Taking my kids to a carnival - any photography tips before I go?

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by TWINkiesMommy2009, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. TWINkiesMommy2009

    TWINkiesMommy2009 TPF Noob!

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    To state the obvious - I am very new. I understand basic principles and I've been shooting everything from cups on the kitchen counter to my dog that refuses to look at me anymore to practice and learn my camera. We're about to take my kiddos to the local carnival and I'm hoping to get something decent. I know even less about night photography and I don't have a speedlight.

    My husband will handle the kids so I can take pictures but I need to go as lightweight as possible.

    Any tips/advice/camera setting recommendations to start with on what I should bring, or techniques I should try or avoid before we go?

    My easily portable equipment includes:

    Nikon D5100
    18-55mm
    35mm
    Polarizing Filter
    Strobie on-board flash diffuser
    Reflector Discs (gold, silver, white) but its kind of big
    GorillaPod (Which I prefer not to carry if not absolutely necessary)


     
  2. apples

    apples TPF Noob!

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    a tripod would be useful for night shots with a slower shutter speed and allowing the carnival ride's lights to stream a little. ive seen some on here that were quite nice.
     
  3. bratkinson

    bratkinson No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Remember, the onboard flash is good for about 10-15 feet, tops. Everything beyond will be dark.

    If you have the time, go outside in your yard and take some night pix of the dog or kids, etc. Experiment with and without the flash. Without the flash, you will definitely need at least a monopod. Although a tripod would be preferable, carrying one around can get clumsy and heavy...even the very expensive fiber ones. That's why I suggested a tripod. It's added stability, especially if you can lean against something while using the monopod.

    Remember, too, that when your lens is wide open (smallest number f-stop), the in-focus depth of field is quite narrow. In automatic, the camera will flash every time. But to capture the aura and brightness of the many colored lights, you'll probably want to shoot in aperature-priority mode, wide open or one stop smaller, to keep the shutter speed at least 1/15th or faster. Remember, people can still blur/move even with shutter speeds at 1/60th. At slower speeds, there's even more blur, so your subjects need to stand extra still, as does your camera. With low-light photography, take lots of pictures. Buy an extra memory card if needed, too. In such a situation, I'd expect 1 in 20 being 'a keeper', but it could get worse, depending on if the camera is shaky at all.
     

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