Honestly, I debated back and forth about even releasing this photo. It’s ultimately a picture of nothing as I’m way to wide to really show anything other than the sky. This was taken 2 days before Hurricane Matthew right after one of its bands had come through with a torrential down pour. I was out shooting this evening some media for the Swan & Dolphin resort when the band of rain hit. It was so hard I had to seek shelter and the closest spot from where I was shooting was under the overhang at JellyRolls. After the rain broke I was presented with this wonderful color and so before proceeding back to the Swan & Dolphin (You can see some more of the awesome sunset in photos I took for them on their Facebook page. You’ll know it when you see it.) Now you may be wondering why I didn’t just switch to another lens so I could zoom a bit more… and that’s a good question. The reason being the humidity was so bad that I simply couldn’t switch lenses. The back of the lens would fog almost immediately after wiping it. This was basically the same for the front of the lens except it was exposed so I could continually wipe it between shots. I still ended up needing to do a bit of haze correction as it was just terrible. Anyway, this is a stitch of two images and I decided to share it only because of how much I love the color contrast between the two sides. I hope you’ll enjoy it too.
All this hot weather has me missing fall in the Smokies. Can’t wait for it to be back! This was taken just off the road of the main road running through the park.
Today’s shot is another shot with the Nikon 35 1.4. In addition to the tighter view I get with this lens I love just how natural the scenes look with this lens. Per usual, the main difficulty with any shot that contains neon, is blending the neon correctly from an underexposure. It’s tough to get right, and very easy to do wrong. When you get it right though it helps completely sell the image. Finally, I decided to shoot off the road and use the curve of it to give a path for your eyes to follow through the frame.
On my most recent trip I rented the Nikon 35 1.4 for dark ride shooting but ended up using it quite a bit as my walk around lens too. As a result, I ended up with some tighter shots than trips previous. I do enjoy that the tighter shots allow you to get a somewhat closer look at some of the details. Plus, the prime lens is ridiculously sharp, even more so than the wonderfully sharp Nikon 14-24 2.8 I shoot with so often.
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!