January 9, 2016

Best Haunted Mansion Night Shots

Here are three things that you need to have a successful experience taking photos of the Walt Disney World Haunted Mansion at night. Disney does a great job with lighting up the mansion and taking pictures of it at night can be very tricky.

A Good Camera

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While you can try to take a picture of the Haunted Mansion with an iPhone 6s Plus, you are much better using a camera that has a low relative aperture or f-number.

Cameras such as the Nikon DF, Olympus E-M5, Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Canon EOS 7D and Olympus XZ-2 iHS have taken phenomenal night shots of the Haunted Mansion. You don't need to spend a lot of money on a camera, just look for one that has a small Sensor size and has the ability to shoot in low light conditions.

Make sure to buy the camera long before you head to the Magic Kingdom. You can learn how to use the camera by challenging yourself to take pictures of different surroundings and with different lighting. Go outside and take pictures of public buildings that are light up. College Buildings and Downtowns would be good practice settings.

Yes, you can use your smart phone to take pictures. You'll get really good results when you look at the picture on your phone. I have found that that same awesome picture on my phone looks very blurry on my computer or on paper. You will get a slightly darker picture than if you use a regular camera.

Tripod

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You can still bring a tripod into the Magic Kingdom in Disney World. Disney knows that a lot of people like to take pictures around the park at night. Any photo expert will tell you that the best night pictures are taken using a tripod.

You can use any standard travel tripod. Don't spend too much on anything very fancy. You just need one that will support your camera and lens. You can bring the tripod to the park and leave it in the lockers just off Main Street until you need it.

You dont need to bring a full size tripod, mini tripods will work just fine. There are plenty of places to put a Joby GripTight tripod, Ravelli Tripod or a Manfrotto Mini Tripod.

A tripod is key to having a nice steady shot.

Location, Location, Location

The key thing to remember when your taking night photos that there are special effects going on at the Mansion. Every four minutes, inside the mansion there will be a person that appears to be walking in the conservatory. If you are using a camera timer setting you should be away of the sudden light change as it may impact your time-lapse picture.

The best location for night photos is near the Fast Pass checking entrance. Just beyond where the cast members are standing to check for Fast Pass is the perfect location of the Mansion and the hearse. Just tell the cast members that you want to take some pictures and they will let you in. If you have a mini tripod you can ask to place it on the cast member stand for a few minutes, if they are not busy they will let you have your fun.

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Click on image for a larger version.

If you have a Joby GripTight you can wrap it around one of the gates in the garden just by the hearse. (See the red arrows in the above picture) You'll also find that some of the post around the hearse are perfect for mini-tripods, perhaps they were put there for that reason. Theres a trash can position at the entrance of the hearse gate that in a perfect position for holding your camera. Make sure to stand in the way from anyone trying to use the trash.

In front of the hearse gate is a circle on the ground. (See the yellow arrow in the above picture) This is a perfect spot to set up your tripod. You can get a great few of the mansion and the hearse from this spot. The circle spot is perfectly level to make the tripod balance the shot.

If you have a good lens on your camera you should head down past Liberty Square and get a picture at Frontier land. A good spot is just across away from the Diamond Horseshoe. You can position your mini-tripod on the wall and get a good distance view of the mansion. This is a tricky shot location because of the lights from other attractions can make it hard to see the lights on the mansion.

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