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December 2011 Archives

December 1, 2011

Mount Mayday at Disney's Typhoon Lagoon

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Mount Mayday
Copyright © 2011 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR, 1/200s shutter, f8, ISO 200

For my contribution to Pic of the Week I chose one of Disney's lesser known mountains, Mt. Mayday at Typhoon Lagoon. The shrimp boat Miss Tilly has been stranded atop this mountain since the big storm that created Typhoon Lagoon. Several waterslides flow down the sides of the mountain in this tropical paradise.


December 2, 2011

Chess Playing Pirates of the Caribbean

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Skeletons playing chess in the Pirates of the Caribbean queue in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Skeletons playing chess in the Pirates of the Caribbean to an eternal stalemate.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/20s, f/1.8, ISO 6400, EV +0.3.

When you enter the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in Walt Disney World and take the right queue line, you will see two skeletons playing chess. Imagineer Marc Davis set up the chess pieces so that any move would create a checkmate thus resulting in an eternal stalemate. Did you know, Marc knew over time the pieces might be moved so he taped instructions on the bottom of the chess board so the play could be duplicated (source: Jack Spence).

How to Get the Shot:This is not an easy photo to get especially if the attraction is busy. I caught a slow time and was able to take several photos without being bumped into. The lighting is very low so I used my fastest lens, the Nikon 50mm f/1.8, and set my camera's ISO to 6400. Even with those settings, I had to use a shutter speed of 1/20th of a second. I braced myself against the bars of the window which overlooks the chess playing scene. In post, I used a noise reduction program called Noise Ninja to clean up the dark areas.

December 3, 2011

Big Mountain in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad takes you over and through a mountain in the Magic Kingdom,Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad takes you over and through a mountain.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 320, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

The wonderful thing about Disney mountains is that while you can not climb them you are invited to ride over and through them. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is my favorite ride at the Magic Kingdom. It takes you around an American Southwestern red stoned mountain range (and I do me around) and through caves and past the abandoned town of Tumbleweed. I photographed this BTMRR train emerging over a hill while waiting in the queue to go for my own ride for my Disney Pic of the Week on Mountains. Remember...Hang onto Your Hats and Glasses!

December 4, 2011

Where in the World #206

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

A lot of us are here in Walt Disney World - like Lindsay Leach, 8 years and in Disney at last - or have just left like Caroline Burmester or getting close to the single digit dance like Jason And Melinda Lenz. Here's to all the magical memories!

Susie Howard, what a fantastic way to spend a holiday, at the Macy's Thanksgiving parade celebrating one of your 90 year old Aunt's dreams come true!

Claire Gregory, I'm glad Where in the World gave you a reason for spending so much time "researching" on AllEars. :)

Here was last week's Challenge:
 Where in the World #205

And here's the answer:


Copyright © 2010 Erin Blackwell Canon PowerShot SD890 IS, 24mm, 1/250s shutter, f/5,ISO 80

You guys surprised me again this week! I was expecting a handful of right answers, but so many more than that knew this drum from The Main Street Philharmonic in the Magic Kingdom! If you're a fan of them,like my husband who was lucky enough to meet them personally before a parade or Dave Cole (I checked out your site, Dave. Very nice!), or maybe a drummer yourself like Steve Jordan's daughter, check out their desktop wallpapers on AllEars' Desktop section!

Sharon Pierce was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Sharon and to all the readers who got the answer right: Tiffany Gibb, Don Whiteman, Isabelle Boivin, Jason And Melinda Lenz, Kathy Lowe, Ed Aleszczyk, Debbie Desimone, Larissa Huda, Al Desimone, Steve Jordan, Evan Rapone, Tommy Montgomery, Shannon Milair, Theresa Rucando, The Kahle Family, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Agnes Ciotti, Kerry A, Tim Johansen, Alan Mize, Kye Layton, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Bill Mckim, Christopher Barnes, Evanna Huda, Derek Carty, Paul Dickson, Kris Nixon, Shannon Thomas, Bruce Jones, Amy Cassidy, Steve Knapp, Ed Suscreba, Deb Gallo, Kerry Mccaffrey, The Moore Family, Patti Mccaffrey, Diane Furtado, Inga Gabliks, Sharon Dale, Jim And Mickey Eckert, Lori Netti, Kathryn Perkins, Matt Carrera, Zachary Ott, Samantha Kobus, Leslie Stewart, Mike Timmer, Emma Poprock, Jennifer Tremley, Patty Carty, Matt Holley, Tricia Petty, Paula Kertes, Jonah Rigby, Jason Skow, Brian Miller, Matt And Danielle Murgia, Christopher Hall, Mike Kaczanowski, Claire Gregory, Kelly Smith, Danalisa G., Emily Hudson, Patti Deluca, Liz Moreau, Debbie Poole, Dennis Blackburn, Virginia Dastugue, Dan Owens, Emily Harper, William Sharp, Linda College, Karen Smith, Mike M., Paula Massarelli, Caroline Burmester, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Nancy Ahlsen, Cathy Skiba, Elizabeth Macgregor, and Dave Cole. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
__________________________________________________________________________

Challenge #206: Where in the world is this?

I don't think we're in the four parks anymore, Toto....
 Where in the World #206

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, December 8st, 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.

See you next week, Players!

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!

December 6, 2011

Disney Pic of the Week: France

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I am substituting for Barrie this week who found herself without access to the Internet where she is staying in Florida before coming to Walt Disney World later this week. Barrie will owe me big time for this. ;-)

France, the country, brings thoughts of romance, Paris, the Eiffel Tower, French cuisine and fabulous breads and pastries. The France pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase embodies all those thoughts and feelings. Here you can meet Beauty and the Beast and ask them about their tale as old as time. Walk among Paris-styled streets and cafes. See the Eiffel Tower. Eat at the award winning Chefs de France restaurant where you might see a Little Chef at your table or dine upstairs in the elegant Bistro de Paris restaurant. Ah, and my favorite, Boulangerie Paitisserie, where you can enjoy fresh French pastries and breads.

A couple of years back, I found myself photographing around World Showcase past sunset and the photos I was taking showed a beautiful blue sky. Little did I know at the time I had stumbled upon the "Blue Hour". Felt it a fitting color and time for France.

The France pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The France pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/30s, f/4.5, ISO 6400, EV -0.3, 55mm focal length.

Lisa and I will be here on Thursday and Saturday with our Disney Pic of the Week of France.

December 7, 2011

What's in Your Stroller?

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Generally speaking, there's a (partially false) sense of security when we escape our daily routines for spinning in tea cups and run far away from stress and into the open arms of a larger-than-life mouse. Our shields come down and skipping becomes a formal mode of transportation. How wonderful it is, all of it. We must be careful though because bad people also go on vacation or at least pretend to be tourists.

Years back, my cousin Matt and I found ourselves looking at strollers parked outside various attractions and buildings. We were amazed at what people were willing to leave out; designer handbags, toys, food, purchases, clothes, and so on and so forth. I even started photographing strollers in pure disbelief of what was sitting out and in part for possible police reports should things go missing.

lkb-Strollers.jpg

I don't have kids and have never had to supply a small army with food, water, and a change of clothes. Are parents not carrying backpacks stuffed to the gills? Perhaps that or a locker would be safer than leaving things in strollers.

lkb-Stroller-sneakers.jpg
Personally, my feet wouldn't last more than a few minutes barefoot on concrete.

Another thing to consider is that when you leave food out, you can wind up with uninvited guests picnicing in your stroller. I was looking at strollers in Animal Kingdom and thought the Cast Members were watching me. No, they were watching a regular bandit prance through a marketplace of goodies.

lkb-Stroller-Squirrel.jpg

Notice anything strange?

lkb-Stroller-Squirrelcloseup.jpg

How about now? Yes, that's a squirrel with a kung-fu grip on a loaf of bread. I saw him or her but probably a him, knaw through the plastic and eat the bread. Cast Members said the squirrel and friends have learned how to open containers, bags, and other packaging.

Do you have a funny story or a serious message to relate about your stroller? Please share it with the rest of the class and our forrest friends.

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


December 8, 2011

Epcot's Eiffel Tower

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Eiffel Tower in Epcot's France pavilion at dusk, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Eiffel Tower in Epcot's France pavilion at dusk.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/25s, f/5.6, ISO 6400, EV -0.3, 116mm focal length.

When I think of France, I think of Paris which naturally takes me to the Eiffel Tower. In Epcot, the France pavilion uses Disney's age old trick of forced perspective to make their Eiffel Tower look as tall as the original when it is only one-tenth its size. A fitting photo for my Disney Pic of Week for France.

December 9, 2011

Deb and Me at the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Deb Wills and Scott Thomas in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Deb Wills and Scott Thomas in the Magic Kingdom.
Photo by Bob Desmond.

Being an early Internet user back in the 1990's and a Disney fan, I found Deb's website soon after it launched. It was and continues to be invaluable in getting up to date news about Walt Disney World and a source of great ideas and tips to enjoy the parks to their fullest. I later learned about her successful battle with breast cancer and all the work she does in raising funds in support of cancer research and people in their own cancer fight.

In 2000, I launched my PS Calculator website and Deb contacted me to do an interview and later got to meet her at Epcot (click here to read the interview and see my first meeting with Deb). This lead to a long term relationship wherein AllEars.net hosts a version of my priority seating tools and information.

After I started sharing my Walt Disney World photography online, Deb asked me to join Barrie (and later Lisa) in writing a weekly article for AllEars.net's new blog central about photography. Thus, I became an official team member of AllEars.net and have been enjoying sharing photography information geared towards us, fans of Walt Disney World, for the last three and a half years. In fact, it was at a photowalk I hosted in January on Main Street USA where Deb and I had our photo (see above) taken by freelance Disney photographer, Bob Desmond, in front of Cinderella Castle. Ten years later and we both look great...right?

Today, I am at Walt Disney World and will be joining Deb, other AllEars.net team members and many fans and friends of Deb and her website in celebration of 15 years of AllEars.net. Maybe I will see you there. If not, you can be sure I will be sharing the special adventures Deb has planned for everyone with you here.

December 11, 2011

Where in the World #207

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

Hello from the World!

Betsy Moquin, thank you for your very nice note! And congratulations to new DVC members, Alan Mize and family!

Here was last week's Challenge:
 Where in the World #206

And here's the answer:


Copyright © 2010 Erin Blackwell Canon PowerShot SD890 IS, 7mm, 1/60s shutter, f/3.2,ISO 250

Yes, it's the Panchito's Gift and Sundries gift shop sign in the Coronado Springs Resort! Some players want to give credit to those who helped them figure this puzzle out: Jack Spence and Kerry Mccaffrey. :)

Kristen Gainey was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Kristen and to all the readers who got the answer right: Dylan Weidner, Rick R., Tim Johansen, Christina Altavesta, Dale Knight, Lorine Landon, Kenny, Mary Beth Tarbet, Karen Schlumpf, Ed Suscreba, Jennifer Tremley, Brandon Emerson, Jonah Rigby, Tricia Petty, Zachary Ott, Vicki Aponte, Paulnewman, Stuart Hale, Chandler, Courtney &Maryann Eckenrode, Ron Harper, Victor Gonzalez, Nikki Parker, Chris, Mackenzie D., The Hicks Family, Craig, Steve Smith, Emily Hudson, Jason Wright, Samantha Kobus, Rebecca Keenan, Alan Mize, Kristyn Scibienski, Kelly Zanauskas, Tiffany Gibb, Linda Mac, Melesia Love, Kim Mobley, Cara Richards, Karen Hughes, Andrew Schumacher, Maja Kodani, Virginia Dastugue, Kerry Mccaffrey, Danielle Fitzgerald, Patti Mccaffrey, Sandra Ednie, Wendy Barney, Scott Otis, Betsy Moquin, Matt Holley, Leslie Stewart, Michele Mongeon, Debra Marrocco, Jeff Finger, Nota Hudsy, Sarah Haas, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Sarah Holodick, Al Desimone, Al Desimone, Christina Cella-bonica, Angela Johnson, Mike Haeberle, Derek Carty, Amber Slifer, Nina Pietrobono, Melissa Gvist, Michele Jeffs, Audra Miller, and Kevin Miller. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
__________________________________________________________________________

Challenge #207: Where in the world is this?

We're back in one of the four parks!

 Where in the World #207

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, December 15th, 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.

See you next week, Players!

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!

December 13, 2011

Disney Pic of the Week - Cast Members

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


Cast Member, Cast Member, I want your job. Map me a map. Sketch me a sketch. Yes, we're illuminating those ever-so-helpful folks who sit and/or stand all day long in the heat or air conditioning. Whether you're on the hunt to trade pins or the nearest water closet (them there's fancy words for bathroom), Cast Members are in high demand.

I'll be honest with you (plural). When I'm...anywhere, and someone yells out, "Hey take my picture!" I ignore the person. However, in this instance it was Jose who beckoned me with his big grin. My evil mind thought, muah ha ha ha ha ha. I can use this on AllEars.Net and so, here he is, the official Guy Who Stands Near the Bridge Leading to Dinoland. Look for him on your next visit and tell him he's all over the internet.

lkb-CastMembers-Jose-Dinoland.jpg

Venture back to the Picture This! blogs on Thursday and Saturday. Scott and Barrie get hollered at as well.

Find me on Facebook.

December 14, 2011

Camera Scene Modes - Fish-eye Effect

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


Explorers, we're heading into new territory today so find a buddy and follow along.

My new Canon PowerShot SX30 IS has all sorts of neat-o functions for getting creative. I played with one such feature while taking aim at Epcot's Spaceship Earth and the fountain at Innoventions Plaza.

Step 1. Turn the dial to SCN which stands for Scene Mode.

Step 2. Press the Func(tion) Set button.

Step 3. Dial over to Fish-eye Effect.

Step 4. Press the Display button to bring up options Off, Low, Medium, and High.

This first photo was taken with Fish-eye Effect set to Off. You get a clear view of what everyone's favorite geosphere looks like normally.
lkb-FishEye-None.jpg

Now the fun begins with this picture shot at Low in terms of image manipulation intensity. You can see that the gate is arcing and Spaceship Earth's shape has changed.
lkb-FishEye-Low.jpg

Even more good times can be had when using Medium. Watch it all change form.
lkb-FishEye-Medium.jpg

Last but not least, High, comes in for the greatest variation under Fish Eye.
lkb-FishEye-High.jpg



Follow me to Facebook. It's no Sesame Street but it'll do.


December 15, 2011

Wild Africa Trek Cast Member

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Wild Africa Trek Cast Member guiding guests backstage at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida


Wild Africa Trek Cast Member, Eleanor, guiding guests backstage at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 1800, EV +0.3, 170mm focal length.

I took the new Wild Africa Trek tour at Disney's Animal Kingdom last week (I will review this tour from a photographer's view once I receive the photo CD from Disney) and had a pixie sized tour guide. Cast member Eleanor lead the first part of the tour through the forest and over hippos and Nile crocodiles. She was a wealth of information about the animals, trees and flora along the way. Eleanor is my Disney Pic of Week for Cast Members.

December 16, 2011

AllEars.net 15th Anniversary Photo Essay

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

This is my account of the AllEars.net 15th Anniversary December to Remember events I attended between December 8 and December 11, 2011. I was not sure if Deb Wills and the All Ears team could pull it off. Read below to see if they did.

The kick-off event was held in the Convention Center at Disney's Contemporary Resort. Disney historian Jim Korkis talked about the history of the Carousel of Progress. Like the Wilderness Lodge meet I attended back in October, Jim covered the Carousel of Progress from Walt Disney's initial ideas to how it came about to be included in the 1964 New York Worlds Fair before finding a home in the Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland in Florida by way of Disneyland. Jim filled in mystery's and included entertaining side stories. For instance, when Walt needed a song for the Carousel of Progress, he went to the Sherman Brothers and told them it had to be uplifting and only 13 and half seconds long.

Jim Korkis entertaining a room full of All Ears guest at the Contemporary Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Jim Korkis entertaining a room full of All Ears guest at the Contemporary Resort.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5, ISO 3200, EV 0, 24mm focal length, flash.

I missed out on the Toy Story Mania Eat and Play Meet (click for Laura's coverage) and meet up with the All Ears team and fans for A Night of Sweet Bites and Street Lights in the Art of Animation building at Disney's Hollywood Studios. This event had two parts. The first was a dessert party in the Meet and Greet area. Of course, Minnie and Mickey came out for photos. Barrie and I got a taste of being PhotoPass photographers (that is Barrie on the left below) as we took turns photographing all the All Ears fans with the famous duo.

Barrie doing PhotoPass duty at A Night of Sweet Bites and Street Lights meet in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Barrie doing PhotoPass duty at A Night of Sweet Bites and Street Lights meet in Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/100s, f/8, ISO 1000, EV 0, 28mm focal length, flash.

The second part of the night had all of us being escorted across Disney's Hollywood Studios to an empty and dark Streets of America. Deb Wills had the honor of throwing the switch to turn on the Osborne Spectacle of Lights (see below). We all spent the next thirty minutes enjoying, photographing and being amazed at the new enhancements to this year's display.

Deb Wills turning on the Osborne Lights in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Deb Wills turning on the Osborne Lights in Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/30s, f/5.3, ISO 720, EV 0, 98mm focal length, flash.

The next day, around 40 people showed up for Barrie's and mine Smile and Say Jambo at Animal Kingdom photowalk very early the next morning. After a brief introduction, we raffled off some photos, photo gifts and other cool stuff. We then reconvened in Harambe Village for a walk on the Pagani Exploration Trail to photograph birds, meerkats, hippos and gorillas. Most of the group then went on a Kilimanjaro Safari. We filled up most of a safari jeep and had good photo opportunities of antelopes, elephants, giraffes, white rhinos and cheetahs.

A jeep full of All Ears photowalk attendees on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A jeep full of All Ears photowalk attendees on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/13s, f/3.5, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

After our Africa adventures, it was time to relax at the Open House in one of the Grand Villas at Kidani Village. The villa was a two level, three bedroom suite complete with kitchen, dining and living rooms.

I attended a Hidden Mickey tour with author Steve Barret around the resort's lobby and hallways.

AllEars.net team member and Hidden Mickey author, Steve Barrett, in the lobby of the Kidani Village, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
AllEars.net team member and Hidden Mickey author, Steve Barrett, in the lobby of the Kidani Village.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/80s, f/3.5, ISO 3200, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

The villa's balconies overlook the wildlife preserve where we all watched and photographed antelopes, giraffes and zebras. Inside, people collected All Ears trading cards, enjoyed snacks, cold beverages and a few raffle give-a-ways by Deb Wills.

All Ears guests watching animals from the Kidani Village Grand Villa, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
All Ears guests watching animals from the Kidani Village Grand Villa.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 500, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

The next morning, we were all in for a special treat as Don "Ducky" Williams gave an hour long talk about how he became a character artist for the Walt Disney Company. His story was full of funny anecdotes, interesting insights and, finally, triumph as he was hired (or more like never asked to leave). The whole time he drew Disney character after Disney character like the one of Ariel below. Afterward, Deb Wills raffled off each of the 22 different characters Don had drawn that morning. Each one was signed by him.

Don Ducky Williams finishing up a character portrait in the Odyssey restaurant in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Don Ducky Williams finishing up a character portrait in the Odyssey restaurant in Epcot.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/8, ISO 2500, EV 0, 200mm focal length, flash.

The last event of the four days was an Illuminations Dessert party held in one of the VIP rooms inside the American Adventure. It had turned rainy which prompted the change in venue from the Italy terrace. The dessert tables were filled with fruit, cakes, sweets and even some melted chocolate to pour over them. Below you see two All Ears team members enjoying the treats. The rain stopped just before Illuminations and about half of us went out to enjoy the show.

AllEars.net team members Mike Scopa and Jack Marshall enjoying delicious desserts at Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
AllEars.net team members Mike Scopa and Jack Marshall enjoying delicious desserts at Epcot.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/4, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length, flash.

It was a jam packed four days. Deb Wills and her All Ears team truly did create a December to Remember. Thank you!

December 18, 2011

Where in the World Challenge 208

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

As I'm typing this, I'm in Disney's Fort Wilderness resort! But when you read it, I'll be home. Come on, feel a little bad for me. Sniffle.... :(

Anyway, I have lots of new photos for Where in the World including this week! In fact, my husband got into the spirit of things and took this picture as well as others.

Kelli Sangston, I love the new Star Tours too! And I was the Rebel Spy when I rode it this week!

Alan Mize, I bet you were already famous. :-D

Here was last week's Challenge:
 Where in the World #207

And here's the answer:


Copyright © 2010 Erin Blackwell Canon PowerShot SD890 IS, 7mm, 1/200s shutter, f/3.2,ISO 80

Welcome to the Starport, Space Travelers! A sign you see inside Space Mountain! Or, as Rob Blundin, said: Starport sign - Space Mountain - Tomorrowland - Magic Kingdom - Walt Disney World - Lake Buena Vista - Florida - USA - Planet Earth - Solar System - Milky Way - Universe! ;)

Now, Patti Mccaffrey, how did you know that if you've never been on it? Jeremy help you? :)

Lorine Landon was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Lorine and to all the readers who got the answer right: Ashley P., Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Peter Strukel, Agnes Ciotti, Paul Dickson, Emily Hudson, Danny, Analisa And Billy G., Matt Holley, Sharon Pierce, Donnie, Les Stewart, Shannon Milair, Evanna Huda, Larissa Huda, Becky Fields, Alan Mize, Patti Mccaffrey, Debbie Desimone, Al Desimone, Stephanie, Chris Ashby, Al Desimone, Rob Blundin, Matt Degrandis, Tom Buck, Diane Furtado, Mike Kertes, Jason Short, Kathryn Perkins, Sarah Holodick, Kristen Carde, Derek Carty, Sharon Dale, Jeremy Mccaffrey, George Mundy Jr, Darren Fuller, Karen Smith, and Matt Cofone. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
__________________________________________________________________________

Challenge #208: Where in the world is this?

We're in a different park this time!

 Where in the World #208

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, December 22nd, 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.

See you next week, Players!

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!

December 20, 2011

Disney Pic of the Week: Daytime Resorts

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Walt Disney World Resorts are extremely photogenic with award winning architecture, theming, landscaping and use of water like fountains, waterfalls, lakes and rivers. The Saratoga Springs Resort is a prime example using the theme from the famous upstate New York horse race track area. Add easy access to Downtown Disney by water ferry or rental boat and you have a winning combination.

A guest pilots a pontoon rental boat past the Saratoga Springs Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
A guest pilots a pontoon rental boat past the Saratoga Springs Resort.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 78mm Focal Length.

Barrie and Lisa will be here on Thursday and Saturday to share Outdoor Daytime Resort photos for their Disney Pic of Week.

December 21, 2011

Fancy Free at Walt Disney World

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


Upside, inside out, she's livin' la vida Mickey. Yeah, Minnie Mouse has it pretty bad for him. Many of us aren't too far behind as we venture down, left, right, and up to Walt Disney World for another series of magical days. It seems that no matter how many visits we make, there's always something we didn't notice before, know about, or is brand new. Let us not forget to welcome new travelers who could use a little insider info.

A few suggestions come to mind as many folks gear up to face huge crowds during school and college breaks. Do you know of some freebies to take advantage of both inside and outside the parks? Share your thoughts by completely filling out the Comment section below. Be sure to write "blog" where you're directed to otherwise your ideas will literally land in the trash and I'm not talking about PUSH.

Resorts

Resort guests have an abundance of cool things to enjoy including:

* Wildlife viewing at Animal Kingdom Lodge.

* Pianist/comedian Yehaa Bob Jackson's show at Port Orleans Riverside in the River Roost Lounge.

* Rix Lounge at Coronado Springs is a nightclub/bar with a DJ spinning Top 40 tunes Thurs - Sat. There's no cover charge.

* Fort Wilderness's campfire includes a singing cowboy, an appearance by Chip and Dale, and a feature film.

lkb-FancyFree-Chipmunks.jpg

Theme Parks

* In Epcot you can dress and take home your own Velcro frog from Innoventions West.

* Kids' Discovery Club gets children involved in hands-on learning at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

* The best freebie at Disney's Hollywood Studios comes from being selected to participate in or volunteering for Citizens of Hollywood, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular, American Idol Experience, Phineas and Ferb, the Backlot Tour, and for kids only, the Jedi Training Academy.

* Enjoy olde-fashioned flip-reel movie viewers on the platform level of the Walt Disney World Railroad's Main Street Station at the Magic Kingdom.

lkb-FancyFree-flipmovies.jpg

Downtown Disney and Boardwalk

* Atlantic Dance Hall is a free 21 and over club located on Disney's Boardwalk.

* Relax on a boat ride leaving from Yacht & Beach Club or Boardwalk and cruise to Disney's Hollywood Studios, Epcot, and the Swan and Dolphin resorts.

* Kids' dance party, holiday carolers, musical performances, and more throughout Downtown Disney. See www.wdwent.com for times and locations.

* Enjoy additional Disney transportation such as the monorail which can be picked up at Epcot, the Ticket & Transportation Center, Contemporary, Grand Floridian, and Polynesian resorts. From Downtown Disney watercrafts travel to Old Key West, Saratoga Springs, Port Orleans French Quarter, and Port Orleans Riverside.

lkb-FancyFree-Monorail.jpg



Friend me on Facebook or I'll cry.

December 22, 2011

Disney's Boardwalk Villas

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Boardwalk Villas
Copyright © 2010 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR, 1/1000s shutter, f8, ISO 200

I have to admit, I have an ulterior motive for choosing this particular photo for my Pic of the Week. This image of the Boardwalk Villas is featured as the July picture in my 2012 calendar. You may ask, "What calendar might that be?" Well, in case you missed my first post about it, let me just fill you in"

I have created a calendar from some of my favorite Walt Disney World photos and am selling it to raise money for Deb's Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. My goal is to raise $1500 with the 2012 calendar. Thanks to everyone who has already purchased a calendar we are almost there! It is my hope that by the first of the year I'll be able to say we surpassed the goal - so in case there's anyone out there who still hasn't got theirs, just click on the calendar below to order one.

That concludes the hijacking of this post for my shameless plug.

2012 Focus on Disney World Calendar


December 23, 2011

The Magic, The Memories and You Castle Gift

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Holiday projection during the The Magic, The Memories, and You! show in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Holiday projection during the "The Magic, The Memories, and You!" show.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/4, ISO 6400, EV 0, 42mm focal length, tripod.

This being the first year of the The Magic, The Memories, and You! castle projection show, Disney added a series of Holiday projections. These projections appear fast and furious about half way through the show.

I want to take this time to wish you all Happy Holidays and a Very Merry Christmas!

I will be taking my annual holiday break next week as I spend the holidays with friends and family. See you in 2012!

December 24, 2011

Foosball and Transportation for Giant Kids

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


Children born in the 1970's experienced all kinds of cool pop culture like singer/songwriters, Grease, The Muppet Show, Barbie dolls, and Etch-A-Sketch. They were also subjected to horrific ordeals like wearing polyester and bell bottom pants. Photos serve as incriminating evidence. Yuck! Ok so the 70's had it's share of good and bad influences on us. Here's a look at a 70's themed building at Disney's Pop Century Resort.


LKB-ResortExteriors-PopFoosball.jpg

Disney Pic of the Week - Daytime Resorts (vs Nighttime Resorts?)

I never had a Big Wheel, I had a Fonzie motorcycle/bike. Sit on it. Aaay.

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

December 25, 2011

Where in the World #209

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

To The Kahle family, Susie Howard, Claire Gregory, Patti, Jeremy, Kerry Mccaffrey and all their family, Matthew Jadro, Carol Gamill, my fellow Rebel spy Pam Tees, The Patterson Family, and everyone else who are celebrating today, I return your wishes of!

Smiley from millan.net

And wishes of!
Smiley from millan.net

Claire Gregory and her family felt bad that I had to leave Walt Disney World. Thank you, Claire! Welcome back to Pam Tees, Betsy Silvestri, James and Kathy Berry too. But! It will soon be Bon Voyage for Kerry and Patti Mccaffrey! Tell Mickey I miss him. :)

And Bill Moquin, thanks for the great note!

Here was last week's Challenge:
 Where in the World #208

And here's the answer:


Copyright © 2011 Erin Blackwell Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS, 4mm, 1/20s shutter, f/2.7, ISO 800

We're looking at the chalkboard in the Gorilla Research Camp on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom. You're right, Deb Ragno, it's a wonderful place to explore!

So you see, Caroline Burmester, you weren't crazy last week and you nailed it again this week! And Kerrie Hogan, your final answer is correct while Alan Mize is 3 for 3 this month!

Carol Gamill, you get special kudos for your very technical answer: Pangani Trail, that "the walking tour thingy". :) And Kelli Sangston, the cast members and the animals in the Animal Kingdom love when someone like you comes along who really appreciate them.

Amy Schweizer was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Amy and to all the readers who got the answer right: Chris Masse, Craig, Maureen Handy, Carla C, Troy Parker, Jodi Cook, Becky Hosinger, Russ Morgan, Mary Beth Tarbet, Paul Dickson, Kris Nixon, Ed Suscreba, Lee Anastasi, Al Desimone, Debbie Desimone, Ken Maikowski, Ken Gravitt, Sharon Pierce, Larissa Huda, Steve Jordan, Mike Haeberle, Jennifer Rupert, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Dee Dee Kenney, Shannon Milair, Kelly Mager, Hoekzema Family, Lori Rienhardt, Todd Treloar-rhodes, Dylan Weidner, Jacquelyn Law, Erica Sipich, Andrea Kruszewski, Robert Migliaccio, Peter Strukel, Jen Cerce, Doug Reichl, Michelle Thompson, Kye Layton, Hannah Couture, Lorine Landon, Brian Gallant, Danielle Quatrella, Annette Nuenke, Doublefamily, Jessica Gruhlke, Agnes Ciotti, Deb Ragno, Kelly Zanauskas, Derek Carty, Evanna Huda, Mike Kertes, Sharon Lee, Sandra Shaw, Carla Nale, Brian Miller, The Kahlefamily, Bill Mckim, Bruce Hinterleitner, Dana Hinterleitner, Andrew Weed, Susie Howard, The O'meara Family, Tom Koval, Dave Fullerton, Evelyn Wilson, Steve Smith, Claire Gregory, Kerry A, Julie Wickware, Tracy Henkel, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Scott Otis, Patti Mccaffrey, James And Kathy Berry, Tim Johansen, Jamie K, Christopher Hall, Sammi Jo Albucker, Laurie Walker, Daniel Record, Jennifer Mccurry, Kenny, Karen Ramirez, Austin O'blenis, Chloe Mayhew, Gabriella And Matthieu Bruxelle, Mike Hill, Karen Hotchkiss, Kathryn Perkins, Carrie Henderson, Diane Furtado, Brian Grabowski, Emily Hudson, Charlie Scheer, Kerrie Hogan, Ken Fischler, Cameron Lange, Jullie Pudem, Kelly Smith, Les Whitten, Les Stewart, Herb Miller, Heather Hynes, Kristen Carde, Jim Finley, Hillary Waldroop, Cara Richards, Erin Hammer, Christopher Ashby, Karrie Duffey, Jennifer Tremley, Victoria Finnegan, Robert Mccoy, Carri Marotto, Anastasia Macneil, Jeremy Reichelt, Brian Yesutis, Mike Cerce, Bill Moquin, Elaine Tomko-deluca, Matthew Jadro, Sarah Holodick, Troy Vandeschraaf, Amy Park, Stephanie Linares, Alan Mize, Ashley P., Elaine Johnson, Amanda Campbell, Sharon Dale, Caroline Burmester, Steve Knapp, Carol Gamill, Christopher Barnes, Caroline Williams, Kerry Mccaffrey, Kelli Sangston, Stephanie Newell, Heather Pedulla, Heidi Goodhue, Maryann Eckenrode, Tom Buck, Diane Ramos, Anne Hainsworth, Anne Hainsworth, Paul Ignudo, Jr., Jeffrey Beauchamp, Karen Schlumpf, Pam Tees, Betsy Silvestri, Paul Newman, Ian Glaubinger, Collette Beuther, Matt Degrandis, Patti Deluca, Adam Solomon, Candy Grasty, Liz Moreau, Robert P. Flaherty, Joseph M Zafia, Thomas Higbee, Kristine Gallatin, Theresa Rucando, Timothy Hutchinson, Lorraine Burmester, Davida Kosa, The Patterson Family, Kathryn Hughes, Lynxy Gurgula, Veronica Monteiro, George Mundy Jr, Carrie Kenney, Vicki And Elizabeth Edwards, Andrew Campopiano, Shannon Wright, John Pasqueralli, Jessica Mazzaccaro, Jamie Poynton, Chris Kelly, and Linda Scrivano. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
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Challenge #209: Where in the world is this?

We're in a different park this time! Do you know who this is and where I saw him or her?

 Where in the World #209

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, December 29th, 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.

See you next week, Players!

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!

December 27, 2011

Disney Pic of the Week - Close Up and Macro Photography

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Close up and macro photography let you to show detail in your subject that may not be noticed when looking at the big picture. This is especially true at Disney where great attention is paid to the creation of that detail. When in the parks, most of us tend to take pictures that encompass as much of the scene as possible, trying to capture the whole story that the Imagineers are telling. But much of that story is in the details. Remember to take close ups so that you are getting the full story. This week's Pic of the Week theme is close up and macro photography.

Grand Floridian Angel
Copyright © 2009 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR, 1/60s shutter, f3.2, ISO 2500

This lovely angel stood in a holiday flower arrangement in the lobby of the Grand Floridian. Originally, I photographed her with the Christmas tree and a good part of the lobby and holiday decorations included in the shot. It was a pretty enough picture, but it wasn't until I zoomed way in that I saw just how beautiful she really was. I love her expression - it's what makes this image my favorite of the two.

Share your closeup and macro images from the Disney parks on Google+ with #disneypics-detail.


December 28, 2011

2011 Test Track Highlights

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


As another year comes to a close, I suggested to my fellow Picture This! bloggers that we each select a favorite photo and memory from 2011 to share with you.

I visited Walt Disney World in September with my friend Terri. We're all for getting onto rides quickly so we opted to go single rider for Test Track. We were not only placed in the same car but the back seat as well with a tall fellow between us who belonged to the family in the front seat.

When the doors opened and our car zoomed off, I started shooting and tried real hard to lock my elbows into place. It wasn't until sometime after the ride ended that I went through my photos and realized I had nabbed a few good shots.

I love how the kid's angled himself along with the "road".

lkb-2011TestTrackHighlight1.jpg

I love even more how our speed is fantastically featured between his hands.

LKB-2011TestTrackHighlight2.jpg

I wish you and yours a happy and healthy New Year. Próspero Año Nuevo.

Find me on Facebook.

December 29, 2011

Close Up of an Epcot Butterfly

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Butterfly close up in Epcot's Italy pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Butterfly close up in a garden in front of Italy in Epcot.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

I do not own a macro lens. Instead, I use my zoom lens to focus in close on small objects. This is what I did with the butterfly I found going from flower to flower in the gardens across from the Italy pavilion in Epcot. Due to the focal length of 300mm, I had to be about two feet from the butterfly to keep him in focus. I cropped the resulting photo about 40 percent to further bring the butterfly in closer for my Disney Pic of the Week for Macro/Close Up Photography.

I must have looked a bit nutty as I stalked this butterfly from flower cluster to flower cluster through two gardens. If you are at Epcot during the Flower and Garden Festival held in the Spring, you can visit Bambi's Butterfly House where you can photograph hundreds of butterflies in a more controlled environment.

December 31, 2011

Vintage Pinnochio Figurine

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

John Worthington Foulfellow aka Honest John and Pinocchio in a scene from Disney's 1940 animated film, Pinocchio. This figurine is on display at Disney's Hollywood Studios in Walt Disney: One Man's Dream. Take time and read about movies, production, Disneyland, and of course, Walt himself, before heading into the theater.

LKB-closeup-Pinocchiofigurine.jpg

The trick to shooting through glass is to get the camera lens as close to the glass as possible. Do not use a flash. Beware of lights reflecting off the glass. Use a high ISO (film speed) such as 800, 1000 or 1600 and a shutter speed of 1/60 or slower like 1/40 or 1/30 if you can hold perfectly still or use a tripod.

I hope you enjoyed my entry for Disney Pic of the Week - Closeup & Macro

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

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About December 2011

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

November 2011 is the previous archive.

January 2012 is the next archive.

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