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Happy Villaintines Day from Disney Parks Blog

Painting With Light at Disneyland Park

posted on October 20th, 2011 by Paul Hiffmeyer, Chief Photographer for Public Relations, Disneyland Resort

I have been planning the photo I’m sharing with you today for quite a while now. In the perfect scenario, the roses would be a brilliant color, there would be little or no wind, and the sky would be deep blue and void of clouds so the warm light of the setting sun would illuminate the Matterhorn. However, as it turned out, the day I took this picture the roses in the foreground as well as the side of the bridge were in the shade. So, with the help of an assistant we each held a small LED video light and by “painting with light” we were able to brighten those dark areas.

Painting With Light at Disneyland Park

Painting with light in a photograph involves moving a light source back and forth evenly on the subject that needs to be illuminated while keeping the shutter open for an extended period of time. In this photo, the light source from the LED, together with a warming filter, helped brighten the roses and the side of the bridge so they appeared to be naturally lit.

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Filed: Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort



Dean on October 20th, 2011 at 7:05 pm

That is an AMAZING and BEAUTIFUL picture!


Deb on October 20th, 2011 at 7:25 pm

I’m always amazed at the pictures you post. Well done.


Fred from CA on October 20th, 2011 at 7:33 pm

I agree with Dean, that’s a beautiful picture!


Jessica on October 20th, 2011 at 8:19 pm



Miguel on October 21st, 2011 at 3:43 am

It really is a gorgeous picture! But I’m a bit confused: Was the handheld LED light source that you lit the bridge with powerful enough to throw light onto the side of the bridge from a distance? In other words, were you standing near the camera location when you aimed the light source at the bridge? Like you would a spotlight or powerful flashlight? Or did you get up closer? I understand that you moved the light source across the full area of the bridge over the time that the shutter was open, but what amazes me is how even the lighting turned out across the full length of the bridge.

Also, what was the length of the exposure? So many things about this shot to love but I think my favorite part are the beautiful reflections in the water. So glassy smooth and colorful.


Paul from VA on October 21st, 2011 at 7:49 am

Paul, What I love the the similarity in colors between the roses and the top of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Great Photo!


Emily on October 21st, 2011 at 9:19 am

Every year while i was in school at RIT we would do something similar call the big shot. We brought flashlights to a building and would literally paint with light for minutes.


Bobby from CA on October 21st, 2011 at 10:49 am

Truly amazing!! I’m taking a digital photography class at my college and i got to say, I think I’ve learned more on here than in the class. My professor never goes over stuff like this. Truly a remarkable piece of photography though!


Ted from BC on October 21st, 2011 at 4:01 pm

“Painting the Roses Red” — The song from Alice comes to life in this wonderful image. Thank you.


Joan on October 21st, 2011 at 8:02 pm

This would be a fabulous wallpaper picture for my computer! I love it! Thanks for sharing the beauty of Disneyland.


James on October 21st, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Are those wires or power lines in the background?


Ryan on October 22nd, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Love your trick to highlight the flowers, and to capture the beauty of the castle and matterhorn at the right time, but I couldn’t help, but notice that on the bridge there seems to be a person there with a green glowing head or something? freaky, well it is Halloween.


Sandy on October 23rd, 2011 at 5:36 am

James, those are the wires that carry tinkerbell around the castle during the firework shows.


Friend on October 23rd, 2011 at 5:06 pm

I have a black and white photo of the castle that you might like to see. It was taken before the park opened in 1955 after Legend Fred Joerger had finished building it and he passed it on to me. The trees are all very small and perhaps the castle is lit only by ambient lighting. Always love your photos.