Saturday, November 8, 2014

WIDOMSV - Part 8: The County Fair...

Suffice it to say, I did a Helluva' lot of shooting over the summer. From meeting up with old Navy friends to traipsing through dilapidated prisons, it cannot be said that I didn't do my level best to flex my photographic muscle over the summer.

So, don't you think it would be a given that I would welcome a break? Perhaps a slight respite from the hectic schedule of shooting, editing amd then shooting again that I'd found myself embroiled in?

Yeah, me neither.

Despite my best efforts, I kept shooting.

This time, though, is was kinda' hokey. Beth and I were on our way to the Wayne County Fair in Wayne County, Pennsylvania.

I vaguely remember, years ago, Mom and Dad taking Greg and I to the Danbury Fair in Danbury, Connecticut. All I remember is the long drive and, given that I was all of about seven years old at the time, I wasn't diggin' it. I don't know what rides we went on or what animals we saw or whether or not I ate cotton candy or deep friend bacon wrapped bacon, but I remember that drive. Three hours in the back seat of a 1965 Plymouth Belvedere II just wasn't my idea of a good time. I do remember the Danbury Fair being big, though. I mean, you know... really big.

I was looking forward to the Wayne County Fair because I knew it wouldn't be nearly as big and, as a result, could perhaps be a bit more quirky.

My suspicions, friends, were spot on.
The view from the Ferris Wheel. I think the parking lot was actually bigger than the actual fair...

One of the many "Hope ya' didn't eat too much" rides along the midway...

The Ferris Wheel at the end of the midway...

We got the the fair and quickly determined where we wanted to go, and when. Certain events take place only at certain times, and we didn't want to miss them.

Now, the be certain, county fairs are a big deal to a lot of people, especially in the more rural areas where farming is prevalent. To these people, the midway that attracts people like you and I are a nuisance. They're on hand to compete for ribbons with their pumpkins or their cows or, well, with whatever else you might find on a farm somewhere. The Wayne County Fair was no different:


One of the agricultural competitions...

That, my friends, is a very large... yellow pumpkin thing... with a blue ribbon...

I had a difficult time trying to find the interesting aspect of large vegetables not only being put on display but, also, judged. I guess the compelling aspects of such things are lost on me. What wasn't lost on me, though, was some of the food.

If you go to a county fair anywhere, you're bound to encounter the art of deep-frying. Things you would never think of frying are plentiful at fairs. Again, Wayne County was no different:

A deep friend Oreo. The only way it could've been better would've been if it was a Double-Stuf...


I don't even know how they would do that, but they did it. I have this funny little quirk about showing up somewhere and then leaving with diabetes, though, so I decided to pass on the deep-fried Reeses...

Let's face it: There's something inherently funny about farm animals. There just is. Or maybe it's just the farm animals you see at county fair; I dunno'. There were more than a few on hand, though, to make us laugh, and laugh we did.

I struggle with the question of how someone thought it was necessary to outfit their goat in woodland camouflage...

How YOU doin'?

And, just in case you like your farm animals to have a little more room to move, well, here ya' go. I thought it was pretty funny to hear how excited some people got over this. It's serious business to some:




And therein lies part of the charm (a big part, in fact) of a county fair. Nowhere else will you find garbage food, rides to make you throw it up and pig racing.

Next time I go to a county fair, I'm bringing my full rig (these photos were all shot with the Canon G12), my tripod and a whole lot of free time...

What I Did On My Summer Vacation - Part 7: International Boilerworks

Eastern State Penitentiary was definitely a highlight of my "I like to photograph abandoned buildings and places which sit in various, and increasing, states of disrepair" photo endeavors. But the famous places aren't all that are out there.

In the little town of East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania lies a rather large, and very much abandoned, factory. Despite its size, if you didn't know it was there, you would never see it and, if you didn't know where to look, you would never find it. It's been hidden away by years of overgrowth and neglect. International Boilerworks was built in the 1890's, and operated for just over 100 years before being shut down, boarded up and, from all indications, completely forgotten about.

The state of decay is impressive. While not in ruins like the Weatherly Trainworks, this factory; or what's left of it, has certainly seen much better days.

My cousin Lisa and I drove over from her home in the Poconos to photograph it. Lisa had been in contact with a woman who was with a local camera club, and who was willing to take us there. The property lies along some railroad tracks and, as far as I could tell, there were no "NO TRESPASSING" signs to be found. Still, it seemed as though we were engaged in something illegal or, at the very least, dubious. 

As we walked down the dirt road, the factory came into view.

It was huge.

One very small portion of a very big factory...

As we made our way closer to the buildings, it was evident that this place is visited frequently; probably by groups of local hoodlums building bonfires inside the factory and drinking beer (evidence of both was clear). There was no on there for the vast majority of time we were there and, in fact, as we were leaving, we saw a couple; probably no more than 17 years old, wandering through. They didn't pay us any mind.

This wasn't so much a photo trip to explore the past of some bygone factory. Instead, this was a photo trip that had the sole purpose of capturing the disparity of textures and colors that you might expect to find should you ever find yourself coming upon an abandoned factory as you wander aimlessly through the woods. Between the dirt floors and the concrete and the rust, it lent itself very, very well to photography:















I'd gotten sick after the trip to Eastern State (it's haunted, I tell ya'), so I wasn't feeling my best while shooting at International Boilerworks. While I'm pretty satisfied with what I came away with, I wouldn't mind going back some time to shoot it again. If nothing else, the further passage of time is only going to make it an even cooler place to shoot...















Let's Talk Apps...

From time to time, I'll be talking about cell phone apps as I find good ones. Let's face it, it's almost impossible to get thro...