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April 2010 Archives

April 1, 2010

Lego People

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Lego People
Copyright © 2008 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 1/160 sec, f/6.3, ISO 400

The merchandise displays at Walt Disney World offer all kinds of unusual photo ops. This wall of Lego People can be found in the Lego Imagination Center at Downtown Disney.

April 2, 2010

My Flickr Project Part III

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Hope you have enjoyed this series on how I used flickr, the popular Internet photo sharing community website, to improve my Disney photography. This is the last one for now. I am sure I will re-visit this concept in the future. It was both fun and extremely challenging. Especially this set of photos.

Matt Pasant is considered one of THE best Disney flickr photographers. His photographs are viewed thousands of times each week. He is best known for his fantastic photos of Disney's night time show like Wishes and Illuminations. This time I wanted to really stretch myself and equipment so I picked a couple of Matt's best fireworks photos.

The first one is Matt's tribute to IllumiNations 10th year anniversary. Here I go again complaining about the weather for my attempt. It was a very still night and the air felt "heavy". The smoke from the fireworks hung right over World Showcase Lagoon and got worse as IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth went on. I will point out more differences after I present both photos. First up is mine, then Matt's.

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth from the Japan pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth from the Japan pavilion.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 3s, f/10, ISO 400, EV 0, 36mm focal length
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth by Matt Pasant from the Japan pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth by Matt Pasant.
Canon 40D, 3s, f/10, ISO 400, EV 0, 26mm focal length

Before I point out the differences. I would like to say I came real close to the time during IllumiNations as Matt's shot. From there the similarities end. Matt was in THE spot, which is the corner of the porch in front of the Tokyo Dining restaurant. I had to settle for a spot about fifteen feet to the left of THE spot as there were other photographers who had staked it out two hours before IllumiNations. I checked, Matt was not one of them. The smoke really took a lot of clarity and color away from my photo. Matt's is outstanding and I hope to do better the next time I'm at Epcot.

My second attempt at one of Matt's best was in the Magic Kingdom. A night shot of the Partners statue with Cinderella Castle lighted behind it with no guests around. That meant staying real late. In fact, I was there so late, the PhotoPass photographers had packed up and gone home. I knew my photo would be different from Matt's as I would have the Dream lights on the castle. That was okay. What wasn't okay was Disney had removed the Partners statue! They were filming the Christmas parade that week and the rainy weather pushed the filming into the weekend. All I had was an ugly platform. The nice decorations you saw behind the performers when the parade aired where not there at night. So, I did my best and set up my tripod in between the statue location and the castle for this photo.

Cinderella Castle decked out with Dream lights for Christmas in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cinderella Castle decked out with Dream lights for Christmas.
Nikon D70/Tokina 11-16mm, 8s, f/16, ISO 200, EV -1.0, 16mm focal length

Here is Matt's with the Partners statue.

Night Partners by Matt Pasant, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Night Partners by Matt Pasant.
Canon 5D Mk II, 30s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm focal length

Matt photographed this with a Canon 5D Mark II camera. That is a Full Frame camera where his 24mm = 24mm. My camera is cropped and to get the same 24mm of Matt's, I set the Tokina 11-16mm lens to 16mm. With my camera's crop factor of 1.5, 16mm * 1.5 = 24mm. I was closer to the castle and it was much brighter with the Dream lights on. I changed my shutter speed and EV accordingly to keep from overexposing the castle. This made the surrounding areas much darker than Matt's. I will be back for this one in the future.

The second fireworks photo of Matt's I wanted to try never happened. The last night I was in Epcot, it rained most of the day. It would let up at times and then rain some more. IllumiNations did go on but without me. I was soaked and decided a nice burger and shake at Beaches and Cream was more appealing. I did not want to not show Matt's work, however. I think it is one of his best and that's saying something.

Illuminations of Imagination by Matt Pasant, Epcot World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Illuminations of Imagination by Matt Pasant.
Canon 5D Mk II, 8s, f/11, ISO 200, EV 0, 27mm focal length

Matt Pasant's flickr photostream is full of Disney photographic gems like these. Tell him Scott sent ya when you leave comments.

I hope you have enjoyed my Flckr Project. I know I learned a lot and I need to learn a lot more in my photographic journey.

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April 3, 2010

Mickey and Minnie Plushes

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Mickey and Minnie Mouse plush merchandise display in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mickey and Minnie Mouse plush merchandise display.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/6s, f/4, ISO 200, EV +0.7, 18mm focal length, rear-synce flash at -1 power

When leaving PhilharMagic Concert Hall, you will notice a shop with lots of Donald Duck merchandise. This Mickey and Minnie plush display probably wouldn't make Donald happy but it made for a good Disney Pic of Week on Merchandise Displays.

Hey! Hey! It's a Monkey

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Have you ever walked by something and not noticed it? Shake your head, c'mon. I can promise you I never noticed a series of animal-influenced sculptures in Asia over at Disney's Animal Kingdom. They're pushed back from the "street" and up what looks like a ramp, somewhere between the restrooms and Yak & Yeti. Helpful, aren't I?


lkb-sculpture-AKAsia.jpg

I named him Mika in honor of my friend Deb. He's my entry for our Disney Pic of the Week - Sculptures.


April 4, 2010

Where in the World #126

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #125:
 Where in the World #125

And here's the answer:
Briar Patch Kitchen
Copyright © 2009 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200VR, 4/10s shutter, f/8, ISO 1000

Next time you're in the Briar Patch merchandise shop, be sure to look up at the living quarters by the ceiling. Wouldn't it be fun to hang out up there and watch all the people? The Briar Patch is the shop near Splash Mountain in the Magic Kingdom.

Kathy Berry was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Kathy and all the other readers who got the answer right: Diane Furtado, James Berry, Joanne Lollar, Karen Genda and Sharon Pierce. Each of you will be entered in the April winners' drawing.

_______________________________________________________________________

Challenge #126: Where in the world is this?

 Where in the World #126

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

April 6, 2010

Disney Pic of the Week - Sculptures

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Animal Kingdom Sculpture
Copyright © 2009 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 1/50 sec, f/5.3, ISO 640

This week, Lisa, Scott and I will be taking a closer look at some of the sculptures found around the Walt Disney World property. There's no shortage of material, that's for sure. Disney World is loaded with beautiful sculptures, made of everything from wood to plaster to metal. There are even plastic sculptures to be found.

My choice for Pic of the Week can be found in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Behind Flame Tree Barbeque, in the seating area, is a beautiful garden filled with many sculptures. If you've never taken the time to wander around that area, please be sure to spend some time there on your next visit. It's really quite lovely. These giant bullfrogs are at the base of one of the lanterns near the reflecting pool.


April 7, 2010

Photo Album - Disneyland Dinos

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


Disneyland is my absolute favorite park. It's the perfect size filled with charm, inspiration, laughter, joy, warmth, and I could go on and on but the bottom line is, it feels like home. In fact, the tiles used in the bathroom floors near Pinocchio's Daring Journey are nearly identical to the ones in my house. Anyway, there are hidden gems all over the place and perfect examples of that are the scenes you pass while riding the Disneyland Railroad.

As you ride between the Tomorrowland Station and Main St., USA Station, you'll pass an exhibit of dinosaurs. For your safety, these enormous creatures are kept behind glass. To get a decent photo, rev up your ISO, shoot fast, and open the aperature. My Canon EOS 30D was set to ISO 1600, f5, and I altered between 1/125 and 1/160. For every good photo, I got 3 bad ones. I suggest using continuous shooting and focusing settings. Forego the flash, you're not allowed to use it and it'll just reflect off the glass. Plus no one favors being chased by angry Triceratops.


lkb-photoalbum-dino2.jpg


lkb-photoalbum-dino3.jpg


lkb-photoalbum-dino.jpg

My site was nominated for Best Photography Blog!
Vote for Picture This! by signing up and logging into Blogger's Choice Awards and help us take home the gold.

April 9, 2010

The Red Beast

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Bad White Balance
Remember this photo? This is how my photos looked when I first attempted to photograph Beauty and the Beast, Live on Stage with my Nikon D70 camera. Up until then, the camera's automatic White Balance setting was handling photographing around the Walt Disney World resort a breeze. I was able to save this photo via an online photo editing site. But you and I both know, it is best if you can get it right in the camera itself.

The next time I found myself in the Theater of the Stars for this production, I set my camera's image quality to RAW. This allowed me to alter the photo's white balance in a photo editor later. This worked well but I still was not totally pleased with the results. Reds continued to be blown out with reddish skin tones.

You might be wondering why I have such trouble with this show? Actually, I had trouble with a lot of Disney's stage productions and here is the reason: They use a lot of colored lighting during the show. Red being one they use a lot. My camera is always setup to capture vivid colors. When my camera and those red lights meet...Pow! Red heading off the charts or, in my case, the histogram.

I did some research on how I can best handle this situation and came across some articles about the Expodisc Filter by Expoimaging. This white opac filter fits over the front of your lens and, by telling your camera to take a custom White Balance setting, you point your camera and lens towards the light source. I emphasize "towards" because in your camera manuals you are told to point your camera at a white or middle gray surface to set a custom white balance. I do not understand the science behind the Expodisc but I do know that it works very well.

Before the show started, I popped on the Expodisc onto the front of my lens, set my camera to get a custom white balance and aimed it at the lights in the theater. I clicked the shutter and my LCD told me I had gotten a Good White Balance setting. I took off the Exposdisc filter and I was ready to go. I must say, with this simple solution, I got photos right out of the camera with near perfect color.

For the photo below of Belle singing during the opening number of the show, you see her bathed in white light with good skin color while some of the village's people behind her are in red light. This is as I saw it on stage.

Belle singing during the opening number of Beauty and the Beast, Live on Stage in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Belle singing during the opening number of Beauty and the Beast, Live on Stage.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/250s, f/5.6, ISO 400, EV +0.6, 200mm focal length

Next up was Gaston's outfit. In the past I have returned with Gaston in neon red shirts and capes. After using the Exposdisc, I got the correct red for the one guy in town who's got all of it down. And his name's...Gaston.

Gaston singing his praises during Beauty and the Beast, Live on Stage in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Gaston singing his praises during Beauty and the Beast, Live on Stage.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 400, EV +0.6, 200mm focal length

Here are a couple more of my favorites from the show. Taken with the custom white balance via the Expodisc filter.

The library scene with Belle and the Beast in the Beauty and the Beast, Live on Stage in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The library scene with Belle and the Beast.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 400, EV +0.6, 200mm focal length
Belle blowing a kiss to the audience at the end of the Beauty and the Beast, Live on Stage in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Belle blowing a kiss as the curtain falls to end the show.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 400, EV +0.6, 200mm focal length

The authentic Expodisc Filter by Expoimaging may seem expensive but I have used it in a lot of settings since I took these photos. It's fast, simple and gets closer than anything else I have tried when faced with tricky lighting conditions like a stage show at Walt Disney World.

April 11, 2010

Where in the World #127

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #126:
 Where in the World #126

And here's the answer:
Walt Disney in One Man's Dream
Copyright © 2010 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200VR, 1/60s shutter, f/3.5, ISO 1600

Walt Disney models his top secret Florida Project for the first time on television in One Man's Dream at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Brian Yesutis was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Brian and all the other readers who got the answer right: Danusia Rogacki, Sharon Pierce, Christi Ison, Millie Tenreiro, Sharon Dale, Belicia Dawson, Travis Grim, Scott Cullen, Dave Cole, Daniel Record, Kris Nixon, Ed Aleszczyk, Kathy Berry, James Berry, Julie Wickware, Robert Anderson , Deb Ragno, Michelle Mcknight, Annette Nuenke, Paul Cooper, Jared Orth, Karen Ramirez, Tiago De Oliveira, Bob Patterson, Denise O, Jen Bruno, Craig, Paul Dickson, Frances Phebus, Ken Jackson, David Boyarsky, Lauren Foss, Christopher Barnes, Tim Wingfield, Carrie Rampy, Dennis Dunkman, Jennifer Tremley, David P. Tarbet, Michelle K., Megan, The Moore Family, Louise Barton, Noreen Rachuba, Matthew Waga, Jeremy Dow, Kameo Crea, Kevin Toomey, Scott Otis, Mckinley Yeaman, Dawn Burns, Krista Penno, Kim Steiner, Ronnie Lane, Todd Ritter, Lee Krueger, Rob Blundin, Dale Knight, Timothy Hutchinson, Rina, J Breezy, Terry Fleming, Mike Venere, Mike Walter, Cathy Fleming, Louise Herrick, Alan P, Ed Suscreba, Howie T., Katie Mccardell, Tim Rachuba, Tony L, Rachel Hoover, Jill Davoll, Isabelle Boivin, Christine Dagney, Jennifer, Bonnie Smith, Cari-ann, Paula Munson, Brenda Strohmeyer, Tracey Mayfield, Jessica Deans, Barclay Bakkum, Wendy Snelgrove, Diana Barthelemy, Joann Albrecht, Kelly Mager, Erin Rix, Penny Urell, Carol Donoghue, Brent Baker, Dan Mangini, Liz Mckinnell, Brent Lollar, Colin Buchanan, Shannon Joyce, Kelley H, Brooke French, Kelly Kobiela, Sherri Pell, Steve Pocopanni, Brian Johnson, Sandy Johnson, Debby & Andrew Webber, Theresa Rucando, Heidi F Goodhue, Anthony Weimer, Cheryl Buchanan, Derek Carty, Jody Erdfarb, Gail Hirsch, Kristen Mccoy, Sharon Blickensderfer, Ken Kleiner, Tina Cole, Aruna, Kerry Cormier and Patti Purdy. Each of you will be entered in the April winners' drawing.

_______________________________________________________________________

Challenge #127: Where in the world is this?

 Where in the World #127

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

April 13, 2010

Disney Pic of the Week: Restrooms

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

You just know this week's Disney Pic of Week on Restrooms was suggested by Lisa. There was a famous thread on a popular Walt Disney World message board of photos of people leaving restrooms. Too bad Lisa wasn't around or I would gotten her doing just that. I settled on taking a long exposure of people entering a busy restroom in Morocco using a quadpod (aka trash can) to help steady the camera.

Lisa and Barrie will be here on Thursday and Saturday with their favorite places to flush.

Restroom entrance in Morocco's Epcot World Showcase pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Restroom entrance in Morocco.
Nikon D70/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/5s, f/2.8, ISO 1600, EV +1.0, 12mm focal length

April 14, 2010

Who You Callin' Cupcake?

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


There are moments when I'm out scavenging Disney parks trying to think of blog ideas and I wind up risking my personal safety and obstructing my own common sense in order to have something spectacular to share with you all. I had one such moment while at Animal Kingdom.

It happened when I was feeling worn out and sluggish. By checking the entertainment schedule I knew it was possible to squeeze this photo shoot in before setting up for Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade. Scoping out the scene I could see a few Guests would cause me to patiently wait and so I did. Also, this particular idea was going to cost me a few bucks but it's not often that I shell out extra funds for a blog. Finally, the area was clear and I approached calmly, albeit ready to lunge.

"Hi. I'd like one zebra cupcake, please," I pleasantly stated.

Empty tables in the open air seating area were plentiful. Gently, I placed my delicious subject made of yellow cake, buttercream icing and shaved, striped chocolate on the table. Though it was calling my name in a cruel attempt to prevent me from taking photos, I fought back the temptation and whipped out my Canon Powershot SX100 IS and turned the dial to Macro! Ha! Ha! Cupcake! Get ready to model.

I took this first photo aiming the lens mid-level at the scrumptious dessert. It's paper cup in focus yet the background was far too blown out and some woman's... backside was in the shot. Get lost, lady! You've ruined everything!

lkb-cupcake1.jpg


It's alright, I tried shooting from a different angle. I held the camera higher up and aimed the lens barrel down at my frosted friend. Only the table and plate upon which it sat would act as the background. Ahh, that's much better.

lkb-cupcake2.jpg


Just when I thought it was all over, the zebra cupcake stared me down and beckoned, "I'm ready for my close up." How could I possibly resist?! You win, my sweet delectable enemy...you...win.

lkb-cupcake3.jpg


Hungry? Get your own at Kusafiri Coffee Shop & Bakery.


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April 15, 2010

Employees Must Wash Hands

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

You know who you are. You're determined to visit every restroom in Disney parks and resorts. It's assumed that each one is themed to match it's location and it's true. I know because I'm one of you and so are my friends. While our Disney Pic of the Week - Restrooms would most likely have been my idea, it wasn't, it was Scott's suggestion. Boys think girls' bathrooms are better than theirs. Perhaps they are. I guess this week's photos will help solve the mystery.

Sinks in the ladies room at Fort Wilderness near Trail's End Restaurant and Hoop Dee Doo continue the woodsy feel but sadly have awful tungsten lighting.

lkb-restroom-FTW.jpg

I took out a lot of yellow and orange trying to correct the colors and the photo is still saturated.


My site was nominated for Best Photography Blog!
Vote for Picture This! by signing up and logging into Blogger's Choice Awards and help us take home the gold.

April 16, 2010

Spring Waterfalls

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

It is Spring. Both on the calendar and in the air where I live in upstate New York. Most of the United States has had serious bouts with Spring fever. Spring is also the time of rain and melting snow. The old adage of April showers bring May flowers and all that. This is the time of year for nature photographers to visit their favorite waterfalls as the flow is at its peak.

At Walt Disney World you don't have to worry about the flow of the waterfalls and fountains as they are artificially maintained. It gives visitors a chance to capture the wonder of moving water. To demonstrate, I re-visited the giraffe waterfall along one of the Discovery Island Trails just past the exit of It's Tough to be a Bug.

There are two ways to photograph moving water. Use a fast shutter speed to freeze it like this.

A fast shutter speed freezes the motion of the water of this waterfall in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A fast shutter speed freezes the motion of the water of this waterfall.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/5.3, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 80mm focal length

Or by slowing the shutter speed like in this photo to see water take on a smoother look.

A slower shutter speed shows the motion of the water of this waterfall in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A slower shutter speed shows the motion of the water of this waterfall.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/15s, f/9, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 80mm focal length

I did not have a tripod so I really could not go much slower than 1/15th of a second for my shutter speed. When I am going out to photograph natural waterfalls like the one below in the Robert H. Treman State Park near Ithaca, New York, I come prepared with a tripod and set my camera to get long shutter speeds for the silky look many people love about waterfall photography.

Enfield Creek waterfall in the gorge at the Robert H. Treman State Park near Ithaca, New York.
Enfield Creek waterfall in the gorge at the Robert H. Treman State Park near Ithaca, New York.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 5s, f/29, ISO 200, 135mm focal length

If you live near a waterfall this Spring, grab your tripod and have some fun capturing moving water. For more waterfall tips, click on this link: Photographing Waterfalls.

April 17, 2010

Pit Stop in Asia

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Animal Kingdom Restroom
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 1/40 sec, f/3.8, ISO 400

I don't think there is anywhere besides Walt Disney World where I would actually take photos of the restrooms. The painting on this one in Disney's Animal Kingdom caught my eye. There is no limit to the level of detail you'll find in Disney parks.

April 18, 2010

Where in the World #128

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #127:
 Where in the World #127

And here's the answer:
Sunshine Sweets on the Boardwalk
Copyright © 2006 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50, 18-200VR, 1/2000s shutter, f/5.6

Got a sweet tooth? Head on over to Seashore Sweets on the Boardwalk. In this old-time candy store you'll find all kinds of sugary delectables like saltwater taffy, fudge and of course, ice cream. The Sweet Sisters are known for their "Confections Served with Affection". Being Pageant winners themselves, they have decked out their shop with memorabilia from the Miss America Pageant.


Dawn Burns was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Dawn and all the other readers who got the answer right: Sharon Pierce, Jennifer Toto, Ed Aleszczyk, Erin Flaherty, Leslie Dameron, Katie Bray, Daniel Record, Angie Schluter, Robin Mcconnell, Sherry Klinefelter, Chris Masse, Wendy Crober, Marina Crober, Donnie W, Colin Buchanan, Carla C., Nicole Ruzinski, Jen Cerce, Lisa Graham, Mike Haeberle, Sarah Smee, Dale Knight, Krista Penno, Stuart Hale, Darlene Harmon, Hillary Waldroop, Cindy Bunch, Penny Urell, Anjanette Tournillon, Christopher Barnes, Tim Wingfield, Edsuscreba, Rebecca Lollar, Heather Barilla, Dave Cole, Cameron Lange, Kelly Mager, Jaclyn Kelch, J Brizzzzle, Shane Stack, Tim Rachuba, Carri Marotto, Cynthia Barry, Bruce Lawson, Laura Pranaitis, Chloe, Nicole Alley, Dana Schirnhofer, Megan E., Tricia Noble, Mike Cerce, Sharon Dale, Mary Tackett, Stephanie Pcolinsky, Scott Lau, Donna Currier, Amy Chapman, Margot Garofalo, Patti Purdy, Jane Johnson, Noreen Rachuba, Chip Vermette, Theresa Rucando, James Berry, Kathy Berry, Jennifer Schwing and Chambers Family. Each of you will be entered in the April winners' drawing.

_______________________________________________________________________

Challenge #128: Where in the world is this?

 Where in the World #128

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

April 20, 2010

Disney Pic of the Week - Tower of Terror

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


The Hollywood Tower Hotel also known as Hotel Hightower is a franchise of resorts with locations in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, Anaheim, California, Tokyo, Japan, and Paris, France. Some refer to them as The Tower of Terror and only stay once while others drop in repeatedly. You'll have to decide for yourself if one night's stay is enough. Muah ha ha ha haaaa.


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Even the planters can't be trusted.


Come back on Thursday and Saturday for Barrie and Scott's armchair-clutching images.

April 21, 2010

High Speed Musical

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


Think your point and shoot camera has zero chance of capturing movement? Think again! Check your manuals for Continuous Shooting and/or Continuous Shooting AF (Autofocus) Modes. The icon for these modes look like 3 layered boxes. The Continuous Focus AF Mode has an "AF" on top of the boxes.

icon-continuous.jpg

In order to enable these options, my Canon PowerShot SX100 IS must be set to P (Program), AV (Aperture Priority), TV (Shutterspeed Priority) or M (Manual). I set my camera to P and let it select my aperture, shutterspeed and ISO.

Your camera may be designed differently.

The difference between the two modes is that Continuous Shooting focuses once and then quickly takes up to 3 photographs in a row while Continuous Shooting AF refocuses between shots. You must keep the shutter button depressed in order for the camera to continue shooting. Remember that point and shoot cameras are not as fast as digital SLRs (Canon Rebel series, Nikon D80, Pentax K10D, etc...)

Take this High School Musical 3 performer for example. Although he is dancing and singing his little Wildcats heart out, he hasn't moved any closer or further away from me. He's as sharp as he can be considering the long distance between us and my camera's 6x optical zoom. For these photos I used Continuous Shooting but didn't hold down the shutter button long enough to grab 3 pics in a row so I only have sets of 2. There are several possibilities why; I usually use SLRs and forget things, I was busy singing "Get Your Head in the Game" even though it's from the first movie or I was daydreaming about Red Power Ranger.

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Switching over to Continuous Shooting AF, I grabbed some photos of the dancers breakin' it down on the street, yo. The lens refocused before taking each photo that's why they're not seamless. I didn't move the camera at all or crop the photos so you can see everything as it was. I especially like the extra arm in #3. My PJ teacher would kick my tuchas if she saw this.

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The Cast Member on the left looks perplexed with me. Maybe he was asking himself why I wasn't using an SLR, trying to remember which routine he was dancing or thinking about a Power Ranger, too.

Explore your camera's capabilities. You'll be amazed how much better your photographs are just by choosing the proper settings.

Written while listening to Chayanne's CD Vivo.

April 22, 2010

Tower of Terror Disney's Hollywood Studios

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Tower of Terror
Copyright © 2009 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR, 1/320 sec, f/11, ISO 200

Here's my Pic of the Week of the Tower of Terror at Disney's Hollywood Studios. I took this from the far side of Echo Lake, standing next to Gertie the dinosaur.


April 23, 2010

Fire Slide

Last week I talked about using long exposures to show water as silky flow over waterfalls. The same technique can be used to show movement for other subjects.

During the Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show is an exciting chase scene with motorcycles ending with the bad guy sliding through a wall of fire. I took in this show twice on my last visit to Walt Disney World and caught this scene two different ways. The first with a fast shutter speed of 1/800th of a second.

Motorcycle sliding through fire during the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Motorcycle sliding through fire during the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show with a fast shutter speed.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/800s, f/7.1, ISO 200, 135mm focal length

During my second showing, I had a better angle for the slide action and slowed my shutter down to 1/80th of a second. Ten times slower than the first photo.

Motorcycle sliding towards a wall of fire during the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Motorcycle sliding towards a wall of fire during the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show with a slow shutter speed.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/80s, f/16, ISO 200, EV +0.6, 170mm focal length

The motorcycle and rider are blurred as they slide towards the wall of menacing fire while the rest of the image is in sharp focus. This technique works for any moving subjects like amusement park rides, race cars and any place you find things that move.

My site was nominated for Best Photography Blog!

April 24, 2010

Tower of Terror in HDR

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Tower of Terror in HDR as seen from the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster queue in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Tower of Terror in HDR as seen from the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster queue.

I have used the Tower of Terror for many Disney Pic of Week photos so I had to review them so as not to show you a duplicate. Came up with this High Dynamic Range (HDR) image of the Tower as seen from the queue of Rock 'n' Roller Coaster for my Disney Pic of Week on Tower of Terror.

April 25, 2010

Where in the World #129

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #128:
 Where in the World #128

And here's the answer:
Kali River Rapids
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200VR, 1/125s shutter, f/5.6, ISO 200

This looks a bit ominous. It can't be a good sign when a raft comes back empty from the Kali River Rapids in Disney's Animal Kingdom. I'm worried about what might have happened to the explorers who left on this raft. Do you think they got dumped out in the rapids?

Sharon Pierce was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Sharon and all the other readers who got the answer right: Alison Crutchfield, Alissa Ammons-coxsey, Amanda M., Amy Souden, An, Andy Renner, Angie Young, Annette Nuenke, April Ramey, Aruna, Ashley Deitchler, Ashley Ryan, Baines Family, Barbara Cerimele, Barbara Sims, Barbie Lawless, Becky Norman, Ben Dameron, Beth Cole, Betsey Whitehead, Brenda Strohmeyer, Brendan Abel, Brian Gallant, Brian Yesutis, Bridgette Gallagher, Bruce Jones, Bruce Lawson, Bryan Fencl, Cameron Love, Cara Richards, Cari-ann, Carinne, Carla C., Caroline Dupre, Casey Sullivan, Chambers Family, Charity Maas, Cheryl Buchanan, Cheyenne Padora, Chip Vermette, Chris And Alison, Christina Rotella, Christopher Barnes, Christopher Hall, Colin Buchanan, Collette Beuther, Daisy Karasek, Danielle And Matt Murgia, Dave Cole, Debbie Cody, Denise Cayz , Derek Carty, Diana F., Diane Ramos, Donna Brandt, Donna Currier, Doug & Edith Kahle, Duane Wisniewski, Ed Aleszczyk, Ed Suscreba, Emily Currier, Erika Loboda, Erin Loring, Erin Savoie, Evan & Avery Zanauskas, Greg Strohmeyer, Heath Hinch, Heather Barilla, Heidi Summers, Hilary, Hillary Waldroop, Isabelle Boivin, James Berry, James Greene, Jane Bradley, Jason Gilbert, Jay Reagan, Jen Bruno, Jen Cerce, Jennifer Harmon, Jennifer Toto, Jennifer Tremley, Jessica Marcotte, Jessica Reed, Jessica Ripley, Jill Smith, Jim Finley, Joe W., John Dupre, John Pasqueralli, Jon Herring, Jordan, Courtney And Maryann Eckenrode, Joshua Swainston, Joy Johnston, Julie Ellis, Julie Wickware, Karen Donald, Karen Schlumpf, Karrie, Karrie Duffey, Kate Fanning, Kate L, Katelyn P., Kathy Berry, Kelly Mager, Kelly Rogers, Ken Jackson, Ken Kleiner, Kerry Cormier, Kim Carroll, Kim Davis, Kirsty Butler, Kris Kline, Kristin Dormuth, Kristin Mazur, Laurie Mcminn, Laurie Walker, Lee Anastasi, Lilli Albucker, Linda Mac, Linda Scrivano, Lori Rienhardt, Maja Kodani, Marina Crober, Mary Jane Keeble, Mary Ruth Dickson, Mary Tackett, Matt Degrandis, Mckinley Yeaman, Melissa James, Michael O'brien, Michelle Thompson, Mike Venere, Millie Tenreiro, Nathan Ellis, Nick Straka, Nicole Alley, Nicole Costa, Noreen Rachuba, Patti Purdy, Patty Carty, Patty Newton, Paula Massarelli, Rebekah Anguish, Rich Kacprowicz, Rob Blundin, Robert Anderson , Robin Mcconnell, Ronni Hirschenberger, Sally Faracca, Sandi B, Sandra Shaw, Sarah Holodick, Scott, Scott Otis, Shannon Brueggemann, Sharon Lee, , Sonja Padora, Spencer, Stacy Cosshall, Stephanie Caskey, Stephanie Visco, Steve Pocopanni, Steve Toponak, Susan Davis, Susan Pitts, Susan Vaughan, Suzanne, Tammy Snyder, Terry Fleming, Tiffany Gibb, Tiffany W., Tim Rachuba, Tim Wingfield, Todd Ritter, Todd Tavender, Tom &Susan Linder, Tom Hermes, Tom Koval, Tommy M, Tracy Weber, Ulises Perez, Walter Fletcher, Wendy Crober and Wendy Snelgrove. Each of you were entered in the April winners' drawing.

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

Here's the note John shared when he sent in his answer this week: "I better know the answer to that, I was an Expedition Guide at Kali River Rapids for almost 2 years!! From there I went on to be a Safari Guide at Kilimanjaro Safaris, where I met my wonderful wife. Love at first safari!!" How sweet is that?! I was really pleased when the random generator picked his name as this month's winner.

_______________________________________________________________________

Challenge #129: Where, and what, in the world is this?

 Where in the World #129

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

April 27, 2010

Disney Pic of the Week - Kilimanjaro Safaris

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This week we're going to take a trip to Africa to visit the Harambe Wildlife Reserve. Our Pic of the Week has us heading out to Kilimanjaro Safaris in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Come on along as we cross the savannah with our cameras in tow.

Baby Giraffe
Copyright © 2008 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR, 1/320 sec, f/9, ISO 640

This young giraffe was munching on some vegetation along the roadside. I was lucky enough to be sitting in the back seat of our jeep as we passed by! This is a reticulated giraffe. Reticulated refers to the pattern on its body. Each giraffe has its own distinct pattern.

April 28, 2010

Flamingo Island

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Flamingo island on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Flamingo island on the Kilimanjaro Safari.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/125s, f/14, ISO 200, EV 0, 18mm focal length

Flamingo island on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom is one place on the trip I go with a wide angle focal length and small aperture to take in the picturesque view which even includes an African elephant. It's also how I decided to go for my Disney Pic of Week on Kilimanjaro Safari.

Hiya, Pal! Use Your Flash

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


I couldn't have said it better myself, Mickey.

It's a given that you should turn on your camera's flash for photos taken indoors. Did you know you should also do so for shaded outdoor areas? In fact, you can also use your flash outdoors, especially when the sun is harsh and causes dark shadows.

Prime examples of shaded outdoor space are the Character Greeting Trails at Camp Minnie-Mickey at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Here you wait in lines to meet Goofy, Donald, Chip 'n Dale, Minnie, Daisy, and of course, Mickey Mouse. Everyone stands under a thatched roof without walls. Since it's bright out, your camera may not realize it actually needs to set off the flash. Your job is to force the flash to illuminate the characters. Check your manual for step-by-step instructions. Don't worry it's usually just the press of a button or two.

Here's Mickey sans flash. He's yellow, a little out of focus, and kinda sickly looking. Mickey says, "What's up with that?"

lkb-shade-flashoff-Mickey.jpg

Mickey's back and brighter with the help of the flash. His tone is good, he's sharp, and ready to meet his fans. Mickey says, "Thanks, pal. Have a magical day."

lkb-shade-flashon-Mickey.jpg

Pocahontas poses to show you the difference between not using a flash in broad daylight and using one.

Where is she? Maybe she's hiding in the forest with her friends.

lkb-pocahontas-noflash.jpg

Oh, there she is! The flash found her and brightened up those dark shadows.

lkb-pocahontas-withflash.jpg

Alright troop, get out there and flash!

April 30, 2010

Japan Lantern

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Disney is known for it's attention to detail. After watching Illuminations on my last trip, I stayed to photograph around some of the pavilions of World Showcase. In Japan, this lighted paper lantern hanging from a tree in front of the Mitsukoshi Department Store caught my eye as a strong icon of the pavilion.

A lighted paper lantern hanging from a tree in front of the Mitsukoshi Department Store in Epcot's Japan pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A lighted paper lantern hanging from a tree in front of the Mitsukoshi Department Store.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 6s, f/11, ISO 200, EV 0, 18mm focal length, tripod

This lantern is the kind of detail travel photographers look for and Disney has supplied many of these kind of queues throughout the countries in Epcot's World Showcase. Look for them the next time you are visiting.


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About April 2010

This page contains all entries posted to Picture This! in April 2010. They are listed from oldest to newest.

March 2010 is the previous archive.

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