These pictures were all taken at the GDS fair. A fair is a great place for color and contrast. Every ride has its color and the flags and decorations. These make for some great pictures. In order to really make the colors pop, you will see that I bumped up the saturation (and vibrance) on each of these pictures.
Another thing to keep in mind while taking fair pictures is to look up. For example, look at the picture below.
There are alot of rigging and rides that stick up into the sky (which if the weather is nice, gives a nice background itself). This was taken from a corner of the fair, to try and get alot of the high rides. The jumper is in the foreground with the ferris wheel, zipper and slide in the background (I could have gottne the round up and the pharohs ride, but would have lost the slide, and not gotten the jumper in the foreground (with the nice colored flags). I liked this picture better.
In addition to the randomness of a bunch of rides, also try and isolate some (as in below).
Here is the Ferris wheel (always a nice choice). This really stands out because we have a nice blue sky. Clouds would break up the image, but as it stands we get the Ferris wheel by itself. It would have been nicer to get a few more colors in the Ferris wheel (and maybe not as much blue). However, you have to take what you get.
There are other things at the fair, not just rides. I like the old machines. They do not run them all at once, but they all get going. They actually had an old mixer setup and making ice cream (which they were giving away).
Instead of the normal picture in the front of the tent, I decided to take one from the back. It is a different perspective of the equipment. I sorta liked the pile of equipment in the wagon. All waiting its chance to get out front to be shown off and operated.
Oh, there is another fair tradition. Not always the most photogenic, but definitely a popular event.
What would a fair be without the metal bending of a smash up derby. This was the first one the little guy watched (we normally do not attend, but enjoy the mostly empty fair while others cram in). It was fun. They did 4 rounds, they had a truck round. 3 of the trucks got hung up or stalled and came back at the end to bend some metal.
Well, after the derby it starts to get dark. No need to put the camera away, fairs are normally well lit, and offer alot of good picture opportunities. This one below was actually not night (but dusk). I ran out to the car between heats at the derby (get some jackets it was getting cool). The entrance offered a nice picture so I stopped and took one.
I like the lights and the color. And some broken clouds add a nice background. I probably should have tried to move around to the other side a bit, and taken a longer photo (with a few other rides on the side). This would have reduced the sky a bit and added more color and light. Next time.
Well, as I said, try it at night as well. Here is an example of a night picture.
The Fair Princesses Palace is right in the middle (looks like a barn - but hold the negative thoughts, lets keep it nice). I took a few pictures, but liked this one the best. Another interesting one had the zipper as a blur in motion, but I preferred the defined structure. Still alot of colors, now offset by the black sky. You can see that there is plenty of light (some of those rides are moving - you can see if you look closely). The picture was taken at an ISO of 400 appeture at f/4 and the exposure time was 1/8 of a second (I did brace the camera against a rail to ensure it was steady). Another trick for long exposures is to set the delay to 2 or 10 seconds. This way you can steady from the act of pushing the button before the picture is taken.
Fairs are bright, colorful and offer alot of picture opportunities. So next time you go to the fair, take your camera, and dont forget to just look for some interesting shots.