Isolating Photography Subjects at Walt Disney World

Walt Disney World is a very busy place and it can be hard to photograph anything without some distractions in the background. Here are three examples in what I look for or do to isolate subjects when in the Parks.

Shows are often staged by isolating the subjects using light and backgrounds to keep the audience’s attention right where the Imagineers want it. Dark backgrounds work very well with brightly colored subjects like characters and even Imperial Stormtroopers.

Stormtroopers in the Dark
Imperial Stormtroopers, with a black background, entertaining guests before the Stars of the Saga show during a Star Wars Weekend back in 2014 at the Premier Theater in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/200s, f/4, EV -0.6, 120mm Focal Length.

The opposite is also true. Bright or light-colored backgrounds do the same thing. The smoke effect behind Darth Vader’s black cloak really makes him stand out during a performance of the Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple show in Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Darth Vader Light
Darth Vader with the smoke effect creating a light background during the Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple show next to Star Tours in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/4.8, ISO 560, EV 0, 62mm Focal Length.

We can do this too by looking for backdrops when we want to photograph our family and/or friends. Disney parks, resorts and shopping locations have many excellent light and dark backgrounds from buildings to purposely placed murals.

By far my favorite way to isolate a subject is to open my lens to its widest aperture and carefully focus on my subject. This lets the background go pleasingly out of focus. The out of focus area is called bokeh.

Jedi Knight Bokeh
Jedi Knight using a wide open aperture to create the bokeh background during the Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple show next to Star Tours in Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/5.6, ISO 280, EV 0, 300mm Focal Length.

Note, with a focal length of 300mm, the lens I used had its widest aperture at f/5.6.

Next week I will be visiting Walt Disney World. You can follow my adventures from my Disney Twitter account @Scottwdw.

Remember! When you’re at Disney tag @allearsnet in your photos!

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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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