In the Name of Fun

I think it is very important to have fun. And I think it is important to seek out fun in the context of our photography. After all, photography is in large part about recording memories, and as long as we’re going to remember something, it might as well be fun.

And so it was in this spirit of having fun while pretending that I was really just focused on the photography that I paid a visit to a fun — er, I mean, photogenic — little amusement park in Maine after teaching a workshop at Maine Media Workshops. And I really went over the top, quite literally, trying to seek out interesting photographic opportunities.

Carnival1

So there I was (yes, that’s me in the photo above), hanging upside down and being thrown about in all sorts of topsy-turvy ways, watching the bright colors swirl all around me down below. It struck me how wonderful it was to see the blur of colors flying around, providing a great sense of the energy of this cute little park.

I was now motivated to find ways to capture the energy of this place, and perhaps have a little fun along the way. I’m sure no small part of my motivation was the many childhood memories of similar rides, similar colors, and similar sounds. Perhaps without realizing it, my real aim was to try to capture a photo that encapsulated a childhood memory‚Ķ

For the most part I focused on trying to find subjects that enabled me to freeze some motion while allowing a blur of color behind. I tried this on the bumper cars, on several different roller coasters, and even from the sidelines watching rides fly past. But in the end, my favorite was the swirling swing ride. This has long been a favorite ride of mine, so perhaps I was biased. I love the feeling of flying around with feet hanging free, swirling around with no effort, as the colors blur past.

So there I was, riding a swing that was flying around in a circle, doing my best to both not drop my digital SLR and capture some interesting photos that captured both the energy of the experience and the instantaneous sensation of the moment. And it was fun!

Carnival2

About Tim Grey

Tim Grey is in the business of making photographers smarter and happier. He is the author of more than a dozen books on digital imaging for photographers, has written hundreds of magazine articles, and publishes the Ask Tim Grey e-mail newsletter as well as the Pixology digital magazine. He also speaks at a variety of events and leads photography workshops around the world.
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