If summer in central Indiana were a sentence, the Indiana State Fair used to be its period. But the start of the school year has moved earlier and earlier over the years, and now the State Fair begins just as many kids return to school. Fortunately, my sons’ school district hasn’t gone fully bonkers yet; it calls children back to classrooms in the middle of August. That gives us time for at least one State Fair visit before school starts.
I took my Canon PowerShot S95 along. I’ve shot so much film this year that I’ve neglected my little digital workhorse. The S95 features a fine zoom lens, from f/2 at 28mm to f/4.9 at 105mm. This camera has considerable strengths, but it’s not perfect and I’ve learned how to work around most of its weaknesses. Isn’t that the trick with any camera, though?
We always start with my favorite State Fair attraction: food. This year we visited the Indiana Ribeye tent. It’s a fixture of the fair for good reason, because the food is delicious. The boys had ribeye sandwiches and I had a beef bratwurst, and we all left happy. This fellow was making short work of his ribeye sandwich.
I like to see the animals, too. I think my boys humor their old dad while we do that. The animals judged for show are usually not photogenically arranged, but the ones in a little petting zoo are.
Young goats make me smile. Old goats are disgusting creatures.
The midway always offers great opportunities to capture color and practice basic composition.
This shot’s a little busy, but captures how there’s something vying for your eye at every turn.
Shots like this one involve timing and luck with the S95. I suppose it would be the same with all digital point-and-shoot cameras, thanks to their inherent shutter lag. I zoomed out to max and followed this ride’s arm as it arced, waiting for my camera to focus and set exposure. I had just a couple seconds to get it right. At the moment focus and exposure locked, the contraption at arm’s end met the cloud. The whites are a little blown out, but I’m very happy with the composition.
Color is simply everywhere on the midway.
This is my favorite shot of the day. Pioneer Village is my favorite part of the fair. Normally I shoot the vintage tractors but this year I was looking for color and texture, and found both in a booth where handmade corn brooms are sold.
Check out photos from last year’s fair too, here.