Oh the fair!
Photo by Peter, titled "heavy Load"
This is the week that many of the folks from Durham and Middlefield begin to fray at the edges. It never fails. The thick newspaper styled magazine full of fair entry opportunities beckons at us. Good thing because entry forms are due tonight. Despite the fact that it has sat in the junk pile for 2 months in the kitchen, the day has finally come to take a look at it. We have had two glorious summer months of nothing to do with the kids. Over the summer, the thought of doing a fair project would prove to become just that…a thought. As parents, we know the pride of a having your child see his or her work displayed at the fair. As we sit at the table deliberating the possibilities, it’s clear we’re in trouble. No one has a clear thought of anything crafty meandering through their mind. It’s hard to fathom that we can’t think of anything. No one likes being put on the spot so I suggest we start with the annual camera hand off. The photo category is one thing I know I have the materials for. This is when perhaps foolishly; I offer my kids the opportunity to use my good camera and lighting equipment. I tell them to meet me back in the dining room studio in a half hour with an idea and some props. They both bolt to their rooms and to the computer to get some ideas. Peter comes back dragging the cat along with his Playmobil crane in tow. My eyebrows raise up. He suggests that he wants to get the cat to chase a pom pom dangling from the end of the hook off the crane line. We plop the cat down on the backdrop then proceed to blind him by the studio lights. I chuckle under breath as Peter lay on the ground doing his best to hold the monster camera up, until the cat starts biting me. Clearly, Gunther cat wants no part of this torture and he jumps away. Back to the drawing board, Peter now drags the dog on to the white backdrop. Miles, being just smaller than Clifford the Big Red Dog will do anything for a treat as we realize we have found the more willing model. Peter hooks the tiny Playmobil crane hook on to Mile’s collar and with this second model it becomes clear that this pooch has got what it takes. After very few frames, Peter gets the shot and I send him off to edit with my software. He comes back with the above photo. Now Kate shows up with matches and a candle. My eyebrows begin to rise once again as I now am worried about my house burning down. She wants to get a photo of the smoke line that leaves the candle after it’s been extinguished. As her assistant, I light the candle and extinguish it countless times. She moves lights and takes shot after shot after turning lots of dials. Much like myself, she takes photo after photo until she can breath easy knowing she got the shot she was looking for. After experimenting with every funky filter my hard-drive holds she produces the shot below. I realize after all is said and done that the while the fair has parents pulling our hair out, it’s a great opportunity to share what we love to do with them and visa versa. Whether it be gardening, canning fruits, baking, carving or whatever, it’s an opportunity to hand down traditions. It’s a chance to learn something that can’t be learned in school. The learning environment stems from your family’s experiences. So as you curse the projects messing up your kitchen this week, let it be a reminder that these little messes are helping mold your children’s future while possibly creating a family heirloom. Next year though, could someone remind me to start this earlier?
Photo by Kate, "Smokey"
9/13/2011 01:21:20 am
Nice photos Kate and Peter!! My kids photos will pale in comparison to yours (as mine will do to your moms!!) but they will be proud of their work just the same!! Nice job!!
9/13/2011 05:30:07 am
Seems like Kate and Pete have genes that go back to their camera-friendly great-grandfather (just as you do). They look like winners to me.Good luck!
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