Drums of Pandora in Disney’s Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Over the next four weeks, I will be sharing photography from the new Pandora – The World of Avatar in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Disney Imagineers did an amazing job in a small space (for Walt Disney World that is) and I hope you enjoy seeing and reading about it as much as I did during my visits.

Swotu Wayä Na'vi Drum Ceremony in Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Location of the Swotu Wayä Na’vi or Sacred Place of Song in Pandora.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 6400, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length.

Swotu Wayä translates as the Sacred Place of Song and is located at the heart of the Mo’ara Valley inside Pandora. Guests, especially children, can enjoy playing the drums anytime during the day and makes for a nice rest area to sit and soak in the sights and sounds of Walt Disney World’s newest land. Periodically during the day (hourly the day I was there), a group of drummers lead by a Musicologist who has studied Na’vi musical culture come out to share what he or she has learned. The show is a very fun and energetic which gets the audience involved in clapping, chanting and even getting some to play the drums.

Swotu Wayä Na'vi Drum Ceremony in Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Drummers performing in the Swotu Wayä Na’vi Na’vi Drum Ceremony in Pandora.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 6400, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length.

The show I photographed was just as the Sun set with low light. The area does have stage lights but, like everything in Pandora, are colorful and dim. To keep my shutter speed at a fairly quick 1/125th of a second, the ISO climbed to 6400. Even so, you can see blurring of the arms and drumsticks. Not too much to be distracting and I feel it ads to the photos. In post production, I had to raise the exposure some and use a healthy dose of noise reduction in Lightroom CC.

Swotu Wayä Na'vi Drum Ceremony in Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Guests enjoying the Swotu Wayä Na’vi Drum Ceremony in Pandora.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 6400, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length.

This show was a pleasant surprise as I had not heard of it until I visited Pandora for the first time. Photographing it was fun and I will do so again when the light is better.





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

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