La Puerta del Rancho

The first night we all shot together was in April 2010. We spent most of the night combing over Rancho del Zócalo, taking it all in. It was a photographic treat to be sure but even without…

The first night we all shot together at Disneyland was in April 2010. We spent most of the night combing over Rancho del Zócalo, taking it all in. It was a photographic treat to be sure but even without the camera, the restaurant has a truly romantic atmosphere. As rustic or simple as it might seem, every line, surface and curve leads you to discover something new in its complex choreography, making it a real treat to escape to.

We typically visit first thing in the morning or late in the evening. That’s when the light is at its softest and most intimate, which really draws out the details in a unique way. The evening I took this picture was one of the rather few weekday evenings I’ve been to Disneyland. The crowd was light, at least in Frontierland. There was no Fantasmic! showing and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was still being refurbished. I had this corridor pretty much entirely to myself.

It’s such a good feeling to be able to take your time with a shot rather than having to spend time on it. The difference, of course, being the amount of pressure involved. When you get to take your time, you can sort of sit back and try different things because you know you’ll have another shot. That’s when the truly inspired ideas are able to reach your conciousness and you take pictures of things like doors simply because you find beauty there and you conjure up a story to tell. When you have to spend time on a shot, it means you’ve probably got one chance that you’re patiently waiting for. You’ve got to commit to one idea and you had better nail it when the opportunity presents itself.

doorway to Rancho del Zócalo in Frontierland at Disneyland

About Matthew Hansen

Matt is a photographer and graphic designer based in San Diego. When he’s not working, he's charting his next adventure over coffee or craft beer.
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