Yes, that is a stormtrooper, in a kilt, in a rickshaw, at the Renaissance Festival.
I've finally posted my photos from this year's trip to RenFest at Flickr. I tried some HDR this time - all hand-held, since even the longest exposures were still short enough to not need a tripod. It was pretty windy at times so that was a challenge, and once I get better at getting rid of ghosting from motion I'll probably go back and add some more to the set.
I've recently decided to embark on a large project to scan and/or re-scan all of my negatives, particularly those from some of the bigger vacations I've taken (which you'll find the travel journals of here). Now that I've learned a lot more about photo processing, I'm really looking forward to seeing how much better I can make these pictures. A test case is presented below. The top photo was scanned from the print that came from the photolab back when it was developed in 2000. The bottom photo was an experimental "blur overlay" version of the same photo, scanned from negative and with some extra grain reduction applied. HUGE difference!
Conwy Castle from Plas Mawr, Wales. Photo May 2000
Some of these photos have been scanned from the original negatives before, but I didn't do enough grain removal with the scanner software so now I'm doing it again. The photos from the 1998 UK trip in particular have a lot of grain which I think shows up more because of the hazy skies caused by an unusual weather pattern that was present during most of my vacation. Some of the negatives from my 2000 trip are going to require a lot of work because some of the negatives were badly processed and because the camera I was using was dying. I think I had a damaged lens too... pretty much anything that could go wrong with some of those photos did. Thankfully the photos from my 1997 Washington DC trip (some are grainy, but pretty good), 2002 in Italy (some were poorly cut) and 2003 in the UK are generally okay.
I got down to Momo's early enough to get a decent parking spot, but not early enough to get a table, so I ended up standing for about 6 hours. The whole experience was slightly surreal since I saw a lot of people in person that I'm used to seeing in a 640 x 480 window on my computer! After the Tech Guy radio show, Tech News Today and This Week in Tech live shows, I briefly went and chatted with Brian Brushwood, his wife, and Tom Merritt, all of whom were as nice in person as they come across on the net. :)
Leo Laporte creatively wearing his headphones during a break for the radio show. Full Flickr set here
I think it is a common staple of faires to have a Royal Mint where they do demonstrations and/or make custom coins and medallions, and this faire was no exception. I was just casually glancing through the available designs to have struck into a medallion when a familiar face caught my eye - Elizabeth I! I then noticed the Tudor rose design and decided I had to have one made. I opted for the bronze with antique patina (they dip it in sulfuric acid and then polish) and you can see the final product below. I'm still sorting through the 250 pictures I took (we had really good seats for the falconry show, so I snapped a lot of pics - I love digital cameras!) and I'll tweet out a link when I get them all uploaded to my Flickr account.
Updated 4-03-11: Flickr set is now up here!