The Shooting Gallery: Tips for Great Carnival Shots


Step right up and see all of the tips and tricks you need to capture the grand prize: awesome carnival shots!

Credits: sixsixty

Carnivals are a great time for everyone. They’re a magical place filled with delicious, deep-fried junk food, crazy, dangerous rides, impossible to win games, and entertainment designed to take your whole family’s money. It’s also a fantastic time to take some amazing Lomo shots! Here are some tips to make sure you get your shots straight to the handpicked section!

First off some warnings.

  • Keep a good grip on your valuable camera equipment; especially if you take them on the rides. Getting a hand strap or neck strap could be a good purchase.
  • Also, stay hydrated and wear plenty of sunscreen. It can get hot out there during the day waiting for that perfect shot!
  • Avoid creeper carney status and don’t linger too long around any single ride.
Credits: sixsixty

Start your carnival adventures bright and early. This will allow you to get some colorful shots with beautiful blue skies as the background. Walk around the carnival and get to know the rides. Find out what the best angles for photographing each attraction. There’s always a lot of misc stuff in the way like trash cans, telephone poles, and fences around that could mess up that perfect shot. So, feel free to walk around and scout out that perfect spot. 

Credits: sixsixty

Bad examples …good luck getting these ones handpicked!

Credits: sixsixty

It’s generally very sunny during these hot summer carnival days, so use 100 iso film. That way, you can capture all the details and colors around the fair. But, don’t limit yourself to the rides. Be sure to take advantage of all the colors and action at the carney booths and get a shot of all the games and prizes too.

Credits: sixsixty

Now, the real magic happens at night when the sun goes down and the lights turn on! Start off with a distant shot to really capture the whole carnival. 

Credits: sixsixty

Then go in for the grand prize! Having a tripod really helps for shooting long exposure night shots at the carnival, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry, just take a deep breath and hold still for your shots. 100 iso is still your friend for these long exposure night shots. Pick your target and choose the bulb stetting on your camera. Try holding the shutter down for few different lengths. These shots were between 1 and 4 seconds long. The longer you hold it down and steady, the crazier the shot will be for sure!

Credits: sixsixty

Another great film for these night shot is the Lomo Redscale 50-100. This film gives an amazing burning look when shot at iso 50 and works great for long exposure night shots. Definitely pack a roll or 2 of this film with you.

Credits: sixsixty

Black and white film also gives fun results too, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Credits: sixsixty

Finally, some other things to try.

  • Take shots while you’re on the rides! The ferris wheel is a great opportunity to get that birds eye view.
  • Try using some cotton candy as a filter for some “sweet” shots.
  • And, if you’re feeling really lucky you could try to win a prize at a carney booth!

written by sixsixty on 2012-08-02 #gear #tutorials #night #carnival #fair #rides #slide #long-exposure #tips #lights #camera #neon #roller #games #ferris-wheel #coaster #tipster #prizes #swings #the-shooting-gallery-series


  1. adi_totp
    adi_totp ·

    great great shots :D

  2. pearlmsqueaks
    pearlmsqueaks ·

    I can't wait to try these tips out at our town fair in October.

  3. djcosta
    djcosta ·

    Thanks for sharing these tips. Looking forward to try them on the next chance :)

  4. trincheiras
    trincheiras ·

    amazing shots :)

  5. marthasmarvels
    marthasmarvels ·

    great tips!

  6. digitaljunk
    digitaljunk ·

    especially love the long exposure night shots!

  7. neanderthalis
    neanderthalis ·

    Great colors!

  8. sexyinred
    sexyinred ·

    crazy fun shots ~ love it!

  9. shea_w
    shea_w ·

    Awesome shots! Love the colours! So cheerful, thanks for the tips! :D

  10. sixsixty
    sixsixty ·

    @pearlmsqueaks I'm excited to see your shots! October is so far away!

  11. sixsixty
    sixsixty ·

    @adi_totp @pearlmsqueaks @djcosta @trincheiras @marthasmarvels @sexyinred @shea_w Thanks for all the likes and great comments!

  12. jelencitta
    jelencitta ·

    great article, and great pictures too!

  13. sixsixty
    sixsixty ·

    @jelencitta Thanks! I love your water photos, that's my next photo adventure I want to try.

  14. bobsuicide
    bobsuicide ·


  15. bomboniera
    bomboniera ·

    great tips!

  16. kneehigh85
    kneehigh85 ·

    These photos are fab!

  17. cyeo
    cyeo ·

    Good tips! Will try them.

  18. segata
    segata ·

    Nice shots and thanks for the tips, I will give them a go when I visit the coast

  19. 4br0k3n3rr0r
    4br0k3n3rr0r ·

    Wow, I can't wait 'till the next carnival :D

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