Summer Festivals

Having just been to our last festival of the summer I thought I’d share some photographs and what I’ve learned from people watching at these events. Before you start thinking “She’s SO cool, going to summer festivals!” I have to admit these haven’t been cool festivals I’ve been going to… None of your Lollapalooza or Glastonbury for me (wrong country). I think the last time I was cool was when I rocked a curly perm, pencil skirt and leather tie in the 1980s!

Anyway festivals. Saturday evening was Blues at the Crossroads in Terre Haute, Indiana. I learned that I really must check BOTH batteries, not only the one IN the camera, but also the one in the pouch, before I leave the house and not just assume they’re fully charged. I had to resort to my phone camera so really don’t have any good shots at all from that day. And there were SO many great photo opp… from the dancing chicken to the cute kids selling brownies, not to mention the bands and all the great characters in the audience. Also I have never seen so many Willie Nelson lookalikes with long grey hair in plaits down their back. I would have had a field day with my camera (I tend to use my compact at these things as I can get away with a lot more if people think I’m just taking snapshots rather than pointing a huge zoom lens in their faces.) Definitely going back next year with two fully loaded batteries.

Ken Tucker at Blues at the Crossroads

There are quite a few vineyards around here and most of them put on a few shows during the year, but the last 3 years we’ve gone to the Willow Ridge Blues Festival in Illinois. This winery is out in the middle of nowhere. No, seriously it is OUT. IN. THE. MIDDLE. OF. NOWHERE. But as you drive up there are literally thousands of cars parked along the side of cornfields! Where do all these people come from??? What a great day out though. Sunshine, wine, blues, people watching. It doesn’t get much better than that. I have managed each year to get some good shots at this event, but in 2014 I obviously had more spare time on my hands than I do now and I threw together a collage of the day. I learned at this festival that bikers, grannies, babies, pensioners and college kids could all dance and enjoy the day together. Also that wasps like white wine!

Fun in the Sun!

I didn’t manage to go this year but last year I went to a Sweetcorn Festival in Urbana. This is actually a lot of fun, and yes, they do have sweetcorn, but they also have beer tents, BBQ and great music. Last year the headline band was The Psychedelic Furs and they sound every bit as good as they did in the 1980s (when I was rocking the curly perm) I think the band this year was Smashmouth but I haven’t heard how good they were. Again, people watching was wonderful. From the dancers jiving with the swing-band, to the country fans with their cowboy hats and boots listening to the twangy country music, there was something for everyone. I learned that if you’re going to eat sweetcorn outside then you’re going to get it dripping right down your chin. Also I learned that you should follow your nose – we smelled something delicious and found a great Indian restaurant.

Richard Butler, lead singer of The Psychedelic Furs

What else. Well there’s Bagel Fest, where I would have demanded my money back if I’d actually paid any, because I didn’t see ONE SINGLE BAGEL at Bagel Fest. Plenty of other food trucks and carnival type foods, but WHERE’S THE BAGELS??? I didn’t stay for the bands at that one because they were too country for me, plus of course, NO BAGELS. I learned that the bagels were actually only given out in the morning at this festival. Next year I guess. There’s also a festival near me called the Broomcorn Festival which I haven’t been to and there’s an Amish Cheese Festival which I’m most definitely going to next year. FREE CHEESE! Who wouldn’t? Oh and I went, because my mum loves going, to the local Air Show. I hate to admit it but I actually kinda enjoyed it. The people watching again makes up for standing around in 90+ degree heat worrying that maybe the planes WON’T pull out of the dive in time and I’ll be watching a tradgedy in a few minutes time. Yes, I’m a worrier.

A plane.

One festival I really want to go to next year is the Covered Bridge Festival. I don’t know anything about it apart from covered bridges are very cool and make great photographs. But if there’s thousands of people roaming round then they’re all going to get in the way of my shots, so maybe I should just go AFTER the festival is over.

A covered bridge

Oh yeah and I nearly forgot. ON PURPOSE! The local Irish Music Festival. We were really excited about that one and it was the worst festival we’ve been to since we moved here. The ‘headline’ band’s rendition of 500 Miles by the Proclaimers was absolutely awful! For a start the Proclaimers aren’t Irish and secondly HOW CAN YOU PLAY 500 MILES SO BADLY! I’ve seen the Proclaimers live and yeah, they’re not the best singers, but they sound exactly like their records. Even the traditional Irish songs were really bad. Anyway I think we stayed about 45 minutes at that one and it’s one we won’t be hurrying back to.

The main thing I’ve learned from these festivals and summer events is that I’m a people watcher. I love people…. as long as I don’t have to talk to them!




Photo 101: Warmth and quality of light


This was a fun theme today – NOT!!! Well, it was fun to think about and to photograph, except to get the sun directly behind the glass and to get the clouds in the exact position I wanted them, I ended up lying on the ground with the suncatcher stuck on the end of a pole, so of course anytime I’m on the ground I’m fair game for the dog! You try taking a photograph with an 70lb dog jumping all over you – it ain’t easy! Mauled, bruised and licked to death all in the sake of photography….