Week 29 of the 52 Week Challenge: “Midway Motion”

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The topic this week was Midway Motion. I chose this topic because I love the brightly coloured lights of the Midway and the cool patterns you can get with a long shutter speed. Below are some of my favourites:


Here are a few tips from this week’s photo shoot:

Shutter Speed

A long shutter speed (also called long exposure) can create a neat blur of the moving parts of a Midway ride. I used a speed of 1 second for the swing rides and 4 seconds for the Ferris Wheel shots.  

The long shutter speed can also create ghosts of the people in the foreground of the shot. As long as they are moving, they show up as blurs rather than a solid shape. I love the ghost effect – it creates further movement in the shot and a sort of ethereal mood.


In order to get the interesting coloured patterns on the rides, you will need the rides to move! Check out the difference below between a shot of the stationary rides vs. the ones that are moving…


A tripod is essential if you will be taking long exposure shots of the midway rides or creating ghosts in your shots. It allows you to get some parts of the photo in complete focus while still capturing the motion blur. If you don’t use a tripod you will end up with camera shake and everything will be blurry in the photo.

A remote or cable release will enable you to take the photo without touching the camera. Even touching the shutter button can introduce some camera shake into your photo and blur the areas that should be sharp.

You will also need a camera that has a manual mode or a shutter speed priority mode. I like shooting in manual mode since I can control the shutter speed, ISO and aperture. You could also shoot in shutter speed priority if you prefer that mode. Both allow you to set a particular shutter speed, which is crucial for the long exposure shots.


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