It was a sweltering hot day in Hawaii, yet it was actually near-picture perfect weather for the 8th annual Hawaii Fishing and Seafood Festival to take place. I admit, I had never attended an outdoor food festival in Hawaii until today, but this fest was probably my favorite I’ve ever been to! A large reason was that there was just so much to photograph! Live entertainment with musicians and hula dancers, fishing and net casting demonstrations, gyotaku fish painting, culinary demos, and interacting with ocean creatures, my camera was constantly snapping away for the entire 6 hours that I was at the festival.
The festival presented its own set of challenges in the form of the harsh sunlight which left my arms sunburned, my body parched, and my cameras constantly overheated. I had also made the decision to shoot this event with a relatively light photography kit, using two prime lenses, my wide angle lens, and my LED light–no big telephoto zoom, monopod, stool, or speedlight. It turned out to be a semi-wise decision given the amount of time I was on my feet, although I found that even my 100mm f/2.8 at times wasn’t cutting it for some of the action shots, due to its slower focusing speed. However, the sharpness the lens offered for stiller moments was unparalleled.
I also ran into a slightly heart stopping moment midday. I had just finished carrying an armload of iced Coca Colas and bottled water to some volunteers when I realized a few drops of water had splashed on my cameras in the process. I brushed it off, knowing that my 5D Mark III had taken bigger beatings than that when it came to water, and had still functioned just fine. Unfortunately, my Canon 6D proved to be not as weather resistant. As soon as I attempted shooting with it again, I found all of my menu buttons to be very…confused. Pressing the focus button would instead take me to Live View mode, pressing the Q button would change the ISO, and so forth. It was a strange thing that I couldn’t even figure out how to Google search. Finally, I found some threads that talked about this menu button confusion was usually a result of excess water spraying on the camera. Seriously?? It had just been a couple drops of water hitting the outer shell of the camera body, not a downpour of rain. To my luck, I gave the camera a rest for about an hour, and then everything appeared to return to normal. Phew.
In a way, it was lucky I’d found out my 6D wasn’t so water resistant, as an hour later, a torrential downpour appeared out of nowhere. You can bet that the 6D was the first camera to get sheltered in rain gear!
Check out a few snaps from the seafood fest below, with the full gallery available on my website.