Saturday, February 2, 2013
Disney v2.0 - Blue hour, night photography, and buddies take over the beds
After visiting Animal Kingdom, the girls swam in the Big Blue Pool with Rich while I attempted to take some photos of the resort. Personally, resort photographs with strangers randomly milling about look unprofessional and don't appeal to me. (Not that I'm a professional but....) I spent more time on the pool deck than wandering and photographing, which was fine.
The girls wanted to check out the little playground behind the pool so we did that after we ate dinner. I wandered while they played and was surprised to find the bridge to Pop Century not too far from the playground. As a photographer of people, I understand and have experienced the appeal of sunlight in that hour or so before the sun quickly drops for the evening. I've been following some photographers who mainly photograph landscapes, including Disney. They've talked about "the blue hour" or that period of time shortly after the sun sets when the sky turns a brilliant blue that is best captured by the camera.
I was photographing during the blue hour but without a tripod or anything solid to hold my camera, I was forced to bump up my ISO in order to keep my shutter speed fast enough for handheld shooting. (I didn't want to shoot wide open either.) I tried to rest the camera against the railing to steady it but that only provided a tiny bit of assistance. Here's my photo of Pop Century across the lake.
(ISO 1600, f/8.0 SS 1/10 of a second)
I wasn't happy with the results so I returned to the playground and tried to come up with an alternative to a tripod. I pulled my speedlight out of my bag, placed it on the ground, and then propped the camera up against it, with the camera body on the ground and the lens turned up. I was sitting on the ground but I didn't want to sprawl across the walkway in order to see through the viewfinder so I had to meter before placing the camera on the ground and guess the composition.
(ISO 200, f/9.0, SS 4 seconds)
Can you see the difference? This picture was taken only 8 minutes after the one of Pop Century so the sky hadn't had time to significantly change. The longer exposure (shutter speed) combined with the lower ISO and a steady camera allowed the true colors to develop. The only adjustment I made in post processing was to the levels in PSE as it was slightly underexposed. I didn't filter in any color.
I tried to take a picture of the girls at the playground before we headed back to the suite for their bedtime. Gives new meaning to the phrase "hold still for a second!"
So that night Emily agreed to share a bed with Daddy. And 10,000 buddies.
(All but Baby Simba were brought from home.)