adds Hydra The Revenge video, photos

Posted Tuesday, May 24, 2005 11:18 AM | Contributed by Lord Gonchar has updated to include coverage of Dorney Park's new B&M floorless coaster, Hydra The Revenge. A two-minute video, 25 new photos and a desktop wallpaper image have been added to the site.

There are also new photos of many other attractions at Dorney Park & Wildwater Kingdom taken the day of CoasterBuzzCon this past weekend including Revolution, Screamin' Swing and several roller coasters.'s Dorney Park photo gallery now features over 300 photographs.


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Tuesday, May 24, 2005 1:58 PM
Hydra is now on my desktop. Thanks Gonchar!
Tuesday, May 24, 2005 5:24 PM
Wow, nice pics+video!

When I saw the thumbnails I first I thought they would be stills from the animation that was floating around. - but those are actual photos.

Seems like Hydra is painted in some nicely saturated colors.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 5:45 PM
I aim to please KTS. :)

superman - still learning my new camera. The colors do seem a bit vivid. Not sure if I like it or need to tone it back a bit. Looks good on brightly colored coaster parts, but things like skin tones and trees or grass are unnatural. Some pics seem to benefit from 'punching it up' like that while others looks worse. I've only had if for two park trips to mess with the settings, I'll get it sorted out over the next few weeks. :)

*** This post was edited by Lord Gonchar 5/24/2005 5:45:54 PM ***

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 7:10 PM
The color is fine... you've just had a bad habit of over-tweaking your film scans. Spend some time looking around during any given day and note the tones you see and the light above, then try to apply those images in your head to what you shoot. I'm not saying that it's bad to tweak up color, but I find that the white balance on that camera (you got the Canon, right?) is generally pretty good. Shoot in program mode and not the green box though, because it tends to do weird things with color.

One thing I do find useful on some shots is tweaking the levels to get a little more dynamic range, and with Photoshop CS you can do that right off the raw files, so you don't lose data and can essentially apply your own settings as if you're there shooting.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 7:34 PM
Well, with every camera I go through, I have to come up with a new workflow. It seems that once I get to a point I'm happy with, I end up getting a new camera. (maybe it's subliminal sadism)

Yeah, ended up cheaping out and picked the Rebel XT over the 20D.

I also suspect I'm losing something on the downsizing. Taking 8MP pics to the 760 pixel wide I use on the site is a long way to go. I know it sounds illogical, but in some cases the pics seem to lose a bit of sharpness on the downsize (which goes against what I understood) - so I'm also playing with different unsharp levels.

I have to admit to being a bit of a saturation whore. I just like the way the saturated pic have that 'pop' to them. The key is moderation. Still trying to decide what settings on the camera to use then where to go in Photoshop with it. Personally, I'd rather take the pics with the settings on the camera flat and do the post processing myself.

Overall, I'm more than happy with what I'm getting, I'm just a perfectionist. The old films scans kill me when I look at them these days and when I compare similar pics from this camera and the old consumer Olympus digital camera I had, the pics from this camera are light years beyond.

It seems like the wider the shot (more trees, supports, smaller faces) the less happy I am with the results. The tighter and more simple the shot, the happier I am. I simply love the Laser pic I snagged this weekend. If I could get everything to have that general quality, I'd be where I need to be.

The problem with experimenting is that nothing really compares to coaster pics. I've tried taking photos of almost everything I have easy access too since I got the camera about six weeks ago and playing with them in photoshop to get a decent grip on what workflow I need to go through. But nothing has quite the same qualities as the coaster pics I've taken. Therefore I haven't been able to successfully apply any generalizations from one to the other.

Maybe I should just adjust dynamic range, downsize and shut up. :)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 8:20 PM
Are you using CS? I ask because it has the native raw support. You can literally adjust the exposure from whatever the sensor saw pre-camera processing.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005 9:07 PM
Yes, I have CS.

The thing is I don't tend to shoot RAW at the parks.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005 10:08 PM
Great stuff, Gonch. Thanks for getting it up so quickly, as a way to help the memories last a bit longer.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005 11:04 PM
Always shoot raw... it makes a world of difference in your ability to fix something you aren't happy with.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005 12:45 AM
Glad you enjoyed, prabe. :)

Maybe I'll try shooting in RAW this weekend at Kennywood and see what happens. Might need to snag a few more CF cards if I decide to switch it over.

Storage is an issue on multi-day trips. Shooting in highest jpg with a 1GB card I can usually put 200 to 300 pics on it before I'm full. I've come close, but I don't think I've ever run out of room in a day. What I usually do from there is dump them onto my laptop in the hotel room and wipe the card clean for the next day. Once I get home I just have to move everything from the laptop to the desktop. With RAW space would be more of an issue and I'm not too fond of carrying a dozen Compact Flash cards with me. I just know I'd lose something. Since I moved to digital I've always just kept a big enough card in the camera to easily cover a day (200-300 pics) and then dumped to the laptop if I'm out more than a day.

Still, this weekend would be a good chance to mess with RAW in a park setting and decide which route to go before we take off on anymore big trips.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 3:19 PM
Holy moses!, those are somejaw droping picture, that must be one amazing camera.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005 6:28 PM
I like this one, especially. The pics are quite vivid.

I'm thinking about finally going digital. The Best Buy coupon for this weekend put me over the edge. Going between Sony & Canon.

My favorite thing about Gonch photos, is when you gets bored with captioning and just put "another look at..." "another look at..." for some reason, that always makes me laugh.

Going this weekend? Lemmee guess... Sunday?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 6:40 PM

My favorite thing about Gonch photos, is when you gets bored with captioning and just put "another look at..." "another look at..." for some reason, that always makes me laugh.

The key is to not point out my shortcomings. ;)

So the pics are vivid, but is it too much in your opinion?

Holy moses!, those are some jaw droping picture, that must be one amazing camera

Rebel XT - Nice, but far from top of the line stuff. Heck, I wouldn't even call it 'prosumer'. With SLR's like this one could probably get even better pics if they also invested in some good lenses. I'm the kind of idiot that sticks with cheap lenses on a good camera.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005 7:14 PM
The Rebel is essentially the same hardware as the 20D though. Only the firmware is really different. It's essentially a crippled 20D. Someone on some digital photo site outlined the difference, but it's still about the same.
Thursday, May 26, 2005 12:32 AM
This comparison?

Yeah, the XT is a lot closer to the 20D than the Rebel was to the 10D (without the hack).

I really wanted 8 megapixels and was waiting for an SLR to deliver it. When the 20D came out, I knew it was time to dive into digital full force. I was 2 days away from ordering the 20D when the XT was announced. Got lucky there as the differences listed in that link that favor the 20D are all things that don't seem too important in my situation while the three in favor of the XT are all things that mattered to me - cost and size.

Still I wouldn't turn away the 1DS-Mark II - anyone want to pitch in for the $8000 price tag? 16 megapixels is enough for a two page spread in a magazine at 300dpi. I could see that camera being useful for a long time to come.

Bah. Sorry to turn this into Photography Talk. We'll see what happens with the pics from KW this weekend, I guess.

Friday, May 27, 2005 1:47 PM
Sorry, had to come back with more photo talk.

The RAW files shot by the XT are different than ones shot by the 20D which in turn are different than those shot by the 10D and Rebel.

CS doesn't support RAW files from the XT. CS2 does with an additional upgrade download.

So to shoot in RAW off of the XT, I have to upgrade to CS2 and then update it with the 3.1 Camera Raw update.

Good thing I caught that before I went and popped off 100 shots at KW in RAW this weekend. :)

Looked at CS2, not sure if the RAW ability is worth it alone to upgrade. A lot of the other new features don't really call out to me. With decent plug-ins, I'm doing most of what Adobe has added that appeals to me in CS2.

Guess I'm stuck shooting JPG a little while longer.

*** This post was edited by Lord Gonchar 5/27/2005 1:48:48 PM ***

Friday, May 27, 2005 3:24 PM
The software that comes with the camera will also do about the same thing I would think, it just adds a step to the workflow (convert to something uncompressed like tiff).

Before Photoshop CS came out, I used an older version of BreezeBrowser, which worked pretty well for me:

Friday, May 27, 2005 3:48 PM
Duh! Talk about missing the obvious. Good point.

I never even installed any of the software that came with the camera. I just move the files from the card to my hard drive and open them in Photoshop.

Again, something I'll have to play with.

Friday, May 27, 2005 9:54 PM
I do that too, but that's because the 10D is USB, not USB2 or FireWire. Faster to use a card reader.

I just put the Mac software on Steph's iBook and it seems a little better than the stuff I first tried way back in the days of the D60.


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