A family eats lunch in a tent under the ferris wheel at the Montana State Fair in Great Falls, Montana.
Pigs race around a track towards a Fig Newton treat in the children’s entertainment area of the Montana State Fair in Great Falls, Montana, USA.
A carnival worker leads a customer on a camel ride in the petting zoo area of the Montana State Fair in Great Falls, Montana, USA.
A young girl looks out of a stable door at the fairgrounds in Great Falls, Montana, USA.
While in Montana in August, I continued work on my Not Cloudy All Day
series about life in Montana. Over the course of the past couple of years, I've been photographing all sorts of aspects of different communities within the state, but I realize that my coverage, like a lot of photography, is skewed unnaturally toward the dour and depressing, the dispossessed and those about to be, the warts of society and their causes and effects. While my work on the Hutterite colony and the Lincoln rodeo are exceptions, the coverage has dealt largely with death, drugs, a faltering economy, and general hopelessness. On recent trips, especially this one, I've been filling in gaps with photographs of ordinary life, celebrations, and the lighter side of life in the Treasure state. Here is a selection of work from the 2008 Montana State Fair (or, perhaps, the Montana Expo...there's been some quarreling in recent memory about whether Billings or Great Falls has the state fair. The Great Falls fairgrounds was renamed from the Montana State Fairgrounds, or something similar to Montana Expo Park. Most people around still call it the Fair or the State Fair.)