Light painting at the State Fair

I LOVE the State Fair. When I was a child, the fair was everything that you weren’t supposed to have and do; unhealthy food, unsafe rides, scary carnies, staying out late past your bed time, wasting money on games you couldn’t win, constantly begging your parents for useless pieces of junk, in fact it was pure childhood bliss! The carnival rides at night seemed more perilous and scary. The carnies with pierced ears, tattoos, and missing teeth were almost too much to pass by to get on the rides. It was a true test of adolescence, to get in line and wait as you slowly made your way to the head of the pack, to give your ticket to the carnival gate keeper. Today, the carnies aren’t scary anymore. Everybody has tattoos, pierced everything and mostly all their teeth.

I still love the State Fair even though it isn’t quite as perilous as I remember from my youth. With my camera in hand and the night closing in, the rides become magical again. Swirling discs of light and screams from the riders become a light painting over a long exposure. I can’t wait for this years fair, not only for the night lights, but because we have one of the last remaining Freak Shows!


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