Wednesday, March 26, 2014

A Sinister Spy

Last year, when I got my Nikon D600, I made a mental list of scenes I've shot in the past with my old D300 that I wanted to shoot again, taking advantage of the newer and more powerful sensor and full frame capabilities of my new camera.  They didn't necessarily have to be the exact same shots, but they typically were the same subjects.  One of them was the Evil Queen of Snow White fame, who peeks behind the curtains every half minute or so to scowl upon the people in Fantasyland below.

Over the weekend, I finally remembered this task, so set myself over to Fantasyland after the park had closed to try to get a zoomed in view of Disney's first villain.  The resulting photo below actually has a more complicated set-up than might first appear.  My first few shots were unsatisfactory, because getting castle walls and tile roofs to be properly exposed meant that the queen was blown out in highlights.  All that would appear through the curtains was a white orb of light.  Although I could have addressed this by taking two exposures--one longer exposure to get the architecture and one shorter one to capture the queen, I decided to challenge myself by trying to get a balanced shot in one try. 

To do so, I mentally timed how long the queen peeped through the curtains, compared to how long she was hidden behind, then took several shots that overlapped the two timeframes.  Knowing that Queen Grimhilde was a source of very bright illumination compared to the rest of the scene, I timed it so that she occupied a small segment of the exposure time.  So even though the majority of the shot has the curtains closed at her position, the brief second and a half (out of ten) when she appeared was more than enough to imprint the image onto the sensor.  And with that, I was able to get in one shot what might used to take two!

The Evil Queen watches over all at night.

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