During the summer of 2019, I attended county fairs in Northern California, from Marin to Santa Cruz, and just for fun made long exposures of rides in motion. While fairgoers screamed at every twist and turn, holding on for dear life, I stood silent behind my tripod, photographing the blurs of color and patterns of light. At first, I made wide shots to juxtapose the rides’ soaring, plunging, and spinning movements with the stillness of the fairgrounds. As I became familiar with the rides, I zoomed in, as if freeing the gravity-defying amusements from the Earth, and the photographs turned abstract, even astronomical. With this shift in focus, I transformed the midway into my own Milky Way. No wonder some of these rides are named Orbiter, Quasar, and Galaxy 3000. So buckle up and hold on tight. Welcome to Cosmic Carnival.
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