Shooting ferris wheels at night

Ok so Jad my son and I were bored for the evening so we took our gear and went off to shoot that Ferris Wheel on Dora Highway next to City Mall. I am actually teaching my son photography but I tend to consider that we are both learning (by teaching you will learn and by learning you will teach - Tarzan the movie). 

My gear for the session was a Canon 7D and Canon 18-200 mm lens. Jad took the Samsung NX 300 with the kit lens. After a couple of shots we both noticed how easy the shots were. 

So what do you need?

  1. A firm tripod. The camera cannot be moving or shaking for the 20+ seconds exposure. Remember we are shooting at night and we want to capture those wheel lights.
  2. Find a spot (a vintage point) where the scene is clear and no obstacles are in your way to capture the shot. 
  3. Select the lower ISO possible on your camera. Your saturation will be richer and noise will be absent.
  4. Start with f/22 and take some shots. See the results and experiment to reduce both the shutter speed and aperture. You will be surprised with the possibilities of the turning wheel.
  5. Include some foreground elements to tell a story about the place. Don't be surprised to see that people (if walking around) will disappear from the final capture. This is the effect of the long exposure in photography. Maybe I will write a post on this topic alone sometime. 
  6. Expand the angle a little. You will crop in post-processing if needed. Remember that you might need to remove distracting things, adjust the perspective, etc. so don't zoom in on the wheel alone. You will have all the tools to do that in post. 

Below are my three preferred shots. I have reduced exposure around the wheel so that to remove distracting elements. I have also pushed those clarity and sharpness sliders to the right and reduced the saturation of green and yellow. 

Go out and shoot more...