The Be Our Guest Restaurant located in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom is indeed magical. It is like stepping onto real world movie sets for a live version of Beauty and the Beast. Complete with the grey stuff and it is delicious.
For a photographer, the dining rooms are not the best lighted. They are dark in keeping with the ambiance of a restaurant. Our eyes see fine but our cameras need a little help. For me, that meant using a high ISO to increase the sensitivity of my camera’s sensor to pick up the dim light and the use of Rear-sync flash (sometimes called second curtain) where the flash is fired at the end of the exposure. This helps to gather background details which using regular flash would make almost completely dark.
Ballroom dining room inside the Be Our Guest restaurant.
Nikon D700/24-85G, 1/50s, f/8, ISO 6400, EV 0, 24mm focal length, rear sync flash.
This is where rear-sync flash comes in particularly handy. Photographing people in a darkened environment like the Be Our Guest dining rooms, it properly exposes them while still showing the beautiful Ballroom dining room in the background.
Guests inside the Be Our Guest restaurant.
Nikon D700/24-85G, 1/50s, f/8, ISO 5600, EV 0, 24mm focal length, rear sync flash.
No flash needed here as there was enough light on a rainy day to give nice moody and naturally vignetted light on the stained glass window in the foyer of the Be Our Guest restaurant.
Stained glass window outside of the Be Our Guest restaurant.
Nikon D700/24-85G, 1/60s, f/3.5, ISO 3200, EV 0, 24mm focal length.
If you have not given Rear Sync a try, look it up in your camera’s manual. You will be surprised at the results you can get especially when it comes to events such as weddings and parties or vacations with darkened rooms for dining where a Beast may be lurking.