Cameras at the Amusement Park?

Taking pictures at an amusement park can be lots of fun and worthwhile.  Amusement parks are designed to be pleasing to the eye, so they, naturally, are great places for photography. When you go to these places with family or friends, you want to capture images to help you remember the great times.  These pictures will be important to you as your family grows up and moves out of those precious, early years.  Capture them at the highest resolution you can, and think about the image before you press the shutter button.

Close up candid portrait of grandmother and granddaughter

As usual, you have to consider what gear to take.  In the last blog, I was showing my granddaughters' wonderful breakfast at the Magic Kingdom Castle in DisneyWorld.  To get those shots, I had to bring in some gear because my compact Nikon P6000 wouldn't give me the versatility I wanted.  So, I carried my small Tenba camera bag, loaded with gear, the rest of the day around the park.  I was fine with that, since we were toting the grandson (18 months old), and we usually had someone to watch the gear while the others rode the attractions.  Otherwise, the gear would really have slowed me down.

Sword in the stone at DisneyWorld, Orlando, Florida.

On the days that I carried my camera bag, I had the ability to use my lenses to create the images I wanted.  The girls were overwhelmed by castle's size, so I used the wide angle to exaggerate it. But there were times, I needed to use the long lens to capture a scene from a distance. The versatility and speed of my SLR and lenses came in handy as I tried to capture the dolphin show at Sea World without knowing the choreography beforehand.

Wide angle photograph of the Magic Kingdom castle in Disney World, Orlando, Florida 

Sea World swimmer leaps with dolphin.

So, am I saying to bring all your gear?  Not necessarily.  When we went to Universal Studios, the crowds were shoulder-to-shoulder all day long.  Luckily for me, I brought only the compact camera.  Here is what we saw at the entrance to Universal Studios.  Hmmm, getting a clear shot is going to be difficult.

crowds at Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida

You can certainly do a fine job of capturing the fun with your compact camera.  If you take the time to learn your compact's capabilities and limitations, your images will show it.  Today's compacts are very capable.  In fact, most can capture images superior to the film cameras we used just a few short years ago.  Don't hesitate to use them.  They have one great advantage - you can put them into your pocket when you ride!  Yet, they can still capture images of our happy family and friends in images that will last as long as we can.

Riding the fish in Universal Studios, Orlando, Florida

candid portrait of smiling girl at an amusement park