Here are a few pictures that (probably) didn’t make it into the Halloween Party writeup along with some (probably bad) advice on photography. Larger: https://www.easywdw.com/reports9/5000.jpg.
There are a couple tricks to nighttime photography. Ideally, you would carry a tripod to stabilize the camera. When there isn’t a lot of light, you’re going to need to slow down the shutter speed to let enough light hit the sensor. If your pictures are blurry, it probably means that you inadvertently moved while taking the picture because the shutter speed was too slow. A second might not sound like a long time, but when you’re trying to hold a camera still, it “feels” like eternity. I don’t carry a tripod so I rely on garbage cans and other flat surfaces. Above is poor Tom hanging precariously while taking the picture above this one. You’ll probably want a wireless shutter release as well. Pressing the shutter button manually can shake the camera, resulting in a blurry shot.
Larger: https://www.easywdw.com/reports9/pecosb.jpg. To retain as much detail as possible, you’ll want to shoot with the lowest ISO possible. With a tripod or with the camera sitting somewhere, you can turn the ISO all the way down to 100 without fearing camera shake.
This is the same shot straight out of the camera. You also need to be cognizant of things (particularly people) moving while you’re taking the shot as anything that moves will also be blurry. That means a long exposure shot at ISO 100 may not be possible, particularly if you’re trying to take pictures of the most popular theme park in the world. If you look at the larger picture above, you can see where I’ve crudely clone stamped out the people in the frame with Photoshop.
Larger: https://www.easywdw.com/reports9/doesitgetbigger.jpg. To get those empty-theme-park-pictures, you’re going to have to hang around until after the theme parks close.
Larger: https://www.easywdw.com/reports9/emptyb.jpg. Staying late is easiest at Epcot, where security won’t prod you toward the exit until two or more hours after official close. That’s because restaurants seat people right up until close. At Magic Kingdom, you should have about 45 minutes before you start noticing cast blocking off sections of the Park and pointing people toward Main Street. You’ll want to be as far back as possible at Park close and slowly make your way toward the exit snapping pix as you go. I had in mind to head up to Fantasyland, but the walkway up in that direction was already closed off.
Larger: https://www.easywdw.com/reports9/cinderellacinderella.jpg. Handheld shots are tougher. To achieve a shutter speed fast enough, you’ll need to turn down the F-number and increase the ISO. If you’re using a camera with detachable lenses, you’ll probably want to use one with image stabilization. That will allow you to use slower shutter speeds without the image coming out blurry. Faster lenses (lenses with a lower F-number) are also preferable because they let in more light.
Larger: https://www.easywdw.com/reports9/msb.jpg. Turning off the flash is key unless you have a really powerful one.
A few more:
The changing colors during the Halloween Party in a matter of moments.
Larger: https://www.easywdw.com/reports9/hauntedb.jpg. New Mansion signage. If you’re thinking, “Does WDWMAGIC have a 200+ post thread discussing this sign?” the answer is yes, of course.