Experimenting With Exposure

I toted my kahuna camera around all day at the State Fair for one reason and one reason only: The Midway.  Or for you folks that don’t call it that back home: the carnival rides.

Kentucky State Fair: Midway

I don’t experiment with long exposures very often – I find it challenging, hate carrying the tripod and I’m often disappointed with the outcome.  Instead of showing movement or having a beautiful glowing effect from still objects, I usually end with something that just isn’t.  I prefer manipulating the depth of field to “tell the story” instead of the shutter.  And I love the bokeh effect.  But the State Fair was a chance to go outside my creative boundaries and try something new.

Kentucky State Fair: Midway

Kentucky State Fair: Midway

The trick was I had to have a shutter speed that was slow enough to capture the movement of the rides but fast enough to not capture the movement of this unbalanced gal.  Like I said, I don’t like to carry tripods.  Besides, do you know how frickin goofy I’d had looked carrying a tripod all day?  Right.  Abby probably would have walked 10 paces in front me.  And I couldn’t have left it in the car because we didn’t have one – Officer David gave us a ride into the Fairgrounds.  It pays to be friends with Abby.  Anywho, I think I had success.

Kentucky State Fair: Midway

Kentucky State Fair: Midway

The composition suffered – it didn’t help that I left that 50mm slapped on there, had to zig and zag around bystanders and didn’t really take my time setting up shots – but I was more concerned with movement.  And movement I got.  Mission: Not Impossible.

The midway offers more than just carnival rides though – tons of carnival games.  And creepy carnival workers that talk you even though you ignore them.  I would hate to have that job.

Kentucky State Fair: Midway

Kentucky State Fair: Midway

Kentucky State Fair: Midway

Kentucky State Fair: Midway

Sadly, we did not spend our dimes on games as we had already spent it on cerveza.  So sorry.  I got priorities, you know.

To learn more about Brooke and see her recent work, visit her new site at brookemurphyphoto.com. Follow Brooke on Facebook or Twitter.

August 27, 2009 - 10:22 am

Deryck Tormey - Hey, these photos look great. I have the same feelings as you, usually mess with aperture instead of shutter speed (usually just get a blury image from camera shake). But these shots are fantastic.


August 27, 2009 - 10:26 am

SheRamblings - totally exhilarating!
i’m sitting here, a 40 something, and I’m totally ready to go to the state fair — and hope to God I don’t embarrass myself!

August 27, 2009 - 12:56 pm

Mari - These are fantastic shots especially the first two on light. I have a Nikon D80 so will try to experiment. Went on a photography wokabaut workshop last Saturday and learnt about shutter speed and aperture etc that’s why your blog interests me. Keep it up!

August 27, 2009 - 1:09 pm

bwlight - I’m just beginning to learn about photography. I really like all photos, but like best the 1st and 3rd shots. On this black background too, they look stunning!

August 28, 2009 - 1:15 pm

the Provident Woman - What great pictures!

September 9, 2009 - 5:47 pm

denise:) - Great job!!! You got great detail in the game shots. Our fair is too dicey at night to go there w/anything you may value… which sucks because I’d love a chance to try this!

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