News and Views from Dave Wilson

Archive for June 15th, 2010

Standing Out From The Crowd

by on Jun.15, 2010, under Photography

Disney World is both a wonderful place and a terrible place to take photographs. On the wonderful side, there’s the fact that no-one even batted an eye at me for lugging a large tripod and a backpack full of gear (no New York-style security guard hassle here) and also that there are just so many iconic images to be taken. This second point is also why it can be a terrible place to take pictures too.

Take Cinderella’s Castle, for example. The world and his wife (or husband depending upon your viewpoint) has the cliched picture of the castle taken from Main Street USA (I posted one that almost qualifies over on the photoblog earlier this week). Pretty much every really photogenic scene inside the park has been shot so many times that it can be really tricky finding anything new and making your pictures stand out from the other 10,000 of the same scene.

One approach is to look for different angles on the subjects but, again, this is tricky since there are so darn many great photographers who have been there before. Most of the good angles have already been found. I decided, however, to take a different approach with this shot. Why not change the feel of the typical shot instead of changing the basic content of the shot itself?

I was shooting a night just as the park people closed off the area immediately in front of the castle in preparation for the firework show. This gave me a great opportunity to get images of the castle with no-one in the frame. As you may know, the lighting on the castle cycles through several different colours and one of them was cool blue. I waited for this to come up and shot a series of images for an HDR with the castle bathed in cool light. After a bit of work in Photomatix and Lightroom, the resulting image is more reminiscent of a Dracula movie than Cinderella – not a hint of pink princesses, tiaras and sequins left at all (though the sign on the right giving times to the next Mickey Mouse show is a bit of a give-away).

Next time you are visiting some hugely overphotographed location, try to think of different things you can do to make your image stand out from the pack. Either try to find a different composition or, if that’s tricky, think of different ways you can present the subject.

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