Before our October 2012 Walt Disney World trip, I came to a realization: I had not photographed Magic Kingdom fireworks in a “normal” manner since October 2009, when I used a Nikon D90. Since then, I had been using either a fisheye lens (for perimeter bursts) or a neutral density filter (for more chaotic photos). The real reason I used both of these things was the added challenge. I’m by no means a fireworks photography master, but part of the fun of photography for me is the creative challenge, and fireworks are mostly technical. Besides camping out in different parts of the park, there’s not a ton you can do to get more creative with fireworks photos, so I decided to give myself an additional challenge by using neutral density filters and the fisheye lens. The resulting photos seem more…energetic(?)…than normal fireworks photos.
Unfortunately, a lot of the time when I use a fisheye lens or neutral density filter, the resulting photos aren’t quite as visually pleasing as they would be with a simpler setup. Given this, and given all of the upgrades I’ve made in camera bodies and lenses since last photographing fireworks over Cinderella Castle, I decided it was time to shoot them sans filter or fisheye lens again. Overall, I was pretty pleased with the results, and there actually was a bit of a challenge since HalloWishes (the show I photographed) is a tad more challenging to photograph than Wishes thanks to the harsh lighting on Cinderella Castle during HalloWishes. Plus, I manufactured a bit of a challenge by switching lenses during the show, something I’ve never before done, and using a fisheye lens for the grand finale, which features perimeter bursts.
You may notice that the site looks a bit different today. The basic design of DisneyTouristBlog hadn’t changed since we launched on the last day on February 2011, and I decided it was time for a change. I wasn’t overly fond of the design I was using, so I enlisted Adam Hansen of Disney Photography Blog to install a new WordPress theme for me that’s a bit more minimalistic and easy to navigate. You’ll now notice that you can read longer excerpts from each post on the main page, and that the website is brighter overall. I think these are changes for the better, although some people have disagreed on our Facebook page. In response to some of these concerns, I’ll note that there is actually dead space on this incarnation of the site than there was on the previous site, and also that both sites have used a text/photos on white layout. The darker color on the previous design was behind a layer of white that encased the main content. I agree that photos don’t look as good on white as they do on black, which is why you should click each image to view it large and in a lightbox (this was also true on the previous site). 😉
Another thing that has changed is the logo. Slightly. I am hardly a master of graphic design, but I whipped together this new logo. It’s “inspiration” is the various types of stamps that pertain to travel: postmarks, passport stamps, and luggage stamps. As for the font, I played around with several different fonts, but ultimately went with this one because it reminded me of Jurassic Park. And Jurassic Park rules. It’s hardly the most brilliant logo in the world, but hey, you have to work with what you have!
If you have any feedback or constructive criticism regarding the new look of the website, please share it! I’m continuing to make tweaks based upon good suggestions from readers!