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Splash Mountain at Night | by Express Monorail
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Splash Mountain at Night

This one was shot one evening while walking the Magic Kingdom with Cody and Don, and a gal named Becky I believe. I had a beanbag in my camera bag so I rested my camera on the beanbag on the railing of the bridge and fired nine bracketed exposures. I don't recall if it was intentional or not, but I was set on ISO400 and -2 exposure compensation. It seemed to work out in the end and I believe my last exposure was 30 seconds anyway, which is as long of an exposure the camera will take in exposure bracketing mode. I didn't have a good feeling about the results at the time and I accidentally left the beanbag on the railing.


So anyone that has tried this shot knows that there are a couple real challenges that await in post processing. One is that every five-ten seconds a log comes down the flume. Well, they take your picture at the top of the drop which means a very powerful flash pops and washes out everything including the log. To solve this problem I layered the brightest exposure that I had over the scene and masked just the “waterfall” through. The other problem, from the same bright flash, is that the flash turns everything, including the reflection in the water – very blue. So using layers and masks I changed the hue of the blue to more of the orange-red that the rest of the mountain has... then painted just those blue parts. A lot of work but I think it is worth it. I also fixed the white balance in RAW before running it through Dynamic-Photo HDR because the colors were very warm and greenish.


The only think I'm still not crazy about is the bright reflection down the middle of the water. I tried cloning it out but that looked weird so I just basically desaturated it so that it wasn't so blue.



Splash Mountain, Frontierland, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World Resort


Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you're having a great day!

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Taken on December 5, 2010