Suggested settings for greatest shots at beautiful little temp amusement park?

Started Mar 30, 2013 | Discussions
ronfab1
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Suggested settings for greatest shots at beautiful little temp amusement park?
Mar 30, 2013

I was driving up to my son's house last night to dog and house sit, and over on the left in a park area I pass was a mini amusement park set up.  Ferris wheel and other usual traveling show rides.  The colors were gorgeous as I drove by so I determined to stop by tonight on the way for dog sitting day 2.

For sure I will have my GH3 and will start off with the F1/4 Panny/Leica 25mm.  Probably will leave the 12-35mm F2/8 home but am taking the longer 35-100mm version that will be in a black pouch on my waist.  I will use that same pouch in front of me to help stabilize the bottom of the camera with the untabilized 25mm lens on it.

If I feel safe in the environment I might also go back to the car and bring in also my Sony A77 and the lens I love to use most on it, the 28-135mm "Secret Handshake" legendary zoom.  It is so sharp and the colors are incredible and the photographs it takes I love at that higher resolution from the Sony's ASP C chip.  I just don't want to be conspicuous as the park can at random times like anywhere else be a place where "trouble" might be walking around.

I have never in my life photographed an amusement park at night.

Please....help me out here with what you would do in this type of setting with the gear above.  I will not have a tripod with me but will do my best to hold steady all of the shots.

Aperture priority? Shutter speed priority? Any tips?

The GH3 I will limit to 1600 ISO max and play around with much lower ISOs, hoping to get spinning and moving colorful shots in and out of focus with the widest apertures on all the lenses.  The A77 probably the same ISO limit.

Thanks for any tips!!

I will come back and post if I come up with pics that are worth sharing.

Ron

Panasonic Lumix DMC-GH3 Sony SLT-A77
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benarden
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Re: Suggested settings for greatest shots at beautiful little temp amusement park?
In reply to ronfab1, Mar 30, 2013

ronfab1 wrote:


Please....help me out here with what you would do in this type of setting with the gear above.  I will not have a tripod with me but will do my best to hold steady all of the shots.

Aperture priority? Shutter speed priority? Any tips?

I wouldn't be too fussy about Camera settings because once you start dicking round with the camera

the shots gone !

Put it on " Automatic" and give it time to focus. I would get some kinda stick to lean the camera on .

If a stick is impossible, ( Walking stick / Mop Handle ?)  LEAN on stuff.
Tto steady it. Count your pulse, pressing the shutter in between heart beats.
Use the flash sometimes; might add to the fun.

- Keep shooting, you may get lucky !

I will come back and post if I come up with pics that are worth sharing.

- Looking forward to it !  ( link might help too ! ( Except for the clowns; hate em ! )

http://www.photoflexliteblog.com/2011/10/shooting-tips-night-carnivals-and-fairs.html

Ron

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Hen3ry
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Re: Suggested settings for greatest shots at beautiful little temp amusement park?
In reply to ronfab1, Mar 30, 2013

Take a reading, then bracket, bracket, bracket! Review what you get and bracket some more! Finally, mess around with highlight and shadow recovery in PP.

The big problem in this kind of situation is the difference between the lights and the lit, and what that means in different shots. In some shots, you will prefer to let the lights burn out in the interests of seeing the lit better; in others, you will want to let the lit go into the shadows while you expose for the lights. Lots of bracketing means you can make some critical decisions at your leisure in PP later.

A huge advantage is if you can get there when there is still a fair bit of light in the sky.

Also, don’t forget that built-in flash or a flash in the flash shoe, to light foreground interest a bit.

A G1 shot of Luna Park in Sydney with the pop-up flash getting me just enough light on the foreground group of revellers to be able to pull up them (and the rest of the darker areas) with shadow adjustment in iPhoto.

I would say the pop-up flash in the above photo gave me a better result than a more powerful flash would have done as it did not over-illuminate the group but just lit them enough to allow them to come out of the shadowed area around them.

I must say -- if I had had a more powerful flash, I doubt I would have thought of shooting it at reduced power to achieve this effect! We learn all the time!

HAVE FUN!!! Great subject!

Cheers, geoff

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Joseph T Lewis III
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Re: Suggested settings for greatest shots at beautiful little temp amusement park?
In reply to ronfab1, Mar 30, 2013

It depends on what you are trying to shoot.  If it were I, I'd probably use shutter priority.  Slow shutter speeds will make the rides show trails of light (e.g., the pirate ship that swings back and forth will leave colored arcs of light; the lights on the ferris wheel will look like circles of light).  The slower the speed, the more pronounced the effects of the lights in motion.

Also try bumping the ISO to 3200 (at least with the A77).  I got some decent amusement park shots with my Sony A55 at both 1600 and 3200.

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Tom

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Atwater
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Re: Suggested settings for greatest shots at beautiful little temp amusement park?
In reply to ronfab1, Mar 30, 2013

My best amusement park shots were taken at twilight when there's enough light to capture some of the scene, but the lights on the rides are on too.

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Vlad S
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S priority + wider lenses
In reply to ronfab1, Mar 30, 2013

ronfab1 wrote:

For sure I will have my GH3 and will start off with the F1/4 Panny/Leica 25mm.  Probably will leave the 12-35mm F2/8 home but am taking the longer 35-100mm version that will be in a black pouch on my waist.  I will use that same pouch in front of me to help stabilize the bottom of the camera with the untabilized 25mm lens on it.

I would suggest to set ISO to Auto and shutter priority. This way it will be easier for you to either blur or freeze the motion as you wish.

I would also bring a lens wider than 25mm. If the place is crowded, then with a longer lens you risk people passing between you and the subject.

Vlad

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Atwater
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Re: Suggested settings for greatest shots at beautiful little temp amusement park?
In reply to Atwater, Mar 30, 2013

Here's an example, taken during the blue hour but a bit later than I would have liked.

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ronfab1
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Re: S priority + wider lenses
In reply to Vlad S, Mar 30, 2013

Awesome....keep it coming I really appreciate it.  Yes if I leave earlier than I did last night it is possible to get there while a little bit of light is left.

OK also you have convinced be to take a light weight Velbon tripod with a decent little video head that I used last weekend as a tripod for the GH3 in a balcony for 2nd camera, shooting wide angle video footage of a stage play, while I manned my large shoulder rig on a serious tripod.  The Videomate 607.  It is nice for what it is but "heavy duty" as the description reads, in terms of shake, it is not.  However I improved that tremendously by wrapping 2 2 1/2 leg weights with velcro around the center column above the spreader...5lbs total.  That makes the tripod MUCH more solid and very workable for the GH3 with the decent little fluid head to have that extra weight centered on it, and the tripod is not expensive.

Not going to mess with all that but I could definitely drop just one leg and use it for a monopod.  Here's a link on B&H:

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/146249-REG/Velbon_VMATE_607_F_VMATE607F_Videomate_607_Tripod.html

So auto ISO would be the ticket?  I could still set the limit on the GH3 to 1600.  If anything I may even fudge these shots to be under exposed if anything and as someone mentioned work with the shadow and highlight sliders in Photoshop.  I'm going to set the cameras for RAW + JPEG but usually am more than fine working in PS with JPEGS I get from both these cameras.  But just in case I get a really nice pic I want to have most ability to work with......

Not sure I want to go to 3200 on the A77 but might, if I use that camera too.  Guess I can always use NIK's Define 2 plug in to work with any noise if needed.  I like that a lot and usually just go with what it comes up with if I use it.

Edit:  Forgot to mention "flash" as some are suggesting.  In all the shots I have taken since I have had the GH3 and the A77 they have all been available light.  Zero flash shots from the internal units.  I'm a little gun-shy about this with no prior experience.  (Probably very easy I'm sure....just don't have a lot of time for prep on this)

The COLORS though from the street looked gorgeous, and why I am motivated to go to the effort to do this.

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Corkcampbell
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We never called them "temp amusement park," but "carnies." I miss them! (nt)
In reply to ronfab1, Mar 30, 2013

no text

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Russ Houston
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In reply to ronfab1, Mar 30, 2013

For general ambient shots, shoot in aperture priority, auto ISO, wide open and just grab some overall shots.  Probably use center-weighted metering, or spot metering.

For some fun motion shots, set it on Manual exposure, set your ISO low (200), stop the aperture down a stop or two, and then set the shutter speed to get the proper exposure (or maybe slightly underexposed).  Brace your camera for a long shutter speed and get some fun shots of the ferris wheel or merry go round.

Finally, take your 35-100 and zoom in on some of the details of the merry go round, or the people working the rides.

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ronfab1
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Re: We never called them "temp amusement park," but "carnies." I miss them! (nt)
In reply to Corkcampbell, Mar 31, 2013

Corkcampbell wrote:

no text

Oh yes I am familiar with the term "carnies".   An interesting cross section of individuals to be sure.  HA!  Just was meaning to describe it as a small venue, not some large location.

Did I mention the "colors" ??  I hope I can do this justice.  Even taking the little NEX 5N with the decent little kit lens on it.  Maybe I will park across the busy street and look well over my shoulder as I am walking out.   I tend to over think these things but then you see the headlines every day.  Ugggh!!

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ronfab1
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Re: Suggested settings for greatest shots at beautiful little temp amusement park?
In reply to ronfab1, Apr 5, 2013

OK I finally had a chance to go through a lot of pictures I shot 6 evenings ago at this little carnival and touch them up.  I was really hustling with all three cameras with 3 trips around the park.   First my Sony A77 starting at dusk with a Minolta 28-135mm "secret handshake" (my most favorite lens), then the Panny GH3 with the 35-100mm F/2.8 (SWEET) and finally my NEX 5N which was only hand held with the 18-55mm lens.   The A77 and GH3 got use of my light weight tripod used as a mono pod, which indeed was a big help.  But as it just turned out, I got most of the nicest motion shots hand held with the NEX 5N.  The large ferris wheel, also, was having a problem and not running most of the time I was there.    Since the topic was about "shooting" colors and playing with slow exposures for "tracing" at night at a "carnival" I am going to go ahead and include several of my favorites from the A77 and NEX 5N as well and will label them as such.  The very 1st 8 shots below are from the GH3.
and hope to do it again some time.  I hope you like some of them.  This is the very first "group" of pictures I have ever posted anywhere on the internet, with only one single photo of a city skyline prior to that here at DPREVIEW in the Sony Alpha section.   SORRY my copy and loading process here on the forum page appears to have a few missing and the copy is split up, maybe because of paragraphs.  I hope the gallery is OK.  Also they are not in the order I selected, so any without a camera label in the copy are GH3.

I did enjoy this a lot
 and are great to work with for ordering prints and custom books & such?  Quality of the prints?upload quickly I have a good number I like a lot now taken with these 3 cameras which are my first serious digital equipment, over the past 2 years and will be joining a Shutterfly or a Flickr one of these days soon.  Any favorites any of you please might recommend of those type of sites that I posted these all at roughly 1080P so they wouldn't take so long.  Not sure what the ideal size would have been. Thanks again so much for the tips!!!

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ronfab1
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Re: Suggested settings for greatest shots at beautiful little temp amusement park?
In reply to ronfab1, Apr 5, 2013

Wow....sorry the copy above got so messed up.  Some things deleted and others out of order.  I simply tried to make it not one big paragraph and had 6 or 7 breaks where they were called for.  At least all the pictures finally showed up here too, but no idea why the GH3 ones were the "last" as I selected them first.  Hope no one minds the other two cameras in here.

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Vlad S
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In reply to ronfab1, Apr 5, 2013

ronfab1 wrote:

The A77 and GH3 got use of my light weight tripod used as a mono pod, which indeed was a big help.  But as it just turned out, I got most of the nicest motion shots hand held with the NEX 5N.

Fun stuff! Can you tell why you got most out of 5N? Was it because it was handheld, or because of the way it operated or any other reason?

Thanks-

Vlad

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ronfab1
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Re: Question
In reply to Vlad S, Apr 5, 2013

I honestly don't know Vlad, it just worked out that way.  There was enough room to move around that even with the considerably longer zoom on the GH3 I could have gotten similar shots of some of the same rides.  I was moving pretty quickly on the 2nd pass with the GH3 after spending more time the first trip with the A77.  I knew I wanted to use the NEX for the 3rd pass and was watching the clock as I was on the way to dog sit two "guys" who were outside and it was getting late.  I got there at 7:30PM and didn't leave until almost 10:00.  I'm glad you liked some of them.  I love color and there sure was a lot of it.

Actually on second thought some of those NEX pics were at the wide angle and likely maybe I didn't see as many opportunities with the longer zoom's widest angle at 70mm equivalent, and people walking between.  I'm glad I got to use that fast 2.8 long zoom, but in hindsight now I probably would have done better with the 12-35mm F/2.8.  I had it with me in a hip pouch and the Panny/Leica F/1.4 25mm as well.  Those should have done really well.  Especially using the "mono pod".

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