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You Knee Verse Sull

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Shhh. I had to get creative with the blog entry title so that you-know-who with the big black ears and the mix matched tuxedo wouldn't catch onto me. Alright, I'm going to have to whisper this time so listen closely.

Last year Barrie and I went to Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure and to top it off, we had a good time and we made money. No, we didn't pawn Scott's camera but that's something we'll keep in the back of our heads. Thanks for the suggestion. We stumbled upon multiple opportunities to do surveys and get paid. One gig had us watching segments for that Christian Slater show that got canned after a few episodes and the other was to try out new storage containers. I know, right, in a theme park, but it's true and it (including Popeye money) paid for lunch at Lombard's Landing.

The best thing about our day was that the parks were practically empty. At one point we thought we might be the only people there. The worst part was the heat but we carried on.

This is a mini trip report with some photography tips tossed in for good measure. All of these photos were taken with the Canon PowerShot S5 IS. I didn't ask Barrie for any of her input on this blog because I'm just typing this up as I go so any comments you read by Barrie is just me using my ventriloquist skills and a Barrie dummy. Off we go.

The first attraction we hit was Shrek 4-D and as we waited outside in a covered area with TV monitors and lousy fans we initiated our slogan for the day, It's not Disney. To be fair, Disneyland has outdoor queues as well but there's no humidity or spontaneous rain storms in California, only wild fires, earthquakes, and bad cosmetic surgery. It's a fantastically fun simulated ride-sort of attraction. The guy in the pre-show was perfectly in character with his given script and who doesn't love seeing fairytale characters just hanging around!

ISO 400, f3.5, 1/5
Gingerbread Man is coming to you live from the dungeon. Listen to him, people, he knows the muffin man.

We skipped Jimmy Neutron cuz neither of us knew much about him. We also skipped Twister and The Mummy but I did see an Egyptian hunk walking around on stilts. I'm guessing they were stilts. I suppose he could just have crazy long thin legs. Barrie says I took off running when I saw...what's-his-name.

ISO 200, f8, 1/200
When photographing someone with mixed lighting (sunlight and shade) use fill-flash to brighten up the shadows. I didn't so you see what the natural lighting looks like and the extreme contrast it creates.

After following, I mean photographing Kronk we caught a good show by the Blue Brothers. Universal has an awesome "backlot" of city streets. It's the one thing they trump over Hollywood Studios and it's right on the street and front steps that Jake and Elwood performed. When I wasn't paying attention one of them tried to get me to join in and dance but I declined. They also had their car with them complete with an enormous bullhorn strapped to the roof.

ISO 200, f5.6, 1/100
When photographing singers, avoid shots where the microphone is smack dap in front of the mouth. Shoot from the side or wait for them to move the mic out of the way.

If you've ever been to Universal Studios Hollywood then you've escaped from Jaws while enjoying the backlot tour. In Florida, things are different. You'll have to head out on a boat tour or fishing expedition in order to narrowly escape him. We did and we put our cameras away, too, cuz the captain that we saw come back before we left was 80% soaked.

Barrie says: Men in Black was so fun that we rode twice by using the line for single riders. The staff even encouraged us to make faces and heckle those waiting in line.

I gotta tell you something. I'm just going to mouth it so you-know-who doesn't hear this either. Disney needs to completely change Star Tours because Universal has THE smoothest motion simulator ride on the planet and it features The Simpsons. OMG! I love this ride. I can't wait to ride it again and again. It's beyond words just how funny the storyline is and you can't possibly catch all of the visual jokes in just one shot.

ISO 200, f8, 1/100
Offering to help diva-fy his little sister, Bart hat shoplifts.

With one park down it was time to check out Islands of Adventure. Barrie says: I loved all of the Christmasy decorations they had at a shop near the entrance. The character actors fighting over the last Three-Legged Race Elmo was a nice detail.

We mostly walked around this park and took...photos! It was fairly quiet here too and we walked onto The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man. Gee, there is a first for everything. We saw the Marvel characters arrive and then spread out to meet with folks. I told Wolverine that my friends named their son Logan after him and he wasn't the least bit impressed. Fine! Next time they'll name their kid Peter and I will let Spider-Man know he's their new favorite.

ISO 200, f7, 1/800
Hulk say, be creative with framing. Aghhhhhh!

By late afternoon I think we were both pretty pooped out. I pointed to what they had, explained it, and then told Barrie if I thought it stunk. Sinbad - skipped. Poseidon's Fury - skipped. Jurrasic Park - Barrie didn't have her camera bag with her.

ISO 200, f8, /200
Had I done the thinking instead of the camera, I'd have gone with a small aperature like f16 for such a grand-scale subject. I am happy with the detail captured, however.

We interrupt this blog to inform you that while Lisa has visions of Seuss Landing in her head, the theme song to "The Wuzzles" is playing in her brain.

Finally we arrived at Seuss Landing, my favorite part of Islands of Adventure. It's not because of the theme but for the colors that I see. Behold the yellows and the blues. The greens, reds, and oranges, too. Everything is bright and shines in the light. Come let's take a train ride. Can we fit side by side? Ooh they got originality, living with a split personality.

ISO 200, f8, 1/1600
An aerial view can be achieved via the High in the Sky Seuss Trolley Train Ride. Shoot super fast to grab the shot. Try using the Sports mode on your point and shoot camera.

So there you have it folks, even Disney fanatics enjoy a splendid day at Universal Studios as I'm sure you all know. See you next time!

They're the Wuzzles. Oooh yeah! They're the Wuzzles. Whoa oh yeah! Two times the fun wrapped up and rolled...into one!

The previous post in this blog was Disney Pic of the Week - Spaceship Earth.

The next post in this blog is Standing Tall.

Comments (1)


Great tips, and thanks for the trip report. I really love being at Universal (shh don't tell Mickey!) but I can't believe you skipped The Mummy! it's the BEST ride, really it is!

Lisa responds: I'm sure it's a great ride it's just not a great ride for me. :-) Thanks for reading the blogs.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on May 20, 2009 5:00 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Disney Pic of the Week - Spaceship Earth.

The next post in this blog is Standing Tall.

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