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Koi Pond at Japan Pavilion in Epcot

posted on August 25th, 2010 by Kent Phillips, Photographer, Walt Disney World


Sometimes this job is exciting and glamorous and you find yourself in the middle of a high-energy photo shoot with pirates and princesses and Mickey Mouse. And then other times you find yourself sweating profusely, wearing plastic pants and standing in the middle of a fish pond.
Koi pond at Epcot’s Japan Pavilion by Kent Phillips
I’ve wanted to get this shot at the koi pond at Epcot’s Japan Pavilion for years, and finally became convinced I had half a chance of pulling it off. I used our underwater camera housing, which normally sees action in swimming pools, water parks and at Castaway Cay, to hold the camera halfway under water so the waterline bisected the photo. Because the koi pond is fully in shadow early in the morning, I rigged the camera to fire a couple of big studio flash units to put a little electronic sunshine on my fishy friends.

I’d been afraid my presence in the water would spook the fish, but by utilizing stealth, patience and consummate skill (but mostly with Todd Harmon from Living Seas Animal Care giving them their breakfast) they warmed up to me.

This photo was actually a lot of fun to figure out and execute…for the most part. (Note to self: Next time take your cell phone off BEFORE getting in the water in leaky waders.)

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Flying Dutchman

posted on August 19th, 2010 by Kent Phillips, Photographer, Walt Disney World


Last August, as part of a photo shoot, I was treated to my first overnight stay on Castaway Cay in the Bahamas. I’d heard from co-workers how well you could see the stars at night, but had no idea it would be as spectacular as it was. I spent almost an hour standing in the dark just staring up at the Milky Way that night. There were some very distant thunderstorms lighting up the horizon, so I made my way to the bridge overlooking the boating harbor on the southwest side of the island to see if I could get some nice shots.
Flying Dutchman Ship by Kent Phillips
This photo is a two-minute exposure of the dimly-lit Flying Dutchman from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, which makes its home in the harbor. For you photo types (you poor souls) the exposure was 120 seconds at f/2.8 at 1600 ISO. The star trails are a result of the rotation of the earth during the long exposure, and the aforementioned lightning gives some nice color to the sky. The green color cast of the ship is from the lights in the island’s dock area.

I actually got so carried away shooting long time exposures that night I depleted three of my four camera batteries before remembering I hadn’t brought a battery charger and still had my photo shoot to do in the morning. I’ll definitely bring one next time.

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