THE PICTURE OF THE DAY, 2/23/2014
“Space Mountain… Ready for Launch!”
Front seat… Check! Safety Bar… Check! Camera secured to strap… Check! Strap secured to me… Check!
This action shot of the launch tunnel in Space Mountain at The Magic Kingdom is made by “dragging the shutter” (purposely using a slower shutter speed than normal) in order to get the longest possible light streaks on the side of the tunnel. As you know, the lights in the tunnel run in the opposite direction as your rocket, enhancing the sense of speed through the tunnel. If I used a faster shutter speed, the lights would be very small and the tunnel itself would be very dark.
For this shot inside Space Mountain, I used my Canon 24-105 f/4L instead of using a fast prime, which I would ordinarily do inside of a dark ride. I set the camera to Auto ISO and used shutter priority, set for 1/25 second. I let the combination of the camera setting the ISO and the lens’ Image Stabilization function do the work as I just sat there and pressed the button and enjoyed the ride.
Post processing of this shot involved adjusting the exposure and contrast and adding a heavy vignette around the outside of the frame. I purposely didn’t want to enhance the image too much as it would have possibly ruined the Space Mountain atmosphere. I try this shot all the time, using different lenses and shutter speeds, but this one seems to have turned out the best out of all of my attempts. I gave it just a kiss of noise reduction in Lightroom and it came out beautifully.