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February 2011 Archives

February 1, 2011

Disney Pic of the Week: Downtown Disney Restaurants

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

With a host of counter and full service restaurants, Downtown Disney features unique dining from the heavily themed Rainforest Cafe and T-Rex to Wolfgang Puck Cafe and Raglan Road. Prices range from value to very expensive. All of the full service restaurants accept Advanced Reservations and it is highly recommended you do so.

May I suggest if you are looking for seafood or a good steak to go to Fulton's Crab House like these people are doing.

People walking over the gangplank to Fulton's Crab House restaurant in Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
People walking over the gangplank to Fulton's Crab House restaurant in Downtown Disney.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/50s, f/16, ISO 6400, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length

Lisa and Barrie will be here on Thursday and Saturday with their Disney Pic of Week on Downtown Disney Restaurants.

February 3, 2011

House of Blues Slows Down

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


There are a good many Downtown Disney restaunts in Disneyland and Walt Disney World. I have yet to try them all, as sad as that sounds. On my last visit to Florida, my friend and I gave House of Blues a shot. The chain features concerts by well-known musicians and the almighty gift shop. Unfortunately, the food and service were both disappointments. Much of their menu is premarinated and/or premade and shipped by outside vendors, thus meeting my food allergies and dietary restrictions was rather difficult. Hopefully other people will have better experiences.


lkb-DTDRestaurant-HoBinside.jpg
Canon PowerShot SX100 IS, manually set to ISO 80, f2.8, 1 sec. The camera sat still on the table.

Thus concludes my long exposure entry for Disney Pic of the Week - Downtown Disney Restaurants.

Indulge yourself in my Facebook page and get updates on my little corner of the internet.

February 4, 2011

A Day at Castaway Cay

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Castaway Cay from the deck of the Disney Dream cruise ship.
Castaway Cay from the deck of the Disney Dream cruise ship.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/160s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length

The Disney Dream Christening Cruise was for only two nights and included a day at Disney's Bahamas island, Castaway Cay. As this was more of a vacation for me and my wife, we spent most of the day at Serenity Bay adults-only beach. Upon disembarking from deck 2 of the Disney Dream, we made our way over to the Tram Stop to wait for the shuttle to Castaway Beach before catching a second tram to Serenity Bay. The Tram Stop sign says the next tram will be there in 6 minutes...Bahamian time.

Serenity Bay adults only beach on Castaway Cay.
Serenity Bay adults only beach on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/18, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm Focal Length

Serenity Bay is quiet, relaxing and the epitome of a Caribbean beach. The water was travel brochure blue and the beach invitingly filled with colorful umbrellas, chairs, lounges and hammocks for the Disney Dream adult passengers. Serenity Bay is served by the Castaway Air bar for adult beverages including the island's signature Konk Kooler rum drink and the Serenity Bay BBQ which is a smaller version of the BBQ served at Cookies near the Castaway Beach for families.

A starfish off the beach at Serenity Bay on Castaway Cay.
A starfish off the beach at Serenity Bay on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/14, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 56mm Focal Length

The water was a little chilly so not many went swimming preferring to enjoy the warm Sun with many talking about the cold and snow they left back home. The few who waded into the ocean found this beautiful and large starfish just off shore.

Lying on a hammock at Serenity Bay on Castaway Cay.
Lying on a hammock at Serenity Bay on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/100s, f/16, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 35mm focal length

I look peaceful laying there on the hammock, don't I? Well, after finishing my Konk Kooler rum drink, I found myself spinning out of control. The remnants of my drink went flying through the air and I landed with a thud on the soft sand underneath. Once everyone around me knew I was not hurt, as I had ended up on my backside which is well padded, they all erupted in a fit of laughter. I joined in hoping to keep a little of my dignity. Next time I will sit in one of those beach chairs.

The Castaway Cay Tram gets you around the island quickly and comfortably.
The Castaway Cay Tram gets you around the island quickly and comfortably.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/400s, f/10, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm Focal Length

After my adventure with the spinning hammocks of Serenity Bay, we checked out the family beaches via the tram.

The Pelican Plunge water slide at the Castaway Family Beach on Castaway Cay.
The Pelican Plunge water slide at the Castaway Family Beach.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length

Disney has recently added some new improvements to Castaway Cay including the Pelican Plunge water slide, a 2,400-square-foot floating platform, located within swimming distance of shore.

A tray full of food from Cookies BBQ on Castaway Cay.
A tray full of food from Cookies BBQ on Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length

All this relaxing really brings on an appetite. Cookies and Cookies Too host an All-You-Can-Eat lunch buffet serving barbecue ribs, island spiced rotisserie chicken, burgers, grilled fish, corn on the cob, fresh salads and fruits, flat breads, ice cream, complimentary soda and more. A Caribbean steel band entertains during the entire BBQ.

The Disney Dream docked at Castaway Cay.
The Disney Dream docked at Castaway Cay.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/100s, f/16, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 70mm Focal Length

All to soon it was time to return to the Disney Dream docked nearby. Amazingly to me, they back in the huge vessel for an easy return to the sea later in the day.

February 5, 2011

Night Lights of Fulton's Crab House

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Fulton's Crab House at Night
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR, 4/10s shutter, f4, ISO 200

I chose Fulton's Crab House for my Pic of the Week also, but unlike Scott's picture, mine was taken at night. It just goes to show, day or night, Fulton's makes a great subject. You can't go wrong either way.

February 6, 2011

Where in the World #163

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #162:
 Where in the World #162

And here's the answer:
Hidden Mickey at Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa
Copyright © 2006 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50, 18-200mm VR, 1/125s shutter, f/4.8, ISO 400

At Disney's Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa you'll find this clever Hidden Mickey tucked away on the side of one of the buildings. It's in the Springs section (Villas 4101 - 4436), across from the check-in parking lot.

Chris Masse was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Chris and all the other readers who got the answer right: Susan Kuster, Bridgette Gallagher, Lee Anastasi, Sharon Dale, Double Family, Julie Wickware, Kelly Mager, Jennifer Toto, Paul Knott, Michael Malampy, Ken Jackson, Lorne Harris, Paul Moody, Avery Zanauskas, Matthew Herman, Daniel Record, Michael Flaherty, Colin Buchanan, Cheryl Buchanan, Carolyn Como, Kirk Hardy, Brian Haas, Rob Blundin, Patti Deluca, Evanna Huda, Mae Cavalcanto, Paul Dickson, and Theresa Maradei! Each of you will be entered in this month's winners' drawing.

_______________________________________________________________________

Challenge #163: Where in the world is this?

 Where in the World #163

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, February 10, 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!

February 7, 2011

April Disney World Calendar

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

April seems like a good month to spend with a few cheetahs. These beauties can usually be seen lounging around on the Harambe Reserve. Hop on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom to catch a glimpse of these magnificent cats.


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. When printing CD Jewel Case size, make sure "Page Scaling" in your print dialogue box is set to "None" to ensure that the calendar prints out at the correct size.


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

April 2011 8.5x11 Calendar


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

April 2011 Jewel Case Calendar

And finally, this desktop wallpaper is for your monitor screen.

4-11_wallpaper_sm.jpg
1024 x 768
1280 x 800
1280 x 1024
1440 x 900
1600 x 1200

February 8, 2011

Disney Pic of the Week - Music

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


Nearly every place you walk in a Disney park has music playing. The resorts also fill the air with happy notes. My personal favorite place to hear music is World Showcase and if the powers that be are reading this, please put together a CD with music from each country.

Musicals abound, rock musicians take center stage, marching bands welcome Guests in the morning hours, and drumming sanitation engineers pound out beats. You never know when you might come across an impromptu show or serenade because music is healing.

Scott and Barrie will share their high notes on Thursday and Saturday as they continue Disney Pic of the Week - Music.

My picture comes to you from Festival of the Lion King in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Hunk, ehhh, Nakawa wants you to sing along. Ready? 1, 2, 3. In the jungle, the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tnight. Wee-ooh wim-o-weh.

lkb-Music.jpg


Sing along to the tune in your head while checking out my Facebook page.


February 9, 2011

Enter to Win a Minnie Contest

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

WE HAVE A WINNER, LUCKY NUMBER 31, EDWARD HAJA.

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO PARTICIPATED. KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR MORE CONTESTS THIS YEAR.

It's game time. Put on your thinking caps and answer this perplexing question to win a surprise prize from me.
Why did Minnie Mouse cross the road?

Post your response by filling out the Post a Comment boxes below with your first and last names, e-mail address, and answer. Enter "blog" where it tells you to. One entry per person. Entries filled out incorrectly will be void. This contest is open to everyone 13 years of age and older, in every country. Entry deadline is 11:59pm EST, Tuesday, February 15, 2011. One winner will be chosen at random via a random number generator and contacted by e-mail.

Good luck!


lkb-MinniePilot.jpg


Keep up with my additional writing and photgraphy adventures via my Facebook page.

February 10, 2011

African Muziki Stand at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Muziki Stand in Disney's Animal Kingdom
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR, 1/125s shutter, f5.6, ISO 320

It's not very often that I see this stand with no one beating away on the drums. It's a great place for anyone to join in on an impromptu music session, often led by one of the performers from Tam Tams of Congo. Do your kids need a place to expend some energy? Go no further than this African musical spot in Disney's Animal Kingdom and let 'em have at it.

February 11, 2011

Main Street USA Street Photography Meet

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I hosted the Main Street USA Street Photography Meet in the Magic Kingdom for AllEars.net back on January 22, 2011. The purpose of the meet was to get to know some AllEars.net readers, enjoy photographing the entertainment presented on Main Street USA and to introduce the concept of using flash to make better photographs in the middle of the day.

I convened the meet around 11:30am on a cool but typical bright sunny Florida day. After introducing myself and passing out some of the great AllEars.net gifts (aka swag) to everyone who came (see group photo below), I gave a run down of all the wonderful entertainment photo opportunities and about using balanced fill flash to cut down on the harsh shadows present. See Tip #2 from Lisa's Photography Tips.

Then I asked my friend and Disney photographer extraordinaire, Bob Desmond, if he would take the group photo. This was our first lesson of the day. Instead of taking the photo in the very un-photogenic area the group was standing in, Bob took us over to Main Street and posed us in front of Cinderella Castle. He kneeled down to minimize the number of guests which would be in the photo. Thank you again, Bob!

AllEars.net Main Street USA Street Photography.
AllEars.net Main Street USA Street Photography Meet.

Back row from left: Deb Koma of AllEars.net, Gillian Kilment (Dave's wife), an AllEars fan, Anne Heriot (Matt's Mum), Katie (Matt's sister), Scott Thomas, Matt. Front row from left: Dave Kilment, Scott Smith and Deb Wills from AllEars.net.

It was great to see Deb Koma and Deb Wills of AllEars.net join us for the beginning of the meet. It was a busy day for them and I very much appreciate them taking the time to stop by and meet everyone. I would like to point out Anne Heriot, an avid reader of AllEars.net, whose family was visiting from Australia. Her son, Matt, joined us all day with his new digital SLR camera and got some pointers from all of us veteran Disney fan photographers.

Then it was time to start the photography. One of the shows I have never seen and wanted to photograph was the Main Street Trolley Parade. This show is presented only a few times a week. It is a lively show with brightly colored costumes and fun songs fitting the time of Main Street USA. The Trolley Song is the highlight of the show (seen below). If you see the horse drawn Trolley coming down Main Street USA, stop for a bit and enjoy the show.

Main Street Trolley Parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Clang, clang, clang goes the Trolley!
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/11, ISO 200, EV 0, 250mm Focal Length, Balanced Fill Flash at -1 Power

Later on we meet and talked with this lovely women fighting for the right for women to vote. She told us once women could vote, she would be the first Lady Mayor of Main Street USA. We would encounter a few of the other Main Street performers throughout the day. By using fill flash, I was able to show the suffragette's eyes and smile which were in heavy shadow from her hat and parasol. Setting my flash to -1 power kept her from being washed out from too much flash and giving her a nice glow.

A suffragette on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
A suffragette on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/11, ISO 200, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length, Balanced Fill Flash at -1 Power

During the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade, I photographed Cinderella waving and nodding to all the guests lined up along Main Street USA to see her and all the other Disney characters going by. I used my flash at full power here as I had to use my zoom lens' full 300mm reach to photograph her.

Princess Cinderella nods to guests during the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Princess Cinderella nods to guests during the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/11, ISO 200, EV 0, 300mm focal length, Balanced Fill Flash at Full Power

We finished the meet by taking in a concert by the Dapper Dans in their solid colored suits. After which, Bob again photographed the group of photographers. I think we look great even if we are a bit dull looking compared to the Dans!

A note here, Dapper Dans are now miked when they do these performances. It is much easier to hear and enjoy their singing and corny jokes! They told us this was new as of a few weeks ago.

The Dapper Dans pose with the AllEar.net gang on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
The Dapper Dans pose with the AllEar.net gang on Main Street USA.

Back row: The Dapper Dans. Front row from left: Scott Thomas, Matt, Scott Smith, Dave and Gillian Kilment.

In closing, I had a great time. Judging from the feedback I have received, I would like to host another photography meet this December (hopefully with Barrie and/or Lisa) when AllEars.net celebrates its 15th Anniversary at Walt Disney World.


February 12, 2011

Music of the Main Street Philharmonic

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Main Street Philharmonic Band drummer in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Main Street Philharmonic Band drummer in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/50s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 135mm focal length.

On my last visit to the Magic Kingdom, I enjoyed a concert by the Main Street Philharmonic Band featuring music from Disney movies. The musicians were very outgoing as you can tell by the drummer I highlighted in the photo above and makes for my Disney Pic of the Week about Music.

February 13, 2011

Where in the World #164

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

erincamera.jpg

Before we get into this week's contest, I'd like to take a minute to introduce you to Erin Blackwell. Erin is my friend and a member of the AllEars® Team. She handles the Fort Wilderness section of the site as well as other areas, but her biggest job (so far) is the Menu section. As if that isn't enough, Erin is adding yet another job to her AllEars® profile. She is going to be your new host for the Where in the World photo contest!

I've been running the contest for about 2 ½ years and it's been a blast! It's time to let someone else have some fun though. I'll still be posting Monthly Disney Calendars, Pics of the week, and occasional photo tips. But it's Erin who will be challenging you every Sunday with a new Where in the World photo. In fact, Challenge #163 came from Erin. So, without further ado, may I present your new contest host, Erin Blackwell!

Woohoo! Streamers and confetti and wild applause ensue!


Where in the World by Erin Blackwell


This was Challenge #163:
 Where in the World #163

And here's the answer:
Electric 694 Gift Cart at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Copyright © 2010 Erin Blackwell, Canon PhotoShot SD890 IS, 6.6mm VR, f/9.0 , ISO 3200 (ISO 3200 SCN Mode)

You will find the answer at Disney's Hollywood Studios on Sunset Boulevard. It's a gift cart that looks a trolley and is marked with Pacific Electric, car number 694. The 694 represents the month and year that the Studios opened!

Larissa Huda was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Larissa and all the other readers who got the answer right: Julie Wickware, Bill Mckim, Evanna Huda, Betsy Silvestri, Sharon Pierce, James Berry, Kathy Berry, Kevin, Irene Kleintop, Paul Dickson, Tim Rachuba, Patti Deluca, Sharon Dale, and Kristin Dormuth! Additional kudos goes out to Irene Kleintop and Patti Deluca for knowing what the 694 represented! Each of winner will be entered in this month's winners' drawing.

_______________________________________________________________________

Challenge #164: Where in the world is this?

 Where in the World #164

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, February 17, 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!

February 15, 2011

Disney Pic of the Week - Universe of Energy

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Universe of Energy
Copyright © 2010 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR, 1/500s shutter, f11, ISO 200

The Universe of Energy is one of Epcot's opening day attractions and our choice for Pic of the Week. Today it houses Ellen's Energy Adventure, whose ride vehicles are partially powered by the solar panels that sit on the roof of the building. Be sure to check out Jack Spence's great in-depth blog about this pavilion and then come back here on Thursday for Scott's interpretations. Lisa is playing hooky this week.

February 16, 2011

Morocco in Mirrors

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


Exploring new worlds from behind the lens is intriguing, captivating, and exotic. While many of us haven't traveled the globe far and wide, we have and can get a glimpse of some foreign lands at Epcot. When walking around these detailed pavilions we see so much that it sometimes escapes us. I love going back over and over again and trying to find fresh alternative perspectives.

One thing I tried last year was to attempt something new in as many World Showcase pavilions as possible. In Morocco I found myself catching notice of intricate mirrors as well as what was in them.

In the Fez House, glass and metal lanterns hang overhead. With some tippy toe work, I was able to photograph them in a different manner. I just wish I had some glass cleaner with me for the mirror.

lkb-MoroccoMirrors-lights.jpg

Moving over to the open air marketplace, a long wardrobe-like mirror rested against the wall behind an array of goods for sale. Patiently, I waited for someone to fill the void.

lkb-MoroccoMirrors-Store.jpg

The perfect Cast Member, a Moroccan native gives me the image I wanted.

I used my Canon PowerShot SX100 IS for these photos and made sure to focus on who and what was in the mirror as well as the frame itself. Be sure your f-stop (aperture) is set to at least 8, a higher number like 11 or 16 would be even better. With plenty of natural light and a decent ISO of 200 or 400, you can pull off quick shots.


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February 17, 2011

Dinosaurs of the Universe of Energy

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Audio-animatronic brontosaurus dinosaurs inside the Universe of Energy in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Audio-animatronic brontosaurus dinosaurs inside the Universe of Energy.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/3.5, ISO 1000, EV -0.3, 18mm focal length.

I have only had two rides at Walt Disney World get stopped while I was on them in all my trips. The Universe of Energy in Epcot's Future World was one of them and the only one I was asked to leave the ride vehicle to be escorted out of the ride. This gave me an opportunity to photograph the large audio-animatronic brontosaurus dinosaurs without worrying about being in a moving ride vehicle (you can see the ride's track in the lower right of the photo). The diorama makes for a unique Disney Pic of the Week about the Universe of Energy.

February 18, 2011

Walt Disney Theatre on the Disney Dream

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Walt Disney Theatre on the Disney Dream cruise ship.
The Walt Disney Theatre entrance foyer.
Nikon D70/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/3.5, ISO 450, EV -0.3, 28mm focal length

The Walt Disney Theatre accommodates 1,340 guests and is located at the forward end of Deck 3 with balcony seating accessible from Deck 4 on the Disney Dream, the newest ship in the Disney Cruise Line fleet. The art deco design brings back memories of the theaters built back in the early 20th century. Making it all the more impressive being located on a cruise ship.

Inside the Walt Disney Theatre on the Disney Dream cruise ship.
Inside the Walt Disney Theatre with seating for 1,340 guests.
Nikon D70/28-300VR, 1/50s, f/3.5, ISO 6400, EV 0, 28mm focal length

Once I entered the theater, I forgot I was on a cruise ship. The red velvet seats are very comfortable to sit in. It is hard for people to get past you to get to their seats but it is only a minor inconvenience. Quickly forgotten once the performance starts.

During the Christening Cruise of the Disney Dream, there was only two shows presented. The first was The Golden Mickeys, a delightful show where a bashful stage manager is unwilling thrust into the spotlight of the awards show called, what else, The Golden Mickeys. She gets help by none other than Disney's CEO Robert Iger making a guest appearance via a video.

Disney CEO Robert Iger makes a video appearance at the start of the Golden Mickeys show in the Walt Disney Theatre.
Disney CEO Robert Iger makes a video appearance at the start of the Golden Mickeys show.
Nikon D70/28-300VR, 1/80s, f/3.5, ISO 4500, EV -1.7, 28mm focal length

As the show progressed, the stage manager becomes confident enough to take on the role of the show's Master of Ceremonies. She even sings a lovely tribute to Walt Disney. Though the show does not reference him directly. A montage of photos of Walt's life appear behind her during the song.

Bashful Stage Manager turned Master of Ceremonies sings a tribute to Walt Disney during the Golden Mickeys show in the Walt Disney Theatre.
Bashful Stage Manager turned Master of Ceremonies sings a tribute to Walt Disney during the Golden Mickeys show.
Nikon D70/28-300VR, 1/80s, f/3.5, ISO 4500, EV -1.7, 28mm focal length

The second show is called Believe. Any parent, especially fathers of daughters (like myself), will be enthralled by this show. As the daughter wishes for her very scientific father to believe in magic. That wish takes her father on a journey through some of Disney's most adored animated features, live on stage.

Sophia sings to her Dad, Dr. Greenaway, in the musical Believe in the Walt Disney Theatre.
Sophia sings to her Dad, Dr. Greenaway, in the musical "Believe".
Nikon D70/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 1600, EV -1.3, 300mm focal length

When one wants to begin believing in magic, who do you call? The Genie of the lamp or, in this case, a metal watering can made from a recycled magic lamp. Genie is Mr. Greenaway's guide and one heck of a scene stealer, too.

The scene stealing Genie during the musical Believe in the Walt Disney Theatre.
The scene stealing Genie during the musical Believe.
Nikon D70/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 5600, EV -1.3, 250mm focal length

Both shows are produced at the level of a Broadway musical. The performers, special effects, sound and dance routines are top notch and all done while the Disney Dream is doing over 20 knots as it cruises to its next port of call.

Photography is allowed for the performances in the Walt Disney Theatre WITHOUT the use of flash. As in photographing any Disney show on land or on sea, you have to remember to use spot metering directly on the lighted performers and adjust your camera's exposure compensation until you get the exposure dialed in. Use a shutter speed of, at least, 1/60th of a second or better and wait for a pause in a performance's scene.

February 20, 2011

Where in the World #165

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

Wow... my first week here at the Where in the World contest! Thank you to my friend, Barrie, who entrusted me with this. Thank you to Scott for welcoming to the photo blog, and to Lisa who welcomed me to the cool kids and then asked if I paid my membership fee to get in. And, of course, to Deb Wills who says the team loves me despite everything. :)

Now, this week's contest!

This was Challenge #164:
 Where in the World #164

And here's the answer:
Dreamfinder's vehicle in MouseGears in Epcot
Copyright © 2010 Erin Blackwell, Canon PhotoShot SD890 IS, 7mm VR, 1/60s shutter, f/3.2 , ISO 320 (Interior SCN Mode)

You will find the answer at Epcot in MouseGears (one of my favorite spots; my husband says I consider MouseGears and the Emporium as attractions). It's the original Dreamfinder's vehicle from the first incarnation of Journey into Imagination.

Bob Patterson was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Bob and all the other readers who got the answer right: JDale Knight, Scott Otis, Mckinley Yeaman, Daniel Record, Carla C., Sarah Holodick, Tim Rachuba, and Noreen Rachuba! Each of the winners will be entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_______________________________________________________________________

Challenge #165: Where in the world is this?

 Where in the World #165

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, February 24, 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!

February 21, 2011

Review of Disney on Ice presents Disney-Pixar's Toy Story 3

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


Grab yer loved ones and trot on down to see Jessie, Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Bullseye, and partners when Disney on Ice skates into your town. Before ya head off into the sunset lookin' for seats, take a gander at this here recap of the show with lots of photographs. That way you can see what you're gonna see. Is that...yep, that's as right as a piggy bank with rear legs doing all the work.

lkb-DisneyIce-Hamm.jpg

Following story lines from the Toy Story movie trilogy and expanding upon select moments, Feld Entertainment produces a top-notch show that's fun for all ages. Costuming mimics what played on the movie screen as does the music with some popular hits added in for overall enjoyment. As if the ice skating isn't enough action, Woody flies off on a paper airplane, Buzz rockets down, and Green Army Men parachute onto the custom made traveling ice rink.

The show opens with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, and Donald Duck as they welcome you and set up the story of Andy heading off to college. During the first act we see Andy going through his toys and setting Woody aside while the rest are meant to be stored in the attic. Green Army Men fall into rank after receiving orders to protect Andy. Evil Emperor Zurg goes on the attack. Neon green illuminates from a group of Squeeze Toy Aliens. Jessie skates solo to When She Loved Me, a song originally in Toy Story 2 about Emily who stopped playing with her toys. A Hoedown Throwdown gets everyone dancing, skating, singing, and rockin'.

lkb-DisneyIce-ZurgblastsBuzz.jpg
Rex can't operate the video game controller thus allowing Zurg to blast Buzz.

lkb-DisneyIce-Aliens.jpg
Toy Story Midway Mania! Who has a giant ring to toss?

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Feeling melancholy about being moved into the attic, Jessie remembers the good old days.

After a 20 minute intermission Barbie and her friends exercise, hula hoop, and dance to We Got the Beat and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun in gloriously bright 80's colors. The toys arrive at Sunnyside Daycare. Ken and Barbie fall madly in love with each other and have their first of 2 show-stealing segments. Buzz is reset by Ken who takes orders from not-so-loveable Lotso and is later inadvertently switched to Spanish mode. A newly enamorous Buzz Lightyear couple skates with Jessie. Woody comes to the rescue and an all-star cast moves and shakes in the finale.

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Skipper had better not be watching.

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It's your old pal, Mickey Mouse, making a surprise appearance.

There may be a few falls throughout the course of the 2 hour show but the skaters bounce right back never missing more than a few beats. Characters do not meet and greet with guests. Typically, a sweatshirt or light jacket and thermals under jeans are enough to stay warm in the arena. That is ice they're skating on, afterall.

Bring cash or credit as merchandise wants to go home with you and snacks come with toys. Lemonade in a clear Disney on Ice cup sells for $10.00, snowcones in an Alien or Jessie cup are also $10.00, and a bag of cotton handy with a Styrofoam-like Buzz hat is $12.00.

The cast is currently performing at TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts thru February 27, 2011. From here they move North to Montreal, Quebec followed by Auburn Hills, Michigan. For a complete touring schedule visit Disney on Ice. Discount codes and information is provided by Mousesavers.

Media ticket provided by Feld Entertainment/TD Garden.

Keep up with my freelance writing and photography via my Facebook page.

Review of Mary Poppins Touring Production

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Picture yourself looking into a pop-up book with a house that opens out and a rooftop that unfolds. Inside, precarious children wish for someone to raise them with all their parents' missing ingredients. Befuddled adults loosely keep order until Mary Poppins arrives. At 17 Cherry Tree Lane the most peculiar goings-on are never explained.

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Taken from Disney's classic 1964 movie and P.L. Travers' books from the 1930's, this remixed version of Mary Poppins is currently performing through March 20, 2011 at the Boston Opera House in Massachusetts. The national touring company will next move on to Philadelphia, PA followed by a stop in Columbus, OH. The cast features Steffanie Leigh (first touring production) as Mary Poppins and Nicolas Dromard as Bert reprising his Broadway role. The ensemble of 38 International triple threats puts on a 2 ½ hour performance that has people toe-tapping and finger-snapping in their seats.

Familiar songs from the movie, "Feed the Birds," and "A Spoonful of Sugar" stay true to their original score while "Jolly Holiday" along with others are adapted to the new musical. Taking cue from the book series, "Supercalifragillisticexpialidocious" takes place in Mrs. Corry's conversation shop. A major song and dance number by roughly half the cast in rich Agfachrome-like colors, the steps are modern and sharp, a bit out of place for the Disney rendition of the title character. Yet, the tap dance version of "Step in Time" exceeds the film version and fits Bert perfectly. The show-stopping to-do is in and of itself worth the price of admission.

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Seven new tunes written by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe fit right in with the original numbers by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman. "Playing the Game" performed by Mary Poppins is a grand example of how she is a turn away from the movie version most have etched in their minds. Toys come to life annoyed and hurt by Jane and Michael Banks. Poppins feels the toys' pain and plans on teaching the children a lesson.

Amazing, tremendous notes come from Q. Smith as Miss Andrew, the much loathed former nanny of Mr. Banks in "Brimstone and Treacle." Her sing-off with Steffanie Leigh's Mary Poppins is cruelly fun and rest assure, Leigh can hold her own.

For those who would like to see Mary Poppins on the Broadway stage, AllEars.Net is celebrating its 15th anniversary on June 18, 2011 with discounted orchestra seats. Tickets are limited.

Merchandise available at both touring shows and in New York include T-shirts, dolls, pins, mugs, umbrellas, ornaments, and the soundtrack.

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Mary Poppins cast photos ©Disney/CML. Photos by Joan Marcus.

Media tickets provided by Broadway Across America-Boston.

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February 22, 2011

Disney Pic of the Week: Trashcans

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Trashcans at Walt Disney World. They are everywhere. It is hard to take a photo at any of the parks and not have a trashcan or two in the shot. I use them a lot to lean against or to set a camera on and affectionately call them Quadpods.

This Pic of the Week called for a photo of a trashcan so I was looking at trashcans differently my last few trips. I found the shadows from the iron fencing along the Haunted Mansion queue made an interesting pattern on top of one of the trashcans.

Shadows on a trashcan in the Haunted Mansion queue in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Shadows on a trashcan in the Haunted Mansion queue in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/11, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 52mm focal length

Lisa and Barrie will be here on Thursday and Saturday with their Disney Pic of Week on Trashcans.

February 24, 2011

Keep Main Street, U.S.A. Clean

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


In keeping with the theme of every land and section of a Disney park, trashcans are painted and decorated accordingly. They're so conveniently located that there's no reason for trash to carelessly end up elsewhere.

In the Magic Kingdom, a well-used trashcan sits on the sidewalk happily helping to keep things neat and pretty.

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Disney Pic of the Week - Trashcans


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February 25, 2011

Photographing The Magic, The Memories and You!

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Castle projections in the new The Magic, The Memories and You show in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Castle projections in the new The Magic, The Memories and You! show in the Magic Kingdom.

Last month I was invited to the VIP party at the Magic Kingdom which presented for the first time the new The Magic, The Memories and You! show. I traveled without my tripod so I was unprepared to photograph this spectacular show which features colorful projections which cover Cinderella Castle. The projections have animation, still photos and full video. Not the ideal subject for still photography.

The photos above were taken hand-held at 1/5 to 1/15th of a second with the lens wide open at f/3.5 and ISOs ranging from 4500 to 6400. I had to use Noise Ninja to clean up the images. Of the nearly 100 photos I took of the show, I got only a dozen workable images. Those images are pretty good so I am not complaining.

My friend, Bob Desmond, went out last week to photograph The Magic, The Memories and You! and passed these tips on to me for all of you:

The challenge to shooting The Magic, The Memories and You! show is to have fast lenses, short (fast) shutter speeds and an ISO that isn't too high, for quality. I am for keeping the ISO at 800 for this, but you will need f/2.8 lenses to do a really good job on it. Shutter speed will vary depending on what part of the show between 1/8s-1/30s at f/2.8 and ISO 800. I (Bob) shot it all from a tripod with a cable release. I shot it in RAW to give me more options in post production. If you have a full-frame DSLR, then you can comfortably go higher with your ISO (1600-3200) and gain a faster shutter speed. It's all about the right exposure and using the fastest shutter speed you can technically use. The images on this show are very quick changing, thus the fast shutter speed. I tend to shy away from anything above ISO 800, UNLESS I must do it, and if I must, I will. I will go to 1600 in a heart beat and 3200, if I REALLY must.

Thanks, Bob!

The fast lenses Bob recommends are expensive except for one, the Nifty-Fifty is very affordable and, at f/1.8, you can step down the aperture to f/2.8 for added sharpness.

February 26, 2011

Cleverly Disguised Trash Can at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Animal Kingdom Lodge Trash Can
Copyright © 2010 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR, 1/5s shutter, f5.6, ISO 800

I had to do a double-take when I saw this trash can at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. As I walked past, I saw the bellhop put his clipboard on what I thought was a footlocker. I thought to myself, "Wow, someone actually travelled with a footlocker. You don't see that anymore." At first, it didn't seem that odd to me because I always used a footlocker to go to camp when I was a kid. Then it clicked in that I was at Disney. I actually stopped and turned around to take another look and then I realized it was really a trash can. Now, that's good theming... and a perfect shot for Pic of the Week!


February 27, 2011

Where in the World #166

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

Before I give this week's answer, I want to thank Diane Ramos and the Hoekzema Family for welcoming me to contest. Thank you!

Now, this week's contest!

This was Challenge #165:

 Where in the World #165

And here's the answer:

The Clock in the it's a small world queue
Copyright © 2009 Erin Blackwell, Canon PhotoShot SD890 IS, 10mm VR, 3.4 aperture, 1/80s shutter, f/3.2 , ISO 800 (Auto Mode)

It's the clock in the queue for "it's a small world" in the Magic Kingdom. A lot of people recognized this one, and why? Because:
its a small world after all
its a small world after all
its a small world after all
its a small, small world!

Try getting that out of your head now! :)

Ansley was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! But we had a lot of other winners, so sit back! Congratulations to Ansley and all the other readers who got the answer right: Pollyanna Buff, Dillon, Paul Dickson, Kyle, Katherine Gast, Mary Beth Tarbet, Betsy Silvestri, Emma Poprock, Mia W., Katie Wolfe, Laurie Walker, Mike Haeberle, Jamie K, Becky Hecker, Annette Nuenke, Erica Courville, Mary Tackett, Jane Bradley, Mike Malampy, Hannah Couture, Carolyn Como, Sharon Pierce, Gina Dorkins, Lindsay Coram, Maureen Handy, Scott Otis, Mckinley Yeaman, The Kahle Family, Ronni Selzer, Kirk Hardy, Michelle Thompson, Samuel Shotick, Sherry Klinefelter, Larissa Huda, Cheryl Buchanan, Jen P., Chris Masse, Bill Mckim, Diane Furtado, Elaine Johnson, Evanna Huda, Danielle Ford, Julie Wickware, Nicole Amidon, Josh Weiss, Stephanie Canales, Katie Bray, Chris And Alison, Clyde Parson, Bruce Jones, Sharon Dale, Christopher Barnes, Andrea Kruszewski, Jodi Cook, Diane Ramos, Jennifer Chartier, Mary Connolly, Joshua Swainston, Jennifer Horst, John Leach, Katerina Purdy, Jennifer Harmon, The Perras Family, Craig, Suzanne, Krystal Pound, Leigh Mertz, Diane Curfman, Scott Steill, Madi M., Russ Morgan, Tracey Mayfield, Ed Hogan, Mike Mecchi, Tina Santacroce, Liana Imbrogno, Alison Toronto, Herb Miller, Doug Reichl, Christine Twomey, Jennifer Townsend, Kim Meyer, Amanda Perkins, Walter Fletcher, Cody, Anna Mae Trievel, Beth Mcmeekin, Kathy Lowe, Ken Jackson, Cheryl Costello, Mckenzie Donald, Dawn Bach, Elaine Tomko-deluca, Wayne Alexandre, Walter N. Clark, Millie Tenreiro, Anastasia Macneil, Double Family, Sharon Lee, Jennifer Hicks, Jonathan Thomas, Aesha Richardson, Laurie Nicholson, Mike Korey, Erin Loring, Jeanette, Susan, Christy Walker, Barbie Lawless, Kye Layton, Nicole Ruzinski, Chris Kelly, Vicki Yarnell, Amanda Campbell, Hailey Gill, Judy Koslowski, Tom Koval, Karen Ramirez, Richard Memmory, Paul Knott, Phil Vickers, Cara Richards, Carrie Henderson, Paul Cooper, Jennifer Toto, Diana Fitzgerald, Kathy Love, Karen Hotchkiss, Cameron Lange, James Greene, Kelly Kobiela, Matt Holley, Ed Suscreba, Christopher Hall, Deb Ragno, Hillary Waldroop, Ruth Woodhouse, Caroline Dupre, Paul Ignudo Jr, Caroline Dupre, Wendy Falerc, Vicki Edwards, Elizabeth Scarborough, Tiffany W., Paula Massarelli, Jeremy Reichelt, Steve Toponak, Rachel Powers, Jaime Thomson, Jennifer Tremley, Gail Hirsch, Shelly Borella, Becky Terjung, Robin Fitts, Sarah Holodick, Nathalie Periard, April Pangburn, Bryan Timko, Wayne Witherspoon, Kevin, Donna Currier, Quincy Delcolletti, Karrie Duffey, Colin Buchanan, Wendy Snelgrove, Erin Hammer, Derek Carty, Tom Carty, Teresa Cole, Kameo Crea, Brian Yesutis, Kate Fischer, Kevin Weidenweber, Kate Bowling, Bill Gallagher, Pam Lorenz, Charles Wright, Jason Skow, Dan Owens, Emily Robinson, Darlene Crider, Lee Anastasi, Daniel Schweizer, Kim Borello, Katie Bamford, Patrick, Mike Venere, Emily Currier, Shane Stack, Alan Mize, Brendan Abel, Mary, Bruce Lawson, Cathy Skiba, Clay Anthony, Marie Phillips, Joyanne M Johnston, Danielle And Matt Murgia, Carrie Rampy, Brian Gallant, John Hout, Christopher Tweedle, Eric Streebel, Trina Lowry, Barbara Sims, Shaun Leake, Laura Pranaitis, James Berry, Kathy Berry, Rob Anderson , Timmy Saunders, Jamee S., Ashley Deitchler, Tracy Discher, Sandi B, Jacquelyn Law, Dave Fullerton, Jill, Steven Bowling, Kristin Olmedo, Hannah M., Jennifer Mills, Ken Rhinehart, Rob Blundin, Wendy Ip, Jerry Weldon, Debra Kuklinski, Tom Donnelly, Brian Miller, Bruce Arnold, Jared Orth, Carri Marotto, Kristen Mccoy, Sara, Crystal Swistak, Kali Murry, Chuck Sands, Jennifer Dealmeida, Margaret Vattes, Gail Wilkins, Jessica Marcotte, Angela Fennell, Allison Burgess, Stephanie Letchworth, Theresa Rucando, Karen Pizzuta, Debbie Hicks, Cecilia Bruce, Karen Dresser-smith, Kelly Mager, Robert P. Flaherty, Tom &Susan Linder , Janet Robinson, Thomas Auckland, Luis Rodriguez, Jennifer Bogdan, Kevin Geiger, Roye Ann Morris, Kate Fanning, Lauren Brostek, Annette R, Heather Pedulla, Michael Bailey, Jeff Blank, David, Stacy Lee, Jennifer Mccurry, Nancy Ahlsen, Tom Higbee, Linda Scrivano, Dale Knight, Paul Amico, Danielle Ciotti, Michelle Tancredi, Lisa Cash, Jullie Pudem, Karyn Christenson, Jo Ann Bailey, Steve Pocopanni, Rob Vanderpool, Gary Bracknell, Mary Dannahey, Larry E. Brooks, Lauren Proutt, Hoekzema Family, Tiago De Oliveira, Lori Rienhardt, Heidi Summers, Amy Miller, Vince Kowal, Melody O'donnell, Cathy Larocca, Jen Cooper, Lorraine Loretz, Patrick Knight, Barrie Brewer, Clarissa K, Shannon Wright, and Lisa. Each of you was entered in the February winners' drawing.

It's time for our monthly drawing. This month's big winner is Katie Wolfe! Congratulations, Katie, you are the lucky recipient of a fabulous Disney book and some really cool AllEars® swag!
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Challenge #166: Where in the world is this?

 Where in the World #166

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, March 3rd, 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
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Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies and a cool Disney book!

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About February 2011

This page contains all entries posted to Picture This! in February 2011. They are listed from oldest to newest.

January 2011 is the previous archive.

March 2011 is the next archive.

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