Dylan Mason




Welcome to the Midway

Photo Essay or Photo Story

These images form a photo essay. Before I arrived at the location I put together a shot list. As I walked around the area, I revisited the same locations under different lighting. There wasn't a strong chronological story to be told, just a mood, which is what influenced my decision to go with the photo essay.


This is the Calgary Stampede! It's a big event in my city and attracts tourists from all over the world (especially Germany, which we all find very strange and flattering). I've been many times but this was my first time going with the sole intention of making photographs. There are many aspects of the Stampede but I'm especially drawn to the Midway at night. I love the lights, the screams from the people on rides and the tastes of the Midway food.


I wanted an establishing shot so I scoped out a walkway above the Stampede grounds. I couldn't get a great view of the whole park but I did manage to capture some elements of the rides, the food, and the people.


The swings has always been one of my favourite rides and I think it appeals to many different types of people. The way these two girls were kicking their legs out really help communicate how carefree and fun of a ride it is. (I do wish maybe one more person in the back could've been kicking their legs as well.)


There is a huge variety of food available at the Stampede and many of the people working the booths are bored teenagers in need of a summer job. The sun was starting to go down at this point and people were turning on their neon signs. This one was especially lovely.


Once it was dark enough to start taking some long exposures I made my way over to the rides. I made quite a few versions of this photo to balance the dynamic elements. The light painting from the ride was aways changing, the “Orbiter” wordmark only lit up letters in odds and evens pairs, and the ride attendant kept moving.



This last picture was an attempt to capture the chaotic nature of the Midway and all the rides going at once.

It was great going out to a single location, with the focus of making photographs, and shooting through changing light.


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