Sleeping Beauty Castle Sunset

By Cory Disbrow on March 4th, 2013   |    Posted in:  Daily Disney Photo   |    5 Comments

Hey guys! It’s been a week now, and the reason I haven’t posted anything new on the site is because I just spent a week out at Disneyland to enjoy the park, do some photography work, and see what all the fuss is about at DCA 2.0. So, you’ll be seeing a mixture of both WDW and DLR photos from me for the foreseeable future. Here’s the first shot I edited from the trip.


One of my favorite things about Disneyland is Sleeping Beauty Castle. I know it’s small, but it is the original, and it is just beautiful. And great to photograph. I feel there are more interesting compositions for this one than Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom, due to the statuettes, the fact that both angles yield great results, and you can shoot it straight on without an ugly stage being in the way. I was lucky enough to get beautiful clear days the entire time I was at the resort, which made for some lovely sunset and blue hour shooting.

From a technical standpoint, this shot came from three different exposures. I set up my tripod and fired off a [-2, 0, +2] bracket to cover the dynamic range. When I got home, I used Photomatix to blend them, and in a rare move from me, I actually used tone mapping as opposed to exposure fusion. It just looked right to me, even if to some it may look a little over-processed. After blending the images, I opened it in Lightroom to do some basic color correction, like the pinks on the top of the castle, which even before it gets truly dark out, tend to overexpose way too much. A couple Nik filters came after that, with the most important being Glamour Glow, which helps give the vibe you see in the shot.

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


  1. Jenn   |   Mar 4, 2013

    I love this image. I also appreciate the technical info given so I can learn how take take better photo’s myself. In the past, I had always tried to get this perfect image straight out of the camera , and felt guilty tweaking it. It takes the pressure off to know that some post processing work goes into creating beautiful images like this.

    • Cory Disbrow   |   Mar 4, 2013

      Thanks for the reply. I always do everything I can to get the image as close to perfect in the camera, but every single image you ever see from me has some sort of editing done to it. Gotta give it that pop!

  2. William McIntosh   |   Mar 4, 2013

    Cory – It was so good to see you out here last week! I hope it’s not too long before your next visit. I love this image as I have felt for quite some time that shots of the castle and areas of Fantasyland lend themselves to a bit of extra treatment, be it HDR, or a little extra saturation, etc because they often evoke that fanciful, magical vibe of the park better than a shot strait out of the camera. Maybe it’s because I’m such a fan of the ART of the parks, i.e. Ellenshaw, etc, but I’m very partial to that artistic/fanciful look. Great job on this!

  3. Mike Chase   |   Mar 5, 2013

    right click “save picture as” “set as wallpaper”! this is the ultimate picture for me! bravo mr. Photographer! it inspired me to take similar pictures as well and i took help from now, very soon i will have a wallpaper of a picture i took myself!

  4. Brett Kiger   |   Mar 5, 2013

    I agree with Bill, the castles and Fantasyland areas can handle a little extra processing. I like the direction you took this one in, and I’m also looking forward to some of those DCA 2.0 shots that I know you have queued up!



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