Day & night shots at Oktoberfest's amusement park!

There is more to Oktoberfest than the massive beer halls, in fact it is one of the world’s largest amusement parks. What better place to try out another “day versus night” type post, so come join me for some bright neon lights and lots of fun!

Aside from plenty of revellers dressed in Lederhosen and Dirndl’s, you will also find a lot of something else at Oktoberfest: amusement park rides (lots and lots of them!)

In fact, many people attend the area just to walk around with their kids to enjoy the amusement park rides and buy some candy floss! Of course you also see the occasional person who has had too much to drink trying to attempt getting on a rollercoaster and instantly regretting it as they get on!

About the shots

I wanted to capture the bright daytime colours in contrast to the super bright neon lights at night-time. My plan was simple, go for a walk before, during, and after sunset and take some good shots! I took quite a lot of photographs this time, so will leave my comments to the end of the post.

As always, these shots are much better viewed on a tablet of computer screen. If you must view these on a mobile device, please turn it sideways to get a larger image.

About the film

All day shots were taken with Kodak’s Pro Image 100, with the night-time shots taken with the wonderful Cinestill 800 (perfectly suited to the bright neon lights!). In fact I shot 1 roll during the day and 2 at night. By far and above I had many more “keepers” during the night-time shots. My camera of choice was my Leica M6 with a 50mm f2 lens.

The daytime shots

All shot on Kodak’s Pro Image 100 film. This is a wonderful film, only recently available in Europe. I really like its bright colours and it works really well in bright sunny conditions. I have also used it very successfully with flash.

I prefer shooting amusement parks at night as it is funner with all the bright neon lights. I find it quite hard compositionally to get a good shot during the day as there is so much going on and too much “in the way”. I like how the darkness and contrast with the bright colours really makes for stronger images at night.

That is a lot of people!


The sunset shots

By this time I had loaded up my first roll of Cinestill 800 film. I wasn’t overly happy with many of these shots as I don’t think it was dark enough to get the full contrast of the bright neon lights, however the following ones came out quite well.

The night shots

This is where Cinestill 800 really comes into its own, I really love how well the bright neon lights come out with this film. There is a funny effect with white lights due to the chemicals in the film that cause them to come out in a bright red halo. I think I got some real winners, with the neon lights really come through strongly. There is lots of strong ambience in these photographs, especially those with a bit of movement. All of these were shot handheld, which is quite impressive given how dark it was and the fact that Cinestill 800 is ISO 800, which is not that high of an ISO for night shots.

Overall observations

I am really happy with how these shots came out, also considering it was no more than a few hours walk around just before sunset and right after. The Oktoberfest area is really enormous, so there were lots and lots of different amusement park rides to look at, I was really spoilt for choice when it came to having some great photo opportunities.

Cinestill 800 film continues to be one of my favourite films and a real winner for night-time shots where you have neon lights as your main subject. Typically, film photography is at a disadvantage compared to digital for low light shots, especially when shooting handheld. I am glad Cinestill film exists to allow for some colourful night shots to be taken without having to lug around a big tripod!

Thanks for stopping by and see you next time!

Neil