Main Street USA is a lot of fun after hours for photographers, but I find the tendency is often to go for the wider-angle lenses. There are some great shots to be had with the longer focal length lenses as well. This is a shot I’ve been working on perfecting my last few trips with the Nikon 70-200 2.8. Using it from Main Street to shoot Cinderella Castle allows you to fully fill the frame with Cinderella Castle. Additionally, distortion is limited and Cinderella Castle stands tall and true. I’ve again employed a new technique I’m working on in regards to highlights. Cinderella Castle tends to have some sharp highlights and transitions on the upper portion so I wanted to tame those and smooth everything out.
Today’s photo makes use of my stars technique I shared yesterday. Although I haven’t posted anything new in a while I have been doing a bit of editing. One of the things I’ve particularly been focusing on lately are the highlights in my photos. I’m not a fan of the sharp transitions from midtones to highlights so I’ve been working on some techniques to help smooth those out. If you pay close attention to the water I think you’ll see see how I gradated this out to get a smoother look. It’s subtle, but every little improvement counts. Finally, in case you missed it yesterday, you can see how to make the stars pop in your photos at https://youtu.be/fWgWyBa9cGQ
I took this shot as I was heading to the front of the park to begin shooting towards the back for sunset. The nice blue gradient in the sky and the clouds helped add some interest and the bit of golden color starting to reflect off Spaceship Earth made me stop to take this shot. I took it with the Nikon 14-24 but ended up cropping in a bit as I zoomed out too far. It was a rookie move and you hate to see it.
This is a pretty standard Partners/Cinderella Castle shot with the new(ish) color scheme on the castle. Once again, I went as high as I could with my tripod on the edge of the planter to make the shot feel like your floating slightly above the ground. It is a small twist on the shot but I think adds a bit of freshness to one of the most done shots at Walt Disney World.
This shot was taken with my Nikon 14-24 2.8 using my Grizzly beanbag. The camera was supported just above the ground with the beanbag and I used it to tilt the camera forward so that the camera is pointing towards the ground and not the sky. I then chose F2.8 and focused in the center of the S on the compass. This lets me get the center of the S nice and sharp and gives everything else including Cinderella Castle a nice creamy blurry look. Why would I want to do this? Cause it looks cool!
As I’m slowly getting back into the swing of editing some new photos I wanted to pick something easy to start. This particular shot isn’t too challenging with the only real problem being the few neon signs. It’s nothing a bracketed set of photos, luminosity masks and some selective masking can’t fix though. This edit took me about 15 minutes, so not very long, but the result is exactly what I wanted.
I know it’s been quite some time since I posted a new photo. I’ve been incredibly busy the past few months and as a result kinda fell off editing (I still have tons of unedited pics from my trip in October). When you get out of a groove sometimes it’s difficult to get back in it. I’m gonna try to squeeze a few new edits out to get some fresh content coming your way. Here’s one I had started a while back and finally put the finishing touches on. No complaints about it being out of season.
This shot is similar to some others I’ve done but I have a little bit different framing here. I used the two spires on the left to frame Cinderella Castle which I think looks really cool. I also opted to use the Nikon 35 1.4 as opposed to the 14-24 I used before to get a tighter composition. The sky was taking on a purplish color so I decided to go with that and really boost it. The park wasn’t quite closed yet so there’s still more strollers than I’d like around the carousel but ultimately I don’t think it really hurts the shot much.
How do you know you have stayed in Epcot a long time past closing? I am guessing having the fountain water shut off on you might be a sign. Epcot has become the easiest park to shoot and close out after hours. I rarely even see security, never mind feeling pressured to leave. I had been shooting for quite some time this night after hours when just as I was setting up for this shot the fountain water turned off. Maybe it did not even have to do with the late hour and something else was up, but I am not one to be easily deterred so now I have this unique (but pointless?) shot with the fountain turned off. It is not the showcase of the shot anyways so I think it does not matter much.