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April 17, 2015

Cinderella Castle Archway

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

There is always something new to discover at Walt Disney World. While I had seen in the past the beautiful mosaic murals in the Cinderella Castle archway in the Magic Kingdom, I had never taken the time to photograph them. In doing so I was reminded of a series of blog posts I did back in 2013 on how to photograph at a busy and crowded Disney themepark.

I know a lot of Disney photographers who feel people in the photo is not a good thing. I, on the other hand, do not mind including people. They help to tell the story and add scale to whatever surrounds them. Below a family member is pointing out the dramatic scene when Cinderella has to leave the Ball at midnight leaving one of her glass slippers behind.

A family stops to view a mural in Cinderella Castle archway at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A family stops to view a mural in the Cinderella Castle archway.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 6400, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

I do realize it is nice to have a clean view, too. A couple of ways to do that at Walt Disney World is to either wait until late at night around park closing or wait for an opportunity when people vacate the scene as I did below.

A mural in Cinderella Castle archway at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A mural in the Cinderella Castle archway.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 4500, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

You can also look for details and get in close either by foot or using a zoom lens. In the Cinderella Castle archway, there are carvings at the top of the pillars on either side of the murals. The one I chose here shows the birds and mice who helped Cinderella make her dress.

Top of a pillar in Cinderella Castle archway at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mice and birds at the top of a pillar in the Cinderella Castle archway.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/4.5, ISO 3200, EV 0, 52mm Focal Length.

While it is a challenge photographing at busy Walt Disney World parks, you can still get wonderful photos by being flexible, creative and patient.

April 15, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Donald

Deb's Digest Blog

Donald, our subject for this week, is such a great character to photograph! He's really fun at a meet and greet!

Here is my Donald Pic of the Week taken in May 2008 on the Disney Panama Canal Cruise (east to west). As we got into the Mexican Riviera, Donald's costume became themed to our ports of call.

donald.jpg

April 14, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Donald Duck

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Donald Duck is lucky. He blows his top and everyone laughs. Yet, he has a warm heart and is beloved by many. He even took some time out from meeting guests at Disney's Hollywood Studios to give me the thumbs up.

Donald Duck greeting guests at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Donald Duck greeting guests at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/160s, f/6.3, ISO 200, EV 0, 135mm Focal Length.

Thank you, Donald, for being you.


April 12, 2015

Where in the World #377

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

To all who come to this photo trivia game, Welcome! Along the way, the photos can make us relive memories and see details Walt's Imagineers put into everything we love in Walt Disney World!

Jennifer Harmon got married this past Saturday! CONGRATULATIONS!!
Smiley from Millan.Net

Now for Challenge #376:
Where in the World #376

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © Erin Blackwell
Cinderella's carriage at the Grand Floridian, just waiting for the bride. Or as Bruce Hinterleitner puts it: “Cindy's ride on the grounds of the Floridian Resort”. Cindy's ride!!
Smiley from Millan.Net

Kristi Strembicki was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Kristi and to all our winners this week! Bruce Hinterleitner, Linda Ranatza, Donna Frank, The Modecki's, Carol Ney, Team Hill, Andrew Carrieri, Sharon Pierce, Karen Schlumpf, Diane Tredore, Les Stewart, Mary Beth Tarbet, Eric Berger, The Kertes Family, Becky Norman, Sandie Albrecht, Carla C, Andrea Kruszewski, Leigh, Dawn Bach, Tommy Montgomery, The Gunnels Family, Bonnie, Linda College, Paul Dickson, The Parker Family, Megan K, Kris Nixon, Jen Cerce, Bill Mckim, The Tisdale Family, Julie Signor, Liz Moreau , Mike Malampy( Malampy Benco Family), Janet Spiess, Thomas Mangano, Audrey Wolfe, Ellen Sullivan, Jon Landis, Jason Leibert , Matthew Landis, Kristina Rohrbach, Jennifer Harmon, John Baker, Claire Gregory, Anne Marie Cronin , Paul Knott, Axel Beer, Robert Hildebrandt, Gloria Martin, The Fosbenders, Rc Hines, Ed Suscreba, Tina Gottron, Sands Family, Michael Mclucas And Jackie Mclucas, Debc, Nick, Todd Johns, Patty Greenberg, Lorine Landon, Eric Johnson, Dee Dee Kenney, Theresa Maradei, Stefanie Vandiver, Joyce, Matt Petty, Jen Tremley, Olszak Family, Nan Amor, Matt Wildey , Pat Schwier, Jan Rosato, The Rider Family, Ruth Senecalr, Shirley Lombo, K Beasley, Sandy Zeringue, Phyllis, Mike Mondoux, Emily Hudson, Emily Hudson, The Long Family, Evald Olson, Timothy Gallant, Erin Hammer, Robert Wescovich, Kenny, Mary Larson, Bob Ruer, Steve Porter, David Freemyer , Susan Doucette, Rebecca Keenan, Vanessa Stjohn, Tracy Davis, Gina Cavalli, James Roberts, Tom Koval, Becky, Tricia Petty, Linda Scrivano, Susie Howard, Judy Simonsen, Christa Burns, Steve Knapp, Smitty, Hunter Armstrong, Hobbes And Snorky, Kerry A., Ken Maikowski, Aimee, Dusty Cheatham, Ellie Argaluza, Christina Trigiani, Justin Collins, Jim & Lorie Sonnen, Jeremy Hardy, Maureen Handy, Mary Ann Lamay, Susana Dominguez, Ruben O'meara, Melissa Such , Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Josh Weiss, The Double Family, Arlene Vicek, Scott Cerino, Nathan York, Sherry Trapp, Sherry Trapp, Erin Loring, Lori Rienhardt, Larry Sprenkle, Brian Grabowski, Kimberly And Adolph Timm, Christi Ison, Rob Blundin, Andy Hickey, Sarah Thomas, Vicki Britt, Carolyn Como, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Otts Family, Kyra C., Eric Enli, Russ Morgan, Mary Sanderson, Pollyanna Buff, Bob Wagner, Tracey Horan, Tracey Horan, Jeff Blank, Team Bonnie Sue, Jeff Blank, Ashley Collins, Andreas Beer, Rick R., Wayne Chadourne, Kevin Jones, Leslie Schmauder , Al Sandal, Cathy Connors, Daniel Record, Kelly Smith, Vera And Izzy Williams, Robert Wescovich, Matt Holley, Theresa Rucando, Elaine Kleinhenz, Karen Costa, Tricia Noble, Maureen Tavrell, Jason Hocker, Sarah And Chris, Mike Jakubowski, Mel Odonnell, Carrie Knepper, Tim Johansen, Mark Proper, Matthew Frey, Andrew Pettit, Terry Fleming, Jeremy Reichelt, Mark Franklin, Scott Sangston, Chris Watson, Chris Watson, V Shearman, Paul Moore, Matt Earl, Matthew Jadro, Jennifer Mercier, Dave Carriere, Ron Harper, Scott Greenbaum, Pat Morin, Franknsharon, Josette Gabel, Grumpy's Groupies, John Moeder, Deborah Wolfe, Eric Miller, Mark Hardy, Karen Adamakis, Heidi Goodhue, Melodye Bostick, Susan Higginbotham, Anastasia Macneil, Maryann Romagnano, Kameo Crea, Luis Rodriguez, Joe Pfrangle, Caroline Burmester, Karrie Duffey, John Casey, Jim Thompson, Clay Anthony, Elaine Leviner, Linda Grau, Nicole Benoit, Anne-marie Hamel, Chris Kelly, Schuyler Etheridge, Kathy , Brooke And Kennedy, Jessica Gruhlke, Patti Deluca, Lisa Cash, Sheila Bagg, Jane Johnson, Jackie Graebel, Jennifer Bogdan, Joseph M. Zafia, Cheryl Costello, Elizabeth Meeks, Deb Ragno, John Warner, Thomas R. Higbee, Ken Rhinehart, Hillary Waldroop, Hillary Waldroop, Maryann Daly, George Mundy Jr, Don Purney, Jamesd (dzneynut), Ruth Cookson, Matt Cofone, Barclay Bakkum, Cheryl, Stacy Guarracino, Ken Savage, Cynthia Hitchcock, Gallagher Family, and Mickey Eckert!

__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #377 Where in the world is this?

We need to head into the parks again for this one
Where in the World #377

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, April 16th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.
See you soon, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies!

April 10, 2015

Disney Food Photography

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Have a question for you...do you photograph the food at Walt Disney World restaurants? You do! Then you are going to like this week's topic. Below is a set of photos from various Disney restaurants and how I took them.

Sometimes you just need spaghetti and meatballs and Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano in Disney's Hollywood Studios filled the need perfectly. To add to the sense of place, I used a menu and ambiant light. The very shallow depth of field put the background out of focus but one still can recognize the location as a restaurant.

Spaghetti and meatballs entree at Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spaghetti and meatballs entree at Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/13s, f/35, ISO 6400, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

I used my elbows to steady the camera and slowly exhaled as I pressed the shutter. I let the image stabilized (vibration reduction in Nikon lingo) lens do its magic. I took several images to get a couple of good ones including the one above.

On the Disney Dream, if your cruise offers a day at sea, you can enjoy the Palo Brunch. Come hungry and eat lightly through each course to save room for the dessert bar. In this case, I did not need a menu to document the location. I did have to take the photo quickly before the location got eaten.

A plate full of desserts at the Palo Brunch on the Disney Dream cruise ship
A plate full of desserts at the Palo Brunch on the Disney Dream.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 100, EV 0, 31mm Focal Length, bounced flash.

With the bright open Caribbean water as a backdrop, the use of bounced flash balanced the light and brought out the luscious colors of the sweets.

Inside the elegant Yachtsman Steakhouse in the Yacht Club Resort the lighting is appropriately warm and low. An assistant helped me by holding up the plate above the table which had lots of stuff upon it.

Prime New York Strip Steak entree at the Yachtsman Steakhouse in the Yacht Club Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Prime New York Strip Steak entree at the Yachtsman Steakhouse.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 400, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length, bounced flash.

To get the true colors of the food, I used bounced flash to illuminate the plate evenly.

When you have even lighting via a window or by eating outside on a patio like at the Rose & Crown Pub in Epcot's United Kingdom pavilion, I like to use the Nifty-Fifty on my camera and get eye level with the plate the food rests on.

Scotch Egg appetizer from the Rose & Crown Pub in Epcot's United Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Scotch Egg appetizer from the Rose & Crown Pub.
Nikon D7100/50mm, 1/250s, f/2.8, ISO 100, EV 0.

Shooting with a wide aperture of f/2.8, I selectively focused on the Scotch Egg appetizer throwing the background of napkins and table pieces completely out of focus. I did dodge (make lighter) the egg some to pull out its colors.

At the Yak & Yeti Restaurant in Disney's Animal Kingdom, my party was sat at a table with warm afternoon light coming through a window. The low angle of the light brought out the food's texture.

Chicken Tikka Masala at the Yak & Yeti Restaurant in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Chicken Tikka Masala at the Yak & Yeti Restaurant.
Nikon D7100/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/60s, f/2.8, ISO 2000, EV 0, 12mm Focal Length.

Without the use of flash, a wide open aperture had me select a focus point on the bowl of Chicken Tikka Masala which did cause the front of the plate to be soft focused. I find that is not a problem here. Do you?

I realize most people quickly take photos of their food when served. If you take a little extra time, you can create very nice photos to make your friends and family envious and hungry when looking at your food photos.

April 8, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Liberty Square

Deb's Digest Blog

Yesterday, Scott shared a photo of the new Memento Mori Relics from Regions Beyond. If you haven't gone inside yet, you must! It is filled with Haunted Mansion items. Fun to browse even if you don't want to buy.

So now, onto my Disney Pic of the Week......

One of my favorite things about Disney Parks is when the unexpected happens. A couple years ago I was walking around Liberty Square when a Cast Member (Michael) appeared. He began ringing a bell to get folks into the Columbia Harbor House for lunch. Next thing I knew, he was on a knee and singing to a young guest while her friend rang the bell. I'm thinking it was her birthday.

My Disney Pic of the Week for Liberty Square is of this great magic making Cast Member, Michael:

deb-liberty-square.jpg

April 7, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Liberty Square

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom is home to the Haunted Mansion and its new gift shop called Memento Mori Relics from Regions Beyond. Memento Mori features merchandise of the Haunted Mansion and you can even get a ghostly photo of yourself.

Memento Mori Relics from Regions Beyond gift shop in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Memento Mori Relics from Regions Beyond gift shop in Liberty Square.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 220, EV +0.3, 11mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with a special moment from Liberty Square.

April 5, 2015

Where in the World #376

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

To all who come to this photo trivia game, Welcome! Along the way, the photos can make us relive memories and see details Walt's Imagineers put into everything we love in Walt Disney World!

I hope everyone who is celebrating Easter and Passover is having a wonderful holiday!

Vera Williams is disappointed in herself for not guessing MouseGears last week. It's okay, Vera. We've all down that. Buck up, little soldier.
Smiley from Millan.Net

Now for Challenge #375:
Where in the World #375

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © Erin Blackwell

I was trying to figure out where something was on the map and this nice man pointed out where I needed to go. :) Seriously, we are obviously at the Partners Statue and the thumbnail was part of its plaque.

Jeff Blank proposed to his wife here. He asked if she "would be my partner". Jeff, what a beautiful way to propose!

Kristi Strembicki was the first to send in the correct answer!
Congratulations to Kristi and to all our winners this week! Donna Frank, Kenny, Jim And Lorie Sonnen, Carla C, Linda K Ranatza, Carol Ney, Emily Hudson, Virginia Pierce, Karen Schlumpf, Linda Scrivano, Mary Beth Tarbet, Kerry A., Sharon Powell, Marsha Waidelich, Grumpy's Groupies, Heather Keenan, Olszak Family, Elaine Kleinhenz, Nan Amor, John Stella, Melissa Rymer, Claire Gregory, Bill Mckim, Daniel Record, Evanna Huda, Jennifer Harmon, Beth, Phyllis, Ruben O'meara, Herb Miller, David Freemyer , Deborah Wolfe, Eric Berger, Jamie Fahey, Ed Suscreba, Susan Doucette, Susan Doucette, Sandie Albrecht, Christine Niedzialkoski, Kris Nixon, Vera And Izzy Williams, Trish Roam, Kristina Rohrbach, Sharon Pierce, Sands Family , John Bickers, Team Hill, Matt Wildey , Steve Porter, Eric Johnson, Liz Moreau, Curtis Bille, Ellen Sullivan, The Kertes Family, Bonne, Bruce Hinterleitner, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Russ Morgan, Leslie Schmauder, K Beasley, Jen Tremley, Todd & Angela Johns, Kye Layton, Deb Ragno, Dee Dee Kenney, The Gunnels Gang , The Fosbenders, Andrew Carrieri, Paul Dickson, Morag Lemon, Chris Kelly, Lori Rienhardt, Phil Vickers, Zach Szymko, Belicia Cullen, Nathan, Scott Cullen, Christa, Christa, Ken Maikowski, The Tisdale Family, Maryann Romagnano, The Rider Family, Melissa Such , Paul Knott, Ken Savage, Evald Olson, Dawn Bach, Jeremy Hardy, Matt Petty, Tim Johansen, Sarah And Chris, Andrea Kruszewski, The States Family, Sarah Thomas, Sam Rossman, Carolyn Como, Erin Hammer, Joann Albrecht , Cheryl Chambers, Hunter Armstrong, Hobbes And Snorky, Mike Malampy( Malampy Benco Family), Theresa Rucando, Stefanie Vandiver, Lindsay Coram, Lee Anastasi, Susan Higginbotham, Maryann Eckenrode, Judy Simonsen, Maureen Handy, Kerri Coggins, Kristyn Scibienski, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Pat Schwier, Larry Sprenkle, Arlene Vicek, Chloe Mayhew, Susie Howard, Josh Weiss, Gallagher Family, Vincent Lieu, Robert Wescovich, Robert Wescovich, Brian Mcwithey, The Double Family, Steve And Ruby Jordan, Doug Olson Family, Karen Ramirez, Mickey Eckert, Sharyn Drasner, Christopher Thacker, Christi Ison, Melanie Beedle, Tricia Petty, Bob Wagner, Linda Lundsten, Team Bonnie Sue, Eric Enli, Jeff Blank, Rick R., Jodi Cook, Kyra C., Shannon Murray, Cathy Connors, Tricia Noble, Kristan Bertelmann, Paul Ignudo, Jr., Matt Holley, The Hutchinson Family, Jennifer Toto, Karrie Duffey, Anne-marie Hamel, Les Stewart, Schuyler Etheridge, Erin Loring, Diane, Andrew Pettit, Dave Carriere, Richard Beverly, The Holmes Family, Hillary Waldroop, Matthew Jadro, Scott Sangston, Rebecca Keenan, Rob Hepler, Smitty, Jeremy Reichelt, Mark Franklin, Danielle Harsley And Agnes Ciotti, Heidi Goodhue, Carrie Knepper, Kimberly And Adolph Timm, James Hammack, Ron Harper, George Mundy Jr, Chris Bauman, Matthew Frey, Mike Cerce, John Casey, Amy Fleming, Kelly Smith, Lisa Pinder, Theresa Maradei, Paul Moore, Thomas Higbee, Barclay Bakkum, Vicki Britt, Shelly Borella, Stacy Guarracino, Jim Thompson, Fred Shakeshaft, Jane Johnson, Luis Rodriguez, Cheryl Costello, Terry Fleming, Patti Mccaffrey, Dieuliis Family, and Jennifer Shoulders!

It's time for the monthly drawing! The March winner is: Arlene Vicek! Congratulations, Arlene! You will be getting a prize from Deb Wills!

__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #376 Where in the world is this?

We are outside the parks, but you can see this in the Magic Kingdom too.
Where in the World #376

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, April 9th, by clicking on the blue box below.
Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

See you soon, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies!

April 3, 2015

Adding Light to the Stars in Disney's Hollywood Studios

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When visiting Disney's Hollywood Studios, I look forward to seeing the Citizens of Hollywood entertaining guests along Hollywood or Sunset Blvd. You can find the times to look for them on the park's daily entertainment schedule. While the Citizen's skits do have some structure, the performers play off the people they meet (that's you!) which leads to a lot of fun and laughter.

I found Officer Percival Peabody "undercover" on Hollywood Blvd. inquiring to those who were curious when he poked his head out if they had seen anything suspicious going on and other questions.

Officer Percival Peabody is undercover at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Officer Percival Peabody is undercover on Hollywood Blvd.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 160, EV +0.3, 48mm focal length, fill flash.

The divine Dorma Nesmond may be a fading Hollywood starlet but do not tell her that. She loves the attention she gets from people and will tell them about her many Hollywood exploits and films.

Hollywood Star Dorma Nesmond greets a fan at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Hollywood Star Dorma Nesmond greets a fan on Hollywood Blvd.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/320s, f/5.6, ISO 100, EV 0, 24mm focal length, fill flash.

Talent Agent Jack Diamond has a questionable occupation as he seems more interested in playing card tricks and running the shell game much to the delight of all who gather around his gaming table.

Talent Agent Jack Diamond performs card tricks at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Talent Agent Jack Diamond performs card tricks on Hollywood Blvd.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/320s, f/10, ISO 100, EV 0, 50mm focal length, fill flash.

I do not know the story of Miss Betty Shambles. She always seems to be looking for a boyfriend or, in the case below, her Valentine.

Miss Betty Shambles looking for her Valentine at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Miss Betty Shambles looking for her Valentine on Hollywood Blvd.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/200s, f/4, ISO 100, EV 0, 66mm focal length, fill flash.

All of the photos were taken using Fill Flash to open up the shadows from the bright Florida sunshine. Not all but most of the Citizens wear hats which further adds shadows on their faces. Fill flash adds some pop to colors and skin tones.

If you have never stopped to watch or interact with the Citizens of Hollywood, you are missing out on what I consider the best in live entertainment at Walt Disney World. The talent and comedic quick thinking is a joy to behold.

April 1, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Frontierland

Deb's Digest Blog

One of the most overlooked areas in Frontierland is the Railroad Station! You can find it between Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad!

frontierland-railroad-station.jpg

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