I know now what I was doing wrong with these shots (I had a camera setting goofed up), so I hope to try them again the next time I'm out at Disney. Still, even though they're plagued with technical errors, I thought you fellow Dizgeeks might like seeing a few shots, if only because it's always fun to see crowd-free photos of the Magic Kingdom. (Well, fun for ME, anyway. It always reminds me of my Skipper days there, walking through the silent streets, and it never stops being magical, either.)
I'm pretty shy around the photogs, since I know practically nothing and end up staring wide-eyed when asked anything even remotely technical, but John will strike up a conversation with anyone toting a big camera. He's actually picked up a lot of tips and equipment recommendations that way.
This is my most true-to-life shot of the night; it doesn't have the typical HDR surrealness to it. It's also not very interesting, which is a shame; I think I failed to capture the real majesty of the Liberty Tree.
You can really see the technical problems in these next few, and I'm absolutely kicking myself for not getting those settings right:
Ug. So grainy. (But a neat view, right?)
And try to imagine how pretty this next shot would have been if I hadn't messed it all up:
John and I waited a solid 30 minutes to get this shot, too, poised over the timer, having countless takes spoiled by guests wandering down the corridor or in front of the carousel... Oh, the pain.
(Don't worry, I'm not TOO broken up - I know we can always go back and try again. Heh.)
At least this black and white is a little smoother:
And I purposely made this next one surreal, since the graininess was killing it anyway:
My favorite shot of the night was actually the over-exposed version I took for an HDR pic:
Everything looks like colored glass!
And here's the resulting HDR of the same shot:
It's, you know, not great. But like I said, I'm learning, and sometimes it's fun to share the "failures" along with the successes.
Some of you have asked for tips or tutorials on HDR, but I think it's obvious from this post that I don't have any to offer personally. :D I can tell you I use a Canon 7D with a 17-50 lens, and I could probably show you how to take the bracketed photos necessary for HDR now, but that's about it. So, if any of you have suggestions for good online tutorials, please share them in the comments!
Today John and I are heading out to Epcot with my parents, and we'll all be toting camera bags and tripods. (So if you see a nerdy family standing around discussing F-stops, be sure to say hi.)
[UPDATE: I've had a few requests to add the black & white castle shot to my DeviantArt gallery, so you can see it here, and even purchase a print, if you like. Thanks for the kind words and for making my ego inflate, guys; it's the ultimate compliment to have someone request a print of your photo!]