Photographing the Festival of the Lion King Singers on Stage

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Festival of the Lion King Live Stage Show in the Harambe Theatre at Disney’s Animal Kingdom does allow flash photography.

I tried a different approach on my last viewing of the show. I put my camera in Manual mode and set the shutter speed to 1/125th of a second, the aperture on the Nikon 28-300VR lens I set to wide open at any focal length and changed to Spot Metering. Spot metering allows the camera to get exposure information from a small part of the frame. My camera is set to 11%. I let the camera calculate the needed ISO for a good exposure.

Even at 1/125s, fast movements by the performers will still cause blurring. I wait until there is little to no movement. It helps to be familiar with the show as I have seen Festival of the Lion King many times. One can use youTube to watch videos of shows you may not be familiar with. That was how I was able to get this photo of one of the performers singing. He had just completed a movement and I knew he would be close to stationary for a few seconds.

Singer performing during the Festival of the Lion King live show in Africa at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Singer performing during the Festival of the Lion King live stage show.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 5000, 0 EV, 300mm Focal Length, Cropped.

Notice the very high ISO number of 5000. In processing this photo, I used Noise Reduction software to eliminate the digital noise which was apparent in the original image. I point this out as the next photo was taken at ISO 2200 which almost does not need any noise reduction for an image shared on the Internet. If I was to print it, I would definitely apply some.

Singer performing during the Festival of the Lion King live show in Africa at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Singer performing during the Festival of the Lion King live stage show.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 2200, 0 EV, 300mm Focal Length.

With today’s digital cameras, high ISO photography is not the burden it was just 5 years ago. I might try even faster shutter speeds in the future to see how much I can push my equipment. Have you tried this at Disney or at any other kind of performances?





Scott's "Photographic Innoventions" blog focuses on intermediate to advanced photography concepts and techniques relevant for Point and Shoot and Digital SLR cameras.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *