Yesterday my family took a quick trip out to Hershey Park to stroll through Christmas Candy Lane. My wife grew up near Hershey, so Candy Lane was something that’s been a regular part of her life since she was a kid, but we hadn’t been out to the display for a couple of years and felt it was time for a return trip.
It was cold 1. We’ve been to Candy Lane in sub-freezing conditions before, but never when it was that cold and with a good wind. We were prepared to be stung by the chill, so we decided to reach the park before dark and let the kids ride some rides before the lights came on 2, but once the Sun set the cold was brutal. We all had hand warmers, which helped off-set the chill, but after seeing some lights we were ready to head for the exit 3. I’ve not been a huge fan of Candy Lane ever since it became “pay to enter” instead of “pay to ride rides” because now it feels more like going to an amusement part than for a Winter stroll 4. Even so, I would have continued to trudge through the park had my wife been determined to trek on. When she gave up I knew the temperature had defeated even her enthusiasm for the displays. We ended up leaving half the park unexplored, and didn’t get our customary hot chocolate and cinnamon glazed nuts as a result.
I took my Lumix G7 along with me on our excursion to see how it handled the low light situation of capturing the displays. I’m very pleased with the results, though the camera presented an interesting difficulty. Using the touch screen to shift the focus point is, in most instances, a fast way to fame an image. When wearing thick gloves in bitter cold temperatures, however, activating the touch screen becomes a bit of an issue. I did discover I was able to move the focus point even when wearing my gloves if I pressed hard enough, but shifting the point to my desired location was next to impossible. In the end I ended up setting the focus to the center of the frame and flipping the touch screen around so I wouldn’t activate the focus mode by accident. If I’m faced with such an issue in the future I’ll set the camera to use the cursor buttons to adjust the focus point and remap the ISO button to one of the G7’s many function buttons 5.
My 25mm ƒ/1.7 lens did a splendid job, but I did get some unusual flares when taking photos which included the park’s normal street lights. I’m uncertain if this was because of the lens or the result of a cheap UV filter 6, so I’ll have to explore this in the future. In a couple of photos the flares added an etherial quality to the image, which I appreciate.
With our Hershey Park trip behind us, we now have no appointments for the rest of the week. Home, a warm fireplace, and playing some Super Mario Odyssey on the TV 7 are the orders for the next couple of days!
- Yes, Jamison. 15 degrees is cold, I don’t care what you say. ↩
- I wasn’t riding anything. Did I mention it was cold? ↩
- Also, the daughter insisted she had enough layers to go without her heavy coat. The daughter was wrong, and admitted it. There are times when a parent can be pleased at a child’s self-inflicted suffering — as long as it’s not risking permanent harm and wisdom is gained — this was one of those times. ↩
- Complete with annoying amusement park people. ↩
- The ISO button is mapped to one of the cursor keys, so when using those keys to set the focus point, adjusting the ISO becomes dependent on the touch screen. Unless the button is re-mapped, that is. ↩
- I tend to keep my UV filters on, it protects the lens. ↩
- At last! ↩