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July 5, 2015

Where in the World #388

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!

A couple Players had a birthday last week:

Happy Birthday to Noelle Gregory! (June 24th)
Smiley from Millan.Net

And Happy Birthday to David Talbot (July 4th!)!
Smiley from Millan.Net

Now for Challenge #387:
Where in the World #387

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © Barrie Brewer

This is a combination of a couple Tomorrowland features, but Astro Orbiter/Rocket Tower Plaza was fine as an answer.

Kristi Strembicki were the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Kristi and to all our winners this week! Jim & Lorie Sonnen, Sharon Pierce, Kenny, Linda Ranatza, Mary Beth Tarbet, Carol Ney, Tricia Petty, Brucethelesser@charter.net , Phyllis, Kyra, Trish Meli, Sharon Russo, The Long Family, Vanessa Stjohn, Pollyanna Buff, Elaine Kleinhenz, Dave Freemyer , Gloria Martin, Rachel Marks, Pat Schwier, Sands Family, Candice Grimes, Janet T Thorn, Erin Yanuskevich, Steve Porter, Andy Hickey, Grumpy's Groupies, Wendy Bedard, Team Hill, The Gunnels Gang, Andrew Carrieri, Sandie Albrecht, Erin Loring, Justin, Leslie Krysinel, Kris Nixon, Christi Ison, Jim Molek, Ruben O'meara, The Parker Family, Tom Keeley , John, Jen Tremley, Wendy Barney, Christie Chojnacki, Bill Schmid , Niksgrammy, Josh Weiss, K Beasley, Eric Berger, Eric Berger, Sandra Falcon, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Tina Gerbig, Matt Wildey , Sarah And Chris, Lee Anastasi, Susie Howard, Mark Hardy, Monica Mackin, Nan Amor, Joyce S, Joyce Eimer, Otts Family, Rob Hildebrandt , Ellen Sullivan, Ken Maikowski, Linda Scrivano, Hobbes And Snorky, Tom Koval, Bonnie Jean, Brian Woodhouse, Christine Dagney, Kris Bailey , Lindsey Nozal, Deb Ragno, Donna Frank, Maureen Handy, Becky Norman, Maryann Eckenrode, Judy Simonsen, Arlene Vicek, Liz And Dave Fullerton, Linda College, The Tisdale Family, Herb Miller, Claire Gregory, Larry Sprenkle, Susan Linck, Laurie Walker, Justin Collins, Paul Dickson, Daniel Record, Brian Mcwithey, Mike Malampy( Malampy Benco Family), Jeff Blank, Team Bonnie Sue, Jeff Blank, Laura Donmoyer, Emma Ramsey , Wayne Chadourne, Jodi Cook, Melissa Gundrum, Diane Morris, Emily Hudson, Matt Holley, Chris Bauman, Tricia Noble, Patrick Broaddus, Lori Rienhardt, Jason Hocker, Andrew Pettit, Dee Dee Kenney, George Mundy Jr, Phyllis, Jeremy Reichelt, Kathryn Hughes, Smitty, Deborah Wolfe, Christopher Hall, Joseph Slowik, Melissa Such, Amber Slifer, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieua, Terry Fleming, Roxanne Kliebert, Heidi Goodhue, Ed Adams, Tracey Horan, Erin Gomes, Les Stewart, Cheryl Costello, Carla C, Patti Mccaffrey, Hillary Waldroop, Tim Johansen, Vicki Britt, Russ Morgan, Dave Carriere, Gallagher Family, Jo Ann Bailey, Jonathan Thomas, Lisa Cash, Joseph M. Zafia, Katherine Hinton, Katherine Hinton, Holly Brugha, Rick Gaille, Emmy Kimmer, David Shockley, Mark Luck, Jackie Graebel, Krista Serpi, Lydia B, Tommy Montgomery, Team Meeker, Kim Hamilton , Ken Rhinehart, Julie Hall, Anne Musselman, Jillian Lassiter, Cindy Ehrich, Jackie Klafeta, Ron Harper, Marilyn Kammer, Jessica Ryan, Mickey Eckert, David Ballard, Beth Laporte, Melissa, Barclay Bakkum, Valerie Smith, Jamesd (dzneynut), Mark Proper, Theresa Rucando, Rob Blundin, Don Purney, Janice Mayo, Jane Johnson, Les Stewart, Susan Higginbotham, Matthew Jadro, Margie Larmon, Kelly Todd, Danielle Harsley And Agnes Ciotti, Karen Bellamy, The Dieuliis Family, Norma Young, Jamie Poynton, Jeremy Hardy, Jodie S., Vincent Lieu, and Maryann Romagnano!

Time for the monthly drawing! The June 2015 winner is: Liz Moreau! Congratulations, Liz: we'll be contacting you shortly about receiving your prize!
__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #388 Where in the world is this?

Stay in the parks and be careful! Your first guess may not be right. Give it another look and make sure.

Where in the World #388.

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, July 9, 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!

July 3, 2015

Lobby Flag at Disney's Wilderness Lodge

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

United States of America flag hanging over the lobby of the Wilderness Lodge Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
United States of America flag hanging over the lobby of the Wilderness Lodge Resort.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/13s, f/4.5, ISO 6400, EV 0, 55mm Focal Length, edited.

Tomorrow is the day America celebrates its birthday. It has been 239 years since July 4th, 1776.

One of the greatest foresight's America has had was to create its National Parks to preserve and protect unique natural places within the territories of the United States for the enjoyment of its peoples. Disney pays homage to those national parks and the great lodges found within their borders at Disney's Wilderness Lodge Resort.

July 1, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Cast Costumes in Disney's Hollywood Studios

Deb's Digest Blog

One of the great things about Disney's Hollywood Studios are the Citizens of Hollywood, also known as the Street-mosphere players!

These improv entertainers can be found on Hollywood Blvd at various times during the afternoon. There are a wide range of characters who love to interact with everyone. My personal favorite is Dorma Nesmond, but alas, I can not find my photo with the delightful Dorma.

Here are 2 lovely ladies of Hollywood that I encountered on a recent visit. If anyone knows their names, please share in the comments below.

studios-costumes.jpg

Who is your favorite Citizen of Hollywood???

June 30, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Cast Costumes in Disney's Hollywood Studios

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Three years ago (how time flies!), I hosted an All Ears Photowalk which included a backstage tour of the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show. Our hosts for the tour was two of the stunt drivers we had been photographing at the last show. As you can imagine, their costumes were very different and fire proof.

Backstage at the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Meeting a Stunt Driver backstage at the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/8, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share a CM from Disney's Hollywood Studios.


June 28, 2015

Where in the World #387

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'm back! Thank you again for being patient, Players!

To all the Dads, a belated:
Smiley from Millan.Nett

We have a couple holidays coming up next week!

First:
Smiley from Millan.Net

And:
Smiley from Millan.Net

Now for Challenge #386. First the TOUGH one:
Where in the World #386-tough.

And second, the tough challenge:
Where in the World #386

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

The tree is at the Rapunzel themed restrooms at the Magic Kingdom!

Some people got the right park, but not the right place in the Magic Kingdom. I still give you big kudos for it! My answer would have been, “Who the heck knows?”

But since all you Players were so patient with me being gone a week and sent me all the great birthday wishes, I put everyone's name in for the monthly drawing. :)

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

The Hess gas station on World Drive.

Pollyanna Buff, Mary Beth Tarbet, and Jim & Lorie Sonnen, I like your answers that it's your GPS system going home. As well as Bruce Hinterleitner saying both photos were located on his computer. LOL!

The Sands Family were the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to The Sands and to all our winners this week! Hillary Waldroop, Adolph And Kimberly Timm, and Vicki, William & Thomas Edwards!
________________________________________________________

Challenge #387 Where in the world is this?

In the parks! And hopefully not as difficult!

Where in the World #387.

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, July 2nd, 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!

June 26, 2015

macPhun with Spaceship Earth at Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Today, photo editing software comes in three flavors: Expensive, Cloud based subscriptions and bits and pieces (aka apps). The exception would be Adobe Elements. An excellent choice as it has most of the photo editing capabilities of Photoshop. I am still considering my next move in photo management software. Apple's Aperture 3.x software is no longer being supported by Apple and it will be interesting to see for how long Aperture will continue to run as OS X continues to evolve. Currently, the new Photo App does not meet my needs (though it may yours).

Thankfully, there are companies who thrive on creating add-ons to programs like Aperture, Lightroom and Photoshop. Macphun is one such company which I highly recommend if you are a Mac user. Over the last few years they have put together a very impressive list of photo applications. If they ever come out with the missing photo management piece, that could be my solution going forward. For right now, I use Macphun's applications as external tools to Aperture.

Today I want to show you how I used two of them, Intensify Pro and Noiseless Pro, to edit a photo. I use the Pro versions as they support running directly out of Aperture (or Lightroom or Photoshop). The do create a different version of the image so as not to destroy the original and then put it nicely back into your editor's library. In the case of Aperture, it creates a Stack or Set with the original photo.

As I was walking towards Spaceship Earth in Epcot after sunset one evening, I noticed this composition. I did not have a tripod with me so I did the best I could hand held. The original photos lacks punch and is very dull.

Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Original (unedited) version of Spaceship Earth.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 2800, EV -0.6, 28mm Focal Length

Of of the main reasons I use Macphun's products is they save me a lot of time. When I open an image for editing in Intensify Pro, I get a series of Pre-Sets or Filters which I can select and see how each affects the image. Once I find one I like, I can change the pre-set's effects between 0 (no affect) to 100 (full effect). I found myself using some pre-sets more than others so I can select them as Favorites and quickly get to them in a separate selection tab. Favorites is something found in each of Macphun's products. For the Spacehip Earth photo I went with one of my Favorites, HDR Soft. I backed it up to 80.

After saving it back into Aperture, I found the noise or grain got enhanced by Intensify Pro. Never fear as Macphun recently came out with a superb noise reduction product called Noiseless. I really like how you can easily select between the different noise reduction settings. The before and after split screen view quickly shows you the effects of the selected setting on the image. For this image, I used the Medium setting at 90.

Back in Aperture, I finalized the image by opening up the shadows and reducing any hot spots (blown out highlights) before adding a final sharpening.

Here is the result.

Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Edited version of Spaceship Earth.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 2800, EV -0.6, 28mm Focal Length

Macphun currently only has applications for Macs and iOS products. They are easy to use, save a lot of time and are not expensive.

June 24, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Cast Costumes at Animal Kingdom

Deb's Digest Blog

There are so many beautiful Cast Member costumes at Animal Kingdom I had a hard time deciding what to post. This one, is perhaps the newest... it is for Cast Members at the Harambe Market which opened in late May, 2015. This is an open air location in Africa serving African streetfoods and a nice selection of South African wines.

ak-cast.jpg


June 23, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Cast Costumes in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Cast Costumes Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

If you have never ridden the Wildlife Express out to Rafiki's Planet Watch (formerly Conservation Station), I encourage you to do so. It is usually not as crowded as the rest of the park, the train ride gets you off your feet for a few minutes and the displays, petting zoo, characters, peak behind the scenes and cast members are delightful. A few times each day, a Cast Member comes out dressed in his/her Naturalists attire to share a show and tell about one of the creatures being cared for. I have seen a lizard, a bird of prey, a spider and, in the photo below, a snake. It is of particular interest to kids as they enjoy seeing and learning about such creatures.

Cast member sharing information about a snake at Rafiki's Planet Watch in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cast member sharing information about a snake at Rafiki's Planet Watch.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/20s, f/3.5, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 18mm focal length.

Tomorrow, Deb will share a very happy CM at someplace new in Disney's Animal Kingdom.


June 19, 2015

Get Close with Princess Minnie "Leia" Mouse at Star Wars Weekend

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I often get asked how a person can immediately improve their photography. My answer is always the same, Get Closer and Fill the Frame. Doing so will immediately give your photos more interest and more impact. Case in point, last year during Star Wars Weekend at Disney's Hollywood Studios, my wife wanted her picture taken with one of the Disney characters in Star Wars costume.

After waiting an hour on a very hot Orlando day, I did not want to screw it up. Using a zoom lens, I made sure to capture a few photos using different focal lengths starting from wide angle to full zoom.

First photo was the full length portrait look showing the environment around my subjects. In this case, it looks like part of the original Death Star.

Disney fan meeting Princess Leia Minnie Mouse during Star Wars Weekend at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Meeting Princess Leia Minnie Mouse during Star Wars Weekend.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/18, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 56mm Focal Length, Fill Flash

The next photo, I zoomed in closer and you can see both Minnie and my wife better.

Disney fan meeting Princess Leia Minnie Mouse during Star Wars Weekend at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Meeting Princess Leia Minnie Mouse during Star Wars Weekend.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/14, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 82mm Focal Length, Fill Flash

Notice in the first two photos, I turned my camera to photograph them in a portrait orientation. Since people are taller than they are wide, for groups up to three, going with portrait is good. But, if you get in real close, like I did in the next photo, photographing them in Landscape worked really well.

Disney fan meeting Princess Leia Minnie Mouse during Star Wars Weekend at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Meeting Princess Leia Minnie Mouse during Star Wars Weekend.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/13, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 250mm Focal Length, Fill Flash

When it comes to showing these photos to friends and family, the last photo is the one that gets the most interest. You can see my wife's expression better and even Minnie holds more interest as you can see the details in her costume.

June 17, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Cast Costumes Magic Kingdom

Deb's Digest Blog

So this week we are all about Cast Costumes in the Magic Kingdom. I know I have lots of these, but can I find any? No, well, none that I like.

However, I'm going to fudge a bit this week. I was looking around the D23.com website and found this cool photo from Tomorrowland (at Disneyland) in the 1960s. Hope you like this blast from the past (groan)

1960D23.png


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