While everyone was complaining about the rain during the afternoon, I was very excited at the possibility of nighttime puddle photography. Unfortunately, many of the nicer puddles dried up but there were still some for me to dive in to once the park closed. On past trips, I have just put my camera directly on the ground and even directly into puddles when necessary. I decided it might be a good idea instead to get a good beanbag to use to support my camera slightly off the ground. This was a good decision not only to get my camera out of puddles but it gave me a bit more flexibility with composition. For those interested I opted for the Grizzly Camera Medium Bean-Bag. I started out trying this shot with the Nikon 35 1.4 but the framing was too tight and was not working well with the puddle. I quickly switched to the tried and true Nikon 14-24 2.8, which really helped getting a frame to showcase the puddle.
Today’s shot is another one with the Nikon 35 1.4. Again, it gives me a tighter view that I think offers a nice look down Sunset Boulevard. You will notice a few stragglers at the end of the boulevard. Interestingly this was after the park had closed but before Fantasmic had let out. I was able to get some shooting done here soon after park close, which has not been the case in the past for me. I am not sure if this is a regular occurrence now with scheduling or if I just lucked out. I will take it either way.
I did a couple things different with this shot of Prince Eric’s castle. First off, I have done many shots over the fence and I thought it might be interesting to shoot with the fence and give more context to the shot. Really, it was just a good way to do something slightly different for this shot. I shot it with the Nikon 35 1.4 which gives me a much tighter view. I shot this lens a lot this trip so I hope you all like the tighter shots because I have a bunch. Finally, the sky was looking quite purple straight out of camera so I decided to go with it in the edit. The final result gives me a rather unique shot of Prince Eric’s to add to my list.
I find it interesting that, at least every time I’ve visited, this area has been empty enough even an hour prior to park closing to get some empty park shots. I tried to mix this shot up a bit by going with the Nikon 35 to get a tighter more intimate shot compared to my past endeavors with the Nikon 14-24. I bracketed this shot but again used a single shot for the majority of the blend. I only used underexposures to tame the highlights on the signs and fountain water. I also, per usual, color corrected Beast’s Castle. It kills me that it is just all blue from the lighting they use. Dumb.
I have done this shot before but always at night and in a vertical orientation. I had been thinking it would be cool at blue hour so I made sure to make a stop here when the time came. I went with a horizontal framing this time, which I think I prefer now that I am seeing the results. I shot this with my Nikon 70-200 2.8 @ F3.5. I blended two shots together for this one though the second shot was only for the highlights on the tower sign and lights on the right hand side. The blue of the twilight hour really helps to compliment the purples and greens in the scene.
I am quite sure this is a new color scheme this fall season. I do not recall seeing it any other year and I am sure this is the first year I have seen anyone else post photos of it. Regardless I really like the two tone color scheme from this angle as the single colors tend to be a bit boring. Furthermore, while this is my favorite spot to shoot the castle at sunset at night all the greenery gets lost in the dark and looks drab and boring. For that reason, I opted to go for a vertical composition here to keep the shrubs to a minimum. I also opted for the Nikon 35 1.4 for a tighter composition as opposed to my often used and much wider Nikon 14-24. This gave me a result I am much happier with than my previous horizontal, extremely wide shots from this area.
I will start by saying the animatronics for the new Frozen Ever After ride are the best currently at Walt Disney World. They are incredibly dynamic and life like and the Imagineers have done a great job at bringing them to life. This comes with a few minor issues from a photography standpoint. Because the faces are so dynamic and constantly changing you can, just like real people, capture them with some rather goofy looks. This can be especially annoying as the boat is constantly moving so the shot you end up with that is the optimal framing may not be the optimal facial expression. This can be worked around by snapping several shots quickly back to back and then aligning and masking faces for the best expression while also keeping the best frame. Or perhaps I’m just unlucky and no one else will run into this! Frozen is not an attraction I was personally interested in prior to its announcement but even as a ride makeover it is well done and sure to be a hit amongst its many fans. I will look forward to riding and shooting it again on future trips.
If I am going to retake a shot I’ve done before I like to ask myself how I can do that shot better. Otherwise, I am not sure if there is much point to retaking the shot. In this case, I had shot from this angle into the sun but did not capture the monorail. Plussing the shot with the monorail is an obvious improvement but I wanted to take it a step further. I setup my tripod for the shot and honed in my optimal exposure for the scene while waiting for the monorail. I knew where I wanted the monorail to be in the shot and I knew this was before it reached the sunburst. I also knew shooting into the sun with the 14-24 at this angle would create a huge rainbow flare across the frame, something I did not want. To deal with this just as the monorail was approaching I quickly took a couple shots with my hand blocking the sun which eliminated the flare and then quickly removed it in time to shoot the monorail at just the right spot on the rail. In post, I masked out the flare using my hand covered shot. It is a small detail but one I think helps complete the shot as I envisioned.
I’m back from another Disney trip and even though it was cut a day short thanks to Hurricane Matthew I’m very glad to have been able to see the VERY new Muppet show at the Magic Kingdom. The first day I attempted to see it I actually missed it as they were having technical difficulties. This was the main thing I wanted to see on this trip however so I went back another day just to see the show and was able to see both the Declaration of Independence and Paul Revere’s ride version of the shows. It’s classic Muppet hi-jinks and I think any Muppet fan will be pleased. It’s really nice for Sam Eagle to play a large role here as well as one of my favorite Muppets. Hopefully they will expand and do even more “moments in American history” as the show goes along.
If you have followed me for a while now you probably have realized I do not shoot a lot of characters or shows. Honestly I still find quite a lot of them result in pretty boring shots but this past trip I did take the opportunity to shoot the Main Street Trolley Show and I really like some of the shots I got. The performers movements, and along with the trolley and the various angles you can use Main Street USA as a backdrop really present a seemingly endless number of dynamic shots. I opted to shoot with the ultra-wide Nikon 14-24 2.8 and get as close as I could to the performers for this series and I really love how they turned out.