5 stunning pictures taken at Brome Fair
Michel St-Jean is a photographer who has developed a true passion for Brome Fair. While getting ready for the 2017 edition, he answered our request to share with us his love for this important country fair, held every year in the town of Brome. Along with his thoughts, he also added some of his favourite pictures.
The first time I set foot on the fairgrounds of Brome was in the early ’90s. I was the weekend photographer for the regional newspaper, La Voix de l’Est. On the list of pictures I had to take during the Labor Day weekend was Brome’s Agricultural Fair. The journalist I was accompanying smiled as he read our assignment.
I immediately liked this end of summer gathering. Animals, rides, all kinds of stands, the scent of french-fries and especially the people appearing out of nowhere to organize and host the entire event.
I took a lot of pictures that weekend, promising myself to return one day for my personal pleasure. This is, in fact, what I’ve been doing for several years now, along with my old friend Alain Dion with whom I even presented a photo exhibit under the theme “L’affaire Brome,” Brome Fair, get it?
Each time I see a young girl “bossing” a big ox, I say to myself: that’s assurance, that’s courage. Personally I whould not even touch a cow. Big up lady, you have all my admiration. Well that worth a picture.
There’s very little light in the barn, I had to set the aperture of the camera diaphragm at its widest. It would have been a shame to spoil the scene by using a flash. The wide aperture places the sheep in the forefront, allowing us to focus on the animal gazing towards us.
Man Seen From Behind
A man taken from behind wearing a brimmed hat, a classic! His striped shirt blends in with the fair ambiance, don’t you agree? I’m always careful to avoid photographing my subjects’ faces in order to be able to share my shots freely, without taking the risk of offending people.
Taken early in the morning, the grooming station looks somewhat like a car wash. People line-up to clean their animals. A kind “Cow Wash.”
Approaching the cage, setting the aperture of the diaphragm to the max in order to make the wire mesh disappear from the forefront and then hope the chicken doesn’t move! I was lucky, it barely winked.