On the 27th December 2019 I went to the Europapark, Germany together with some friends. The Europapark is basically my home Amusement park because it’s located only two and a half hours from my home. Therefore, I know the park like the back of my hand. So this visit really didn’t suppose to be anything special besides hanging out with friends especially because I already did a photo set of my favorite attraction earlier in summer.
Yet I tool my camera kit with me. Due to the nature of the late time in the year, I had the opportunity to try something I wanted to try for a very long time.
During winter, the park usually opens at around 11 AM and closes at 8 PM, during the winter months the sun normally sets at around 4:30 pm by 5 pm its usually dark. Which gave me another three in the darkness, only lit by the beautiful winter-decoration of the park.
Yet the winter decoration isn’t my subject for tonight’s photoshoot. My (from a visual standpoint) favorite coaster, Bluefire has a pretty cool gimmick. Its trains are lit during the night. Mack Rides first shipped lit launch coaster trains with Helix in 2014 to Liseberg. Later I first noticed lit Blue Fire trains in Germany as well. My idea was to do a “long-time exposure” session and use the Train to paint my light Artwork.
I once tried that before. This summer in Gröna Lund, Sweden. Unfortunately, I wasn’t really happy with the results I got. But to be fair back in Sweden I had not prepared for any kind of long-time exposure work.
So this time I prepared myself for this low-light, long-time exposure session. My lens of choice was the Sony FE 4/12-24 G mainly because of its absurd wide angle. My goal was to capture as much track as possible, so the lit trains could travel a long distance through the framing. Secondly I settled for photo locations inside the track area (publicly accessible) where the wide angle becomes very handy.
The park did something unique when they decided to “divert” the queue inside their new Gazprom show building. And open the old queue to the public as sight-seeing tour around the coaster.
While many, including me dislike the new queue I have to admit that the newly created “photo-tour” is something quite unique and very interesting.
After a few test shots full of experimentation with timing, exposure length, ISO and Aperture I finally started to take photos which exceeded my expectations. The blue and white lights on the train, in combination with the cloudy sky which reflected the warmer lights from the park in the sky created true light-art pieces.
And that’s how a small experiment resulted in a few of my all-time favorite photos I ever took.