Semana Santa in lights

Semana Santa doesn’t just equal countless parades featuring Jesus Christ after a full thrashing and earsplitting bottle rockets; it also means the carnival is coming to town.  A sizable carnival materialized in el Parque Llano for the week and I badgered Rad about going since I saw it from the window of a taxi on Monday. On Thursday, we hopped on the bus and rode down to the city in order to snatch some photos of the fold-up Ferris wheels and tilt-a-whirls that were trucked in at the beginning of the week. Even Michael Jackson made an appearance, so it was pretty special night.

 

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This was sort of an experiment since this was the first carnival I photographed after the sun went down. When I go out for the evening, I usually leave my tripod at home, later wish I had it, and end up trying to steady the camera against a telephone pole or on the roof of a parked car. But this time was different. As we exited the bus, I hoisted the cumbersome tripod onto my shoulder and marched through the crowded streets. If you’re in the market for a tripod that doubles and a lethal weapon, I highly recommend the Manfrotto 290. It is the lead sled of tripods. You could really crack some skulls with this model.

 

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The winds started to get a bit gusty and we could smell the impending rain in the air. Therefore, we were forced to drink a beer while riding out the freak storm at La Biznaga before heading back down to the park. It wasn’t a total bust since we took photos of a few craft beers to discuss on another blog named American Cerveza. The pavement was still a bit damp when we showed up to take pictures, so you can see a slight reflection from the neon lights bouncing off the concrete. I didn’t plan it like that. Cumulonimbus clouds just happened to drop precipitation on the right spot.

 

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I set the ISO at 200 to cut out most of the noise often visible in low-light photos, but I think I could have gone even lower. Depending on the amount of light coming from a particular ride, I adjusted the shutter speed between 1 and 4 seconds while keeping the aperture at f13. Since the scene was packed with both locals and tourists, I had to set up quickly, hit the shutter release and move on to avoid blocking the midway. It was a real “stick and move” operation. The last thing I wanted was to be the gringa who blocked up the action alley with a bunch of camera equipment while some kid was simply trying to get a ride on the Sea Dragon.

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Sea Dragon one
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Sea Dragon two

 

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