4-2-12 Today's "Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day" revolves around the Partners Statue and shows some tips and different ways of thinking when photographing this iconic Disneyland landmark. These apply to virtually any type of 3 dimensional art piece such as statues as well.
The Partners Statue in Disneyland and Walt Disney World are probably the most photographed things in either Disney Park. I think I see more people taking pictures of it than I do the castle. The last time I was there, I watched hordes of people line up to take a picture of it or of their family in front of it, yet none of them took the time to look at it from any viewpoint other than straight in front of it. It seemed kind of silly really because it is in the center of a circle and offers views from every angle but no one thought to photograph it from the side or behind or anything else. For that reason, I thought it would be a good idea to take some time and really explore the statue and use some different photographic techniques as well as post processing techniques to see it in a whole new way.
Let's start with the typical photo that everyone takes of the statue. It's from right in front of it and yes, it does show the statue and the castle behind it but everyone who's ever been to Disneyland with a camera has the exact same picture.
You can improve it a little bit simply by Zooming in on it and using the principle of Compression to bring the castle closer to it and add a little more drama too it.
If you don't have people in the frame, you can improve it a little more simply by Adding in some of the flowers around the statue.
You can get Closer and lower and use the sign as a foreground element to give a little more majestic and interesting view of it.
Don't forget to Zoom in on the details of the statue such as Walt's face so you can see the Smoke Tree Ranch emblem on his tie.
You can get a little more of an emotional feel simply by Zooming in on Mickey's face and his hand holding Walt's.
Small details like that also have a nice impact in black and white.
Moving a little to the side and adding the beautiful tree in the background with the flowers in the foreground has an entirely different feel to it.
Don't forget to look from the Other side too.
While you are looking at it from the side with the trees in the background, consider your aperture and how that will affect the photo. Do you want the background blurred? Or, do you want it all in focus. This one is with an Aperture of F/22 so the tree is in sharp focus.
Here it is with an Aperture of F/2.5 to blur the background and keep just the statue as the primary focus.
While you are playing with a large aperture like F/2.5, you can also go onto Manual Focus and blur it just a little bit to give more of an Impressionism feel. Really bumping up the Saturation on these is also a nice touch.
The Back view looking down Main St. takes on a completely different time period and feeling too.
Applying an Antique treatment to it is another nice touch.
Impressionism works great from back here as well.
I moved a little to the side to get the tree in the background for this Impressionism shot, then added a very slight white vignette to it for more of a dreamy feel.
I used a High key black and white process on this one with a slight white vignette for an old fashioned memory type feel.
For this one (which might just be my favorite because I've never seen one like it), I used a Sepia tone with an Impressionistic technique and just kept Mickey and Walt's hand.
There are all the wonderful Smaller statues behind it that make fantastic foreground elements in the photo.
Those also make great black and white shots.
If you have a Wide angle lens, try getting close and low to it and really grabbing all the flowers around it as well as the trees behind it. And yes, those really are the clouds as they were. I didn't add them. Really! Kings of the Kingdom... by Ring of Fire Hot Sauce 1, on Flickr
Turning it Vertical is nice too.
Also consider the time of day you are photographing it. I took these in the early afternoon. Come back at different times such as Golden Hour where the warm afternoon light gives it an entirely different feel.
While you are there at Golden Hour, you might as well wait for the full sunset so you can take a nice Silhouette shot too.
As you can see, just by moving around and taking a little time to really look at something from different angles and applying different techniques to your photography and your post processing, you can end up with all kinds of different photos of the same subject.
OK, if possible, I would REALLY like a behind-the-scenes look at this shot. It looks like an official Disney press shot where it looks both untouched yet with an air of something fantastical.
That was the view from my room at Paradise Pier Hotel. It was late afternoon and a storm had passed by earlier that day, which is why the sky is so dark in the distance. No HDR or anything special, just nice afternoon light.
4-10-12 Today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” goes over some changes to the viewing areas for the World of Color Show and how I had to overcome the new REALLY CRAPPY way Disney is treating its regular guests.
As you all know I love to photograph the World of Color Show and pretty much have it down to a science, at least for the way I like to shoot it. I hadn’t seen it in a few months and was really looking forward to it when I was there a few weeks ago. We got into DCA early and got our WOC fast passes for the second showing in the Blue section. That is my favorite section because I love to be right on the waters edge (in the Wet Zone) and rarely have a problem getting into my favorite location to shoot it from. Most people don’t want to get wet, so the wet zone is usually pretty wide open, especially for photographers. Whenever we start heading into the viewing area, I bee line it straight down to the boardwalk as fast as I can and have never had a problem getting a decent spot.
Before I go into any more, I want to put up this photo of the viewing area how they used to do the different sections. Note where the VIP areas are which are for the people who paid for the World of Color dining package or purchased the horrible lunches they sell that come with a VIP fastpass for the show. Also note the white circle which is where I normally like to shoot it from. That spot puts you at an angle where the center of the animation screen lines up with Mickey’s face on the Fun Wheel. The blue and yellow lines down the middle are the paths that people were led into the area.
On this evening, I went to my other favorite location on the bridge into Pacific Wharf and used my zoom lens to zoom in on the people watching the show on the other bridge and use compression to silhouette them against Mickey’s face on the Fun Wheel.
At 8:10, we noticed they set up the ropes where people would start lining up for the second showing, so we walked over and asked if we could get in line. The CM working the line told us “No one can get in line before 8:45.” He insisted that we could not get in line, nor could anyone else until 8:45. We said ok and went back over to take some more photos. We walked back by the line up area at 8:25 only to see that there were already about1,000 people in line and it was almost 100 yards long. WTF? I asked the same CM what happened and he just looked at me and shrugged his shoulders. Needless to say, I was a little perturbed and we hurriedly got in line. I still had the zoom lens on my camera but wasn’t worried about changing it because I knew I would have plenty of time to change it once we got into the viewing area.
It wasn’t long before they started leading us in but we no longer entered down the middle of the park, we went down the far edge of it. In my usual fashion, I rushed down to the boardwalk (wet zone) as fast as I could and headed towards my favorite spot. It was really crowded and as I got close to the center, we came to a sudden stop. They have completely redone the viewing zones and the new set up totally screws anyone in the blue zone who didn’t purchase a special meal. Here is what the new layout looks like.
Now the VIP area has the entire center of the park and everyone else is crammed off to the sides. In the above photo, you can see where I ended up. There was a rope stopping us from going to the middle and a CM there holding us back. There was hardly anyone in the center boardwalk, so I asked the CM if they would open that area up to us if it didn’t fill up by showtime. His answer was “NO, They paid for it. You have to pay extra to be in there.” By this time, the people had been pouring in behind us and we were literally packed in so tight that you couldn’t even shift your weight. There was no way for anyone to move even the slightest bit. The lightpost in front of us was directly in the middle of the screens and blocked everyone’s view. Not only that, it kept spinning around and flashing spotlights in our eyes as if it were a slap in the face for not paying extra and being stuck in a horrible location. No one and I mean no one in that area had a clear view of the show. To make matters worse for me, I was standing behind a Samoan family with more hair that Troy Palomalu. I wanted to take my backpack off so I could change lenses but there was no way for me to bend down or even turn my shoulders because we were packed in so tight. I was so angry that I tried to leave but could not get out of the crowd. Several people around me wanted to leave as well because they couldn’t see anything but were stuck, the same as I was. I counted how many people were in the VIP area of the boardwalk and it was a grand total of 47! Yes, only 47 people in the entire center area, while the rest of us peons were crammed in like sardines with no view at all.
I decided to make the best of it and photograph whatever human element I could. Over in the empty VIP area, a man had his son on his shoulders so I zoomed in on them and silhouetted him against the show. They’re not the most spectacular WOC shots but they do have a nice human element to them.
When the show was almost over and got the part with the finale music they removed the rope and I ran to the railing to get a few shots of the fountains. I was still stuck with my zoom lens so I had to just go for up close views, which I kinda like.
So the moral of the story is if you want a decent view for the WOC show, you have to buy one of the awful lunches or the dining package. If you get stuck completely out of position and with the wrong lens, try to find something else to photograph. It sure seems like Disney is becoming a Pay Extra for anything good type of business.
Last edited by Hot Sauce 1; 04-09-2012 at 10:43 PM.
I've done the Ariel's Grotto WOC dinner a couple times. The food is really good but way over priced. I've done the lunches a few times too but the food is just so bad. At least they come with a soda or bottle of water so you don't feel too gipped. I haven't heard anything good about the Wine Country Trattoria dinner. It's surprising because they should be a good restaurant.