Moonlight on Carthay Circle

By Cory Disbrow on March 12th, 2013   |    Posted in:  Daily Disney Photo, News   |    3 Comments

Today, I’m very excited to be sharing my first photo from the newly reimagined Disney California Adventure park. Naturally, I’m sharing a shot from my favorite part of the whole park, Buena Vista Street.


To appreciate this photo completely, you first have to think back to what was in this space before the billion dollar renovation of this park. Gaudy postcards and wild colors adorned the Sunshine Plaza and set the pace for what was, at its beginning, a mediocre park by all accounts. But now, we have the warm, lush, inviting Buena Vista Street at the front, which sets a totally different mood for your day. It is a true Disney entrance, class to the very end, with the coolest Starbucks I’ve ever seen to boot. And the area ends right here at the beautiful fountain and Carthay Circle restaurant.

For this shot, I wanted to do a wide composition near the fountain so I could get cool patterns from the flowing water with the theater making for a great backdrop. I knew I wanted to take this shot before I even left my home in Florida for the trip, but little did I know that there would be a full moon the entire week that would bathe the Disneyland Resort in beautifully lit skies. So, I knew that I had to find a way to work the moon into the shot. I made sure to do a [-2, 0, +2] bracket here to account for all the light levels, which can be tricky here. As you can see, I still managed to blow the highlights on the water at the base of the fountain, but I don’t think it deteriorates the shot in any way. I also made sure to set my aperture to f/13 here so I could get a great starburst effect on that full moon. I also thought of really pushing the details here with Nik Color Efex Pro, but I decided against it, since I wanted the scene to look a little more natural. I have another shot with more pavement in the frame which I pushed for those gritty details.

This shot was taken with the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and the Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L USM lens, both of which are available at Amazon. Thanks for reading!!


  1. Alisha   |   Mar 12, 2013

    Absolutely gorgeous!

  2. Adam Willis   |   Mar 12, 2013

    Wow. The moon really makes a big difference. Such a small detail with so much impact. Great shot!

  3. Tom Bricker   |   Mar 12, 2013




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