Podcast #1303 – Photography rant… landscape vs. portrait

This is a podcast full of photography talk. Joel goes on another camera rant. He talks about landscape (wider than taller) versus portrait (taller versus taller). Joel points out that nearly every screen you will view your pictures and videos on is wider than it is taller. It may have a 4:3 or 16:9 or some other aspect ratio, but almost every monitor and TV screen will be the wide landscape orientation.

Joel hates to see YouTube videos that were shot with the phone upright… The huge black bars on either side of the screen are a waste of space. Try turning the camera 90-degrees!!!

And speaking of videos, here is the CoasterGallery.com YouTube page:

As always, be sure to listen to the end of the episode. There is usually an ‘Easter Egg’ or blooper at the end!

Podcast #1302 – Dreamworld

Joel first talks about his visit to Australia’s Dreamworld amusement park.

Joel and Jeff talk about the record-setting launched rides by Intamin. Only two of the type were built, Dreamworld‘s Tower of Terror, and Six Flags Magic Mountain‘s Superman The Escape. These rides use Linear Induction Motors to launch trains over 100 MPH. The coasters were both the world’s tallest and fastest coasters for a while.

In the past few years, both of these rides were modified to have riders face backward during the launch.

Joel is headed to Massachusetts this weekend… Where do you think he should go? He suggests Six Flags New England or Canobie Lake.

The talk soon switches to photography. With a zoom lens, is it better to get close and shoot wide or move further away and zoom on with the lens? The answer: Zoom in and move away. Shooting with a wide-angle lens makes everything in focus, but a zooming in helps blur the background. The blur, or ‘bokeh’ in Japanese, will really help make your photography better.

If you use a iPhone wide lens, take a picture of your face up close… and you can’t see your ears. With a zoom lens, the face’s proportions look so much better!

Overall, there are lots of bad jokes and puns in this episode… And our first stripper reference!

Podcast #1301 – Looping Woodies

Recorded in February 2013, Jeff and Joel Rogers talk about the three looping wooden coasters that are being built this summer. The discussion begins with the failed Son of Beast, the first modern wooden coaster with a loop. SOB only lasted a few years before Kings Island removed the loop, and the whole ride was recently demolished… after only running less than 10 years.

Here are the three wooden coasters getting loops this summer: Hades at Mt. Olympus is being converted into Hades 360 with the addition of a 360-degree roll. Jeff and Joel agree that this is true wood coaster despite the fact that it has steel supports.

Outlaw Run at Silver Dollar City in Branson, MO is being built by Rocky Mountain Construction. It will feature two rolls! But since the top of the track has a larger piece of metal that most other wood coasters, it is a little debatable if it is a wood coaster or a steel coaster. Most people call it a woodie, but who really cares… it looks like a great ride no matter how you categorize it!

The Rattler at Six Flags Fiesta Texas is being converted into the Iron Rattler for 2013. It will be getting the “Iron Horse” treatment from Rocky Mountain Construction. The layout will be greatly changed and a loop will be added. But since the track is being replaced by a steel I-beam, Jeff and Joel don’t really consider it a wooden coaster. But whatever you call it, it will be a huge improvement over the incredibly rough Rattler.

The Texas Giant at Six Flags Over Texas was the first coaster to get the “Iron Horse” conversion, and Joel loved that ride! He talks about how the ride was greatly improved.

So how will these new coasters be? Will they be a hit, or will they flop like Son of Beast? We will find out later this summer.

Joel moved onto listener comments about Son of Beast, although he probably butchered everyone’s name!

Joel talks about the new additions to CoasterGallery.com. He recently added Denmark’s Fårup Sommerland.

Joel ends with podcast with a photography assignment. He asks that you take a picture with a camera with an optical zoom. Start close to the subject and zoom out to a wide view. Take some steps back, and then zoom in to keep the subject the same size. So what is better? Being close with a wide angle lens, or being farther away with a zoom lens?

New CoasterGallery.com YouTube Videos

In case you have missed all of the roller coaster videos, I have put a bunch of clips up on YouTube. I hope you subscribe to the CoasterGallery.com YouTube channel because I have a lot more to add in the next few months!

In addition to the roller coaster videos, I will post some of the Podcasts on YouTube. Here is a preview:

CoasterGallery.com Podcast #1212 – Live from Silverwood Theme Park!

Joel is on location recording a live interview with Lane from Silverwood Theme Park. Home to two cool wooden coasters, the first coaster with a Corkscrew loop, and a Vekoma Giant Inverted Boomerang ride, Silverwood sits in northern Idaho. One coasters has four tunnels and passes underground and right through the gift shop!

CoasterGallery.com now has lots of new pictures and videos of Silverwood Theme Park! Here are a couple little previews:

Podcast #1211 – Hurricane Sandy and Disney buys Lucas

In this special episode of the CoasterGallery.com podcast, Joel talks about Disney purchasing Lucas Arts from George Lucas. The Mouse now owns ILM, Skywalker Sound, and the Star Wars franchise. This gives Disney a ton of possibilities in the futures. Besides three new Star Wars movies, Joel talks about possible Star Wars impacts on Disney parks in the future.

Hurricane Sandy (or Superstorm Sandy depending on how picky you are) recently slammed into the East Coast of the United States. Several amusement parks were greatly effected, but Casino Pier and Funtown Pier here hit hardest. A few roller coasters were completely destroyed, most notably the Star Jet and Looping Coaster were both destroyed.

Fortunately, the Coney Island and Morey’s Piers parks emerged with only minor damage.

Joel wished the people dealing with this disaster and asked for listeners to help donate to help with the cleanup efforts.

Joel also gave a live hint of the next park he will discuss… Listen and see if you can tell where he is!

Podcast #1210 – Cameras on mars, camera sounds, and Ben Folds covering himself

Since the last podcast was covering roller coasters, this week we only quickly mention roller coasters.  CoasterGallery.com was updated with pictures from the TusenFryd amusement park in Oslo, Norway.

Joel then moves on to his photography rant.  He gets really mad at camera noises in quiet environments like in a church.  He urges everyone to silence their digital camera since the shutter noises drive him crazy.  Joel gives a photography tip that can be used by any modern digital camera to make you look, and sound, more professional.

Joel has another photography rant… He talks about the new Mars Science Laboratory , the Curiosity rover,  and the 17 cameras on board.  Some people have badmouthed the rover for only having 2 megapixel cameras, but he brought out the fact that the cameras are incredibly advanced despite the 2meg title.  Don’t let the guy in the blue shirt at the store tell you that a camera with a larger megapixel rating is better than one with less pixels.  He mentioned the Canon PowerShot G9 12.1MP Digital Camera outperforming the Canon Powershot G10 14.7MP Digital Camera.  Bottom line… MEGAPIXELS DOES NOT EQUAL QUALITY!

Joel then switches to music.  This week he talks about Effington by Ben Folds.  There is the original Effington studio version, plus the “a cappella” Effington (University A Cappella Version)
track where Ben does all of the sounds himself.  (As usual, these links allow you to purchase the songs with CoasterGallery.com getting a little of the proceeds to help fund this podcast.  Thanks in advance!)

Episode #1209 – Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park

Today’s Podcast comes live from a mountaintop amusement park in Colorado.  Listen as I get to interview the owner of the one of the coolest amusement parks I have been to!  The Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park started when the Fairy Caves opened to the public in 1895 but were closed in 1917. The caves reopened in 1998 and now cave tours are available year-round.  The only way into the park is the Iron Mountain Tramway, a nearly mile-long ride which carries guests from the floor of the Roaring Fork Valley to the top of Iron Mountain.  About 10 years ago, the park started adding rides to keep people entertained while waiting to tour the cave.

The park added two new coasters, Cliffhanger and Wild West Express, in 2012.  The park also has an amazing Alpine Coaster that is open all year!  Glenwood Springs, Colorado is also home to one of the scariest rides I have ever been on… The Giant Canyon Swing.  The S&S Swing takes is literally built on the side of the mountain and swings riders out over a 1,300 foot drop off.  I didn’t tape my rides on the swing since my language was a little too colorful to broadcast, but I can say that it is one of the most intense experiences I have been through!

I also added three videos of Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park:

Podcast #1208 – The Scariest Ride, Luna Park, and more RAW talk

Joel visited a dozen amusement parks in July and gives a quick summary of the places he codumented.  He also announced the arrival of more Australian pictures… Luna Park in Sydney.  The park, which opened originally in the 1930s but has been closed for various years during its history, is home to one cool old wooden Wild Mouse roller coaster.  It sits right next to the amazing Sydney Harbour Bridge, which Joel actually climbed to its peak during his trip to Australia.

At 4:00, Joel switches to photography talk and goes into more details on his JPG versus RAW debate.  He talked about how programs like Lightroom don’t change the original RAW file, while if you Open, edit, and Save a JPG file, data is lost forever.

At 7:00, a new CoasterGallery.com Contest is opened up!  He recently visited a park with the scariest ride he has ever been on, and he want to see if you know what ride he is talking about.  Listen to the podcast for some big clues.  If you can guess the amusement park he is talking about, email him and you will get a prize!!! (Listen to the podcast for details.)

Even if you don’t know which park he is talking about, he will give the answer and release the pictures from that park in the future.

At 11:00 minutes, he talks about two versions of one song.  He like both the original The Boy In The Bubble by Paul Simon as well as Peter Gabriel’s The Boy In The Bubble cover.  One song is upbeat with cool South African music, one is not.  Which one do you prefer?

And as usual, there is a little hidden “Easter Egg” at the end of the show… another helpful appearance by my voice-over artist.


Podcast #1207 – Dorney Park, JPEG vs. RAW

Today marks my first interview from inside an amusement park.  Carrie Basta, Public Relations Director of Dorney Park, talks about the park’s history and its new coasters.  With this new podcast, CosaterGallery.com released new pictures of Hydra, Stinger, Possessed, Steel Force, Thunderhawk, Talon, and more.

Joel and Jeff then talk about photography, specifically the difference between JPG files and RAW files.  Joel likes RAW files because they are uncompressed and have a lot more data, but he has to do some post-processing.  On the other hand, everyone can open a JPG file without any additional work or processing.

Joel ends the episode with a preview of the amusement parks he will be visiting later this summer.