“And when you see light like this, trust me, it’s like a strawberry sundae with sprinkles.”
― Joe McNally, The Moment It Clicks: Photography Secrets from One of the World’s Top Shooters

The theme park, Carowinds, has been a special place for me since childhood.  While a young child, I couldn’t wait for my parents to take me to Carowinds for a day of adventure.  As an older child (sixteen), I began my first job there.  It was an amazing place to work as a teenager.  I worked for several seasons and made friendships that last to this day.  Now, my son, Jeremy, is finishing  his fourth summer working at the theme park.  It has, indeed, been a special place.

As an employee, Jeremy is provided with several free passes each season.  He always offers some of his passes to me.  This season, I was able to visit him at the park one day in July.  I found myself chasing light throughout the park.  The light in each of the images are what made the scene something interesting to photograph.

Tube Slides

Jeremy is a supervisor and trainer of lifeguards at the water park.  The afternoon of my visit, my eye was drawn first to the afternoon light shining through the tube slides.  I spent some time in the area in order to capture both the sun star and a rider of the slide.

As I was leaving the water park to enter the main park of the theme park, my eye was drawn to the light as it hit the fountain.

Golden Light on Fountain

I always enjoy photographing the swings at Carowinds and at fairs.  Since I am not able to take a tripod into Carowinds, I used my Playtpod Pro.  The Platypod Pro acts as a tripod when placed on the ground or other stable base.  It worked beautifully for capturing this image.


The best display of light was one of complete serendipity.  I rode the Skytower in order to get an overall view of the park.  I wanted to see if I could get some ideas for my next shot.  While on the Skytower, I noticed that a rainbow had formed in one area of the park.  As soon as I was back on the ground, I raced to the area of the park where I had seen the rainbow.  As I raised the camera to my eye to capture the rainbow, the rider from one of the rides entered my viewfinder!  I was beyond thrilled when my chosen shutter speed was adequate to freeze her in flight.

Rainbow Rider


Extraordinary light made each of these images.  I look forward to next  year when I will again get the opportunity to chase light at Carowinds!




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Comments (2)

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    Great photos, all of them Mary.

    1. Mary Presson Roberts

      Thanks so much, Dan!

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