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August 2008 Archives

August 1, 2008

MagicMeets Hersheypark Fahrenheit Experience

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

All I can say is if it wasn't for the MagicMeets Fahrenheit ERT (Early Ride Time), I would never have had the chance to ride this great coaster. Once the doors opened to the public, there was a two hour wait to get on for most of the day. I got to ride it four times during the ERT! What a great perk for MagicMeets. Cindy Garfinkel was the MagicMeets Hersheypark coordinator who arranged for the ERT and an excellent lunch in one of the catering areas. She did a fantastic job and has already told me there will be another one next year. I figured the lunch saved me almost $100 for my party of four.

The new for 2008 Fahrenheit rollar coaster as seen from the Hershey Kissing Tower, Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania
The new for 2008 Fahrenheit rollar coaster as seen from the Hershey Kissing Tower.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/80s, f/18, 200 ISO, EV +0.3, 95mm Focal length
Here's some of our intrepid MagicMeets ERT attendees going down Fahrenheit's 121 foot, 97 degree drop, Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania
Here's some of our intrepid MagicMeets ERT attendees going down Fahrenheit's 121 foot, 97 degree drop.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/100s, f/16, 200 ISO, EV +0.3, 18mm Focal length
Fahrenheit threw in a few of these inversions to keep the heart pumping after the drop, Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania
Fahrenheit threw in a few of these inversions to keep the heart pumping after the drop.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/250s, f/8, 200 ISO, EV +0.3, 48mm Focal length
Here's the whole Fahrenheit ERT gang.  The ride vehicle is empty beacuse everyone is in the photo, Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania
Here's the whole Fahrenheit ERT gang. The ride vehicle is empty beacuse everyone is in this photo (well, except for three photographers).
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/200s, f/14, 200 ISO, EV +0.3, 18mm Focal length

For more pictures and commentary on MagicMeet's Sunday events including a great description of Fahrenheit and a photo of some confused AllEars.net staff, check out LindaMac's blog entitled Magic Meets and Hershey Park - Sunday - Part 1.

August 2, 2008

Alpha Male Gorilla

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The alpha male gorilla as seen from the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Alpha Male Gorilla as seen from the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
Nikon D70/80-200D, 1/60s, f/5.6, 400 ISO, +0.3 EV, 200mm Focal Length

After disembarking from your Kilimanjaro Safari, I recommend taking the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail back to the African village of Harambe in Disney's Animal Kingdom. From the trail, you may come face to face with some of Animal Kingdom's great apes, the Sliverback Gorillas, in the glass viewing area. After checking out the excellent educational displays, I encourage you to continue on to the suspension bridge. This is where you'll often find the Alpha Male Gorilla, the leader of the family. For this photo, he was just appearing on to his favorite "pride" rock for the morning. He makes a wonderful example for my Disney Pic of the Week theme on Mammals.

August 3, 2008

Where in the World #49

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #48:
 Where in the World #48

And here's the answer:
Warden Post at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50, 18-200VR, 1/1000s shutter, f4

This is Warden Post No. 4, another example of how much detail Disney includes in its attractions. When you exit Kilimanjaro Safari at Disney's Animal Kingdom you pass by this post. Only a few people got this one right. I bet a lot of people miss this because they're in a rush when they get off the Safari to get to the next attraction.

Paula Potts was the first to send in the correct answer this week! Congratulations to Paula and all the readers who got the answer right: Amy Miller, Zack Dameron, Anne Hainsworth, Melina Hillis, Regina Reed, Jessica Reed and Kim Riley. Each of you were entered in the July winners' drawing.

It's monthly drawing time again! This month's winner is Andrea Mayo! Congratulations Andrea, you are the lucky recipient of a Passporter's Walt Disney World guide and some really cool AllEars schwag!

For this week's challenge, everyone will have two weeks to get your guesses in. I won't be posting a new challenge until August 17 because I am on vacation. See you then!
_______________________________________________________________________

Challenge #49: Where in the world is this?

 Where in the World #49

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, August 14, 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 some special AllEars® goodies and a copy of PassPorter's Walt Disney World by Jennifer Marx, Dave Marx, Allison Cerel Marx!

August 5, 2008

Disney Pics of the Week - Characters

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer


Who is more popular than a rock star, signs more autographs than a movie star and poses for more photos than a top model? Just about any Disney character, that's who! This week in our Pic of the Week series, Lisa, Scott and I will be sharing a few of our Disney character photos with you.

Winnie the Pooh at Disney's Magic Kingdom
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50, 18-200VR, 1/320s shutter, f9

Winnie the Pooh is one of my favorite characters. What a lovable ball of fur! Here he is on his float in the Disney Dreams Come True Parade at the Magic Kingdom.

Don't forget to check back on Thursday and Saturday to see Lisa and Scott's character photo picks.

August 6, 2008

Gran Fiesta Tour - Epcot

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Amigos, I'm sure that some of you have sailed along el río with The Three Caballeros en México. Personally, me encanta (I'm enchanted) with the attraction even if most of my time is spent searching out that wandering fowl, Donald Duck or Pato Donald. At least I'm not the only one. Panchito and José Carioca are looking for him, también (also).

Photographing these pájaros (birds) is a lot of fun if you are prepared. Are you prepared?

A digital camera with a high ISO setting of 800 or higher and the ability to allow you to control your shutter speed and f-stops is necessary. Don't bother trying to use a flash to photograph the animation because you'll wind up with wasted shots.

Here are a few examples from two separate cameras and excursions. This first set was taken with the Canon PowerShot S5 IS.

granfiesta_400_S5.jpg
ISO 400, f4, 1/80
This image is not only noisy (all that grain) but it's also underexposed due to a ISO of 400, shot at f4 at 1/80. The bad exposure lends itself to the noise.

granfiesta_photogdonald_S5.jpg
Here I had set the ISO to 800 and shot at f4, 1/125. The image has noise from the higher ISO but considering the lack of lighting and the fact that I'm photographing a movie, I'm content with the results.

Since I am moving and the cartoon is moving, a faster shutter speed at the widest aperature is most effective.

These next images were taken with the Canon 30D and the Canon 28-135mm USM IS lens.

granfiesta_30D_final.jpg
ISO 500, f4, 1/125

granfiesta_pouty_jose.jpg
ISO 500, f4.5 1/20

Yes, I just said that shooting with a faster shutterspeed is ideal to capture movement however for this shot, since the boat had slowed down and maybe even stopped, (I forget-it's been a while), that I went for a slower rate of 1/20 and it worked out alright. There's some motion visible but I'm rather pleased with my shot.

Looking for the release of "The Three Caballeros" on DVD? Find it here, packaged with "Saludos Amigos."

Random acts of info: José Carioca is a Brazilian parrot who was created initially for "Saludos Amigos" as Joe Carioca. On the original posters for "The Three Caballeros" his name is still Joe but somewhere in time, he became José. However in Brazil his name is Zé Carioca. Zé being the Brazilian Portugese version of Joe.


August 7, 2008

Meals with Character

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Snuggling up with Eeyore in the Magic Kingdom's Crystal Palace restaurant, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Snuggling up with Eeyore in the Magic Kingdom's Crystal Palace restaurant.
Nikon Coolpix 995, 1/30s, f/2.8, 100 ISO, 0 EV

The best and easiest way to meet and greet characters at Walt Disney World is to attend a Character Meal. There the characters come to you as you sit at your table. The characters will interact with each person at the table and you can get very memorable photos of you and your family. Click the link for a complete list of character meals, locations and which characters are featured. In the photo I choose for this week's Disney Pic of the Week theme on Characters, I wanted to show character meals are not just for little ones as my two teenage daughters snuggled up to Eeyore in the Magic Kingdom's Crystal Palace restaurant a few years ago.

August 8, 2008

Maharajah Jungle Trek Photo Tips

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Komodo Dragon on the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Komodo Dragon on the Maharajah Jungle Trek

The Maharajah Jungle Trek is a walking trail featuring the beautiful and powerful Asian Tigers. Unlike the Kilimanjaro Safari (see link below), you can take your time viewing the animals. At least until those with you bug you to move on. You will need a camera that can take good photos at ISO speeds ranging from 100 or 200 to 800 or 1600 as the light varies greatly along the trail. To be able to fill the frame, a lens of 200mm in length is a must. With the crop factor on dSLR cameras this often gets you a 35mm equivalent of 300mm. A Point & Shoot camera with a zoom factor 10x or more will give you excellent range to get viewfinder filling shots.

When shooting at these magnification, your camera will be using large apertures which means the depth of field or zone of focus will be small. You need to be careful what you are focusing on. Like people, the eyes must be in sharp focus. Viewers will overlook softness in other features of the animal as long as the eyes are in focus.

Luck has a lot to do when photographing an animal doing something when you are there. The photo of the Komodo Dragon above was taken on my seventh trip to Animal Kingdom. All the other times, he would be lying there with his body flopped on the ground. In this case, a bird had landed in his enclosure and he was hunting it. You can increase your chances of seeing activity by walking the trail early or late in the day. As mentioned on the AllEars.net page on the Maharajah Jungle Trek, the tigers get very active around 4pm in the afternoon.

Related Links:

Kilimanjaro Safari Photo Tips

August 9, 2008

Characters: Pluto, the Supermodel!

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

I'll conclude this week's theme, characters, with some extremely humorous images of Pluto taken at Disney's California Adventure. During my latest visit "home," I waited in line to meet Pluto and when he realized I just wanted photos of him, he told me in gesture, to wait a moment while he thought. In less than a minute he began posing and modeling for me. It was the absolute highlight of my day.

Please put your paws (or hands) together for Pluto, the Supermodel!
LKB_characters_plutoears.jpg
LKB_characters_plutoasmickey.jpg
LKB_characters_pluto_closeup.jpg
Canon 30D and Canon EF-S 17-84mm USM IS

August 10, 2008

Looking for Where in the World?

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Hi everyone! In case you missed my note last week, I am on vacation and won't be posting a Where in the World challenge this week. That means you you still have time to enter last week's challenge!

See you next Sunday!

August 11, 2008

October Disney Calendar

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

If you read my December 25, 2007 blog, you know that my holiday gift to you is that each month I will post a photo calendar page that you can print out and use at home or work during 2008.

I love going to Walt Disney World in autumn. The weather is perfect, the crowds are low, the decorations are fabulous - and who doesn't love Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party or the Food and Wine Festival?! This photo was taken by the train station in the Magic Kingdom. The Mayor was one of several jack-o-lantern people on display.

You will need to have Adobe Reader on your computer to download the calendar(s). Just click on the photo to download the calendar you want.


This one prints out at 8.5" x 11". It's handy if you need a calendar that you can write on.

October 2008 8.5x11 Calendar


This one prints out at 4.75" x 4.75", the perfect size for a CD Jewel Case frame.

October 2008 Jewel Case Calendar


Click here to see all of the calendars from past months.

August 12, 2008

Disney Pic of the Week: Recreation

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Believe it or not, there's a whole lot you can do at Walt Disney World besides spending time in one of the themeparks. Besides swimming at your resort, there are all sorts of recreational activities like golf, minature golf, surfing, tennis, horseback riding, parasailing, waterskiing, driving a race car and fishing. What did you say? Fishing? There are some hardy people who get up early (just like us photographers will for the AllEars.net Picture This! PhotoWalk at Mousefest) so they can go after the big ones.

To lead off this week's Disney Pic of the Week theme on Recreation, I choose this photograph of some fishermen who are not only enjoying some early morning fishing but where else in the world could they see a monorail quietly going by while they are doing it?

Barrie and Lisa will be along with their Recreational photos on Thursday and Saturday.

Fishing on Bay Lake, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Fishing on Bay Lake.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/800s, f/7.1, 200 ISO, -0.3 EV, 200mm Focal Length

August 13, 2008

Hollywood Studios' Streetmosphere

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

One of the things I enjoy most about Disney's Hollywood Studios are the Streetmosphere characters even though I don't always get a chance to stop and watch them. When I do, they always make me smile and/or laugh.

Part of their time on-stage is scripted while the rest is improvised. You never know what they might say or do and that lends itself to the appeal of these roaming "attractions".

lkb_streetmospher_cop2.jpg
During my visit last May, I spotted something rather unusual to my left. Ah huh! This cop was undercover and trying to blend into his surroundings. I tried to follow him as he went from place to place attempting to blend in all the while the spurs on his shoes clicked up and down Hollywood Blvd.

lkb_streetmosphere_director.jpg
During MouseFest 2007, I came across a director filming a movie scene featuring a young starlett. I was running to a meet so I only got a few quick shots. This is my favorite one.

To get the best pictures possible, be prepared. Have your camera turned on and in-hand ready to shoot. Try using the action mode as these actors don't sit still. I know, I lost the cop!

Focus on Disney World Blog

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Hi Everyone,

Just wanted to let you know I am still out of town and will not be able to post any more blogs until I return. Look for me to resume posting in about 10-14 days.

Til then, Scott and Lisa will keep you going with the Picture This! Photo Blogs!

Thanks for understanding. Enjoy the rest of your summer,

Barrie

August 14, 2008

Recreation - Hammock Time

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

When I saw the list of themes that Barrie, Scott, and I were going to cover in these, our Disney Pic of the Week blogs, I panicked a bit. You see, I come from a family of non-athletes and so sports and major physical activities aren't something I look for, especially at Walt Disney World. Sure I can swing a golf club so long as the ball is only supposed to roll about 25-30 feet away from me but even that can be cause for mass hysteria. Just ask anyone who's mini-golfed with me.

I joked with Barrie that I had THE perfect photo for this series but I second guessed myself and therefore looked up the definition of "recreation". Thankfully, I was right. With the approval from www.dictionarycom, I give you my entry.

LKB_recreation_hammock.jpg
Taken with the Canon PowerShot S5 IS at Caribbean Beach.

recreation-noun
1. refreshment by means of some pastime, agreeable exercise, or the like.
2. a pastime, diversion, exercise, or other resource affording relaxation and enjoyment.


August 19, 2008

Disney Pic of the Week - Main Street

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Hiya kids! This week Barrie, Scott, and I will share some of our favorite photos of Main Street with you. Just the thought of walking down Main Street is sure to put a smile on your face. Right now I can smell the English toffee coming from the Candy Kitchen in Disneyland. I see the lamp posts glowing and I can hear the sound of metal horseshoes clanking on the pavement.

And while all of these images are certainly wonderful photographs, I'm going to take a slightly different approach this week.

I remember quite clearly when in the early 2000's Disneyland wasn't as pristine as it should have been. Then a new sheriff came to town in late 2003 by the name of Matt Ouimet. He turned things around rather quickly, making the park shine again by having the Enchanted Tiki Room refurbished to a beautiful paradise and had all of the burnt out bulbs replaced, and Snow White's Grotto cleaned up. He did a fine job of leading the way and getting the park ready for it's 50th anniversary.

With this one photo I'd like to applaud all of the men and women who made Disneyland a sparkling, gorgeous, and glorious part of America once again. You should all be proud. Thank You!

lkb_main_st_painting.jpg


August 20, 2008

Meet the Memory Cards

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

In an ever changing world of technology, even memory cards are affected. Some of them stop being birthed all together like the SmartMedia card, while others improve in capacity such as the SDHC. I will now rundown the list of current memory cards and which camera brands they work with.

xd_card.jpg xd_mplus.jpg
Olympus and Fufifilm cameras record images to the xD card. While Olympus only accepts these cards, Fujifilm now works with SD cards, too. The cards shown here are Type M and Type M+, the difference is that M+ can download images 1 and 1/2 times faster than it's predecessor. Both memory cards come in 1GB and 2GB*.

stick_produo.jpgstick_hispd_duo.jpg
Sony cameras use Memory Sticks. The difference between these two Memory Stick Pro Duo cards is that the one on the right, reads High Speed. That means it transfers images faster, in this case, up to 80MB**/second. Please be aware that Sony changes their media cards frequently so be sure to check and see if your camera is compatible with their current Memory Sticks.

compact_flash256.jpgcompact_8.jpg
These are Compact Flash cards and nowadays you only see them being used in digital SLRs . Several years ago they were used by Canon in their point and shoot cameras. The card on the left has 256MB which held a lot of photos on a 4 megapixel camera. Compact Flash cards are now sold in 1GB, 2GB, 4GB, and 8GB capacities.

sdcard.jpgsdhc.jpg
SD (Secure Digital) cards are the most commonly used memory cards, right now. With the exceptions stated above, these little guys go into every digital point and shoot and a good number of DSLRs. SDHC cards are upgraded versions of SD cards. What's the HC stand for? High Capacity. What does it mean for you? Less time downloading your images to the computer. Be aware that SDHC cards will only work in SDHC compatible cameras.

If you are unsure of what memory card your camera accepts, check your manual or the box.

*GB=Gigabyte, **MB=Megabyte

August 22, 2008

Don't forget!

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

A young couple holding hands in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
My daughter and her beau walking on New York Street in Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, 200 ISO, 0 EV, 18mm Focal length

While I enjoy taking pictures of all the buildings, scenery, characters, parades and shows at Walt Disney World. I am there to enjoy it with my family, too. My daughters have grown up in the Disney parks over the last 23 years. I always have fun trying to find new ways to capture their time there. Last year, a new wrinkle was added, as my youngest brought her boyfriend with us. He had not been to Walt Disney World since he was very young. My daughter had fun sharing with him all the new rides and parks that have been added while he was away.

I was taking extra care to be aware of them and took lots of photos. Some they knew about and some they weren't aware of like the one above as they walked hand in hand through Disney's Hollywood Studio's Streets of America. So, as lovely as Walt Disney World is, it's those closest to us that make it truly magical. Don't forget about them.

August 23, 2008

The Plaza Restaurant - Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Plaza Restaurant on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
People checking in for their dining reservation at The Plaza Restaurant on Main Street USA.
Nikon D70/18-70G, 1/160s, f/6.3, 200 ISO, +0.3 EV, 18mm Focal Length

Do you think Main Street USA ends at Casey's Corner and the Plaza Ice Cream Palor? It actually extends around both corners to include the Crystal Palace and Plaza Restaurants. The photo above of the Plaza Restaurant is my selection for this week's Disney Pic of the Week theme on Main Street USA. My two daughters rate this restaurant a 10 out of 10 and has the best grilled sandwiches at Walt Disney World. Honest, that's what they've told me.

August 24, 2008

Where in the World #50

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #49:
 Where in the World #49

And here's the answer:
Monsters Inc Vending Machine at Disney's Magic Kingdom
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50, 18-200VR, 1/60s shutter, f5, ISO 400

Hi everyone - I'm back! Thanks for putting up with my extended vacation. The last Where in the World photograph that I left you with was a can of Blort. I don't know what Blort is exactly, but I'm sure it's quite the tasty treat. You'll find it in this vending machine in the queue of Monster's, Inc. Laugh Floor Comedy Club. Mike Wazowski is the one-eyed monster host of this show, located in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom.

Kevin Cowdell was the first to send in the correct answer this week! Congratulations to Kevin and all the readers who got the answer right: Cheryl Costello, Sherry White, Neil Taylor, Sharon Dale, John Dupre, Carrie Butcher, Debbie Hudson, Deb Ragno, Brian Yesutis, Laura Dawson, Jen Cox, Jennifer Bourg, Holley Blyler, Regina Reed, Jessica Reed, Patty Lue Roosa, Kevin Toomey, Theresa Rucando, Austin O'blenis, Chloe', Nick Straka, David And Melissa Lizewski, Kelly Jean Clarkson, Bob Kowalski, Maria Madsen, Maria Madsen, Jeff Christiansen, Vivian Abraham, Kristen Gainey, Angela Brown, Linda Mac, Melina Hillis, Craig Webb, Trish Babler, Dave Cole, Clarissa M, Kameo Crea, Sharon Lee, Kevin Scharf, Cam Lange, Irene Kleintop, Becky Terjung, Chris And Alison, Paul Ignudo, Jr., Rob Stewart, Melissa Mathias, Pat Moritz, Jean Scanlon, Emma Poprock, Bryan Henshaw, Shane Stack, Emily Pickle, Jamie Poynton, Pollyanna , Sara Lewis, Anna Keene, Willie Tople, Emily Nussbaum, Jeremy Hardy, Aruna Mohan, Bryan Timko, Glenn Meyer, Jerelyn Flores, Michael Pyle, Heather Fresa, Heather Coursen, Marita Sarad, Suzanne Queen, Victor Gonzalez, Rachel Law, Katie Whitehurst, Marcie Soderlund, Jennifer Smith, Noreen Rachuba, Christine Bishop, Krista Penno, Tim Rachuba, Melissa Rebelo, Scott Estabrook, Nicole S., Beth Dye, Michelle Castro, Nicole Lopresti, Stephanie Visco, Heather Timko, Jeff Dunn, Sharon Andersen, Chris Bertelmann, Catherine Chiarello, Angela Horan, Allison Caputa, Baines Family, Angie Young, Jeremy Coto, William Reed, Cindy Dore', Bic Bakkum, Julie Fahrner, Lee Anastasi, Deborah Shauan, Tom Koval and Alecia Brown. Each of you will be entered in the August winners' drawing.

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Challenge #50: Where in the world is this?
 Where in the World #50
Do you know? Do you have a guess? Send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, August 28, 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 some special AllEars® goodies and a copy of PassPorter's Walt Disney World by Jennifer Marx, Dave Marx, Allison Cerel Marx!

August 25, 2008

The Time is Right

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer


Camera Shop at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50, 18-200VR, 1/320s shutter, f9

Here's a quick tip: If you change time zones when you travel to Walt Disney World, remember to reset your camera's clock so that your photos are stamped with the correct time. It didn't occur to me to do this when I travelled to Europe. I organize my photos by date and I had a heck of a time sorting them out when I got home. Now, I'm careful to make sure the camera has the right time set before I start taking photos in a new locale.

August 26, 2008

Disney Pics of the Week - Indoor Photography

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This week's theme for Pic of the Week is indoor photography. Although it might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of taking pictures in Walt Disney World, there are loads of great indoor photo opportunities. Lisa, Scott and I have chosen three very different examples to share with you this week.

Oaxacan Wood Carving from Epcot
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50, 18-200VR, 1/13s shutter, f5.6, ISO 1600

In the World Showcase at Epcot, Mexico is a wonderful place to practice your indoor photography. This dragon is one of the Oaxacan wood carvings that you'll see when you first enter the pavilion.

August 27, 2008

First Day of School

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Hiya kids! Is everyone ready to head back to school? Do you have your High School Musical backpack and Hanna Montana lunchbox? Oh, I see you don't but your children do. That makes sense.

The idea behind today's blog is to get you, the parent, ready for your child's first day of school photo extravaganza! I'm pretty sure it doesn't matter how old your offspring are, you'll still take those special moment photos.

Now the first thing you need to do is make sure you've got the battery(ies) charged and in the camera. Next, be sure the memory card is loaded. Those are the easiest steps.

Please welcome back to the modeling stage, Ciara! She will now demonstrate for you the kinds of photos you can aim for. Teenage facial expressions and body language are 100% natural.

You may also want try try a few of your cameras functions such as the Portrait mode. The way this feature works is the camera understands you're going to take a headshot (head and shoulders) of someone. It will set the f-stop so that the background is softer than the subject.
ciara_headshot_school.jpg

Your point and shoot may also be equipped with Face Priority or Face Recognition. This is especially handy if you're photographing more than one person. The software will guide the camera to look for the shape of a face or multiple faces and then focus on whichever is closest. This eliminates having the school bus in focus and the kids out of focus.

I used Face Priority for the 3/4 shot.
ciara_34_school.jpg

Another function found in the Nikon Coolpix 7600 is Portrait Figure. Meaning that it will look for the shape of a face even if you are shooting the entire person.
ciara_fullbody_school.jpg

Good luck getting these future nostalgic pictures.

A few other reminders. Make sure your kids remember to take lunch with them.
possible_school.jpg

Homework should be done at home, not at the bus stop.
redranger_school.jpg

Kim Possible, Ron Stoppable, and the Red Power Ranger images artistically reworked for comedic affect. Barrie gave me an idea and I ran with it.


August 28, 2008

Inside the Tower of Terror

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Tower of Terror Lobby in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Tower of Terror Lobby.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/15s, f/3.5, 800 ISO, -0.6 EV, 18mm Focal length

For years I tried to take indoor photographs at Walt Disney World with very little success until I got the combination of the Nikon D70 digital SLR and the Nikon 18-200VR lens. Between the camera's ability to take acceptable images up to an ISO of 1600 and the lens' vibration reduction technology allowing shutter speeds as low as 1/15th of a second, handheld, I am now able to get some excellent low light photos in places I never would have tried with a film SLR or Point & Shoot digital cameras.

This was the setup I used to take a picture of the Tower of Terror lobby from an angle looking out from behind the hotel's front desk as my Disney Pic of the Week for the theme of Indoor.

August 29, 2008

Get Yourself in those Disney Vacation Photos!

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

If you are the photographer of your family, chances are you are not in very many photos for holidays, vacatons, birthdays or other occassions. I would guess I'm in less than 100 photos of the thousands of photos I have in boxes, albums and on my hard drives. You may be in more if other members of your family have picked up the photography bug. I know my daughters both own Point & Shoot (P&S) cameras now so I've shown up in their online galleries the last couple of trips.

I found with a little thinking there's some fun ways you can do self-portraits with dSLRs. I know it's popular to hold small Point & Shoot cameras at arms length but I can't do that with a heavy dSLR too easily.

The first way is to use mirrors. Recently, I found a Got Milk? promotional area when visiting the Dairy building at the New York State Fair with some rather unique mirrors.

Got Milk? Mirror portrait at the New York State Fair, Syracuse, New York.
Got Milk? Mirror portrait at the New York State Fair.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/30s, f/3.8, 800 ISO, EV +0.3, 20mm Focal length

This second self-portrait uses an IR Remote Control for my Nikon digital SLR camera. If you look real close, it's in my left hand. It's very small. I put my camera on a tripod and pressed the remote to take this photo of me in Letchworth State Park in New York last Fall.

Remote Control portrait in Letchworth State Park, New York.
Remote Control portrait in Letchworth State Park.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/40s, f/14, 200 ISO, EV +0.6, 18mm Focal length

Lastly, if you see a fellow photographer walking nearby, it never hurts to ask if they could take a picture of you. I am often asked to do this service and am honored to do so. In the photo of me relaxing in a hammock on the Polynesian Resort's beach, I had my daughter take this with her Nikon Coolpix P&S camera.

Picture This! blogger, Scott, relaxing in a hammock on the Polynesian Resort beach, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Picture This! blogger, Scott, relaxing in a hammock on the Polynesian Resort beach.
Nikon Coolpix 4600, 1/500s, f/4.9, 50 ISO

Next time you are on vacation, find ways to get yourself in the picture! For even more ideas and fun, check out Lisa's Get in the Picture blog from last year.

August 30, 2008

Indoors: Heigh Ho Cherry Tomato

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

A quick story to share first. Way, waaaay, way back in October of 2004, I finally got my grandparents to go to Walt Disney World with me. One of the attractions we enjoyed was Living with the Land. Now, you and I know this is a slow moving boat ride that explains how produce, plants, and vegetables can be grown outside of common thinking. Well, you know the early part of the ride when you sail by the vegetation and farm scenes. You know how it's a teeny bit misty there? My baubie (bubbe if you spell it properly unlike us) grabbed onto my arm and said if she knew it was going to rain indoors she'd have brought her raincoat. Hee hee. I laugh every time I think of that. Whoooo.

When you have an opportunity to solely use natural light for indoor shots, take full advantage of it. Nothing is better than that giant fireball in the sky we call the sun. The greenhouse is filled with beautiful colors, shapes, and textures. Shoot as much as you can with a high shutterspeed to avoid blur because afterall you are riding through in a boat.

lkb_indoors_livingland.jpg
Canon EOS 30D, Canon 28-135mm USM IS, f7.1, 1/200, ISO 1250


August 31, 2008

Where in the World #51

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #50:
 Where in the World #50

And here's the answer:
Frontierland Train Station in the Magic Kingdom
Copyright © 2008 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50, 18-200VR, 1/4s shutter, f3.5

The Walt Disney World Railroad boasts an old-fashioned steam train that makes three stops as it circles the Magic Kingdom. This photo was taken in the Frontierland train station, which is between the Main Street and Toontown stations.

I'm so surprised that no one guessed it this week. This is all in fun and I just hate it when everyone is stumped. From now on, if I don't have a correct guess by Tuesday, I'll post a hint. If you don't know the answer, be sure to check back on Wednesday to see if I've offered up any last minute clues!

It's monthly drawing time again! This month's winner is Cheryl Costello! Congratulations Cheryl, you are the lucky recipient of a Passporter's Walt Disney World guide and some really cool AllEars schwag!
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Challenge #51: Where in the world is this?

 Where in the World #51

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, September 4, by clicking HERE!
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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 and a cool Disney book!

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About August 2008

This page contains all entries posted to Picture This! in August 2008. They are listed from oldest to newest.

July 2008 is the previous archive.

September 2008 is the next archive.

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