The Wonderful World of Water Color: Part 1

When I was 13, I made a discovery after my grandmother (who is an artist herself) and grandfather took me to a Van Gogh exhibit at LACMA. It was an extraordinary show. Many people are…

When I was 13, I made a discovery after my grandmother (who is an artist herself) and grandfather took me to a Van Gogh exhibit at LACMA. It was an extraordinary show. Many people are familiar with his work and most are familiar with his piece, Starry Night. As much as I enjoyed it, I found myself drawn more to some of his less popular paintings. In particular, one called Starry Night Over the Rhone, which depicts a starry night and the reflections of lights on the surface of the Rhone River.

As a boy, I didn’t think much of it. But as I became older, I wondered why my preference should differ from so many others. It’s a wonderful thing, of course, to have your own opinion but I usually find it beneficial to understand the origins and influences of mine. It can be a great help in seeking out the things you enjoy (and avoiding the things you don’t)!

The answer to my question was pretty simple. I love to watch light shimmer on rippling water. It’s one of my all time favorite things to do, whether it be at Disneyland or anywhere else. Van Gogh’s Starry Night Over the Rhone painting captured that feeling perfectly for me in a way that previously seemed impossible to express.

Since taking up photography, that feeling is something that I have wanted to capture and convey myself and, until recently, has been nothing more than a mental note in the back of my mind. The other night I decided enough was enough and decided to spend some time working toward my goal. One of the best places I’ve found to watch the dance of light and water is Paradise Bay with the reflection of Mickey’s Fun Wheel.

Michaela and I stood on the bridge that enters Paradise Pier for an hour as I took shot after shot, trying to capture as much as I could before World of Color started. I got more and more excited with each image (there’s quite an influx of satisfaction when you take time to address your longstanding goals). Needless to say, the picture below is pretty special to me and is the first in a series I’m going to do. Have you made any personal discoveries like that or tackled any longstanding goals that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!

Reflection of Mickey's Fun Wheel in Paradise Bay at Disney California Advemture

About Matt Hansen

Matt is a photographer and 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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  1. Beautiful! Especially love the various colors on the ripples of water in the foreground. So much to look at!


    1. Thank you, @mouseprincess:disqus!


  2. One of my biggest realizations while shooting was that beauty is subjective, and that there’s multiple ways of telling the same story. Either you or Michaela once posted a really beautiful picture of the Minnie statue at the hub, and in the post you talked about how she was looking affectionately at Mickey. I tried getting the same shot, but nothing was working. Then I tried leaning back over the fence (a position that requires both flexibility and leg strength) to get a shot from behind Minnie with the partners statue in the background. I learned that your way of doing things is not the only right way, and from then on made it a goal to try things I hadn’t seen before.


    1. You’ve hit a great point, @joeyjames:disqus. I would even go so far as to argue that there is no “right way”. What works for one person may not work for another. The same could be said from situation to situation. I’ve tried to recapture shots I’ve taken in the past, convinced I could do a better job with all the tricks I’d picked up since. It doesn’t work. There’s no going back and, quite honestly, that’s a good thing because we should be moving forward.


  3. I LOVE pics like this. Shows the Beauty in the simple things in life!


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