Matthew Cooper Photography

The Distance of Tomorrow

PhotographyMatthew CooperComment

A big theme for my shooting last trip was compression. I shot with the Nikon 70-200 2.8 ALOT and played around with compressing spaces often as opposed to using it just to zoom in on stuff. The result is some of my favorite pictures ever came from my last trip. I look forward to trying out more new things on my next Disney trip. Enjoy.

Also I have started a newsletter that will be a nice monthly (biweekly?) summary of my photos and videos along with some extras. If you'd like to receive that you can sign up using the subscribe panel on the right.

Finally don't forget to check out the recently revamped FB Group I run for learning and sharing Disney Photography at https://www.facebook.com/groups/disneyphotographyinstitute

The Moon Castle of Liberty Square

PhotographyMatthew CooperComment

Yet another shot I found lurking in my library just waiting to get out. I posted another shot from this series but it was a tight telephoto shot on the castle. Originally I thought I preferred that shot, but now I think I like this one more. Really I guess I'm just splitting hairs as I think they are both nice. I hope you enjoy this one and have a great weekend!

Editing Pirates of the Caribbean Like a BOSS

TutorialMatthew CooperComment

Having a hard time editing your Pirates of the Caribbean shots? Struggle no more. This week's episode I show you how to edit Pirates of the Caribbean shots to look AWESOME.

Here Doggy - Watch the tutorial to edit your PotC shots like this.

Be sure to leave a comment to let me know what you think or show off your Pirates of the Caribbean shot edited using these techniques!

There's Magic in the Kingdom

PhotographyMatthew CooperComment

I was going through my library to see if I could find something worthwhile to edit that I hadn't processed yet. I stumbled across this shot and was honestly kinda shocked I hadn't processed it yet. A perfectly good Cinderella Castle sunset shot completely untouched? I'll take it, and I have to say this is has ended up being one of my favorite castle sunset shots I've done to date. I hope you like it too. Enjoy.

Don't miss my Disney Photo Editing series on YouTube. If you are interested in seeing techniques I use to edit my photos (now in smaller bit size form) be sure to check those out on YouTube.

Disney Photo Editing Video Series

Tutorial, PhotographyMatthew CooperComment

A few weeks ago I started back with my photo editing series on Youtube. These videos are designed to help you learn Photoshop and become better at editing your photos. Of course I do all this with a Disney spin as I use Disney photos for all the tutorials. I created a new page called Tutorials here on the site that will showcase all of the videos. Alternatively you can subscribe to the videos on Youtube. Be sure to let me know what you think of these videos and what you'd like to see in future episodes.

TravelNoob - New Travel Site

Site NewsMatthew CooperComment
travelnoobscreenshot.jpg

Hey everyone, I wanted to share a new project I started with my good friend Jourdan Laik. Here's a brief synopsis of what we're trying to do:

"If you’ve ever searched for places to visit you will notice that there are very few locations that have photos. It’s difficult to see what to expect. If there are photos they’re often pretty worthless. Not inspiring at all. So we’re going to change that.

TravelNoob showcases the beauty of locations through photography so you'll know what to expect. Jourdan and myself will be exploring locations throughout the USA (some famous and some not so famous) bringing back the best photographs we know how to make. Live vicariously through the images, become inspired and motivated to get out there and visit many of these wonderful locations for yourself."

I'd love if you'd check it out, give us feedback.

The website is http://www.travelnoob.net

Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!

Mouse About Town

PhotographyMatthew CooperComment

Here we've got a shot of one of the shop entrances in Hollywood Studios. I personally really like the signage used for most of the shops in Hollywood Studios though a lot of the neon can be difficult to photography correctly. Still, I'm always up for a challenge and this one wasn't particularly difficult. Mickey's hand moves on this sign so I took a high iso shot to freeze it but in the end decided not to use it as I preferred the look of motion. Enjoy.

Monorail in the Sunlight

PhotographyMatthew CooperComment

This is one of those shots I just happened to luck into. I wasn't looking to take this shot but as I was walking here towards Imagination I saw the monorail coming and quickly fired off a bracket and the elements were just there for a nice picture. Anytime I can get a sunburst and some cloud action I'm pretty happy. Enjoy.

Snow White's Cottage

PhotographyMatthew CooperComment

I have worked on this shot longer than any other from this past trip. I started editing this thing in November and have worked on it off and on since then, finally finishing it on Wednesday. The reason being is the awful blue lighting the imagineers have placed all throughout new Fantasyland. I really hate it, and this location in particular I thought suffered from it. So of course I wanted to color correct it but it was just spilling everywhere, on the cottage, on the trees, on the ground and it really took a long time to properly fix. I didn't have the patience to do it all in one go and so that's why it's taken my so long to finish this one.  I'm still not sure the final result is ideal but I think it's a definite improvement over what the scene originally offered.

Ultimately it would be nice if Disney at some point altered the lighting in New Fantasyland to something more natural. I guess with the blue lights they were trying to to make things feel more nightish? I'm not sure but that doesn't make much sense as those lights come on, you guessed it, at night! It's the only place in the parks they've done this, and I think it was a mistake. /end rant and Enjoy.

Be Our Guest Grand Ballroom

PhotographyMatthew CooperComment

Finally I was able to get back in to Be Our Guest restaurant since our first visit during AP previews. The theming is second to none of course and the food was pretty good to me at least. I always get steak pretty much wherever we dine and I enjoyed the garlic herb butter sauce that came with this particular steak. It's no Le Cellier steak but it's also nearly half the price so it matched my expectations. Enjoy!

Cinderella Ice Castle

PhotographyMatthew CooperComment

Today's shot is pretty straight forward but actually took quite a while to process. I had a ton of flaring in the sky in this shot from I can assume the light of the dreamlights. This took what would usually be a 3 minute job working on the sky and turned it into a 45 minute job. Worth it in the end I suppose to get the nice clean distraction free sky. Hope you enjoy!

 

Rapunzel's Tower in the Night

PhotographyMatthew CooperComment

Here's a pretty basic shot of Rapunzel's Tower. Instead of shooting over the fence I decided to use it to create some foreground interest. I really like how it crosses the frame here and the light from the post lamp looks great on the wood. And of course no night time shot is complete without stars so they're here too. Have a great weekend everyone and enjoy!

 

Splash Out of the Light & Into the Darkness

PhotographyMatthew CooperComment

Every once in a while I'll try something different with my editing in an effort to break up the sameness and today's photo is representative of that. When I started working on this shot it was clear from the beginning using my standard editing procedure would have less than stellar results. I spent a bit first building a color palette the image would live in. I then worked on recoloring the image to live in that space. Once that was completed I did a significant amount of dodging and burning to help bring a moodiness to the image. I did a bit of final color toning and then one final round of dodging and burning to get to this final result. I personally really love it and hope you will too!

Prince Charming Regal Carousel of Light & Color

PhotographyMatthew CooperComment

I have very few shots of the Carousel and I think the reason being is even after closing there seems to be an inordinate amount of strollers parked around it. As the bane of my Disney photography existence the last thing I want is to take a shot with entire rows of strollers in it! I got around it in this case by shooting from the flower bed and shooting the inner part of the Carousel. Enjoy

Harper's Mill & the Liberty Belle

PhotographyMatthew CooperComment

I was looking through my library of images for something a bit different to edit and this day time image of Harper's Mill and the Liberty Belle stood out to me. I've always liked the contrast the red in Harper's Mill can give to the rest of the scene when I shot it at night and I thought it contrasted very well here in this day time version as well. Enjoy.

The Pagoda & the Stars

PhotographyMatthew CooperComment

I was going through a bunch of older work files of shots I started and never finished for one reason or another when I came across this shot. I thought it had potential but my original work on it was pretty terrible so I started back with the original file and was able to get a very pleasing edit in about 30 minutes. I recall spending a lot of time struggling with this originally for whatever reason. I've certainly changed and improved my editing in a year but it's still funny to think how as we grow as photographers something that seemed difficult just a short while ago is now seemingly easy. This is why I like revisiting older shots from time to time as I often find myself able to make a shot work that simply wasn't working before.