Six ways to capture the fun
1 Freeze the action
While it’s still light you can capture documentary-style shots of people. A standard zoom lens is ideal for portraits, and a longer zoom for picking out thrill-seekers on the rides. Use shutter-priority mode with a fast shutter speed of 1/500 sec or more to freeze the action.
2 Shoot in the blue hour
About 30 minutes after sunset, put your Nikon on a tripod and attach a cable release (or use the self timer). Start in aperture-priority mode at ISO100 and an aperture of f/22. This will result in a slow shutter speed – here ours is half a second and the result is beautiful motion blur.
3 Go abstract
Once the sky is dark you can achieve shutter speeds of 20 seconds or more, which turns rides into abstract patterns of light. Manual mode is best; start with ISO100, aperture f/8, shutter speed 20 secs and take a test shot, then adjust the aperture or shutter speed if necessary
4 Work the angles
With so many colourful metallic objects on display at the fair there will be plenty of interesting angles, so don’t just go for the standard view. It could mean getting down really low, or in close to the ride, or you could try giving the frame a little creative tilt like this.
5 Try an HDR
Why not capture a set of exposures for an HDR? Use a tripod, shoot in manual mode and adjust the shutter speed to capture three or more varied exposures (or use your Nikon’s bracketing mode). Use Photoshop or HDR software to merge the set into one detail-rich frame.
6 Think outside the box
Try isolating details of the rides and contrast them with the surroundings. You’ll usually find plenty of interesting artwork to play with. When it comes to editing your photos why not give your candids a documentary feel with a punchy black-and-white conversion?