The above shot was taken last year on the fairgrounds of the Austin Rodeo. It's a decent shot (in my humble opinion) of a carnival ride in motion. Colorful, but it lacked the intensity I was looking for. When my friend Andy invited me to take pictures with him at the rodeo earlier this year I knew I wanted to do something different with this ride.
We arrived well before dark this time so I had an opportunity to study the Freak Out ride from different angles. I had assumed the that the best point to shoot the pendulum-like movements of the ride was from the side. After walking around while it was in motion, I realized I couldn't have been more wrong. The ride does more than swing the rider carrier. It simultaneously spins it as well. In order to see the full effect in the resulting light trails I needed to be standing in line with the pendulum arm as it swung back and forth. Here are the shots I came back with this time around.
I think you will agree that the shots from this year, while more abstract in nature, are more interesting and engaging. By shooting from the side I was missing out on some nice organic patterns of light and color. It pays to walk around a bit before you stake down that tripod. You might be missing something even better than what you originally saw.