Skip navigation

Tag Archives: Tower of Terror

“Twilight Terror” (The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) Nikon D300, 28mm, F/22, 1/320s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter

Some very wet weather outside has me digging through the photo archives today. There are still so many photos I haven’t posted from our last trip to Walt Disney World!To match the doom and gloom raging outside my window, it seems appropriate to take a tour of ‘The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror’, an attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Although I’ve ridden the “ride”, turns out I’m not a fan of being dropped down an elevator shaft. 😉

So while guests rushed passed me to access the queue line, I strode leisurely along, soaking in all the extraordinary details of the run-down exterior, lobby and, yes, even the basement.

Our tour begins outside. This is one of the few images shot in color, where the sky was a brilliant blue and the gorgeous Florida sun shone beautifully, lighting up all the architectural details. Hmmm, doesn’t exactly conjure up a feeling of terror, now does it? No worries. A quick pass through Nik’s Silver Efex Pro was all I needed to pull forth the uh, ‘terrifying’ mood.

“Concierge of Terror” (Concierge Desk, Lobby, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) Nikon D300, 56mm, F/5.6, 1/10s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter

Walking into the hotel lobby, we are first greeted by the concierge desk. I’m sure someone will be along shortly… 😉

“Cuppa Terror” (Tea Cart, Lobby, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Nikon D300, 28mm, F/4.5, 1/10s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter

 
 
 
 
 
While we wait, lets take a look around. To our left, a spot of tea can be enjoyed while taking part in a game of Mahjong. Although I’m quite impressed with the lush furnishings and elegant finishes, it appears housekeeping is not a high priority here. I must speak to the hotel manager about this.

“Check-in to Terror” (Front Desk, Lobby, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, 45mm, F/4.5, 1/10s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter

 
 
 
 
 
 

Weary from my trip and tired of waiting for the concierge to return, I move towards the front desk.
 
Once again, the place seems deserted.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Perhaps the desk clerk is helping the gentleman who left his topcoat, hat and folded newspaper behind?

“Interrupted Terror” (Front Desk, Lobby, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) Nikon D300, 28mm, F/4.5, 1/5s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter

“Super-intended Terror” (Basement Office, The Twilight Zone Tower of Tower, Disney’s Hollywoood Studios) Nikon D300, 35mm, F/2.8, 1/30s, -0.3EV, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter

 
 
 
 
 

After waiting impatiently for service, I begin searching the hotel for any signs of staff, eventually making my way into the basement level of the hotel.

Here, the Superintendent’s office and maintenance areas yield more of the same: neat, orderly, yet completely covered in dust and cobwebs, as if quickly abandoned and frozen in time.

“Hidden Terror” (Maintenance Shop, Basement, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Nikon D300, 28mm, F/2.8, -1.0EV, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter


 
 
 

The hidden Mickey is a nice touch and instantly reminds me that indeed, I was never in any danger what-so-ever.

“We hope your stay at The Hollywood Tower Hotel has been a pleasant one. And please… do come back and see us again.”

Happily, I step back out into the bright sunshine, thankful I didn’t become a permanent resident of “The Twilight Zone’. 🙂

Advertisements

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. 🙂  

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! 🙂  

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

%d bloggers like this: