A good community event has something to offer for everyone in the community.
This one always does.

Arroyo Grande Harvest Festival, 2006


The Harvest Festival was in September, but hardware problems at The Preserve delayed this entry to the magazine. But, as Abe Lincoln would say, "The world will little note, nor long remember" the hardware problems, for the Festival itself was unaffected and was an unqualified success. Knowing my workflow would be backed up by about a month, I made fewer photographs this year.

Sax Line Drum Line Parade Girl Leg Line

The parade staging area near Halcyon and Grand gets active about an hour before the parade start. The morning light is still pretty good during most of the preparation period. It's possible to find and use backgrounds that are in shadow, and subjects sometimes have nice backlighting and rim lighting to bring them forward in the photographs. For those reasons, most of the Festival photographs seen here were made during that time. None of the parade staging photographs were posed, but they are not entirely candid because most everyone was aware that several people were making photographs that morning.

The staging area is interesting beyond just the opportunities for photography. It is here that people join friends and prepare for their show along Grand Avenue. The marching bands rehearse their music and practice their march movements. There is last-minute advice regarding the parade route, and sometimes minor changes are made to the march routine. And there are all the personalities involved. Some are pensive and resolved, and others are more cavalier. Some choose to practice their music while in formation or in a group of friends. Others wander away to practice alone. Whatever works and whatever is comfortable. A long lens makes it possible to stay out of the way during this critical time, and it narrows the field of view so that there are fewer background elements to contend with.

The Titan Starry-Eyed Morning Gold

The personalities: There are the actual personalities of the people in these photographs, and there are the implied personalities of these photographs. They may not be identical. The young man on the left is all business. He appears serious and deliberate. Next to him is a more frivolous approach to the morning. Her philosophy is "lighten up." On the right is a musician who prefers a bit more isolation during her prep time. The gold morning light from behind outlines her against a darker background, and her flute glows like a magical instrument from heaven. A strong dose of fill-flash overcomes her own shadow and completes the effect with a warm, bright glow on her face. Say "Wow!"

The parade traveled east on Grand Avenue to the Village. Activities and entertainment continued there through the day. There were spelling bees at the school house and a costume contest outside. The Barn was open, and it contains artifacts from the past. It was there that "Abe Lincoln" gave his presentation in the afternoon. There were lots of activities for the kids at the Village green, along with music and food. The village gazebo had music, too, and two pipers are shown below. There was also a red stage coach near the school house and, of course, that seemed to me like an opportunity for a photograph.

Abe    Foot Fashion    Bagpiper    In the Stage Coach

The Farmer's Market and other concessions filled out the program. The sum of it all was a enjoyable community day in good company. Hats off to the people who made it happen, and to all the pleasant people who attended.

Images Copyright © Ed E. Powell
All Rights Reserved