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Tips On Taking Photos At Summer Shows

Techniques > Tips On Taking Photos At Summer Shows

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Category: Landscape and Travel

Countryshow Photography Tips - How to take good photos at the one of the many agricultural events that will be held this summer.

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Right across the UK you'll find summer shows, fairs and agricultural events which are not only great days out, they're good locations for capturing some images too.

Summer show
Photo by David Clapp - www.davidclapp.co.uk


  • DSLR - Don't forget that Pentax is currently running several cashback offers on a range of products, including DSLRs. Visit the Pentax cashback website for more information. 
  • Lenses - Pack a couple of lenses such as your everyday, standard lens and something with a longer focal length. If you want to travel light pack a super zoom.



If you're there to photograph the various displays that will go on throughout the day make sure you arrive early to find a good spot and once you have one, don't move! Well, you can move but make sure you leave someone in your place otherwise another spectator will have bagged your location and you'll be photographing the show with a row of heads in your foreground.

It's Not Just About The Animals

Yes, dogs walking over see-saws and Shire Horses parading will make good shots but don't forget about the people who are there showing the animals too. You'll see various emotions cross their faces which are all worth a snap or too. Once you've used your zoom to get close to their faces try shooting some wider action shots of them directing their animals.


At shows where there's lots of activity going on it can be hard to avoid messy backgrounds. Having said that by taking a quick walk around the show ring before the event begins will give you chance to find the spot that means your shot will have the minimal amount of clutter in the background. If you've packed your superzoom you could always use it to crop in as much as you can or use a larger aperture to throw the distracting background out of focus.


If the weekend is anything to go by we should have a few more sunny days to look forward to which is great for us but it can mean your camera has a few problems when it comes to exposing. If you find your camera keeps under exposing the shot when you're out in the open and overexposing when you're taking photos when in marquees use exposure compensation and take a few test shots. You can get the same problem with horses too. Very dark horses can make the camera think it needs to overexpose the shot which makes them appear lighter than they are, while white horses will cause the opposite problem.


There will be plenty of people at the show walking around the grounds, watching the events and just enjoying the day so make sure you have your camera out ready to snap the odd candid or two.

Close Up Detail

Once you've captured a few spectators and have your shots of the animals on show have a go at getting close to some of the detail. This will mean you need to zoom in and/or move your feet to fill the frame with the object you're photographing. Buckles on horses, cakes on stands and jars of jam are just a couple of the items that are worth capturing in a close up. Just keep your depth of field shallow and use a tripod if you're working in a marquee to stop shake blurring your shots.

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