I’ve been passing by and dreaming of shooting a large, two-basket Ferris wheel for years it seems. I was in the area after dark and ‘went for it’ knowing the one thing I really needed was at home (I always carry my camera with me): my tripod.
In a slight breeze and about 65 degree temps, I felt slightly confident I could keep from shivering and steady the camera using the surrounds. For the first shots, I sat at a table with the camera in front of my and tilted upwards using the lens cap. Turned out that was easier than timing the darn ride. I was concerned about shaking the camera so I’d set the timer and eased a shot off just as the ride started to move. Ten seconds later, the camera fired – about 10 seconds before the ride ended. What a ripoff! I don’t know how much people paid for less than 30 seconds of NOTHING but it had to be too much since they had to stand in a line to do it! (sigh)
Second try started with me considering changing the timing in the camera but I still thought I could master the timing of the ride. Shutter opened too later. Shutter opened too early. Shutter opened exactly on time but exposure was too short. Stutter opened on time but (again) the shutter timing was too short. Timing perfect, aim bad. Timing perfect, aim worse. Timing perfect, aim perfect, hands fairly steady, and ISO too high for the longer exposure. Drop ISO to bottom, timing OK, aim shaky, and ISO too low. Switch to exposure compensation, nudging it up a click and just shoot a test shot with everything else wrong: needs more compensation. Adjustments made and 10 tries later, I managed to get all the components in sync and discovered what was probably obvious to everyone but me: the flippin’ ride only has two colours, blue and red. Worse, they are each half the distance to the hub, making those cool multiple circular pattern from multiple bulbs of multiple colours impossible. (HUGE sigh because now I’m attracting attention from security since I’m an older male with a camera, after dark, sitting alone and without his own kids in a place with scores of unwatched pre-teens and teenagers are running around). That was enough to convince me I’d given it my best so take the images home and see what I can do with what I’ve got.
Turns out I had two shots that were almost perfect in composition but lacking in something else that was key. Play with them as I might, sadly there was no way to salvage them as nighttime shots of a large wheel.
Enter Corel PaintShop Pro XI and WOO HOO! One “lost” shot becomes one EYE-BLEEDING abstract.
Just so none of you males get arrested spending too much time looking like a perv, here are the settings that came close:
Bit depth: 24
Exposure time: 13sec
ISO speed: 100
Exposure bias (offset) -3 steps)
Focal length: 22mm
Max aperture: 4
Metering mode: center weighted Average
white balance: auto
Good luck and stay outta trouble! LOL!