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State Fair Photos by JR Compton
These photographs were taken at the Texas State Fair on October 22, 2005.
On those few occasions when I do visit the fair, I have to see the bird show, Birds of the World, in the band shell. It's edutainment and kinda goofy sometimes, but they have real — and amazing — birds, and a half dozen of them swoop low over the audience at various times during the show, so close we could feel the waft of their big wings as they glided just above our heads, up front where we insist on sitting. Sometimes within inches, not even feet, they fly over.
Even without a camera, getting that waft is worth the walk. What a wonderful feeling to be so close to these big and little birds! With a camera, however, it's always hit and miss, depending on where the birds decide to fly through and how fast they rocket by. These are the few that were sharp and in focus. I also have many indistinguishable lumps rocketing through Fair Park space.
This guy is from Africa. Friend and fellow DallasArtsRevue member James Michael Starr identified him for me. All my bird books are for Texas. He's a Grey-crowned Crane, and despite his foot-dragging aerial style, he's quite elegant in the air.
These colorful characters were in the aviary tent behind the band shell. I rarely use flash, but in there I pretty much had to to capture all those wild hues and simple shapes amid the darkness.
We didn't know it till we got to the Midway, but the only ride either of us wanted to go on was the twirling swings that pick you up off the ground and fling you 'round in spiraling circles. Anna especially liked leaning back into the swinging force as the bright lights of the Fair slung by. Our own bit of flight.
After the light show, other lights at the far end of Reflecting Pool pulse and sway in a darker, simpler rhythm.
Like many Dallasites, I've long been fascinated by the figures in the alcoves of the permanent buildings, especially those along the Reflecting Pools between those classic buildings. At night, with most of the lights turned off for the truly mediocre "light show" slide projection sequence with loud music and occasional flashes of plumes of flammable gas (as if prices weren't high enough already) and tics of lasers and minute sparkles of fireworks, their cross light figures take on a special realism. This one looks like she's got a gun to her head, but I didn't notice that till after I put her here.