The American Coaster Enthusiasts had flocked to Six Flags Magic Mountain in Valencia, Calif., to ride their hearts out on the roller coasters. I was there as a nonenthusiast to take pictures. OK, I've ridden the occasional coaster. But never with the glee of these fans, and not the 85-m.p.h. Goliath.
While it is possible to get roller-coaster shots from the ground, the most dramatic images are taken sitting up front and aiming back at the riders. So, armed with a wide-angle lens (and having had a light breakfast), I steeled myself and climbed aboard. We were off like a rocket. Pointing the camera backward, I clicked off a few dozen frames as the coaster went through gut-wrenching turns, drops, and loops. The problem: I couldn't look through the viewfinder to see what I was getting.
After the ride, I wobbled off to scroll through the digital images. Rats! All of them cut off the riders. I had to ride the coaster again. And again. At last! The only thing that needed color-correcting was me.