THE PICTURE OF THE DAY, 10/22/2013
I recently had the opportunity to visit the Magic Kingdom during a work trip and was able to meet up with a bunch of buddies from the ‘site for some LATE night shooting at the Magic Kingdom and of course Cinderella Castle was high on the priority list. I only took my new Sony NEX-6 mirrorless camera with the 18-200 and the 10-18 wide angle lenses with me (along with a tripod) because I wanted to try out a lightweight kit and was tired of carrying the big, heavy Canon 1dX all day. We started off in the back of New Fantasyland, made our way through Tomorrowland, and ended up in front of the iconic Cinderella Castle.
This shot is my first photo of Cinderella Castle with the NEX-6 and I used the in-camera Auto HDR mode. It took a series of three exposures, set to a 4 stop spread (-2 to +2 exposure value – EV) and then automatically generated the HDR image. I then opened it up into Photoshop and worked it around a bit and really like the result. What’s impressive to me is you have noticeable detail in the shadow areas, detail in the finials at the top of the spires, and detail in the highlight areas with no important blown highlights. There are many different shades of color in the lighting on Cinderella Castle and you can even see just a tiny hint of detail in the foreground and stage areas. I am generally not a fan of HDR images, because when they are over-processed they tend to look like (to quote my pal Dennis) “clown-vomit”. My NEX-6 is set to give a natural looking image with just a bit of boost to the shadows and highlights.
Although the NEX-6 is limited in some aspects (slow autofocus, can’t use a remote release in HDR mode, still maturing technology), there is a LOT to like about the capabilities of the little camera. It won’t replace my full rig in the parks any time soon, but if this photograph of Cinderella Castle is any indication, I will be having a lot of fun with it in future trips.