In 2011 I took a version of this shot that really was the shot that hooked me for good on Disney Photography. It was the first shot I took where I was framing it and before I even pressed the shutter button I knew it was going to be good. I’ve taken tons of photos over the years but only a handful gave me that feeling of this might be something special when shooting it. Now, 7 years later this shot has been done to death by others, but I thought it might be time for me to have another go at it. Originally shot with a Nikon D7000 and Prooptics 8mm fisheye, this time I approached the shot with the Nikon D810 and Rokinon 12mm fisheye. Combined with 7 more years of editing knowledge I think I’ve come away with a vastly superior version of this shot… at least technically. It doesn’t hold that special place of being THE shot that hooked me on Disney photography.
I’ve shot this scene numerous times over the years but have never shared one that I recall simply because none were up to my standards. Enter the Nikon 28 1.4 and I guess through a combination of gear and growing as a photographer I got a shot of the scene I’m happy with. I hope you’ll enjoy it too!
This is my shot of Monstro from the Storybook Land ride. There are many like it but this one is mine. It’s an incredibly easy shot to get but needed to complete the “collection”. Enjoy.
I’m still digging through my shots from the national parks I visited on my journey to Disneyland. I really liked the sky and sunrays in this one from Joshua Tree National Park. I only wish we had spent more than 1 afternoon and a night here. We barely scratched the surface!
This time around shooting the floating mountains of Pandora I opted for my Rokinon 12mm fisheye lens. I thought it was cool just how much of the scene I was able to capture with it. As usual however, the edit itself was a bit of a challenge. Though this is a single exposure I ended up using 3 different white balanced versions to create the final version. Further color balancing and levels adjustments helped dial it in just right. Finally, as I shot at a slightly raised ISO 400 I captured an amazing amount of stars which really help finish off the image.
Today, I’ve got another take on Beauty and the Beast from the most recent Flower & Garden Festival. I shot this from the far side of the fountain using the Nikon 70-200 2.8 at 135mm. The compression from the longer focal length makes Impressions de France appear closer behind them. Finally, the highlights on Beast and Belle were a little strong so I had to use 2 total shots blended to get them just right. Enjoy!
Unfortunately, I did not get many photos of New Orleans Square on my trip. Of the three I did get I only liked two of them, this being one of them. I went for a darker, moodier edit for this shot as I felt it fit the atmosphere well. The main challenge here was controlling the highlights in the windows, especially around the chandeliers. Thanks to the wonderful dynamic range of the Nikon D810 however I was able to create the base blend with only 2 shots. A third shot was used for the sky which captured way more stars than expected.
The title of today’s shot is a double entendre of sorts. It is sad I only just visited Disneyland and shot Paradise Pier for the first time and it’s already being replaced by Pixar pier. I really enjoyed what I saw and now if I ever make it back it will already be replaced. I am thankful I was able to see this rendition however. I’m really going to have to hustle if I want to get all my MANY unprocessed shots of Paradise Pier out before Pixar Pier opens.