Photographing the Fall Fair

Barrier fall fair  The bandstand  Children's wall climb  Lawnmower race 1  Lawnmower race 2Midway  Tractors Cowboy hatsAt the Fall Fair

“Let’s all go to the country fair, there’s blossoms, and ribbons, and hope in the air.  The harvest’s in the endless bin, and Grandpa can bring the old mare.”  Anonymous.

In British Columbia the months of August and September are the season of fall fairs.  Communities large and small host events filled with exhibits of local crops, poultry, livestock, and all sorts of crafts, and the outdoor shows include rodeos, many different horse competitions, and even lawnmower racing. There are action packed midways that include amusement rides and challenges for the children like wall climbing, and there is food. The inviting and almost demanding smell of all kinds of mouthwatering foods confronts participants as far away as the entrance gate as they pull a few dollars out of their pockets to pay the entrance fee enticing everyone to make their next stop one of the food booths.

For this year’s Labour Day weekend my wife and I had the choice of two popular fairs, both about an hour away from our home, the Armstrong Fall Fair, or Interior Provincial Exhibition, is south, and the Barriere Fall Fair, or North Thompson Fall Fair is north.

We have attended both fairs over the years. Armstrong is larger, but this year we decided on Barriere, and besides I have more friends in Barriere.

I mounted my 18-200mm on my camera for our day’s excursion. The 18-200mm is a perfect walking-around lens for events like the one my wife and I were attending. I didn’t need a real wide, long telephoto, or fast aperture lens, as most exposures were ISO 400.  I always employed as fast a shutterspeed as I could and my aperture was usually f/8 or f/11.

The sky had a few clouds and the warm day was perfect for strolling through the small community’s fall fair. I looked around as I walked through the gate and into the excitement-filled fair thinking how that event was ideal for those of us that are always searching for something different to photograph.

The mid-way offered shots of vendors and interesting people engrossed in their visit to the fair. There was a large Agriplex building that presented opportunities to photograph livestock. I got some great images of young 4-H’ers in action and just outside I photographed cowboy musicians, magicians, and children on a climbing wall.

We got there late so I missed the horse pull, but I watched the Lawn Mower racing. Yes, I just wrote “lawn mover racing”. Who would have thought there would be such action, or any action at all from a lawnmower? But there they were, zooming around the dirt track. I have photographed running athletes, horse racing, stockcar, and motorcycle racing, to name a few, however, now I can add lawnmower racing to my resume.

I have always enjoyed community fairs, even before I started carrying a camera around. Nevertheless, ever since I have had my camera events like the Barriere Fall Fair has been great fun with the multitude of different subjects ready to be photographed.  For those photographers that haven’t yet ventured into that fertile photo territory, all I can say, if there is one coming to a fairground near you, put it on your calendar.

I always appreciate your comments. Thanks, John

My website is at

4 responses to “Photographing the Fall Fair

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.