- Can I use your image on my website or in my report?
Please see my page about this topic: Image Use Policy.
- Do you take photos while riding?
No. Many parks forbid photo-taking while on the ride (Paramount's Kings
Island comes to mind) and I think it is safer for everyone to keep
cameras and other loose objects secured while riding.
- Do you take photos from back stage?
No. I only take photos from publically-accessible areas.
- Why Roller Coasters anyway?
Why not? I enjoy photography and riding roller coasters.
This merges two of my hobbies.
Roller coasters are actually quite picturesque, with graceful
flowing lines, and often in beautiful wooded settings.
I didn't intend to become a "roller coaster photographer", it just
happened. The first photographs (Six Flags Great America, Cedar Point,
and Paramount's Kings Island) were just my personal vacation
snaps taken on a coaster-riding vacation in August, 1992.
(That's why the coverage is so poor of the parks from that
It was only later that I realized that I could share them
with other folks on the USENET rec.roller-coaster newsgroup
(this was before the World Wide Web existed).
It was after my photos started being seen and I started
getting positive feedback that I decided to start purposely taking
photos of roller coasters.
- What kind of equipment do you use?
Originally I used a Minolta XE-7 35mm camera
with a 28-85mm zoom lens. That was a great camera, but finally
age got the better of it a few years back.
For all of the later shots, I used my wife's
Canon EOS 10S camera with 28-85mm zoom lens or 70-210mm zoom lens.
I use standard Kodak negative film (usually ASA/ISO 100) and have the
film developed and printed at a regular photo finisher.
I started off scanning 4"x6" prints using a Hewlett-Packard
ScanJet IIc scanner connected to a Hewlett-Packard UNIX
workstation. The quality I was able to achieve seemed
excellent at the time.
Starting in October, 1996, I changed processes.
I now have the
negatives scanned onto
PhotoCD. This gives a very high quality scan detail-wise, but
often requires a fair amount of color correction, especially with
photos taken on cloudy days. But after correction, the quality is
outstanding. The images are much sharper and with better colors
than I was ever able to achieve by scanning prints.
I have since had all of the older negatives scanned onto PhotoCD and
I have replaced the older images with PhotoCD-scanned
versions. The PhotoCD-scanned versions are easy to recognize
(besides the sharpness and bright colors):
they have a copyright notice and my website address on them;
the older images scanned from prints only have my name.
You may see the old versions of my images floating around on the net.
Even though I have a digital camera,
all of these roller coaster
images are taken with a film camera. I just haven't been satisfied
with the quality of the digital photos I have taken of roller coasters.
- Why do the images look so grainy or splotchy?
Your display hardware is probably limited to displaying a maximum
of 256 colors at a time. This just isn't enough colors to faithfully
display photographic images.
On some graphics cards, you can change the settings to increase the
color depth. On a PC, "High Color" is a much better choice
than "256 Color" if your graphics card is capable
("True Color" is the best).
On Windows 95, right click on the Desktop and choose Properties,
then the Settings tab.
Note that as your screen resolution increases the number of colors that
can be displayed decreases, because the video ram on the
graphics card is a fixed size.
Even "High Color" can sometimes show splotchy colors, especially
in shots with blue sky where the color subtly changes. Changing
to "True Color" fixes this problem entirely.
- Why do the images look so fuzzy on AOL?
The AOL browser compresses images by default for faster download.
Unfortunately, this makes the image quality very poor. To fix this,
click the "My AOL" icon at the top of the screen and choose
on the WWW icon and select the "Web Graphics" tab. Uncheck "Use compressed
graphics" and click Apply. This should improve the image quality
on all sites (but images may take longer to download). You can change
it back at any time.
Thanks to Imaging Resource
for the details on making this change.
- You didn't answer my question!
If you have a question that isn't answered here, just
send email and ask.