Event Research

On Friday  7th October, I’ll be doing a shoot at Tewksbury Mop Fair. As I don’t usually shoot on locations like this, I’m going to research photographers that I can take inspiration from which will hopefully make the work I do at the fair better.
Tips for shooting at a fairground

The shoot will take place in the dark, so I will have to use flash photography as well as get creative with the lights coming from the fairground rides and stalls. I’m interested in trying long exposure shots, particularly on the rides.

Roger Vail

Roger Vail- The Guardian

Vali started photography in carnivals and fairground, almost exclusively using long exposure to give his viewers an idea of the rides. His work was featured on the front cover of Life Magazine in 2006:


This image clearly uses long exposure. I’d like to try and get a similar effect when I go to the fair. In order to do this, I will try and use a tripod, or rest the camera on a stable surface. I’m expecting the fair to be relatively busy, so hopefully there will be people in the long exposure too.


I think that this ride would have a lightly shorted exposure time as it looks like a faster ride (according to the lights at the side). I’ll try and use different exposure times for different rides to see the different effects they have.

superbowlzoom750This image is not by Vali

This photo uses a slightly longer shutter speed as well as zoom which creates this effect. Again, I want to try this affect on the shoot this weekend.

As I’m starting to get used to flash photography, I’d like to do some portraits at the fair. However the lighting is going to be incredibly low, so the likelihood is I will have to use a high ISO to balance the light within my camera. This is likely to create noise, so I will try and make that a stylised effect in my work.

Laura El Tantawy

Laura El Tantawy website

Tantawy shoots in low lighting generally. During a trip to Cairo, she documented conflict in low light conditions, so used other existing sources of light for her images, for example, a street light.


I like the use of light in this. It has used a high ISO which  is clear because of the noise and grain in the image. The weather conditions in this picture add to the overall atmosphere, particularly as the water on the ground reflects the light. I hope that I can produce images with a similar level of grain in this style in the low lighting conditions of the fair.


As previously mentioned, I’d like to try some portraits at the fair but the low lighting may make this difficult. I therefore want to use a combination of flash and a high ISO to light the subject. Again, the grain in this image makes it obvious that a very high ISO has been used. This particular image uses a slightly slower shutter speed too. You can tell from the slight motion blur of the subject as well as the light drag in the image. I’d like to experiment with slower shutter speeds at the fair too.



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