Camera Caper Travel By Map Road Trip

Theme Park Photography Tips

19 April 2020 / By Dan M Lee
theme park photography guide

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Theme Park Photography Tips

No vacation is complete without a visit to a theme park, adrenaline junkies love them and for photography it’s a target rich environment.

Here are a few ideas to help create some great shots in theme parks.

Reading The Crowd

Theme parks are super busy places and a nightmare for the older folk who are dragged on rides to appease their grandchildren. Once you can spot this dynamic it’s great fun to capture the ying and yang of their expressions as they are thrown around from left to right in the cab of their coaster. 

Some of my favorite shots from theme parks have been from looking for this family dynamic in full effect. Keep your eyes open, it’s comedy gold.

Hersey Park Roller Coaster

Long & Short Exposures

Waiting for night fall presents some great opportunities to make some light trails, nearly every ride creates very smooth lines which make for great images.  

If it’s not quite dark enough add a low stop ND filter on your lens, very handy if you want to shoot at dusk and get the late evening sky (think just after golden hour) and the theme park rides in shot. 

In the shot below I used a 4 way mirror effect to create a symmetrical feel with the ride, I kept the shutter speed pretty fast so that the trails were short but long enough to show speed. 

Long Exposure Fairground Ride

Don't Forget The Dodgems

You say bumper cars, I say dodgems, either way it’s a brilliant source of human dynamics at play. Right there in full force.

Keep your ISO keen, shutter speed around 1/500th and continuous focus for this too work well, those dodgems move fast. Use the fastest glass you have as the light maybe limited. You can always drag the shutter with rear sync if you wanted to make some trails. 

Look out for the first daters, show offs and those who just want to cause carnage. Bonus points for the young at heart.  Great fun !

Theme Park Photography Ideas
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