View 35: Warp Speed

Long exposure photograph of the Midway Ride, Enterprise, at the New York State Fair, Syracuse, New York

Long exposure photograph of the Midway Ride, Enterprise, at the New York State Fair, Syracuse, New York

The Great New York State Fair started last week and goes on until Labor Day. It’s the official end of summer for upstate New York as public schools will open a day or two later. It was always a bittersweet time for me when growing up. Loved all the sites, sounds, smells and activities of the fair but knew it was back to school when it was all over.

This year I brought in my tripod so I could take some pictures of the Midway rides as I have never done it before. Being an old Star Trek fan from way back, the Enterprise ride caught my eye and I set up to do some long exposure photos. A New York State Trooper wandered over to ask me what I was taking a photos of. I thought it odd but he explained tripods are a cause of concern nowadays. I don’t know why anyone would think such a thing as I was out of the way, not blocking people from walking around and the NY State Fair does not require a permit to use tripods.

Sadly, this seems to be a world wide issue for both amateur and professional photographers.  People with cameras the size of digital SLRs with or without a tripod are considered a threat to security.  This is just nonsense.  Terrorists never used photography and, if they did, I doubt they’d want to be seen doing it.  Easier to use a camera phone which do not get a second look when used.  I’m going to download and print this The Photographer’s Rights document and carry it with me.  Law enforcement and security staffs should be made aware of these rights.

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15 Responses to View 35: Warp Speed

  1. firefox says:

    Wow…i love this one. Is a great photo Thomas…absolutly stunning.Thank you for sharing 😀


  2. Great shot!
    Pretty sad about all these “security concerns”. Some of them seem a little ridiculous IMO.
    There was a festival in a nearby town a couple of months back and they didn’t allow ANY cameras with removable lenses. That was enough to not make me want to go anymore. Will have to check out that document. Good idea to print and carry with you.


  3. giiid says:

    What a good motive to use, for showing speed. Could be interesting to work out how fast it was going. I guess that the pattern will change poportional with the camera speed? Entertainment for rainy days/weeks 🙂


  4. morningjoy says:

    I love this shot–reminds me of a giant Frisbee or something extraterrestrial. Thanks for the info on photographer’s rights. I’ll take your recommendation and carry a copy with me.


  5. stphoto says:

    Thanks for commenting everyone! I played around with different exposures. This one was for 2 seconds at f/16 and ISO 200. Any slower and it looked like a spinning blob of color. Any faster and it didn’t have enough color as the lights flashed in a pattern.

    As for our Photography Rights, that was the first time I’ve been approached. He didn’t give me a hard time but I was surprized he even bothered. Definitely going to carry the printout with me in the future.


  6. Steve says:

    This is an absolutely fabulous photograph. In addition to training and teaching I dabble in digital photography. I am so glad you posted on my site, which linked me to your site – it is inspiring

    Also, I’ve been to the NY State fair so this has special meaning for me as well. Absolutely Awesome!


  7. Very, very nice capture. I’d love to see the original size.



  8. visuallens says:

    Thanks to let us know the tips of taking this beautiful picture.

    Sad to say, I never heard any reason of this sort in my life, taking photo using a tripod is a threat to security.I think this New York State Trooper don’t know how to differentiate between a photographer and a terrorist.

    Unless you are a muslim with a Bin..Joking


  9. w1kkp says:

    This photo inspires me to carry my tripod with me. It doesn’t do me much good if it’s at home in the closet, now does it??

    Thanks for the tech and terror info, too!!


  10. pfadministrator says:

    You wrote, “he explained tripods are a cause of concern nowadays.” Did he indicate whether the concern was one of security or safety. I think it’s just too easy to jump to the conclusion that it was security-based, which it may very well have been, but there is also an increased concern relating to safety. Just too many lawsuits lately. I can see a valid concern when it comes to safety but absolutely no logical connection to security. It’s nonsensical to think a terrorist is going to set up a tripod to photograph a potential target. And a fair ride at that. Maybe he was just bored or used it as an excuse to satiate his curiosity. I think what’s sad in today’s climate is the tendency to so quickly ascribe nefarious intents to an innocent action–on both sides of the confrontation.


  11. stphoto says:

    I rarely carry my tripod unless I know I’ll be doing long exposure photography. I normally relie on my VR lens for everyday shooting.

    As for what the Trooper said to me. He did not say he was worried about the safety aspects of the tripod. As I said, I was out of the way of the foot traffic. He was clearly concerned at what I was taking a photo of. Though he did not ask me to stop but his answer was what worried me and had me looking around the Internet about it.


  12. Thad says:

    Nice work. I have always wanted to get one of these shots but have yet to have the opportunity.


  13. Pingback: Fair Time! « Views Infinitum

  14. Totally cool. I really want to capture something like this myself.


  15. Pingback: Back to the New York State Fair | Views Infinitum

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