Carnival & Amusement Park Photography

carnival ride If you have the chance to go to an amusement park or to visit a carnival, be sure to take your camera. The great thing about these places is that they offer the possibility to take very different photos full of bright, colorful lights, tall rides, parades, people in costumes, fireworks, and so on. The possibilities are nearly endless!

Here are a few tips to help you make the best of your carnival and amusement park photography:

  • Always stay safe:These places can be crowded and confusing, so be careful not to get lost.
  • Watch your stuff! Unfortunately, pickpockets and thieves sometimes try to take advantage of the noise and the crowds so as to steal things. Keep an eye on your things and never leave them unattended.
  • Pay attention to the rules: Although this is rare, some places might not let you take pictures. Other places might not allow the use of flash (e.g. on rides). If you are not sure, ask a parent or official.
  • Think ahead: Get a map of the park and plan out where you want to take your pictures. See if there are any special events like parades, shows, etc. Plan ahead so that you can be in the best spots.
  • swing towerTake lots of pictures: It can be hard to set up the right shot in a theme park because of all the activity. Also, because movement is hard to photograph with cheaper cameras, many of your pictures might not come out that great. So remember, take lots of photos - you can always discard the bad ones later.
  • Up high, down low: Think about getting photos from different perspectives. Pictures taken from the top of a building or carrousel can be very impressive. On the other hand, if you are photographing something small, get down to its level. Your photos will look a lot better!
  • Try nighttime photography: If you can, try take some pictures after dark when the swirling, colorful lights are at their most dramatic. If your camera has a night flash setting, experiment with that. It will increase the exposure, making moving lights come out more stretched and a bit blurry. It is a great way to capture movement in your picture.
  • Use your zoom lens: If you camera has one, take advantage of your zoom lens to take more detailed, close-up pictures. Try some wide angle shots to get a sense of distance.

by Simon James Allanach, edited by Alan Frost
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