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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!

August 21, 2009

Auction Results

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Dream Team Project Auction volunteers on stage at MagicMeets, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Dream Team Project Auction volunteers on stage at MagicMeets.

Still out this week but I forgot to give the final results of the Dream Team Project last week. Graphics added using Picnik.com. Since MagicMeets, Lou Mongello announced the final tally of $27,000 to go to Make-A-Wish to help make dreams come true.

Be back photo blogging in a couple of weeks!

August 14, 2009

2009 MagicMeets Photography

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

All Ears photographer Linda E pulls a lucky number with the help of Mary Poppins during the Meet before the Magic reception the night before MagicMeets, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
All Ears photographer Linda E pulls a lucky number with the help of Mary Poppins during the Meet Before the Magic reception the night before MagicMeets.



Surprise and suprised celebrity contestant, Jill, gets an assist from Deb Wills of AllEars.net during the Magic-Tunes game the night before MagicMeets in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

Surprise and surprised celebrity contestant, Jill, gets an assist from Deb Wills of AllEars.net during the Magic-Tunes game the night before MagicMeets.



All Ears founder, Deb Wills, poses next to her poster of the Flying Dutchman before MagicMeets on Saturday, August 8, 2009, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

All Ears founder, Deb Wills, poses next to her poster of the Flying Dutchman sold as a fund raiser at MagicMeets 2009.



Guests enter MagicMeets on Saturday, August 8, 2009, in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania while Fred Block looks on.

Guests enter MagicMeets while Fred Block looks on.



A young MagicMeets attendee admires the Minnie and Me dress set during the Dream Team Auction.

A young MagicMeets attendee admires the Minnie and Me dress set during the Dream Team Auction.



A father helps his son draw Mickey Mouse in the Kid's Room at MagicMeets in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

A father helps his son draw Mickey Mouse in the Kid's Room at MagicMeets.



All Ears feature writer, Michelle, doing some audio tweeting at MagicMeets in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

All Ears feature writer, Michelle, doing some audio tweeting at MagicMeets.

Hope you enjoyed this look at the 2009 MagicMeets weekend. I'll be taking the next couple of weeks off from blogging. As Mickey would say, "See ya real soon!".

July 31, 2009

MagicMeets Auction Print Preparation

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

One of the great events at each year's MagicMeets is the silent auction for the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of America. This auction is run by Lou Mongello's Dream Team Project volunteers and features hundreds of items for people to bid on. So far the auctions have raised $32,000 for Make-A-Wish. It's a beautiful way to share the Disney spirit!

Last year I was asked to donate something and I chose a professionally framed 16x20 inch print from one of my Animal Kingdom photos. This year I am again donating a framed print. A replica you can see below. This is a photo you may have seen here before as I used it when I talked about using tripods at Walt Disney World earlier this year.

Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Replica of framed Twilight Zone Tower of Terror print.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 25s, f/18, 200 ISO, EV +0.3, 80mm Focal length

When you decide to make a print of one of your digital images, you have to process it a bit differently than if you were going to display it in a digital frame or on the Internet. For instance, you must sharpen it differently and more aggressively. Have in mind the size you want to print it at and crop accordingly. For the Tower of Terror photo, I knew I was going to print it at 16x20 so I cropped it for an 8x10 (which is the same ratio as a 16x20). Set the DPI (dots per inch) at a minimum of 300. The human eye can not tell the difference beyond 300 DPI. As a comparison, most web images are at 72 DPI which create much smaller file sizes and load faster on our screens.

If you want to make sure what you see on your screen is what you'll see come out on your printer you should color calibrate both the computer's display screen and printer. You should check out your software's manual and supporting websites to get specific information regarding preparing your images for printing.

I use an online printer who color corrects and sharpens as needed before printing. For this year's auction print, I chose to use Kodak Professional Endura Metallic paper which is supposed to produce a striking, three-dimensional-like image. I'll let you know! I will have a local professional frame shop do the framing. What's nice about working with a local frame shop is you can bring the print in and match it up with a sample of hundreds of framing materials to find just the right one for the photo.

For those of you attending next week's MagicMeets, I'll be around photographing and helping out at the AllEars.net booth. Stop by and say "Hi!".

August 1, 2008

MagicMeets Hersheypark Fahrenheit Experience

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

All I can say is if it wasn't for the MagicMeets Fahrenheit ERT (Early Ride Time), I would never have had the chance to ride this great coaster. Once the doors opened to the public, there was a two hour wait to get on for most of the day. I got to ride it four times during the ERT! What a great perk for MagicMeets. Cindy Garfinkel was the MagicMeets Hersheypark coordinator who arranged for the ERT and an excellent lunch in one of the catering areas. She did a fantastic job and has already told me there will be another one next year. I figured the lunch saved me almost $100 for my party of four.

The new for 2008 Fahrenheit rollar coaster as seen from the Hershey Kissing Tower, Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania
The new for 2008 Fahrenheit rollar coaster as seen from the Hershey Kissing Tower.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/80s, f/18, 200 ISO, EV +0.3, 95mm Focal length
Here's some of our intrepid MagicMeets ERT attendees going down Fahrenheit's 121 foot, 97 degree drop, Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania
Here's some of our intrepid MagicMeets ERT attendees going down Fahrenheit's 121 foot, 97 degree drop.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/100s, f/16, 200 ISO, EV +0.3, 18mm Focal length
Fahrenheit threw in a few of these inversions to keep the heart pumping after the drop, Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania
Fahrenheit threw in a few of these inversions to keep the heart pumping after the drop.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/250s, f/8, 200 ISO, EV +0.3, 48mm Focal length
Here's the whole Fahrenheit ERT gang.  The ride vehicle is empty beacuse everyone is in the photo, Hersheypark, Hershey, Pennsylvania
Here's the whole Fahrenheit ERT gang. The ride vehicle is empty beacuse everyone is in this photo (well, except for three photographers).
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/200s, f/14, 200 ISO, EV +0.3, 18mm Focal length

For more pictures and commentary on MagicMeet's Sunday events including a great description of Fahrenheit and a photo of some confused AllEars.net staff, check out LindaMac's blog entitled Magic Meets and Hershey Park - Sunday - Part 1.

July 25, 2008

Fun at MagicMeets

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

It's hard to cover an event like MagicMeets with so much going on. I enjoyed photographing the Main Ballroom events and some of the Breakout sessions with speakers like Deb Wills, our wonderful webmaster of AllEars.net, Shontell Crawford of DVC by Resale, Disney's first CMO Justin Muchoney, Johnny Zotto training young animators and Steve Barrett, author of the Hidden Mickey's Guidebooks. What I came away with was how much fun people were having at MagicMeets and wanted to share a little of it here with you.

During the first breakout session, Deb Wills did a talk entitled, "Let's Go Cruisin!", about the Disney Cruise Line. Deb answered questions and encouraged guests who had been on a cruise to share their experiences. Deb even got into character much to the delight of the 100 plus members of the audience.

Deb Wills of AllEars.net getting feedback from an audience member at her Let's Go Cruisin! breakout session during MagicMeets on July 19, 2008 in Harrisburg, PA.
Deb Wills of AllEars.net getting feedback from an audience member at her "Let's Go Cruisin!" breakout session during MagicMeets.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/5.3, 400 ISO, EV +0.3, 82mm Focal length

Next door, Johnny Zotto was running his "How to Draw Mickey" Breakout session for the kids attending MagicMeets. I stopped in as they were finishing up drawing Mickey Mouse and were preparing to draw Goofy. It amazes me how just by drawing circles, ovals and parts of them create our lovable Disney characters.

Samantha Hogan proudly shows off her Mickey Mouse drawing she made under the instruction of Johnny Zotto at MagicMeets on Saturday, July 19, in Harrisburg, PA.
Samantha Hogan proudly shows off her Mickey Mouse drawing she made under the instruction of Johnny Zotto at MagicMeets.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/5, 400 ISO, EV +0.3, 18mm Focal length

Lots of prizes were given away by the sponsors who attended MagicMeets. Fred Block, the founder of MagicMeets, would get the entire ballroom excited when announcing the next prize drawing. Photos, books, beautiful gift baskets and even a Mousefest 2009 cruise for two was given away to the amazement of the winners.

A happy Pamela Berkheiser poses with her Hidden Mickey prize package she won at MagicMeets on Saturday, July 19, in Harrisburg, PA.
A happy Pamela Berkheiser poses with her Hidden Mickey prize package she won at MagicMeets.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/5, 400 ISO, EV +0.3, 42mm Focal length

The real winners of the day was the Make-A-Wish Foundation as $20,000 was raised to help make wishes come true from the hearts of all who attended the 2008 MagicMeets.

July 9, 2008

Back in Time: Dis/Magic Meets

Light Meter by Lisa K. Berton

If you'll all kindly step forward into my time machine then we can be on our way. Our first brief visit will be to DisMeet of 2006. The gathering of 350 or so Disney fans took place at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

(beep beep beep beep beep) OK, the date is set for July 15, 2006. Let's go!

It's Steven M. Barrett, author of the famous Hidden Mickeys books. He's in the Main Ballroom showing the audience a slideshow of hidden mickeys and asking them to vote on whether the questionable ones are legit or not. Catch ya later!
magic06_steve_barrett.jpg

In smaller rooms there are breakout sessions going on. Let's peek inside and see what's happening. Sharla Whalen is handing out Dole Whips! That's one way to win over the group for sure. Oh and she's discussing scrapbooking.
magic06_scrapbooking.jpg
You see that blue book in Dave Marx's hand? They're very popular for vacationers about Disney Cruise, Disneyland, and Walt Disney World called Passporters. Sounds like today he's talking about Disneyland. Woo hoo!
magic06_dave_marx.jpg

They're tallying up the bids and it looks like the Disney World Trivia.com Dream Team has raised nearly $4,000 from their silent auction. All the money will go to the Make-A-Wish Foundation of America. Well done.

Everyone back into the time machine. Move it along, don't try to steal the centerpieces from their proper winners. No, you cannot place your nametag on a statuette and claim it as your own.

(peeb peeb peeb) Uh oh. I think it's broken! (beep beep beep) I fixed it! Next stop, Magic Meet in Harrisburg, PA on July 14, 2007 at the Radisson Penn Harris Hotel and Convention Center.

I see Fred Block riding around on a Segway. The crowds have gathered and are waiting to be allowed inside. The doors are open and there they go, grabbing tables to accomodate all their friends.

Let's take a gander at who's holding breakout sessions this time around. Hey! It's Deb! Hi Deb! She's talking about how much fun adults can have on the Disney Cruise and giving away lots of prizes.
magic07_deb_drawing.jpg

The boys from WDW Today are podcasting live. They've got lots of giveaways too. Boy oh boy are they having lots of fun tormenting Lou Mongello but it's all good, they love Lou. Oh Louououou.
magic07_mongello_luv.jpg

The kids are having a good time watching the magician and playing with their chicken fingers. We should get going as the day is coming to a close. Tomorrow lots of these folks are heading to Hershey Park and maybe even Hotel Hershey (as seen on "Great Hotels"). Chocolate lovers abound!
magc07_hotel_hershey.jpg

(beeeeep beep beep) And we're back. I hope you all enjoyed your trip. For those of you attending this year's event on July 18-20th, this was a sneak peek of things to look forward to.

I'll see you folks there and you can expect photo recaps from Scott and I.
Toodles.

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About Special "Disney" Events

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Picture This! in the Special "Disney" Events category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Photography is the previous category.

Walt Disney World is the next category.

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