Sunday, September 5, 2010

Carnival Lights

I've always loved carnival lights. The brightness and gaudiness just kind of begs to be photographed so when I saw Brandi's post I had to do something similar. I might be pushing the too close to the same picture rule here I don't know. I had wanted to try another idea, but it failed miserably and after photographing that wedding yesterday my creativity had done run out for today. So here we are.

Nikon D90
Lens 14-24mm
Aperture f-16
Shutter Speed 2.5 secs
ISO 200
Flash(Nikon Speedlight SB900) rear sync flash mode
I had to crop some because the lens I used is a wide angle lens

This weekend is the annual Nauvoo Illinois Grape Festival which is a pretty big festival around our small town and they had a carnival set up. My family and I went because it was wristband night, so all the rides you can take for one "low" (at $16 a pop, still crazy expensive to me) price. My son loved all the rides, but I quickly found out that I can't handle them like I used to. All that spinning was not fun for me! We took more interesting pictures, especially one where I was cramped into a child roller coaster ride that is definately not meant for tall people, I was kissing my knees. The things we will do for our children...

This was an interesting shot to set up because I was trying to show motion and all the different colored lights, but without a focal point it was hard to do and the picture itself was just missing something. Which is why I ended up using myself. I had to enlist the help of my husband to push the button to take the picture because I don't have a remote release and the timer was just not going to work. My husband took a quick peak to make sure all was good with me and then pushed the button. I absolutely LOVE the glass in my new Nikon 14-24mm lens. I mean when people are buying adaptors to be able to use this lens on Canon cameras you know you've got a good lens. Sorry Scott I just have to throw a shout out to Nikon for this particular lens. The colors are so vivid and the pictures are so crisp compared to other, less expensive lens. I can definately understand why photographers are willing to pay more for better lens, there's just no comparison. I mean look at the vivid blue sky in this picture! Beautiful!

Rear sync flash mode is different from using a regular flash. In rear sync flash, the shutter opens and takes in all available light for as long as it is open, in this case about 2.5 seconds and then at the very end of the shutter time the flash goes off. So instead of the flash going off at the beginning of your picture, it goes off at the end. I'm sure there is a better way to explain this, but for tonight I am half asleep so my brain isn't firing properly. This picture connects to Scott's Friday Faces shot and Brandi's self-portrait "flair" shot as well.

Jay'me can't wait to see where you will go with this!


  1. Amazing! I was just explaining to Brandi the flash mode you're talking about. I've always called it curtain flash but rear flash makes more sense. Great use of the technique!

  2. Is anyone else obsessively looking at the "ghost" feet right behind Sere? No, just me. Ok, I'm used to that. I think the little "ghosts" are my favorite part of the picture. It shows so much motion.
    So when do I get to try this rear sync technique I keep hearing about? Sere bring that Nikon flash (and the bad ass lens) and get your butt up here. These Nikon geeks out number me.
    Smashing success!

  3. I love it too! What a dramatic shot. Like Scott shot, you stand still while time keeps on ticking. The night is lit like day without loosing the drama of the carnival lights. You have symmetry with you and the blue can the red fence and the red top. Cool sky color is awesome! The interesting mix of fences and the shadows are all great compositionally. Fun choices and really cool techniques !