Saturday morning I packed up the family, made them accompany me to Old Town Temecula for this Street Painting Festival.
This was the 9th year for this festival.
A short portion of the asphalt of Fifth Street became the giant canvas where about 60 artists labored under the Sun.
The artists arrived at 8 am.
Most didn’t plan to finish the same day.
Rafael of Riverside planned to finish the next day about 12 hours of work.
His piece showing a Mexican peasant woman carrying a large earthenware jug caught my eye because of his choice of colors.
The few minutes I spent with him, I met his 2 young sons.
They were polite, well-behaved and ever so patient sitting in the shade as their dad slowly and carefully blended his pastel colors.
It takes quite a bit for young boys to sit still especially without Gameboys or Nintendo DS’s.
It’s a shame I didn’t get a chance to return today to see the finished work and to see the judging.
As I expected, I saw quite a few photographers at this event.
I saw at least one person who looked like he worked at a newspaper. How can I tell? Oh… tell-tale fanny pack, 2 camera bodies, credentials dangling around his neck.
Glad to see the local papers gave this event some ink.
Ceceilia was lit by my Canon Speedlite 580EX @ 1/4 power off-camera on the right zoom set at 105mm setting. Exposure was ISO 100 1/250@ f11. The shadow you see on the painting is from the black umbrella she had set up for shade.
Watching Ceceilia Linayao of San Diego as she blended the orange, brown, red for a mesmerizing feminine face with huge eyes was intriguing.
Working under intense sunlight, squinting and trying to match and blend is tough under room conditions. This must have been even tougher when you use the shade of the umbrella and part of your artwork is in the direct sun.
The eyes complete with catchlights seemed to follow the viewer from any angle.
I learned Ceceilia also teaches art. No wonder she worked so quickly.
When I arrived, a lot of the artwork wasn’t taking shape yet, so there was only that much I could shoot.
A couple hours later around 11 am, the sun was overhead.
Umbrellas and blue canopies lined the short street to provide shade for the artists.
Dealing with Contrast & Backgrounds
Relief from the heat and even lighting for the artists to work meant a challenge of contrast and cluttered backgrounds for me.
Fortunately I had my Canon Speedlite and radio slave.
If you remember my earlier post What’s In Your Background? and suggestion #7, you can deal with this.
I intentionally underexposed the scene when I photographed Ceceilia because I wanted her painting to really pop against the blacktop.
Finding a camera angle to shoot without the clutter in the background was a whole different matter.
It meant I had to shoot downwards on her with my 17-35mm zoom lens.