Greetings everyone, this is my first new post on this site although I’ve been a long time lurker. This site is one of two that have factored heavily in my wife and me planning several Disney vacations and staying on top of the latest news. I’ve finally felt like it was time to give back something to the community that has helped us so much.
I’ve got a bit of a confession. I LOVE WISHES! It’s no joke. I’m a 36 year old man who’s not ashamed to admit that a night standing in front of an illuminated multi-color concrete and steel castle while fireworks are popping over the top of classic Disney songs and characters speaking completely pulls my heartstrings and reduces me to a timeless child. The whole show is a 12 minute escape into the heart and soul of what makes Disney so special.
In preparing for Disney vacations, I would see many of the wonderful fireworks pictures that others would post and thought – what the heck, why don’t you take a try at capturing a few images. All it takes is a bit of preparation combined with the proper equipment and you can get really good results.
The problem was that I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I wasn’t just trying to get a “good result”. I wanted to get the perfect picture.
I started taking a tripod to the park with me and quickly found that although I like fireworks pictures, it was really Cinderella’s castle that is the star of the show. To me at least, the fireworks are always the “garnish” on top of the Castle in my pictures.
Although I love Wishes!, there are a couple of moments in the show that always move me. One of those moments is without a doubt the crowd pleasing “Arrival” of the Blue Fairy. Right after the dark forces have been lifted from the Castle and it fades from red and purple and goes to blue as Jiminy Cricket utters – “Well I’ll be… it’s the Blue Fairy”. I wanted to get this moment frozen in time.
The question was, what is it that I wanted to capture? I certainly liked the peacock feather like effect that shoots from behind the castle and I also liked the big blue bursts that immediately follow this moment. As I would take pictures in the park, some of the PhotoPass photographers and I would talk about fireworks photos and they would tell me that the Blue Fairy shot is the best one to get. I would ask them, which moment is that – the peacock feathers or the blue bursts? Pretty much all of them would say the feathers were the fairy. I couldn’t decide which photo I liked best, so then it dawned on me – why not get both in the same frame? This then became a quest for that “perfect” photo that lasted over five different vacations and at least ten attempts to photograph Wishes!
You see, fireworks photos are very temperamental. Wind can blow the bursts off target. At the Magic Kingdom, it’s even worse because you then can have wind blow smoke back in front of the Castle. You can also have misfires that can cause you to miss the one shot you are trying to capture. Crowds are another issue that can cause a problem as someone can block your view.
After all my efforts, the very last night of our last visit resulted in my quest for that perfect picture getting close enough that I can be satisfied with the results. This is my version of the Blue Fairy’s arrival:
*sorry Picasa embedded pictures don’t seem to work.
It’s not “perfect”. One of the fireworks on the left veered off path and a child is on her dad’s shoulders, otherwise blocking Mickey’s silhouette in the Partner’s statue. So, it’s not perfect. But, it’s close enough and besides – the fact that it’s not perfect is going to keep me trying again, and to get to watch that wonderful show many more times is a real wish come true.
Have any of you ever been obsessed in trying to get a perfect Disney moment captured on film?