A few friends and I went to the Oldham County Fair over the weekend and had a great time! I don't think I've been to a county fair in more than 10 years. I didn't realize what a great place for photos a county fair could be! There was a demolition derby going on, beauty contests, live bands and a huge amount of interesting people to photograph. However, the one thing that really caught my eye were all the pretty lights! When we got there it was still daylight, but I knew once it got dark, those amusement rides would make for some serious eye candy! So we walked around, shot photos of people, shot a ton of the demolition derby (which was a lot harder than I thought it was going to be) and then after it got dark, I formulated my attack plan.
While it was daylight, I scoped out what I thought would be the most interesting rides (basically the ones with the most lights) and planned out from what angle I would be shooting from. I knew I wanted to take a long exposure of the rides, so I headed back to my car and got my tripod. Then I went back to the spot I had looked at earlier, mounted my D300 on my tripod and composed the shot.
A couple of things to add, that I think really make a difference in composing long exposures are: since I was using a tripod, I made sure to turn off the Vibration Reduction feature on my 18-200mm VR lens, I turned on NR - noise reduction in my camera and set the high ISO noise reduction to max, even though I was shooting at ISO 200. I don't know if that last setting really helps or not, but I liked how the shot turned out. =) So, I had my in camera settings the way I wanted, I set the Aperture to f/22 and the shutter speed to 5 seconds, then I banged away. The shot above was my favorite of the group.
An interesting note, it was funny how many people on the rides saw me, and were waving and smiling. Little did they know that there was no way that they would appear in any of the shots I took. =)