Welcome to my first, of hopefully many, photo blog articles for WDW Fan Zone! This picture is one of my favorite pictures from my December 2nd to 6th, 2010 trip to Walt Disney World. This particular picture encapsulates the feeling that Walt Disney World gives me every time I visit and the lasting memories that stay with me while I am at home. Cinderella Castle is more than an icon or a magnificent structure; it symbolizes a wish, a dream, and a bit of magic to me! I’m sure that Cinderella Castle means that and so much more to you as well.
I would like to give some background on this once in a lifetime picture because it is like the planets aligning to create the perfect conditions and pristine view for this photo. This picture was taken at the Magic Kingdom at Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party on Thursday December 2nd, 2010. My camera shooting location was on the upper level of the Main Street Walt Disney World Railroad Station with a clear view of Main Street USA and Cinderella Castle. Normally the view of Cinderella Castle from the Main Street Railroad Station is obstructed with a flagpole or at Christmastime with a giant Christmas tree and Christmas wreathes along Main Street that block a clear view of the Castle. Once a year, there is a pure, clear view of Cinderella Castle from the Main Street Railroad Station with nothing in the way and that is the weekend when everything is removed to tape the Walt Disney World Christmas Day Parade for ABC. The weekend I was there was that special, magical weekend! Also the Fireworks Spectacular “Holiday Wishes-Celebrate the Spirit of the Season” show during Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is bigger and more awe inspiring than the normal Wishes Fireworks Show. This is like being a kid in a candy shop for a budding photographer like me! So the stars aligned and I was able to capture this amazing moment in time on the digital pixels of my camera!
I must confess that I am an amateur photographer who is constantly learning and striving to take better photos. Firework photography takes effort and some of it is luck as well because you are taking long exposures (you never actually know what fireworks you have on your image until after the picture is taken). I read up on techniques and strategies for shooting fireworks before my trip. I used a tripod and a manual shutter cable release, both of which are a necessity for taking long exposures because even the slightest movement of the camera will cause your picture to be blurry. I also used a Neutral Density (ND) filter to help the fireworks not be blown out (instead of bright spots of fireworks you actually see the colors of the fireworks because the Neutral Density Filters act like sunglasses for your camera). So by using these techniques and a long exposure, I was able to capture the glittering fireworks including the brilliant firework colors and the sparkling, shimmering Cinderella Castle.
Now for those photo geeks out there, here are the technical details of this photo:
Camera: Nikon D7000
Lens: Nikkor 18-200mm AF-s DX VR Zoom Picture taken at 26mm
Shutter: 16.3 seconds
Neutral Density Filter: 0.90 ND
Camera on a Tripod with Manual Cable Shutter Release
Until next time—keep taking pictures!
Keep Dreaming Big!
“Walt Disney World Moms Panelists are not Disney employees. The postings on this site are my own and do not necessarily represent Disney’s positions or opinions”