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January 23, 2018

Disney Pic of the Week: Satu'li Canteen

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Satu'li Canteen in Pandora - The World of Avatar at Disney's Animal Kingdom has an unique way of ordering food. Instead of the usual Earth-way of doing it, you choose your protein, base and sauce for your Satu'li Bowl. Sounds appetizing? No? Well, in practise, it is very good and fits in with the Pandora story line.

Protein being prepared at the Satu'li Canteen restaurant in Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Protein being prepared at the Satu'li Canteen restaurant in Pandora at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 3600, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

Mmmm, protein...tastes like chicken.





January 21, 2018

Where in the World #520

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 am so sorry. I missed an important day last week: Martin Luthor King Jr. Day in the US. I hope you had a wonderful day.

Now for Challenge #519:
Where in the World #519

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

The Liberty Belle riverboat in the Magic Kingdom!

The Modeckis were the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to The Modeckis and to all our winners this week! Grumpy's Groupies, Linda College, Jim & Lorie Sonnen, Tammy Warmouth, Andreas Beer, Mary Beth Tarbet, Gloria Martin, Ken Maikowski, Adolph And Kimberly Timm, Kris Nixon, Emily Hudson, Deb Ragno, Al & Kerry Ganter, The Kertes Family, Ken Savage, Theresa Rucando, Maddie Inman, Wayne Chadourne, Janet T Thorn, Bob & Kathy Mckim, Leach Family, Linda Hoffman, The Rider Family, Joseph M. Zafia, Phyllis, Robert Wescpvoch, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Team Hill, Sharon Powell, Bonnie Jean, Vicki Britt, Josh Weiss, Michael Haeberle, Mis Jamie Marie, Bob Patterson, Andy Hickey, Tricia Petty, Axel Beer, Sue And Ed Adams, Steve Porter, Luis Rodriguez, Cheryl Costello, Sandie Albrecht, Angela Johns, Todd Johns, Anne Duque, Herb Miller, Vera And Izzy Williams, Lori Rienhardt, Marsha Waidelich, Maureen And Warren Handy, Susan Higginbotham, Jim Thompson, Theresa Maradei, Malampy(benco Families), The Parker Family, The Nufranick Family, Joann Albrecht, Linda Ranatza, Martha & Justin Collins, Hobbes And Snorky, Jeremy Hardy, Carol Baranowsky, Arlene Vicek, Smitty, Ruth Woodhouse, Brian F Gallant, Andrew Carrieri, Patricia Morin, Team Bonnie Sue, K Beasley, Deb Gallo, Hunter Armstrong, Susie Howard, Jim Finley, Dee Dee Kenney, Ed Suscreba, Emily Eldridge, The Tisdale Family, Loring Family, Brian Richmond, Kyra, Stacie Huang, Karen Schlumpf, Antoinette Leblanc, Ruben O'meara, Jessica Gruhlke, Claire Gregory, Karen Adamakis, Chris Kelly, Eric Berger, Erin Hammer, Jeff Blank, Mike Amor, Hillary Waldroop, Paul Ignudo, Brian Mcwithey, Matthew Frey, Donna Mcmurrey, Terry Harris, John Paul C., The Patterson Family, Wendy T Faler, Kenny, Tommy Montgomery, Belicia, Scott C., Karen Bellamy, Jeremy Reichelt, Nan Amor, Stefan Owens, Stefan Owens, Steve Knapp, Jessica Polizzotto, Maryann Romagnano, Jason Steinmetz, Mark Hardy, Carri Marotto, George Mundy Jr, Maureen Tavrell, Stacy Guarracino, Jamie Poynton, Mickey Eckert, Barclay Bakkum, Sheila Bagg, Jodie S., Donald Purney, Jo Ann Bailey, Jackie Graebel, Robert P. Flaherty, Liz Moreau, Sherry Trapp, Shirley, Thomas Higbee Sr, Carolyn Como, Michael O'brien, Karen O' Brien, Michaela O'brien, Jamie Steiner, Scott Sangston, Christy Schor, Eric Enli, Tracy Discher, Emma Ramsey, Jane Johnson, Tj, and Gallagher Family!

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Challenge #520 Where in the world is this?

Who are these two fellows? Please give me at least the one on the right. The one on the left may be harder for some people. (Although his mini-movie is on Netflix.)
Hint: this is an example of a Hidden character other than Mickey so you may find help on http://www.hiddenmickeyguy.com/ or Google.
Where in the World #520

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, January 25th, 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!

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January 19, 2018

Disney Architectural Photography - Part 2

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Last week, we discussed the type of equipment needed for Architectural Photography at Walt Disney World. For Part 2, we are going to explore how composition plays an important part in using that equipment. For the most part, I stick with the Rule of Thirds which I have found very viable in creating pleasing photos of Disney buildings, rides and attractions over the years. It works just as good with structures as it does with people.

When using wide angle lenses, you have to take into account distortion of the lens being used. If you angle up and down with a wide angle lens, straight lines tend to lean or bend. This is not always a bad thing and can help to lead a viewer's attention to the main subject. In the photo below of The BOATHOUSE restaurant in Disney Springs, you can see the distortion of the lens at a 16mm focal length get more pronounced towards the left and right edges of the frame. While the main subject, the Amphicar is not distorted at all. Here I am using the distortion to wrap around the Amphicar.

Amphicar ready for a cruise at The Boathouse restaurant in Disney Springs, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Wide Angle view of an Amphicar in front of The Boathouse restaurant in Disney Springs.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 5000, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length.

In many photo editing programs, you can fix the lens distortion but you have to have enough space around the edges to do so. In the case of my photo of the Amphicar, I did not and the top of the tower would have been trimmed off.

I did have the room in another photo of The BOATHOUSE and the lines of the buildings have been straightened up.

The Boathouse restaurant at Disney Springs, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Lens distortion fixed photo of The Boathouse restaurant at Disney Springs.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 4500, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length.

Wide angle lens can create very creative and excellent travel architectural photos. Be aware of their strenghts and weaknesses as you compose your photos and how those weaknesses, like lens distortion, can be used or fixed later in photo editing software.





January 16, 2018

Disney Pic of the Week: Homecomin

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I think I have mentioned how good Art's Fabulous Fried Chicken entrée is at Homecomin' restaurant in Disney Springs before. I like it so much I edited a photo of the meal with a large vignette so as to highlight it in the best way. Enjoy!

Art's Fabulous Fried Chicken entrée served in the Homecoming Restaurant at Disney Springs, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Art's Fabulous Fried Chicken entrée served in the Homecoming Restaurant at Disney Springs.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 400, EV 0, 31mm Focal Length, Bounce Flash.

Yes, it is as good as it looks, too!





January 14, 2018

Where in the World #519

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!

Now for Challenge #518:
Where in the World #518

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

Hello to the Malayan tapir in Disney’s Animal Kingdom and I owe you Players an apology: they took the tapir off the Maharajah Jungle Trek so I made your job a lot harder.

But look at that little tongue!

Bruce Hinterleitner, “the rare Harlequin Warthog”! Smiley from Millan.Net

Kyra were the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Kyra and to all our winners this week! Vickie Barca, Ronnie Alvarado, Bob Patterson, Phyllis, Ruben O'meara, Janet T Thorn, Shelby Watson, Gloria Martin, Martha & Justin Collins, Claire Gregory, Jeff Blank, Renee Hardiman, Jodi Cook, Bruce Hinterleitner, Luis Rodriguez, Theresa Maradei, Ken Savage, Deb Ragno, Joann Albrecht, Melissa Haeberle, Mike Kertes, Stefan Owens, Mary Beth Tarbet, Ed Suscreba, Maureen And Warren Handy, Kris Nixon, Michael O'brien, Karen O' Brien, Michaela O'brien, Ken Maikowski, Grumpy's Groupies, Dee Dee Kenney, Tammy Warmouth, Carolyn Como, Michael & Jackie Mclucas, Jim & Lorie Sonnen, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Steve Knapp, Team Hill, Terri Berger, Lori Rienhardt, Jim Thompson, Wendy T Faler, Hobbes And Snorky, Sue And Ed Adams, Mickey Eckert, Chris Kelly, Kenny, Vicki Britt, Scott C., Belicia, Jeremy Hardy, Robert Wescovich, Linda Hoffman, Jim Finley, Jeremy Reichelt, Mark Hardy, Matthew Frey, The Parker Family, Terry Harris, Theresa Harris, Joseph M. Zafia, Bonnie Jean, Tracy Discher, Cheryl Costello, Karen Bellamy, Jamie Poynton, Mis Jamie Marie, Barclay Bakkum, Diane Curfman, George Mundy Jr, Shirley Garcowski, Donald Purney, Kathryn Hughes, Bruce, Thomas Higbee Sr, Theresa Rucando, Erin Hammer, Jane Johnson, and The Modeckis!

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Challenge #519 Where in the world is this?

Let’s go to another park and hopefully make things easier. I know this is still there; I just checked the website. 😉
Where in the World #519

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, January 18th, 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!

-

January 12, 2018

Disney Architectural Photography - Part 1

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Disney themeparks worldwide are home to beautiful and unique architectural structures. For the next three weeks, I am going to explore how best to photograph some of them.

To photograph architecture specific types of gear and techniques are needed. Whether you are using a digital SLR, compact or even a phone camera, a wide angle lens or setting will help you gather in large structures and landscapes. Using a Nikon D750 full-frame camera and a Nikon 16-35mm f/4 lens, I photographed Sprinkles in Disney Springs. The wide angle allowed me to take in the springs flowing past Sprinkles, the building and outside seating area and the clouds in the sky.

Sprinkles Cupcake Bakery at Disney Springs, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Wide Angle view of Sprinkles Cupcake Bakery at Disney Springs.
Nikon D750/16-35VR,1/500s, f/8, ISO 100, EV 0, 23mm Focal Length, Circular Polarizing Filter.

Another useful piece of equipment to have is a Circular Polarizing Filter which removes reflections and deepens colors in the scene.

Even if you do not have a wide angle lens, you can simulate one by creating panoramic images using software to stitch together multiple images to make one. This is what I did during Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival.

Colorful flowers on land and water at the annual Flower and Garden Festival in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Panoramic image of Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 160, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length, Panorama.

Today you can create panoramic images using Adobe's Lightroom or Photoshop as well as many other editors and stand alone programs. Smartphone photos apps often have a Panoramic setting.

Zoom and telephoto lens are used to pull in architectural details. A zoomed in photo of the giant Stitch above one of the World of Disney store entrances in Disney Springs is an example.

Stitch above one of the entrances to the World of Disney store at Disney Springs, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Stitch above one of the entrances to the World of Disney store.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 6400, EV 0, 160mm Focal Length.

Disney themeparks are an architectural photography paradise full of unique and interesting buildings, attractions and iconic places.





January 9, 2018

Disney Pic of the Week: '50s Prime Time Cafe in Disney's Hollywood Studios

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

My family and I have enjoyed dining at the '50s Prime Time Cafe in Disney's Hollywood Studios since the park first opened back in 1989. I would call the food there "American Comfort". The service I would call interactive and fun! If you are looking for a great experience and are willing to immerse yourself in it, make a dining reservation at the '50s Prime Time Cafe on your next Walt Disney World visit.

A guest getting help in cleaning her plate at the 50s Prime Time Cafe in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A Guest getting help in cleaning her plate at the '50s Prime Time Cafe.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 400, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length, Bounce Flash.

The "guest" in the photo is my daughter and is used probably without her permission. :->





January 6, 2018

Where in the World #518

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 Christmas for some of our Players who celebrate on the Epiphany or Three Kings Day! I wish I was with you, but instead I’m watching the Madrid web cam and cheer!
Smiley from Millan.Net Smiley from Millan.Net Smiley from Millan.Net
And more! Merry Christmas to you all!

Now for Challenge #517:
Where in the World #517

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

It’s the Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party in the Magic Kingdom!

Deb Ragno were the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Deb and to all our winners this week! Gloria Martin, The Kertes Family, Vera And Izzy Williams, Al & Kerry Ganter, Grumpy's Grou[ies, Robert Wescovich, Linda Hoffman, Adolph And Kimberly Timm, Emily Hudson, Kris Nixon, Maryann Romagnano, Tammy Warmouth, Michael O'brien, Karen O' Brien, Michaela O'brien, Tim Tjarks, Eric Berger, Russ Morgan, Mary Beth Tarbet, Joseph M. Zafia, Sandie Albrecht, Bonnie Jean, Josh Weiss, Tricia Petty, Margaret Convery, Phyllis, Mickey Eckert, Martha & Justin Collins, Michael & Jackie Mclucas, Vicki Britt, Team Hill, Ed Suscreba, Chris Kelly, Joann Albrecht, Leach Family, Jim Thompson, Anne Duque, Ken Savage, Lori Rienhardt, Diane Curfman, Steve Knapp, Stefan Owens, Susan Higginbotham, Janet T Thorn, Wendy T Faler, Bob & Kathy Mckim, Kyra, Andrew Carrieri, Jeremy Hardy, Ruben O'meara, The Parker Family, Jeff Blank, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Antoinette Leblanc, Carla C, Sue And Ed Adams, Cathy Connors, Dee Dee Kenney, Malampy(benco Families), Carolyn Como, Mis Jamie Marie, Tj, Andy Hickey, Michael Haeberle, Arlene Vicek, Claire, Matthew Frey, George Mundy Jr, Jeremy Reichelt, Mark Hardy, Terry Harris, Carri Marotto, Jamie Steiner, Theresa Maradei, Linda Ranatza, Donald Purney, Jackie Graebel, Jo Ann Bailey, Shelby Watson, Barclay Bakkum, Sherri Pell, Sandy Ceplecha, Shirley Garcowski, Scott Sangston, Jamie Poynton, Jodie S., Belicia, Scott C., Jane Johnson, and The Tisdale Family!

It’s time for the monthly drawing and the final winner of 2017 is: Matthew Frey! I will be contacting you soon about claiming your prize from Deb Wills!

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Challenge #518 Where in the world is this?

Switching parks! Who’s this cute little guy or girl?
Where in the World #518

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, January 11th, 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!

-

January 5, 2018

My Favorite Walt Disney World Photos from 2017

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I traveled to Walt Disney World twice in 2017. Here are my favorites from those trips.

The first visit included Disney Springs which was still called Downtown Disney the last time I visited in 2016. I finally got to take another ride on the Characters In Flight Balloon (looks like it is now called Aerohile according to the Disney Springs website).

Aerial View of The Marketplace at Disney Springs from the Characters In Flight Balloon, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Aerial View of The Marketplace at Disney Springs.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, f/8, ISO 1000, EV 0, 19mm Focal Length.

On that trip, I saw the new Rivers of Light show at Disney's Animal Kingdom for the first time. While I wrote about my not-so-great experience in watching it, Rivers of Light is a stunningly beautiful show which I need to see again.

Rivers of Light show at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Rivers of Light show at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 2800, EV +1.0, 135mm Focal Length.

On the second visit, I photographed and enjoyed Pandora - The World of Avatar and wrote a series of posts starting with the Waterfalls of Pandora.

Flowers below the Floating Mountains of Pandora in the Valley of Mo'ara in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Flowers below the Floating Mountains of Pandora in the Valley of Mo'ara.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 1250, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length.

Then I returned to Disney Springs to enjoy another meal at Homecomin' Restaurant featuring Art's Fabulous Fried Chicken entrée. The moonshine cocktails and desserts are pretty good, too.

Art's Fabulous Fried Chicken entrée served in the Homecomin' Restaurant at Disney Springs, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Art's Fabulous Fried Chicken entrée served in the Homecomin' Restaurant at Disney Springs.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 400, EV 0, 31mm Focal Length, Bounce Flash.

After an early morning breakfast, I photographed reflections in the very still Rivers of America in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom.

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 250, EV +0.3, 85mm Focal Length.

I certainly can not end this look back to 2017 without a nod to the latest Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi, with this scene from Disney's Hollywood Studios of the March of the First Order up Hollywood Blvd. being commanded by Captain Phasma, herself.

Captain Phasma leads the March of the First Order up Hollywood Blvd. in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Captain Phasma leads the March of the First Order up Hollywood Blvd.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/320s, f/5.6, ISO 100, EV 0, 210mm Focal Length.

Here is a little bonus and preview to 2018. With construction walls around Disney's Hollywood Studios, it was nice to see the Tinker Toy-like construction of Toy Story Land which should open in the Summer of 2018.

People walking past the poster on a construction wall of the future Toy Story Land on Pixar Place at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
People walking past the poster on a construction wall of the future Toy Story Land on Pixar Place.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/400s, f/8, ISO 100, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

I am still in the initial planning for my trips in 2018. I know there will be a Disney Cruise in the fall. Again, Happy New Year!

If you have anything you would like me to write about or have any questions, leave me a Comment below.





January 2, 2018

Disney Pic of the Week: Best Photo of 2017

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Last year, my wife and I became grandparents for the first time. We got to share my grandson's first character meal experience with him at the Crystal Palace restaurant in the Magic Kingdom a few months ago. At 8 months, he was not afraid of the characters. It was funny watching the characters come up to him. They were very careful but, once they knew he was comfortable with them, they were very playful.

My favorite photo I took at Walt Disney World in 2017 was of my Son-in-Law introducing my Grandson to Piglet.

Child meeting Piglet in the Crystal Palace Restaurant at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
My Grandson meeting Piglet for the first time in the Crystal Palace Restaurant.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/160s, f/5.6, ISO 400, EV 0, 38mm Focal Length, Bounce Flash.

There was a lot of backlighting as the Crystal Palace allows for a lot of light to enter into the dining area. You can see by the rim light effect on my Son-in-Law's head how intense it was. To fill in the shadows I used flash bounced off the ceiling with the built in light reflector.





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