Taking on-ride pics hints/tips

Sunday, May 13, 2001 8:26 PM
Do you have any hints for taking your own on-ride pics? I want to eventually take onride pics of Hurricane and Cornball Express...how do you hold the camera and where are good spots? Any help would be appreciated :)

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-Glitchey
Who was at BGW on April 28th.
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Sunday, May 13, 2001 8:56 PM
I know someone who has taken lots of onrides.
Not me! It's against park rules, I would never do that! ;) ......

First, don't use a disposable camera, even the best ones don't preform well.

Second, don't use any camera that you don't want to lose. A 35mm point and shoot will work fine. I've never had a problem, but let's face it, there is a chance your camera will end up in a million pieces under the ride. I don't take my good camera on rides!

As for taking the pictures, first secure your camera to yourself. A wrist strap tightly secured to your arm will prevent the camera from flying, should it slip out of hands. Oh, take the front seat, it's the best place. The best places on the ride to take pictures are the places where the train is going the slowest. The crest of the first hill is usually great, and the crests of other hills will sometimes turn out well. Don't try to hold the viewfinder up to your eye, it doesn't work on the ride and your camera might just smack you in the face because of the Gs. Just try to hold the camera straight and at the level of your head. Don't be surprised if many onrides don't come out well. If you get one really good one out of 10, consider yourself lucky! There are too many variables to guarantee that onride shots will turn out well.

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- Peabody *** This post was edited by Peabody on 5/14/2001. ***
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Monday, May 14, 2001 5:00 AM
I took a video on the DBH using a digital camera and it was hard to do.
It turned out ok, but not like the ones for the shows where they bolt it to the front.

Each time the train crests a hill, your body gets the air time and this causes your arms to drop down. It's hard to hold the camera steady.
Hold your arms close to your body and keep the camera against your chest.

Only did it for the DBH, and I won't do it anymore. It takes away from the ride experience. Who wants to wait in line for a ride, then worry about taking pictures? Plus most coasters have cameras watching you go up the lift hill. It's just not worth it.
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Monday, May 14, 2001 5:53 AM
If you have the camera secured to your wrist won't the ride ops be able to see it. I though most parks do not allow you to take camera on the rides. I have thought of having one in a fanny pack and getting it out after you leave the station.
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Monday, May 14, 2001 7:02 AM
Well, I've managed to get around the problem of getting my camera past the ride ops. I always ask for permission (or take advantage of known policy) before shooting on board a coaster. By not sneaking around, I can take suitable precautions with the camera before the ride starts.

I gave up on on-ride stills a long time ago because I was never really happy with them. But I have shot lots of on-ride video, most recently of The Legend at Holiday World on Friday evening. I use a small camcorder, small enough that I can hold it in one hand, and I keep the hand strap tight enough that even if I open my hand the strap can't slip over my knuckles. The camera is small enough that my hand wraps around both the top and the bottom of the camera, so it's literally going nowhere. I have a wrist strap I constructed specifically for on-ride shooting, which cinches around my wrist and attaches to the tripod socket on the bottom of the camera, but I keep forgetting to take it with me into the park.

When possible I prefer to hold on to the camera with both hands in order to get a more stable shot. Rather than bracing the camera against my body, I prefer to take advantage of the fact that my arm really is a sophisticated shock-absorbing, balancing system. Image stabilization on the camera seems to help a little, but good hand-holding is the real key. When shooting video you might want to pull the lap bar down an extra notch or cinch the seat belt up a little so that you don't have to concern yourself so much with stabilizing your body, and you can work with the camera instead. You'll find that hand-held video is usually more satisfying than the tied-down stuff they use on the TV shows because with the hand-held camera you can anticipate the ride elements visually. You can look down that hill when it comes, you can see the spiral drop coming, stuff like that.

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
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Monday, May 14, 2001 10:15 AM
Just to drive the Dave's point home, the number one tip on taking on-rides is to make sure to follow the park's policy, or at least make sure you won't get booted from the park if caught. An on-ride isn't that much IMHO.

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Scott W. Short
scott@midwestcoastercentral.com
http://www.midwestcoastercentral.com
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Monday, May 14, 2001 11:39 AM
I've got Alpen, Apollo, Batman, Magnum, Mean Streak, Gemini, Serial Thriller, Lightning Racer, sooperdooperlooper and Big Dipper.

I used (emphasis on used) to use a diposal which works great but on-rides arent worth sneaking around for. They aren't that cool.

________________________
"It's Sadie Hawkins Dance, I'll wear my khaki pants, there's nothin' better" relientK
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Monday, May 14, 2001 12:03 PM
By the way, Scott, how did your The Legend footage come out??

--Dave Althoff, Jr.
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Monday, May 14, 2001 12:32 PM
I'll check it out tonight. I haven't had the chance to look at it after SRM, SFKK, and CP this weekend.

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Scott W. Short (who just got a new miniDV camera)
scott@midwestcoastercentral.com
http://www.midwestcoastercentral.com
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Monday, May 14, 2001 12:33 PM
I know of some parks/rides that will take your camera away and destroy the film, and there is a pretty heavy fine, but I will not tell you which park because I hope you get in trouble. I was riding a coaster and someones camera flew out of their hand and hit a guest in front of my seat. The person was prosecuted by the park and sued by the guest who was injured. So think twice before you do stupid crap on a ride.
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Monday, May 14, 2001 12:44 PM
They actually have a policy for bring cameras on the ride?!?! I know the ride ops have seen me take on camera on-ride. I even took a pic looking out of the station on one coasters!!

Also, I always have a camera with a neck strap, so that may be why the ride ops never say anything.

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It's my opinion!
You ain't going to change it!
Why even try?
*** This post was edited by The Shy One on 5/14/2001. ***
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Monday, May 14, 2001 12:51 PM

Boat69 said:
"...I hope you get in trouble."


Come on man, didn't you read previous posts? Most of us do it responsibly by following park rules, and getting permission. Sure there are probably people out there who don't, but what's so wrong if we have permission. I have found that many parks are MORE than cooperative and friendly.

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- Peabody
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Monday, May 14, 2001 9:36 PM
Don't use a disposable camera!? I guess for the most part ur right... When Mamba opened at Worlds of Fun, I grabbed my friends disposable camera at the top of the lift and shot one picture. It is one of the best pictures I have ever taken and is poster size on my wall now.

Way back when, I had these cool red sunglasses (hint hint, the 80's) with red plastic lenses. I took a picture of the Texas Cyclone and put one of the sunglasses' lenses in front of my camera, and what came out was amazing! So professional looking.
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Monday, May 14, 2001 9:54 PM
I didn't say that a good pic can't be taken with a disposible. I have done it before, but, the quality often leaves much to be desired. You can get consistantly better onride shots with a 35mm point and shot, from my experience.

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- Peabody
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