Allyn Fratkin's
Coaster Images
Home Page

Choose a Park:
Busch Gardens Tampa

Busch Gardens Williamsburg

Cedar Point

Knott's Berry Farm

Paramount's Great America

Paramount's Kings Dominion

Paramount's Kings Island

Six Flags Great America

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Souvenir Photos


Image Use Policy

Allyn's Home Page

Fratkin Site Overview


Allyn Fratkin's Coaster Images

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Can I use your image on my website or in my report?
  2. Do you take photos while riding?
  3. Do you take photos from back stage?
  4. Why Roller Coasters anyway?
  5. What kind of equipment do you use?
  6. Why do the images look so grainy or splotchy?
  7. Why do the images look so fuzzy on AOL?
  8. You didn't answer my question!
  1. Can I use your image on my website or in my report?

    Please see my page about this topic: Image Use Policy.

  2. 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.

  3. Do you take photos from back stage?

    No. I only take photos from publically-accessible areas.

  4. 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 trip.) 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.

  5. 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 Kodak 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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 Preferences. Click 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.

  8. You didn't answer my question!

    If you have a question that isn't answered here, just send email and ask.

Comments? Feedback?
Send some email: Allyn Fratkin <>
Want to know more about me? Visit my web site.

The images shown on these pages are Copyright © 1992-2003 Allyn Fratkin. Permission is required to use these images.