Kent Fest

It’s been a long, draining week so I decided to skip most of Kent Fest this year and opted to take some much needed time to recharge at home. I did eventually make it down in the evening in time to devour some disgustingly satisfying festival food and shoot the fireworks. Fun fact, nothing makes a person feel more attractive than when they’ve single-handedly devoured an entire funnel cake in the span of 10 minutes.

 

At least I got to play around with photos of the fireworks.I tried a technique I found online, in which I set a long exposure then adjust the zoom on my lens while the shutter is open. I think something longer than my 24-70mm would have been better suited, so I’ll try my 70-300mm next time. I’m happy with what I have for now, but want to try again before the holiday weekend is over. 

The College Fest That Never Was

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Both the city and the university police were out in force to keep the partying under control, but were left with little to do.

I do believe that I have some sort of curse when it comes to Kent State’s annual College Fest. My freshman year, I skipped the drunken festivities for a more laid back gathering with some friends. I only found out later that I had missed photographing a full-on riot complete with couch burning in the streets. So, sophomore and junior year, I spent all night wandering the roads of Kent for fear of missing another such event, only to be disappointed by routine college debauchery. Senior year came around, and I was bedridden with a particularly nasty flu virus. When I checked my Facebook, it was populated almost entirely with posts and photos about a student body being tear-gassed by local police. My friend, Phil, took a photo of the event that was nationally syndicated.

This year, I wandered the more party-centric areas of Kent for hours, only to see a Kent that was almost barren. Nothing. Not even a game of beer pong. Imagine my shame at the university that seems to prioritize academia over destroying the town.

Now, for the sake of link-bait, I give you a bonus flower gallery:

Kent Beatle Fest

There was a time in my adolescent life when the entirety of my music collection consisted of two Beatles albums, Paul McCartney’s Back in The US tour collection, and orchestral collection of Super Smash Bros. music that fell out of a Nintendo Power. Needless to say, I was excited when I saw my town was having a 50th anniversary celebration of the lads from Liverpool with Kent Beatle Fest; an event in which local groups flooded nearly every bar and restaurant in town to cover some of the Fab Four’s most popular work.

The evening started off a bit rocky when the first group we saw turned out not to be part of the festivities, but turned out to be a folk group jam session. While the second group, while on the official festival schedule, didn’t feel the need to actually play any Beatles songs at Beatle Fest. From there, the event got markedly better when we found my personal favorite act, a cello and violin duo, at Tree City Coffee (the two only reinforced my growing suspicion that there is no good song that can’t be made just a little better by classical instruments, what I have dubbed the Lindsey Sterling effect). Since this was also the least crowded venue, I got to have the space to play with my off-camera triggers a bit as well. 

Once they were finished, we saw British Invasion, the actual full-on, wigs-and-all cover group. As good as their music was, I will have to call “foul” on them for having five members instead of a proper Fab Four. Perhaps they imagine a world in which Pete Best wasn’t replaced by Ringo, but rather Best became the group’s moral core keeping them together far into the modern era when they could usher age a golden age of music that we can only dream of. And also Ke$ha never became a thing.

The rest of the acts were fine, and filled out the evening well enough until we wound up at the Loft for some Beatles karaoke.  Now, a Karaoke seems like they were phoning it in a bit, but I was too placated between having Angry Orchard on tap and an unlimited supply of free peanuts to mind an off-key rendition of Hey Jude.

I’m sure that I’ll catch some flack for this, but I don’t particularly care for shooting concerts unless I’m officially there to do so. It’s crowded, there are really only so many angles to shoot the band, the lighting is some of the worst out there, and I’m constantly tripping over other photographers who, while well meaning, have a tendency to aim their flashes into the eyes of an unsuspecting audience. Maybe someday I will learn that not everything needs to be shot, and that there are times to just enjoy the experience. But probably not. I am too much of a photo junkie. 

Kent Cider Fest

So, I’ve been shooting pretty much every day but have fallen behind in posting. This was the Kent Cider Fest I shot really quick on my cell phone camera on a walk. Go full screen to see the captions.

 

                                     

 

 

Bonus phone HDR:

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