At the Montgomery County Agricultural Fair

Ag fairs are a long-running tradition in the United States. They’re getting harder to find now, especially near urban areas on the coasts, as agricultural regions disappear. And really, there’s not that much agricultural to the Montgomery County Fair these days – it’s mostly just the midway with the rides and games and heart-stoppingly unhealthy food. It had been ages since I went to one, so it was a nice trip down nostalgia lane, and they make for a great opportunity to shoot wild colors at night. The Montgomery County Fair is held in Gaithersburg every summer, and while the area used to be semi-rural, it is now very much a part of the Washington DC megalopolis. It’s not an exurb or even an outer suburb anymore.

Merry Go Round
Merry Go Round
Win Big Prizes
Win Big Prizes
Pizza, Nachos
Pizza, Nachos
Super Shot - Starting Out
Super Shot – Starting Out
Super Shot - Halfway
Super Shot – Halfway
Super Shot - Almost There
Super Shot – Almost There
Super Shot - At The Top
Super Shot – At The Top

I’d have included the Super Shot dropping but it happens so fast it’s hard to time it and get a good picture with motion blur that makes sense – setting up a tripod in the middle of the midway to take that shot would probably get you ejected by security for obstructing traffic.

I shot all of these hand-held, with my Contax RTS III and 50mm f1.4 lens. most were shot at f1.4. My film of choice is Kodak Portra 160, not only because it’s very fine-grained but also because it has a remarkable talent for handling mixed lighting conditions.

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