Sunday, October 10, 2010

At the Santa Cruz County Fair with my Phone Camera

This is a photo I took while Lissa and I were riding the ferris wheel at the Santa Cruz County Fair.  I took this photo, as with all of the other photos in this post, with my phone.  So this post is partly a reflection on county fairs, and partly an exposition of phone-camera blogging.

The relationship between my phone camera and my Panasonic Lumix camera is a complex one.  The Lumix knows that when push comes to shove, she is the only camera I really need...and she is confident that she is much more capable than the silly little camera in my phone.  But where I used to take Lumix with us on even the most casual of romps, she now stays back, and my little Droid camera slips into my pocket, with me always.  And Lumix is a little jealous.  But having a camera that lives in your phone, that you have on hand at all pretty cool. Especially when you can use it via different apps that offer a multitude of effects. So, even though I love my Lumix, you may be noticing more snaps from my phone here on TGAL. In addition to the built-in camera, I use the f(x)camera, retro camera, and camera360 apps.

Now let's say a couple words about this fair business.  Fairs, or fayres, have been an important part of our history since antiquity.  There are all kinds of fairs, and each one may have it's own unique feel.  Some fairs are, or have been, commercial nerve centers, driving economies and livelihoods.  Others showcase a particular industry or product, such as farming goods and equipment.

It's fun to be able to see things with fresh eyes, so when my friend Ricardo, who is from Spain, went to the fair a few days before we did, I got to hear him describe what the experience was like.  For most of us who grew up with the "typical American county fair," we know what we are getting into: rides, games, food, animals and quilts and bricks of pink popcorn.  I think much of the draw for us is nostalgia.  We've always gone to the fair, so let's go again!   Still, when Lissa and I went, I couldn't help but to imagine what it may have been like for Ricardo to experience his first American-style county fair.

I try to do this quite often actually.  I call it "living like a tourist," as if you are a visitor in your own world.  When I do it right, it's amazing.  The mundane is all of a sudden transformed into a glorious anomoly.