Chris W. (NDD #300) (79 Posts)

Since going to Walt Disney World and Disneyland at a young age, Chris has always enjoyed Disney music, TV shows, movies, and trips to Walt Disney World. But his appreciation of the overall Disney experience has greatly increased over the last few years. While waiting for the next chance to work on his Disney photography skills, Chris passes the time listening to Park/Resort audio, WDW podcasts, and checking out the work of other Disney photographers. To Chris, there are no bad Disney trip photographs or photographers. Non-Disney pursuits include spending time with his wife and children, watching and listening to baseball broadcasts, and cheering for the Chicago Cubs and LSU. Chris is a third generation professional engineer in Louisiana, working mainly on asbestos, lead, mold and demolition projects. Follow Chris on Twitter @ChrisWhitePE and you can check out his Flickr photo stream: chris_white2323.


A fun thing to do between trips to Walt Disney World is going back through photos from previous trips and adding different effects using software. I’ve previously written about changing color photos to black and white and reducing noise from photos, both good skills to practice on all your photos.

But what about adding special effects to photos? Many of the park and resort settings lend themselves to just that – especially ride photos.

In this instance, what I thought to do is take a photo from the scene in Peter Pan’s Flight (a really tough ride to shoot) where guests fly over London at night. Here’s the original shot, no effects added:

Here’s our original image

Ok – not the greatest shot ever, but not too bad. I thought my daughters would like this shot made to look as if fairies were flying over the city. So how do we add that effect?

If you’re a Photoshop expert there are a number of ways to do this. I’m not a Photoshop expert, and I’m lazy, so I used a program from Corel called ParticleShop, a terrific program for adding a ton of special effects.

First, I opened the original file in Photoshop. Since ParticleShop operates as a plugin inside Photoshop, it’s a matter of finding the menu item that switches from Photoshop to ParticleShop:

Open the ParticleShop plugin

Once ParticleShop opens, select the effect and color you’d like. In this case, I got the best results from the Cluster effect.

Just click and drag to get the effect you’d like. You can edit individual effects, or reset to return to the original image and start over. It takes a few tries to get the feel of the effect, since it’s sensitive to the rate at which you move the cursor, and also adds intensity based on pressure.

When you’re done, save your work

After you’re happy with the effects, save your work, and ParticleShop will close and take you back to Photoshop.

Then, if you’re done, you can export your file (here I selected .jpg format since it’s so common). Here’s the finished shot once again:

All told, it took less than 10 minutes for these edits. And my girls got a one of a kind custom photo from Peter Pan’s Flight. I’ve seen ParticleShop for sale at $44.99 (but sometimes is included in photo editing software bundles). It’s definitely worth checking out, even as part of a bundle.

Have you tried any special effects edits on your Disney photos? Share them with us!

What do you think?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.