Between assignments, National Geographic photographer Nevada Wier uses travel to explore the world for her personal projects, continually evolving her photography before her next assignment. Here, Nevada shares her insight for photographing color, lights, and carnivals while traveling.
I love photographing at night, particularly at carnivals. At a temple fair in Bagan, Myanmar, I saw that the Ferris wheel wasn’t motorized; instead, boys climbed around the wheel, pulling on the seats and spokes to start the motion and keep it going until it reached a good speed. They would then have a break until it slowed down. I loved the artificial colored lighting on the wheel and made a light reading on the entire scene, which was bright enough to allow a shutter speed that would stop the action as the Ferris wheel was slowing down. I composed the frame with a wide-angle line, concentrating on having a graphic pattern that would include the workers and the people on the ride. It wasn’t necessary to show the entire wheel to understand the scene. I like to include everything that matters in a frame—and nothing else.
Photo Tip: Find bright, artificial light when photographing at night. The night sky obscures clutter in the background, and the artificial light provides vivid color. Remember, perfect light exists throughout the day if you think creatively.
Photographed with a Canon 5DMark III, 24mm f/1.4 lens at 1/100sec, f/4, ISO 1600.
See more photos by Nevada Wier on Instagram at @nevadawier.