Splash Mountain at night is a photograph I have been contemplating to take for a while. I have been waiting for the right moment to finally capture it in its night time essence. Well, what was I waiting for you ask? For me, taking a photograph is very special. I believe that no photograph can ever be taken twice. So, I usually wait until my artistic fluids start to boil to take a picture that may be a little more special to me. Finally the night came, and I felt “it”. I don’t know what “it” is, but for anyone who has ever participated in any artistic activity you know exactly what I mean. On my first attempt I managed to balance the tripod on the queue rail, and the stone wall that separates the boundaries of the ride to the queue. I got it pretty stable and snapped a few shots of a landscaped style picture. I was very happy with what turned out, but not satisfied. There was an angle I wanted to get, but could only get with a portrait framing, and not a landscape. There was no way I could position the tripod in such a way that didn’t get a little bit of the fence in the way. So I walked back to Matt and Michaela, who by the way were taking some pretty sick Haunted Mansion photos, and cried to them about how I couldn’t get my shot. Matt, being the awesome guy he is, patiently walked me over to the angle that I couldn’t get. We talked for a while (mostly me whining), and he eventually saw what I wanted and gave some great advice. “Just shove your camera in the fence so that It supports itself”, he said. Brilliant! No, seriously. There are places in the park where you can literally wedge the camera in a portrait style so that it will “stick.” In no way do I recommend this as a technique (I don’t want you to lose your camera), but it worked for me in this situation. So I turned the camera and put it in a spot that ended up framing the picture just perfect! Only problem, It wouldn’t wedge properly to support itself. I was determined, now able to get the shot, I had to make an attempt. For the lighting conditions, and as you see from my settings, I was trying to get as much light in the camera as possible without slowing my shutter. I braced myself, pushed the camera between the fence, and let the three exposures fly. I ended up with 1 sec, 4 sec, and 15 sec exposures, staying still for a total of 20 sec. Somehow, I got the shot off. I never would have been able to do it without the help of my best friend. So now instead of the shot being something personal, it is an artistic collaboration with my best bud that we can share together. Thanks Matt.
October 18, 2010