A few weeks ago, I won a competition to be the Ekka’s official photographer for the day and let’s just say – I was excited. I’ll be honest, I was about 94.63% sure I might win (I stalked the competition hashtag). I probably would have been a bit crushed if I didn’t but I was right so no tears were shed. The day came around and my boyfriend (who is also a photographer) and I set off armed with cameras, tripods and snacks. Thankfully the lockers were only two dollars so we dumped the heavy stuff. No sore shoulders for us.
The Ekka is the Royal Show in Brisbane, Australia
There was so much to see and photograph! I’d already mapped out the spots I wanted to visit and it was the animals first. We spent a good couple of hours looking at all the prize winning poultry, fish and cows (just to name a few). The barnyard animals is always my favourite though. It’s always a nice challenge getting fantastic shots – there’s the greedy animals who never stay still as they chase those with the food, the small children who have no idea they just stepped into your shot and the constant worry that no, that was not chocolate I just stepped in. Photography viewpoint: it was tricky choosing the right settings. I needed to bump the ISO up around 400-800 due to the poor lighting to ensure I didn’t get home with photos of a Picasso-looking sheep. I’d just gotten my new 50mm f/1.8 lens so my aperture pretty much stayed on 1.8 which also helped the shutter speed. Then there was actually getting a good composition. I’d crouch down ready to snap a piglet when a goat would mistake my camera for a cup of food and out it’s face in front of the camera (scared me to death the first time!).
Meet Zen Goat – no small child can break his meditation
We spent the rest of the day taking photos, eating great food (my burger was the greatest thing on Earth), and trying to win prizes (I won a little bear! Karl let me win but still. Hehe). I even had my first Strawberry Sundae – the iconic Ekka snack. Night started to fall which meant my favourite part of photographing the Ekka – long exposures of the rides. I love this so much! Photography viewpoint: light trails=long shutter speed. I made my aperture small (f/22) to get the shutter speed as long as possible. I used my remote shutter (which ran out of battery before the fireworks – argh) to avoid camera shake from me pushing the button directly. Now, it’s not just about getting the right settings but having the patience to wait and wait and wait for the shot. Last year I waited about half an hour for two rides to operate in sync. This year was no different.
My patience paid off when the Hangover and the Ferris Wheel finally synced up
It seriously was a fantastic day! … And then came the editing the next day. Pretty sure I had square eyes by the end of it. I sent the select few off to the Ekka where they have since used them on their social media sites. As an amateur photographer, it was ridiculously exciting to see my photos out there being promoted. Even when I went to find the link for the Ekka website, they had my clown shot on their banner. My face = huge smile!
If you’d like to see some more of my Ekka photos, check them out on my Facebook page: Jacqui Schulz Photography or my Instagram: @jacquils
Can’t wait for Ekka 2015,
Official Ekka Photographer Jacqui