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Category Archives: architecture

When you see to what extent Disney decorates for Halloween, I’m a bit embarrassed to admit¬†I didn’t even put out a single pumpkin this year! ūüôā

“Halloween Magic” (Main Street Railroad Station, Magic Kingdom Theme Park) Nikon D300, 28mm, Combined Exposures (F/2.8 at 1/25s and F/2.8 at 1/50s), ISO 1000


I’ve seen¬†alot¬†of HDR (High Dynamic Range) images lately and wanted to try my hand at one.¬†¬†

One of the problems¬†inherent in photography is the camera’s incapacity to accurately reproduce scenes with high contrast. In these instances, the photographer must¬†choose between exposing to preserve the shadows (resulting in areas of blown-out highlights), or¬†exposing to preserve the highlights (resulting in completely dark shadows and therefore, no shadow detail).¬†This can get frustrating since our eye discerns much more tonalities in the real world¬†and ideally, we’d like our images to show the same.¬†¬†

For those unfamiliar,¬†HDR¬†images¬†represent a scene containing a wide range of light intensity levels, from the very darkest shadows to the lightest highlights. They are generally achieved by capturing multiple standard photographs, often using exposure bracketing, and then merging them via software¬†into an HDR image. The results can vary greatly based upon how far you want to push the limits – from natural-looking to the more, let’s say, fantastical. ūüôā¬†¬†

While walking over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, the sunset sky behind the Tower of Terror was simply breathtaking. Seemed like a perfect¬†subject for HDR¬†so down went the tripod and the adventure began. The camera was set¬†for exposure bracketing (taking a series of images at different exposure values) as well as interval timer shooting (allows one click of the shutter to initiate¬†the series¬†since you want as little camera¬†movement as possible). I also turned on “exposure delay mode” which delays the shutter release about 1 sec after the mirror is raised (since raising the mirror can also cause slight camera shake).

“Sunset Terror” (Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, HDR) Nikon D300, 70mm, F/13, ISO 320, Six Exposure Ranges, Photomatix Pro

Back home, the real work began.  

At first, I played with the HDR processing included in Photoshop, but sadly, that was not producing the results I desired (a dark, moody scene, that is, afterall, the essence of the Tower of Terror). So, I moved on over to the trial version of Photomatix Pro, and after a short learning curve, was able to generate a pleasing HDR image from six separate exposures! Most HDR processes require some tweaking/finishing and that was easily performed back in Photoshop.  

I must say I¬†was so¬†impressed with the power of Photomatix¬†Pro, that I¬†purchased the software and, using an online code, got 20% off to boot! ūüôā¬†¬†

HDR is definitely a technique I look forward to using in the future!

“Hello?” (Phone Box, UK Pavilion, EPCoT) Nikon D700, 10.5mm Fisheye, F/9, 1/160s, ISo 200

I’m always looking for interesting ways to use the 10.5mm fisheye lens and the authentic phone box (aka, telephone booth in USA terms) outside¬†the Rose &¬†Crown Pub at the UK Pavilion¬†seemed to fit the bill.¬†

¬†Whaddaya think? ūüôā

One of the most prominent structures¬†at Epcot’s¬†World Showcase Lagoon is the bright red¬†Torii gate which welcomes visitors to the Japan pavilion.¬†¬†The Epcot version is based¬†upon the¬†Torii Gate found in the Hiroshima Bay at Itsukushima.

“The Torii” (Torii Gate, Japan Pavillion, EPCoT) Nikon D300, 52mm, F/16, 1/200s, -1.0EV, ISO 200

Hmmm, seems¬†the seagulls like the gate as much as I do! ūüôā

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