It has been a while since I’ve done a fireworks image so I figured the time was due. This shot was taken from the Italy Pavilion and is a series of bursts near the beginning of the show. I used a 6-stop ND filter for the show and this particular exposure was 40 seconds. Just prior to the show starting I decided to take an exposure for Spaceship Earth as I remembered the lights aren’t on it during the show and I think it doesn’t look so great for the photo. I masked in SSE so that I have the fireworks and a nicely colored and illuminated (haha) Spaceship Earth. This exposure also had the foreground lanterns lit whereas they are off during the show so I masked those in as well to add a little bit more interest. To me it’s all about the little things that add up to really make a complete shot and help them to stand out.
This shot I think definitely tracks into the more artsy type of photo than I usually do but I think Spaceship Earth is one of the best subjects in Disney for doing some really interesting compositions. I used my tripod at its lowest point and pointed the camera almost near vertical for this shot. I think the mirrored glass here really helps make an interesting centerpiece with the distorted angles. Editing was very simple with only some contrast adjustments and a boost to the saturation.
Some of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken at Disney World are from this spot. In fact I posted a shot from this very sunset (but earlier) just a few weeks ago. As long as it’s not overcast I’ve never once been disappointed by this spot. It’s almost a guaranteed winner of a shot and one I think really personifies the Magic Kingdom and Walt Disney World. Every sunset is different too which helps the shot to take on a different character each time. It may be a shot I’ve taken many times before but its still new and unique. Now this wasn’t the most intense sunset edit I’ve done but it was still 27 layers in Photoshop. Well worth the time to help bring out the magic.
The really wonderful thing about the Flower & Garden Festival, besides the food of course, is all the wonderful flower topiaries through the park. It really opens up a lot of photo options, especially in places where there may not have been a really great photo opportunity before. I’m not one for shooting out across the lake of the World Showcase as to me there’s no real focal point when you do this. You get a bunch of sky and water, which is usually not to interesting. Having these characters here allowed me to shoot from a spot where otherwise there would be nothing and I would walk right by it.
This is a shot I’ve wanted to take for a while but just never got around to for some reason. I think I may have just given up on it because of time in the past. Almost every time the path was clear of people and I would start to shoot here would come another person walking down the path. Then when they were clear, a security guard was walking back and forth at the exit end in to Fantasyland. Fortunately, it finally cleared up, the security guard wandered off around the corner, and I was able to get this shot people free. I really love how the doors help to frame this shot and welcome the viewer into the tunnel through Cinderella Castle.
I always talk about how the backside of Cinderella Castle is my favorite side of the castle. Unfortunately, this trip there were some construction walls off to the right of the rear of the Castle killing some of the options I had been wanting to try. I ended up shooting further back and to the right using Castle Couture to block the construction. Even better the way the lines in the concrete run from here helps lead the viewer through the frame. It’s just another example of circumstances helping to rethink a scene and wind up with a shot I really like that I might have otherwise not given a try.
This was a shot I was looking forward to trying all day. I figured this would work really well with Nikon 70-200 shot from afar to create some compression. In particular, I like just how large and grand it makes Spaceship Earth look by zooming. National Park Mickey really helps to add a bit of foreground interest. Really, without the topiary there I probably wouldn’t have even thought or been interested in taking the shot like this.
For this shot, I definitely did a bit of working the scene first. I will start taking shots and moving around and making adjustments until I get something I feel is the shot I was looking for. Especially with the topiaries, the most obvious shot may not be the one I want. I don’t want to just duplicate what has already been done a bunch of times. The sun was in a good spot behind the topiaries for me to utilize it I thought so I got low and continued moving around trying to find the shot I wanted. I tried vertical but found it somewhat boring. Now I’m not one that needs to add a “tilt” to every shot but I felt it worked well with the lines of the topiary and made the shot feel more dynamic. The sunburst was a bit of extra icing on the shot.
I really like this spot for shots of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Unfortunately, you can only take so many regular shots here before it gets boring so I wanted to try something else. I setup the shot with my tripod so that I could do a long exposure to blur the train coming around the corner. I also took a couple shots with a high shutter speed to capture the train frozen going across the top bridge. I combined them together with some masking in post and then did my regular editing to get the final result. If nothing else I think it at least mixes the shot up a bit.
This has become the go to spot for Disney photographers seeking out an awesome Magic Kingdom sunset. There is a good reason too. Is there anything more magical than Cinderella Castle with an awesome sunset behind it? I don’t think so.
There are really two good spots for shooting sunset of Cinderella Castle from this side. One is on the bridge heading into Fantasyland/Tomorrowland, which is where I shot this one, and the other is next to the wishing well. Go to one of these spots during sunset and you are sure to get an amazing shot. For this shot, it was blind luck that I perfectly timed my arrival to get the awesome burst of the sun between the spires of the castle. Just a bit later and I would have still got the awesome glow and perhaps a bit more variation in color but I would have lost the burst, which I think helps make this shot a little extra special. I hope you think so too.