Some time ago, I tried to capture the local summer fair.
This first one was taken about six in the morning. I was surprised to see security guards so I hopped over the fence at a convenient point to avoid them. They might ask questions and not allow photos – it’s easier for them to just say no especially at that time of day. The stalls with their boards up give the place an abandoned feel although there are lots of people sleeping in their caravans on site. The abandoned fun fair is a staple of horror movies probably because the place looses a lot of its meaning without people in it. And that meaning can be replaced with creepiness. Even at six on a summer’s morning, the fair can feel odd in this state.
When it fills up, the fair is full of sites and sounds – the smells of burning hot dogs, the screams of chavs on dangerous rides. In this photo, I like the way you get different tones at different distances. It gives the picture a kind of flat 3D effect. The crowds, the rides behind them and then the really big rides in the background, such as the ever present wheel.
This shows the power of selective framing. The seats are a good distance off the ground but the composition makes them seem even further and those seats even more perilous. The bland tone of the sky helps the shot to focus on the ride. There’s no cloudscape to distract.
At night, the fair comes to life. It was time to get my tripod and a cable release so that I could i fire the shutter without shaking the camera. A long exposure of thirty seconds shows the big wheel off. So I wanted to get closer. I picked up my camera mounted on a tripod and moved closer through the mud and the darkness. At one point, I suddenly realised I was ten feet away from a herd of cows. Luckily, they were sat down for the evening. I had no idea that a herd of cows could sneak up on you like that.
Patterns emerge in the spokes and the big wheel resembles a bicycle wheel.
From the side, the carriages are blurs going past while the centre of the wheel stays still. Shortly after this shot, the lights went out and it was time to go home.