Friday, August 22, 2008

There's Nothing Like the Fair

Taking advantage of some time away from the work place, I visited my parents earlier this summer on Cape Cod, the place where I grew up. I hadn't been back to "The Cape" during the summer months for a long while. As luck would have it, it was the week of the Barnstable County Fair. For us locals the fair really seems to get to the heart of the Cape's culture in a way that boating, the beach and country clubs don't. Needless to say I was anxious to share it with Maria. Being a Cape event means that it isn't big, crowded and overwhelming, nor is it small and boring. Instead it's more like just enough, basically a fun event where people of all ages can come to enjoy all the same things - just maybe for different reasons. One of my best fair memories was of Arlo Guthrie performing Alice's Restaurant when I was probably about 8. At the fair you have arts and crafts, farm animals of all types, giant vegetables, tractor pulls, a petting zoo and of course .. funnel cake (or if you are from New England just fried dough). Oh right! and of course rides and a midway with prizes that can probably be purchased for half the price of a play (or maybe a Chinese worker's day rate - but I digress). I wish I had all week to photograph and not just one night, because to me it's amazing that all of this still exists. Here are just a few of my favorites:

Something we never had growing up was the "demolition derby". We went Wednesday night especially to see this. Maria, being into recycling and repurposing and all things "green", I think had the idea that smashing already junked cars together into a rusty, unrecognizable pulp was all at once totally idiotic and, in a Bizarro World sort of way, a wicked awesome use of garbage. Either way it was very high drama, and she begged me to stay for a few rounds.

If you squint you can see some of the dirt that is hitting my camera from this spin out.

And of course - FIRE! The firemen on hand took an eternity to cross the arena to put out the blaze as the driver frantically waived his arms for them to hurry it up. I love the faces as the crowd reacts!

And the winner is .. #7! - well at least he was judged to have won this round. Someone said the car was a Gremlin, to me it looks more like a Colt. It was pretty hard to tell. The best part, beside the fact that the car was 1/2 the size of just about any of the other cars, was that both its rear wheels were those little spare donuts that you keep in the trunk in case of a flat.

To pay homage to the driver and his little auto, I spent a bit of time editing the photo in a "cinematic style" using a Photoshop tutorial I found on line here - not too bad. I think it's fun to play with these sorts of things. I don't know if its something that I would necessarily use in terms of "photography" (it's a bit more graphic design), but I think that its a good lesson in perception.

Oh right! Rides ..

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