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November 17, 2017

Photographing Happily Ever After in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The new Happily Ever After Fireworks and Castle Projection Show in the Magic Kingdom is wonderful, beautiful, uplifting, emotional and a visual and musical delight.

But, for a still photographer, like myself, it is extremely challenging. I like my firework photographs to have colorful long streams and bursts. For the previous fireworks show, Wishes, the castle changed colors but not too often. It was easy to open up a camera's shutter for 10, 20, 30 seconds and even longer without worrying too much about how Cinderella Castle would be lighted during those long exposures.

That has all changed with Happily Ever After. The projections which, are often animated, change colors and patterns on Cinderella Castle almost constantly throughout the length of the show. Long exposures would make the projections blend in together leaving ghosts and muted shades of mixed colors.

Not all is hopeless. By studying the show via youTube Videos many times, I found a few places I could get "long" exposures. I put long in quotes as most of the images you will see had shutter speeds of 20 seconds or shorter with most being under 10 seconds by manually opening and closing the camera's shutter.

The show's beginning does hold projections longer than most of the show. Think of it as a preamble period.

I apologize for my location and guest interference. I was not as concerned with location as I was in learning how to photograph the new show. Ignore the trees and other distractions, please.

Happily Ever After Fireworks and Castle Projection Show in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Happily Ever After Fireworks and Castle Projection Show.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 18s, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 38mm Focal Length, Tripod.

The projection with the symbol from the movie, Moana, I wanted to capture. I knew from the videos I had about 10 seconds. Turns out 13 seconds worked though I swear I counted to 10.

Happily Ever After Fireworks and Castle Projection Show in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Happily Ever After Fireworks and Castle Projection Show.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 13s, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 38mm Focal Length, Tripod.

This next image shows what happens when I left the shutter open too long. The bottom of Cinderella Castle is a mix of colors as the show was transitioning to its next projection.

Happily Ever After Fireworks and Castle Projection Show in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Happily Ever After Fireworks and Castle Projection Show.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 11s, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 38mm Focal Length, Tripod.

Shorter shutters can result in deeper colors with less processing.

Happily Ever After Fireworks and Castle Projection Show in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Happily Ever After Fireworks and Castle Projection Show.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 6.3s, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 38mm Focal Length, Tripod.

There are a couple of times there are fireworks being streamed from Cinderella Castle like this.

Happily Ever After Fireworks and Castle Projection Show in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Happily Ever After Fireworks and Castle Projection Show.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 15s, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 38mm Focal Length, Tripod.

In between the photos I have here there are a lot of animated scenes with characters and other effects being shown. I did not try to photograph those and just enjoyed them. Like the beginning, the ending leading up to the finale has more static projections as the fireworks became more the main subject.

Happily Ever After Fireworks and Castle Projection Show in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Happily Ever After Fireworks and Castle Projection Show.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 12s, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 38mm Focal Length, Tripod.

The finale has always been a time when you have to use shorter shutter speeds. Disney Imagineers do know how to bring it home.

Happily Ever After Fireworks and Castle Projection Show in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Happily Ever After Fireworks and Castle Projection Show.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 5.4s, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 38mm Focal Length, Tripod.

Overall, I was happy with the few that came out. Next time I want to first get a better location and work on photographing with high ISO and faster shutters which go less than a second. Then switch to longer shutters and low ISO towards the show's ending.





November 14, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Pop Century Resort

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Raise your hand if you owned a Big Wheel growing up? I went through a couple of them. In the 70's Section of Disney's Pop Century Resort you will find the Biggest Big Wheel of them all!

Big Wheel tricycle in the 70's Section of Disney's Pop Century Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Big Wheel tricycle in the 70's Section of Disney's Pop Century Resort.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/5, ISO 200, EV 0, 78mm Focal Length.





November 12, 2017

Where in the World #510

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!

Saturday was Veterans Day in the US. Thank you to all who have served!

Carol Gamill is headed for Walt Disney World! Everyone wish her Bon Voyage!
Smiley from Millan.Net

Now for Challenge #509:
Where in the World #509

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

Balloons! We’re surrounded by Disney Balloons and what a great place to be!!

The Kertes Family were the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to The Kertes Family and to all our winners this week! Adolph And Kimberly Timm, Grumpy's Groupies, Ken Savage, Team Hill, Nan Amor, Robert Wescovich, Linda Hoffman, Sandie Albrecht, Bonnie Jean, Jason Steinmetz, The Tisdale Family, The Gunnels Gang, Diane Curfman, Linda College, The Parker Family, Mary Beth Tarbet, Vera And Izzy Williams, Emily Hudson, Smitty, Maureen And Warren Handy, Susan Higginbotham, Eric Enli, Tammy Warmouth, The Modeckis, Pat Schwirer, Deb Ragno, Jim Thompson, Janet T Thorn, Dee Dee Kenney, Jim Finley, Luis Rodriguez, Jim & Lorie Sonnen, Maryann Romagnano, Andy Hickey, Paul Dickson, Mickey Eckert, Brian Mcwithey, Mike Amor, Phyllis, Linda Ranatza, Todd Johns, Jennifer Hess, Ruth Woodhouse, Wendy T Faler, Theresa Maradei, K Beasley, Joann Albrecht, Patricia Morin, Chris Kelly, Linda Scrivano, Carol Gamill, Josh Weiss, Karen Schlumpf, Ruben O'meara, Jessica Gruhlke, Martha And Justin Collins, Steve Knapp, Tricia Petty, Carol Baranowsky, Bob & Kathy Mckim, Ed Suscreba, Team Bonnie Sue, Ruth Senecal, Mary Pauley, Sue And Ed Adams, Eric Berger, Vicki Britt, Theresa Rucando, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Jan Rosato, Melissa Haeberle, Gloria Martin, Joseph M. Zafia, Christopher Thacker, Arlene Vicek, Jessica Polizzotto, Carla C, Liz Moreau, Erin Hammer, Jeff Blank, Kenny, Jeremy Hardy, Carolyn Como, Sands Family, Hillary Waldroop, Wayne Chadourne, Paul Ignudo, Karrie Rodriguez, The Patterson Family, John Warner, Karen Bellamy, Scott Sangston, Karen Ramirez, Rebecca Keenan, Olszak Family, Jamiesteiner, George Mundy Jr, Kyra, Sandy Ceplecha, Mark Hardy, Ashley Collins, Jodi Cook, Chris Bauman, Mis Jamie Marie, Stacie Huang, Mark Donahue, Michael & Jackie Mclucas, Sheila Bagg, Karen Ford, Donald Purney, Jackie Graebel, Barclay Bakkm, Joann Bailey, Susan Doucette, Sheila And Kelly Barnes, Sherry Trapp, Amanda Garrett, Maureen Tavrell, Jamie Poynton, Trisha K, Barbara, Shirley Garcowski, Thomas Higbee Sr, Carly Frost, Michelle Palazzo, Jane Johnson, Robert P. Flaherty, Janice Woods, Antoinette Leblanc, Stacy Guarracino, Kris Nixon, and the Gallagher Family!

_______________________________________________________
Challenge #510 Where in the world is this?

It’s important to remember this for the new challenge: We are outside the parks!

Where in the World #510

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

-

November 10, 2017

Frontierland Reflections in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

After an early breakfast at the Crystal Palace, the Magic Kingdom had not officially opened and was very quiet. The Rivers of America was still enough to become a reflective surface.

Like any photographer, I took full advantage. First up was Harper's Mill on Tom Sawyer Island being reflected in the water.

Harper's Mill on Tom Sawyer Island in Frontierland on a still morning at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Harper's Mill on Tom Sawyer Island in Frontierland on a still morning.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 450, EV 0, 75mm Focal Length.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Frontierland was next.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Frontierland on a still morning at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Frontierland on a still morning.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 44mm Focal Length.

Once the rafts and riverboat start operating, the water will become to turbulent for such good reflections. The other time to get good reflections is at night after activity on Rivers of America cease. It also helps if the the air is still as it was on this day which was two days after Hurricane Irma had closed Walt Disney World.






November 7, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Art of Animation Resort

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When I last stayed at Disney's Art of Animation Resort, my room was in The Lion King section. Each time I left and returned to my room, Simba was there overlooking everywhere the light touched from Pride Rock.

Simba overlooking The Lion King section of Disney's Art of Animation Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Simba overlooking The Lion King section of Disney's Art of Animation Resort.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/320s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 120mm Focal Length.





November 5, 2017

Where in the World #509

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!

Thank you for the anniversary wishes!
Smiley from Millan.Net

Now for Challenge #508:
Where in the World #508

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

We’re looking at the signs in the queue for The Seas with Nemo and Friends in EPCOT!

Eric Berger were the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Eric and to all our winners this week! Ken Savage, Bruce Jones, Grumpy's Groupies, Scott Greenbaum, Jim & Lorie Sonnen, Linda Hoffman, Joann Albrecht, Carol Baranowsky, Tammy Warmouth, Mary Beth Tarbet, Adolph And Kimberly Timm, Michael O'brien, Karen O Brien, Michaela O'brien, Emily Hudson, Julia And Carol Wickware, Steve Porter, Jason Hocker, Christ Kelly, Joseph M. Zafia, Marsha Waidelich, Loring Family, Jessica Iglesias, Kerri Coggins, Ed Suscreba, Josh Weiss, Eric Enli, Fosbender Family, Kris Nixon, Jennifer Rowell, Leach Family, The Nufranick Family, Deb Ragno, Team Hill, Karen Bellamy, Vera And Izzy Williams, The Kertes Family, The Parker Family, Ken Maikowski, Sam Rossman, Melissa Haeberle, Lori Rienhardt, Jim Finley, Ben M, Laurie Walker, Ronnie Alvarado, Maureen And Warren Handy, Bob & Kathy Mckim, Tricia Petty, Mary Pauley, Luis Rodriguez, Sandie Albrecht, Sands Family, Carolyn Como, Wendy T Faler, Elaine Tomko-deluca, Kenny, K Beasley, Al & Kerry Ganter, Pat Schwier, Jim Thompson, Robert Wescovich, The Gunnels Gang, Megan Krainski, Andy Hickey, Claire Gregory, Janet T Thorn, Emily Eldridge, Bonnie Jean, Phyllis, The Rider Family, Matt Wildey, Jonathan Brown, Linda College, Andrew Carrieri, Hobbes And Snorky, Smitty, Linda Ranatza, Team Bonnie Sue, Shirley Garcowski, Karen Taylor, Karen Schlumpf, Kyra, Martha & Justin Collins, Sue And Ed Adams, Belicia, Scott C., Arlene Vicek, The Modeckis, Erin Hammer, Nan Amor, Ashley Collins, Jeff Blank, Gloria Martin, Karen Ramirez, Theresa Maradei, Caroline Burmester, Paul Ignudo, Jeremy Reichelt, Davida, Michael & Jackie Mclucas, Matt Holley, Karrie Rodriguez, Scott Sangston, Vicki Britt, Rebecca Keenan, Renee Hardiman, Carri Marotto, Chloe Mayhew, Jamie Steiner, Hunter Armstrong, Ruben O'meara, Jamie Poynton, Theresa Rucando, The Patterson Family, Sandy Ceplecha, Andreas Beer, Barclay Bakkum, Paul Dickson, Donald Purney, Sheila Bagg, Jo Ann Bailey, Carla C, Ron Weigand, Julie Weigand, Carly Frost, Tj, Jane Johnson, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, George Mundy Jr, and Jackie Graebel!

It’s time for the October winner! And the winner is: Jackie Graebel! Congratulations! You’ll be hearing from me soon to get your prize from Deb Wills!

_______________________________________________________
Challenge #509 Where in the world is this?

Wait! Are we surrounded by “The Jellies”?! Are we still in The Seas?? I don’t think so. So what these? Don’t worry about where, just what.

Where in the World #509

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

-

November 3, 2017

Photographing Pandora at Night in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Photographing Pandora - The World of Avatar in Disney's Animal Kingdom at night poses many challenges. The first one I was lucky to avoid having visited just after Hurricane Irma had passed and attendance was way down. People will be everywhere with long lines for the two attractions which will test any photographer's patience. Having said that, try and be courteous of the people there with you. If you use a tripod like I did. Be mindful where you setup so as not to trip people walking by.

Another challenge is the color pallet used in the lighting of Pandora at night. I call it fluorescent RGB for Red-Green-Blue. They are color copier hues like magenta and cyan. Such colors play havoc with digital camera sensors and you have to be careful not to over saturate them or you get a blob of colors with little to no detail. Especially the blue lighting which Disney tends to use a lot in all their parks.

My approach was to find lighting or other colors to mix with the predominate blue lighting. Below, I photographed the Floating Mountains in the Valley of Mo'ara after sunset. The sky was still brighter than the mountains. The long exposure of thirty seconds allowed the many colors found in the valley to come out. I further enhanced the vibrancy of the colors in my post processing using Adobe Lightroom CC while controlling the blue channel. I also photographed in RAW (something I rarely do) so I could adjust the white balance, if needed, in post.

Floating Mountains in the Valley of Mo'ara at Pandora in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Floating Mountains of Pandora after sunset.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 30s, f/6.3, ISO 100, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length, Tripod.

Here are three examples of the other ways to mix the colors.

Variety of images from the Valley of Mo'ara at Pandora in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Variety of images from the Valley of Mo'ara in Pandora.

Left: I really loved this composition using the framed sky as a reference. The yellow flowers give the eye a starting point to then wander the scene. Exif: 30s, f/8, ISO 100, EV 0, 48mm focal length, tripod.

Center: People walk and rest under the Floating Mountains mixing the incandescent (human) lighting with Pandora's "natural" blue lighting. Exif: 13s, f/8, ISO 400, EV 0, 16mm focal length, tripod.

Right: I made a large yellow "pod" (anyone know what they are called?) the main subject with mysterious blue cone-like flowers as a complementary color and shape. Exif: 5s, f/8, ISO 800, EV 0, 24mm focal length, tripod.

Noticed I used different ISO settings to change the shutter speed. My camera was in Aperture Priority mode. It got a little breezy as the time went on so I kept wanting to increase the shutter speed to keep motion to a minimum.

Ah, the waterfalls I showed you earlier in the post about Pandora's waterfalls. I knew I would be coming back at night to the same location and here it is. This time I did have a tripod. The reds, blues and greens came out very well.

Valley of Mo'ara waterfalls at night in Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Valley of Mo'ara waterfalls at night in Pandora.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 30s, f/16, ISO 400, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Tripod.

Below is the type of color I was afraid of getting all night. Totally blued out. This started happening the later and darker it got. In comparing this photos with others, a shorter shutter speed and higher ISO would have let the other colors not get overwhelmed by the blue.

Floating Mountains at night inside Pandora in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Floating Mountains at night in Pandora.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 30s, f/16, ISO 400, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Tripod.

While I am very happy with these results, I still want to experiment the next time I visit Pandora - The World of Avatar.





October 31, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Pandora At Night

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Out in front of the Pongu Pongu beverages and Windtraders store is a RDA Combat Amp Suit standing guard. I found it an interesting contrast to the peaceful scene found in most of Pandora.

RDA Combat Amp Suit in front of Pongu Pongu and Windtraders in Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
RDA Combat Amp Suit in front of Pongu Pongu and Windtraders in Pandora.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 30s, f/8, ISO 100, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Cropped, Tripod.

I bet you thought you would see something different from me for this topic. Do not worry, I will be featuring more Pandora night photography on my Friday blog this week.





October 29, 2017

Where in the World #508

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!

Claire Gregory is in Disneyland this week! Salute Walt’s lamp for me!

I’m in Charleston celebrating our wedding anniversary!

And!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
Smiley from Millan.Net
And remember, it’s…
Smiley from Millan.Net
Just kidding!

Now for Challenge #507:
Where in the World #507

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

Here’s Roo in his mum’s pouch! He and Kanga sit at the foot of the Christmas tree at Disney’s Animal Kingdom each year!

Adolph and Kimberly Timm were the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Adolph and Kimberly and to all our winners this week!!

_______________________________________________________
Challenge #508 Where in the world is this?

Switching parks! Our wonderful Barrie Brewer took this photo.

Where in the World #508

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

-

October 27, 2017

Photographing Pandora Details in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Touring Pandora - The World of Avatar in Disney's Animal Kingdom you certainly feel like you are in a different place. Sounds and sights are similar but different. There is a mix of real and imagined flora and fauna found throughout the "moon". Details are fun to find the first few times one gets to visit.

The photo below at first does not seem like a particular detail. The Grinch Tree stands out in the foreground with the Floating Mountain looming in the background from the Valley of Mo'ara overlook platform. (Note: this is a popular PhotoPass location) It is what you do not see which to me is an amazing detail. What is missing? I will let you wait for a bit before I unveil it. This photo was taken using the Hyperfocus Technique putting everything in focus from the front to the back of the frame.

Grinch tree and Floating Mountains in the Valley of Mo'ara in Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Grinch tree and Floating Mountains in the Valley of Mo'ara.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/16, ISO 450, EV +0.3, 28mm Focal Length.

While the World of Avatar has a lot of natural beauty, the human element can be found in details like the piping seen above the Avatar Flight of Passage queue and on a clever sign on a service door found at the Satu'li Canteen.

Human details found in Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Human details found in Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Walking along the streams and pools of water in Pandora you can see these squirting water creatures which push out streams of water randomly. I am still researching information about these interesting fish or are they something else?

Squirting water creatures found in the Valley of Mo'ara at Pandora in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Squirting water creatures found in the Valley of Mo'ara at Pandora.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 4000, EV 0, 86mm Focal Length, Cropped.

There are some fascinating looking flowers and other flora found in Pandora. Below are two examples. For both photos I opened up the aperture as wide as the lens would go (f/4 in this case). This selected out the subjects from their busy backgrounds. Doing so created the soft out-of-focus or bokeh effect behind them.

Flowers in the Valley of Mo'ara at Pandora in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Flowers in the Valley of Mo'ara at Pandora in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

These are just a few examples of the details you can find when you visit Pandora yourself. Oh, speaking of details, the missing one in the first photo are people. As busy as the park was when I took the photo, from the overlook, you can not see them. I tip my cap to the Disney Imagineers.





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