Wishes, Dreams, and Pixie Dust

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

ISO: 200

Aperture: f16

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!

Marc Lorenzo

My Photo Location for My Wishes, Dreams, and Pixie Dust Photo

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15 thoughts on “Wishes, Dreams, and Pixie Dust

    • February 4, 2011 at 10:41 AM
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      Thanks Scott that means a lot coming from you! I have been following your awesome photoblog on http://www.allears.net since 2007. You are truly one of my inspirations that make me want to learn more about photography! Thanks again Scott!

      Reply
  • February 3, 2011 at 12:30 PM
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    Marc! I think you are my new hero. This photo is amazing: it actually took my breath away. When I read that you consider yourself an “amateur”….all I can say is that I can’t wait to see what you create when you are a “professional”. Beautiful photography fascinates me, partly because I am so bad at it…but wish I weren’t! I look forward to following your photography journey and hope that it will inspire me to become better at capturing such stunning memories. 🙂

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  • February 3, 2011 at 7:24 PM
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    I forgot to mention that I was with a bunch of great photographers at a Pixelmania 2010 Meet when I took this picture. We had a dozen or so photographers with tripods camped out on top of the Railroad Station! Also my awesome photographer friend, Dennis Dunkman took the photo of me with my camera while we were waiting for the fireworks to begin! Thanks Dennis! Thank you everyone for your great comments. I really apprciate it!
    Keep Dreaming Big!
    Marc

    Reply
  • February 3, 2011 at 10:32 PM
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    Marc! This picture is absolutely amazing! I’m an amateur photographer too and am always trying to capture the fireworks, but haven’t been lucky enough for a shot like this. Amazing!

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  • February 4, 2011 at 12:57 PM
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    Just magical! Thanks for sharing the beauty of the castle and the fireworks!

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  • February 4, 2011 at 6:25 PM
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    Amazing photo Marc, enjoyed your blog, thanks for sharing x x

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  • February 4, 2011 at 9:14 PM
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    Absolutely amazing photo of the fireworks & castle. This shot describes Disney magic…

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  • February 5, 2011 at 1:09 AM
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    Wow!!! That first photo took my breath away!! Just amazing!! :0)

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  • February 6, 2011 at 11:31 AM
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    What an awesome picture Marc!!!

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  • February 7, 2011 at 1:46 PM
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    That is an amazing photo. It truly captures WDW and the magic. May sound silly, but this would look great on a coffee mug. I’d buy one.

    Reply
  • February 24, 2011 at 1:03 PM
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    Wow, what a beautiful pic! Perfect timing, color & exposure!

    Reply

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