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December 2012 Archives

December 2, 2012

Where in the World #257

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

To all who come to this photo trivia game, Welcome! Along the way, the photos can make us relive memories and see details Walt's Imagineers put into everything we love in Walt Disney World!

Rob And April Vanderpool: I totally get what you're saying! One day - just one time - I want to brave the crowds and be in Disney on Christmas. Christmas and Disney magic: together... Wow. Now, you're talking about a couple days after which is a bit better, but yes, still VERY crowded.

So here's the advice I've been given by friends who have done this - Christmas week to New Year's. If you want to do Magic Kingdom, you have to get in early because they close the park by lunch time. Be prepared for shoulder to shoulder; find a spot like the outside seating at Cosmic Ray's, wait for a table, and always keep someone there if you want to see the fireworks. Take turns going off. Or go in, see the lights, and leave. But remember: other parks will be better.

Epcot is so large, you will have a bit more space and the tree, Candelight Processional, and countries are gorgeous. Great musical group by the fountain too. Studios and Animal Kingdom will also be less crowded; Studios has the Osbourne Lights!! Get some coco, be prepared for crowds, and just take your sweet time to absorb it all. Animal Kingdom has unique Christmas magic, but it will close earlier. If you do go into parks, do the lesser liked attractions and be prepared not to do a lot. Jump on a train, go see a show, sit on a bench and drink in the beauty.

Also remember: Downtown Disney has wonderful Christmas celebrations: singing, dancing, lights... then take a boat ride to Port Orleans, enjoy the view from the water. It's serene and beautiful. Speaking of resorts, remember the Disney resorts have amazing Christmas displays. Spend a day doing nothing but enjoying them. Jump on the monorail and hit the Contemporary with its Small World theme and huge wreath (don't forget you can see Wishes from there); see the Gingerbread House in the Grand Floridian. Then go over to the Boardwalk with its gingerbread shop, and walk around to Yacht and Beach with the carousel and miniature train exhibit.

At night, go over to Fort Wilderness and see the incredible decorations all around the sites near Pioneer Hall. Tell Hilda with the castle & monorail set, and the inflatable Mickey outdoor movie screen that Erin Blackwell says Hello. ;) If you do park out a spot because of crowds, leaving one there while the other person goes explore for awhile, why not make it fun?

Get little gifts of this special trip while out exploring: a pin of a favorite place, a character pen, a postcard, a little Mickey ring, an antenna topper that also is great on a Christmas tree, a Mickey Ice Cream air freshener for the car.... then before the fireworks/parade/Choir processional or whatever you are waiting to see, under the Christmas lights when you meet again at your spot, exchange your little gifts. Because it's all about Magic: the magic of Christmas, of Disney, and you.

AllEars.net has a lot of links to all the special holiday places around Walt Disney World, and also check out our Tips section for help from your fellow travelers. Have a wonderful trip!

From Millan.Net
Here was the challenge last week:  Where in the World #256

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © Erin Blackwell

The Field & Co. Ivory and Spice Dealers sign in the Jungle Cruise queue. I'm amazed how many people not only recognized this (I wouldn't have), but remembered exactly what this sign says!

Bill Mckim was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Bill and to all the readers who got the answer right: Jonathan Ward, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Hoekzema Family, Larissa Huda, Team Hill, Betsy Silvestri, Chris Malek, Scott Greenbaum, Dave Wang, Peter M Calanrese, Emily Hudson, Lee Anastasi, Vera Williams, Chris Kelly, Evanna Huda, Paul Dickson, Beth Mcmeekin, Jared Orth, Ken Maikowski, Leach Family, Kenny, Julie And Kody Rider, Cheryl Costello, Hobbes And Snorky, Deb Ragno, Craig, Kristi Strembicki, Kerri Coggins, Jerry Weldon, Hillary Waldroop, Curtis Bille, Josh Carney, Billie Jean Albolino, Andrew Pettit, Alison Rosenberger, Anastasia Macneil, Pecosace, Janet Thorn, Amanda Campbell, Les Stewart, Anthony Lipinski, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Patti Mccaffrey, Maryann Daly, Barclay Bakkum, Walter N. Clark, Christ Nichols, Kerry Mccaffrey, George Mundy Jr, Elizabeth Johnston, Shelly Borella, Tom Higbee, Agnes Ciotti, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, and Julia Miranda. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

In fact, it's time for the November drawing! And the winner is: Jennifer Harmon! Congratulations, Jennifer!! You win the AllEars prize!
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #257: Where in the world is this?

Hint for this week: this attraction is no longer open.

 Where in the World #257

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, December 6th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

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 4, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week: Toy Story

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Disney sure knows how to bring movies to their themeparks. Toy Story Midway Mania on Pixar Place in Disney's Hollywood Studios was an instant hit with guests. Even today, four years after the ride opened, FastPasses can run out within two or three hours of DHS rope drop. The Disney Imagineers out did themselves by molding the Toy Story movies and characters into a ride, a video game and 3-D technology together into an experience like none other found in a themepark anywhere in the world. This is one video game the whole family loves to play together.

Loading area of the Toy Story Midway Mania ride in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Loading area of the Toy Story Midway Mania ride.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/30s, f/2.8, ISO 2200, EV -0.3, 16mm focal length.

Lisa will be here on Thursday with her Disney Pic of the Week about Toy Story.

December 5, 2012

Disney Abstract Photography in Blue

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


A brief reminder that one last blog showcasing your photos from the Black and White Challenge will post in a few weeks. Get your images in now to make the cutoff of Friday, December 21st. You can find the details and links about the challenge and get in on the action.

It seems that I keep saying, break out of your normal vacation photography mindset and step back to see things from a new perspective, and I'm doing it again. Being creative is fun and gives you a nice boost of adrenaline. It's exciting to try something new and your friends and family will "Oooh and ahhh" like aliens from Toy Story in great awe of your talent.

Quick lessons on how to get fancy photos:

1. Remember that abstract photography is the complete opposite of photojournalism. You're not supposed to see exactly what is happening but rather pay attention to light, shadows, color, shape, and texture.

2. Keep it simple, it's easier than you might think.

The inner tubes at Blizzard Beach were loosely stacked and created a good opportunity for abstract imagery. However, from my perspective, foliage was in the way. The greenery and single brown leaf created too much information.

lkb-Abstract-BlizzardBeach1.jpg

By slightly changing my point of view and a little cropping in post production, my image is now what I wanted.

lkb-Abstract-BlizzardBeach2.jpg

3. Pay attention to patterns and designs as they are great for abstract images when you zoom in tight.

4. Use appropriate camera settings based on your desired look. Apertures like f8, f11, and f16 will provide pictures with everything in focus. Whereas f6.7, f5.6, and f4 will only sharpen one plain or focal point.

Test Track has or had depending on the rehab, a queue that leads you through a small and funky room. Triangular blue metal adorns the walls. I'm not sure what they're supposed to be, if anything specific, but they make for great abstract photos.

Points coming from various positions is fine but that void on the left and black ceiling make you stare at it and try to determine "What's back there?" That kills the whole idea of appreciating color, texture, shape, and lighting.

lkb-Abstract-TestTrack1.jpg

By physically moving and viewing the wall from a different perspective, the image is now stronger and more artistic.

lkb-Abstract-TestTrack2.jpg

5. You can combine other aspects of photography with abstract.

Follow the neon and you'll find yourself at Soarin' over California. Cold metal, warm neon lights, long leading lines, and repetitive drilled holes form the abstract image you see here. By placing myself against the wall and angling my camera lens, I've made an adjustment to how we normally view the wall. Try it next time you're waiting in line.

lkb-Abstract-Soarin.jpg


Want to see more? Read my blog, Create Abstract Photos Thru Glass .

Sled on down to my Facebook page. I sometimes have contests, post questions that lead to new blogs, and showcase my non-Disney photography.


December 6, 2012

Sid's Create a Toy

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


Toy Story movies make us laugh, smile, and remind us fondly of childhood fun and playing with toys. But, lurking in the shadows are evil doers out to destroy innocence, antagonists in each film that make Woody and Buzz heroes. My photography offerings for Disney Pic of the Week - Toy Story are to appease one such beast, Sid Phillips. Sid was Andy's neighbor, a boy who tied Buzz Lightyear to a rocket and intended to destroy him. Nice kid!

Over at DisneyQuest, you can build your own mutant play thing with various parts Sid has collected. It's rather twisted if you ask me. Has anyone ever bought one?


lkb-ToyStory-Sids.jpg


lkb-ToyStory-Sids-parts.jpg



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


December 7, 2012

Illuminations from Showcase Plaza

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

As you walk from Future World to World Showcase in Epcot along the central promenade, there is an open area between the two stores called the Showcase Plaza. The plaza angles downward to the edge of the World Showcase Lagoon. At night, some of this area may be roped off for special groups and events for Illuminations, the nightly fireworks show.

While it is great to photograph Illuminations along the fence especially in Italy and, if available, in the plaza between the United Kingdom and France. I liked setting up my tripod at the top of the Showcase Plaza "hill". There is enough elevation to shoot over the heads of the people in front of you. My only regret was not getting there early enough to line up my camera between the two pillars. Instead, you will see one of them in my photos below.

I used a Neutral Density or ND filter and remote shutter release. I set my camera in Manual mode and used the Bulb shutter setting. This allowed me to control how long the shutter was left open. Click Here for more details on how to use an ND filter for fireworks. I placed a wide angle lens on my camera as I wanted to capture the fireworks which come in from the sides of the lagoon. I cropped as needed.

Illuminations fireworks show in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Illuminations fireworks show in Epcot.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 32.8s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 16mm focal length, tripod.

On this one below, I cropped it vertical. I like how the fireworks stacked up in layers over the long 41 second exposure time. You can also see the lasers coming from the American Adventure in the smoke.

Illuminations fireworks show in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Illuminations fireworks show in Epcot.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 41.5s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 16mm focal length, tripod.

These last two use much shorter shutter speeds as the show was approaching the grande finale and there was a lot more fireworks being launched. The arching firework streams from the side is what I was looking for.

Illuminations fireworks show in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Illuminations fireworks show in Epcot.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 20s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 16mm focal length, tripod.
Illuminations fireworks show in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Illuminations fireworks show in Epcot.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 17.7s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 16mm focal length, tripod.

I know there are other popular locations to photograph Illuminations from. However, seeing it from the Showcase Plaza location, you do not have some of the obstructions which are in front of the country pavilions. The sloped plaza makes it easier for people to see the show even if there are lots of other guests in front of them. Give it a try the next time you visit Epcot.

December 9, 2012

Where in the World #258

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

To all who come to this photo trivia game, Welcome! Along the way, the photos can make us relive memories and see details Walt's Imagineers put into everything we love in Walt Disney World!

Hold the phone, Players! Barrie Brewer, as I mentioned a couple weeks ago, started this weekly challenge to point out details in the Walt Disney World resort. I've also said that I would do horribly at this game if I didn't have the "teacher's book" with the answers in it, per se. This is a perfect example: Bill McKim was the first winner for the Jungle Cruise sign Field and Spice sign challenge. Bill McKim is the name of the man in the Test Track film: "Hi, everybody. Welcome to the Test Track. My name is Bill McKim, I'm up here in the control center and in just a couple of minutes you're gonna be out there on that track." Wow! Kudos to Karen Smith for noticing that! I am whatever is beyond impressed! OK, Bill, is that your real name or where you trying to see if anyone would notice? Either way, thumbs up on the name!

Belated Happy Birthday to Kerry Mccaffrey! I hope you had a great time at your celebration!

From Millan.Net

Time to wave Bon Voyage to Kara Cummings and Kelly Cummings! We know you'll have a wonderful time! Enjoy the magic! Take me with you!
From Millan.Net

On the other hand, Mary Beth Tarbet has the post-magic blues. Time for one of these?
From Millan.Net

Here was the challenge last week:
 Where in the World #257

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © Erin Blackwell

This fishing trophy hung above Mickey's mantle in his house in the erstwhile Mickey's ToonTown Country Fair in the Magic Kingdom. As you can tell, I was visiting Mickey at Christmastime for this picture!
Like the majority of you said in your answers, I love that we are getting new things in Fantasyland, but I wish they had incorporated it with ToonTown. "It all started with a mouse", so instead of his house being gone, I'd like to have seen ToonTown expanded with these new elements blended to it. Maybe move it over to the Studios with the full details that Disneyland has. And an Epic Mickey state-of-the-art ride with Mickey and his brother Oswald saving the day!

Jeremy Mccaffrey was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Jeremy and to all the readers who got the answer right: Craig, Jenny Brennan, Patti Mccaffrey, Diane Curfman, Jen Cerce, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Alicia Henderson, Mary Beth Tarbet, Jim Riddle, Evanna Huda, Laurie Walker, Larissa Huda, Ken Clark, Brian Gallant, Bill Mckim, Sharon Pierce, Janet Thorn, Paul Knott, Jennifer Richmond, Janice, Kara Cummings, Candy Dadswell, Christina R, Evelyn Vertefeuille, Scott Cullen, Misty Mehelic, Belicia Cullen, Kerri Coggins, Kelly Cummings, Stephanie Newell, Megan W, Rob Blundin, Doug Olson Family, Walter N. Clark, Clay Anthony, Paul Dickson, Vera Williams, Chris, Amanda & Maranda Nichols, Rita Henderson, Hoekzema Family, Dallas Hamilton, Cameron Lange, Tricia Noble, Lisa Zitek, Monica Owens, Joann Albrecht, Sharon Dale, Les Stewart, Lauren Blundin, Shirley Garcowski, Claire Gregory, Joseph M. Zafia, Kerry Mccaffrey, Ainsley Poe, Josh Weiss, Vicki And Elizabeth Edwards, Emily Hudson, and Evald Olson. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #258: Where in the world is this?

Staying in the parks!
 Where in the World #258

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, December 13th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

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 11, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week - Disney Cruise Line

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


Disney Cruise Line currently has a fleet of four ships: Wonder, Dream, Magic, and Fantasy. Sailings depart from Los Angeles, CA, Galveston, TX, Miami, FL, Port Canaveral, FL, Vancouver, British Columbia, and Barcelona, Spain.

Cruises are designed to entertain every age group, singles, couples, and families alike. Broadway-quality shows, comedians, games, lounges, and athletic activities keep everyone busy or you can simply take in the changing views from your balcony or lounge chair.

I have only been on one cruise back in 2007 on the Disney Wonder and it was something I'll always remember. This week, Scott and I venture on board to bring you Disney Pic of the Week - Disney Cruise Line.

Family trivia and game show-like fun takes place in Studio Sea on the Disney Wonder. The room is themed to movies and Hollywood. Here's the top of a table.

lkb-DisneyCruiseLine-StudioSeatable.jpg

Castaway Cay in December gets a Christmas makeover. Donald Duck looks like he's tough with street cred but he just wants to party like the disco duck that he is.

lkb-DisneyCruiseLine-TropicalDonald.jpg


Happy Hanukkah to all who like me are lighting the 4th candle tonight.

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


December 12, 2012

Save the Photography Industry and Your Memories

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton



Last week, my jaw hit the floor as I walked into my local privately owned camera store and photo lab. Nearly everything was on sale from 25 - 80% off and they had sold all photo printing and processing equipment. I wanted to scream and cry at the same time. "Now what?!" was all I kept mumbling to myself. Now where do I have my photos printed? Now where do I buy accessories? Now where do students get their Ilford black and white paper and dark room supplies? Now where do people go for expert advice?

I know the answers to these questions of course but it doesn't stop the pain of knowing that little by little, that driving passion has been shifted because of technology. Sometimes "moving forward" costs people their jobs.

Let me go back about 20 years and then bring you up to speed. When I was a student in photography school, professional digital cameras were starting out. They cost tens of thousands of dollars and no one really thought anything of them. It was too much money and the technology was lightyears away from matching the quality of ISO 100 film let alone ISO 1000. We chuckled and continued shooting, developing, and printing from film.

Over the next few years, a small number of new digital cameras were released both for pros and consumers but they were still high priced Most folks were using film cameras and happily going to the photo lab at the camera store in the local mall

By the early 2,000's digital consumer cameras were the new rage. The technology had gotten better, the cameras a bit smaller, and prices had come down so more people could afford them. People realized that even though digital cameras cost more than film cameras, it was less expensive to buy memory cards and print select images than to develop many rolls of film and have only a few keepers, depending on their photography skills.

At the same time, the largest chain of retail camera stores in the United States, Ritz Camera, saw the coming changes and bought equipment to print digital photos. They also started buying merchandise that didn't belong in their stores including stuffed bears. For a while, the company was ahead of the competition by printing digital images but then drug stores and "mart" stores got into the digital game.

Jump forward to 2009 and what was once a chain that boasted over 1,100 camera stores was down to 800 and declaring bankruptcy that lead to closing roughly 50% of its stores. By now, the vast majority of people were on their second or third digital camera and printing less and less photos. Instant gratification of seeing images on LCD screens, in e-mail, social networking websites, and even on cell phones has stopped the automatic desire to print out photos.

We're nearing 2013 and the camera store retailer is out of business. Since declaring bankruptcy the first time, at least 4,000 people lost their jobs including technicians, sales people, upper management, and those who took pride in getting the colors and contrast just right in your family pictures to be passed down from generation to generation.

Cell phones, tablets, smartphones, pocket sized video game consoles...whatever it is, the image quality does not compare to that of a camera. Period. You can try to plead your case with me but facts are facts.

While Kodak has been a pioneer in film photography, it pushed digital camera production and accessories starting in the early-mid 1990's. However, they've since struggled to stay afloat and little by little have closed production plants, stopped producing film, and just this year filed for bankruptcy. Did they, the makers of photographic paper for mini labs shoot themselves in the foot by creating and holding patents on digital imaging? Perhaps.

If my rant leaves you with nothing but one piece of advice, it is this, print out your photos at a camera store's mini-lab or pro lab. Technology changes constantly. Your memory cards will one day be obsolete, some already are. Electronics break. Digital files can become corrupt. You won't be able to show pictures from your son's college graduation, your newborn niece, the vacation you saved up for for three years, and every other special moment when the future changes the industry again. Print your photos and hold onto what matters most.


Skip on over to my Facebook page.


December 13, 2012

Disney Cruise Line Siblings

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Disney Cruise Ships, the Magic and Dream, berthed at Nassau, Bahamas
Disney Cruise Ships, the Magic and Dream, berthed at Nassau, Bahamas.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, f/16, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 16mm focal length.

The Disney Cruise Line ships, the Magic (left) and Dream (right), docked at Nassau, Bahamas last May. While enjoying a Four night cruise on the Dream, I was delighted to see her little sister, the Magic, berthed right next to her upon our arrival at Nassau. I thought the siblings made for a fun Disney Pic of the Week about the Disney Cruise Line.

December 14, 2012

The Great Walt Disney World Christmas Photo Quiz

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Below are seven photos taken during the Christmas holidays at Walt Disney World followed by seven questions. Put your answers in a comment (see link below). I will wait until Sunday at 9PM, Eastern US Time, to publish them. Anyone who gets ALL seven questions correct will be put into a drawing for a 16x20 Walt Disney World Print from yours truly. AllEars team members are not eligible.

Walt Disney World Christmas Holiday Photo Collage, Orlando, Florida

The Great Walt Disney World Christmas Photo Quiz

1. Where is this building located?

2. In which park is this Christmas tree found in front of?

3. Why is there a clock ornament hanging on this Christmas tree in the Animal Kingdom?

4. Who are the people whose names are on these stockings?

5. Where in Walt Disney World can you see guest displays like this?

6. What is this Cast Member doing?

7. Where did I take this photo of Holiday Wishes from?

Good Luck!

Here are the answers (Added on 12/16/2012):

1. Main Street USA (I accepted anyone telling me this was the Firehouse in MK)
2. Disney Hollywood Studios
3. These ornaments were on a Christmas tree in Dinoland USA. The clock refers to the theme of time running out.
4. Jennings Osbourne, his wife Mitzy and daughter Breezy.
5. Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground
6. Personalizing an ornament for a guest
7. Taken from the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) next to the Ferry Boat landing. You can not get this straight on view of Cinderella Castle from the beach at the Polynesian Resort. I accepted anyone who mention TTC in their answer.

There was no reason for a draw as only one person got all 7 questions correct...congratulations Sharon!

December 16, 2012

Where in the World #259

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

To all who come to this photo trivia game, Welcome! Along the way, the photos can make us relive memories and see details Walt's Imagineers put into everything we love in Walt Disney World!

Happy Hanukkah to everyone celebrating this special festival!
From Millan.Net From Millan.Net

And to Cheri Palmisano, I just wanted to say:
From Millan.Net

Clay and his family are Disney right now. See they're waving from there.
From Millan.Net
Oops, there they go, back into the parks.

Kerri Coggins and Penny, on the other hand, are suffering post-magic vacation blues, while Jason & Melinda Lenz are going through their own Disney blues, wishing they were there at Christmas again. A consoling arm around your shoulders: there, there. We know how you feel!

Here was the challenge last week:
 Where in the World #258

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © Erin Blackwell

José Carioca rides with Pancho and Donald Duck in the Gran Fiesta Tour in Epcot's Mexico pavilion! I ride this a few times every trip!

Karen Ramirez, I'm thrilled to feature your homeland Mexico's pavilion! It's my favorite!

Mary Beth Tarbet, I love the San Angel Inn too!

Stephanie Dollar, of course you can say you preferred the El Rio del Tiempo River ride! A couple other Players said the same thing. I miss the old World Showcase buses and I'm loud and proud about it. :)

Craig was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Craig and to all the readers who got the answer right: Virginia Pierce, Carla C , Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Ken Maikowski, Brian Yesutis, Paul Dickson, Janet, Tinkerbell Wells, John Klein, Cynthia Hitchcock, The Kahle Family, Ed Elder, Mary Beth Tarbet, Pam Tees, Hannah Couture, Nicole Amidon, Kara Cummings, Megan Krainski, Wendy T Faler, Ed Hogan, Kenny, Lorine Landon, Stephanie Mcnamee, Deb Ragno, Team Hill, Billie Jean Albolino, Ken Jackson, Hillary Waldroop, Chuck Sands, Lisa Moore, Barbie, Wendy Barney, Michael Scholz, Alicia Henderson, Lindsey Nozal, Jessica Iglesias, Craig Livingston, Ali Yesutis, Deborah Hulsey, Andrew Carrieri, Candice Grimes, Shelley Diederich, Brandon Schukei, Callie Conrad, Susan Barbash, Mark Benton, Stacey, Patti Gumiela, Emily Dagney, K. Beasley, Jenny Brennan, Pat, Marie Seilus, Katie Morgan, Olszak Family, Kathy Morris, Kerry-lynn Mcgregor, Scott O'donnell, Jodi Cook, Kelly Cummings, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Erin Dagney, Christine Dagney, Pollyanna Buff, Colette S, Melissa Such, Jeffery Terrell, Karen Ramirez, Courtney Payne, Brent Lollar, Deme Grabert, Scott Greenbaum, Sabrina Allen, Sharon Pierce, Janna Jewett , The O'meara Family, Kameo Crea, Paul Knott, Morgan M., Misty Mehelic, Les Stewart, Erin Hammer, Sharynne Smith, Linda Scrivano, Laurie Walker, Karen Schlumpf, Wendy Snelgrove, Tim Johansen, Stefanie Vandiver, Mitchell Holmes, Phil Vickers, Patty Carty, Vera Williams, Derek Carty, Evanna Huda, Hayley Valk, Malesky Family, Larissa Huda, Lori Rienhardt, Emily Hudson, Stephanie Newell, Tom Koval, Dawn Bach , Claire Gregory, Kye Layton, Michaela O'brien, Cindy Pink, Patti Mccaffrey, Doug Olson Family, Jason &Melinda Lenz, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, The Kertes Family, Maureen Handy, Rob Jacob, The Parker Family, Robert Hildebrandt , Mickey Eckert, Jared Orth, Robert D. Bostic, Mickey Eckert, Danielle Murgia, Stefan Owens, Lisa Zitek, Chloe Mayhew, Bruce Hinterleitner, Emily Watson, Rob &April Team Vanderpool, Chris Kelly, Heather Pedulla, Andrew Swiatowicz , Herb Miller, Jennifer Bourg, The Moore Family, Carrie Kwiat, Kevin Scott, Clay, Mike Haeberle, Betsy Silvestri, Noah Schweizer (8 Yrs Old), Walter N. Clark, Russ Morgan, Reagan, Charis Barron, Megan W, Amanda, Kristen Mccoy, Kathryn Willer, Gabrielle Childs , Rebecca Keenan, Carrie Henderson, Kristin Olmedo, April Haddock, Jack, Bill, And Ryan Foley, Melesia Love, Brian Gallant, Mike Haven, Jenny Stoneburner, Kerrie Hogan, Christopher Hall, Lee Anastasi, Chris Bauman, Kathryn Hughes, Kate Fischer, Tricia Noble, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Andrew Weed, Karrie Duffey, Andy Schumacher, Jeremy Reichelt, Anastasia Macneil, Anita Jodouin, Sara Holloway, Patrick Broaddus, Mike Cerce, Jared Meeker, Sandiealbrecht, Kendra Hettel, Elaine Tomko-deluca, Alan Mize, Terry Garvey, Steve Knapp, The Patterson Family, John Snider, Jullie Pudem, Amy P, Mike Kaczanowski, Francis Lachance, Jason Skow, Carla Leger, Emily S., Cheri Palmisano, Emily S., Dave Fullerton, Stephanie Dollar, Wayne Witherspoon, Evelyn Vertefeuille, Ashley Wilson, Hobbes And Snorky, Nicole Shuler, Paula B, Antoinette Leblanc, Rob Blundin, Mike Mondoux, Trina Noggle, Jackie Purcell, Sue Vanvleet, Karen Davis, Carolyn Como, Bonnie Tulenko, Matt Holley, Allison Caputa, Duskin Henard, Ashley P., Miguel Gonzalez, Michael Nanney, Maryann Romagnano, Dave Kanigowski, Sandy Kanigowski, Lisa Palmer, Kelsi , Brian Sherwin, Gloria Martin, Caroline Burmester, David Ballard, Bob Burge Jr, Janice, Jennifer Bogdan, Diane Ramos, Melodye Berry, Mark Franklin, Penny, Trina, Dan Dufault, Melissa Kirk, Roye Ann Morris, John Foggo, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Elaine Kleinhenz, Kerry Mccaffrey, Jen Tremley, Karen Drum, Linda Ranatza, James Hickey, Jennifer Cravener, Clinton Dickinson, Monica Owens, Kathy And Ronald Berry, Sherri Pell, Kristi Strembicki, Chris & Maranda Nichols, and Kerri Coggins,. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________
Challenge #259: Where in the world is this?

Another park challenge
 Where in the World #259

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, December 20th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

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 18, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week: Dancing

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Disney themeparks have lots of live shows every day. I am willing to bet all them feature two things: singing and dancing. This week, Lisa and I will be focusing on the Dancing aspect of the shows.

Below is a photo from the Main Street Trolley Parade of the performers dancing behind the horse drawn trolley.

Performers sing and dance during the Trolley Parade down Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Performers sing and dance during the Trolley Parade down Main Street USA.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/11, ISO 200, EV 0, 55mm focal length.

Lisa will be here on Thursday with her Disney Pic of the Week on Dancing.

December 19, 2012

Front Row at Lights, Motors, Action!

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton


Be it a concert, theatrical performance, or sporting event, people love sitting in the front row. You're close to the action, so close that you can see performers sweating or catch an out of bounds ball. As exciting as it is, sometimes sitting in the front doesn't work out the way you thought it would. Viewing may be limited to actors close to the edge of the stage and you can't see the ensemble (a fact I'll deal with this weekend at Evita).

This blog begins yet another not-so-regular series to show you which attractions at Disney Parks are great for photographing from the front row and which seats are more trouble than they're worth.

I spotted an open spot at Lights, Motors, Action! (Disney's Hollywood Studios) in the front row a bit left of center. I set my lovely Canon EOS 30D with Canon EF 28-135 IS USM set to Shutter Priority 1/500 and my film speed to 400. I was ready for action. This was my view.

lkb-FirstRow-LightsMotor-set.jpg

Clearly, sitting in the 1st row at this show is not ideal, especially for photography.

Believe it or not, I did this on purpose to show you just how bad the photos can be from this location. My timing rocks.

lkb-FirstRow-LightsMotor-Motorcycle.jpg

Next, I wanted to show you if you shift around on the bench you can snap a vehicle above the bar. It's still not good.

lkb-FirstRow-LightsMotor-CarJumpTruck.jpg

Below the bar? Scrunch down.

lkb-FirstRow-LightsMotor-CarFire.jpg

At least it's not so bad after cropping.

lkb-FirstRow-LightsMotor-CarFire-cropped.jpg

Alright, that's enough. My back hurts. You get the idea. Next year we'll explore more entertainment from the front row.


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


December 20, 2012

High School Musical Dancers

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Major props to the entertainers at Disney Parks who sweat energy and smile year round regardless of weather conditions. A quick glance back in time to 2007 when the High School Musical trilogy wound down its Wild Cat-infused popularity. My photo comes from Disney's Hollywood Studios where the dancers and singers performed multiple times a day.

Disney Pic of the Week - Dancing

lkb-Dancing-HSMusical3.jpg

You can find me on Facebook.


December 21, 2012

Wishes Christmas Card from the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Wishes Christmas Card from the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Wishes Christmas Card from the Magic Kingdom.

A scanned image of my family's Christmas card for this year. My friend and Disney contract photographer, Bob Desmond, who was kind enough to take on the challenge when I first proposed a photo of my family during the production of Wishes, the nightly fireworks show in the Magic Kingdom. Not only did we have to secure the location Bob had scouted out for us a couple of hours ahead of time, Bob and I had to keep people from crowding in too close. Many of you know how hard that is to do. Bob came prepared with a tripod, remote release, camera, flash, knowledge of the show, a wide angle lens to be able to work in close quarters and still get my family, Cinderella Castle and the fireworks in one frame and patience to handle the crowd and his subjects, us.

For our part, we had to smile for the initial flash which exposed us correctly and stand still during the 15 to 20 second shutter time needed to capture the fireworks going off behind us. Let me tell you, it was hard not to turn around and enjoy the show like the hundreds of people surrounding us. In fact, just to the right and left of us where kids and adults leaning and sitting on the fence.

I can not leave you with the poorly scanned card image above. Here is Bob's final photo which he sent to me. It will be treasured by my wife and I for years to come.

Wishes family portrait in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Wishes family portrait in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D7000/Nikon 10-20mm, 20.4s, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 10mm focal length, tripod, front sync flash.

As the card says...Merry Christmas! I will not have a Friday post next week but Lisa and I will have a special Disney Pic of the Week for you. I will return in the New Year with more photographic fun and tips from the Disney themeparks and resorts.

December 23, 2012

Where in the World #260

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

To all who come to this photo trivia game, Welcome! Along the way, the photos can make us relive memories and see details Walt's Imagineers put into everything we love in Walt Disney World!

Merry Christmas to everyone celebrating this special day!
From Millan.Net From Millan.Net

Here was the challenge last week:
 Where in the World #259

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © Erin Blackwell

I'm so glad you enjoyed this challenge, Claire Gregory and the Hoekzema Family! It's the walkway sign for the Island Mercantile in Disney's Animal Kingdom!

Emma Poprock was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Emma and to all the readers who got the answer right: The Strukel Family, Team Hill, Wendy Barney, Kristi Strembicki, Deb Ragno, Robert Hildebrandt , Claire Gregory, Nathalie Periard, Pam Vanaustin, Mary Beth Tarbet, Larissa Huda, Billie Jean Albolino, Hoekzema Family, Tricia Noble, George Mundy Jr, Nathalie Periard, Emily Hudson, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, and Agnes Ciotti. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #260: Where in the world is this?

So... does this look familiar?
 Where in the World #260

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, December 27th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.
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 25, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week - Favorite Three Photos of 2012

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton



Every year I suggest that we photo bloggers do some sort of year-end wrap-up. For 2012, Scott and I are each picking three of our favorite Disney photos taken over the course of the last 12 months. We hope you enjoy them as much as we do.


lkb-Fave3-HollywoodTowerHotel.jpg
While I will not ride Tower of Terror, I do enjoy photographing the queue. The theming outside is so simple and yet very specific to the attraction. You see the letters HTH around referring to Hollywood Tower Hotel at Disney's Hollywood Studios, the "hotel" that guests never check out of. (wink, wink). I love how the light plays off of the vines and dark wood lattice.


lkb-Fave3-SquishBobaFett.jpg
A Star Wars fanatic I am not but I do love well planned out and themed events like Star Wars Weekends. By model for the afternoon, Sharon, went along with my idea for her to squish bounty hunter Boba Fett. We got two shots before he realized what we were up to and started after us. It was pretty funny.


lkb-OneMoreDay-YawningGuysGoofyPluto.jpg
This was one of the last photos I took as I slowly and painfully exited Disneyland after staying awake for some 19 or 20 hours during One More Disney Day. I have no idea who these fellas are but they made me laugh and along with Goofy and Pluto helped create my all-time favorite shot of 2012. Thanks, boys.


Merry Christmas to those who celebrate.


You can find me on Facebook.


December 26, 2012

Black and White Challenge - The End

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

Here marks the end of a year-long blog where I asked readers to shoot in color and B&W or at least convert color images to B&W to expand creativity. Thank you to everyone who participated. I'm sure your fellow Disney fans enjoyed your pictures.

If you missed the series, here are links to each blog.

Disney Vacations: Color vs Black and White Challenge

Entries

Entries 2

Entries 3

Mike

I've attached images in both B&W and color from a recent Disney trip for the Light Meter column assignment. These were converted after shooting. I shot exclusively in B&W while in school, my hero was Ansel Adams but haven't done so since the world switched from film to digital.

Epcot restaurant seating during a rainstorm

BWChallenge-Mike-TablesColor.jpg

BWChallenge-Mike-TablesBW.jpg


Visit my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter. My handle is lisano1.

Happy New Year!


December 27, 2012

Three Favorite Photos of 2012

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

In reflecting back on my two trips to Walt Disney World and a Disney Dream cruise, I found these three photos illustrated my favorite times from each of the three different Disney adventures.

The first trip was broken up by the cruise in the middle and featured two Star Wars Weekends. If you are even a casual fan of the Star Wars movies or the animated television series, you should consider attending one of these fun filled days. You can visit with many of the popular Star Wars characters, celebrities from the franchise are on hand to sign autographs or take part in special behind the scene presentations and shows and see the amazing Hyperspace Hoopla performed each night. Below is a photo I feel shows the fun of Star Wars Weekends at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Janga Fett signs his autograph during Star Wars Weekend in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Janga Fett signs his autograph during Star Wars Weekend in Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/18, ISO 200, EV 0, 116mm focal length, fill flash.

As a couple, my wife and I enjoyed a 4-night cruise on the Disney Dream. We found that even on a cruise ship full of families, an adult couple can find plenty of magical and romantic things to do on a Disney Cruise. Below is the Disney Dream sandwiched between the smaller Disney Magic and another cruise ship at Nassau, Bahamas.

The Disney Dream (middle) and Disney Magic in Nassau, Bahamas.
The Disney Dream (middle) and Disney Magic in Nassau, Bahamas.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 170mm focal length.

Later in the year, I returned to Walt Disney World for Epcot's 30th Anniversary and reminisced about the EPCOT Center I first saw back in 1983 compared to the one I visited 29 years later. While things have changed in the photo below of Future World, the mission of Epcot remains the same: to entertain, inform and inspire.

Future World from the monorail over Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Future World from the monorail over Epcot.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 200, EV -0.6, 16mm focal length, fill flash.

Hope you enjoyed my Disney Pic of the Week of My Favorite Three Photos of 2012.

2012 was a very good Disney year for me and I look forward to 2013 with plans to return to Walt Disney World and to take a trip to Anaheim, California to enjoy and photograph all the new and old wonders of Disneyland and California Adventure. Happy New Year!

December 30, 2012

Where in the World #261

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

To all who come to this photo trivia game, Welcome! Along the way, the photos can make us relive memories and see details Walt's Imagineers put into everything we love in Walt Disney World!

To all of you, Players!
From Millan.Net
May this be a wonderfully magical year for everyone!

Noah And Amy Schweizer are in Walt Disney World! Everyone wave!
From Millan.Net

Thank you, Judy Simonsen, for your wonderful note!

Claire Gregory, a million DVC points for Christmas would be AMAZING wouldn't it?! I wouldn't leave Disney until 2014!

Here was the challenge last week:
 Where in the World #260

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © Erin Blackwell

I actually thought this would be tough for you. Silly ol' me!

It's the sign for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh! Actually, it's the original sign with one like it hanging off of Pooh's tree house.

All of you know that this ride replaced the Mr. Toad attraction and has tributes to it inside. If you love Disney park trivia, then here's another fun tribute: inside Pooh's house and over the door is a picture of the Nautilus sub, since the tree house stood over the old 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction when it was part of the old Pooh's Playful Spot.

Mickey Eckert, I would be with your family in the little kids line!

Chris Masse was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Chris and to all the readers who got the answer right: Kris Nixon, Krystal Pound, Dawn Bach, Betsy, Eric States, Jason Skow, Brian Miller, Jessica Iglesias, Jared Orth, Chuck Everson, Clinton Dickinson, Shannon Milair, Jessica Folan, Jenny Brennan, Vera Williams, Betsy Bates, Frank Pierce, Tj Mahan, Paul Moore, Glenn Plohasz, Robert Hildebrandt, Robert Hildebrandt, Jennifer Hyland, Heather O'toole, Paul Scimeca, Evanna Huda, Sharynne Smith, Larissa Huda, Pollyanna Buff, Mary Dunnett, John Menjes, Sanford Fuller, Sarah White, Kelly Zanauskas, Charis Barron, Candice Grimes, Brenda, Maureen Handy, Steve Jordan, Bruce Jones, Tina Santacroce, Angie Young, Mike Mondoux, Tricia Noble, Stacey Vandyke, Rob & April - Team Vanderpool, Tracy Davis, Sarah Mccoy, Paul Dickson, Chloe Mayhew, Dave Freemyer, Agnes Ciotti, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Maria Senn, Claire Gregory, Tinkerbell Wells, Taylor K, Deb Gallo, Sarah Calvario, Griffin Connors, Jackie Igoe, Vanessa Stjohn, Kelly Sandidge, Jennifer Rowell, Dan And Elizabeth Johnston, Jenny Stoneburner, Emily Watson, Debbie Chitester, Jeremy Reichelt, Tyler West, Sandy Chang, Danielle Sauthoff, Jessica Ma'ilo , John Nottell, Meredith Rule, The Strukel Family, Lisa Bohannon, Noah And Amy Schweizer, Jim Vandenberghe, Katie Bamford, Laurie Walker, Christopher Barnes, Chris & Maranda Nichols, Rob Jacob, Jeff & Cheryl Simmons, Brian Gallant, Sharon Pierce, Christina R, Theresa Rucando, Jennifer Decker, Andrew Carrieri, Karen Ramirez, Jim Dewalt, Sharon Dale, Doug Olson Family, Amy P, Tanya Hinnes, Hayley Valk, Hayley Valk, Jason & Melinda Lenz, Mark Franklin, Lindsey Nozal, D, Bill Granger, Lee Anastasi, Pam Vanaustin, Mary Beth Tarbet, Judy Simonsen, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Patti Mccaffrey, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Janna Jewett , Kaitlyn, Palmer Family , Wendy T Faler, Team Hill, Emily Canale, Anastasia Macneil, The Kertes Family, Hoekzema Family, Katie Bray, Chris Kelly, Carla C, Emily Hudson, Nathalie Periard, Kristi Strembicki, Maryann Romagnano, Daniel Schweizer, Clay Anthony, Ainsley Poe, Katvan, Mike Malampy, Maggie Klotz, Craig, Al Desimone, Debbie Desimone, Kevin Scott, Vanessa Gordon, Elaine Kleinhenz, The Patterson Family, Henry Schoenstein, Matt Cofone, Mickey Eckert, Heather Young, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Paul Knott, Derek Carty, Jen Tremley, Daniel Record, Megan Krainski, Bruce Hinterleitner, Antoinette Leblanc, Candy Sandal, Al Sandal, Hillary Waldroop, The Parker Family, Jo Ann Bailey, Deb Ragno, Jackie Graebel, Trina Noggle, Jane Johnson, Walter N. Clark, Trish Babler, Lindsay Kasawski, Lindsay Kasawski, Emma Ramsey, Diane Ramos, Wendy Barney, William Sharp, Stephanie Linares, Jonathan Thomas, Lauren Thomas, Bill Cudney , Dale Knight, Kerry A., Eileen Miller, Kerrie Hogan, Eric Holmes, Kerry Mccaffrey, Rita Henderson, K Beasley, Christine Dagney, Erin Dagney, Heather Pedulla, Elaine Tomko-deluca, Annie Snodgrass, Megan W, Kathryn Perkins, Patty Carty, Gena Yates, Shelly Borella, Dave Fullerton, Margie Larmon, Tom Higbee, Lisa Zitek, Sandy Ednie, Ken Rhinehart, Stacy Guarracino, Carri Marotto, Pattie Boy, Emily Harper, Mary M, Heidi Goodhue, Katy Robinson, and Barclay Bakkum. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #261: Where in the world is this?

I wanted some special, something magical for our last challenge of 2012. I know some will say it's too easy and it is but when you think Disney and magic...
Well, this IS the definition of Disney Magic:
 Where in the World #261

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, January 3rd, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.
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!

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About December 2012

This page contains all entries posted to Picture This! in December 2012. They are listed from oldest to newest.

November 2012 is the previous archive.

January 2013 is the next archive.

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