Show Hide
Happy Villaintines Day from Disney Parks Blog

A Train’s Life 2: The Disneyland Railroad

posted on September 29th, 2010 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort

I hope you enjoyed the daytime photos of Disneyland Railroad from my last post.

This next photo was captured by using a technique called “panning.” I hand held the camera set at a slow shutter speed while moving (panning) it with the speed of the train. I like this technique because it makes the subject stand out by blurring the background.

Image of Train Taken With a Technique Called ‘Panning’, By: Paul Hiffmeyer

When I was scouting for this shot during the day, I liked the angle but decided that a photo at night would be much more interesting.

New Orleans Square Train Station, By: Paul Hiffmeyer

I really liked this photo when I first saw it, but what really made me want to share it was that Engineer Gary stood still for a full 4 seconds while I took the photo and the train’s headlight is lighting the tunnel so it gives this a picture a huge depth of field.

Engineer Gary in His Train, By: Paul Hiffmeyer

The main reason I wanted to photograph the trains at night was to get this next photo. I have photographed the trains at Main Street Station many times but always during the day. I just knew that a photo at night from this angle would make a very cool photo. What do you think?

Train at Main Street Station, By: Paul Hiffmeyer

  • Share: 

Tagged: , ,

Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort



David from UT on September 29th, 2010 at 1:06 pm

That top one in action is great.


Richard from IN on September 29th, 2010 at 1:10 pm

I love the symmetry and perspective of the fourth photo; it’s fantastic and, of course, an angle unavailable to a guest of the Parks. That said, photo number one will produce quite a few amateur attempts; thanks for sharing your technique!


Tim on September 29th, 2010 at 1:22 pm

The last one is large mural / poster material. I hope it can be presented in that manner.


Ehren on September 29th, 2010 at 1:27 pm

Great pics, I love the Disneyland trains. Thanks for sharing and letting us know how you were able to capture the different shots. Good stuff to know.


Anthony from NJ on September 29th, 2010 at 1:44 pm

You need to release these photos–especially this last one–at higher resolution so they can be used as desktop backgrounds. They’re great!


Fred from CA on September 29th, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Beautiful photos!


Kayla from AZ on September 29th, 2010 at 2:03 pm

Oh my goodness, I love these photos! The last one is my favorite :)


Jesse from CA on September 29th, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Love them all, I particularly like the one heading towards the tunnel!


Pamela on September 29th, 2010 at 3:06 pm

I love your photos Mr. Hiffmeyer. I always find photo ops when I visit Disneyland. Would be wonderful to be able to take photos from your positions. Thank you for sharing as I always enjoy viewing.


Syd on September 29th, 2010 at 3:07 pm

Love the bottom one at night. My favorite time in Disneyland is nighttime when all the lights come one.


Maria on September 29th, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Absolutely Amazing!!!


Ashley from VA on September 29th, 2010 at 3:11 pm

LOve the last one it is classic


Laura on September 29th, 2010 at 3:12 pm

The last one is definitely my favorite! It feels very iconic.


Sarah on September 29th, 2010 at 3:37 pm

Beautiful pictures, Paul, really enjoy seeing these! The 1st and 4th are my favorites. The former because it captures the speed and excitement of trains, the latter because it’s so classic… looks like it belongs in a children’s storybook!


Thor from CA on September 29th, 2010 at 3:59 pm

Just stunning!


Oleg from CA on September 29th, 2010 at 4:41 pm

I love that last one. Great shot – now will be my background.


Sheila on September 29th, 2010 at 4:47 pm

We LOVE Disneyland after dark :) It brings a whole new park to life with all the lights and shadows!! Those pictures of the Disneyland Railroad are AWESOME!!


Jennifer on September 29th, 2010 at 4:48 pm

What tips can you offer for us amateur photographer hobbyists that want to shoot the park at night? A bit difficult to bring a lighting kit and tripod around the park with you. I have an SLR camera. Thanks for any tips..and great shots!


Paul Hiffmeyer on September 29th, 2010 at 7:39 pm

Well, Jennifer, there are a few things that you can do that will help with photography at night. By using a higher shutter speed you can get great results by holding the camera in your hand. I use 1600 and 3200 ISO a lot now, and you will get some noise, but it should be acceptable. You can also look for a sturdy surface to set the camera on, but make sure the you hold the camera so it doesn’t fall. I’ve done this to take long exposures of a couple of the waterfalls here at Disneyland park. The most important tips are to take a lot of photos, have fun and experiment with all of the camera settings.


Hannette on September 29th, 2010 at 5:06 pm

They are all good, but I like the train going into the tunnel the best. Only…why is Engineer Gary facing backwards? LOL.


Bobby on September 29th, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Gotta throw in my vote for the last image. Great composition, and the colors are excellent.


Brent on September 29th, 2010 at 8:56 pm

I’m sure this has been asked a lot, but what camera and lenses do you primarily use? I recently pre-ordered the new Nikon D7000 and can’t wait to try some low-light images based on the ISO samples I’ve seen so far.

Also, to stay on topi… I like the third one the best. They’re all great though. 😀


Cory from AB on September 30th, 2010 at 9:53 am

The motion shot is fun, but the last shot in front of Main St. Station is absolutely gorgeous. Thank you for sharing it!

Voyages Extraordinaires: Scientific Romances in a Bygone Age


Penny on September 30th, 2010 at 10:13 am

Your photo posts are some of my very favorite posts on the Disney Parks Blog! I especially love the shots that are taken at times and locations unavailable to guests to the park. The photography (which I’m sure is some of your work) on the website and other advertising media has always been very anonomous to me, but I love reading your commentary about the photos, it makes the outstanding shots we’re seeing more involving. Keep up the amazing work, and keep telling us all about it!


Debbie on September 30th, 2010 at 3:13 pm

The last photo, is the most amazing photo – thank you so much for sharing!! The color and detail, is so beautiful – look at the stars in the sky!!


Marc from SC on September 30th, 2010 at 5:35 pm

The last shot made me feel like I it is a warm night with lots of stars. I can see myself getting on that train. Great job!


Brian from SC on September 30th, 2010 at 7:41 pm

I’m loving the train Photos, keep up the great work! As you continue this series I’d love to see some of the other engines too in addition to the #1, they all have attributes that make them individual, but if I had to pick a favorite it would probably be the #5 Ward Kimball.


Eliel on October 3rd, 2010 at 7:19 pm

Paul, I heard you got the best picks in the show. :)


David from CA on October 4th, 2010 at 10:28 pm

They are all fantisic, I really like the look of the last one with the fire from the engine boiler blazing under


Vincent on October 5th, 2010 at 11:44 am

So who else is an engineer and noticed the bottom picture the Pistons are “centered up” If the Train is In Tension the Engine will never be able to take off… The Engineer needs to back up a bit.