9-29-10 Today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” is going to focus on Architectural Details.
The Disney Imagineers do their job so well that no matter which land you are in, you are completely immersed in the atmosphere of that land. The music sets the mood, the textures and colors set the feel and the little architectural details make the immersion complete. Today’s post is about those little details and how they are special in their own right and should garner some of your photographic attention.
I have a great respect and love for architecture, so I tend to notice all the little architectural details in the parks and find myself taking lots of pictures of them. Here are some of those details found within Disneyland that can make for interesting photographs, either by composition, depth of field or how the detail is used in the picture.
For this picture of a stylized fleur-de-lis fence that encompasses the Haunted Mansion, I used a very shallow depth of field to keep the closest fleur-de-lis in focus and let the rest of them fade away into the distance.
If you’ve ever taken a moment to really look at the plaque as you enter the Haunted Mansion, it has some pretty creepy details on it that if shot by themselves, can make a unique picture.
New Orleans Square is filled with architectural details that not only look good, but are historically accurate. In New Orleans of old, the houses of “ill-repute” put spikes on the posts under the balconies to keep the men from climbing up in an attempt to avoid paying for services rendered.
There are several of these fire marks above the doorways in New Orleans Square. Back in the old days of New Orleans, a homeowner or shop owner would have to purchase fire insurance. The fire marks were unique to individual insurance companies that issued them. If there was a bad fire, the fire department would try to save the buildings with the fire marks first. The photo below is a mark with “F I” that was issued by either the Firemen’s Insurance Company of New Orleans or the Fire Insurance Company of New Orleans. (I don’t know if they are one in the same. Couldn’t find out)
If you know where to look for it, one of the hidden details in New Orleans Square is the masts of the pirate ship on top of the Pirates show building.
You can also use the architectural details, even mundane ones for unique ways to take a picture. I used the circles in the various railings around the park to shoot through and give an interesting frame to the image.
I know this is just a bench in Fantasyland but I can’t help but notice how rich in detail it is and wonder how long it took someone to make it.
Also in Fantasyland are some wonderful weather vanes that barely get noticed but fit the ride they adorn perfectly.
I think that’s enough of the architectural details to whet your photographic whistle. (or just bore you silly)
Anyway, the next time you visit Disneyland, keep a sharp hunters eye for the little details that make Disneyland so special.
9-30-10 I like to call today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day”Reflections of Disneyland.
Most people only think about photographing reflections that occur on the surface of water, and I do too because they can make some really pretty pictures. Reflections, especially those on water at night time can add an extra dimension and a simple romance to photographs.
Reflections can also come from all different types of items. If it’s shiny, it reflects so the challenge for photographers is “what does it reflect and can I capture that reflection in a new and interesting way?”
Here is a bunch of photos featuring reflections from around the parks. I will start with the always beautiful castle reflections on the water.
Next is the picture of the Mark Twain and its lights reflecting on the Rivers of America at night. Always a crowd pleaser.
I took this picture the other morning and wanted a nice shot of the Frontierland entrance sign but the sun was hitting it so hard that it was overexposed. I walked a little to the side and saw that its reflection wasn’t overexposed so I figured I would use the reflection along with the overexposed sign to show what I wanted.
Paradise Bay in DCA offers the opportunity for some great reflection photos, especially from the World of Color Show.
I saw this reflection and since I like to notice architectural details, I couldn’t resist taking this shot.
My wife Diane used the Baby Care Center sign to capture the reflection of the goings on behind her.
I spent some time in the Fire Station one night and wanted to photograph the horse stables but couldn’t get a very good angle to do so. I saw the reflections of the stables in these metal tanks and thought it made a much more interesting picture than the stables by themselves. To really bring out the detail, I did this photo as a HDR Merge.
I used the reflection off of these Christmas decorations to capture the building on Main St. and also for a photographer's self portrait in Toontown.
There is also a very simple way to add a reflection to something in post processing. I did these photos in Photoscape simply by opening the photo, cropping it at the spot where I wanted the reflection to begin then clicking on Filters then Reflection, then adjusting the size of the reflection to be what I wanted it to be. You can adjust the level of the reflection and even change the perspective of the viewing angle if you choose. I also clicked on the background color tab and changed the background color to black so it looks like the reflection fades into the darkness. It is really simple to do and only takes about a minute. This can come in handy if you took a photo and for whatever reason didn’t quite get the reflection you wanted.
Personally, I think this one of the castle looks better than the regular photos of the castle reflections because I was able to get more of the castle in the picture and the reflection than I could with a normal photograph.
You can also add a reflection in Photoscape just to see what a place would look like if it were flooded.
Sometimes the reflection filter works well and other times I just doesn't reflect the way you would like, as in this picture. It's not a natural looking relfection, but it is a unique picture.
So the next time you see something shiny, be it water, metal or glass, take a closer look and see what is being reflected off of it and try to capture that reflection.
Wonderful pictures! Thanks for posting! I love the bench in Fantasyland; is the crest on it the Disney crest?
I don't believe it is the Disney Crest on the bench in Fantasyland. I've seen those same benches outside of Disneyland, so I doubt that it is. If I'm not mistaken (and I very well could be) the Disney crest is on the front of the castle and has lions on it. There is also Walt's and Roy's initials in the railings on the Dream Suite.
Today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” is going to seem rather remedial to most, but it's always good to get back to the basics once in while. I see so many people holding their cameras in such a way that it almost guarantees a blurry picture that I thought a quick lesson on How To Hold The Camera would be appropriate.
Here is one that I see quite often that is a real No No with Point & Shoot cameras. I’m holding the camera with one hand, my arm straight, and away from the body. This means that when I press the shutter button, it will move the camera and I get a blurry picture. I see this most often with camera phones. I don’t own a camera phone, so I'm not sure why people hold it so far away from themselves. Maybe this is the reason that many pictures I've seen online taken with a camera phone were blurry.
Here I’m at least holding the camera with two hands but there are still several things wrong. 1. The camera strap isn’t around my wrist. (you don't want to drop your camera) 2. My arms are still straight with the camera far away from my body. 3. My feet are close together making me unstable. The slightest breeze will make me move and any picture taken will most likely be blurry.
Now, I’m standing with my feet slightly apart making my stance more stable, the camera strap is around my wrist and I’m holding the camera with both hands. My arms are bent with my elbows much tighter to my body. All of this adds up to a more stable and solid stance, which means sharper and clearer photos.
I was taking pictures of the waterfall at Grizzly Peak and using a Neutral Density Filter on my DSLR so I could get a slower shutter speed to blur the water a bit. Without a tripod, a slower shutter speed means a better chance for blurry pictures. If you don’t have a tripod handy, here are some ways to stabilize your camera and get that crisp shot you are after. These are also what you should do when shooting at night. (see the post from 08-02-10)
You can rest the camera on a railing. Make sure you let the railing hold the entire weight of the camera. My hands are only there to point the camera in the direction I want and to gently press the shutter.
A fence post also works well for this.
Holding the camera against a light post for a vertical shot is a great way to stabilize the camera, but you should also lean your weight against it for even more stability.
If your shutter speeds aren’t too slow, you might find it more comfortable to rest your hand on the railing and the camera in your hand.
You can also rest your elbow on the railing and the camera in your hand. Just make sure you let the railing absorb the weight of you and your camera and try to keep your arm as perpendicular to the railing.
Another thing to think about when taking any picture is to keep your back straight and exhale pressing the shutter button at the end of the breath. The more relaxed you are, the crisper your pictures will be.