Carousel Horse, Long Exposure

California State Fair, Sacramento, CA

I am not going to lie.  Photographing at a fair is rather difficult, difficult in the sense of capturing something, anything that is not your standard, well, relatively boring fair photograph.  I had two types of shots in mind, motion or people.  I am not entirely comfortable randomly shooting photographs of people, especially candids of carnival workers.  So while I did snap a few of those, I was much more excited to experiment with motion.  In this case, extreme long exposure motion with the help of my trusty 10-stop neutral density filter (ND-110).

There most common ways to photograph an object in motion is to either use fast shutter speed to freeze the action or allow the motion to blur.  Neither of these options appealed to me.  I envisioned a combination of having some objects in the composition blurred and the same objects not blurred.  By using the ND110 filter, starting the exposure a few seconds before the carousel began moving, and then leaving the shutter open for a total of 3 mins 29 secs with the carousel in motion, I ended up with ghostly horses and a double exposure effect.

Definitely not a run-of-the-mill freeze action or motion blur photograph and I was definitely excited seeing the result on the camera’s LCD screen and a few hours later on the computer monitor!

EXIF data: Nikon D7000, center weighted metering mode, 38mm, ISO 100, 209 sec, f/6.3

Carousel Horse, Long Exposure.  California State Fair, Cal Expo, Sacramento, California. July 27, 2012. © Copyright Steven Tze – all rights reserved.


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