I don’t do many shots that involve a lot of empty space but I figure every thousand shots or so I can allow myself one. As I noticed the golden light from the sunset behind me hitting the Tomorrowland sign and the moon up above I wanted to create a composition that included both. At the time all my gear was packed away in a locker except for the lens I had on camera, the Nikon 28 1.4. With that in mind this was the first and only composition I attempted for this shot. Despite its simplicity I am very pleased with the end result and the final color palette enhanced by the warm colors of the sunset against the approaching blue hour sky.
When shooting a photo that I’ve done before I always try to find a way to do it a bit differently or include a new element to give it a new spin. Otherwise, what’s the point in shooting the same shot again? Here I shot at an angle to include the moon which is an element I had not included with both the fountain and Spaceship Earth before.
This is the final shot in my Happily Ever After series. This was my first time seeing the show but assumed the finale would be the craziest moment of all. Anticipating this I went from f5.6 to f11. My final spec for this shot was then f11, ISO 64 and 15 seconds in bulb mode with my 3 stop B+W ND filter.
Here’s shot number 2 in my 3-part series from shooting Happily Ever After. I opted to shoot with my Nikon 24-70 2.8 using a 3 stop B+W ND filter. I really like using a 3 stop ND filter for fireworks as I feel like it has the perfect stopping power for shooting fireworks with a bit longer shutter. I did use a 6 stop for a while which is great for some REALLY long exposures but found often times there were so many bursts captured it just became a mess of color. For this shot I’m at f5.6, ISO 64 and shooting bulb mode I did 15 seconds for this shot.
It’s been quite a while since I’ve done a firework shot but a new show definitely peaks my interest for shooting them. The new Happily Ever After show is pretty impressive. The amount of pyro combined with the lasers and projections is really something you have to see in person. I may be in the minority of this, but I also appreciated the lack of a parade before the fireworks. This made waiting and getting a good spot much easier than I ever experienced with Wishes. Today enjoy the 1st of my 3 part series, Happily.
Typically, when life gives me a puddle I lay down in it and take a picture. When life doesn’t give any puddles however, sometimes you have to find the next best thing. These Leave a Legacy “monuments” at Epcot’s entrance do nicely with providing a bit of reflection and adding additional interest to the photo. Add in a beautiful sunset and a passing monorail and I think you’re in business. These elements all reflect very well on the top of the Leave a Legacy monolith. The gold reflection on Spaceship Earth is the final icing on the cake.
It certainly felt good this past week to be back at Walt Disney World. It had been more than a year since our last visit and although we visited Disneyland in that break, Walt Disney World is the place that still holds all the wonderful nostalgic feelings for me. Most exciting of all for this trip however was the chance to finally see Pandora – The World of Avatar. It’s truly something else to see in person. The pictures really don’t do it justice (yet here I am trying to do it justice via my own photo….) Flight of Passage is a seriously amazing ride though I’m glad we had fastpasses and did not have to wait the posted 180 minutes for it. The Navi River ride however we did not get to ride due to the waits, so I’ll have to wait till next time to comment on it. Until then, enjoy this photo of the floating mountains as day on Pandora fades into night.
Sleeping Beauty Castle is beautiful at night, but man is it a pain to edit correctly. Masking in an underexposure of the pink bits and making the blend realistic is tedious. For this shot that wasn’t even the worst part. The tree on the left needed masking so I could color correct the sky and all of the various selection tools were giving me fits. In the end I used a combination of different techniques to mask it bit by bit until my mask was “good enough”. I probably could have gotten away with just not masking it at all and blending the color differently but if you’re going to do something you may as well do it right… even if it takes a ton of time.
In processing my Disneyland shots I’ve come across some interesting and different challenges compared to my Walt Disney World shots. Therefore, I put the question out to all of you Disneyland photographers… What do you consider to be among the most challenging shots at Disneyland?
This is a ridiculously difficult shot. I rode Snow White’s Scary Adventures several times over the course of 4 days and this is the best I could do. The jerky nature of the ride along with having what felt like less than 1 second to get all 7 dwarfs in frame, for me at least, puts this in the upper tier of difficult dark ride shots.
Processing was very light on this one with a single levels adjustment, a tweak to saturation and a pass of denoise and sharpening using my dark ride denoising technique. I’ve had a few people request more details on this so I’m happy to say I’ll be recording a video very soon that will fully explain my techniques for denoising and sharpening dark ride photos. This video will provide a good foundation for denoising your dark ride shots without losing detail and sharpening them in a way that you sharpen the important details and not the noise.