Bumper car fun – a perfect opportunity for photography

Making Pictures With Professional Photographer John Enman

My friend Jo called to tell me that her family was going to a traveling carnival that had been set up in Kamloops at a store parking lot across town from my shop.

The parking lot was filled with rides that were not only fun for kids, but also a great opportunity to take pictures of Jo and Shaun’s two children having an exciting time on all the rides.

I grabbed my 28-300mm lens when I left my shop and arrived in time to photograph their family getting in a “spinny thing” that looked like a giant strawberry. I quickly made a couple of test shots as they climbed in. The inside light was a lot darker than the outside, so I had to make some quick adjustments. The trick for that contrasty kind of shot was to slightly under expose the inside so the outside didn’t loose detail and keep my shutter speed high enough to stop the motion. Simple, just up the ISO. That was the beginning. I followed them around and got some great photos, photos that would be of high enough quality that I could adjust them a bit of after I loaded them into my computer program.

I was the only person there with a DSLR. Most people relied on their cell phones.

I guess if all one wants is a tiny memory that is limited to a small screen then a cell phone is the ideal tool.

Photography has become a wonderful hobby for me since I retired from working full time with a camera; like a former auto mechanic I know who spends hours and lots of money on his 1960s car without some demanding client asking him to rush. I now get to enjoy the art and process of leisurely producing sharp, high quality images that will look as good as a 16X20 inch print as they will on a 2X4 inch cell phone.

Ok, that’s one of my reasons for using a DSLR instead of the iPhone I usually have in my pocket. I also can choose from lenses like the 28-300mm I brought with me. My 24-70mm and 70-200mm would be sharper, and I have lenses that are much wider, but the 28-300 lens is damn convenient for wandering around after a couple of excited children.

I watched for excited expressions, body language that showed they were enjoying themselves, and for unique angles as they went whizzing by me on the many different rides. Now I have some photos to share with my friends, and although I’ll load most of them on Jo’s computer for her to enjoy, I think I’ll print an 8×10 for each of the children.

A gift that is only an image languishing on a computer is nice and most people will be appreciative of that, but a quality 8×10 print that can be held and displayed will be treasured.

These are my thoughts for this week. Contact me at www.enmanscamera.com or emcam@telus.net. Stop by Enman’s Camera at 423 Tranquille Road in Kamloops. I sell an interesting selection of used photographic equipment. Don’t hesitate to call me at 250-371-3069.

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