WRAL.com at the State Fair

Picture Roundup

Posted October 28, 2006 8:12 a.m. EDT

I have a Nikon Coolpix that I use for taking pictures. I'm happy with it, and I only get jealous when I see real photographers walking around with gigantic cameras that can take pictures of ant eyelashes from six hundred feet. I usually end up taking literally hundreds of pictures at the Fair, some for blogging, some just because they look interesting, and many because of a rule of photography that someone taught me once: "How do you take a few good pictures? You take tons and tons of bad ones!" Following is a roundup of photos that I thought were interesting but didn't fit in any blog entries. Click on the small pictures to see larger pictures at Flickr.

If you follow the path past Heritage Circle and down the hill to the old mill (free hushpuppies!) you'll come to a bridge over the pond. Because of the way the midway is set up now, that pond is great for taking reflective pictures of the ferris wheel. Now if only the Turbo Force was in the same place...

Speaking of great places to take pictures, another terrific spot is just inside the official entrance to the new midway (the official entrance is where the big archway was saying "Welcome to the Midway!") There's clear space there and some very dramatic rides placed close together (the swings, the Fireball, etc.) One evening as I was walking around I saw several photographers gathered there to take pictures. I knew my camera couldn't get a great shot of the swings, so I settled for taking a picture of the photographers.

It always tickles me how Fair food slowly evolves in comparison to food in our culture. It wasn't that long ago that it would have been very tough to eat vegetarian at the Fair, but this year you could get grilled portabello mushroom sandwiches, vegetarian Indian, and vegetarian Creole food (not to mention vegetable tempura!) What's added and when doesn't seem to have much rhyme or reason. One thing I was not expecting to see was the addition of Chai Tea. What's up next -- soy milk, Red Bull, Diet Dr. Pepper?

This is one time when my camera couldn't quite do the trick, but the picture turned out interesting anyway. You may have noticed a couple of paramedics roaming around the Fair on bikes. I kept looking for them so I could get a good shot of them. I only found them one evening after dusk as they were coming down the main path near Dorton Arena (I wish those paths had names.) I tried taking a picture with my "Night" setting but got only a big blur. I broke down and used the flash and got the picture that you see here. I didn't realize until later how much reflective material the paramedics had on their uniforms...

The next North Carolina State Fair is Oct. 12-21, 2007. I can't wait!