Feria del Ram · Mallorca

So you think photographing a fair is easy? Lets have a look at the other side of the “creative” photographic opportunities fairs can bring, starting with ride times… The cycle of a typical ride follows a 2-step process: 1) People wait to get on and 2) people are actually on. Seems pretty straight forward.. until you compare their duration. Getting on takes approximately 3 times longer then the ride itself in most cases.

The bigger the ride, the longer the wait times. Given that fairs need to be photographed at dusk for their colorful lights to be recorded, you will find yourself waiting and waiting for people to actually get on the %$#@ thing. The golden hour only lasts between 10 to 15 minutes. This leaves you a grand total of about 2 minutes per ride to get the shot just right – and that’s if no pedestrian walks into your field of view while the shutter is open.

The next issue your bound to encounter is a lack of mobility. The amount of people is staggering, so expect children to be bumping into your tripod all the time. Avoid saturdays and sundays

My advice is to dedicate one evening to one particular subject or ride, and be ready to return if your looking for a comprehensive set. The image of the Ferris wheel alone (La Noria) took me one evening to capture because so many people were trying to get onboard that the ride kept stopping to accommodate more passengers. By the time I got the image I wanted, it was already too dark to photograph anything else.

On a positive note, fairs are a good challenge. You will use the full range of shutter speeds, ranging from very slow (8-10 seconds) to very fast (1/500) to freeze people while they are thrown around in all directions. You will need to switch from using a tripod with very low ISO, to handheld panning with ISO 1000+ even when there is plenty of light.

Images on this set are Protected by Copyright.
Registered on Safe Creative.

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