Now for those that live outside of Brisbane that headline will probably mean nothing but for those of us that are lucky enough to be here for the middle of August the Ekka is the Brisbane agricultural show. The official formal name is the Royal Queensland Show and is held at the Brisbane Exhibition Ground and of course the Aussie thing to do is to shorten that name so the Ekka it is (as taken from the Exhibition Ground).
For me the Ekka is a place of great memories. As a teenager I used to dream of one day having a horse that I could ride in the ring, fantasizing about living for the week in the cramped above stable rooms. When I got older it was more about the fascination of watching the woodchop competition and admiring the gleaming muscles of the young axemen.
While age has not dampened my enthusiasm for the show I think it may have changed my focus a little. Instead of spending hours watching the horse competitions in the main arena or checking on the demolition of the towering poles in the woodchop tent we wandered the food exhibition halls nibbling the tempters and trying all the wines. Then off to visit the animals (which was a photography heaven) before a quick trip down sideshow alley.
Instead of my usual 8-10 hours spent roaming the entire 22 hectares, checking out every exhibition from the best cake to prize guinea pig, this year we were only onsite for 4 hours and I have to say – I loved every minute of it.
In the food hall this fellow was spruiking the heat of his chilli products. To say that they were hot was an understatement! Eye wateringly hot was closer to a description of the sample we were given – a very energising experience 🙂
In the baby animal compound the ewes were literally bringing new baby lambs into the world in front of our very eyes (apparently a great way for city kids to get a little country learning with Mum or Dad to explain the whole scary business). The upside of this baby farm was a plethora of new born lambs, here taking a break away from all the eager hands reaching through the fences.
The poultry shed was a real highlight for me. I loved the way the chickens poked their heads through the bars so that they could better see what was going on around them. This guy really caught my eye with his beautiful red combs. Great fun to shoot.
Sideshow alley really needs a tripod and some patience to do it justice with the long exposure images but I decided not to take mine with me this time. This shot is taken hand held and I must admit, it came out better than I thought 🙂
And what adventure down sideshow alley would be complete without a voice calling to “Step right up….”
Another Ekka year done for me but I will certainly be back. Just gotta love the show.