Kaleidoscopic Photos of Carnival Rides in Motion

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No one has captured the magical, otherworldly experience of the carnival at night quite like photographer Roger Vail.

The artist has been photographing the thrilling rides at fairgrounds since the ’70s, using long exposure times to highlight the kaleidoscopic patterns of light that emerge. Carnivals are a symphony of sound, scents, and dizzying visuals — all of which Vail’s work evokes, transforming the experience into a single unforgettable moment. Joseph Bellows Gallery in La Jolla, California is exhibiting Vail’s large-scale photographs, as well as his intimate platinum/palladium prints, through August 22. See a preview of the artist’s electrifying images in our gallery.

Courtesy of Joseph Bellows Gallery: Roger Vail, Evolution3, 2001

Courtesy of Joseph Bellows Gallery: Roger Vail, Giant Wheel, 2001

Courtesy of Joseph Bellows Gallery: Roger Vail, Kamakazi, 2002

Courtesy of Joseph Bellows Gallery: Roger Vail, SpinOut, 2001

Courtesy of Joseph Bellows Gallery: Roger Vail, untitled, 1996, platinum:palladium print

Courtesy of Joseph Bellows Gallery: Roger Vail, Wave Swinger, 1996, gelatin silver print

Courtesy of Joseph Bellows Gallery: Roger Vail, Wave Swinger,2001

Courtesy of Joseph Bellows Gallery: Roger Vail, YoYo, 1996, gelatin silver print

Courtesy of Joseph Bellows Gallery: Roger Vail. Spinning Carnival Ride, 1971, gelatin silver print

Courtesy of Joseph Bellows Gallery: Roger Vail, Inverter, 2001

Courtesy of Joseph Bellows Gallery: Roger Vail, Kamikaze#3,1996, platinum:palladium print

Courtesy of Joseph Bellows Gallery: Roger Vail, YoYo#2, 1996, platinum:palladium print

Courtesy of Joseph Bellows Gallery: Roger Vail, Evolution, 2001

Courtesy of Joseph Bellows Gallery: Roger Vail, SkyDiver 2, 1996, platinum:palladium print