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November 2007 Archives

November 2, 2007

Photographic Innoventions: Rule of Thirds

The Rule of Thirds is a compositional rule in photography and other visual arts. The rule states that an image can be divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines. The four points formed by the intersections of these lines can be used to align features in the photograph. This aligning of a photograph's subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the photo than simply centering the subject would. However, like the Pirate's Code, the Rule of Thirds is more like a guideline than an actual rule.

Below is a photograph of Off Kilter's Bassist, Mark Weldon, where I am showing you how the Rule of Thirds applies. (Note, it's not exact as I hand drew in the lines but it's close enough for our purposes.) Notice in three of the four intersections there are strong subjects close by: Mark's tilted head in the upper left and both his hands in the lower two.

rule of thirds
Rule of Thirds.

Many people feel the application of the Rule of Thirds turns everyday snapshots into professional looking photographs. I know as I edit my photos, the ones which follow this rule stands out above ones that don't. Especially, when taking pictures of people. For instance, we've all taken pictures of a person or group of people in front of the Magic Kingdom's entrance with the train station and flowers in the exact center of the Mickey symbol. I am guilty of this. Next time, try composing the people in one of the lower intersection points. I think you'll find the photographs will appeal to you more.

Another popular mistake people make is putting the horizon right in the middle of their picture. Effectively disecting the image in two. You should try to put the horizon at either the upper or lower third of your viewfinder when composing.

By practicing the Rule of Thirds, you'll find yourself thinking a bit before pressing the shutter. Recomposing in the viewfinder or retaking an image after looking at the photo you just took. The fun of digital photography is how easy and fast it is to learn to take better pictures. Another fun project is to review past photos which you thought were okay, crop them using the Rule of Thirds and see, if by doing so, makes them better.

Now, I think I owe Mark and all of you an unobstructed look as I captured him jamming to a Celtic tune during my last trip to Walt Disney World. Off Kilter can be seen several times a day at Epcot's Canadian pavilion when scheduled to perform. Check the link for more information about the band and their schedule.

Mark Weldon
Off Kilter Bassist, Mark Weldon.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, 200 ISO, 0 EV, 200mm Focal Length

November 3, 2007

Focus on Disney World - Portrait Composition

Mugging for the Camera
Copyright © 2006 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50/55-200, 1/500s shutter, f4.4

One thing I love about taking photos of the parades at Disney World is that the Cast Members love to mug for the camera. It makes it so fun to take their pictures. This is one of my favorite photos. It was taken during Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade at the Animal Kingdom.

Quick Tip: When composing portraits, line up your shot so that your subject's eyes are about a third of the way down from the top of the photo. This gives your viewer the sense that they are looking at your subject at eye level, regardless of how tall or short either person is.

November 4, 2007

Focus on Disney World - Where in the World? #13

This was Challenge #12:
Where in the World #12

And here's the answer:
French Acrobat
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50/18-200VR, 1/500s shutter, f8

Everyone's a winner! There were more responses than ever to this week's challenge and everyone knew that the photo was taken in front of the France Pavilion in Epcot. Jennifer Snapp was the first one to send in her answer and she was the first person who provided the name of this French acrobat team, Serveur Amusant. Congratulations Jennifer!

You will need to be very specific with the location of this next photo in order to win. Are you up to the challenge?
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Challenge #13: Where in the world is this... exactly?

Where in the World #13

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Send in your answer by clicking on the comment link below this post.
_______________________________________________________________________

New this month - real prizes! 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 a a copy of Hidden Mickeys Walt Disney World by Steve Barrett and some special AllEars® goodies! No more lurking out there - if you think you know the answer, be sure to send it in so that you don't miss out on your chance to win something very cool!

November 7, 2007

Light Meter: CHOC Walk Part 1

Over the next few weeks I'd like to share with all of you some of my photos and recap my experience at the 17th annual Disneyland CHOC Walk.

CHOC2007.gif

CHOC is an acronym for Children's Hospital of Orange County. Since opening its doors in 1964, Children's Hospital of Orange County (CHOC) has provided the highest quality medical care to children.

My friend Yoli, her stepson Marshall, and I were up, out of the house and at the Mickey & Friends parking garage by 6 AM on Sunday, Oct. 21st. After a quick call we found our friend Jen and her son Corey. At the bottom of the escalator stood a few Green Army Men pointing people in the right direction. We walked the tram route and with wristbands securely placed, walked into Disneyland amongst a mass of thousands. I made my way up as far as I could on Main St while my friends hung back at the Emporium. Another call came in and my friend Drina and her friend Kathy met up with Yoli & the gang.

Music was playing, tons of CMs were out and about, and a MC kept talking and getting us pumped up. Soon the opening ceremony began and the first group was set free down Main St. A few minutes later my group was released and I pulled off to the right for photos and to wait for my friends.

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Among the walkers waiting for the event to begin.

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Pluto, Mickey, Minnie, and Donald (out of range) were there showing their support.

Soon my friends caught up to me and we were on our way. I won't take you moment by moment because really, you don't wanna know all the silly things we said and did and which restroom we thought had the best tiled floor. Anyhoo, we strolled by the castle and look who was there...
choc%20castle.jpg

Moseying along by Frontierland and into Adventureland we came upon...
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and then who should be out but a swaggering and rather quiet
choc%20sparrow.jpg

We rounded the corner into Frontierland taking the path that leads you behind Big Thunder Mountain and towards Pinocchio's Haus.

choc%20goat.jpg
For those of you familiar with the goat trick, it's not as effective when you're just walking by.

November 9, 2007

Focus on Disney World - Leading Lines

Lighthouse
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50/18-200VR, 9.3s shutter, f8

One way to make the main subject of your photograph stand out is to compose your shot with leading lines. Leading lines are lines in a photograph used to guide your viewer's eye through your photograph. When deciding how to compose your shot, consider where the line begins and ends, the direction of its flow and its angle and shape.

In this photo, my main subject is the lighthouse in front of the Yacht Club resort. There are several leading lines here: the dock, the beam of light reflected on the dock, the rope railing. Even the buildings on the horizon lead your eye to the lighthouse. The list of things to use as leading lines is endless. Even people and shadows can be used to create leading lines.

The way in which the lines flow should allow your viewer to enter the picture where the line begins and continue his or her viewing without being lead out of the photo. By changing your camera angles you can change the direction the lines in the photograph are leading. Zooming in or out can change where your line begins and ends.

You can even affect the mood of your photo by the shape of leading line you choose. Different lines are thought to have psychological meanings: vertical lines create a feeling of stature and strength and can even imply power; horizontal lines are thought to be peaceful or stable, suggesting rest; diagonal lines represent activity or motion; and curved lines are thought to be graceful and imply beauty.

Leading lines will give depth to your photo and can make an average scene look a lot more interesting. Give it a try next time you are composing a photograph.

November 11, 2007

Focus on Disney World - Where in the World? #14

This was Challenge #13:
Where in the World #13

And here's the answer:
Rose and Crown Patio
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50/18-200VR, 1/1000s shutter, f8

Kudos to Tim Wingfield! He did some very creative detective work and was the first to come up with the right answer. This torch is between France and the United Kingdom in Epcot's World Showcase.

Tim wasn't the only person with a correct guess though. Lori Bennett also knew the location of this week's challenge and will be entered in the drawing for Steve Barrett's Hidden Mickey book and some other AllEars goodies at the end of this month!

I have a feeling that Challenge #14 might not be as difficult. If you think you know this one, send your answer in quickly.
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Challenge #14: Where in the world is this?

Where in the World #14

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Send in your answer by clicking on the comment link below this post.

November 14, 2007

Light Meter: CHOC Walk Part 2

Last week's episode left off as my fellow trouble makers and I had just walked into Fantasyland by means of Frontierland. We were 7 of 15,167 participants. Once you were out walking you would never have guessed there were that many people there because of how well Disneyland controlled the crowd.

At the walk, it was announced that we, the fundraisers, had raised over 1.6 million dollars. That's truly amazing. Personally, I raised $580.00 and am quite proud. My friends have decided that next year they are going to step up their game and try to beat me. A little friendly competition is good as the kids will benefit.

Let us walk and talk some more. The path took us around the King Arthur Carrousel where we found Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, and Aurora all waving to the brigade of paparazzi. By paparazzi I mean Jen, Yoli, and I and other Disney fanatics. Yoli and I kept making jokes like we were photographing a famous music group who we both love. The princesses waved to everyone and then went for a spin. Good photo op, really.
cinderella%20on%20horse.jpg
Obviously Cinderella is a stunt princess.

As we continued through Fantasyland we saw the Mad Hatter and Alice with some cards on their parade float. Moving along past the Matterhorn, Finding Nemo Submarines, Innoventions, and through Tomorrowland.
stitch%20innoventions.jpg

Stitch and his buddy cheered on the masses. I saw Stitch in the same location back in 2003. He must really like the view.


friends.jpg
The boys decided to ditch us long before we got to Tomorrowland. From left to right: Kathy, Drina, Jen, and Yoli. Ummm, I don't know these people, especially that Yoli person.


We started back up Main St. but were directed backstage as we approached the camera shop. It was very exciting to see The InnBetween which is an eatery for Cast Members. Why was I so excited? I had actually heard of it before, that's all. I'm easily amused.

All of us came back out on stage in Town Square and walked out of the park and into the esplanade where we hit a bottle neck. Traffic! My group thought it was funny. Turned out that was where bottled water was being handed out. It wasn't hot out but since I'm not a big fan of Disani and they were handing out Arrowhead, I took it and put it away for later.

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I had to stop and get a quick shot of this view. It's so quiet before the gates open.

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Welcome to California! Please don't eat the candy corn "A"s.

November 16, 2007

Photographic Innoventions: Disney Props

The definition of a prop is something used in creating or enhancing a desired effect. The entire Walt Disney World resort is full of props. Some conspicuous and some not. I'm going to show you an example of each from Disney's Animal Kingdom.

The first prop is found in Chester & Hester's Dino-Rama which is like a little scene people can get into. This was taken a few months before my youngest daughter (seen here as the driver) would be able to get her driving learners permit and my eldest daughter acting out how she feels about that. Makes for a great photo from that trip. This can be found near the tail of the large, cartoon-ish brontosaurus, which you can see, in the background.



Dino-Rama Prop.
Nikon Coolpix 995, 1/350s, f/7.5, 100 ISO, 0 EV

In the gorilla glass viewing area on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail there are many displays of information showing the differences between a gorilla's anatomy and Man's. Here my daughters are comparing their hands to the hand prints of a 6 year old male gorilla. Again, this prop makes for a wonderful memory and photograph.



Comparing Hands.
Nikon Coolpix 995, 1/30s, f/3, 200 ISO, 0 EV

You can find props in all the parks, resorts and entertainment areas in Walt Disney World. Here's some more places you can look for on your next trip: the park bench with Roy Disney and Minnie Mouse near the flag pole on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom, stage crates near Min and Bill's Dockside Diner in the Disney-MGM Studios, parasols in the Yong Feng Shangdian Department Store in Epcot's China pavilion and a life size Buzz Lightyear outside of the World of Disney store in Downtown Disney's Marketplace. Do you have a favorite prop at Walt Disney World? I'd love to hear about them and I'll share them in a later Photo Blog entry. Just send in a Comment!

November 18, 2007

Focus on Disney World - Where in the World? #15

This was Challenge #14:
Where in the World #14

And here's the answer:
Out for a Hike
Copyright © 2006 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50/18-55, 10/2000s shutter, f7.1

OK, that was an easy one! Nearly everyone knew that this was a photo of Daisy Duck hiking with Hewey, Louie and Dewey at Camp Minnie Mickey in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Congratulations to Casey Wittekind! She was quick with her response and is the official winner of Challenge #14.

Several people thought that it was Donald leading this group, not Daisy. Maybe they know something about Donald that I don't so I included them as winners too! That means there was an amazing 105 people who sent in the correct answer this week!

Congratulations to Amiee Stooksberry, Amy Cole, Amy Debevec, Amy Eastman, Anderson Dun, Angela Haire, Anick Nolin, Anthony Dearman, April Pangburn, Ashley, Barb Murin, Bernadette Weltsek, Bethany Mattiuz-King, Bill, Blair McGee, Brian Martsolf, Brittany Irish, Brooke Kern, Carol Gamill, Caryn Schill, Casey Wittekind, Catherine, Cheri Fitz, Chloe, Christina Romano, Christine, Christy Miller, Danielle Destefano, Darlene Harmon, Debbie Hudson, Diana Blanchard, Diane Schlicht, Ed Aleszczyk, Ella Harmeyer, Emily Presgrave, Emmy-Lou, Erin Rix, Frank Finkin, Frank Pierce, Gerry, Heather Young, Heidi Summers, Isabella Pedone, Jaclyn Frye, Jacquelyn Law, James Hickey, Jane Bradley, Jane Cash, Jennifer Bourg, Jessie Romano, Jodi Higgins, Joe V., John Ames, John Derrico, Judy Koslowski, Julie Fahrner, Jyl Deshler, Karen Dressersmith, Karen Kenney, Karen Schlumpf, Kathy Love, Kelly Scott, Kristin Padalik, Laura Barnes, Lisa Beth, Lisa Forsythe-Kane, Lisa Honard, Lynne Workinger, Marianela Olivares, Marie Bertini, Mark, MaryAnn Eckenrode, Matt Roseboom, Melissa Wheeler, Michael Gainey, Michael O'Blenis, Mike Himel, Minnie Escobar, Nancy Kruczek, Nicole Gray, Rachel, Raj Boora, Richard Martin, Riva Janes, Robert Flaherty, Robert Speed, Ronald Zinke, Ryan Simms, Samantha Sim, Sandra Shaw, Sandy, Scott Button, Scott Cerino, Shari, Sharon Pierce, Shawn Hyde, Stephen Hafke, Susan Calhoun, Susie McCallister, Tammy Bozman, Tammy Petone, Terri, Theresa Rucando, Tracey Hvizdos, Vicky. All of you will be entered in the November winner's drawing.

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Challenge #15: Where in the world is this?

Where in the World #15

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Send in your answer by clicking HERE!

_______________________________________________________________________

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 a a copy of Hidden Mickeys Walt Disney World by Steve Barrett and some special AllEars® goodies!

No more lurking out there - if you think you know the answer, be sure to send it in so that you don't miss out on your chance to win something very cool!

November 20, 2007

Focus on Disney World - Orientation

Train Station Landscape
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50/18-200VR, 1/1250s shutter, f5

One of the first things you should think about before taking a photograph is whether it will look better with a horizontal or vertical composition. Because of the way that cameras are built, it feels more natural to hold them horizontally. Consequently, most photos are composed that way. This works well when you want to emphasize the width of your subject. A horizontal composition will draw your viewer's eye from side to side across the frame. This photo from the Magic Kingdom gives you a sense of what a gorgeous fall day it was. In addition to the train station, I was able to capture the big, beautiful sky and many of the Halloween decorations in the shot.

Train Station PortraitDepending on your subject, a vertical composition may be a more pleasing way to frame your picture. Often, tall subjects (like trees or people) look better when framed vertically. Composing vertically can be a good way to capture a more detailed view of your subject. In this vertical shot of the same scene, the emphasis is more on the beautiful clock tower and the architectural details of the station.
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50/18-200VR, 1/1000s shutter, f4.8

If you're not used to turning your camera on its side, it may feel a bit awkward at first. As with everything, the best way to get used to it is to practice. So next time you are taking pictures, make a point of trying both horizontal and vertical compositions on every photo. It won't take long for you to get a sense of which subjects look better with each orientation. I often take both kinds of photographs and decide later, when I'm viewing them on my computer, which I like best. Sometimes I can't decide and end up keeping both, like I did with these two views of the train station.

November 21, 2007

Light Meter: CHOC Walk Part 3 - The Conclusion

To the beat of the rhythm of the night. Dancin' till the morning li ii ghh t. Hi. I didn't hear you come in. Ummm, have a seat and I'll tell you the rest of my story about participating in the CHOC Walk. Comfy? OK, good.

Let's see, we were just about to enter Disney's California Adventure. Once we passed through the gates we skimmed by Candy Corn Acres which is very vibrant with yellows and oranges. Not oranges you eat, the color orange. LOL You knew that cuz who has ever eaten a yellow?! Put your hand down.

dale%20candy%20corn%20acres.jpg
Dale was feeling very shy that morning. I think lots of people told him he looked exceptionally cute in his hat and scarf.

Hollywood! La la la la Hollywood! Walkers were led past Muppets 3D, Monsters, Inc Mike & Sully to the Rescue (Sully and Boo were outside) continuing along past Hyperion Theatre and backstage. The only cool thing I saw was a bumper car from Tuck'n'Roll's Drive 'em Buggies. It was a short very short like 3 apples high Smurf height kinda short time backstage. Once we came back onstage we were in Flik's Fun Fair and somehow I had lost my party.

crowd%20fliks.jpg
Unfortunately, my amigas and I don't have a cool way of calling out for each other if we get separated. I suppose we should work on that.

Once I caught up we were directed out of Flik's Fun Fair and towards Paradise Pier. Now here's something I still haven't figured out. We saw lots of people walking around Paradise Pier, near the Orange Stinger and the Maliboomer, you know, walking the walkathon. Only when we got to the point where we'd head left up the pier we were sent right in the direction of Grizzly River Run.

hs%20musical%20ca%20adv.jpg
I have no idea what these kids were singing because I haven't seen High School Musical 2. I know, I know, I'm a bad Disney fan.

Before you knew it we had exited CA Adventure into Downtown Disney via a secret entrance near CA Soarin'. This is where people got really confused. I knew to keep walking because I'd been there done that and kept on trucking till we saw this guy.
end%20walk.jpg

Beyond that I knew there would be tables from the various sponsors. The girls and I split up...OK I wandered off on my own resulting in Drina, Jen, Kathy, and Yoli to wonder where I'd gone. When we caught up I was reprimanded and forced to wear a balloon tied to my camera backpack. They thought they were clever but it was the same balloon every other kid had.

This is the 5th time that Disneyland Resort has served as the location for the walk thus it's full name, CHOC/Disneyland Walk in the Park. It felt very well organized and I'd like to thank the custodial staff for having the restrooms open and sparkling clean. If you are interested in taking part in this awesome fundraiser or to learn more about Children's Hospital of Orange County please check out their website. The dates for 2008 have not been announced yet.

Thank you all for reading my blog. I enjoyed not only participating in the walk itself but being able to help kids who need medical care now and who in the future, will offer us "old" people Senior Citizen discounts at Disney parks.
choc%20bear.jpg


November 23, 2007

Photographic Innoventions: dSLR Chistmas Gift Giving

I've been looking at all the Day After Thanksgiving sales brochures online over the past few days. There are some great deals coming out for the digital camera owner on your list. Here are some of ideas:

Camera/Lens Dependent Gifts
Memory Cards
Rechargable Batteries
UV Lens Filter
Circular Polarizer Lens Filter

Non-Dependent Gifts
Micro-Fiber lens cleaning cloth
USB External Hard Drives (many under $100)

Photography books make great gifts. Here are two of my favorites.

Bryan Peterson's Understanding Exposure - is a great book on how exposure relates to your photographs. Updated for the digital age.

The Digital Photography Book - Ever wonder how to create a photo you see in a book or magazine? This book gives you "recipes" so you won't have to wonder anymore.

And some products that I've found useful.

Giottos Rocket Blaster - keep your camera's sensor dry and clean.

Cam-Pod Camera Support - don't want to lug around a tripod? This will protect and secure your camera. Great to use on top of flat surfaces like those famous Walt Disney World garbage cans.

Bogen-Manfrotto 725B Tripod - If you do want to use a tripod, I've found this one to be a good combination of light weight and sturdiness. Comes with a carrying bag with an over the shoulder strap.

Nikon 55-200mm f/4-5.6G DX VR Zoom Lens - For the Nikon owner, this is Nikon's budget Vibration Reduction (VR) lens for their dSLR systems. I own the 18-200 with similiar technology and this lens has gotten rave reviews on popular photography forums.

I'll see you in the malls at 5am on Friday! Happy Holiday Shopping Everyone!

November 25, 2007

Focus on Disney World - Where in the World? #16

This was Challenge #15:
Where in the World #15

And here's the answer:
Italian Newel Post
Copyright © 2006 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50/55-200, 10/2500s shutter, f10

Christina Romano is this week's challenge winner. Way to go Christina! With the help of her sister, Jessie and her dad, Nick, Christina was the first to let me know that this sculpture resides in Italy at Epcot's World Showcase. This is one of those really cool details that is so easy to walk right past without noticing. It's the top of the newel post on a staircase outside of Tutto Italia Restaurant.

Here's another photo that shows the location a little better. The restaurant is located to the right of the staircase.

Staircase
Copyright © 2006 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50/18-200VR, 1/60s shutter, f5

Congratulations to Melanie Sicard, Cheri Fitz, John Ames, Chloe, Garland Cox, Jody LaFerriere, Erica Adkins, Brooke Kern, Lisa F, Joan Bertini, Melissa Potter, Marsha Margerum, Melanie Sicard, Angelique Williams, Douglas Cotler, Bob Eldridge, Jill Greer, Christina, Nick and Jessie Romano. All of you will be entered in the November winner's drawing.
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Challenge #16: Where in the world is this?

Where in the World #16

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Send in your answer by clicking HERE!

_______________________________________________________________________

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 a a copy of Hidden Mickeys Walt Disney World by Steve Barrett and some special AllEars® goodies!

No more lurking out there - if you think you know the answer, be sure to send it in so that you don't miss out on your chance to win something very cool!

November 28, 2007

Light Meter: Lights! Camera! MouseFest!

I'm going to keep this brief and to the point. Yeah. I am. Seriously. Well I'll try to. The date is now Wednesday, November 28th (unless you're in Australia or Japan for instance... it may be the 29th). You are leaving for Florida (unless you live in Florida, silly) within the next few days. You've done most of the laundry and that includes washing the new matching Fab 5 shirts you bought for the entire family. There's a schedule of meets you want to attend so you can introduce your boyfriend to your Internet pals. No matter how many times Grandma has been told, she still doesn't understand why you have Disney Dollars in your wallet.

Suffice it to say you are nearly ready for MouseFest. I want to help you with your camera packing list and offer advice to those of you who bought or are planning to buy a new camera before you arrive at the airport. Yes, I'm talking to you.

Packing List for a Digital Camera:
camera
battery & charger (converter if from outside USA)
spare batteries
memory cards (take at least 2 in case 1 becomes corrupted)
camera bag
manual

Packing List for 35mm or APS Cameras:
camera
batteries
film
camera bag
manual

ALWAYS keep your film in your carry-on bag. Any film that is ISO 800 or higher should be handed to a TSA. Ask for a hand inspection of your film. It doesn't matter if the film was shot, so long as it hasn't been developed, it can be ruined.

If you are taking a new camera with you try to do some test shots before you leave home. There's always the slim chance your new camera will have a defect. Be sure to read your manual even if you can't do it until you are on the plane. If you're familiar with cameras then you should have a fairly easy time figuring out the basics such as reviewing your photos, changing flash modes, and quality levels.

If you have questions or need help with your camera, please feel free to ask me for help at the Mega Mouse Meet. I'll be at the AllEars® table. How can you recognize me? I'm the girl in this photo. If you can tell me who the guy is, I'll have a surprise for you!
Lisa and ??


November 29, 2007

Focus on Disney World - Rockin' Roller Coaster

Rockin' Roller Coaster
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50/18-200VR, 1/400s shutter, f10

In my last tip I talked about deciding whether to orient your pictures either vertically or horizontally. Take a look at this photo of the guitar outside of the Rockin' Roller Coaster at MGM Studios. Is this a vertical or horizontal composition?

That was actually a trick question - it's neither! If you look closely you will see that the building behind the guitar appears to be slanted, but trust me, it wasn't. It was my camera that was slanted. Sometimes, an unusual angle is better suited to your subject.

I wanted this photo to have a very specific look. The subject of the photo was the guitar and I wanted to emphasize the size of it. When I composed the shot I started out holding my camera vertically but then I tipped it to line up the guitar strings with the left edge of my viewfinder. I had to move both the camera and myself around quite a bit to get just the right angle. I wanted to get some of the piano keys in the photo but not the railing that is in front of them. I wanted the name of the coaster to show in the photo and I wanted the neck and strings to extend beyond the edge of the photo, near the corner, but not centered on it.

It took a little effort to get everything just right but it was worth it because I am happy with how it turned out in the end. Try taking some of your photos at different angles. You may end up with some interesting results.

November 30, 2007

Photographic Innoventions: Photo Cropping

Monarch Butterfly. Copyright© Scott Thomas Photography 2007
In the days of film, it was expensive and time consuming to go about cropping photos. With digital photography that is no longer the case. Even the most rudimentary photo editing software will let you crop. While it's easier to "crop" in the camera, it's not always possible. The only restriction is the size of the digital image where if you crop too much, the size of the image becomes too small.

So, why do we need to crop? Sometimes we want to adjust an image to use the Rule of Thirds, eliminate unwanted parts caught around the subject or enlarge a subject to bring it front and center. Keep in mind, cropping is NOT resizing the entire image but taking a part of the image to make a better photo.

In Minnie's Magnificent Butterfly Garden, I took this photo of the Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus) during Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival. The original you see above is a bit too centered so I wanted to change the orientation from a landscape to a portrait and make the butterfly even more the main subject. To do this, I used a photo editor to select a 5x7 crop size and rotated to make it a portrait then aligned it as you see below.


Monarch Butterfly. Copyright © Scott Thomas Photography 2007
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/250s, f/8, 200 ISO, -0.7 EV, 170mm Focal Length

Further Reading: Cropping Photos :: Every Picture Tells a Story

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About November 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Picture This! in November 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

October 2007 is the previous archive.

December 2007 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.