A farm near my house held a Snowflake Festival this past weekend. Amongst Amish donuts, carriage rides, ice carving, and food samplings, the festival promised a visit from a special guest. This most likely meant Santa Claus, though Tom Cruise and his family were spotted at this very farm a few weeks ago (while in town filming a movie). Either would’ve worked for me, so off I went in search of a photo op to fulfill the “fantasy” photo challenge this week.

That special guest? Santa Claus, of course.  A magical fantasy for children and their Christmas wish-lists everywhere.

1/60 f3.2 50mm ISO1600 S

Shooting around a nighttime festival was an interesting challenge in itself. I chose shutter priority and set the shutter speed for the lowest I felt I could not show camera shake (1/60). I also bumped the ISO up higher than I’ve ever used. There is some noise in the photos, but it’s the trade-off I suppose for being able to actually capture photos in this environment.

1/60 f1.8 50mm ISO1600 EV2 S

1/60 f1.8 50mm ISO1600 S

1/60 f2.2 50mm ISO1600 S

Another trade-off was my decision to immediately devour the Amish donut rather than photograph it. Once the gooey goodness of that donut touched my fingers, there was no going near my camera. But trust me, it was worth it. Tom Cruise, you really missed out.

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