Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Castle on a Winter's Eve

It may be the most photographed location in the entire park, but Sleeping Beauty Castle has always been a challenging subject to evenly shoot--at least for me.  It presents a particularly sharp challenge in having a bright top half and dim lower half at the same time, and the dim part is composed of cool colors, which don't always expose details properly when trying to compensate for the lighter roof areas.  This is exacerbated during the holidays when the castle takes its Winter Castle form, with bright, glowing twinkle lights that further trick the typical camera sensor into thinking that the scene is brighter than it really is.  So, if you want to get a nice shot of the castle in one take, you'll have to over-expose a little to capture the glistening "ice" on the castle, but not so much that the texture of the castle walls becomes washed out.  And of course, it always helps to shoot in RAW, so that more light information is processed, allowing for greater manipulation.  In the photo below, I was able to brush adjusted exposure levels over various parts of the composition as needed to even out the overall scene and make it more similar to what the human eye sees.  And to be honest, I think this is one of my better jobs.  Hope you like it too!

The Sleeping Beauty Winter Castle listens on a cool winter night.

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