Jul 31, 2008

fairly good time

County fairs are as Americana as you can get - demolition derby, a menagerie of livestock, funnel cakes, lemonaide and crappy carny rides. The thing I enjoy most is the amazing cross-section of people you see at the fair. Translation: there are some strange ducks hanging out at the fair. As a photographer I want to document this strangeness. When I first started shooting, I relied on the anonymity of a long lens to capture the weirdness of the world. Translation: I was a chicken shit. My photos lacked personality and a human touch. So, over time I've become a little more bold and now often introduce myself, gain some trust, and hopefully shoot something real.

So, tonight I ventured out with one camera and a 20mm lens. It was 90-degrees with 100% humidity. It was a sauna with thousands of people. Can you say sweaty strangeness? After shooting a load of crappy photos, I met Willie, a carny game guy. Yes, he was strange. And sweaty. Our conversation only lasted a couple minutes, but Willie was eager to tell me about his life. Way too much about his quirky life. Go figure. People like to talk about themselves. He posed for a couple portraits, I thanked him, and I was on my way. Mission accomplished.

I'll go back again next year for another slice of Americana. And hopefully Willie will back for a little more strangeness.

1 comment:

Bruce L. Snell said...


Where to begin... First let me say WOW! Fantastic shots. I absolutely love the BW conversions (we need to talk)!

Secondly, I'm a HUGE fan on the one camera one lens approach. Check out David Alan Harvey. Shoots nearly everything just like that, one camera and a semi wide lens.

These photos are my favorite that you've ever posted, I LOVE this type of work.