Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Photo Shoot: Branson

If your specialty is celebrity or live concert photography, you probably already know what a great place Branson, Missouri is for this type of work. There are constant shows and concerts, music and comedy acts happening all around town.

If you are indeed going to Branson for photographing some of its countless shows with many big names as headliners, it is imperative to research before your trip to see what shows are playing at which times. If this is not done, you will be using up a lot of your time after arrival deciding which shows to see. It is much better to have prior plans about which acts you will be attending.

If you visit the area for some relaxation as well as your photography work, try spending an afternoon at Silver Dollar City. It is a theme park with numerous restaurants, places to shop, and places to grab something to eat. But as with everything else in town, it wouldn't be Branson without shows, so the theme park offers those as well. If you are extra brave, try snapping some shots while riding the thrill rides but use the proper precautions for those kinds of photographs.

There are various caves to explore with your cameras in and around Branson. A one hour tour of one of them is included with your theme park ticket, but there are others as well.

The paddleboat cruise called the Branson Belle will provide opportunity for some great shots. There is a show and meal included with this cruise, so it is another opportunity to get a little "vacation" out of this trip even if it is the working kind of vacation.

If you enjoy taking pictures of the outdoors and nature in general, you may want to ride the 40 miles that the Branson Scenic Railway provides. You will be riding through the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. Be advised that this attraction (as well as theme parks and some other things in town) will not be available during the winter months due to the location and problems with wintry conditions.

For some fun action photos, try White Water, a water park. Get ready to take your pictures as riders are doing a 400 foot drop on the Raging River Rapids or any of the other water slides and plunges that are found at White Water. There is even a wave pool here. This is another place that is open only during the warm months of the year.

And finally, for something very different from what you will find at other places, ride the amphibious vehicle called Ride the Ducks. They are renovated WWII era vehicles and are operated by Coast Guard trained captains. The ride lasts an hour and a half and you will be doing the water part of the tour on the Table Rock Lake. The land part of the tour will take you through parts of the town.

Table Rock Lake, by the way, offers some fabulous diving opportunities, so if you enjoy underwater photography, be sure to take the proper equipment for being able to take advantage of the lake's offerings.

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