Photo walk: Big Fresno Fair 2011

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On the evening of Oct. 13, I met up with my photography instructor, Mr. John Tenney, and three of my classmates for a photo walk at the Big Fresno Fair. I’m in Mr. Tenney’s Photo 17 class this semester at Fresno City College. It’s a black-and-white film class, but on this night we could make photos however we wanted. The photo walk was an optional assignment, a preview of our upcoming class assignment on action photography. Mr. Tenney wanted us to get a chance to practice making action pictures in low-light situations and using only existing light.

I decided to shoot the photo walk on color film and my Pentax K-1000 film camera that I’m using for the class. I shot two rolls of Kodak ISO 400 speed film that I picked up on the clearance rack at Walgreens. I mostly used my 50mm Asahi prime lens, but I did swap it out for the 28mm Asahi wide-angle lens for a few photos of the giant swings. I took the film to Walgreens for processing, where I got a nice compliment from the photo tech when picking up the negatives and CDs.

The best part of the evening, for me, was using a tripod and shutter release cable for longer timed exposures. I’m trying to shoot as much as I can with manual settings this semester, so I can learn and reflect on the relationships between my light meter readings and the shutter, aperture, and film speed settings. So, having the tripod and shutter release cable allowed me to really experiment with longer exposures and different exposure combinations. It was hard lugging around a giant tripod on a hot, crowded night at the fair. But once I saw the incredible depth of field and color quality in the photos I made, I was beyond pleased with the work.

My only regret about the evening was that I didn’t write down my exposure data. I’ve been getting into the habit of taking good notes on which shutter speeds and aperture settings I’m using and why, so I can return to the results of the shoot later and study the results. It would have been nice to go back and review the data and think about my mistakes. Lesson learned for next time.

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