Thursday, June 18, 2009
Santa Barbara Fair
Back in April the Santa Barbara Fair was in town. I've seen a lot of cool photos of ferris wheels at night, so I was eager to go give it a try.
My family was also in town so we went and I brought my bag and tripod along. I was worried it would be pretty awkward walking around the fair with my camera bag and tripod, but you see, what I didn't realize, is that while I know that I'm just a floundering amature, no one at the fair knows that. In general people didn't seem to notice me, and if they did they probably just assumed I was super artsy and cool. I had a tripod and a shutter release, how could I not be?
A couple interesting things about shooting fairs at night.
I was happy to find that there's plenty of space around the rides to setup and photograph them. People are either in line, or walking through one of the main walkways, and there ends up being plenty of unused room for you to work in.
I was unhappy to find, though, that the lights on the rides are definitely not the only lights at a fair. The ferris wheel, in fact, was ruined by these big bright light poles surrounding and iluminating it. You couldn't take a shot of the wheel without getting one of those blinding white lights in it.
The photos were looking great on the back of the camera. Back on the computer, though, almost all of the photos were sadly out of focus (you can see this clearly in the first photo). I'm not sure what happened. My first thought was that I used too large of an aperture (f/3.5), resulting in too shallow of a depth of field. I probably should have tried a smaller aperture with a higher ISO to compensate; if nothing else, this would have given me more wiggle room in the focusing. The only problem with this theory, though, is that the above photo was taken at f/3.5 and came out just fine (it was the one exception). So it may have just been me failing to focus the lens properly, which is lame.
Better luck next time, I guess!