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Wednesday, July 14, 2004



The Zipper!
OK, that's not really how they say it here in Anne Arundel County, but in any event, our local Firemens' Carnival, a few miles away from me in Earliegh Heights, is now in full swing.

Realizing I'd be heading past the carnival grounds last night at about 9 PM, I thought it would be fun to stop and take some photos. My tripod wasn't with me, but I thought I could capture the fantastic lighting and movement of the rides, using exposures of a second or longer. I was surprised that in some cases there was enough light to get shots like this one, at about 1/30 second, of the Zipper, capturing the entrance fairly shaprly along with the zippy movement of the ride.

When my kids were smaller, I'd take them to the carnival. As they got older, they were able to go by themselves with some friends, so I hadn't been here in several years. I had forgotten how magical it is to walk, on a summer's night, among the colored lights, the smell of summery junk food, and the squeals of delight.

Summer Night Nutrition
The carnival started this past Sunday night and continues each evening through Saturday. I can't go tonight or tomorrow evening, but I gotta get back again this week. I'm not sure if I'm going to bring my tripod and do a lot of shooting, or if I'll just grab Ben and go on rides with him.... or both. Do you think they'll let me bring a camera bag on board the Zipper?

These kind of traveling carnivals are all over the place this time of year - no doubt there will be one near you soon. Try bringing a camera along this year. Ironically, a pocketable point-and-shoot digital camera is, in some ways, more suited to shooting the rides than a digital SLR. For example, I was trying to follow the motion of the gondola on one ride over the course of a 1-second exposure, but the viewfinder blackout from the mirror made that difficult. On a little P&S, you can use the normally abominal optical viewfinder and do a creditable job of it - you don't have to be very precise with these kinds of photos. Experiment with setting your ISO value so as to get an exposure long enough to capture the motion streaks of the brightly-lit ride.

And don't eat too many Elephant Ears!

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