Archive for the ‘George Rogers Boulevard’ tag
I got back to town a bit late this year, and missed out on some of my State Fair usuals because the buildings closed early the final day, so no art, flowers, sand sculpture or baby ducks this year. I was able to have my annual Italian sausage sandwich, Fiske fries and ride the skyway, swings and bumper cars. Most of the regular rides were there, along with a couple of new, or at least re-painted wacky-house type walk-throughs. Apparently the rocket is no longer the "Time-Warner Rocket" and is just back to "The Rocket", though it does have a few new sponsorship plaques at the base. I still miss the Steel Building: That corner just does not feel right without it.
Well, as always, the South Carolina State Fair was a good time, with lots of beautiful art, greasy food, neon in motion and oddball retail. If you've read one of these posts before, don't expect anything particularly new this year; it's pretty much the same sights I usually enjoy capturing. I didn't submit anything for the art exhibition this year, so no pictures of the pre-Fair ceremony.
I've got a couple of videos I'll add later as soon as I can get them uploaded to youtube. In the meantime, enjoy!
UPDATE 27 October: First video (cablecars) is uploaded above.
OK, you know the drill by now if you've followed my State Fair posts from previous years: I like what I like, and I like to take pictures of it, so there's nothing new or astounding here, just old friends like the Buxom Beer Girl, The Cotton Candy Stands and the ducklings, but I enjoyed being out and about amongst the neon and greasy delights as usual. I took the tripod, but really couldn't get into setting it up to try for HDRs this year, so I just got one, which is not as good as those from last year (2010). I did take a few videos this year, in particular the one above (which has some issues with light spikes, but is quite watchable) and one below the jump.
Meet your party at the (Time Warner) rocket!
South Carolina State Fair 2011 Fine Art Exhibition Premiere & Awards Reception, Fairgrounds: 9 October 2011 3 comments
These nine pictures are attempts at HDR. I took a tripod, and set the closing-cam to do 3 exposure brackets (1 "under exposed", 1 "over exposed" and 1 "correctly exposed"). I still have had trouble getting anything reasonable looking out of Qtpfsgui though other folks certainly have. There are just too many knobs and levers for me, at least for now. I did find another free program called Picturenaut, which actually produces nice results with the default settings. The downside is it only runs on Windows.
All the night pictures were taken on 15 October and the day pictures on 24 October. As usual, the fair remains an evergreen experience and if you missed it this year, you should try to catch it in 2011.
Lots and lots of other pictures after the jump. Be warned!
South Carolina State Fair 2010 Fine Art Exhibition Premiere & Awards Reception, Fairgrounds: 10 October 2010 2 comments
Well, The South Carolina State Fair was fun as usual. My only regret is that I did not get to ride the bumper-cars this year since I would have been the only one on the floor at the time I went by, and what's the fun of that? Oh, and I didn't manage to score a free yardstick anywhere this year.
Other than that, you've got your french fries, Italian sausage, fried mushrooms, cinimon rolls, performing sealions, elephants, rides, art and lots and lots of neon. What's not to like?
You can pretty much stop here if you don't like lots of photos, that's about all that's after the jump. I'm a little disappointed in how my Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 handled the neon. Last year my deceased Kodak DX3600 tried its little heart out to make sense of the low light conditions it was never built for, and I think actually got better saturation on the neon than the Lumix, even though the Lumix is a much better camera. On the other hand, I just locked the Lumix F-stop at 2.2 and let it do whatever it wanted with the shutter, there's probably a better neon setting somewhere. (The thing has the most driest, most snoozeworthy manual of nearly anything I've seen). Interestingly, whereas usually the JPGs I get by manually processing the camera raw files are more pleasing than the ones the camera creates, the opposite was true here. Anyway, even if the average quality wasn't as pleasing, I still think I got some very nice shots. So if you like that kind of thing, and have a while to download, hit the "MORE" link.
I suppose it's a silly thing to get pre-nostalgic about, but to me as a child, a big part of the adventure of going to the State Fair was the getting there. The first years I can remember, my father decided that he didn't want to face the hassle of fair traffic and parking fees, so we would catch the SCE&G Fairgrounds bus at, I believe, the corner of Main & Blossom. These were the only times we rode the bus as kids, and it was very exciting!
Later, I think my mother was less than thrilled at riding the bus and we started to drive, but it was still an adventure -- sort of an imperfectly organized chaos where you followed a bunch of cars, hoped you were in the right lane, and then tried to figure out which guy waving a flashlight you were supposed to follow as they invented a parking lot on the fly. Of course if it were dry, the dust would be flying everywhere, and if it had been wet, it was a long slog through the mud, but it never really occurred to me that the Fair should have anything other than a dirt/grass lot.
As you can tell from the pictures though, that's about to end. It appears that next year, we will have a "real" parking lot at the Fairgrounds. Oh well, as long as they still have the rocket and the handwriting analysis computer, my childhood won't be totally gone!
OK, perhaps it is a cheat to do a closing on an annual event, and doing this many pictures is certainly way into overkill territory, but I do like the Fair, and I really like neon! Some of the night pictures came out really well, some are just so-so -- the closing-cam is a circa 2001 model that is definitely not meant for anything like night available-light photography but the results are interesting (to me at any rate).
Signs of the times, I suppose, but I didn't see the video game tent anywere back in the midway this year. This may be an artifact of the new(ish) operator. I think in the old days it was Deggler, then Conklin and now American Amusements or something like that. Also, no freakshow of any kind. The had kinder-gentler freak shows (ie, no actual "freaks": "Zoma, the jungle boy!") as late as the 1980s. And I think it's been many years since there was one, but it just occurred to me this year that I hadn't seen the Bingo tent either.
These first shots are from 22 September when I took two photos down to the Cantey building to enter them in the art show. (I thought there were better than some of the stuff that got included, but in the event, both were "juried out" of the show -- oh well!). At this point basically nothing is set up except the permanent buildings (and the sky ride).
The day shots were actually taken on 19 October, after the night shots, but it seems more normal to include them here first since 'day' precedes 'night'.
These night shots were taken on 10 October from about 9pm to about closing time at 11pm. The handwriting computer has been there for my entire life (as far as I can remember anyway!) I don't think they even make the pretense that it's a 'real' computer anymore, (in the beginning, it did look very futuristic and impressive).
These final shots come from Monday 20 October when I went back to the Cantey building to pick up the photos. Almost the entire midway was already gone -- those guys work fast!
UPDATE 14 July 2009: If you enjoyed this post, you can buy products printed with some of these images at the Columbia Closings web store.