St. Mickey's Fire

Last Friday, I was at the Disneyland Resort with my friends, George and Doug.  As usual, we were there to wait out the crowds as the night progressed and close the park down shooting photos of any angle that appealed to us.  Working from the back of the park at Paradise Pier to the front, by the time we reached Buena Vista Street, almost all of the guests were gone, leaving us to capture those empty-park shots that are oh so gratifying.

Having three photographers in the same vicinity with the chance to take the same shots breeds a bit of mischief. After all, we want to be original in our own way, but we're staring at the same subject at the same time.  So sometimes, to break the monotony, someone goes off script. In this case, it was George wandering over to the Storytellers Statue as Doug and I were in the process of taking long exposures and snapping his flash straight into the camera, effectively "ruining" the shot with the sudden bright blast of light.

Except it didn't ruin it... at least not for me.  When I looked at the photo after it finished processing, I noticed that the flash had simply produced a single orb of light, rather than wash out the entire shot.  "How interesting," I remarked. It looked like a ghostly sphere, floating like a levitating spectre, not unlike what sailors used to think how the weather phenomenon of St. Elmo's Fire was a ghostly plasma.  In this case, it was just a trick of the light and long exposure processing, but with the month of Halloween in full effect, eerie associations were on my mind.  Sometimes, a ruined shot isn't ruined at all!

The combination of a long exposure and a quick flash results in a ghostly glow above Mickey!


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