Monday, August 28, 2017

Fine way to spend an afternoon ... and enjoy arts, music and people-watching

Last weekend's Lazy Daze Arts and Crafts Festival in Cary, N.C., was the 40th in its long history. It was only my first, but the festival itself claimed another first -- the first time it operated as a two-day affair.

The festival began in 1977 and had been held for 33 consecutive years until 2011, when the force of Hurricane Irene prompted the town to cancel it that year. So instead of being the 41st festival, 2017 was the 40th.

The festival reminded me of several I had attended in the Indianapolis area when I lived there. Penrod was the first to come to mind. Lazy Daze was not as large as Penrod, which consumes much of the Indianapolis Museum of Art grounds on the second Saturday of every September. Like Penrod, Lazy Daze provides bus shuttles to the grounds from designated parking areas, and I took advantage of that. Unlike Penrod, however, Lazy Daze offers free admission, which I appreciated.

As always, to view a larger, sharper version of any image, click on the image. This is particularly helpful if you access the blog using a mobile device. To see a full gallery of my shots from the Lazy Daze Arts and Crafts festival, visit my site at

Photo geek stuff: I shot the whole festival with my Canon 6D and Tamron 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di PZD VC lens. I bracketed all of my shots for three exposures, but I processed very few (not more than five) pictures in Photomatix  high-dynamic range (HDR) software. Most of the photos you see in this post were single-frame images.

Above and next several below: Samples of art and crafts that caught my eyes as I strolled the festival grounds. 

After getting these smiles (above) from passersby, I asked the stilts lady from Imagine Circus if she would mind posing for a shot. She joyfully consented (below).

Above: A colorful art installation on the main lawn around city hall and the police station. 

Above and below: The town's sister cities sign pole was a popular attraction.

Above: This guy was preaching to anyone who would want to listen. Not many wanted to during the short time I was in this area.

Above: I took a half-dozen or so shots of this woman who had an excellent command of these hoops, but none of them turned out very well. This was about the best. 

Above: The most popular point in the beer garden was (no surprise) the tap vendor. 

The only performer on the schedule for the beer garden stage was the Monika Jaymes Band (above). One of the photos I took (first below) was something I'd ordinarily toss, but ... I like the guitarists blurry movement, so I processed it. The next three below are other shots from their show, which was a pretty good one. 

There was a much more extensive schedule of performers at the main stage. The Will McBride Group (above and next five below) was on stage when I arrived in the mid-afternoon. 

Above: This girl saw me shooting in her direction as she approached the stairs to the overlook where I was seated. By the time she reached the top, she had removed the balloon headpiece art ... and was still giving me the disconcerting eye.

Above: A frame of the reflection pond in the beer garden.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Cary park has lake, many other amenities

On 310 acres of land in Cary, N.C., a town that is part of the Technology Triangle (which includes Raleigh and Durham), is a wonderful park with a lake, amphitheater, playgrounds, athletic fields, compost education center, and other amenities.

This is a catch-up post of sorts; the photos of Fred G. Bond Metro Park were taken early last October, and I'm only now getting around to processing them and assembling them for a blog post. For a full gallery of the shots I took at Fred Bond Metro Park for this post, visit my site at

Photo geek stuff: The photos you see here were taken over two days -- the afternoon of Oct. 2 and the morning of Oct. 3, 2017. In both shoots, I used my Canon 6D and Tamrom 28-300mm f/3.5-6.3 Di VC PZD lens equipped with a B+W polarizing filter. I took three exposures of each composition for later possibly melding into one with Photomatix high-dynamic range (HDR) software, although not all the photos you see here are HDR renditions.

Above: The park is named for Fred Bond, who was Cary mayor from 1971-83 and had served on the town council for six years before that. He died at age 68 in 1997. Bond was particularly passionate about recreation, so the town named the park in his honor in 1981.