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April 23, 2017

Where in the World #481

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!

Team Hill is going to Disneyland Paris! I’m so jealous!!! You’ll see the dragon and so many other amazing things!

We had Earth Day this past week and Arbor Day is this week. Here’s to you, Earth!
Smiley from Millan.Net

Now for Challenge #480:
Where in the World #480

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

The Prince Charming Regal Carrousel in the Magic Kingdom! Beautiful!

Dave Carriere, prenup! ROTFL!

Eric Berger was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Eric and to all our winners this week! Sandie Albrecht, Joseph M. Zafia, The Modecki's, Team Hill, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Grumpy's Groupies, Gloria Martin , Claire Gregory, Michael O'brien, Michaela Obrien, The Kertes Family, Mary Beth Tarbet, Karen O'brien, Diane Curfman, Tammy Warmouth, Chris Horne, Maryann Eckenrode, The Parker Family, Vickie Smialkowski, Loring Family, Anne Duque , Jan Rossto, Adolph And Kimberly Timm, Jim Finley, Deb Ragno, Angela S., Vera And Izzy Williams, Linda Ranatza, The Nufranick Family, Kyran And Chiara Smith, Ken Maikowski, K Beasley, Carol Baranowsky, Antoinette Leblanc, Renee Hardiman, The Fosbender Family, Team Bonnie Sue, Karen Schlumpf, Joyce & Steve, Al & Kerry Ganter, Laurie Walker, Bruce Hinterleitner, Jim Thompson, The Rider Family, Luis Rodriguez, The Rider Family, Karen Ramirez , Emily Eldridge , Margaret Convery, Herb Miller, Janet T Thorn, Eric Enli, Sue And Ed Adams, Phyllis, Joann Albrecht, Ruben O'meara, Jim & Lorie Sonnen, Bonnie Jean, Hobbes And Snorky, Linda College, Beth Paczkowski, Martha & Justin Collins, John Bickers, Lori Rienhardt, Ronnie Alvarado, Erin Hammer, Nan Amor, Maureen And Warren Handy, Steve Knapp, Smitty, Matt Wildey, Theresa Rucando, Kye Layton, Josette Gabel, Ruth Woodhouse, Josh Weiss, Ashley Collins, Stefan Owens, Mike Amor, Mark Donahue, Vicki Britt, Kyra, Brian Mcwithey, Paul Dickson, Christi Ison, Belicia, Scott C., Maryann Romagnano, Karen Adamakis, Wendy T Faler, Theresa Maradei , Andrew Carrieri, Jeff Blank, Todd Johns, Jodi Cook, Ken Savage, Jeremy Reichelt, Chris Bauman, Pat Morin, Paula Massarelli, Jamie Steiner, Matthew Frey, Matt Holley, Miller Family, Tricia Petty, Tim Johansen, Scott Sangston, The Gunnels Gang, Rebecca Keenan, Lisa Pinder, Brian Richmond, Wayne Chadourne, Hillary Waldroop, Mark Hardy, Hunter Armstrong , George Mundy Jr, Jamie Poynton, Melissa Haeberle, Elaine Prosecky, Barclay Bakkum, Jo Ann Bailey , Donna Frank, Robert P. Flaherty, Jackie Graebel , Sheila Bagg, Kristi Strembicki, Greg Coben, Sherry Trapp, Shirley Garcowski, Wayne Witherspoon, Dave Carriere, Don Purney, Kathy, Brooke And Kennedy, Jacqueline Klafeta, Susan Higginbotham, Jodie S., Jane Johnson, Linda Hoffman, Michael & Jackie Mclucas, Stacy Guarracino, Will Gates, Margie Larmon, and Kristan Bertelmann!

_______________________________________________________
Challenge #481 Where in the world is this?

Now we are switching parks! A little tougher too; I’m trying to think of a clever hint. Um…
Smiley from Millan.Net

The only thing I can think of is the name has a repeated word.

Where in the World #481
Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, April 27th, 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 21, 2017

Eliminating Distracting Backgrounds at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Here are a few ideas on how to separate your subject from its background which are often busy at Walt Disney World. I have previously gone into detail on how to use Aperture mode on a dSLR camera to blur out the background while keeping the subject sharp and clear. For compact cameras and on some smart phones you can look for Portrait mode to get the same effect.

The background behind this Meerkat sentinel on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail at Disney's Animal Kingdom was extremely busy. I used Aperture priority mode and set the aperture to the widest available for the 300mm focal length I used. Doing so threw the background out of focus while keeping the meerkat in sharp focus.

Meerkat (Suricata suricatta) sentinel on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Meerkat sentinel on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/5.6, ISO 100, EV +0.3, 300mm Focal Length.

Using Fill Flash is another great way to pull your subject out from a busy background. While Miss Betty Shambles was pining for a Valentine on Hollywood Blvd. in Disney's Hollywood Studios, I used fill flash to highlight her over the background.

Citizens of Hollywood Miss Betty Shambles looking for her Valentine on Hollywood Blvd. in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Citizens of Hollywood 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.

Lighting or Color is another way to highlight your subjects. Below I happened to use both. The light on the ancient idol along one of the world's rivers on the Magic Kingdom's Jungle Cruise naturally outlined it. The green vegetation also framed the idol. Both the light and colors pop the idol out of its background.

An ancient idol on the Magic Kingdom's Jungle Cruise as the boat enters the Mekong River in Cambodia, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
An ancient idol on the Magic Kingdom's Jungle Cruise as the boat enters the Mekong River in Cambodia.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 900, EV 0, 150mm Focal Length.

Remember these tips when you are confronted by busy backgrounds which can distract from your photo's main subject or subjects.

April 19, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Monorail

Deb's Digest Blog

If you are anything like I am when it comes to photos at Walt Disney World, you spend time waiting for that perfect shot. Whether it is your family, an attraction, animal or perhaps the monorail!

I end up with lots of photos like this. Getting set up, making sure the camera is doing what it should, taking a few practice shots:

monorail1.jpg

So imagine my surprise just a few weeks ago as I exited the Odyssey building and found a monorail coming around the bend!

monorail2.jpg

Ah... finally....

April 18, 2017

Disney PIc of the Week: Monorails

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

After a long and fun day at Epcot, seeing a monorail entering the station for the trip back to the Ticket and Transportation Center before heading to the Magic Kingdom to catch a late fireworks show is a very welcome sight. The seats are comfortable and the ride smooth.

Monorail Green entering the Epcot station, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Monorail Green entering Epcot station.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/160, f/6.3, ISO 1600, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length.

Raise your hand if you have ever fallen asleep on the Epcot to TTC track or visa versa. I know I have.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her monorail photo.

April 16, 2017

Where in the World #480

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!

Starting with this:
Smiley from Millan.Net

Get it? 😊

Next, let me say to everyone who is celebrating:
Smiley from Millan.Net

Then, just as you’re enjoying yourself because of the last couple weeks comes that nightmare that we call Tax Day.
Smiley from Millan.Net
OK, not in front of the little tax deductions. 😉 That’s how I used to sign cards to my Mom.

Now for Challenge #479:
Where in the World #479

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

Wow, Grumpy's Groupies had a great explanation. We’re in the expanded Haunted Mansion queue with an interactive rhyming book that talks to guests and asks them to complete a rhyming phrase. (In this case, it’s about the Burr and Hamilton duel that you see at the birthday party scene.) Above the interactive book is a tapestry that reads: Her plaintive pleas can still be heard. “O muse, provide the perfect word!” The poetry book is part of the grave for Prudence Pock.
She has a plaque around the corner. "Here lies Poetess Prudence Pock, she died it's said from writers block." I hear ya, sister.

Some trivia:
She’s a relative of Phineas P. Pock who is one of the singing busts, the last one on the right; Phineas also got a headstone on the hill in 2011. (Supposedly, one of the hitchhiking ghosts is Phineas; some resources say it’s the same Phineas, others say it’s two different characters. Claire Gregory, now you have a mission for the next trip!)

Prudence is played by one of the former Adventurers Club actresses: Annelle the maid. (I don’t like using real names for the AC. Hope you understand.)

Vicki Britt, there is a lot going on in so many scenes that it’s easy to miss things even if it wasn’t so dark. Here’s a hint if you’re Carousel of Progress fan.

SPOILER ALERT!

Don’t look at the fireplace in the birthday party scene!
Smiley from Millan.Net

SPOILER OVER

Andreas Beer was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Andreas and to all our winners this week! Ken Savage, Evanna Huda, The Modecki's, Michael O'brien, Michaela Obrien, Karen Obrien, Mary Beth Tarbet, Jim Finley, Eric Berger, Linda Ranatza, Joann Albrecht, Kenny, The Parker Family, Linda College, Beth Mcmeekin, Adolph And Kimberly Timm, Patrick Broaddus, Linda Scrivano, Chris Horne, Suzanne Denham, Melissa Such, Jennifer Rowell, Carol Baranowsky, Caroline Burmester, Jim & Lorie Sonnen, John Bickers, Lori Rienhardt, Josh Weiss, Jp Carnell, Kye Layton, Team Hill, Sands Family, Deb Ragno, The Kertes Family, Margaret Convery, Bob & Kathy Mckim, Joseph M. Zafia, Gloria Martin, Renee Hardiman, Kerri Coggins, The Rider Family, Kristi Strembicki, Michael N Jackie Mclucas, Jodi Cook, Maureen And Warren Handy, Martha & Justin Collins, Herb Miller, Leach Family, K Beasley, Janet T Thorn, Tammy Warmouth, Josette Gabel, Karen Schlumpf, Eric Enli, Paul Dickson, Phyllis, Grumpy's Groupies, Sue And Ed Adams, Christine Brown, The Nufranick Family, Luis Rodriguez, Kyra, Jen Cerce, Andy Hickey, Claire Gregory, Brian Richmond, Kristan Bertelmann, Hunter Armstrong, Smitty, Hillary Waldroop, Jason Steinmetz, Kyran And Chiara Smith, Mark Donahue, Ashley Collins, Belicia, Scott C., Team Bonnie Sue, Maryann Romagnano, Jennifer Hess, Diane Curfman, Jeff Blank, Brian Gallant, Nan Amor, Jamie Steiner, Linda Hoffman, Paul Ignudo, Mike Amor, Jeremy Reichelt, Scott Sangston, Matt Holley, Tricia Petty, Elaine Prosecky, Mark Hardy, Karen Bellamy, Ldp And App, Rebecca Keenan, Jamie Poynton, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Bob Hendrix, Vicki Britt, Vera And Izzy Williams, George Mundy Jr, Jay Tillis, Ruth Cookson, Lenz Family, Sheila Bagg, Jane Johnson, Theresa Maradei, Sherry Trapp, Barclay Bakkum, Christopher Thacker, Don Purney, Miller Family, Donna Frank, and Laurie Walker!

_______________________________________________________
Challenge #480 Where in the world is this?

I could say we're switching parks but that might be a lie.

Where in the World #480
Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, April 20th, 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 14, 2017

Photographic Patience at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I covered this week's theme on Patience before in a blog post entitled, "Play the Waiting Game at Walt Disney World" back in 2013. In it, I talked about waiting until I got a people free photo opportunity.

This week I talk about another kind of patience. The kind we all face being a photographer with a group of people or traveling with family at Walt Disney World.

The first is time waiting for someone to shop in the many stores, shops and kiosks found in and around the resort. I fill up the time by wandering around and looking for interesting merchandise to photograph. In the photo below I found these colorful hats on display in the Disney Outfitters Shop at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Hats on display inside Disney Outfitters shop in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Hats on display inside Disney Outfitters shop in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D750/18-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.8, ISO 5600, EV +0.3, 34mm Focal Length.

A ride queue, especially for the most popular rides, can be very time consuming. Thankfully, Disney Imagineers put in as much work into the queues as they do the rides. As older rides have been refurbished and new rides open, the queues have become more interactive and photographically pleasing. For example, Frozen Ever After's queue is a pleasing wait in a Norwegian village ending in Oaken Token's with a fun sauna inside.

Frozen Ever After queue in the Norway pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Waiting in the Frozen Ever After queue in Epcot's Norway pavilion.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm Fisheye, 1/50s, f/2.8, ISO 12800, EV +1.0.

I like to photograph firework shows with a tripod. This means staking out a location long before show time. I use the time to experiment with different exposures like this very long exposure looking down Main Street USA.

Waiting Main Street USA for Holiday Wishes to start in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Waiting Main Street USA for Holiday Wishes to start in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 30s, f/11, ISO 100, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length, Tripod.

This is the hardest subject to be patient with to photograph. Your food order when it gets set before you and you are hungry. I am not talking about your everyday hunger, I mean Walt Disney World hunger. You know what I mean. Below is a photo of Art's Fabulous Fried Chicken entree at the Homecoming Restaurant in Disney Springs. I had heard all kinds of postive things about his dish, I almost started eating before I took a couple of photos. I mean, look at it. Hungry, yet? Yes, it is as good as people say.

Art's Fabulous Fried Chicken entree at Homecoming restaurant in Disney Springs, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Art's Fabulous Fried Chicken entree at Homecoming restaurant in Disney Springs.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/40s, f/10, ISO 3200, EV +0.3, 48mm Focal Length.

When you are waiting for family or friends, look around for a photo op. At Walt Disney World, they are everywhere.

April 12, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Bus

Deb's Digest Blog

Here's a bus you don't see anymore, in fact it's been years since I have. Back in 2002, Epcot had a "Disney Characters on Holiday" bus. It would circle around World Showcase and periodically stop. The Characters would all get out and pose for photos and sign autographs. I have some fond memories of those character buses.

character-bus-2002.jpg

April 11, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Bus

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Disney buses are the most used mode of transportation at Walt Disney World. They meet us at the airport, transport us to all points within the resort and go out of their way to accommodate guests from newborns to the elderly. However, I must admit, the bus pictured below was a very special one for my wife and me as it took us from Disney's Wilderness Lodge to the Christening Cruise of the Disney Dream cruise ship back in January 2011.

Disney Cruise Line bus at Disney's Wilderness Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Disney Cruise Line bus at Disney's Wilderness Resort.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320, f/9, ISO 800, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her Disney Bus pic.

April 9, 2017

Where in the World #479

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!

It’s a busy week for holidays!

First, we start with Palm Sunday. I loved it as a kid; I use to “crack” the Palms like a whip and got into trouble with my mom. 😊 Then Passover. I’m not Jewish, but a friend invited me over to celebrate with them; I’m looking forward to it. Then we have Holy Thursday & Good Friday.

Whatever you may be celebrating, I hope you have a wonderful time.

Now for Challenge #478:
Where in the World #478

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

Yeah, this was a toughie! Probably the third most difficult one we’ve had. I hoped the hint would help… let’s see if it did:

We’re in the Island Mercantile store on Discovery Island in Disney’s Animal Kingdom. This particular art piece is a penguin plane; there are butterfly ones too if you look up the next time you’re there.

Bob & Kathy Mckim was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Bob & Kathy Mckim and to all our winners this week! Evanna Huda, Larissa Huda, Kris Nixon, Maureen And Warren Handy, Diane Curfman, The Rider Family, Kristi Strembicki, Donna Frank, Team Hill, Beth Littman, Andrew Carrieri, Joann Albrecht, Theresa Maradei, Isabel Johansen, Jeremy Reichelt, Rebecca Keenan, Vicki Britt, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Linda Hoffman, Smitty, Hillary Waldroop, Don Purney, John Warner, Jane Johnson, Kristan Bertelmann, Kerri Coggins, and Claire Gregory!

_______________________________________________________
Challenge #479 Where in the world is this?

This has things for a lot of different fans! It’s part of a new-ish upgrade to an existing classic attraction. I made sure you could Google the tapestry words if you wanted. If you ever had writer’s block, you begged your muse for the same thing! And last, just for fun: does anyone else think of the Broadway musical “Hamilton” when you read those words on the page?

Where in the World #479
Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, April 6th, 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 7, 2017

Disney Springs Intensified

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

During my last visit to Disney Springs, two locations were finally finished and open for business which I wanted to photograph. The first was the Planet Hollywood Observatory which recently re-opened after an extensive renovation to fit in with the Disney Springs theme.

The first photo was taken Straight Out Of the Camera or SOOC to most photographers. It is a fairly flat photo with dark and light regions.

Planet Hollywood Observatory Restaurant at Disney Springs, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Planet Hollywood Observatory Restaurant at Disney Springs.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 560, EV -0.3, 28mm Focal Length.

Below is what the Planet Hollywood Observatory looks like after using Macphun's Intensify CK photo editor which I use as a plug-in for Adobe's Lightroom CC. Intensify CK has starting filters of all kinds for many situations. I use a few favorites. The one I used here was the Soft HDR filter which makes a series of adjustments over one image in one click of the mouse. It is a real time saver for me when photos come SOOC with many photo editing challenges. I could have done it all myself but it would have taken 15 to 30 minutes to get it close to this.

Planet Hollywood Observatory Restaurant at Disney Springs edited in Macphun Intensify CK, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Planet Hollywood Observatory Restaurant at Disney Springs edited in Macphun Intensify CK.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 560, EV -0.3, 28mm Focal Length.

Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar located in The Landing area of Disney Springs is just a great idea, period. Disney could have put this anywhere on property and it would have been a hit. For me, the entrance to the building and the use of textured surfaces make it a perfect subject to use Intensify CK with. First, the Before Photo which is heavily backlighted late on a Florida afternoon.

Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar in Disney Springs, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar in Disney Springs.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125, f/8, ISO 2000, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length.

Here I applied the Enhance Shadows filter at 85% to dramatically open up all the shadows in the original photo. Now you can see all the metal, glass and wood textures used by Disney in the construction of the bar and lounge.

Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar in Disney Springs edited in Macphun Intensify CK, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Jock Lindsey's Hangar Bar in Disney Springs edited in Macphun Intensify CK.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125, f/8, ISO 2000, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length.

In each case, after I was done in Intensify CK, I returned to Lightroom to finish up the image. Adding sharpness and clarity. Most times, Intenisfy CK will add digital noise which Lightroom has little trouble dealing with. In the end, I get a great looking image in far less time.

Do you need to be a Photoshop wizard? Not with such tools as Macphun produces for Apple Mac users. Check them out to see all their photo editing products.

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