Festival provides photo fodder. The sushi was good as well.

November 7, 2009

I learned very early on in my career as the Sports editor at the Langley Times to never attend a game without taking along my own camera. While such talented photographers as John Gordon, Rob Newell and Ted Colley graced my pages with their artwork — saving me a thousand words each time — they also had other assignments and priorities. If the hospital was on fire, there was a very good chance I was on my own at the Grade 8 girls soccer match.

I’ve continued taking photos even as my journalism career has stalled. In fact, over the past year, I’ve sold more photos than stories (the 2009-2010 issue of Napier Life features seven of my photos — not that I’m bragging. Or anything).

I’ve made a habit of taking my camera whenever we attend various events around Hawke’s Bay in an effort to add to my collection and challenge myself to improve.

That was the case again Friday when Viking Woman and I drove to the nearby community of Port Ahuriri for its primary school’s Food and Wine Festival. The fundraiser included a cake-baking competition (the topics were Earth or The Planets); pony rides; musical entertainment; a barricaded area where, for a nominal fee, you could take a hammer to a wrecked car for several uninterrupted minutes of pure fury; and food stalls run not by Mom and Dad but by actual restaurants.

Ahuriri is blessed with one of the few sand beaches in Hawke’s Bay and is slowly luring tourists away from downtown Napier with its own Art Deco charm and a tasty collection of cafes, eateries and bars. The folk there tend to be a little more laid-back and that easy-going attitude was on display during the Festival.

We admired the imaginative cake decorating, listened to the bagpipes (for as long as we could), ate sushi and did our small bit to help Port Ahuriri School meet its budget.

I kept my trusty Nikon close to hand, looking for that interesting shot — the baby sampling its dad’s beer; the little drummer girl who also sang and played the ukulele; the toddler who ditched the boring hotdog bun and went straight for the good stuff.

I’ve included some of those photos here, cropped and sharpened for best effect. Enjoy. Comments always appreciated. (And, yeah  know, the design of my blog page is not exactly conducive for photo layouts. That should be rectified soon.)

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