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An Epic Splash Mountain

by Matthew Cooper
An Epic Splash Mountain

The area around Splash Mountain is always a really great spot for sunset shots and so I always try to chase the sun to this area when shooting sunset in the Magic Kingdom. Even though the area remains the same, each sunset is different and makes each shot unique. Still I wanted to try one other thing to make it even more unique. Shooting into the sun, even though it was low still gave me some pretty quick shutter speeds. I really wanted to smooth the water out so I opted to shoot using my Progrey ND filters. This allowed me to really slow the shutter speed down to get some nice smooth water both in the flume and around it. I think this adds a small unique touch and I always think it’s cool to see long exposure water in day or sunset shots. This can be present problems however when shooting into the sun and create additional problems with flaring, which is already problematic with the Nikon 14-24. So for this shot I ended up doing a couple different shots that I used to blend my final image. The first shot was without any ND filter. I then did a shot with the ND filter and finally I did a shot with the ND filter but used my hand to block the direct light that was causing flaring. I was then able to mask the flare out with the flareless version. Additionally blocking the light in this way helps increase contrast in the image. The direct light can often wash out areas of the image and by blocking this from ever entering the lens the contrast is increased greatly. This technique isn’t just for when you are shooting with an ND either. I use it a lot when I’m shooting into the sun and on the tripod to create images without flare when that is my desired result.

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