Madame Leota’s Spirit Captured

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Dark rides frustrate folks who want to take a great shot while abiding by the no flash rule. I know people who have ridden the same attraction many times in an effort to get the perfect or near perfect shot that can be enhanced post production. Honestly, when I’m at Disneyland or Walt Disney World, at most I’ll take in the same ride three times within a trip. Most often, it’s a one-time effort. So getting the exact shot I want on a dark ride doesn’t happen frequently.

I lucked out because the ride stopped and I was able to snag this photo of Madame Leota, psychic medium trapped in her own crystal ball, before we began moving.It was a quick stop too, maybe 10-15 seconds.

If you’re not familiar with Madame Leota, she floats about in a séance, calling out to ghosts to appear at the Haunted Mansion.

Canon PowerShot SX30 IS, 1sec, f5.0, ISO 1600

You can see the image moved as there’s a 2nd profile of her face which is cool but I wanted to try and clean it up a bit, remove reflections from the crystal ball, and darken the background. With many clicks, I dodged, burned, and stamped my way to this version by means of PhotoShop.


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One Reply to “Madame Leota’s Spirit Captured”

  1. Some of the most difficult pictures you will ever take at Walt Disney World are on the dark rides. The absence of light on a moving ride creates a very difficult image to capture (even for some of us with a pricey DSLR). Your article brings up a very valid and important point, learn to use your camera settings.

    Thank you, Lisa, for the article! I hope it inspires others to learn about photography and their camera’s capabilities/settings.