The Disney Side Of Life ... - Andreas Helbig | Photography

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Lightning storm over Animal Kingdom.

Lightning storm over Animal Kingdom.

We went to Disney's Animal Kingdom, because Sabine had managed to get some Fastpasses (extra tickets, which let you bypass the usual queue) for the new family Avatar Ride, which has had its debut only three days before. If you like to take pictures at Disney Parks, I recommend to go and see this new attraction. It is really spectacular and if it wasn't so crowded, I would have spent way more time to take photos there. The ride itself, I can only speak for the family version, which is a boat tour, is beautiful designed, with so much attention to detail. And the animated characters are moving like they were alive.
The last activity for the day was the "Rivers of Light" Nighttime show, but we had Fastpasses for this show also, so we had enough time to get some food for dinner. We went to the "Flame Tree Barbecue", where we have eaten before on our last vacation to Disney. But over the last months Disney has set up a stage for bands right beside the restaurant and the music, despite it's really good, is so loud, you have a hard time to do some conversation while you were eating.
While Sabine and I were discussing what to order, Sammy had put up his ear protection, that we use from time to time if the fireworks is too loud for him. This must have been noticed by a Disney cast member, who came up to us and led Sabine and Sammy to a recently build terrace on the back of the restaurant right at the lagoon, which was almost without guests and very quiet, because of it's hidden location. I noticed it often before this vacation: The Disney employees are really nice and try their best to take care of the guests. After I received the plates and drinks I had ordered he also helped me to carry one of the trays and guided me to my family.
We enjoyed our dinner and watched the seats for the show on the opposite riverbank were filling up. We still had enough time to walk to the show, with the Fastpasses you can arrive a few minutes before the event starts.
And then we heard an announcement, that the show was canceled because there was a storm coming in. Shortly after the people left the theater it started to rain. We decided to stay under the roof of the patio and wait for the end of the rain. But the rain got heavier and we noticed the first small lightning bolts in the area. I just sat at the table and watched the rain falling down, when I realized that this was a wonderful opportunity to try to capture a lightning bolt. So I placed my camera on top of a column of the railing around the patio, with the big lens cap of my 14-24 lens under the front end of my zoom to get a better angle.
I made som test shots to adjust the exposure ... and I started to wait with my finger on the shutter button ... and waited ... and waited. Then there it was, a bolt came down right in front of my lens and I perfectly missed it. I did some further adjustments to my exposure values and waited again. Several minutes later I took this shot, yay! And I was so lucky because it was the last bolt that came down over the "Expedition Everest Ride" that evening. After I saw the image on the back of my camera, I said to Sabine and Sammy: Ok, I'm done, let's go home ;)

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