I’m getting ready for a trip to Florida and decided to look through my images from my last trip to Walt Disney World. Plenty of images to process. My favorites have already been posted (considering last trip was two years ago), but I did find this one.
It was late at Epcot and I was on my way back to the resort. I stopped for a look at the Morocco Pavilion from the International Gateway. I can’t resist a good reflection and the pavilion is a favorite of mine. I didn’t get one of the tripod legs completely locked. During the 4 second exposure the camera started to fall over. I caught it but not before this image was captured.
The park was empty. A few clouds on the horizon but they were moving fast toward the East. Slight ripples on the water producing those soothing sounds I like as they met the shore.
Aaahhh! This is what I needed.
The ice has left the lake, the water level has returned to normal and the possibilities for images were plentiful. I couldn’t ask for a better evening. I grabbed a few images from the beach as the sun crossed into the approaching clouds. I walked out toward the point that typically is in the images I capture. I found a few good silhouette reflections with trees that are now in the water.
When I returned to the beach area for the color show after the sun had set I decided to try a few long exposure images. The clouds were moving at a good clip across the sky which could produce an interesting look of movement contrasted with the calm of the smoothed surface of the water.
To achieve the effect I wanted I needed to pull out the ten stop neutral density filter. As luck would have it the clouds were slowing down. I ended with a forty second exposure. I love the movement in the sky.
I looked back through my images and it has been a little over two months since my last visit to Delta Lake. I’ve driven by a few times on my way to other destinations but for some reason I have been avoiding the park. Monday night I corrected this oversight.
I originally was planning to visit Trenton Falls after work to see if the rains have increased the water flow in the West Canada Creek and to explore some of the area with the drone. The weather was not liking my plans. It was still drizzling out and the cloud cover was not promising. I should have known better. With only an hour to go before sunset the sky started to open up and the sun was teasing me for a game of hide-n-seek.
There wasn’t necessarily enough time to drive up to Trenton Falls but I thought Delta Lake might produce some interesting images. I wasn’t disappointed. Due to the weather there were only a few people in the park. I shared the beach with another photographer as we danced back and forth trying different viewpoints for the drama in the sky.
After the sun dropped below the horizon I tossed on the 4-stop ND filter and tried for a few long exposures. There was movement in the clouds but not quite enough to get the blurring I was hoping to achieve. There was not a lot of movement in the water though so I did manage to create a nice mirrored surface for a good reflection.
It was a good night to return to the park. I’m not positive why I stayed away for so long but I will not let another two month gap occur. There are places to explore, especially now that the water level is back to normal for the summer…
I suppose you cannot escape what you like. You are drawn to it through an unconscious process. You might not see it until after further introspection…
For me, with my photography, it is a good reflection. Maybe it is a result of a fascination with water. Whatever the reason, I will stop to capture a reflection, heck, I’ll re-compose an image to improve a reflection if it is within the frame.
Walt Disney World is no exception to this proclivity. I can admit a good percentage of my favoritism for the Crescent Lake area is the draw of the water and the chance for including a reflection in my photography. The last morning of my recent trip resulted in ideal conditions to highlight this quirk in my nature. A long exposure combined with fast moving clouds allowed me to create this unique view of the Yacht & Beach Club resorts.
I mentioned in my ‘…as the sun goes down‘ post, before the sun was in its best position I ran around the water’s edge grabbing long exposure images. Sadly, I realized when I went to process those images that my 10-stop ND filter has a small scratch on it. This creates a very visible sun spot when shooting into the sun.
Sadly, as I researched getting a replacement it appears I bet on the wrong horse. I bought a set of square ND filters with a holder capable of installing a circular polarizer from Vu Filters. I have been very happy with the results. Because I use a micro four thirds system with smaller lenses I did not need big filters and Vu had a 75mm wide system that would be great for all my lenses. Doing a little research, it appears Benro bought out Vu and incorporated the filters into their own line. Hopefully, I can get a replacement without having to switch do a different system.
Luckily, for you I was able to salvage one image from my ruined long exposure fun. I found a grouping of rocks at the edge of the water to use as foreground interest for the color show happening at the horizon. With the clouds partially obscuring the sun combined with 10-stops of light filtering I captured a 30 second exposure. This long exposure smoothed out what little waves were undulating on the water and created a glass-like look reflecting the colors in the sky.
I did minor tweaking to the image in Lightroom sticking with a few adjustments to highlights and shadows. I then processed it in Luminar to enhance the colors, mainly to bring out the blues and brighten the oranges. Add a subtle vignette and the image is ready for display…
Color on Glass Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 30s, 12mm, f/11, ISO 100
When I was at Delta Lake the other night capturing the sunset there was another photographer on the beach. She had the best location and I tried to wait for her to grab the images she wanted before I interrupted but she was exploring a lot of different angles in that spot. I eventually realized she was not going to be done before the sun slipped away so I chanced walking up to her to see if I could share her location. She graciously agreed there was plenty of beach for both of us.
We chatted a little as we both went about our process. She was working on some long exposure images and I realized the conditions were ripe for doing so. For the last few captures, I threw my 4-stop ND filter in front of the lens and stretched the exposure out to 2.5 seconds. It was enough to smooth most of the water and create a nice mirror-like reflection of the sunset.
I photograph this section of Delta Lake quite often, some could say a lot! Maybe it is the easy access, maybe it is the direction of the sunset that makes it so easy. Either way, I never get tired of seeing this view, especially when there are a few lingering clouds in the sky to add a layer of color. I’m beginning to think orange and blue are my go to colors… 🙂
Water Mirror Olympus E-M1 Mark II, M. Zuiko 12-40mm f/2.8, 12mm, 2.5s, f/16, ISO 64