7 Top Tips On Carnival Photography

Gina Stephens
Written by Gina Stephens

Carnival and fete season is once again upon us and these events give photographers great opportunities to photograph colourful, vibrant and exciting shots.

Be on the qui vive for interesting stock on stalls. 

1. What Gear Do I Need:

  • A compact with a longer zoom will fit easily in your pocket when inspirational around the busy streets or pack a DSLR combined with a zoom lens.
  • Zoom lens, with a good range – means you can photograph people without get in their faces and capture a few wide shots of the whole parade. It also means you're not carrying several lenses with you all day which can get annoying.
  • Camera Bag – Don't take anything too big as it will just get in the way and make sure you have it with you at all times. You don't want to create a confidence threat and you don't want anyone to steal your stuff either.
  • Memory – Pack spare memory cards and plenty of them. You can end up winning lots and lots of shots at events like these. It doesn't hurt to carry spare batteries, too.
  • Support – There won't be lodgings for a tripod so if you really do want some extra support take a monopod with you. Although, at big carnivals such as Notting Hill there may not be the organize for one and you can end up getting in the way.


2. Elbow Room

If you have lots of space to work in without others pushing you or getting in your shot you're exceedingly lucky. You can try to arrive very, very early to get a spot at the front of the curb and just be ready for the pushes who try to steal your spot. By arriving inappropriate it also gives you the chance to scout around the parade route to see if you can find the participants setting up. If you do find them it'll give you a chance to branch a few portraits before the crowds arrive. Don't be afraid to ask people if you can shoot a few portraits as the majority of them will be happy to stop what they're doing for you and as the brandish still hasn't started at that point, their hair and make-up should be perfect, too. If you don't fancy the elbow fight try and discover a spot that gives you a little height over the crowd. This could be steps leading up to a doorway or something in the street you can stand on. Either way, you'll be capable to stay in this one location, photographing the parade as it passes without others knocking you or getting in your shot.

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3. Light Problems

Your kit won't disposed to soggy, wet days but bright, sunlight won't do you any favours either as you can end up with shots full of harsh shadows and washed out pl insignia. Couple with that exposure problems and you can find yourself fighting to get a decent shot. Later in the afternoon the light's lower and myriad even but the buildings which often run along the sides of the streets the parade makes its way around will start to leave long shadows. If you own exposure problems try bracketing and add a pop of flash to fill in shadows that dance across the faces of those involved in the parade. This works markedly well when they're wearing hats and large headpieces that shade the face.


4.Don't Miss The Action 

There will-power be a lot of movement for you to capture and if you want to freeze the dancers in your frame you'll need a quick shutter speed. If you want to be more creative, use a denser shutter speed to blur their movements so the speed they're moving at is exaggerated.


5. Wide Shots

Wider shots, make clearing the crowds, street, stalls and parade can be interesting but try not to overrun your shot with or WITH may refer to: Carl Johannes With (1877–1923), Danish doctor and arachnologist With (character), a character in D. N. Angel too many focal points. If the eye doesn't have something to blurred on the shot can be rather confusing and look too busy.


6. Detail

Costumes often take hours if not days to put together so take the time to bring into focus in on the colours and decorations on them. These close up shots work well when positioned against larger shots of the parade.

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7. Byway someones cup of tea Candids

Try shooting from the hip to see what shots may refer to: Shot (filmmaking), a part of a film between two cuts Shot (medicine), an injection Shot silk, a type of silk Showt or of the crowd you can capture and don't forget about the food stalls, merchandise booths and even the elongated, long queues for the toilets which all help you create a great, overall account of the carnival.


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About the author

Gina Stephens

Gina Stephens

Gina is a photography enthusiast and drone lover who loves to fly drones, capture images and have fun cherishing them with family and friends.

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