People began lining up along the railing in front of me, but things were OK. An older couple came close, but the gentleman was nice enough to stand behind his wife and not next to her, so as not to block my lens. I thanked him, but told him it wasn’t likely necessary, as I was shooting up high enough into the sky that I’d be over his head. In retrospect, I wish I had begged him to stand next to his wife to block anyone else from getting in.
So the show started, and the problem is that, because a tripod is at an angle, it looks like it’s not pushed up against the fence. So one pushy Mom starts marching her kids right in front of it. So a lot of my pictures now have the top of a kid’s head in the bottom corner of it.
I’m torn. This is Disney. It’s about the kids. We do everything for them there. I waited in the beating sun with no shade for an hour so my daughter could get a picture with a princess and talk to her for thirty seconds. And I know it would suck to keep your kid up way past his bedtime to see fireworks that were invisible to him because you thought showing up at the last moment would be a good idea, when all the good spots were gone an hour earlier. And, to his credit, the kid never actually touched my tripod, though he did come close. And his head is in a corner that’s dark enough that it would be easy to erase it from the pic by painting over it with black in Pixelmator.
But I can’t imagine being that pushy with my kid to stand her up where there’s no room for anyone else to go, potentially blocking someone else who was set up there first, and getting in their way.
Saw that a lot in front of Cinderella’s Castle for that “Dreams Come True” show, where people would just walk in front of a three year old girl, stand up right in front of her to watch the show, and not even think twice about it. People are their own centers of the universe, and they never acknowledge those around them, or even think of being considerate towards others. The Castle example is the worst: All they needed to do was sit down and it would be OK, but they’d stand there in a sea of seated people. They’re clueless and unaware of all around them.
It didn’t happen all the time. 99% of the people there were considerate and friendly and sharing. It’s all families trying to be good examples for their kids and all. But, man, that 1% is awful.
Oh, yeah, the fireworks! I was hit and miss. I stood there with my intervalometer in one hand and my iPhone stopwatch in the other, and tried to time things out for proper exposure. With the ND filter, a proper castle exposure was about 40 seconds. With the fireworks, things got nutty. The fireworks would often light up the castle, blowing out the highlights. Some fireworks were overblown on their own. Others were so small that they disappeared in the long haul.
I kept playing with my settings, and even ripped the ND filter off near the end to try more shorter exposures of about 8 to 10 seconds. With a 10 or 12 minute firework show, you have to act fast, guess a lot, and hope for the best. I did what I could. Here you see the results.