When I first started to get into photography as an adult (I had dabbled a bit in High School, thanks to my friend Bill’s Canon EOS Rebel), I dove right in. I listened to a lot of podcasts, read a lot of blogs, took lots of bad pictures, and looked at lots of really good ones on Flikr. One of the posts that always sticks in my mind is this post here by photographer Scott Bourne. Mr. Bourne was shooting the IZOD Indy Car World Championship in Las Vegas the day driver Dan Wheldon was killed in a fatal car crash. About an hour before the wreck he had the chance to take a shot of Wheldon during introductions. Mr. Bourne’s commentary on the photo are a bit too harsh for my liking, it isn’t a bad shot by any means and it does capture a moment of fun and happiness, which was kind of the point. But Mr. Bourne’s message is 100% right on. You never know when you are going to get a chance to capture an image again, so you need to seize the moment when it is there.
So why did I remember that post today? On Wednesday evening – January 6th, 2016 – The Osborne Family Spectacle of Lights turned off for the last time. Unlike the tragic death of driver Dan Wheldon, the Disney community knew this date was coming. It was rumored for the past couple of seasons and formally announced in September of 2015 that this would in fact be the final year. The loss of this beloved attraction is a casualty of all the construction that will be going on at Disney Hollywood Studios for the new Star Wars Land (and if rumors are to be believed, license negotiation problems between the Osborne family and Disney).
I only got to personally experience this wonderful attraction once. November 13th of 2011. I had just gotten my Canon 60D, I maybe had for a little over a month. I didn’t have my MeFoto tripod yet (by the way, Amazon is running a sale and the tripod can be had for only $150 in selected colors which is 25% off). So at the end of the day, none of the shots I have of the Osborne Lights are very good. They’re amateurish. Hell, I even noticed one in my catalog where the pop up flash accidentally fired (for shame!). I wish I had Cory’s blog post on shooting the lights back then. I never even found the cat – heck I didn’t even know there was a cat to be found the one time I was down there to shoot. But these are the shots I took, so that’s all I have.
Thankfully there is the Disney Photography community. Cory did a great post (as I mentioned before). Mark Willard has been documenting the last few weeks with lots of great photos on Flickr, Twitter, and Instagram. Kevin Davis and Ben Hendel have some great shots too – including dueling takes on Stitch hanging in a tire in the Osborne lights. Ryan Pastorino posted a great shot from his recent trip to Walt Disney World too. People were Periscoping the lights the last couple of weeks so I could experience it again – and there are many more great examples online. So while we can’t go to Osborne Lights in person any more, we will always have the photos because we took them They are our memories, and when our memories are insufficient we can seek out the images and memories of others to relive the experience of it.
When I was looking through my photo library for the two Osborne shots I posted above I found this one too (another shot that isn’t very good)……
The wreaths aren’t strung across Main Street anymore. They had to go in order to accommodate the larger floats in the Festival of Fantasy parade. Sure, losing the wreaths aren’t the same as the passing of Osborne Lights but like Mr. Bourne said – every click counts. As photographers we capture a moment and it might be our last or only chance to get it – so make it count.
I know there have been a lot of other things that we’ve lost at Walt Disney World and Disneyland over the years. I don’t have a single shot of Spectromagic and it kills me. But there are great photos online and there are even videos of that great parade. Our friends on the West Coast lost Big Thunder Ranch this week too. Even worse the rains that are battering California right now washed out everyone’s plans to visit the area or eat at the Big Thunder Ranch BBQ one last time.
So what attractions, areas, rides, hotels have gone that you miss? Hit the Read More button and leave a note in the comments section.