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Thread: Soliciting advice for shooting county fair

  1. #1
    Snarkbyte's Avatar
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    Al

    Soliciting advice for shooting county fair

    OK, I just took my new Canon 5DMkII out of the box... haven't even taken a quick snap with it yet. I've been shooting with the 7D for the past several months, so I don't expect any major adjustments for getting used to the controls, etc... but I do want to break it in at the county fair this weekend, and that will include some daylight shots and some low-light shooting at night. I'm planning on taking the 24-105mm f/4 IS and the 70-200mm f/2.8 (non-IS) with a Manfrotto monopod. I do intend to push the low-light limits a bit in this situation, just to see what I can get away with, but I've never done any night shooting before, and I've never shot at a fair before, either, so mistakes are inevitable and I expect to learn a lot from the experience. Obviously, this is an opportunity to get some candid people shots, some motion-blur shots, and (of course) the required ferris wheel shot.

    Having said all that, any advice and suggestions before the fact are greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    PicsbyChance's Avatar
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    Re: Soliciting advice for shooting county fair

    Al,
    I had wanted to take my camera to our county fair last year but ended up not being able to. You should have a great time and it sounds like you have a pretty good list of equipment. The tripod being a must.

    Might I also suggest a flash. Sorry, I am not familiar with your camera so I don't know if it has one on board.

    I would also consider (forgive me if you are already doing this) using mirror lock up. It is amazing how much distortion the mirror slap can create in a slow shutter shot. A remote shutter release will also help minimize distortion in slow shutter speed shots.

    I am envious. Our county fair is in August if we even have one. Money is a little tight here for the state and counties. Have a great time and please post some of you shots!

    Mike

  3. #3
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Soliciting advice for shooting county fair

    Quote Originally Posted by Snarkbyte View Post
    Having said all that, any advice and suggestions before the fact are greatly appreciated.
    As you allude to yourself, go out there and play with it and have fun and don't look for the greatest pictures ever made. If you get them, good. If not ....so what!

    Congratulations on the new baby.

  4. #4

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    Re: Soliciting advice for shooting county fair

    Possibly slightly different but I have found when photographing my local regatta/music festival/vintage machinery show, quick shots are needed most of the time.

    It can be difficult to avoid people walking in front of you and the best photographic moments come and go very quickly. Over exposure from some little items which you didn't see, like glass or lights etc can be a problem. If possible I like to take one 'correct' exposure and one slightly under exposed for each scene.

    I have found that this needs a bit of forethought about angles and light, then nip in, shoot, and withdraw. Unless you can find a suitable angle, a tripod and even a monopod tends to get in the way.

    I use the same lenses as you, except for having the IS version of the 70-200 and have found them to be excellent choices.

    A 'proper' flash unit can be useful for fill flash during tricky lighting. But I don't really like using it. You become too conspicuous and people don't relax around you. And it is one more item to carry around and worry about.

    In some circumstances, it can be annoying to other spectators. But, like I said, it can help sometimes and there have been occasions when I have wished that I had brought it.

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