracha sporting a bow. This year I decided to sport my camera with the classic 20mm pancake instead. The first thing I walked into was a sword holding competition. The challenge was to hold a 15 kilo sword with the arm extended horizontally for as long as possible. Plenty of fitness instructors and heavy lifters had a go at it, the record while I watched was around 3 minutes. I think I am going to practice with a cricket bat for next year.
Feats of Strength
Being a builder builds muscles
There were also jugglers and irish dancers, and to my dismay people with huge amounts of camera gear shadowing them. I felt really unprofessional with my dinky m43, then again this is the age of mobile photography and the battle between processing vs gear is on. It is now even being used as a marketing point by those Sony NEX ads. Granted a micro-four thirds sensor is smaller than the APS-C, still the weight advantages and flexibility bonuses do apply.
Juggler
Juggler practicing
There were a few knights in chainmain and I walked into a conversation involving effort and time that goes into making the armor. Eventually the talk drifted to cheap Indian labour working for $1 a day so that people can have fun the fair, at that point people glanced at me and stopped talking. I should start tinkering with fencing wire to keep the stereotype going. Some things cannot be mechanised yet, clothing be it out of fibres or metals is one of them. The economics of hobbies is also interesting.
Period Piece
Riveted chainmail
The melee of kids with pugil sticks reminded me of a Schlock Mercenary episode. It will be good to get some excercise done while in costume.
Pugil sticks
Pugilists not boxing
There were also Middle eastern belly dancers and scribes doing calligraphy while complaining that the Belly dancers are not Medieval. Though the ululation accompanying the dancing is fairly universal.
Belly dancer
Belly dancer and musician

Finally I managed to put the 850mm IR filter to good use and capture a panorama including the little lake at the Viking encampment. Without special IR modifications to the camera I had to use a pretty high ISO (1600) and a 2 second exposure. The processing through RawTherapee worked fine using some IR profiles I found floating around in Github, Hugin did a fair job of stitching as well.
Viking Camp in Infra Red
850mm IR filter with unmodified camera panorama

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