Creepy Carnival

When you think about carnivals you imagine bright moving lights, children laughing, and the unmistakeable smell of fried funnel cakes. I wanted to capture this happy energy on camera. So on the last day it was in town, I set out to do a night time shoot at the fair. I couldn’t wait to get my spinning ferris wheel shot.

But it wasn’t meant to be. Life got in the way, and I arrived late to the fair. By that time everything was shut down. No rides turning, no cotton candy, not even a single person in sight. Bummed, I started to pack up and leave.

Still I couldn’t help noticing that the parking lot lights were bathing these large metal structures in this amazing glow. Something told me I had to shoot it. Against better judgement, I slipped through an opening in the fence and started clicking.

Let me tell you, it’s really strange to shoot at an empty carnival at night–it was a dead quiet in an environment that is usually loud. I couldn’t help but feel creeped out. Like a zombie clown could pop out from the fun house at anytime. I even started to see faces in the stuffed animals! Check out the devilish peppers! I didn’t want security (or a clown) to catch me so I left my tripod alone and cranked up my iso high to be fast on my feet.

In the end, I really like the way these pictures turned out. A stark juxtaposition between eeriness and brightness that is much more interesting than a moving ferris wheel shot. Gotta love having a plan B.