A Weekend at Woolfest

It had been planned for quite some months, 6 at least where I would take my partner to a show all about wool. The crafts, knitting, spinning, fleeces, looms, felting, carding, in fact anything to do with  wool and working with it. We also met up with 3 friends of hers whom she had never met face-to-face, only on-line in a closed group they had created and had been chatting with each other for 4 years. So was I going to feel out of it so to speak being with 4 lasses who are into most crafts to to with wool? Well the plan was that I could wander off to local nature reserves or into the towns and ‘do my thing’ with my cameras. But that didn’t happen I had a brilliant weekend mooching around the stalls taking photos; after asking permission first and then in the evening all 5 of us walking 100 yards to the nearest watering hole for some alcoholic refreshment and a cooked meal.

It was only after the 2 days of the show that we both got out in to Keswick for the ‘tourist’ bit, but that will be another page altogether.

So Woolfest, as it says is all about wool, from sheep, rabbits and Alpacas mainly. Rabbits I hear you say? yes Angora Rabbits have really soft long hair. So I was taking pictures mainly of the patterns found on the displays of skeins and cones of wool as well as the animals themselves.

During the 2 days there was also set up 2 ‘stages’ where musicians played, the stage that interested me was where a Stall-holder played the Hurdy Gurdy and another couple played a traditional Swedish instrument, the Nyckelharpa.

Taking the images was a bit tricky as Woolfest was staged in a livestock market, obviously because they have live animals there it is the easiest way to coral them, all the gates and posts are there. So as well as being close to everything and the poorer lighting I found that I was having to increase ISO to 1600 to get a decent shutter speed for the apertures I wanted to use. This prompted me to use the AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm f/3.5-5.6, which although adequate I could have used the AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8E VR which I didn’t own at the time, read in to that what you will.

So now some of the images I took.

The Alpacas were apparently being friendly that show, with no spitting!
Apertures between f/5.6 & f/8 at 1/30s and 1/60s.

Manx Loghorn_PGR4133

This Manx Longhorn wouldn’t stand still, I was lucky to get two images similar to this.
TO get the horns in I had to use 29mm focal length and aperture f/7.1 @ 1/50s, like all portraits I focused on the eye, as I did for the Alpaca images.

On the left is the musician with a Nyckelharpa, a Traditional Swedish Instrument and the right is the musician with the Hurdy Gurdy. Difficult to get a clean image as both had mics in front of them. The other problem was the light, they sat in a gazebo which was inside the livestock market so light was subdued. The next thought where do I focus, as the instrument to me was the picture I focused there and not on the musician’s face.

OK, now for the patterns I took of the Skeins and cones of wool. The idea behind these images were that they might make nice wallpaper for the computer. These are only a few of the images I took.


2 thoughts on “A Weekend at Woolfest

  1. A brilliant record of our Woolfest adventure. I think the instrument we saw from the ‘wrong’side of the stage was the one on the left of your two pictures, not the lucet man!


    1. Thanks Sandra, I did take many pictures, some good some not so good but still usable. Yes that ‘strange’ instrument was something else, I searched it on the net and found a brilliant musician playing it on Youtube, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7sfBcWvVUbs or even https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs3aUCM8BX8 but I think it is better for folk music.
      I ordered some more Lucet stuff yesterday, seems odd, Karen sitting there in the evening on her iPad and me doing the Lucet…..


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