These Benches Again?!?

By Cory Disbrow on August 17th, 2010   |    Posted in:  Disney Photo Spotlight   |    4 Comments

Imagineering the Shot

These benches at Disney’s Boardwalk have been a point of interest for me for quite some time. About a year or so ago, I saw some really creative shots of them from some of my Flickr contacts. And I always wanted to shoot them myself. During my January 2010 trip, I walked from the Studios to EPCOT Center to meet up with some friends, and I got a few shots of them. But, it was real cold, and motivation just wasn’t on my side. A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to stay at the Boardwalk Villas, and let’s just say that I have enough shots of these benches to last a lifetime.

So this night was absolutely perfect for me to get comfy with my favorite benches. It had rained earlier on, so there were light reflections on the Boardwalk. The temperature had cooled off, so out I went. I grabbed a Sam Adams Summer Ale from the pizza place by Kouzzina, and had a blast. This particular shot was kind of a no brainer. I composed for the bench to be in focus with my trusty 24-70mm f/2.8 lens wide open so all the lights of the Boardwalk would become little pieces of bokeh. I had to use my tripod since it was dark out, and I wanted to get a clean shot with an ISO of 100. At f/2.8, the exposure wasn’t too long, but was worth setting up with the tripod.

Magical Post Production

This was kind of tough to edit. In Camera Raw, I heavily adjusted the White Balance. The lighting was really warm, almost harsh. So, I lowered the WB until I saw it natural, which was around 2400. I also had to knock the exposure down quite a bit in order to have some color on the lights in the background. Then I had to use a lot of fill light to get the foreground and the bench to be well lit after knocking down the exposure. Then I added some blacks and contrast, and went into Photoshop. From there, it was my typical workflow of running it through Color Efex Pro(which I thought broke the other day, and scared the daylights out of me. The program is a godsend.) I then sharpened using the Unsharp Mask, and was ready to go!


I know I had seen these shots done over and over, but I simply could not resist shooting these iconic(in my mind, at least) benches from all different angles. If you learned one thing from this post, I would hope that it would be to make it over to Disney’s Boardwalk sometime. Even if you don’t stay there, it’s just a hoot. The environment and feel is top notch, and has the benefit of that awesome park known as EPCOT Center right next door.

Also, thanks for your support thus far! As I write this, we have 379 Facebook Fans, and 213 Twitter followers! It’s been super fun so far, and we can’t wait to keep it up! See ya real soon!!



  1. Keith Kolmos   |   Aug 17, 2010

    Great post as always. I’m glad I’m not the only one with a particular obsession when taking pictures at WDW. Every time we come back from the world I find dozens and dozens of more shots from the Tower of Terror. Invariably someone in the family will ask – more pictures of the Tower of Terro?!?! :-)

  2. Michael Greening   |   Aug 17, 2010

    It’s a truly lovely shot filled with the romance of days gone by. Your post processing was well worth the time put in.

  3. Christian Lambert   |   Aug 18, 2010

    Nik Software has always had helpful tools! I can’t even tell what you used in Color Efex for this photo! Nice job!

    • Cory Disbrow   |   Aug 18, 2010

      Christian, I used the “Tonal Contrast” setting in Color Efex to help bring out some midtones and shadows.



Kingdom Camera Rentals

Save space when packing your suitcase and let Kingdom Camera Rentals deliver a lens or camera gear directly to your hotel when you visit Walt Disney World Resort.

Be sure to let them know you came from Disney Photography Blog!