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October 2009 Archives

October 1, 2009

Refections of China

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

China's Temple of Heaven and reflection in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
China's Temple of Heaven and reflection.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1s, f/16, 200 ISO, +0 EV, 18mm Focal Length

Epcot's China pavilion features it's own Temple of Heaven complex with the three-tiered, circular Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest is a one-half scale reproduction of its counterpart inside the Temple of Heaven complex near Beijing. Many of its architectural details, both inside and out, have important significance to the Chinese people. Inside the hall, there are 12 outer columns supporting the roof. They represent the 12 months of the year and the 12-year cycle of the Chinese calendar. Closer to the center of the room are 4 columns representing the four seasons. These columns support a beam, representing Earth, which is topped by a round beam, signifying Heaven.

This photo was taken earlier on the same day as the one in the Using a Tripod at WDW article. Here I used a portrait orientation to show the reflection in the water pool and makes for a reflective Disney Pic of the Week for China.

October 2, 2009

Pano-Magic

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I recently attended a photo workshop where I saw some fantastic panoramic images. As the presenter went through the steps to create them, I got so excited that when I got home last night I searched through my Walt Disney World photos to see if I had any candidates for a panoramic.

Though I did find some including the example I am showing you today, you really need to create images with the panoramic image in mind. Here's a list of tips when photographing for panoramics:

1. Use a level tripod. The key here is to make stitching the images together easier for the software. I will tell you the software I tried was very good a finding a way to match up images even if hand held. So, if you are going out to specifically create panoramic photos, then use a tripod. If you are in the middle of a themepark without one, go ahead and hand hold.

2. Use the same exposure for all images. Again, this will make matching up the images easier. Also, another good use of the Manual mode.

3. Make your exposures as fast as possible. This is help keep all your images even and, if you have any moving subjects, it will keep down the movements of those subjects.

4. Avoid using a polarizer filter. If you are trying to capture a wide expanse of sky, a polarizer will cause different hues as the camera is moved from one image to another and the angle to the sun changes.

5. If using a digital camera, turn off Auto White Balance (AWB). AWB can change the color cast of an image as the light changes from one image to another. If it's cloudy out, use the Cloudy setting. If bright sun, use the Sunny setting, etc.

6. Overlap the Images. For best results, overlap the images about 20% if you are using focal lengths of 35mm and up. If you are using a wide angle lens then increase that to 40 to 50% because wide angles can distort at the edges.

Now, let's create a panoramic of these two photos I took of a sunset at Epcot's World Showcase. As you can see they are level as I was using a tripod. They have enough overlap to make the stitching easy for software or to manually match them up if I choose to do so.

Two images from Epcot's World Showcase for panoramic stitching, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.

I have my photos selected. I edited them the same and matched up the sky colors as best as I could. Check to see if the software you use to edit photos with has a panoramic tool built-in. The last few versions of Photoshop has it and is called Photomerge. I tried out a few different programs and liked Arcsoft's Panorama Maker 5 (for PC or Mac) the best. It automatically did the hard work of stitching the photos together and even has virtual framing options available. There are many other programs out there so try them out to see which one is best for you. Here's the final version after Panorama Maker 5 got done with it's magic.

Finished panoramic of a World Showcase sunset, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
World Showcase Sunset Panoramic

Something to keep in mind. While this is a horizontal panoramic, I saw some vertical ones during the workshop which were gorgeous. I'll be looking for panoramic opportunities on my next visit to a Disney resort.

October 3, 2009

My Little Corner

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

My contribution to our Disney Pic of the Week - China was taken in a tucked away part of the pavillion. I love the lighting, colors, lines, and detail. I also have a passion for this type of street photography.

lkb-china-lampost.jpg
Canon EOS 30D and Canon 17-40mm IS L, f7, 1/160, ISO 250

October 4, 2009

Where in the World #104

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #103:
 Where in the World #103

And here's the answer:
The Fjording Shop Door
Copyright © 2009 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200VR, 1/160s shutter, f/11

This wooden sculpture of three kings is above the door to The Fjording shop in the Norway pavilion in Epcot. If you mentioned Norway in your answer, you got it right this week. I don't really know the significance of this piece of folk art. If anyone does, please let me know by leaving a comment below.

Michael Dameron was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Michael and all the other readers who got the answer right: Jodi Cook, James Berry, Kathy Berry, Elizabeth Scarborough, Sharon Lee, Betsey Whitehead, Robert Anderson, Chris And Alison, Kristen Gainey, Shannon S., Matthew Brisbin, Sarah Smee, Merrin Donahue, Christine Benoit, Brendan Abel, Jennifer Harmon, Scott Khachadourian, Grace G., Shannon Brueggemann, Lee Anastasi, Paula Massarelli, Sandra Shaw, Sherry Klinefelter, James Greene, Sharon Dale, Sue Thompson, Jill Smith`, Scott Otis, Amanda Perkins, Michelle Wilinski, Amanda Marie Penhale, Pasquale Crea, Chris Marchant, Amy Miller, Jared Orth, Cheryl Costello, Anne Hainsworth, Alison Rosenberger, Kelly Zanauskas, Bruce Arnold, J Brizzle, Annette Nuenke, Chris Miller, Kristen Carde, Kurt Knappman, Caitlin Rush, Michael Gainey, Kelly Scott, Blake Schmidt, Cameron Lange, Karen Klein, Lauren Schuhow, Jennifer Townsend, Mike Cerce, Jen Cerce, Ashley Pizzino, Tim Johansen, Jason Skow, Susan M. Thompson, Vickie Scioneaux, Chris J, Clarissa K, Jeremy Hardy, Clarence Diggles, Paul Amico, Carinne Kight, Chad Simpson, Jamie Poynton, Amie Dodds, Melissa Silverman, Brent Lollar, Kirsten Stark, Katie Wolfe, Tom Koval, Elizabeth Collins, Diane Ramos and Christopher Barnes. Each of you will be entered in the October winners' drawing.
_______________________________________________________________________

Challenge #104: Where in the world is this?

 Where in the World #104

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, October 8, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post. Remember to be specific with your answer - just naming a park will not get you into the drawing.

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 and a cool Disney book!

October 5, 2009

December Disney World Calendar

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Here's Eeyore and Piglet, wishing you Happy Holidays from their home inside Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom.

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.

December 2009 8.5x11 Calendar


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

December 2009 Jewel Case Calendar

October 6, 2009

Disney Pic of the Week: Main Street USA Windows

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Last December, I took my first tour at Walt Disney World called KEYS TO THE KINGDOM and learned about the history of the Walt Disney Company and the Magic Kingdom. Though I was aware of the windows on Main Street USA, I never actually took the time to read many of them. On this tour, the guide pointed out several and, when this Disney Pic of the Week on Main Street USA Windows rolled around, I knew which one I would be featuring.

Card Walker, a Disney Legend, was the man who would often have to figure out ways to get the Disney brothers, Roy and Walt, to sit down and talk. In that respect he was a Practicioner of Psychiatry and a Justice of the Peace within the Disney Company just as his window says.

Disney legend Card Walker's window on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Disney legend Card Walker's window on Main Street USA.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/80s, f/8, 200 ISO, +0.3 EV, 200mm Focal Length

Barrie and Lisa will be presenting their favorite Main Street USA windows on Thursday and Saturday.

October 7, 2009

The Mother(s) of All Trips

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Who
Yours truly, the self-appointed Disney fanatic with 20+ visits to Walt Disney World. My mom Sheryl whose last visit was in 2004. She'd never been to Animal Kingdom before. My mom's best friend since they were 16 years old, Judi. She's like my 2nd mother. Her last visit to WDW was in the early 80's.

Why
Last year my mom surprisingly announced that she wanted to go with me to Mousefest. Sorry, but Mousefest is no place for parents. I knew I'd be running all over the place, up early, and out late which would leave her on her own and that's not the makings for an enjoyable vacation.

I offered to take her to Walt Disney World as her 60th birthday present instead. A few months went by and I brought up my offer again, before her birthday. I knew we wouldn't be able to go on her birthday because Passover was close to it.

On my mom's birthday we went out to dinner with my grandparents and Judi. I brought along a calendar (thank you, thank you) and told her and Judi to pick the dates they wanted to go. I should back up real quick and let you know that I had invited Judi to join us for the trip and to pay for her airfare. They selected a week in September that included Judi's actual birthday.

Where
Making use of my parents' soon-to-expire timeshare week by extending it for 6 months, I tried, and tried, and tried to find a Disney Vacation Club resort, no matter which one it was. Nothing was available so I exchanged the week for Wyndham Bonnet Creek.

We had a 2 bedroom, 2 bath unit with a full kitchen, living room, washer, dryer, and balcony facing parking and another building. It was very comfortable and enjoyable except for the phone calls which I will get to later in the What section.

How
We flew Southwest from Warwick, RI to Orlando, FL. I rented a car using Priceline's bidding option and saved money over the cheapest rental I could find.

I had 4 yard sales in 3 different locations prior to leaving. Those gave me enough cash to pay for my meals and most of my mom's.

What
Our morning began just like any other except for our alarm clocks going off at 5am, dragging luggage downstairs and then placing them in the trunk, picking up Judi, driving to the airport one state over, and flying to Orlando.

As we waited in the comfy, stuffed chairs (I went all out on this trip) until boarding, I handed to my mothers, one goodie bag each. While most parents give their kids treats before/on flights to keep them happy and add a little pixie dust early on, I had reversed the roles. The bags contained Mickey Mouse raisins & dried cranberries (Target), Cars tissues (Christmas Tree Shop), Tic Tacs, trail mix (coffee & chocolate for Judi, caramel for Mom, Target), an individually wrapped character cookie (Building 19), and a Mickey Mouse thin tip marker (local dollar store). They loved them. Judi even took a picture of my mom & I with it.

:pretend you see the photo here:

The flight was fine except for minimal turblence like the tiniest drop on Splash Mountain. Dude, the bathrooms are itsy bitsy on planes these days. Who is putting airplanes in the dryer for too long?! The lead flight attendant kept trying to crack jokes. My mom didn't find her amusing. After we landed she reminded everyone to stay seated until we'd reached the gate and the pilot had turned off the seatbelt sign followed by "Not yet," "Not yet," "Not yet," "Not yet," "Not yet" to the point that when the light went off I leapt out of my seat just for effect.

After the tram ride I went into the Disney shop to buy Disney Dollars. My nearby Disney Store was all out. They do things a tad bit differntly and rather strange, in my opinion at the airport shop. Normally I would ask for x amount of Disney Dollars, the Cast Member takes them out of a drawer behind the register, scans the barcode from a book, rings it into the register, I pay, and I'm given a receipt along with my purchase. At the airport they acted like I was buying bars of gold by going into the back, getting someone else to bring out a burlap bag, asking for my money upfront, and handing me the Disney Dollars. Nothing was rung through the register. I left feeling like I'd just robbed them because the steps they took were far from anything relating to a sale.

In the garage we checked all options for a midsize car and just as we were about to load up, a freshly returned vehicle made it's way towards us. A pale mint green Pontiac G6 with 4 doors and a good sized trunk. When you rent a car, it's a tremendous advantage to have a color that stands out amongst the rest.

With my trusty Sunpass we zipped by all 2 of the tolls on 417 and checked into the resort around 1:15ish pm. The unit was ready, we were given keys, maps, directions, and info on dining options (which were pathetic for a place of such magnitude), and told to pick up a parking pass. Ah yes, the "parking pass." It exists and it comes with a free non-stop attack from 3 sales people trying to schedule you for the "breakfast" which is accompanied by a sales pitch. No thanks. Suffice it to say after my mom and Judi very graciously declined repeatedly and the guy wouldn't quit, I finally looked at him and said, "We're here on vacation to celebrate their birthdays not attend meetings. We have to go." :sigh: Don't worry folks, the pushy sales tactics continue for the next 2 days.

Settled in, unpacked, the air conditioning fixed before we even had a chance to call down, and hungry, I made the executive decision to hit Epcot. Judi said it didn't matter where we went, she was starving. Based on approximation to the front entrance, we ate at The Electric Umbrella where I finally realized they actually have electric umbrellas for lighting decor. What a strange new world. In an effort to demonstrate "Disney magic," I showed them the talking trash can. They thought it was funny and silly and it somehow mesmerized my mom because from that moment on, she waited to see if every other recepticle would speak to her and when they didn't, she voiced their thoughts for them. Ha! And you thought I was weird.

As the tour guide, I lead them to the attractions they wanted to see but in a manner that didn't involve any criss-crossing of the park. Our first attraction of the trip was Spaceship Earth and as we ascended into the long dark tunnel, I leaned forward between the seats and directed my mom and Judi to put on their seatbelts.

Then we walked down to the Living with Nemo and His Friends in the Seas building. It was a total walk-on. Then we went to wait for the next Turtle Talk with Crush show and as we looked around, Judi in all seriousness asked me if the stingrays were real or animatronic. Whoo! I'm still laughing over that one. That was some funny...stuff. They even became interested in Bruce's Sub House and poked their heads into Bruce's mouth for a photo. I used Judi's camera so

:imagine that picture here:
Two Jews walk into a shark...

I need to rethink this trip report because at this rate I'll be writing a separate blog for each day and I'm leaving for CA in 6 days, 2 days from the time this posts. And now, the Edited Version which is still long but not as long as it would have been had I not made an effort to not write a paragraph about nearly everything that we ate, saw, did, and thought...starting now!

Over in the Land edificio we watched Circle of Life then I expected to grab FastPasses for Soarin' but the posted wait time was 10 minutes so we waited. They're both afraid of heights so I requested row 3. They did OK, my mom had to keep looking straight ahead, meanwhile I'm looking down, and up, and over. I lived in CA for 4 years and was at Disneyland all the time so when that final scene came up I pointed to the screen and said to my mom, "There I am!" She laughed.

It was pouring out so we waited a bit until it stopped and visited with Figment then as we walked along the path to World Showcase we heard thunder and cringed. We explored Canada, watched Martin Short's new panovision movie, and tried to get into Le Cellier but they weren't taking walk-ups and I couldn't get a reservation over the phone. My brilliant plan was to get a little nosh to hold us over as a late dinner seemed to be on the horizon. Root beer floats for everyone at Fountain View Cafe. During our sugary appetizer I called Disney Dining and got us in at Kona Cafe where we had a lovely dinner, Chef Noah took care of my dietary restrictions, and the subject of the next day's breakfast came up followed by a review of Kona's breakfast menu and me running downstairs to Guest Services where they booked us for the morning. Say all of that in one breath!

If you'll excuse me for a few minutes, I need to go harvest my grapes.

Day 2
Our morning began with a phone call from Bonnet Creek's office. Long story short they tried once again to convince my mom that we should all attend the free breakfast and seminar. She told them she wasn't interested in owning another timeshare because one was more than enough and some years it goes to waste.

Where did we go for breakfast? Kona Cafe. That's correct! Thank you for paying attention. I had the blueberry pancakes, Judi had Tonga Toast, and my mom tweaked her meal so much that I can't remember what it started out as. A hearty breakfast is a great way to kick-off a day in the parks.

Today we explored Magic Kingdom beginning with taking my mom to City Hall for a birthday pin. Heh heh. It took her awhile to get into the flow of strangers wishing her "Happy Birthday" but she was cool. Later in the day she tried to scare me by saying I should wear one the next day. Pft! I'd wear one nearly every day if I could.

Characters were out and about on Main Street, U.S.A.. I got wicked excited because I'd only seen one of them before.

lkb-mothers-mainstcharacter.jpg

We continued along, turned right by the castle, made a left at Fairytale Garden, and up and into Fantasyland. I picked up FastPasses for Peter Pan then we enjoyed Mickey's Philharmagic which suddenly had a long line because a tour group was ahead of us. From there we sailed thru it's a small world where I pointed out the living dolls I had previously interviewed and then back to Peter Pan to use the FastPasses. A woman ahead of us was on the moving sidewalk and going back and forth between 2 ships unable to decide which one to board. This stalled the rest of us. Yes, it took her that long. Truthfully, I was waiting for her to either fall off or crash into the Cast Member who is at the end checking safety bars.

Next thing ya know we were in Tomorrowland zipping around on the Tomorrowland Trans...People Mover. It is really cool and spooky to ride through Space Mountain with the lights on and the narration turned off. It's like being in a sci-fi movie as you fear what's around the corner. Also, it was on this attraction that the auto focus on my camera began to wane.

lkb-mothers-cameratrouble.jpg

Lines were short everywhere, it was fantastic. We defeated Emperor Zurg and rewarded ourselves with lunch at Plaza Restaurant. Now, as you recall my mom was wearing her birthday pin. Our server and the chef who came out both wished my mom a happy birthday. We saw that someone at another table was given a cupcake for their birthday. Our server Salvador didn't bring my mom anything. On the way out I asked the hostess if they still do that or is it one of those random things. She reassured me that they do indeed celebrate birthdays and wanted to know who the server was and asked us to go back and sit down but we were already packed up, paid, and leaving so we left.

The parade was passing by so I motioned for them to wait so I could try to get some photos not knowing if or how my point and shoot would continue to work. I'll tell you now that it finally gave out a few days later.

lkb-mothers-paradeAladdin.jpg
Aladdin wants me to call him!

We spent the rest of the afternoon at the outlets, grocery shopping, and resting. They wanted to have dinner off-property :faint: so I drove us over to Crossings at Lake Buena Vista to see what was there. The twinkly lights caught my mom's eye and upon further inspection realized it was a mini-golf course. Alright, that's not going to work. Finally, we wound up at Sweet Tomatoes, a place we'd never been to before. I give it a thumbs up for value. After dinner I dragged them to Pleasure Island so I could see what changes had been made in the past 9 months.

There's a new restaurant called Paradiso 37 where the live act butchered Ritchie Valens' La Bamba. The speakers carried the music loudly out into the street and into the Harley Davidson shop. Local police officers were out in higher numbers than I'd seen before but they were all in the same general area and nothing peculiar was happening.

That was about it. Time to call it a night.

Next week: Days 3 and 4 Another birthday goes without dessert

Dear Readers,

I can't believe it's already October and very soon I'll be flying to California for 10 days worth of sun, fun, friends, the first AllEars.Net Disneyland meet, the CHOC Walk, and of course Disneyland.

When I was in CA this past March celebrating my birthday, my friends told me I'd have to come back in October for the CHOC Walk. It's funny because I got them into it just 2 years ago. They've latched onto it since and we've gone from a group of 6 to a dozen plus as they keep recruiting more of their co-workers, family, and friends to take part.

I'm writing to ask if you'd be interested in sponsoring me. CHOC is the acronym for Children's Hospital of Orange County. They have hospitals in Orange and Mission Viejo and are highly recognized for having fantastic care, doctors, and nurses. CHOC treats every patient regardless if the family has health insurance and can afford medical treatment, surgery, and so forth.

This will be my 3rd time participating and my goal is to raise $1,000.00. I'm at 40% of my goal right now and the event is on October 18th.

It truly amazes me when I get in the midst of the crowd and see everyone from babies to grandparents taking part. It blows my mind when the parents who have lost their little ones to disease hold up signs and wear T-shirts in memory of and keep up the good fight for others.

I know firsthand that times are tough financially. If you can spare a few dollars you'll be helping a wonderful cause and will have my thanks and appreciation.

http://www.chocwalk.net/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=314791&lis=1&kntae314791=FD8A4907DF3946C78608E061374C0144&supId=263896053

With Grace and Gratitiude,
Lisa

October 8, 2009

Royal Panes

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


Have you ever noticed that the windows on Main Street, U.S.A. have names and businesses on them? As part of our Disney Pic of the Week series, we're concentrating on those pieces of glass humbly dedicated to those who helped shape the world of Disney.


lkb-mainstwindows-cockrelllaval.jpg
Canon EOS 30D and Canon 70-300 USM, f9, 1/640, ISO 400

These 2 windows read:
The Main Street Diary, "True Tales of Inspiration" Lee A. Cockerell, Editor-in-Chief
Partners in Planning, B. Laval & Associates, "What We Build Together Can Last Forever"

Cockerell is a former Senior Vice President of Operations Walt Disney World Resort
and authored the book Creating Magic: 10 Common Sense Leadership Strategies from a Life at Disney


Bruce Laval is former Executive Vice President for Operations Development, who worked for Walt Disney for 30 years before he retired in 2001. He's credited as a co-creator of FastPasses. Yeah, he deserves a hug for that alone.

October 9, 2009

In Camera Cropping

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Many times I have taken a photo which looked good in the viewfinder but, when reviewing it in the camera's LCD display, not so much. It happens when I am not careful and forget to look around the edges before pressing the shutter release. In the photo below I was intent on Space Mountain before me and missed all the foliage and tree limbs intruding. Now, I could just crop this photo in software. However, cropping too much loses image resolution and can make a photo grainy when viewing a smaller, cropped version.

Wide view of Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Wide view of Space Mountain.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 29mm Focal Length

In this case, I decided to use the power of the zoom lens and "crop in camera" by zooming in from 29mm to 75mm. I, also, took two images. One in a landscape orientation and, the one below, in a portrait orientation.

In camera cropped view of Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
In camera cropped view of Space Mountain.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 75mm Focal Length

By doing the crop in the camera, it saves me time later at the computer. The image is cleaner and has your camera's full resolution for printing or displaying electronically.

October 10, 2009

Saving Main Street

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Main Street Windows

Copyright © 2009 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200VR lens

Although I have many pictures of the Main Street windows in the Magic Kingdom, none of them are very good. I took these in the worst possible light, so the exposure is bad and there are terrible shadows and reflections. You can even see the reflection of yours truly in most all of them.

For Pic of the Week, I decided to see what I could do to make my not-so-great photos seem a little more interesting. This is what Photoshop and I came up with - you be the judge.

October 11, 2009

Where in the World #105

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #104:
 Where in the World #104

And here's the answer:
Lobby of the Wilderness Lodge
Copyright © 2009 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200VR, 1/2s shutter, f/8, ISO 400

This beautiful inlaid wood floor can be found in the lobby of the Wilderness Lodge.

Benjamin Esham was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Benjamin and all the other readers who got the answer right: Katie Wolfe, Jodi Cook, Heidi Summers, Mary Beth Tarbet, Kris Nixon, Sarah Koller, Alissa Ammons, Shannon Brueggemann, Jen Cerce, Elizabeth Scarborough, Emily Currier, Kristen Gainey, John Agnew, Dominic Plavny, James Berry, Kathy Berry, Lee Anastasi, Daniel Record, Scott Otis, Stephen Kiskamp, David Manning, Michael Utesch, Tom Koval, Donna Currier, Cameron Love, Mark Brown, Kathy Love, Julie Wickware, C Gibrich, Danielle And Matt Murgia, Cindy Hershey , Jennifer Townsend, Amanda Perkins, Dawn Bach, Michael Gainey, Melissa Dye, Tim Rachuba, S Mullins, Brian Haas, Harry Wilson, Frank F. Fincken Iii, Clarence Diggles, Cheryl Costello, Jeanne Cundiff, Craig, Jackson Hart, Anne Hainsworth, Christopher Hall, Caitlin Rush, Jeff Surette, Bruce Arnold, Cara Arnold, Kelly Zanauskas, Todd Ritter, Carri Marotto, J Brizzle, Dan Hawkins, Stephanie Pcolinsky, Dennis Blackburn, Mike, Laura Pranaitis, Karen Schlumpf, Sarah Haas, Quincy Delcolletti, Mike F, Wendy Palmquist, Heather Coursen, Kendall Huffman, Jennifer Schwing, Leah Nan Broussard, Dan Mangini, Nanette J, Carla, Tom Linder , Sara Beth Wade, Heather Stevens, Robert Longley, Gregory A. Strohmeyer, Karen Dresser-smith, Jamie Poynton, Paula Bender, Joyce Tofflemire, Dave Cole, Jacquelyn Law, Lee Ann Clary, Tim Johansen, Katy M. Robinson, Heidi Goodhue, Shirley Garcowski, Kristin Dormuth, Marikay, Gail Whigham, Angela Haire, Todd Lane, Amy Miller and Nunzio Vignone. Each of you will be entered in the October winners' drawing.
_______________________________________________________________________

Challenge #105: Where in the world is this?

 Where in the World #105

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, October 15, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post. Remember to be specific with your answer - just naming a park will not get you into the drawing.

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 and a cool Disney book!

October 13, 2009

Disney Pic of the Week - Pleasure Island

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


Once upon a time there was a land where the night air was filled with music and laughter. Where people danced and sang and shouted out whole heartedly, Kungaloosh! Then the music stopped as did the dancing. There was nothing left to laugh about. The buildings that housed these moments of bliss closed.

One such building remains intact, at least the exterior is such. The pain of missing glorious days gone by is evident.


lkb-pleasureisland-cryingegyptian.jpg
Canon PowerShot SX100 IS with a little help from Adobe PhotoShop

The Adventurer's Club is my entry for our Disney Pic of the Week - Pleasure Island. Stick around for Scott and Barrie to post their photos on Thursday and Saturday.

Pleasure Island is open and is currently comprised of shops and restaurants. All of the dance clubs, the Comedy Warehouse and Adventurer's Club have closed.

October 14, 2009

The Mother(s) of All Trips - The Middle

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

The first installment can be found here.

Day 3
Guess who called? Amanda. Yeah, I don't know anyone named Amanda either. She started out trying to be friendly and I finally had to ask who she was. She was from Wyndham Bonnet Creek and wanted to make sure we had everything we needed. Yep, we're all set, thanks. Then came the final attempt to convince us to attend the sales pitch breakfast. When it just wasn't sinking in with her that there was no way on Earth we were going I finally said, "Look, we don't meet the minimum financial status you require." Now she was backing off. I also informed her that I was laid off 2 months after I booked the vacation. Ohhhh. She gave up and hung up. Crikey!

For the next few days breakfast would be eaten in our unit. We had fruit, cereal, mni-muffins that my mom had picked up at Sweet Tomatoes, water, juice, etc... Plus we had snacks to take along to the parks or munch on while vegging out.

The park of the day was Animal Kingdom, a place that neither of them had been to before. I slowly lead us through The Oasis so we could stop, watch and photograph the animals. Before walking into Africa I showed Judi another angle of the Tree of Life. My mom rested and people watched while we were doing that.

I picked up some FastPasses for Kilimanjaro Safari before roaming the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. As we were looking at Colobus Monkeys a CM started talking about them and then Judi & my mom noticed the guy was from a town near us. Well wouldn't ya know, they knew some of the same people. Then from across the way we heard a tire pop on one of the safari vehicles. I think I'm correct in saying the truck had just left the loading dock when it happened and was maybe 50 feet into the ride. We moved on so I couldn't tell you what transpired afterwards but my psychic-ness says the tire was removed and replaced with a new one.

Once we'd seen all the animals who wanted to be seen, we used the FastPasses for Kilimanjaro Safari. A good assortment of mammals were out and about. The driver did his schtick as usual and that baby elephant was saved once again from the poachers. When is Little Red ever going to learn his lesson?! But the bigger question is how did those poachers get their vehicle inside Animal Kingdom? It's because of people like them that we have to have our bags checked before entering the parks!!

lkb-mothers-silverback.jpg
After our safari we found this guy pondering life.

Time for lunch. Time for air conditioning! Luckily Yak and Yeti was taking walk-ins and we had a fairly short wait. I'd never been there before so everything was new to me as well. We were seated upstairs in a long narrow room overlooking part of Asia.

Remember my mom thought I should wear my birthday pin? Well, I wore it on this day. Our server Dee and Chef Rena who made me a special meal due to my dietary restrictions both wished me a happy birthday. OK, we were off to a good start and then we stalled. We decided the 3 of us would split the mango pie. It came out by itself. Meanwhile, a fellow at the table beside us was also wearing a birthday pin and he got a scoop of ice cream with chocolate sauce and a candle. Now my mom was ready to address the situation and very politely asked Dee if I was also going to receive ice cream. Her answer was that the guy's wife had pre-ordered it downstairs with the hostess and paid for it. Oh really?! I wound up talking to someone at Disney Dining who told me that that was completely false. Yeah, I know. Now before you say it wasn't actually my birthday, the point is people celebrate at Walt Disney World when time allows and sometimes it's the actual day and sometimes it isn't. A CM can't discern one from the other and this year the big promotion is "What will you celebrate?" I feel bad for any other guests who were let down this year.

Moving on, we watched the brave souls on Mt. Everest come down the tracks then we poked around the gift shop before sitting down for Finding Nemo the Musical. Is it just me or is Nemo swimming around in the bubbles on either side of the stage pre-show new? It certainly kept all the kids occupied. Every few minutes you'd hear a crowd of young voices shout "Nemo!" It was very cute. I loved the show as usual and my mom & Judi enjoyed it as well.

lkb-mothers-nemo-fishtank.jpg

On to Festival of the Lion King where we became part of the lion section. Roooaar! They loved this show, too. How can you not? It's incredible.

We'd hit everything we wanted to and so we got back into the car and my mom wanted to show Judi the town of Celebration. If you haven't taken a drive over there you really should, it's so quaint and charming and looks like a scene out of "Pleasantville." When I win the lottery, I'm moving there.

After driving around a bit it began to pour and we needed somewhere to grab dinner. My suggestion was the food court at Pop Century so that Judi could see another Disney resort and my mom could revisit the one she and I stayed at back in 2004.

The joint was jumping probably due to the weather but we easily found a booth and there was plenty to choose from on the menu. Judi was going through her pack and realized she was missing a $50 bill. She thought she'd put it back after paying the cashier. We went looking for it, retracing her steps and luckily I found it on the floor, due to gravity. I'm amazed no one either saw it or took it even if it was to the front desk. Phew! A major sigh of relief from Judi.

The rain stopped so we walked down to the 50's section to show her how detailed and fun the buildings are as well as the bowling pin-shaped pool. I think this may have sparked an interest in returning to Walt Disney World in Judi. Thus ended another night of vacation.

Day 4
Today was Judi's birthday so she picked out which park we'd visit and where we'd have lunch. Her choices were Hollywood Studios and the 50's Prime-Time Cafe. Soon as we arrived she went to the ticket window to pick up the Birthday Fun Card because she already had a multi-day Hopper ticket. She also got her birthday pin at the same time.

The humidity had been taking its toll on my mom all week and the temperture was in the high 80's so as each day went on, taking breaks from the elements became more and more important. Since I had planned on obtaining FastPasses for Toy Story Midway Mania and then turning around and taking them to The Great Movie Ride, I left my mothers (Judi's like a 2nd mom. I've known her my entire life) in the gift shop across from Playhouse Disney Live!.

Traveling through movie sets can cause hunger so I went to grab my favorite snack, an apple stuffed pretzel at Min and Bill's Dockside Diner. No more pretzels! Agh! Not even regular pretzels. I took a big girl pill and carried on about my day.

We got 3rd row seats for Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular. Pretty darn good considering we never stood in line. Am I a good tour guide or what? That was rhetorical. Another fabulous job by the actors and crew of this show.

Our reservation wasn't for another hour or so but we were already hungry so we asked if they'd be able to take us early and as luck would have it, they were. Now, I always ask to speak with a chef due to dietary restrictions and what borders as an allergy to pepper. I've never had a chef come to my table at Prime-Time and I've been there 4 or 5 times. I vowed last year to never go there again but for Judi's birthday I would. I don't know if it was our server Sabrina or Chef John who was on duty but the curse was finally broken.

Sabrina not only brought Judi a birthday cupcake but she had everyone in the room sing to her. There were 4 tables in our room in the back of the restaurant and at one point everyone except for Sabrina was from Massachusetts. It was hilarious.

We took on the Muppets 3D show and walked into the waiting area a mere 4 minutes before the theater doors opened. They got a real kick out of the show with the interaction between the movie and the characters, both those who walked freely and those bolted to their seats.

In the Writer's Stop I met George, a CM who has been with Disney for 14 years. Next time you're in the mood for coffee or dessert, pop in, get some treats and say hi to this little face.

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The last thing on our agenda for Hollywood Studios was Toy Story Midway Mania. You know how fun it is. Does anyone else get an elbow cramp? It could easily just be me. They did some shopping and then we went back to the resort for some rest. I watched "Supernanny" and "Clean House," 2 shows I'm totally addicted to.

Rested and rejuvenated we took on Magic Kingdom. The request came through for Country Bear Jamboree and Pirates of the Caribbean. We tried to escape before the fireworks ended and we came close. In need of dinner we ventured back to our restaurant of the week, Kona Cafe. We saw the same girls at the desk every time and we assured them that this was the last they'd see of us. I forget who my chef was but everything was fine and since my mom decided to put her birthday pin on one more time, both she and Judi received dessert. It looked like cream puffs with chocolate drizzle and Lilo & Stitch stenciled in chocolate on the plates. I had the coconut cream kiki tart. Yum! It was a long and glorious day that ended at 11:45pm when we got back to the unit.

If you're wondering why I don't have more photos, my Canon Powershot SX100 IS barely worked on the trip. It's the result of a short fall it took once. I'll have a blog regarding camera repairs later.

Next week: Day 5 and Notes - Mom falls asleep at an attraction

Dear Readers,

This Sunday, Oct. 18th I'll be walking in a fundraiser for Children's Hospital of Orange County, the CHOC/Walk in the Park at Disneyland. That's right, I'm in California!

When I was in CA this past March celebrating my birthday, my friends told me I'd have to come back in October for the CHOC Walk. It's funny because I got them into it just 2 years ago. They've latched onto it since and we've gone from a group of 6 to a dozen plus as they keep recruiting more of their co-workers, family, and friends to take part.

I'm writing to ask if you'd be interested in sponsoring me. They have hospitals in Orange and Mission Viejo and are highly recognized for having fantastic care, doctors, and nurses. CHOC treats every patient regardless if the family has health insurance and can afford medical treatment, surgery, and so forth.

This will be my 3rd time participating and my goal is to raise $1,000.00. I'm at 70% of my goal right now and the event is THIS Sunday morning. In an effort to get more people to donate, my cats have pledged to donate $1.00 for every individual human or animal who sponsors me. Don't ask me where they get their money, I'm still trying to figure out how they learned to speak English.

It truly amazes me when I get in the midst of the crowd and see everyone from babies to grandparents taking part. It blows my mind when the parents who have lost their little ones to disease hold up signs and wear T-shirts in memory of and keep up the good fight for others.

I know firsthand that times are tough financially. If you can spare a few dollars you'll be helping a wonderful cause and will have my thanks and appreciation.

http://www.chocwalk.net/faf/donorReg/donorPledge.asp?ievent=314791&lis=1&kntae314791=FD8A4907DF3946C78608E061374C0144&supId=263896053

With Grace and Gratitiude,
Lisa

October 15, 2009

Lonely Nights

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Sound Stage
Copyright © 2008 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200VR lens, 1.6 sec, f/11

When you see a shot like this, it's pretty clear why they closed Pleasure Island. Still, I miss it. My Pic of the Week was taken on the last weekend that Pleasure Island was open.

October 16, 2009

Magic Hour

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Being Disney fans, we consider every hour at a Disney park or resort magical. In photography, each day has two Magic Hours. These are the half hour before and after sunrise and sunset. When the sun is low or just below the horizon, it creates amazing colors in the sky and on the objects around us. Landscape photographers know this and will show up far in advance of the morning or evening magic hours to set up their equipment in hopes of catching something spectacular.

I have talked about watching the sky as you walk around a Disney park before. In the photo below, I was taking a break at the Noodle Station seating area when I noticed how the light was starting to illuminate Cinderella Castle with a lovely golden color. I took many photos over the next several minutes and liked this one the best.

Golden sunlight illuminates Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Golden sunlight illuminates Cinderella Castle.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/25s, f/16, ISO 200, EV +0, 18mm Focal Length

The above photo is more awareness than planning. My next trip to Walt Disney World is in early December. Checking the calendar for December, I found the Animal Kingdom will have Evening Extra Magic Hours (EMH) on Wednesday, the 2nd. Normally, Animal Kingdom closes before sunset so this is an opportunity to get some unique photos. One that came to mind is to get a Magic Hour photo of Expedition Everest but what time should I be there to get it?

The Internet quickly gave me the answer. I found the U.S. Naval Oceanography website had a Complete Sun and Moon Data for One Day page which calculates sunrise, sunset, moonrise and moonset for any day and for any city in the world. To find out when the Sun would set on the EMH, I entered in December 2, 2009. Selected Florida for the state in the United States and the city of Orlando in Form A and pressed the Get Data button. It told me sunset would happen at 5:28 PM which tells me I should be set up at least by 5:00 PM. Local weather might interfere but the chances of me getting a spectacular photo have increased with this knowledge.

There are other sites with even more information like the compass reading where the sun will set on the horizon. Given that information and an accurate map, you can determine the best location to get front lighting, side lighting or backlighting at locations you want to photograph at.

October 17, 2009

The Funmeister!

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Funmeister mascot of Pleasure Island in Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Funmeister Mascot of Pleasure Island.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/6s, f/9, 500 ISO, +0.3 EV, 28mm Focal Length

The Funmeister or Moon Man mascot can still be found around the remains of the original Pleasure Island entertainment complex and thought it a fitting tribute for my Disney Pic of the Week on Pleasure Island.

October 18, 2009

Where in the World #106

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #105:
 Where in the World #105

And here's the answer:
Mama Melrose's Lobby at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Copyright © 2009 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200VR, 1/60s shutter, f/8, ISO 1600

I think Mama Melrose's is a real hidden gem. I'm a big fan of Caprese salad and the one I had here was delicious. This shot was taken in the lobby where there is a display of photos of the Legends of Disney's Hollywood Studios.

A lot of people guessed Hollywood Studios this week but remember, you have to give me a bit more detail than just the name of the park to be entered into the drawing. Dan Owens was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Dan and all the other readers who got the answer right: Alissa Ammons, Robert Anderson , Douglas Mcknight, Brianne F, Bruce Hinterleitner, Kristin Olmedo, Baines Family, Mike Thomson, Kye Layton, Karen Schlumpf, Sharon Lee, Jerry Weldon, Caryn Schill, Emily Currier, Amanda Campbell, Jennifer S., Scott Otis, Jennifer Townsend, Melody Salemi, Daniel Record, Doug Brigger, Kristen Gainey, Jen Norris, Danielle And Matt Murgia, Vanessa Gordon, Karrie Mooney, Lisa Graham, Ashley Salters, Ed Aleszczyk, Matt Cofone, Mike M., Lisa Mccormack, Anne Hainsworth, Jeremy Reichelt, Eric Gasser, Carri Marotto, Travis Grim, Tiffany Keenan, Sarah Connors, Matt Degrandis, Penny, Aubrey Cooper, Jillian Domings, Katy &Emily Robinson, John R. Frangakis, Donna Currier, Melissa Dye, Leigh Mertz, Lauren, Heidi Goodhue, Alicia Roth, James Dezern (dzneynut), Christopher Bourassa, Craig, Jessica Reed, Marie Phillips, Ashley Ryan, Holly Anderson, Nicole Mason, Barbara Cardarelli, Marianne Goode, Roye Ann Morris, Debbie Poole, Alicia Henderson, James Berry, Kathy Berry, Tim Rachuba, Theresa Rucando and Ronnie Schreyer. Each of you will be entered in the October winners' drawing.
_______________________________________________________________________

Challenge #106: Where in the world is this?

 Where in the World #106

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, October 22, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post. Remember to be specific with your answer - just naming a park will not get you into the drawing.

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 and a cool Disney book!

October 20, 2009

Disney Pic of the Week - Fantasyland

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Flying Dumbos, a magical carousel, tiny children singing "It's a Small World"" Even before I had ever visited Walt Disney World, I had a picture in my head of what I would see when I got there. That image was Fantasyland. To me, Disney World was Fantasyland. This week, Scott, Lisa and I will be sharing some images we've captured of the land where elephants fly.

It's a Small World
Copyright © 2008 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 50mm lens, 1/125 sec, f/1.4, ISO 1250

One of the many vignettes from It's a Small World in the Magic Kingdom.

October 21, 2009

The Mother(s) of All Trips - The End

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Day 5
I forgot to jot down notes so it's possible that things are out of order.

Four days of being out in the heat and thick humidity can and will affect you. We were tired and worn so this morning we slept in. Breakfast consisted of more cereal, mini-muffins, fruit, juice, and other items we'd picked up at the grocery store.

When we arrived at Epcot I steered us to Universe of Energy where we walked right inside and waited 5 minutes for the pre-show to begin. It was roughly 40% filled giving me the impression that we'd have our own row to stretch out on. Wrong! That's something I'll never understand. If there are lots of empty rows, why do people still sit in mine? Anyway, it was a nice cool place to relax and avoid the perils of Mother Nature although escaping dinosaurs can leave you tired as well.

Leisurely we strolled along until reaching Mexico where the sun felt even stronger than it did in the future, odd as that sounds. Inside, my mom and Judi poked around the gift shop and picked up some hard peppermint candies. Panchito and Jose Carioca were having a heck of a time finding Pato Donald so we tried to help. The whole gang was reunited at the end of the boat ride.

Soon after it was time for our reservation at Biergarten in Germany. The timing of our meal allowed for 2 performances by the band. Buffets are difficult for me to select from with my pepper allergry, if you will, along with a long list of dietary restrictions. The chef came out and I found him to be somewhat difficult and giving me a hard time. I've been there before and have been taken care of with far more sensitivity from other chefs. Long story short, I was given a piece of fish, whipped potatoes, and some sort of cheese and pasta dish, the latter of which I couldn't eat. Seems Chef Artur felt how annoyed I was given that I handed him my list of restrictions which he may not have read and the resistence he gave me so he didn't charge me anything. He did request that in the future I call the restaurant directly.

Prior to the vacation my mom asked me a few times if she could meet my friend Amy so we'd arranged to meet up that afternoon. When we came out of Biergarten, Amy was waiting for us. We sat around and chatted then Judi went shopping and saw a line of beer steins singing. I suspected they were part of the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure and I was correct.

With no real plans or a list of things any of us wanted to do we casually wandred through Italy and American Adventure where we sat and waited for the next showing. I never knew there was anything to look at on the far right side of the room where Voices of Liberty perform. Ask me what's there. I already forgot. A baseball mitt? Had it all been about pop Latin groups I would be able to recall everything. What can I tell ya.

This attraction, American Adventure always makes me want to take a nap. It's dark, the room temperature is comfortable, and the naration sounds monotone to me. So there I am, pushed back into my chair in "nap position," closing my eyes, previewing what I look like while sleeping and my good friend slaps my wrist. Fine, fine, I'll try to stay awake. Meanwhile, to Amy's left, my mom's asleep. Not fair I tells ya!

My mom & Judi checked out the shops in Morocco but came back empty-handed. They weren't too interested in seeing Japan or France so we took a ride on the Friendship Boat over to where the future meets the world. The mothers decided they'd had enough touring and were ready for more shopping on the way out. My mom suggested we go back to Sweet Tomatoes for dinner and invited Amy to join us. We split up with plans to meet up again later.

I'd missed Club Cool the first day we were in Epcot. Before skipping over to MouseGears I took them for some free soda and eagerly waited for one of them to try the infamous Beverly. Judi didn't have anything to drink and my mom never chose the bitter soda. Drat! Foiled again!

A little shopping in MouseGears, a fun conversation with a CM whose name escapes me, and our time together in the parks was over. They rested at the resort and did some packing before we picked up Amy and went out for dinner at Sweet Tomatoes. It was a nice evening.

Day 6
Up early, packed and ready to roll it was back to the airport for the flight home.

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Judi & my mom, Sheryl

Notes

Birthday Fun Card - Judi's goal was to buy herself a Minnie Mouse watch. She checked many stores before finding one with easy-to-read numbers. I can't recall what else she bought.

Handy Manny - My mom bought presents for her friend's grandchildren and Handy Manny toys were a suggestion. She wanted me to photograph the character but he was busy with kids so later on in the day I went back and was able to get some photos for her.

Dietary Restrictions - For the most part every chef I've talked to has been great and a few have been absolutely superb. In my reservations I always note an allergy to pepper and advise them of dietary restrictions. For a few trips I faxed my list along with my ADRs to a department that deals specifically with this. Half the time I'd arrive at the restaurant and the kitchen never got the message but was able to make something for me on the spot. Next trip I'll try contacting the restaurants directly if it's one I think will have trouble accomodating me.

Spritzer Fans - This turned out to be a great purchase. It helped my mom to stay cool and thin out the thick humid air she was breathing. The price is ungawdly however at $16.00. Get one at a local store and bring it with you along with extra batteries.

Birthdays - If you make your reservation by phone or online be sure to let Disney know you or someone with you is celebrating a birthday. I had it marked for every reservation. When you call they'll ask for the name and birthday of the celebrant and if you want the restaurant to recognize the event. I'm curious if these questions will be asked next year when the promotion is over.

Drinks to go - My mom had a great idea and put it to work every day. Take an empty water bottle with you or hang onto it after finishing it in the park. Before leaving a restaurant, ask your server for a refill and pour it into the bottle along with ice. Trust me when I say bring a small funnel. Attractions don't allow you to carry drinks in cups but closed bottles are permitted.

Do you have any questions?

October 22, 2009

Another Cinderella

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Cinderella Fountain statue in Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cinderella Fountain Statue.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/20s, f/5.3, 200 ISO, +0.3 EV, 80mm Focal Length

For my Disney Pic of the Week on Fantasyland, I have chosen a different angle of this lovely Cinderella Fountain statue I showed previously as Queen Cinderella. Here she is her step-family's maid holding one of her woodland friends with the shoppes of Fantasyland softly focused behind her. Tells a completely different story.

This photo and others are featured on the AllEars.net Disney Desktops page. Download them for your computer's screensavers and desktop wallpapers today!

October 23, 2009

Telephoto Landscape

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Mistakes. We all make them. Most of the time when we make a mistake, it doesn't work out to good. Sometimes you get a pleasant surprise. Such as the case in the photo below of Expedition EVEREST taken from the bridge between Africa and Discovery Island. I had just finished walking the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail and had my camera in Aperture Priority mode and set to it's largest f-stop of f/2.8. That is best for taking animal portraits with and not landscapes. Well, I forgot and took this photo. I didn't realize what I had done until later when I was on the other side of the park. What do you think? Ideally, I would have used f/11 to f/16.

Expedition Everest telephoto landscape in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Expedition Everest Telephoto Landscape.
Nikon D70/70-200VR, 1/3200s, f/2.8, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 70mm Focal Length

Using a telephoto lens, even a short one, compresses the image captured by the camera's sensor. The compression worked here to keep the depth of field small enough to keep the image in focus almost from front to back. Remember, with my camera crop of 1.5x, this is the equivalent to a 105mm telephoto lens (70mm x 1.5). There is softness in the extreme areas and I wouldn't want to print this any bigger than an 8" x 12".

October 24, 2009

Mulan in Rouge

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Princess Fantasy Faire in Disneyland hosts a variety of activities including a meet and greet with princesses. For a while they held a coronation ceremony which was very cute and got the kids involved. This photo of Mulan is from that ceremony. You never knew which three princesses would attend until they made their grand entrance.

lkb-fantasyland-mulan.jpg
Canon EOS A2 with Canon 70-300mm USM, Fujifilm

Disney Pic of the Week - Fantasyland

October 25, 2009

Where in the World #107

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #106:
 Where in the World #106

And here's the answer:
Starabilias sign in Downtown Disney
Copyright © 2009 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200VR, 1.6s shutter, f/11

Starabilias was a really fun store to browse when it was open. I always gave myself lots of time because it was full of interesting music, movie, history and sports memorabilia. It was located at Downtown Disney - Westside.

Robin Mcconnell was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Robin and all the other readers who got the answer right: Sharon Pierce, Scott Otis, Vincent Maltese, Charles Wright, Travis, Sarah Haas, Tim Rachuba, Chad Ryan, Sharon Dale, Jon Solomonson, Linda Mac, Chris Nash, Vittoria Vignone and Kristen Gainey. Each of you were entered in the October winners' drawing.

It's time for the monthly drawing. This month's big winner is Carri Marotto! Congratulations Carri, you are the lucky recipient of a fabulous Disney book and some really cool AllEars schwag!

Good luck to everyone as we begin another month! Here we go"

_______________________________________________________________________

Challenge #107: Where in the world is this?

 Where in the World #107

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, October 29, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post. Remember to be specific with your answer - just naming a park will not get you into the drawing.

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 and a cool Disney book!

October 27, 2009

Disney Pic of the Week: Morocco

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Morocco pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase is the only one sponored by its country's government. When it was being constructed, the King of Morocco sent his royal craftsmen to lay all the tile work, carvings and paintings you see in the pavilion. This northern African country makes for a beautiful Disney Pic of the Week.

Tangier Traders sells traditional Moroccan clothing in Epcot's Morocco pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Tangier Traders sells traditional Moroccan clothing.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/13s, f/4.5, 1600 ISO, +0.3 EV, 36mm Focal Length

Barrie and Lisa will be here on Thursday and Saturday with their favorite photos from Morocco.

October 28, 2009

CHOC Walk in the Park

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

On Sunday, October 18, 2009 I participated in a 5K walk through Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure to raise funds and awareness for Children's Hospital of Orange County. Thanks to my family, friends, and readers like you, I was able to raise $880.00.

I'd like to share some photos of the event with you.

choc09-crowdbehind.jpg
Thousands lined Main Street, USA pre-dawn ready to fulfill their promise.

choc09-beginwalk.jpg
The crowds were well-managed by only allowing a certain number of walkers out at a time.

choc09-MCMinnieDonald.jpg
Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck and a Master of Ceremonies got us pumped up.

choc09-FrogPrince.jpg
Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen from the upcoming movie, "The Princess and the Frog" made an appearance alongside a bluesy jazz band.

choc09-Jasmine.jpg
Jasmine and a few of the other princesses went for a ride on King Arthur Carrousel.

choc09-sign.jpg
Informative signs regarding CHOC were scattered along the route as a terrific reminder of why we were all there.

choc09-LFamily.jpg
My friend Lisa, her husband Jeffry and their son Logan were a part of Team Fairy Godmothers.

choc09-ArmyMan.jpg
This little green army guy had the best job. He sat and told us to keep marching. LOL

choc09-customshirt.jpg
Teams often have custom designed T-shirts made and this is just one example of how Lisa and I were nearly brought to tears over and over again.

choc09-gospelsinger.jpg
The House of Blues had their Sunday gospel singers performing at the end of the walk. This woman had positive messages and blessings for everyone.

choc09-canineangels.jpg
Canine Angels proved that it's not just us humans who care about kids.

Feeling inspired? This link will take you to a music player for my friend's band, HERE II HERE. Check out the first song, Waking Journey (Walk with Me). I think it fits the blog.

We have the Disneyland press release with a video about the walk!

October 29, 2009

Emblem of Marrakesh

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


As my submission for Disney Pic of the Week - Morocco, I offer this photograph of a stone prayer tower which is based on the Koutoubia Minaret.


lkb-morocco.jpg


Moroccan architecture has a great deal of texture whether it's brick or clay and a touch of painted ceramic tiling to add blues, greens, and yellows.

October 30, 2009

Project Tomorrow

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

After riding the latest version of Spaceship Earth, I was pleased to see the exhibit area being used again. The new sponsor, Siemens AG, has created Project Tomorrow: Inventing the Wonders of the Future. As you enter the exhibit, you can not help but notice the huge Earth before you. In a bit of technological wizardry, the photo that was taken early in the ride of you has now appeared indicating the location where you live. Project Tomorrow houses interactive exhibits featuring various Siemens AG technology. These interactive displays and games allow guests to see the future of medicine, transportation and energy management.

Project Tomorrow exhibit area in Spaceship Earth, Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Project Tomorrow exhibit area in Spaceship Earth.
Nikon D70/Tokina 11-16, 1/30s, f/2.8, ISO 1400, EV +0.3, 11mm Focal Length

How I took this photo: You will notice I was standing in the middle of the ramp from the ride exit (you can see the railings on the far left and right of the photo). As much as I would have liked to set up a tripod, I doubt Disney security would have approved. I had on a fast lens, the Tokina 11-16 f/2.8, set to it's widest aperture of f/2.8 and focal length of 11mm. My camera, a Nikon D70, was set to Auto ISO which only allowed the shutter speed to go as slow as 1/30th of a second. At this exposure, the camera set the ISO at 1400. I took this hand held using Da Grip. This is one of several images I took in burst mode and the best of the lot. I had good timing as I did not get run over by any other guests coming off the ride.

October 31, 2009

Dancing to the Beat

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Belly Dancer in Epcot's Morocco
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50, 18-200VR lens, 1/1250 sec, f/5.3

This belly dancer performs with MoRockin, an Arabic rock band that plays in Morocco. MoRockin is a very popular Epcot band and I suspect she may have just a little to do with that!

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About October 2009

This page contains all entries posted to Picture This! in October 2009. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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