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Disney's California Adventure Archives

August 4, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Red

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Colors is to Disney as air is to breathing. They go hand in hand. For the next few weeks, Deb and I are going to explore colors at Disney.

Starting off with Red, I am traveling to Disney's California Adventure and featuring the Red Car Trolly 717 on Buena Vista Street. Did you know, the number 717 stands for Disneyland's July 17 birthday? Now you do.

Red Car Trolley 717 on Buena Vista Street at Disney's California Adventure in Anaheim, California
Red Car Trolley 717 on Buena Vista Street at Disney's California Adventure.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her Red photo.

July 21, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Lights

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I am confident that when it comes to lights and lighting, Disney uses about any kind of light you could think of and probably a lot we never knew about. From the amazing lights used on Cinderella Castle to create the Ice Castle during the holidays to the lights which illuminate the exit paths if a ride stops and guests have to leave their ride vehicles, there are millions of lights used at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.

Below is one example of a light we see all the time driving around our cities and towns. A simple traffic light which became the center of attention during the Pixar movie, Cars. By it's only flashing yellow during parts of the movie, the light signified loneliness and isolation. When the light was turned on for full use, the town of Radiator Springs came alive with activity and hope.

Traffic light in the center of Carsland at Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim, California
Traffic light in the center of Carsland at Disney's California Adventure.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 400, EV -0.3, 28mm focal length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to quiz you on a light she found in a new, fun location.


September 9, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Paradise Pier

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Paradise Pier in Disney's California Adventure was a most pleasant surprise. I knew California Screamin' was going to be a blast but the overall feel of the place did remind me of the East Coast boardwalks with fun games, popular rides with a Disney twist and good food. Like those boardwalks, when night falls a little extra magic fills the air.

People waiting for the World of Color at Paradise Pier in Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim, California
People waiting for the World of Color at Paradise Pier.
Nikon D7100/Tokina 11-16mm, 15s, f/11, ISO 100, EV 0, 16mm focal length, tripod.

Come back on Thursday when Lisa shares her Disney Pic of the Week on Paradise Pier.

March 21, 2014

Disney's California Adventure Animation Building

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Disney Animation Building in Disney's California Adventure is a must for the Disney fan. When I was there last fall, it was not a very busy place especially soon after park opening. I virtually had the place to myself.

Upon entering the building, you are presented with a large room with big screens showing scenes from one of many Disney animated classics. This is the Courtyard Gallery.

The Courtyeard Gallery inside the Disney Animation Building at Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim, California
The Courtyeard Gallery inside the Disney Animation Building.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/60s, f/2.8, ISO 3200, EV +0.3, 15mm focal length.

As you can see, this is were people enter into the Sorcerer's Workshop. Since there was no one waiting in the queue. I decided to explore it first. The first chamber is full of interactive displays in how animation was first done. Lots of spinning things here to delight the animation history buff. As I was having fun enjoying the displays, I heard a familiar voice and turned around to see the Magic Mirror addressing the room.

The Magic Mirror from Snow White inside the Disney Animation Building at Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim, California
The Magic Mirror from Snow White in The Sorcerer's Workshop.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/15s, f/3.5, ISO 4500, EV +0.3, 32mm focal length.

After doing a few voice overs in Ursula's Grotto, we entered the enchanted library of the Beast. In the Beast's Library magical books will tell you which Disney character you are most like and the room changes from the eerie past to the bright future complete with special effects.

The Beast's Library inside the Disney Animation Building at Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim, California
The Beast's Library inside the Disney Animation Building.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/15s, f/2.8, ISO 5600, EV +0.3, 16mm focal length.

Before you leave the Disney Animation Building, seek out the 3-D Toy Story Zoetrope. A zoetrope is a device that produces the illusion of motion from a rapid succession of static pictures. For 3-D, Disney used small statues. When seen in person and at the proper speed, you see Woody and the gang moving in real space. Knowing how static that would look in a still image, I used a slow shutter speed to show you have fast the zoetrope was moving.

3-D Toy Story Zoetrop in motion inside the Disney Animation Building at Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim, California
3-D Toy Story Zoetrop in motion.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/15s, f/3.5, ISO 800, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

This is only one part of the Disney Animation Building experience. A hidden gem found in Hollywoodland.

January 24, 2014

Photographing Carsland Details in Disney's California Adventure

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I had a lot of fun searching out details when I visited Carsland in Disney's California Adventure. I used a couple of techniques I have not mentioned in awhile and thought it would be a good reminder for everyone.

Selective Focus is my go to way of separating a subject from a busy background. Using a large aperture, I carefully focus on my subject which throws the background out of focus. In the photo below, the other flowers, window and the reflection in the window are softly out of focus while the subject of the photo, the closest Taillight Flowers, are in sharp focus.

Taillight Flowers found in Carsland, Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim, California.
Taillight Flowers found in Carsland.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 220, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

In contrast, the photo of the funny signs as you walk out of Carsland's Ornament Valley are all in focus as I wanted people to be able to read all of them. To do this, I selected a small aperture which gives a large depth of field from the front of the image all the way to its back. This is called the Hyperfocal Distance Setting or Hyperfocus.

Signs leaving Ornament Valley in Carsland, Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim, California.
Signs leaving Ornament Valley in Carsland.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/22, ISO 1400, EV 0, 48mm focal length.

I know this photo is a little small to see all the signs. They read in order:

MIND YOUR SPEED
AS YOU GO
SHERIFF'S OLD
BUT HE'S
NOT SLOW

Remember that when you are speeding out of any town, especially Radiator Springs.

November 5, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week: Paradise Pier

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Paradise Pier area of Disney's California Adventure reminded me of the New Jersey Shore boardwalks. Which is exactly what Disney wants you to think of Paradise Pier. The attractions, however, are most definitely Disney. Disney even added a little gem and gave the water fountains for World of Color something to do during the day. Goofy comes out in Black Tux and proceeds to conduct an Instant Concert with the fountains.

Look for Goofy's Instant Concert on the daily entertainment schedule.

The big finish of Goody's Instant Concert at Paradise Pier, Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim, California
The Big Finish of Goody's Instant Concert at Paradise Pier.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 720, EV +0.3, 82mm focal length.

Lisa will be here on Thursday to share her Disney Pic of the Week about Paradise Pier.

October 25, 2013

Buena Vista Street in Disney's California Adventure

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Buena Vista Street lamppost sign in Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim, California
Buena Vista Street lamppost sign.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 360, EV 0, 210mm focal length.

Disney parks are known for their Main Streets. In Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom, I have walked up Main Street USA. In Disney's Hollywood Studios, it's Hollywood Boulevard. For California Adventure, Buena Vista Street is where you enter the park and takes you back to the time when Walt Disney first came to Los Angeles in 1923. Complete with buildings, characters and music from the era. There is even a Red Car Trolley to transport you up the street, around Carthay Circle and off to Hollywoodland.

Red Car Trolley on Buena Vista Street in Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim, California
Red Car Trolley on Buena Vista Street.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/400s, f/10, ISO 200, EV 0, 50mm focal length.

Like its other themepark Main Streets, Buena Vista Street is full of stores where you can buy all manner of souvenirs, clothing, gadgets, toys, candy, coffee, baked goods, fresh fruit and accessories for your digital lifestyle. You will find helpful Cast Members ready to answer your questions about the park, assist you with a problem and trade the ever popular Disney pins.

Cast Member ready to trade pins on Buena Vista Street in Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim, California
Cast Member ready to trade pins on Buena Vista Street.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5, ISO 200, EV 0, 34mm focal length.

At the end of Buena Vista Street is Carthay Circle. Carthay Circle is the "hub" of Disney's California Adventure. Throughout the day you will find entertainment in the way of Five & Dime (the gal is named Dime) and the Red Car News Boys with a very Walt Disney like costumed Mickey Mouse reliving the days when anything seemed possible in California.

Entertainers performing around Carthay Circle in Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim, California
Entertainers performing around Carthay Circle.

I always smile when I find a reference to Walt Disney in the parks. In one of the display windows of Elias And Company, I found this publicity photograph of Walt Disney nicely matted.

Photo of Walt Disney in the Elias & Co. store window on Buena Vista Street in Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim, California
Photo of Walt Disney in the Elias & Co. store window.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 250, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

Buena Vista Street is full of great details to find and photograph, wonderful atmosphere and the famous Disney Magic. Fits right into my definition of a Disney Main Street.

October 11, 2013

Postcard from Carsland

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Scott is still on vacation. We did receive this Postcard from Radiator Springs and thought we would share it with you.

Hi, to all my All Ears friends and family!

I am having a wonderful time out here in Radiator Springs. While seeing it in the movies was extraordinary, visiting the actual location where Lightning McQueen and Mater met and became friends is even better.

Radiator Springs Metal Sign in Radiator Springs Curios, Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim, California
Radiator Springs Metal Sign.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 3600, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

Watching visiting Cars take tourists on rides through Ornament Valley by cruising past Firewall Falls and flying around Willy's Butte on the high banks is breathtaking.

Cars race around Willy's Butte in Carsland, Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim, California
Cars race around Willy's Butte in Carsland.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/500s, f/4.5, ISO 280, EV 0, 56mm focal length.

I got a few panning photos to give you an idea of the speed of these finely tuned racers. Each car either gets a new set of tires from Lugi's or a sweet paint job from Ramone and tips from Doc Hudson before starting the race.

Radiator Springs Racers, Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim, California
Radiator Springs Racers.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/30s, f/22, ISO 200, EV -1.3, 28mm focal length.

I was lucky as I got to meet Mater. He was going out to do some Tractor Tipping out past Ornament Valley.

Mater from the movie, Cars, Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim, California
Mater from the movie, Cars.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

If meeting Mater wasn't enough, I came upon Lightning McQueen cruising past Flo's V8 Café. He gave me his best Ka-chow before checking in at the Cozy Cone.

Lightning McQueen from the movie, Cars, Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim, California
Lightning McQueen from the movie, Cars.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/13, ISO 200, EV 0, 50mm focal length.

You have not really seen Radiator Springs until after the Sun goes down and the proprietors turn on their neon lighting. Flo's V8 Café took on a magical look which brought in a lot of customers.

Flo's V8 Café at night in Carsland, Disney's California Adventure, Anaheim, California
Flo's V8 Café at night in Carsland.
Nikon D7100/Tokina 11-16mm, 5s, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 14mm focal length, tripod.

Time to go. Mater promised me a night run out to Ornament Valley. Wish you were here!

Ka-chow,

Scott

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