Illuminations over Imagination in Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I follow many photographers who enjoy perfecting their craft in Disney parks all over the world. These men and women come up with many photo ideas I often make note of these photos to try an attempt myself. These help to push my photographic skills as I try to master new techniques and see things differently.

Once a person has photographed the many Disney fireworks shows from the traditional viewpoints, one looks for different angles and perspectives. I had seen versions of the photo below. To photograph it, I found this position across from the Journey into Imagination pavilion’s famous reverse waterfall a few minutes before Illuminations started. I setup a tripod and put a three-stop neutral density filter on a wide angle lens. Unlike when I can hear the show music, I had to wait for the bursts to emerge high enough to open the shutter.

Illuminations firework bursts behind the Imagination pavilion in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Illuminations firework bursts behind the Imagination pavilion.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 8.6s, f/9, ISO 400, EV 0, 16mm focal length, 3-stop ND filter, tripod.

If you are looking for alternative places to photograph firework shows at any of the Disney parks, websites like flickr have thousands of images for you to get inspiration from.

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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6 Replies to “Illuminations over Imagination in Epcot”

  1. Beautiful Scott! I love the change in contrast of the lines starting with the sharp fireworks then the soft “waterfall” and finally the zany squiggly lines of the reflected fireworks.

    Scott replies: Thanks, Steve!

  2. hi scott,
    what a perfect picture!!!
    i really appreciate you telling us where you were when you took the photo. i often wonder if photographers need to work there or know somebody who does to get some of the angles/shots you guys get.
    i go to disney every other year and feel like i am too busy with the family (3 kids and husband) to enjoy setting up and waiting for taking these types of photos. thank you.

    Scott replies: Hi, Karen! When my girls were young, I got good at the grab shot. Today, I get a lot of inspiration from websites like flickr which saves time when I am at the parks. I had seen other photos from this location and decided I wanted to do my own version. Most people wait for the finale, I thought this first burst of blue and white played well with the colored waterfall.