On my Flickr Stream for the 25 days leading up to Christmas I uploaded one new image that dealt with anything Christmas. I uploaded various decorations around our house, our family Christmas cards of our dogs, but the most important ones came form Disneyland. Now before I get into the bulk of this post let me say that Disneyland is a huge part of my life. I grew up on Disneyland and all things Disney I’ve been going since I was probably 5 or 6. Disneyland during Christmas is like New York during Christmas for my fellow east coasters. It’s magical and breathtaking. It just puts you in a great mood. More importantly it is an extremely photogenic place to shoot with lots of history that unfortunately I feel goes highly unnoticed nowadays. Disneyland prides itself on their amazing decorations, Holiday shows, and decked out Castle, Haunted Mansion with a Nightmare Before Christmas theme during their Holiday season. It’s simply an amazing place to shoot. So when the idea of the 25 pictures of Christmas came up I knew I had to make my way out to the self proclaimed Happiest Place On Earth.
Now, regarding photography at Disneyland it can be a very tricky place to shoot at. Since you don’t want to be the one a**hole with a tripod during their Christmas season making it even more congested than it already is causing traffic jams just to get that perfect shot (some will but I don’t want to deal with those hassles) you have to have either a camera with a high ISO and a pretty fast lens or get some good prime lenses with low f stops but the downside is you have to carry more and swap out lenses for different shots. For a lot of my shots I used my trusty old Canon 50mm f1.8. It worked well in places like the Haunted Mansion because they have neon lights and the lens responded well to it and at a fast ISO it performed like a champ. I only pulled that lens out once it got dark or for of course the dark rides. For my daytime walk around lens I used my Sigma 18-150mm, which performed decent. We arrived around 4 so the sun was starting to go down and gave me a lot of grain and even more so at 6400 ISO. Had we arrived earlier I would have gotten much better shots because I know my Sigma lens can perform well in broad daylight it’s the only lens I used on my Europe trip. Any zoom lens will perform well in broad daylight but once the sun starts to set you better be equipped with some fast glass.
It was only my second time shooting at Disneyland but I think one of the biggest things that I have realized is that you need either a tripod with long exposures or if you don’t want that hassle I am looking into purchasing a Canon L series lens probably the 17-55mm f2.8. I do plan on renting the lens specifically for my next visit so I can really test it out and make sure it works under low light situations. Even though the low light isn’t extremely low light. Disneyland is very good about providing you a lot of surrounding light that you can rely on like on Main Street they have light posts that give you a little help or Tomorrow land lots of neon lights to work with.
In all I am still trying to work out the kinks of getting great shots and finding the right lens to shoot with so I can continue with my Disneyland Project that I initially announced last year. I do hope to find that decent lens and become a Disneyland Photo factory because I am an annual pass holder and do get out to the resort once every 5 or 6 weeks. I haven’t even begun to shoot at California Adventure and lastly there are a few images and concepts that I have that have special meaning to me about what Disneyland means to me and what I feel it represents. Stay tuned.