Disney Photography Blog

Beacon for the Show Business Elite – Twilight Zone Tower of Terror HDR Photo

By Cory Disbrow on May 14th, 2012   |    Posted in:  Daily Disney Photo   |    1 Comment

Today’s Daily Disney Photo is quite the tough one to process. Photographing The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror at night is something where bracketing is a must. The range of the scene is just too wide to capture it all in one exposure. So, this one is 3 different exposures, merged using Photomatix’s Exposure Fusion setting. I then imported it to Photoshop and did some detail work using Nik Color Efex Pro to finish things off.

For those that may not understand what I mean by bracketing, let me quickly explain. When you bracket a shot, you are taking multiple shots of the same subject using different camera settings. It is important (especially at night) to use a tripod when doing this. You are going to end up combining these shots into one final photo. If you are doing this without a tripod, then the different brackets will not match up. The aperture should remain consistent throughout the different brackets but you will adjust the shutter speed. For this photo, the aperture stayed at f/8 but the three shots had a shutter speed of 10 seconds, 2.5 seconds and finally 30 seconds. That would mean the first shot was underexposed, the second was exposed correctly for that scene and the third was overexposed. You then combine the three of them using software (in this case Photomatix) to create one final photo.

We will get into bracketing and much more on HDR very soon here on the Disney Photography Blog. We have a special series of articles being worked on along with a review of a very popular HDR course. If you have specific questions related to HDR, post them in the comments and we will try to cover them during this series.

Technical Settings

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II

Lens: Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM

Focal Length: 40mm

Aperture: f/8

Shutter Speed: 10″, 2.5″, 30″

ISO: 100

Final Thoughts

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1 Comment

  1. Experiment_626   |   May 22, 2012

    This is, indeed, a tricky subject — even for HDR. That purple-blue lighting Disney uses here and on Cinderella Castle is hard to SEE, let alone photograph. I’ve had my best results bracketing more than three exposures. I do a minimum of five, two stops apart (or nine one stop apart).

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