The Great Outdoors Show 2020

First off, I am neither a hunter nor a fisherman, so heading to the Great Outdoor Show at the Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg was done for no other reason than for something to do. Which would seem contradictory to my nature, considering I don’t like large crowds or those who revel in violence. And let’s not pretend that hunting and fishing aren’t violent. Let me state this as clearly as I can, this is not a condemnation of either of those acts, as I came to terms a long time ago that in order to survive in this realm we must consume other beings, sentient beings. Doesn’t matter whether it is animals or plants, they are alive and full of spirit just like we are.

But what I find utterly reprehensible is killing for sport. That shit is just cold hearted; to take another being’s life because you enjoy it seems sinister and maladjusted. Even if you eat the animal, if you killed it because you enjoy killing, then you’re part of the problem. And to the naysayers that think it’s always been like this, that violence has always been around and therefore should be accepted as doctrine, I have to respectfully disagree. Even if it is eternal, it doesn’t make it a choice that needs to be made with and/or for pleasure.

But back to the Great American Outdoor Show, it was a spectacle and a half. So. Much. Stuff. I feel like the entire hunting, fishing, and shooting sports markets were represented. Personally, I would have loved to see a wider selection of hobbies represented. Very little in the way of backpacking, bushcraft, camping, 4×4, overland, or even knives; there were only a few stands with knives there.

I was fully expecting to walk into a Donald Trump rally, but only saw one kydex sheath holding a pistol that was branded with the “Trump 2020” logo. There were a few stands selling the infamous MAGA hats, and one stand selling a poster of Don standing out of the sunroof of a hummer brandishing a weapon in front of the words “Make Liberals Cry Again”. LOL. Some people.

On to the photography. I decided I didn’t want to shoot it as a documentary photographer, but I wanted to shoot it how I would shoot it. I wanted to find the moments of peace and simplicity in the chaos of life. While these images represent the Farm Show Complex more than the Outdoor Show, I am quite happen with some of them. If you want to see some variants of the shots below, and some explanation on each photograph, head over to my Instagram.

Great American Outdoor Show Gallery


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Anthony Beaston is a photographer, designer and writer living just outside of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.