Every year, millions of tourists invade Munich for a visit of the original Oktoberfest (also known as “die Wiesn” by locals), the world’s biggest fair, first held on the Teresienwiese in 1810. There are four types of Oktoberfest visitors:
No. 1 – the Oktoberfest fanatic: he saves up all year and takes two weeks off – sometimes even longer if a recovery period is required – in order to party all day in the beer tent of his choice.
No. 2 – the casual Oktoberfest visitor: he may spend a few days partying in a beer tent with friends, preferably on the weekend, but also enjoys strolling across the Teresienwiese, eating cotton candy and roasted nuts and going on some of the rides.
No. 3 – the families: Tuesday afternoons is family day and the Oktoberfest swarms with children, parents and grandparents.
No. 4 – the Oktoberfest avoider: he doesn’t like big crowds and – mostly unsuccessfully – tries to avoid Oktoberfest and it’s effects on daily public life. He may even go so far as to flee the city and avoid it altogether.
When asking people from abroad about Oktoberfest, almost all of them immediately mention the beer tents, the stereotypical German/Bavarian music and the pretty dresses and Lederhosen (note to potential tourists, especially from Asia: no, the Oktoberfest is not a carnival, it is not mandatory to buy a cheap knock-off costume that looks authentic to you but – we promise you – isn’t…). Besides the huge and beautifully decorated beer tents, Oktoberfest also offers dozens of rides, from houses of horror to rollercoasters and shooting galleries. Every year there are some new attractions, others have been there for as long as any Wiesn-visitor can remember (some are over 90 years old). Not surprisingly – regardless of their age – one thing they all have in common is the ridiculously high admission fee.
Wether or not the Oktoberfest is your thing, I guess we can all agree that all those lights can be a fun challenge to capture at night. Flashing neo lights and ever-changing color sequence require many takes and a lot of experimentation with your camera. You can also expect to cross loads of people who want their picture taken, which is fun but inconvenient if you just set up a manual mode shot with 30 seconds of exposure. Bring a second camera if you can if you’d like to take people’s portrait while not messing up your long-exposure setup.
The following is a quick collection of some of the rides that turned out nicely. We’ve put up some additional portraits on Facebook so people can tag themselves if they find their picture.
We hope you’ve enjoyed this rundown of a couple of rides at night. What are your favorites? Have you been to the Oktoberfest before? Did we miss the best one? Let us know in the comments below!