a trip to the fair {tough indoor lighting}

For those curious about the Christmas Catalog yesterday it is from Samaritan’s Purse. You can request a copy from their site. There are numerous other organizations that do similar things at Christmas and year round.


It is funny how perspective changes with time…or with more kids. My youngest two are 2 & 3 years old and I took them to the fair last week. There is NO WAY I would have gone to the fair by myself with my older two when they were 2 & 4. I remember after my second was born feeling like I couldn’t do anything with the boys. Going to the store, let alone the fair, with two kids was like mission impossible. These days, going to the fair with 4 kids on my own is something I’d never try, but just two of them…we had a great time. I wonder if Michelle Duggar feels like taking 10 to the fair is easy peasy, but not all 19?


Several of you have asked about what lens I use the most, it is my Canon 24-70mm f/2.8. It is not a cheap lens by any means, but it gives me the f/2.8 setting and has a great range (wide & portrait). It is not my favorite lens (my 85mm is), but it is the most practical in terms of not changing out my lenses all the time. It is the lens I used for these fair shots.

If you notice the different colors of the sky, the first one was taken through my tinted window (in a traffic standstill trying to get in the parking lot). The second was in open air. Donut Burger – there are so many things wrong with that.

70mm, ISO 100, 1/640, f/2.8………………70mm, ISO 100, 1/320, f/8.0

All the animal pictures below were taken in terrible lighting with no flash. You can tell by my ISO settings that it was not great lighting. Also, if you watch how the ISO changes you can tell when I am closer to the open doors (lower ISO – more light) and when I am further back in the barn (higher ISO – less light).

24mm, ISO 800, 1/125, f/2.8

43mm, ISO 800, 1/125, f/2.8 ….34mm, ISO 800, 1/125, f/2.8

I feel like the photo below needs some kind of caption, but it just isn’t coming to me!

27mm, ISO 1000, 1/125, f/2.8


27mm, ISO 640, 1/125, f/2.8

27mm, ISO 640, 1/125, f/2.8 both

27mm, ISO 100, 1/320, f/8.0 –  see the little spots in the sky? That is dust on my sensor, I need to clean it.

We treated ourselves to popcorn and a cherry limeade. I don’t really do fair food…1. I’m too cheap. 2. It grosses me out.

34mm, ISO 100, 1/1000, f/2.8

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  • andy - love the pictures. and your comment about michelle duggar. i have 2 kidos and when my second was born i felt like that. trying to figure out the logistics of going anywhere, if i ever did at all. surprisingly it wasn’t as bad as i thought the first time. but the grocery store is still terrible. my preferance it just one but it’s always great to go with no kids at all. much quicker. 🙂

  • BeckyH in MA - For ISO 800, they came out great! Not much grain.
    I don’t like taking indoor lighting photos. Really hard
    to get the white balance sometimes.

    Did you use Auto White Balance?
    Or did you use Fluorescent/incandescent?
    (Not sure what WB settings the Canon 5DM2 has)

  • Mirys - HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

    Thanks for being such an inspiration, for taking amazind pictures (that cheer up my day), for “presenting” me your sister, for giving me lessons about “how to be more human on a daily basis”! LoL!

    God bless you and your family!

    Kisses and blessings.
    (from Brazil)

  • Brittaney - Cute pictures. We are headed to the fair tonight and your pictures have made me excited. I’m most excited about… the fair food!

  • Jessica P - I think the 2 goats in the pic needing a caption are saying the same thing as your kiddos: “How fast can we shove it in?” “Not fast enough!” Haha. Great pictures. I’m glad you guys had a good time.

  • andy - Happy Birthday by the way. Thank you sister for spilling the beans. 🙂 I participate in her CrazyJoy challenge. 🙂 hope it’s a wonderful day for you.

  • Alison - Fab pictures as always. Using those sand scoopers to feed the animals is ingenious. We’ve had many animal-feeding experiences this summer and fall, and all were just “enjoy that animal saliva” ones. I hope this scooper concept comes north.

  • Alice H - Love the photos.

    And Happy Birthday!! I am an older sister also. With just one sister. And they are brats ;-P

  • Suzanne M - Happy Birthday! Thank-you for your daily inspiration! God Bless you and your family!

  • Liz Hurst - Happy Birthday Ashley! I hope you have a wonderful day!!!

  • e l l a - Happy Birthday Ashley!!!!
    Looks like great family fun ~ even just for the 3 of you 😉 xoxo

  • Caitlin - Michelle Duggar probably likes taking them all so the older ones can watch the younger ones and she can relax. 😉 Sweet pictures of your littles!

  • Chris Campbell - Happy birthday to a beautifully amazing women who I love more deeply not just in every year but in every moment I get to spend with her. Thank you for helping me count the moments babe not just the years!

  • lindsey - I feel like the goat on the left is really saying something not nice. ha! love the kids at the fair!! And the pics looks awesome for ISO 800!! You really can’t tell!

  • nicole - I love fairs! I think I went to our state fair about 5 times this year. 🙂 And tell Firecracker that I love that she sported her cowgirl boots to the fair!


  • Leslie - so great! Thanks for sharing!

  • ashlee - Regarding your Michelle Duggar comment I know when I take 4 of my 7 anywhere its a breeze. The more kids you have the more you acclimate to them. I did take my 7 to the fair by myself. People looked at me like i was a sideshow:) Happy birthday! Thank you for sharing your life and your passion. Reading your blog inspires me to be a better person for my family and myself and my God.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Happy Birthday, Ashley! I hope you have a wonderful and blessed day! Thank you for always being a beautiful inspiration to me and being a vessel of love.

  • Heather Mattos - I get so excited when the SP catalog arrives! 🙂

    Here comes probably another dumb question, but where do you find all the photo’s settings once you have taken it? So you can go back and compare your shots?

  • Devon - Happy Birthday Ashley! Thank you for all of the love and inspiration you pour out onto your blog. I look forward to seeing what you and your darling family have been up to each day. May this year be full of love and blessings!

  • Christina - Happy Birthday Ashley!!!

  • Frankie - Happy Birthday!
    The comment about Michele Duggar made me laugh out loud (at work whoops). I love your blog- your photos are always amazing. Today I especially love the one with the two sheep, they really want to eat! Anyways Have a very happy birthday weekend!

  • Sarah K - Love the pictures! By the way, I hear this song at work all the time and it makes me think of your blog. Have you heard it?


  • The Prairie Hen - Dear Ash,
    Thanks for the photo tips… when I grow up my photos are GOING to improve and be closer to the beautiful ones you take.

    Raimie Lu

  • beth - i couldn’t agree more on both accounts for fair food. totally grossed out by it. totally too expensive.

  • Melissa W. - Happy birthday! And as usual, gorgeous pictures! Looks like they had a blast! You’re braver than I am, I’ll trek out with all three of mine (soon to be four) but I’m not a huge fair fan, lol. 🙂 Have a great weekend! 🙂

  • Jessica - we took nine kids to Sea world and stayed for 13 hours. only I won’t tell you how many times I threatened to leave in those 13 hours… 🙂
    cute pics!

  • Amanda R. - Happy Birthday Ashley!! (Also saw it on your sister’s blog, how could you let the day pass by on your own blog?!) Hope you have a great day with your beautiful family! We should all be celebrating your birthday and the wonderful inspiration you bring to this world 🙂

  • Shanalea - Happy Birthday Ashley! Hope you have an amazing day with your family and perhaps some time to be quiet as well.

  • Sarah Pratt - You should have treated yourself to some deep-fried butter or deep-fried koolaide. You know something nice for a birthday treat! Yummy!

  • Sarah - Happy Birthday!

  • Mindy - everyone’s saying it’s your birthday! you look about 26. am i right?

  • jenny - ahhhhh…it’s your birthday! Hope you have a truly wonderful HAPPY birthday Ashley!

  • Christina C - I am new to your blog and I am hooked, you have a beautiful family! Where did you find your little ladies wonder women tee, I LOVE it!

  • Jamie - Happy Birthday to my fave. blogger and photographer!

  • Ingrid - HAPPY BIRTHDAY ASHLEY ANN!!! Have a wonderful day – hope you have a lovely day!! Thanks for writing an awesome blog that brightens my mornings 🙂

  • Goodwill - Hi. I am so excited, that i find your blog. A few months ago I was here, but I don’t remember name of blog. I am from Czech Republic – sorry for my very bad english 🙂 My parrents were last year in Tulsa and Oklahoma city, they say, that it’s beautifull place. Next year they’re going to fly there again. Nice blog and Beautiful children :))

  • Yanet - I only have three kids and when I take one (or even two) somewhere it seems like cake.

  • Mandy B - HYPER…..

  • Jess - You really should give fair food a chance Ashley! It is expensive…but SO good. 🙂

  • CharlaL - I think the goat pic shoud say “2 heads are better than one”…or “what did he say?”

  • Megan - Im a Tulsa girl to! This was my daughters first trip to the fair (2 1/2) She loved the petting zoo!