Large event coverage tends to be more liberating than short or small events. You find yourself immersed in a multitude of photographic opportunities without any real time constraints. As a result, I can plan, I can wait, I can work and rework each moment until I arrive at contention.
I shot two days at the Porter County Fair alongside fellow photographer, Taylor Irby. We arrived the first day at 10–an hour into the fair. Despite this, things were still being set up and little else was going on so we wandered about the fair grounds, scouting things out.
The fair was essentially set up in three areas. There were the buildings that housed 4-H events and the other judged categories, a main strip of food vendors and some other small booths, and a midway with games and carnival attractions. Scattered throughout this were locations for a variety of free entertainment events (wood carving, high-dive demonstrations).
As well as additional tents not belonging to the above categories which housed animals and vendors.
While as there was a lot going on that first day, we were primarily interested in two events in the evening, the hot air balloon launch and glow. I was excited, less for the actual event and more for the possibility to create unique images. A lot fell into place. The event happened later in the day, not quite golden hour, but a far cry from the harsh midday sun. All silhouetted against beautiful clouds.
The balloons took off, we worked our way back through the fair taking a break before they returned for the glow an hour later. Once again, things worked out perfectly. By the time the teams started filling the balloons, we had beautiful deep blue twilight skies.
Day two we showed up much later. Having checked the calendar of events, nothing new was happening in the morning. We stopped back by an artist we had met the day before, he was in the middle of a drawing and we grabbed a few shots of that.
The 4-H buildings started to fill with more animals. On day two, dogs still occupied one, but rows and rows of rabbit cages now occupied another.
All of this was really just to buy time until dusk arrived. I was determined to grab some late shots of the midway during this time. I spent a lot of time as the sun went down playing with the sun as it shone across it.
Ultimately, I did not end up producing anything anything I loved of the lights after dark. I wish I had more time, more evenings, but I had to go back to Ohio. The Indiana State fair runs 1-17 of August in which I will be doing a similar thing throughout that.