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August 16, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Animal Kingdom Landscape

Deb's Digest Blog

For Animal Kingdom I had to look back into my archives. These days it is difficult to get a panoramic or landscape photo without people in it.

Here is one I found from Camp Minnie-Mickey where Pocahontas and her Forest Friends performed several times a day. I needed the panoramic feature to get the entire stage area.

ak-landscape.jpg

August 15, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Disney's Animal Kingdom Landscape

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Of all the parks, Disney's Animal Kingdom has wonderful landscape photography locations if you know where to look. Below is a photo taken back in 2009 which is why you do not see the recently added seating for the night time Rivers of Light show. I photographed Expedition EVEREST late in the day which is why you see the golden light of the setting Sun and the almost full Moon raising behind it.

Expedition EVEREST and Moon reflected in the water at Disney's Animal Kingdom , Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Expedition EVEREST and Moon reflected in the water at Disney's Animal Kingdom .
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/25s, f/22, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 44mm Focal Length.

In this case, while the lens I used was not very wide, I did use another trait of landscape photography called hyperfocus or hyperfocal distance. A really cool concept to learn.

Deb will be here to share her Disney's Animal Kingdom Landscape photo tomorrow.






August 1, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: 2000s

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Picture This! Photoblogger Scott on the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Picture This! Photoblogger Scott on the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Copyright Disney 2011. Used by permission.

I am cheating a bit here as the Wild Africa Trek started in 2010 and I did not do it until early 2011 but...Disney's Animal Kingdom is our 2000s decade park so I am going with it. Back in old 2011, you recieved a CD in the mail from Disney with photos taken from the Trek. I am assuming today you get them posted online.

To read about my adventure, here are the links:

Photographing on the Wild Africa Trek, Part I

Photographing on the Wild Africa Trek, Part II


Deb will be here tomorrow with a photo from the 2000's at the Animal Kingdom and I bet she gets the decade right.





July 21, 2017

Look Up with a Twist at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Last week I talked about Looking Down at Walt Disney World. This week we are Looking Up....from Our Phones. Believe me, I appreciate the modern day Smart Phone as much as the next person. Especially in a long queue line for a popular ride or attraction at a Disney park. However, you could end up missing the great details Disney Imagineers design into the parks. This little detail gave me a big smile as I waited for the doors to open on the Festival of the Lion King in Disney's Animal Kingdom. I might have missed it if I did not put my phone in my pocket and take the time to look around. I pointed it out to my family who enjoyed it to upon looking up from their phones.

Sign in the queue for the Festival of the Lion King show at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Sign in the queue for the Festival of the Lion King show.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 320, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

Disney restaurants are a treasure trove of details from counter service to sit-down restaurants. One the newest restaurants is found in Magic Kingdom's Adventureland and is full of wonderful details from Disney lore. The Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen has details and surprises in every room and in every direction. As I waited for my meal, I walked around the room instead of thumbing through my phone and found this interesting wall decoration. Anyone know what S.E.A. is and what it represents?

Crest of S.E.A hanging inside the Skipper Canteen restaurant in Adventureland at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Crest of S.E.A hanging inside the Skipper Canteen restaurant.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 6400, EV 0, 70mm Focal Length.


Let us not forget the resorts. Themeing details are found through all of them. On my last stay at Disney's Port Orleans - French Quarter Resort, I found this beautiful glass etching after eating some beignets (not to be missed if your are staying there).

Glass etching of a musician with a trumpet at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Glass etching of a musician with a trumpet at Disney's Port Orleans French Quarter Resort.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 1100, EV 0, 30mm Focal Length.

Do remember to look up from your phones while you are visiting the Walt Disney World resort. You never know what you may see and not know what you may have missed.






June 30, 2017

Still Using HDR at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Even with today's software tools like MacPhun's Intensify, I still find taking a set of photographs to create High Dynamic Range or HDR images worth my time in the field and in the digital dark room.

With my cameras from Nikon, it is easy to create a bracketed set of image from -2 to +2 exposures. I stick with five photos one EV apart. Other manufacturers even do HDR in the camera which is quite impressive.

Today, I use MacPhun's Aurora 2017 HDR software as a plug-in to Adobe's Lightroom CC photo editing and management program. After selecting an HDR set of photos I export them to Aurora where they get imported. Once the five photos are merged. I have many pre-sets to choose from. They range from very realistic to very unrealistic. In the case of the Yeti Shrine at Disney's Animal Kingdom, I liked the pre-set which gave the image a painterly feel to it.

Yeti Shrine in HDR at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Yeti Shrine in HDR at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, f/5.6, ISO 100, EV 0, 70mm Focal Length, HDR Image.

Later, after the Sun had set and dusk was coming on, I set up at tripod and took a set of bracketed images of the Tree of Life. I did this before the lighting, just becoming visible, was noticed by other guests. I framed it so one of the new carvings (American Bison or Buffalo) would be the foreground interest.

Tree of Life in HDR at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Tree of Life in HDR at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, f/8, ISO 6400, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, HDR Image.

As good as today's camera sensors are, using techniques like HDR still are needed at times when lighting and shadows in a scene become challenging.





May 19, 2017

Rivers of Light at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I enjoyed Rivers of Light at Disney's Animal Kingdom. It is not a show with a lot of "Wow" factor like a fireworks show. The music, floats and use of projections on water is very soothing. I will say my experience in watching it was not enjoyable.

I saw Rivers of Light in its third week of production. Yet, the Cast Members seating people were not prepared for what happened to my wife and I. We had used a Dining Package at Tusker House so we would not have to fight the crowd to get a good seat. Our server told us to show up about 30 minutes before the show. Turns out that was not a good idea. Even though we had tickets showing we should be seated in the reserved area, the area was already full. Confused, I asked how this could be? Again, the Cast Members did not have an answer. I had to be very firm with them to get into the handicap area so we could watch the show while standing.

The photos are not from a very good viewing location because of this. You can see poles and lights and I did the best I could.

The boats are a challenge as they move slowly but they still move. I decided to use spot metering and a shutter speed of 1/60th of a second for the show and let the ISO climb as needed up to 6400.

Boat float in the Rivers of Light show at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Boat float in the Rivers of Light show at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV +1, 116mm focal length.

The lighted animal floats are much easier to photograph as they are lighted.

Lighted animal floats in the Rivers of Light show at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Lighted animal floats in the Rivers of Light show at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV +1, 116mm focal length.

Towards the end of the show, every float used in the show are in the lagoon. It is a beautiful sight.

Rivers of Light show at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Rivers of Light show at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 6400, EV +1, 28mm focal length.

While my experience was not what I am used to at Walt Disney World, I will go see this show again. Hopefully with a Fast Pass and will show up a lot earlier. I wonder if Disney should look into a full reservation system for shows presented in an auditorium or amphitheater setting.

I did complain to Disney and have talked with a Customer Service Cast Member. I hope my feedback will improve other's experience at Rivers of Light in the future.

May 12, 2017

Observing the Extraordinary at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.Photographer Elliott Erwitt

While we can all agree Walt Disney World is not an "ordinary place", it is a great place to find something interesting if you are observant. It is hard not to be distracted while visiting the resort. There are so many things to see and do and so many people doing them. You are traveling with other people and there are reservations and Fast Pass times to adhere to.

But...if a few times during your stay you can take a step back and look around. Allow yourself to observe where you are and let the creative part of you out. You will be surprised what you may capture in front of you.

The Discovery Island Carnivale in Disney's Animal Kingdom perform a very energentic act which gets guests involved and dancing. I so enjoy others enjoying themselves and capturing their exuberance in the moment.

Discovery Island Carnivale performing and getting guests to dance with them in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Discovery Island Carnivale performing and getting guests to dance with them..
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5, ISO 140, EV +0.3, 72mm focal length.

It can be something so simple and ordinary as a daughter helping her mother with menu choices at Homecoming: Florida Kitchen restaurant in Disney Springs.

Daughter helping her mother with menu choices at Homecoming restaurant in Disney Springs, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Daughter helping her mother with menu choices at Homecoming restaurant.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 2000, EV +0.3, 27mm focal length.

Let your knowledge of your camera, lens, exposure, composition guide your creative side to look and see. Walt Disney said, “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” In our case, put the books down, get away from the computer and go out and shoot. Learn from mistakes and never stop observing the life around us.

Walt Disney statue in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Walt Disney statue in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/9, ISO 100, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

A good exercise in observing is finding a place to sit down or lean against an object. Do as Obi Wan Kenobi would do and let yourself go and stretch out with your mind to see the extraordinary in the ordinary. You can do this anywhere even in a busy Disney themepark.

April 21, 2017

Eliminating Distracting Backgrounds at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Here are a few ideas on how to separate your subject from its background which are often busy at Walt Disney World. I have previously gone into detail on how to use Aperture mode on a dSLR camera to blur out the background while keeping the subject sharp and clear. For compact cameras and on some smart phones you can look for Portrait mode to get the same effect.

The background behind this Meerkat sentinel on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail at Disney's Animal Kingdom was extremely busy. I used Aperture priority mode and set the aperture to the widest available for the 300mm focal length I used. Doing so threw the background out of focus while keeping the meerkat in sharp focus.

Meerkat (Suricata suricatta) sentinel on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Meerkat sentinel on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/5.6, ISO 100, EV +0.3, 300mm Focal Length.

Using Fill Flash is another great way to pull your subject out from a busy background. While Miss Betty Shambles was pining for a Valentine on Hollywood Blvd. in Disney's Hollywood Studios, I used fill flash to highlight her over the background.

Citizens of Hollywood Miss Betty Shambles looking for her Valentine on Hollywood Blvd. in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Citizens of Hollywood Miss Betty Shambles looking for her Valentine on Hollywood Blvd.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/200s, f/4, ISO 100, EV 0, 66mm Focal Length.

Lighting or Color is another way to highlight your subjects. Below I happened to use both. The light on the ancient idol along one of the world's rivers on the Magic Kingdom's Jungle Cruise naturally outlined it. The green vegetation also framed the idol. Both the light and colors pop the idol out of its background.

An ancient idol on the Magic Kingdom's Jungle Cruise as the boat enters the Mekong River in Cambodia, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
An ancient idol on the Magic Kingdom's Jungle Cruise as the boat enters the Mekong River in Cambodia.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 900, EV 0, 150mm Focal Length.

Remember these tips when you are confronted by busy backgrounds which can distract from your photo's main subject or subjects.

April 14, 2017

Photographic Patience at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I covered this week's theme on Patience before in a blog post entitled, "Play the Waiting Game at Walt Disney World" back in 2013. In it, I talked about waiting until I got a people free photo opportunity.

This week I talk about another kind of patience. The kind we all face being a photographer with a group of people or traveling with family at Walt Disney World.

The first is time waiting for someone to shop in the many stores, shops and kiosks found in and around the resort. I fill up the time by wandering around and looking for interesting merchandise to photograph. In the photo below I found these colorful hats on display in the Disney Outfitters Shop at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Hats on display inside Disney Outfitters shop in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Hats on display inside Disney Outfitters shop in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D750/18-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.8, ISO 5600, EV +0.3, 34mm Focal Length.

A ride queue, especially for the most popular rides, can be very time consuming. Thankfully, Disney Imagineers put in as much work into the queues as they do the rides. As older rides have been refurbished and new rides open, the queues have become more interactive and photographically pleasing. For example, Frozen Ever After's queue is a pleasing wait in a Norwegian village ending in Oaken Token's with a fun sauna inside.

Frozen Ever After queue in the Norway pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Waiting in the Frozen Ever After queue in Epcot's Norway pavilion.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm Fisheye, 1/50s, f/2.8, ISO 12800, EV +1.0.

I like to photograph firework shows with a tripod. This means staking out a location long before show time. I use the time to experiment with different exposures like this very long exposure looking down Main Street USA.

Waiting Main Street USA for Holiday Wishes to start in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Waiting Main Street USA for Holiday Wishes to start in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 30s, f/11, ISO 100, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length, Tripod.

This is the hardest subject to be patient with to photograph. Your food order when it gets set before you and you are hungry. I am not talking about your everyday hunger, I mean Walt Disney World hunger. You know what I mean. Below is a photo of Art's Fabulous Fried Chicken entree at the Homecoming Restaurant in Disney Springs. I had heard all kinds of postive things about his dish, I almost started eating before I took a couple of photos. I mean, look at it. Hungry, yet? Yes, it is as good as people say.

Art's Fabulous Fried Chicken entree at Homecoming restaurant in Disney Springs, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Art's Fabulous Fried Chicken entree at Homecoming restaurant in Disney Springs.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/40s, f/10, ISO 3200, EV +0.3, 48mm Focal Length.

When you are waiting for family or friends, look around for a photo op. At Walt Disney World, they are everywhere.

January 27, 2017

More Walt Disney World Aerial Photography

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

If you have been following the Disney Pic of the Week blog posts recently, you have seen Deb and mine's attempt at aerial photography at Walt Disney World. When the subject of aerial photos first came up, Deb and I found we only shared three locations. I wanted to share a couple more with you today.

The trick is to find a high vantage point in the parks. Mostly those are found on attractions. Expedition: EVEREST certainly meets the height requirement. It also has a long, slow ascent early on which has a great view of Disney's Animal Kingdom.

View from Expedition: EVEREST in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
View of Disney's Animal Kingdom from Expedition: EVEREST.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/16, ISO 450, EV +0.3, 28mm Focal Length.

We all know the Tree of Life is big. This photo shows how much bigger it is compared to the surrounding buildings and trees. This was taken back in 2010. Once Pandora, the World of AVATAR opens, I will re-take this photo. I did not want the huge construction cranes in a photo which were there on my last few trips.

Another attraction to get aerial photos from at Walt Disney World is the one I took during a ride on the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in Disney's Hollywood Studios. This is from 2009 when the Earful Tower was still there.

Riding the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
View of Disney's Hollywood Studios from the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 18mm (27mm DX) Focal Length.

This is one of those rides you have to secure your camera and be ready to take the picture as soon as the doors open at the top of the shaft.

While these are not true aerial photos, you can get high enough at Walt Disney World to get unique photos from up high.

January 20, 2017

Ruling the Animal Kingdom in Thirds

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Rule of Thirds is a compositional rule in photography and other visual arts. The rule states that an image can be divided into nine equal parts by two equally-spaced horizontal lines and two equally-spaced vertical lines. The four points which I refer to as power points formed by the intersections of these lines can be used to align features in the photograph. This aligning of a photograph's subject with these points creates more tension, energy and interest in the photo than simply centering the subject would.

Below are three photos taken at Disney's Animal Kingdom which show the use the Rule of Thirds. First, I will show you the photo as taken and then followed with a grid overlaid showing the lines of the Rule of Thirds.

Here is an Addax (Addax nasomaculatus) antelope on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Addax antelope on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Addax antelope on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 500, EV +0.3, 300mm Focal Length.

Here is the same photo with the grid.

Addax antelope on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Addax antelope on the Kilimanjaro Safari with the Rule of Thirds Grid.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 500, EV +0.3, 300mm Focal Length.

This shows you do not have to have the power points exactly covered. The antelope's head, eye and horns are close enough for a good composition. This type of photo is nice to use as a title in a slideshow, on a website or blog.

An African Elephant drinking water on the Kilimanjaro Safari is the next subject.

African Elephant on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
African Elephant on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/1000s, f/5.6, ISO 500, EV +0.3, 135mm Focal Length.

Here is the same photo with the grid.

African Elephant on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
African Elephant on the Kilimanjaro Safari with the Rule of Thirds Grid.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/1000s, f/5.6, ISO 500, EV +0.3, 135mm Focal Length.

In a portrait of an animal or person, it is good to have one of the horizontal lines near the eyes like this one.

Landscape photos are also vastly improved when using the Rule of Thirds like this one of Disney's Animal Kingdom's Expedition: EVEREST.

Expedition EVEREST in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Expedition EVEREST in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/16, ISO 360, EV 0, 58mm Focal Length.

Here is the same photo with the grid.

Expedition EVEREST in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Expedition EVEREST in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/16, ISO 360, EV 0, 58mm Focal Length.

Notice how the lines and power points line up with the mountain and the canoe in a pleasing composition.

Studying how others use composition and putting it to practice will help you to improve your photography.

December 7, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Holiday Parade Float

Deb's Digest Blog

Might as well keep the nostalgic posts coming for the holidays. Did you ever see Mickey's Jingle Jungle Parade in Animal Kingdom? I always got a chuckle from this float:

holiday-parade.jpg

And here's a video of the parade:

November 30, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Holiday Landscape/Plants/Arrangements

Deb's Digest Blog

When I saw this topic on our list for Photo of the Week I knew exactly what I was going to hunt for in my archives! One of my favorite things, now in yesterland, were the themed trees in Camp Minnie-Mickey in Animal Kingdom.

Oh, there was Donald and his nephews, Goofy, Finding Nemo, Festival of the Lion King, Pocahontas, Pooh, Minnie, Stitch and many more. (Scroll past the photo for a video).

Here is the top of Minnie's Tree:

holidayplants.jpg


I took this video back in 2012 - see if you can guess who all the trees belong to!

November 16, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Face Painting

Deb's Digest Blog

During the summer of 2014, Animal Kingdom held a series of night-time parties called Harambe Nights. One of the fun things to do was to have your Face Painted. Here I am with Shelley and Catherine after we had been "painted".

face-painting.jpg

November 15, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Face Painting

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

While I did not get a photo of someone getting their face painted, I did get the next best thing. A portrait of a Face Painter stationed just outside the entrance to Disney's Kilimanjaro Safari. As you can see she is also advertising her Face Painting skills.

Cast Member Face Painter in the African village of Harambe at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cast Member Face Painter in the African village of Harambe.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/4.5, ISO 250, EV 0, 56mm Focal Length.

She makes the perfect person for the Disney Pic of the Week about Face Painting.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her face painting photo.

November 11, 2016

Harps of Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I enjoyed performances of musicians playing harps in Disney's Animal Kingdom recently. The first one was a very unique instrument called a mandinka harp (kora) which is a 21-string lute-bridge-harp used extensively in West Africa made from a large calabash or bottle gourd. It makes a very pleasing sound.

Muscian playing a mandinka harp in the African village of Harambe at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Muscian playing a mandinka harp in the African village of Harambe.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/4.8, ISO 100, EV 0, 62mm Focal Length, Fill Flash.

I follow and have read many an article and blog post from National Geographic photographer Joe McNally. He pays a lot of attention to a person's hands in his photographic essays about people in all walks of life. I channeled my inner McNally by taking a close up of the musician's hands while he played the mandinka harp.

Close up of a muscian's hands playing a mandinka harp in the African village of Harambe at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Close up of a muscian's hands playing a mandinka harp in the African village of Harambe.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 100, EV 0, 300mm Focal Length.

Later that day, I happened upon a musician playing the Paraguayan harp, the national instrument of Paraguay, on Discovery Island. I again wanted to emphasize the musician's hands. This time I slowed down my shutter to show motion as his hands moved over the strings. I kept the camera steady by using another Joe McNally technique called Da Grip. Comes in very handy (sorry about the pun) when you do not have a tripod on hand (I just can not help myself!).

Musician playing the Paraguayan harp on Discovery Island at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Musician playing the Paraguayan harp on Discovery Island.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/15s, f/5.6, ISO 560, EV +0.3, 170mm Focal Length.

Entertainment at Walt Disney World resorts and themeparks are wonderful to experience and photograph as you often can get very close to the performer(s).

As I was writing this post, I listened to mandinka harp music via youTube. I highly recommend doing the same when you wish to relax.

October 25, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Signature Restaurant

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Signature restaurants at Walt Disney World stand for fine dining and feature unique experiences, menu choices and are the most expensive places to eat on property. For those on the Dining Plan, meals at a signature restaurant take two dining credits per meal. It has been my experience the extra cost at a signature is more than made up in the quality of the restaurant, service and food and drink served.

I recently dined at the newest signature restaurant at Walt Disney World called Tiffins in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Tiffins is found on the path which will eventually lead you to the future Pandora attraction. Here is a collage of photos from the experience.

Collage of photos from Tiffins restaurant in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Collage of photos from Tiffins restaurant.

From top left, Tiffins napkin on the Travel Log (aka menu), Berkshire Pork Tenderloin entrée, wall art created from photos and items brought back from Africa by Imagineers when doing research for the Animal Kingdom and Berbere-Spiced Lamb Chop entrée.

The food and ambiance was excellent. Check out the Nomad Lounge for a before or after dinner cocktail which is right next door.

Tomorrow, Deb will share one of her favorite Signature Restaurants.

September 23, 2016

Disney's Kilimanjaro Safari Firsts

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

On my last Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom I photographed some firsts. That is pretty amazing considering I have gone on safari close to 100 times since the park opened back in 1998. The first "first" was seeing the Black Rhinoceros (Diceros bicornis) facing the safari jeep and close to the road. In all my previous safaris, the Black Rhino was either not visible or at the back of his enclosure either lying down or facing away. This may be the only good photo I ever get of this magnificent and very endangered African animal.

Black rhinoceros on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Black rhinoceros on the Kilimanjaro Safari.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 900, EV +0.3, 300mm Focal Length.

African Wild or Painted Dogs (Lycaon pictus) were introduced to the Kilimanjaro Safari last December and this was my first opportunity to photograph them. Unlike the Black Rhino, they were very accommodating and I managed to get off a few shots before the jeep drove on. Below was the best of the set and captured a behavior called dominance between two individuals.

African Wild Dogs on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
African Wild Dogs on the Kilimanjaro Safari.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/1000s, f/5.6, ISO1000, EV 0, 300mm Focal Length.

I have a lot of photos of Ostriches (Struthio camelus) from previous safaris but none which showed this strutting behavior. This ostrich was doing this behind another ostrich. I am guessing this was a mating behavior.

Ostrich on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Ostrich on the Kilimanjaro Safari.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/1000s, f/5.3, ISO 2000, EV 0, 98mm Focal Length.

The drivers on the Kilimanjaro Safari always tell us before we depart at the end of the ride to come back as every safari is different. I am here to tell you, they tell the truth.

September 13, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Bikes

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When you walk around either Africa or Asia in Disney's Animal Kingdom, you will see pedal bikes all over the place. Some are very ornate and colorful while others are plain and utilitarian like the one I found leaning against a building in the African village of Harambe.

A bike leaning against a building in Harambe at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A bike leaning against a building in Harambe.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 1000, EV 0, 98mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share another bike photo at Walt Disney World.

August 31, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Favorite Animal

Deb's Digest Blog

It didn't take me long to decide what animal to feature in this week's Pic of the Week, it has to be the collared lemur!

I have been going to Animal Kingdom every year since it opened in 1998. In all that time, I have only seen the collared lemurs ONCE! They are nocturnal and are usually sleeping in the trees. You can find them in the same area as the ringed-tail lemurs (black and white). I think they are still in Animal Kingdom. If anyone knows for sure, please let me know.

It was hard to select which one photo to share - hope you like the one I have chosen. I just love the eye contact! The photo was taken January 2013. Let me know if you have ever seen these lemurs!

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August 30, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Favorite Animal

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

A Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) photographed during a Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom. It is not often you see a Cheetah standing. This one even stood out in the bright sunlight.

Cheetah on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cheetah on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 560, EV +0.3, 400mm Focal Length.

Predators have always been my favorite type of wildlife and Cheetahs are my favorite ones.

Deb will here tomorrow to share her favorite animal in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

August 24, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Rhino

Deb's Digest Blog


Rhinos rank among the most endangered species on Earth.

There are five kinds of rhino: white, black, Indian, Sumatran and Javan. Two types, black and white, reside on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Animal Kingdom. I believe these are white rhinos. If I am wrong, please let me know

rhino.jpg

August 23, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Rhinoceros

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

A White Rhinoceros (Ceratotherium simum) kicks up mud ahead of him as he leaves a wallowing pit photographed during a Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Rhinoceroses like to wallow in mud to keep bugs off of them and get protection from the Sun. May not look great but it gets the job done.

White Rhino in a wallowing pit on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
White Rhino in a wallowing pit on the Kilimanjaro Safari.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/500s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV 0, 300mm Focal Length.

Deb will here tomorrow with her photo of a rhinoceros.

August 17, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Elephant

Deb's Digest Blog

African elephants have been part of Animal Kingdom since it opened. These massive animals can be seen as you ride the Kilimanjaro Safari.

The Walt Disney World Resort's animal care team welcomed the first African elephant calf to be born at Disney's Animal Kingdom in May 2003. You can see photos of some of the first elephants born at Animal Kingdom HERE.

This photo is from 2006.

elephant.jpg

August 16, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Elephant

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, the one animal everyone riding with me which seems to bring out the most excitement, are the African Elephants. Especially, if they see the smaller ones as these two are.

Two young African elephants photographed on the Kilimanjaro Safari through the Harambe Reserve of Africa in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Two young African elephants photographed on the Kilimanjaro Safari.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/500s, f/4, ISO 100, EV +0.3, 120mm (180mm DX) Focal Length

Tomorrow, Deb will share a little history of the African Elephant at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

August 10, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Giraffe

Deb's Digest Blog

Did you know that the first animals in Animal Kingdom arrived in the Summer of 1996. They were two young giraffe named Miles and Zari.

-- Reticulated giraffe will have a pattern of large spots, similar in shape, with little "background" color shown so that you might wonder if the giraffe is all brown. Other giraffes have a wide variety of spots on their body of different shapes and sizes, the background color is also darker. Every giraffe has a unique pattern!

reticulated-girafe.jpg


A few years ago, a second giraffe species, Masai, was introduced at Animal Kingdom.

-- The Masai giraffe has jagged edges along their patches. They are also the tallest of all the giraffes.

masai-giraffe.jpg

Here they are side by side. Can you tell which is which?

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August 9, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Giraffe

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

My daughter's friend came with us to Walt Disney World about fifteen years ago. She brought with her a disposal camera with thirty-six film exposures. I was told she loved giraffes and I made sure we did an early excursion on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom the first day of our visit. Well, we came around the corner where the giraffes like to forage in the tall trees and came upon six of the tall herbivores. Before I could stop her, she fired off all thirty-six exposures in the camera. She had on a smile as wide as could be she was so happy seeing them up close and roaming freely.

That is what beautiful animals can do for us, humans. Bring pleasure and excitment. Just like the two young ones I photographed a few years later. Both of these reticulated giraffes had been born at the Animal Kingdom.

Two young reticulated giraffes seen on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Two young Reticulated Giraffes seen on the Kilimanjaro Safari.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/500s, f/3.5, ISO 200, EV -0.7, 28mm Focal Length, Intensify CK.

Deb will here tomorrow to tell you the differences between the two giraffe species found at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

July 22, 2016

Waiting for Tigers in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I watch people all the time when I am at Walt Disney World. I particularly pay attention to those taking photographs whether they are using smart phones or full size digital SLR cameras. I can almost tell you which ones will come home with photos they will like and be proud to show to their family and friends. Those are the the people who take a little extra time and patience.

Those who walk up to something, pull out a camera or phone and point and shoot will rarely get a great photo. I used to be one of them. Prided myself in the grab shot as I toured the parks with my family. It wasn't until I started to take the time which, usually meant an extra minute or two, did I start to see better results in my photography.

At the Asian Tiger exhibit on the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, I see many people come up to the overlook, see a tiger below walking or lying down, take a photo and move on. Now, they might have gotten the perfect tiger photo they wanted. Chances are, they probably got something like this.

Asian tiger on the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Asian Tiger on the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 1250, EV 0, 300mm Focal Length.

That was my first shot upon looking down. The first shot is rarely a keeper. I knew if I waited, I would get a better one. I was rewarded only thirty seconds later. The tiger moved his head around and looked in my direction.

Asian tiger on the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Asian Tiger looking around on the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 1400, EV 0, 300mm Focal Length.

I realize if you are traveling with a group and especially, with young children, it is hard to be able to spend a lot of time observing or waiting for a better photo opportunity. When you can, you will be rewarded.

Seven minutes later, this tiger jumped up to the water pool and started to drink. I was able to capture a behavior I had not seen before. This has became one my favorite photos of a tiger.

Asian tiger drinking water on the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Asian Tiger getting a drink of water on the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/400s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 300mm Focal Length.

Remember this the next time you are in Walt Disney World or even when photographing your family. The first shot is often not the best shot. Take a few more and see which ones you like later. I am willing to bet the one or ones you like will come later in the shoot.

July 15, 2016

Adding People to Your Walt Disney World Photographs

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I try to avoid touristy shots when I am photographing at Walt Disney World. Static photos of an empty park while nice is not something I like to do. The parks only come alive when their are people involved. Whether they are cast members or guests, seeing people interact with another person or thing is what brings smiles to my face.

Below is a good example, when riding the riverboat around Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kindom, I always giggled at the people on the barrel bridge. Sure looked like fun and surely something Huck Finn would have approved of. The angle from the riverboat was too high and too flat for me. Once I got on the island, I found a good place to sit, watch and photograph the adventure.

A family walks over the barrel bridge on Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A family walks over the barrel bridge on Tom Sawyer Island.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/100s, f/5.3, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 82mm (123mm DX) Focal Length.

When I did the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom awhile back, one of our guides took photographs of us Trekkers. I found it only fitting I return the favor as she took pictures on another precarious looking foot bridge.

A Cast Member photographing during the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A Cast Member photographing during a Wild Africa Trek.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV 0, 300mm Focal Length.

For the last example, I take you back to the Magic Kingdom. This is a view taken at the end of Main Street USA. People doing various things like buying a balloon, getting their photo taken with Cinderella Castle in the background, doing a quick planning meeting with family and even more. This photo reminded me of the Family Circus Sunday comic when the cartoonist would put various bubbles around the scene describing all that was going on. On flickr, I used this photo with notes you can see as you move your mouse around the photo in similar fashion.

A typical scene in front of Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A typical scene in front of Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/125s, f/14, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 15mm Focal Length.

As you can see by these examples, including people in your photography at Walt Disney World gives the photos more interest.

To visit the flickr image (which is much bigger) with all the notes, CLICK HERE.

June 17, 2016

Riding Down Everest in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Guests riding Expedition Everest in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Guests riding Expedition Everest in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/15s, f/22, ISO 100, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

While Scott wishes he was riding Expedition EVEREST in Disney's Animal Kingdom today, he is doing a Stay-cation this week and next. He did want to point out this is another motion photo using a slow shutter speed and a steady hand. Scott used Macphun's Intenify CK's Soft HDR filter to pull out the details in the scene.

March 30, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Yesterland Disney's Animal Kingdom

Deb's Digest Blog

For a relatively young park, Disney's Animal Kingdom has certainly seen its share of changes since it opened April, 1998. Just a few include....

Simply name changes. Gorilla Falls to Pangani Exploration Trail and Countown to Extinction to Dinosaur.

Animals were transitioned elsewhere: Capybara, Gunther's Dik-dik and the Two-Toed sloth, to name a few.

The original outdoor theatre that once housed Journey into the Jungle Book and Tarzan Rocks became enclosed and now is the home for Finding Nemo the Musical.

One entire land disappeared, Camp Minnie-Mickey to be replaced by Avatar in the future.

So finding a Yesterday photo of Animal Kingdom wasn't too hard...

Here is a photo of the walk around "artimals". These lovely colorful creatures simply walked around the Discovery Island area back in the day. At one time they were a mini-parade called "March of the Artimals". Some of the costumes became part of Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade. However since that parade ended, I haven't seen these artimals anywhere around.

Here is a photo I took back in 1999:

Animal Kingdom Walk Around Artimal

March 29, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Yesterland Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When it comes to Disney's Animal Kingdom, there is only one Yesterland photo that comes to mind. While Finding Nemo - The Musical is an excellent and colorful stage show. I still miss Tarzan Rocks!. Its mix of part rock and part stunt show was high energy and very entertaining. Below is a photo taken back in 2000 when Tarzan swung over the audience at the end of the show.

Tarzan and Jane swing on stage at Tarzan Rocks in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Tarzan and Jane swing on stage at Tarzan Rocks!

Hope you have enjoyed this look back at all the parks the past four weeks.

February 26, 2016

Festival of the Lion King Finale in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Harambe Theatre is the new home of the Festival of the Lion King. It looks like the old theater. Maybe they dismantled it and re-constructed it? It could be a little bigger seating wise. No doubt all the cool upgrades went into the production end of things. This is a simple click as I let the camera do all the work using Shutter Priority Mode at 1/320th of a second.

Festival of the Lion King finale in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Festival of the Lion King finale on stage in the Harambe Theatre.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/3.5, ISO 1600, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

Sometimes, I just marvel at what today's cameras can do. I only had to open up the shadows and add a little sharpening to finish it off in post-production.

February 16, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Portraits

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The definition of a portrait is a painting, drawing, photograph, or engraving of a person, especially one depicting only the face or head and shoulders. In our case, photography is our medium of choice. While the dictionary uses "person", I would substitute "subject" as portraits do not necessarily have to be human.

Take for instance my portrait of an Asian Tiger (Panthera tigris) on the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom. The tiger was posing perfectly for me in between short cat naps.

Asian Tiger (Panthera tigris) on the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Portrait of an Asian Tiger on the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/250s, f/4, ISO 400, EV +0.3, 160mm (240mm DX) focal length.

For more on taking portraits at Walt Disney World, visit these links: Animal Portraits and More on Portraits (of the human kind)

Deb will share her portraiture skills tomorrow.

February 10, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Action

Deb's Digest Blog

This was a hard one for me as I don't do very well taking "action" shots. However, recently I happened upon the Meerkats at Animal Kingdom just as their feeding and enrichment was beginning. It was great to watch as the first one timidly emerged from the hole to see is everything was safe. A few more minutes went by before the 2nd one peered out.

After about 10 minutes, they animal keeper had them all running back and forth for their "meatballs". Just image how FAST this little meerkat was jumping up for food! I managed to get him on 2 legs and mouth wide open. If this isn't an action shot, I don't know what is!

meerkat2.jpg

Be sure to click on the photo for a larger image.

February 9, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Action

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Action photography is something I do all the time in my role as team photographer for an American Hockey League team. You can either capture action with a fast shutter speed to freeze the action. This lets people see and study the action in ways they can not do by watching the action. Or, you can use a slow shutter speed which blurs the action giving the photo a sense of motion and speed.

I went the slow shutter speed method when I photographed Expedition EVEREST in Disney's Animal Kingdom. I wanted to give the sense of speed and thrill this ride gives riders.

Guests fly down the side of Expedition EVEREST in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Guests fly down the side of Expedition EVEREST.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/15s, f/22, ISO 100, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

I processed this photo with Macphun's Intensify Pro CK using the Soft HDR filter.

Deb will be here tomorrow with some action of her own.

February 3, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Close Up

Deb's Digest Blog

I had a fun time finding a photo for this week's topic. One of my absolute favorite things to do is wander around Animal Kingdom with my zoom lens! Here is one of my favorite shots of the ring-tailed lemur.

"Look Ma No Cavities!"
lemur2013.jpg
Click on the photo for a closer dental inspection :)

January 29, 2016

New Animals at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Things are always changing at Walt Disney World. At Disney's Animal Kingdom, I photographed new residents on my last trip in December of 2015.

The entrance to Discovery Island Trails before the bridge over to Africa is the home of the Cotton-top Tamarins (Saguinus oedipus). Cotton-top Tamarins are new world monkeys from Central and South America.

Cotton-top Tamarin at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cotton-top Tamarin at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 4500, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

On the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Asia, I spotted the Sarus Crane (Grus antigone) walking through tall grass. Turns out Sarus Cranes are the tallest cranes in the world reaching a height of nearly six feet (1.8m). They are found in India, Southeast Asia and Australia.

Sarus Crane on the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Sarus Crane on the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 180, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

Staying on the Maharajah Jungle Trek and in the same exhibit area were Asian Antelopes. A whole heard had come up and over a hill to start grazing on the hillside. This lovely male was nice enough to pose for me.

Asian Antelope on the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Asian Antelope on the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 450, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

While Western Lowland Gorillas (Gorilla gorilla gorilla) are not new to the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail, these two baby boys are. They were entertaining a large audience of guests with their antics.

Baby Western Lowland Gorillas playing on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Baby Western Lowland Gorillas playing on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/5.6, ISO 4500, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

I always make it a point to walk all the trails in Disney's Animal Kingdom as new animals go on display or replace other species all the time.

November 6, 2015

Reflective Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

If there is one thing most photographers can not pass up, it is a good reflection photo. Add Disney architecture in the reflection and I can not pass it up. Like the time I walked across the bridge from Discovery Island to Africa on a still morning to see the Harambe Theatre reflected in the water at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Harambe Theatre reflected in the Discovery River at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Harambe Theatre reflected in the Discovery River.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/16, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 72mm focal length, Polarizer filter.

The reflection does not have to be perfect to make an interesting photo. On another morning while I was snacking on a pastry from the Boardwalk Bakery, the light on Disney's Yacht Club Resort was beautiful and the wavy reflection added to the photo.

Disney's Yacht Club Resort in morning light at Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Disney's Yacht Club Resort in morning light.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/16, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 40mm focal length.

Keep your eyes open for reflection possibilites as you photograph either at home or on holiday.

November 4, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Tree of Life

Deb's Digest Blog

I vividly remember the first time I saw the Tree of Life. It was mid-April during a Cast Member preview. I stood in awe - overwhelmed by its magnitude and all the carvings.

The photo below is from a Disney Media Relations "newspaper" that was sent to journalists during the construction phase of the park. It shows the framework for the Tree of Life.

It was described as follows: "Towering 14 stories above Safari Village is the Tree of Life, 170 feet in diameter at its root base and surrounded by shimmering pools and greenery filled with a host of birds and small mammals. The trunk of the tree is intricately carved with a swirling tapestry of animal forms that symbolize the richness and diversity of animal life on Earth."

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What were YOUR thoughts the first time you saw the Tree of Life?


November 3, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Tree of Life

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Tree of Life continues to dominate people's attention as they emerge from the Oasis and travel over Discovery River bridge into Disney's Animal Kingdom park. Imagineers over time have added new viewing locations, waterfalls and animal carvings. While I like the new ones, my favorite view of the Tree of Life is this waterfall you pass after leaving the It's Tough To Be a Bug show. Look for it on your next visit.

Waterfall at the base of the Tree of Life in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Waterfall at the base of the Tree of Life.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, f/8, ISO 1600, EV 0, 25mm Focal Length, HDR Image.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her view on the Tree of Life icon.


October 23, 2015

Vacation Photography at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

While I take the time to do all types of photography when I visit Walt Disney World. My family is around often being patient as I set up a shot or look for a different angle. I want to thank them this week.

So, for those who remember them, I want you to imagine settling in on a friend's couch as she/he gets out the slide projector to show you their Walt Disney World Vacation photos. Ready? Here we go...

As a family when visiting Disney's Hollywood Studios, we are always on the lookout for members of the Citizens of Hollywood. The day after the Labor Day holiday, it seems the Streetmosphere characters were on hiatus. Walking through Pixar Place, we happened upon a group of improv entertainers who were looking for actors to star in their production of Aladdin. My daughter "volunteered" to play Jasmine and was given a stuffed tiger named (you guessed it), Rajah.

A young woman poses with an improv group after helping them with a skit at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A young woman poses with an improv group after helping them with a skit at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Nikon D750/Tokina 16-28mm, 1/125s, f/5, ISO 100, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length.

After the skit was done, I quickly asked the group if they would pose for a photo with my daughter. If you or a member of your touring party are ever in a show, try and ask if you can take a photo with the cast member or members after the show. Sometimes it is not possible but, as you can see, these guys were more than happy to comply with my request.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is one ride I feel comfortable taking photos on. I make sure to secure my camera. For the photo below, I asked the Cast Member loading the train if my family could ride in a car behind me and I would need an empty row in that car. My request has honored because it was a slow day with little wait times. A wide angle lens is a good choice on a ride as you do not have to be as careful aiming it. I put my camera in Shutter Priority mode and set it to 1/250th of a second to cut down on camera shake on the wildest ride in the wilderness.

A family riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A family riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D750/Tokina 16-28mm, 1/250s, f/2.8, ISO 140, EV +0.3, 16mm Focal Length.

Having said all that the photo I liked best was during the slow climb up one of hills showing my family with Big Thunder Mountain Railroad spreading out all around them.

After visiting two parks in one day, we decided to check out the new Trader Sam's Grog Grotto at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort to relax with a couple of adult beverages and be entertained by the lively Cast Members who know how to serve a drink.

Mother and daughter share a laugh in Trader Sam's Grog Grotto at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mother and daughter sharing a laugh in Trader Sam's Grog Grotto at Disney's Polynesian Village Resort.
Nikon D750/Tokina 16-28mm, 1/10s, f/2.8, ISO 10000, EV +0.3, 16mm Focal Length.

I captured one of those moments Disney loves to use in their advertising as my wife and daughter share a laugh with a cool drink after a hot day in the parks.

After shopping at Downtown...excuse me, Disney Springs, we returned to the Magic Kingdom the next day. While waiting for our dining reservation time, we found the Sword in the Stone in front of the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel in Fantasyland all by itself. For adults, this was an opportunity we could not pass up and took turns trying to pull the sword.

A young couple tries to pull the sword from the stone in front of Prince Charming Regal Carrousel at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A young couple tries to pull the sword from the stone in front of Prince Charming Regal Carrousel at the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D750/Tokina 16-28mm, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 100, EV +0.3, 18mm Focal Length, Cropped.

Sadly, we found out none of us were of royal blood but came away with fun photos before allowing another family a chance at the sword.

As the time of our dining time approached, we were escorted inside the Beast's Castle and the Be Our Guest restaurant. The wide angle lens gave me compositional choices as I photographed my family ahead of me.

A family enters the Beast's Castle for dinner at the Be Our Guest restaurant in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A family enters the Beast's Castle for dinner at the Be Our Guest restaurant in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D750/Tokina 16-28mm, 1/50s, f/2.8, ISO 10000, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Cropped.

We enjoyed a very good meal in the West Wing.

Two days later, we went back to Disney's Polynesian Village Resort for breakfast at Kona Café. While I ordered my usual Tonga Toast, my Son-In-Law went with the Big Kahuna platter.

A young man shows off his Big Kahuna breakfast entree at the Kona Café in Disney's Polynesian Village Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A young man shows off his Big Kahuna breakfast entree at the Kona Café in Disney's Polynesian Village Resort.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 900, EV -0.3, 28mm Focal Length, Flash.

After filling up at breakfast, my eldest daughter and I went over to Disney's Animal Kingdom while the rest of the family went back to our resort's pool. They missed out as walking down one of the Discovery Island trails near the Tree of Life, we meet up with Tarzan.

A young woman poses with Tarzan, the Ape Man, on one of the Discovery Island trails near the Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A young woman poses with Tarzan, the Ape Man, on one of the Discovery Island trails near the Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 400, EV 0, 42mm Focal Length.

What was interesting with Tarzan was you could not see him unless you walked down the trail. I checked later and he was listed on the park's times schedule. Look for him on your next visit to Disney's Animal Kingdom.

It was a rainy, dreary morning the next day as we made our way to the Boardwalk resort area to catch NFL Sunday at the ESPN Club. While we waited for the restaurant to open we spent some time at the Beach and Yacht Club resorts. My wife had told me she wanted a photo of her with our daughters. With two of them being travel agents and another who travels a lot for her job, the large antique globe in Disney's Yacht Club Resort's lobby was a fitting place for the photo.

Mother and her daughters in Disney's Yacht Club Resort lobby, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mother and her daughters in Disney's Yacht Club Resort lobby.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 1000, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length, Bounce Flash.

Looking at this photo now, I wish I had featured the globe more by either having my wife sit in a chair so she was lower or have the three of them surround the globe. The concept was sound, the execution was a bit off. Will have to re-visit this one in the future.

After spending a few hours watching football (yeah, the Green Bay Packers won!) and eating through ESPN Club's menu, I took this photo for my daughter and Son-In-Law on the much improved afternoon outside the restaurant with their favorite team's jerseys on.

A young sports-minded couple outside the ESPN Club at Disney's Boardwalk Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A young sports-minded couple outside the ESPN Club at Disney's Boardwalk Resort.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/11, ISO 140, EV 0, 36mm Focal Length.

Now, this photo I like a lot as it tied the sports theme together nicely as they are both big fans.

I hope I did not bore you. Wanted to show you while I do enjoy going the extra mile to get good travel photos at Walt Disney World, I love my family, too. Until next week...Aloha!

August 19, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Green

Deb's Digest Blog

If you haven't figured it out by now, Scott and I try to find unique photos for our Disney Pic of the Week selections. We sift through our entire Disney universe of photos to bring you ones we feel our special for the Pic of the Week.

This week's color is green. My first thought was "ah ha! A Green Army Man!", then quickly decided no.. too common.

As I was looking at my recent Animal Kingdom photos, I found this one from Winged Encounters -- a Military Macaw. Military Green fits perfectly in today's topic.

green-.JPG

Check back next week as we conclude our Disney Pic of the Week Month of Colors!

June 23, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Cast Costumes in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Cast Costumes Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

If you have never ridden the Wildlife Express out to Rafiki's Planet Watch (formerly Conservation Station), I encourage you to do so. It is usually not as crowded as the rest of the park, the train ride gets you off your feet for a few minutes and the displays, petting zoo, characters, peak behind the scenes and cast members are delightful. A few times each day, a Cast Member comes out dressed in his/her Naturalists attire to share a show and tell about one of the creatures being cared for. I have seen a lizard, a bird of prey, a spider and, in the photo below, a snake. It is of particular interest to kids as they enjoy seeing and learning about such creatures.

Cast member sharing information about a snake at Rafiki's Planet Watch in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cast member sharing information about a snake at Rafiki's Planet Watch.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/20s, f/3.5, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 18mm focal length.

Tomorrow, Deb will share a very happy CM at someplace new in Disney's Animal Kingdom.


May 7, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Jiminy Cricket

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I have always found certain characters are easier to find if you check in with a park's Guest Services. I did that when my children were little as they usually wanted to see a special character or two on our trips. That was before I found AllEars.net who has a handy Character Meet and Greet FAQ to answer all your questions about characters at Walt Disney World including the likest places to find them.

Besides parades, I had never seen Jiminy Cricket at a Meet and Greet until I traveled out to Rafiki's Planet Watch with my niece's young sons. There we found Jiminy in his snazzy suite and cane as well as Pocahontas and Rafiki. It is usually not too busy there with short or non-existent lines to meet them.

Jiminy Cricket greets young guests at Rafiki's Planet Watch in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Jiminy Cricket greets young guests at Rafiki's Planet Watch.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/80s, f/4.2, ISO 200, EV 0, 32mm (48mm DX crop) focal length, bounce flash.

I took this photo back in 2009. I recently found out Jiminy Cricket had taken a short vacation from Rafiki's Planet Watch but he has returned.

April 24, 2015

Editing a Dinosaur in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

You walk up to the Dinosaur attraction in Disney's Animal Kingdom with your camera and carefully compose a photo by getting in close to the statue of Aladar. You move around until Aladar is looking into the frame adding interest. It is a bright, sunny day but your eyes see all the details and colors. You press the shutter to record the image. It looks good on the camera's LCD and you move on to catch up with your party entering the attraction.

Upon opening up the photo on your computer, you are disappointed in how it looks (see below). This is when you put your favorite photo editor to work. Mine is Apple Aperture but most editors can improve on a digital image.

Statue of Aladar outside Dinosaur ride in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Unedited photo of the statue of Aladar outside Dinosaur ride.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/320s, f/4.5, ISO 100, EV +0.3, 82mm (123mm DX) Focal Length.

For me, I set about opening up the shadows and pulling in the highlights using the sliders of the same name. I then added general edits over the entire image for Definition (Clarity), Vibrance and a touch of Saturation. This gave me a much better photo but Aladar was still a bit dark and washed out.

If your editor allows the use of Brushes to "brush" in adjustments on selected areas, you should become familiar with how to use them. Here I dodged (lightened) the dark areas under the eye and around the muzzle. After, I brushed in saturation to pull out the colors in Aladar's eye and skin. Lastly, I brushed in a good dose of Definition to pull out the textures of the skin.

The result you can see below.

AStatue of Aladar outside Dinosaur ride in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Edited photo of the statue of Aladar outside Dinosaur ride.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/320s, f/4.5, ISO 100, EV +0.3, 82mm (123mm DX) Focal Length.

Quite a deference and a much better image than what I started with. It pays to take the time in learning how to improve your photos using an editor.

April 10, 2015

Disney Food Photography

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Have a question for you...do you photograph the food at Walt Disney World restaurants? You do! Then you are going to like this week's topic. Below is a set of photos from various Disney restaurants and how I took them.

Sometimes you just need spaghetti and meatballs and Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano in Disney's Hollywood Studios filled the need perfectly. To add to the sense of place, I used a menu and ambiant light. The very shallow depth of field put the background out of focus but one still can recognize the location as a restaurant.

Spaghetti and meatballs entree at Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spaghetti and meatballs entree at Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/13s, f/35, ISO 6400, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

I used my elbows to steady the camera and slowly exhaled as I pressed the shutter. I let the image stabilized (vibration reduction in Nikon lingo) lens do its magic. I took several images to get a couple of good ones including the one above.

On the Disney Dream, if your cruise offers a day at sea, you can enjoy the Palo Brunch. Come hungry and eat lightly through each course to save room for the dessert bar. In this case, I did not need a menu to document the location. I did have to take the photo quickly before the location got eaten.

A plate full of desserts at the Palo Brunch on the Disney Dream cruise ship
A plate full of desserts at the Palo Brunch on the Disney Dream.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 100, EV 0, 31mm Focal Length, bounced flash.

With the bright open Caribbean water as a backdrop, the use of bounced flash balanced the light and brought out the luscious colors of the sweets.

Inside the elegant Yachtsman Steakhouse in the Yacht Club Resort the lighting is appropriately warm and low. An assistant helped me by holding up the plate above the table which had lots of stuff upon it.

Prime New York Strip Steak entree at the Yachtsman Steakhouse in the Yacht Club Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Prime New York Strip Steak entree at the Yachtsman Steakhouse.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 400, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length, bounced flash.

To get the true colors of the food, I used bounced flash to illuminate the plate evenly.

When you have even lighting via a window or by eating outside on a patio like at the Rose & Crown Pub in Epcot's United Kingdom pavilion, I like to use the Nifty-Fifty on my camera and get eye level with the plate the food rests on.

Scotch Egg appetizer from the Rose & Crown Pub in Epcot's United Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Scotch Egg appetizer from the Rose & Crown Pub.
Nikon D7100/50mm, 1/250s, f/2.8, ISO 100, EV 0.

Shooting with a wide aperture of f/2.8, I selectively focused on the Scotch Egg appetizer throwing the background of napkins and table pieces completely out of focus. I did dodge (make lighter) the egg some to pull out its colors.

At the Yak & Yeti Restaurant in Disney's Animal Kingdom, my party was sat at a table with warm afternoon light coming through a window. The low angle of the light brought out the food's texture.

Chicken Tikka Masala at the Yak & Yeti Restaurant in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Chicken Tikka Masala at the Yak & Yeti Restaurant.
Nikon D7100/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/60s, f/2.8, ISO 2000, EV 0, 12mm Focal Length.

Without the use of flash, a wide open aperture had me select a focus point on the bowl of Chicken Tikka Masala which did cause the front of the plate to be soft focused. I find that is not a problem here. Do you?

I realize most people quickly take photos of their food when served. If you take a little extra time, you can create very nice photos to make your friends and family envious and hungry when looking at your food photos.

March 27, 2015

Disney Social Media Cover Photos

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I am still an old photographer when it comes to the new age of Social Media. I often forget when I am photographing at Walt Disney World or some other fun destination to take pictures with the various cover images in mind. On my last trip, I made it a point to find locations or subjects suitable for the Social Media world.

As an example, when I was on Disney's Kilimanjaro Safari and the driver stopped for a few minutes near a few browsing Reticulated Giraffes, I took the opportunity to compose a photo so I could crop it later for either my FaceBook, Twitter or Google+ profile profile pages. Here is the resulting crop.

Reticulated Giraffe photographed on Disney's Kilimanjaro Safari in the Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Reticulated Giraffe photographed on Disney's Kilimanjaro Safari.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/500s, f/4, ISO 160, EV +0.3, 120mm focal length, cropped.

These Social Media services sometimes change the sizes for their cover images so I will not give it out here. Check their support pages to verify current image sizes. If you go to my FaceBook page today, this is how it looks or looked with the giraffe:

FaceBook cover photo.
The author's FaceBook page is it appeared with the Giraffe from Disney's Animal Kingdom

FaceBook's cover photo is a good size. My personal blog is a bit harder. The header photo is 940 pixels wide by 198 pixels tall. A tricky size to work with. I used a wide angle lens around the parks and kept interesting subjects along the bottom third of the photos. I looked for subjects which would cover the entire length of the image in the viewfinder. This view of the Rivers of America from the Frontierland boardwalk did just that. Pictured is Harper's Mill on Tom Sawyer Island with the Haunted Mansion and Liberty Belle riverboat in Liberty Square.

View of Tom Sawyer Island and Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
View of Tom Sawyer Island and Liberty Square.
Nikon D7100/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 11mm focal length, cropped.

While I am late to the party, I keep Social Media sites in mind when traveling with my camera.

February 24, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Finding Nemo - The Musical

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

It was just last June when Finding Nemo - The Musical was featured as the Picture This! Disney Pic of the Week. It is such a fun show, we are going it again. That okay with you, Dude?

Dory sings to Marlin in Finding Nemo - The Musical at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Dory sings to Marlin in Finding Nemo - The Musical.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/200s, f/4, ISO 2500, EV -1.0, 120mm focal length, cropped.

Here is my other photo from the show: Finding Nemo Singing in Disney's Animal Kingdom.


February 20, 2015

New Views of the Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

As reported by Deb Wills on the AllEars.net Twitter account last week, a few of the walls came down at Disney's Animal Kingdom as people enter the park from the Oasis. A new open area with a spectacular view of the Tree of Life was revealed. The lower viewing area has been replaced with this area featuring new carvings on roots from the tree.

New view of the Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
New view of the Tree of Life.
Nikon D7100/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 450, EV 0, 11mm Focal Length.

Here are new carvings of a deer and an African elephant which are on the right side.

New Tree of Life carvings of a deer and African elephant at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
New Tree of Life carvings of a deer and African elephant.
Nikon D7100/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 1800, EV +0.3, 11mm Focal Length.

On the left side, is a carving of a Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep. This carving is proving to be very popular with guests.

New Tree of Life carvings of a Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
New Tree of Life carvings of a Rocky Mountain Big Horn Sheep.
Nikon D7100/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 1100, EV +0.3, 11mm Focal Length.

The new viewing area is beautiful but the opening to the tree between the new carvings is about 20 feet wide. That is not a lot of room for guests, especially big groups, to gather to get photographs. One must be patient to get the photos I have taken here and even more patient to get your party set up for a photo as guests will come in and out of your frame.

The day I was there no Disney PhotoPass photographers were working the area. I would imagine that will not always be the case.

February 10, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Festival of the Lion King

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The inside of the new home of the Festival of the Lion King live stage show in the Harambe Theatre is an exact replica of the old one. The lighting and staging are pretty much the same. In other words, why change a good thing.

A stilt walker performer in the Festival of the Lion King show in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A colorful stilt walker performing in the Festival of the Lion King show.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, f/5.6, ISO 6400, EV +1.0, 190mm focal length.

Did you know, Flash Photography is allowed during the Festival of the Lion King performance? I talked about it in his blog: Flash Monkey


January 27, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Changes are in the air over at Disney's Animal Kingdom, too, as Disney prepares the park of a new night time entertainment experience. Even the Tree of Life is having every one of its leaves replaced. That is like 103,000 of them! The image below was taken in October of 2014 before the leaf changeover had begun.

The Tree of Life on Discovery Island in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Tree of Life on Discovery Island in HDR.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length, HDR Image.

I took this photo a little after noon and the Sun angle was not very flattering on the tree. I knew a single photo would not capture the tree's carvings which were in deep shade. Instead, I took a series of five photos from two stops underexposed to two stops overexposed and combined them into a High Dynamic Range image. Much better.

November 16, 2014

Where in the World #358

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!

Now for Challenge #357:
Where in the World #357

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

A giraffe statue near the bamboo in Discovery Island in Disney's Animal Kingdom. He's one of three giraffes here.
From Millan.Net

The Kertes Family were the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to the Kerteses and to all our winners this week! !Jim & Lorie Sonnen, Donna Frank, Kristi Strembicki, Hillary Waldroop, Hobbes And Snorky, Melissa Such, Carol Bertolo-gamill, Sandie Albrecht, Jamie Fahey, Evanna Huda, Kris Nixon, Sharon Pierce, Candice Grimes, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney , Elaine Kleinhenz, Eric Johnson, Team Hill, Pat Schwier, Isabel Johansen, Laurie Walker, Kye Layton, Jennifer Hess, Maryann Romagnano, Nan Amor, Rider Family, Ruben Omeara, Judy Simonsen, Grumpy's Groupies, Bill Mckim, Patti Mccaffrey, Maggie Klotz, Maureen Handy, Owen States, Kerri Coggins, Les Stewart, Lennie Chapman, The Long Family, The Parker Family, Lee Anastasi, Leach Family, Chloe Mayhew, Angel Diven, Team Bonnie Sue, Josh Carney, Mary Beth Tarbet, Chris Kelly, Terry Fleming, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Kathryn Perkins, Brian Gallant, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Vera And Izzy Williams, Jim Finley, Dan And Elizabeth Johnston, Liz Moreau , Joseph M. Zafia, Barclay Bakkum, Kyle Burdo, Walter N. Clark, Matt Holley, Kelly Smith, Jessica, Dayna Guay, Stacy Guarracino, Les Whitten, and Vicki Britt!
__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #358 Where in the world is this?

Back into the parks! This might be tough; if it is, here's a hint. You're used to seeing these from the side.
Where in the World #358

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

October 12, 2014

Where in the World #353

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!

Chris Kelly and his family are down in Walt Disney World! He promised to bring something back for everyone!
From Millan.Net

Ken Savage, Judy Simonsen and Wendy Barney, thank you for your note! I'm so glad you enjoy the game. :)

Last week's challenge: number #352
Where in the World #352

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

The Festival of the Lion King in Harambe, Disney's Animal King! This is one of the times I thought, "Hey, my picture came out pretty good!" So I used it. Far different from the blog posts by the All Ears photographers. LOL

Chloe Mayhew, it's the new set. :)

Carol Bertolo-gamill said, "sigh, i miss home!!" Me too, Carol. This helped though:
From Millan.Net

Everyone got this right!

Kristi Strembicki was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Kristi and to all our winners this week! Melissa Such, Jim & Lorie Sonnen, Donna Frank, Sandie Albrecht, Theresa Rucando, Steve Thorpe, Murr Family, Murr Family, The Kahle Family, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, Jennifer Rowell, Megan Krainski, Suzanne Denham, Mike Amor, Daniel Record, Paula Massarelli, Joann Albrecht, Tim Johansen, Andrew Carrieri, Paul Dickson, Nan Amor, Chris Kelly, Hillary Waldroop, Abby And Mike Hulse, Andy Hickey, Andrea Kruszewski, Bob Patterson, Eric Berger, Phyllis, Julia Wickware, Phil Vickers, Ken Maikowski, Team Hill, Elaine Kleinhenz, Claire Gregory, Evanna Huda, Grumpy's Groupies, Tammy Rice, Kathryn Perkins, Janet Spiess, Shady Be Smith, Darlene Haven, Patti Gumiela, Carol Bertolo-gamill, Dawn Fiege, Gina Smith, Toni Lockwood, Debbie Bojnec, Clarissa M, Laur Warney, Annmarie Benavidez, Leach Family, Kathy Dockham, Pat Morin, Josette Gabel, Kim Novacovschi, Ellen Sullivan, Kendall Huffman, Karen Alti, Mike O'brien, Morag Lemon, Eric Enli, Kathy Hyle, Allison Velilla, Kariann Frazer, Pat Schwier, Jennifer Harmon, Les Whitten, Janet T Thorn, Mike Shook, Maryannn Romagnano, Tinkerbell Wells, Candice Grimes, Linda Scrivano, Rebecca Smith, Kim, Mike Shook, Kerry A., Mandy Clarke, Carla C, Mary Ailes, The Gunnels Family, Karen Bowers, Stephanie Liebl, Lori Malone, Kathy, Jamie Fahey, Trisha Johnson, Becky Norman, The Parker Family, Beth Tygart, Patty Norman, Carol Gilliland, Brian Miller, Cynthia Fields, Debbie Marielle, James Steele, Pam Lorenz, Pollyanna Buff, Robert Wescovich, Stacey Guman, Nanoh, Rider Family, Teala Van De Ven, Amy Maddox, Carol Lyons, Mike Mondoux, Maryann Eckenrode, Linda College, Kim Skanes, Liz Moreau, Todd Johns, Antoinette Leblanc, Jezebel Rivera, K Beasley, Brenda Mclean, Rob Hepler, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Sheryl Hicks, Fiona Knight, Kathleen Bast, Hope Ribaudo, Betsy Silvestri, Marlene Forehand, Kye Layton, Cindy Pink, Diane Doak, Nikki Burch, Julie Crutchley, Stephanie Peterson, Rebecca Leisenring, Sharon Powell, Chris Thomas, Kenny, Karen Tinelli, Kristan Bertelmann, Deb Ragno, Christine Kalil, Ronald Delorey 7parker Street Apt#79 Dartmouth Nova Scotia Canada, Stefanie Vest, The Koren Family, Ruth Senecal, Vera Dercole, The Kertes Family, The Double Family, Eric Johnson, Jen Tremley, John Buschiazzo, Caryn Schill, Stefanie Vandiver, Kathy, Andrew Eckert, Britta Andrews, Ken Savage, Bruce Hinterleitner, Maureen Handy, Dave Freemyer, Karen Schlumpf, Elaine Tomko-deluca, Mary Finkle, The States Family, Tom Koval, The Long Family, Matt Petty, Jennifer Snook, Tena Anderson, Ruben O'meara, Carol Collins, Arlene Vicek, The Tisdale Family, Amanda Zabor, Lee Anastasi, Hobbes And Snorky, Mary Sanderson, Ashley Collins, Mystic Barnes Family, Virginia Pierce, Lisa Pinder, Susie Howard, Mildred Popp, Melodye Berry, Lizzy & Dave Fullerton, Bruce Nash, Jen Petetson, Michelle, Jennifer And Elizabeth Geno, Erin Hammer, Lori Rienhardt, Megi Callais, Charleen Murphy, Gina Dounelis, Diane Curfman, Judy Simonsen, Dawn Mitchell, Wendy Markwood, Mary Alvarez, Deborah Wolfe, Beth Decoursey, Ed Hogan, David Dunkle, Vickey, Carol Berube, Barbara Remele, Krista Serpi, Chloe Mayhew, Peg Readinger, Mickey Eckert, Wendy Bedard, Paul Scimeca, Bruce Jones, Karen Costa, Larry Sprenkle, Kathy Taylor, Heather Capraun, Lori Kerns, Brian Mcwithey, Dean P, Barbara Hartzell, Ken Jobin, Gary Drake, Al & Kerry Ganter, Steve Shadle, Kris Nixon, Team Bonnie Sue, Amiee Augustine, Danielle Harsley And Agnes Ciotti, Carolyn Como, Chris Clayton, Karen Ramirez, Rebecca Keenan, Russ Morgan, Kyra C., Jim Finley, Brian Yesutis, Mike Malampy, York Family, Blake Schmudt, Luis Rodriguez, Jim Logue, Joe Armeni, Ginger Sneeringer, Christina, Bethany Angermaier, Gretchen Shively, Heather Pedulla, Susan Higginbotham, Josh Weiss, Evald Olson, Leslie Krysinel, Laura V., Mary Ann Lamay, Jeff Blank, Sueane, Scott Greenbaum, Cheryl Gattuso, Melissa Littman, Tyler Otts, Maggie Klotz, Delbra Crowson, Trish Roam, Andrea Breeuwer, Andreas Beer, Vicki Edwards And William, Ed Elder, Wayne Chadourne, Lisa Kobal, Jessica Soulsby, Kristyn Scibienski, Brian Gallant, The Reichl Family, Ken Rhinehart, Lyn Johnson, Andrew Pettit, Ruth Woodhouse, Paul Ignudo, Jr., Duskin Henard, Wendy Barney, Mark Proper, Ed Suscreba, Dallas Hamilton, Annie Snodgrass, Chris Bauman, Matt Holley, Kelly Smith, Ed Adams, Bonnie Tulenko, Amanda C, Cameron Lange, Thomas Farquharson, Scott Mcbride, Vicki Shearman, The Hutchinson Family, Caitlin Lewis, Randy Thomas, Tammy Alweis Family, Karen Aguiar, Kate Fischer, Patrick Broaddus, Heather Macleod, Erin Loring, Tricia Noble, Carri Marotto, Tammy Alweis Family, Jeremy Reichelt, Thom, Karen Spreitzer, Terry Fleming, Caroline Burmester, Wendy Barney, Vera And Izzy Williams, Tricia Petty, Karrie Duffey, Jennifer Mercier, Dave Carriere, Jason Skow, Maja Kodani, Ron Harper, Scott Sangston, Diana Grady, Terry Blair, Matthew Jadro, Paul Moore, Joe Ragona, Al Sandal, Kathryn Hughes, The Holmes Family, Renee Hardiman, Steve Knapp, Autumn Geraghty, Karen Bellamy, Darrell Shortt, Rob Blundin, Robert P. Flaherty, Maureen Tavrell, Lisa Z., Smitty, Christopher Hall, Jessie Regan, Lizanne Fisk, Karen Adamakis, Brenna Gill, Matthew Frey, Margie Bigelli, Christine Dagney, Elise Sanford, Susan Doucette, Kristy Doucette, Trisha Kirejczyk, Kara Jones, John Paul Carnell, Trina Noggle, Scott Greenwald, Dee Dee Kenney, Anastasia Macneil, Doug Olson Family, Debbie Desimone, Michele Mongeon, Amber Penske, Michael Dale Pennington, George Mundy Jr, The Foley Famiily, Robert Hildebrandt, Jamie Steiner, Will Gates, Tom Swan, Josh Carney, Vicki Britt, Wendy T Faler, Matt Earl, Jeff & Cheryl Simmons, Nicole Benoit, Dan And Elizabeth Johnston, John Foggo, Team Meeker, Team Meeker, Joseph M. Zafia, Sheila Bagg, David Ballard, Chandra Mccall, M'shel Bowen, Jackie Graebel, Kelly Mt. Castle, Jennifer Bogdan, Candy Yancey, Kyle Burdo, Joan Schroeder, Sherry Trapp, Allison Caputa, Sandy Ednie, Jean Bussell, Sara Holloway, Jaynee Strycker, Barclay Bakkum, Les Stewart, Mike Gillardi, Tom Higbee, Mark Franklin, Kameo Crea, Jeff Finger, Rachel Hoover, Amy Fleming, Phil, Brian Grabowski, Peggy Saeger, Catherine, Emily Hudson, Jane Johnson, Jeremy Hardy, Sandy O'daniel, Ashley P., Jessica Iglesias, and Jackie Klafeta!
__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #353 Where in the world is this?

We're moving on!
Where in the World #353

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, October 16th, 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!

September 19, 2014

Birds of Flights of Wonder at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Flights of Wonder show in Disney's Animal Kingdom features many species of birds found throughout the world. Many are shown flying around the stage and audience.

The best way to photograph this show is with a fast shutter speed. I set my camera to Shutter Priority mode with the shutter at 1/1000th of a second and changed Auto Focus (AF) to Continuous.

Birds of the Flights of Wonder show in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Birds of the Flights of Wonder Show (see below for more info).

From top left, Harris Hawk landing on a handler's gloved hand, West African Crowned Crane coming in for a landing, American Bald Eagle with handler and a Rose-breasted Cockatoo getting ready to return money from a willing volunteer.

July 25, 2014

Using HDR in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

In a previous post I wrote back in 2009, I detailed the High Dynamic Range (HDR) technique as one way to photograph a scene with a big range of light from very dark to very light. In the article, I used an HDR image I did of Disney's Animal Kingdom's Expedition EVEREST attraction taken from the bridge to Africa. Since then, Photomatix, the software I use for HDR processing, has gone through two version updates and I have gotten better at identifying the right conditions for taking a set of photos for high dyanmic range.

Last December, I returned to the same location. The Golden Hour was in full swing with the Sun setting and bathing the top of Expedition EVEREST in beautiful warm light. The rest of the scene was in deep shadows with pops of bright sunlight coming through. I tried a few single exposures but either got the mountain blown out or the shadows almost in total blackness. I knew a set of photos for HDR was the answer. I took several sets and found a set of 7 photos from -3EV to +3EV captured the entire range of light. After running the photos through Photomatix and finishing up the processing in a photo editor, this was the result:

Expedition EVEREST rising above Asia in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
HDR Image of Expedition EVEREST.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, f/16, ISO 1000, EV 0, 98mm focal length, tripod, HDR Image.

I feel this photo is a good representative of what my eyes were seeing. That is how I use HDR. Other photographers might come up with a totally different image. I also made sure I took both Landscape and Portrait versions of the scene in several focal lengths.

Expedition EVEREST rising above Asia in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
HDR Image of Expedition EVEREST.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, f/22, ISO 200, EV 0, 190mm focal length, tripod, HDR Image.

Notice the difference in the second HDR image from the first one. The Sun was much lower in the second photo so the light was highly reduced on the top of Expedition EVEREST and created more subtle and muted colors.

Next time you are faced with a scene you are having trouble exposing for, create a set of photos and give HDR processing a try. HDR software, like Photomatix, can be downloaded for trial periods. Have fun!

July 18, 2014

Family Photography at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

On all my trips to Walt Disney World, my family is with me. They put up with my constant clicking of my camera shutters, are very patient when I bring the tripod to the parks and very supportive of the results. Below are a few photos I took of the family on our latest trip back in May.

Family photography at Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Family photography at Walt Disney World (see text below).

We brought along my Sister-In-Law who had a great time. In the upper left, she is with my eldest daughter with Donald Duck at his Safari Breakfast in Disney's Animal Kingdom's Tusker House restaurant. The upper right has the family group on the staircase to Boma restaurant in Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. Botton right has my youngest daughter's hair blowing in the wind provided by the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ride in the Magic Kingdom. The bottom left has my wife with her sister in front of Cinderella Castle at one of the Nikon Picture Spots (yes, looks like all the Picture Spots have been updated with the new sponsor).

The family loves these photo opportunities and Walt Disney World is as photogenic with people as it is without. Hope these will give you a few ideas on photographing your family when visiting Walt Disney World in the future.

June 26, 2014

Finding Nemo singing in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Crush sings to Marlin in the Disney's Animal Kingdom production of Finding Nemo: The Musical, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Crush sings to Marlin in Finding Nemo: The Musical.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/200s, f/4, ISO 2000, EV -0.7, 82mm focal length, cropped.

The animated movie has been re-imagined as a musical and performed daily inside the Theater in the Wild at DinoLand U.S.A as Finding Nemo: The Musical. Using puppets to portray the characters, it takes many performers to bring to life such characters as Crush the Sea Turtle (seen above) and Bruce the Great White Shark. The lighting and staging are first rate and the musical score and songs will have you humming the rest of your day at Disney's Animal Kingdom.

A simply awesome Disney Pic of the Week for Finding Nemo. Right, Dude?

May 20, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Asia

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Asia in Disney's Animal Kingdom is full of mysterious places like Expedition: Everest where the Yeti lurks, Maharajah Jungle Trek where tigers and dragons romp and a trip down the Kali River Rapids is anything but dry. It is also a place you can relax and enjoy the sounds of Chakranadi, the sitar and drum players from Anandapur, as they produce their hypnotic sounds outside of the Yak & Yeti restaurant.

The Sitar player in Chakranadi in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Sitar player of Chakranadi.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/400s, f/5.3, ISO 800, EV 0, 210mm focal length.

Lisa will be here on Thursday to share a mysterious Disney Pic of the Week from Asia.

May 9, 2014

Blue Hour over Expedition EVEREST

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

In reviewing past blogs recently, I did a few on Blue Hour but never really explained it beyond saying it is something that happens after sunset and before complete darkness.

Here are a few facts about Blue Hour:

  • It is not an hour long but more like 15 to 25 minutes.
  • Happens twice a day.  Once before sunrise and after sunset.
  • Best seen 90 degrees from the Sun's location.
  • Occurs no matter the weather.

There is no precise way to predict when Blue Hour starts or ends though roughly 20 to 40 minutes after sunset is a good time to see it. It takes long exposures for a camera's sensor to build up the blue color. Which is why tripods are a good tool to use for capturing Blue Hour.

In the photo below of Expedition Everest, a Blue Hour sky can been seen above the ride. I photographed it from near the Yeti Shrine and the angle to the sunset location was close to 90 degrees. The Sun had set at 5:29 PM with the photo being taken at 6:06 PM.

Blue Hour Sky over Expedition Everest in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Blue Hour Sky over Expedition Everest.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 30s, f/16, ISO 400, EV 0, 56mm focal length, tripod.

Apps like LightTrac for iOS and Android devices will tell you when Civil Twilight starts. Though not exact, it's a good indication within a few minutes leeway before and after to plan your photography.

Once your camera starts to pick up the deep blue sky color, look around you to see if you can detect it. What I found was the black night sky I always saw before was now different shades of blue depending on how far before or from the sunrise or sunset time and location I was looking at. If you click on the "blue hour" tag below, you will see my other posts about it.

NOTE: I will be visiting Walt Disney World next week. I will be sending out lots of photos via my Twitter account at Scottwdw where you can follow along. Lots of exciting stuff going on between the new Magic Kingdom parade, Star Wars Weekend events and the new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train coaster.

April 25, 2014

Photographing around Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I see a lot people when they first walk up to the Tree of Life after crossing the bridge just take a photo or look at the tree for a bit then walk off to either side around Discovery Island. I suggest to many of my friends and family, to take the short trail down to the animal viewing area. Here you can see the animals and take pictures often with no one around with the tree making a nice background. You can see many of the Tree of Life's carvings from there, too.

Snowy Egret at the base of the Tree of Life on Discovery Island in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Carving of an American Bison or Buffalo looks down upon a Snowy Egret at the base of the Tree of Life.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/14, ISO 200, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

Discovery Island is one of the places you can get good pictures of the beautiful and endangered West African Crowned Cranes.

West African Crowned Crane on Discovery Island in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
West African Crowned Crane on Discovery Island.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

When approaching the Lion area towards the end of the Kilimanjaro Safari be ready as you never know when you might get a glimpse of one of the felines.

African lioness looking from behind a rock on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
African lioness looking from behind a rock on the Kilimanjaro Safari.
Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 720, EV +0.3, 400mm focal length.

After you get off your Kilimanjaro Safari jeep, be sure to follow the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail to see all the wonderful animals and birds. The highlight being the troops of Western lowland gorillas. Take your time as you walk along the trail as you are often followed.

A bachelor Western lowland gorilla on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A bachelor Western lowland gorilla on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/800s, f/5.6, ISO 6400, EV +0.3, 400mm focal length.

Sadly, you can no longer visit with the Komodo Dragon on the Maharajah Jungle Trek as a few weeks after I took this photo, the dragon died. He was a magnificent animal who gave me many thrills over the years. {UPDATE: Paul (see comments) has informed me there is a new Komodo Dragon. I will get a photo of it on my next trip for sure.]

Komodo Dragon on the Maharajah  Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Komodo Dragon on the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/400s, f/5.6, ISO 2200, EV -0.6, 400mm focal length.

Disney's Animal Kingdom is a beautiful place to see, learn and photograph animals from all over the world.

April 22, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Tree Of Life

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Whether it is your first time visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom or your fiftyish, seeing the Tree Of Life as you come out onto the bridge to cross over to Discovery Island is an amazing experience. I like it as one of the few places in Walt Disney World where you can frame an attraction and wonder where on Earth it is.

The Tree Of Life in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Tree Of Life in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length, HDR Image.

Here are a few facts from the AllEars.net page about the Tree of Life:

  • Branches span 165 feet across
  • There are over 100,000 leaves on the tree
  • The trunk is 50 feet wide
  • 20 artists carved into the trunk, branches and roots over 320 animals
  • Thousands worked on the construction of the Tree of Life which took 18 months to build

Lisa will be here on Thursday to share her view of the Disney Pic of the Week on the Tree Of Life.

March 20, 2014

Walt Disney World Tram with Doors

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Animal Kingdom parking lot tram waitng to pick up guests, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Animal Kingdom parking lot tram waitng to pick up guests.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 100mm focal length.

A few years ago, Walt Disney World parking lot trams were updated to include doors. I saw the doors as a nice safety feature and often wondered why they had not added them sooner. The one I photographed at Disney's Animal Kingdom tram guest drop off was the first one I had seen with doors back in 2010.

A safety shot for the Disney Pic of the Week on Trams.

March 16, 2014

Where in the World #323

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!

For everyone who is celebrating it: Happy St. Patrick's Day!
From Millan.Net

And here's hoping that Spring really is going to arrive this week!
From Millan.Net

From last week: Challenge #32:
Where in the World #322

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

It's Timon for real! A meerkat keeping watch on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom. One of my favorite places! I have millions of photos of these sweethearts.

Kristi Strembicki were the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Kristi and to all our winners this week! Murr Family, Donna Frank, Ed Suscreba, Sharon Pierce, Tiffany Gibb, The Kertes Family, Jim &Lorie Sonnen, Nan Amor, The Kahle Family, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, Jennifer Rowell, Elaine Kleinhenz, The Gunnels Family, Tricia Petty, Ellie Argaluza, Danielle Harsley, Julia Wickware, Kris Nixon, Sandie Albrecht, Lisa Honard, Jennifer Bowling, Candice Grimes, Janet T Thorn, Deb Ragno, Nicolle Clement, Trish Roam, Amber P, Carla C, Cj Muma, Steve Berlin, Stefanie Johnson, Ellen Sullivan, Dee Dee Kenney, Chris England, Jennifer Harmon, Bob Patterson, Kathy Morris, Tiffany Ray, Debbie Marielle, Pam Manseau, Jeff Robertson, Amiee Augustine, Maureen Handy, Maryann Eckenrode , Curt Benson, Eric Johnson, Robert Wescovich, Adam Lucas, Mike Romig, Jimmy Gandy, Rebecca Smith, Cathy Derecola, Team Hill, Joe Derecola, Michele Smith, Melissa Rymer, Jim Garrison, Jodi Lupp, Donna Begley, Vernon Push, Virginia Pierce, Mary Ann Lamay, Nancy Johansen, Les Whitten, Dawn Rye, Chris Horne, Grumpy's Groupies, Mary Beth Tarbet, Carol Gilliland , Jaclyn Drexler, David Gould , Bryant And Ruben O'meara, Mike Amor, Jim Garrison, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Pam Vanaustin, Pat Clark, Jodi Cook, Sylvia Sherwood, Kirsten Miller, Lindsay Coram, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Cathy Connors, Shari Prater, The Parker Family, Kelly Sroka, Theresa Rucando, Chris Kelly, Jeff Sidebotham, Wendy Markwood, Mike Haeberle, Daniel Record, Nick Cristea, Hayley Valk, Michelle Darabaris, Vicki Christensen, Erica Sipich, Tom Koval, Kaysha Godsey, Christi Ison, Maggie Klotz, Jeremy Hardy, Bill Mckim, Hobbes And Snorky, Liz &Dave Fullerton, Shawn Macphee, Scott Precise, Eleanor Taberski, Robin Robinson , Antoinette Leblanc, Marianne, Trisha Johnson, Jim Finley, Karen Schlumpf, Erin Hammer, Kerri Coggins, Diane Furtado, Claire Gregory, Jonathan Ward, Chuck Sands, Cindy Pink, Susie Howard, Gerald Skanes, Vera And Izzy Williams, Gail States, Lori Rienhardt, Louise Barton, Caryn Schill, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Brian Miller, Michele Zowacki, Chris Nichols, Angie Grimes, Theresa Maradei, Maryann Romagnano, Liz Moreau, Sydney Mcdaniels, Billie Jean Albolino, Jeff Blank, Luis Rodriguez, Eric Enli, Kristyn Scibienski, Sarah And Chris, Kevin Parmeland, Mike Kaczanowski, Matt Holley, Melody Odonnell, Cheri Palmisano, Chuck Everson, Craig, Linda College, Bill Schmid, Dave Carriere, Anastasia Macneil, Sarah Orman, Jennifer Mercier, Terry Fleming, Terry Blair, Annie Snodgrass, Vicki Britt, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Alison Rosenberger, Wendy Snelgrove, John Pasqueralli, Blaine M., Heidi Goodhue, Bonnie, Cheryl Costello, Wayne Chadourne, Eileen Miller, Lisa Zitek, Kara Morton, Renee Hardiman, Mike Aldrich, Andy Schumacher, Jen Tremley, Smitty, Emily Hudson, Jackie Graebel, Patrick Broaddus, Walter N. Clark, Jennifer Bogdan, Vicki Shearman, Jane Johnson, Team Bonnie Sue, Joseph M. Zafia, Team Meeker, Kathryn Hughes, Stacy Guarracino, Cameron Lange, Meredith Rule, George Mundy Jr, Shirley Garcowski, Ron Harper, Agnes Ciotti, The Tisdale Family, Danielle Murgia, Karen Genda, and Alan Mize. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #323 Where in the world is this?

We're doing something tougher this week. Now, where in Disney World is this baby duck?
AllEars.net

Just kidding! But now this real challenge will hopefully seem easier. We're in a park!
 Where in the World #323

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

February 25, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Pangani Forest Exploration Trail

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Pangani Forest Exploration Trail is not just about the popular Gorillas. There are animals to discover from the small naked mole rats to the birdlife in the aviary portion of the trail. Here you will find a variety of African species including the long legged and toed African Jacana. The legs and toes allow the African Jacana to walk on floating vegetation in search of insects and small invertebrates.

An African Jacana on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
An African Jacana on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV +0.3, 150mm focal length.

Lisa will be here on Thursday to share her discovery on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail for the Disney Pic of the Week.

February 2, 2014

Where in the World #317

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 Year of the Horse!
From Millan.Net

Tom Buck, I hear you about the cold! I'm your next door neighbor in NJ. I keep looking with longing the Florida temperature.
From Millan.Net

From last week: Challenge #316:
 Where in the World #316

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

There's my man at the Dinoland photo op in Disney's Animal Kingdom!

Jim and Lorie Sonnen was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Jim & Lorie and all our winners this week! Carol Gamill, Jennifer Harom, Christopher Thacker, Julie Wickware, Antoinette Leblanc, Kristi Strembicki, Donna Frank, Melissa Such, Ed Suscreba, Hillary Waldroop, Carol Ney, Linda Ranatza, Karen Schlumpf, Kris Nixon, Kenny, Johnnie Davis, Shannon, Rob Hepler, Valerie Longo, Dave Freemyer, Christine Niedzialkoski, Kathy Morris, Danielle Harsley, Kim Skanes, Katie Connolly, Donna Bailey, Zach Murr, Judy Simonsen, Dee Dee Kenney, Phyllis, Stephanie Peterson, Beckie Triggs, Emma Smith, Tim Miller, Laurie Ruggeri, Belicia Cullen, Sharon Pierce, Scott Cullen, Kathy N Brooke, Tammi Trout, Ken Daube, Mary Beth Tarbet, Michelle Darabaris, Colette Stanton, Jodi Lupp, Chris Kelly, Jenny Brennan, Krista Serpi, The Gunnels Family, Daniel Record, Carly &Colin, Elaine Kleinhenz, Les Stewart, Michaela O'brien, Jon Landis, Zandria Michaud, Gemma Cooke, Michael Cooke, The Fosbender's, Deb Ragno, Janet T Thorn, Team Hill, Jennifer Rowell, Josh Weiss, Jessica Curley, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Bryant O'meara, Herb Miller, Andrew Carrieri, Heather Long, Crystal Lemoine, Vera And Izzy Williams, Carol Lyons, Kyla, Erin Hammer, Paul Moore, Jill Helgeson, Chloe C, Chuck Dezutter, Dan Lower, Angela, Laura V., Scott Precise, Tim Keenan, Maggie Klotz, Bob Ruer, Lee Deroia, Timberly Aymond, The Parker Family, Pstti Gumiela, Chuck Sands, Jennifer Nencka, Kelly Sroka, Paul Dickson, Paul Scimeca, Lisa Denny, Gerald Skanes, Claire Gregory, Ashley, Shawn Macphee, Nathaniel Clements, Melody O'donnell, Amy Filliben, Stefanie Vandiver, Jeremy Hardy, Julie And Kody Rider, Stefan Owens, Maryann, Chandler &Courtney, Lisa Zitek, Louise Barton, Pam Vanaustin, Hobbes And Snorky, Jim Finley, Rex Biederman, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Tom Koval, Helen Amer, Gail States, Marguerite Garofalo, Lee Anastasi, Matt Holley, Paul Knott, Rob Blundin, Yvonne Marchione, Diane Furtado, Theresa Lucotti, Maureen Handy, Michael, Michaela &Samantha Frisbee, Cheryl Chambers, Karen Costa, Suzanne Caris, Mike O'brien, The Emich Family, Karen Ramirez, Vicki Britt, Nan Amor, Kara Cummings, Jonathan Thomas, Kristina Snowden, Clay Anthony, Vanessa Gordon, Mickey Eckert, Doug Olson Family, Kerri Coggins, Jeff Blank, Nancy Mills, Bruce Hinterleitner, Olga Vorontsova, Sarah And Chris, Ron Harper, Chloe Mayhew, Wendy Barney, Al Sandal, Kevin Arndt, Stephanie Dollar, Paul Ignudo, Jr., Betsy Silvestri, Rebecca Keenan, Tricia Petty, Wlliam Thomas Elizabeth Ad Vicki Edwards, Maja Kodani, Ashley P., Wayne Witherspoon, Anastasia Macneil, The Orman Girls, Karrie Duffey, Jan Rosato, Nathalie Periard, Mike Amor, Carri Marotto, Karen Bellamy, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Sarah Francis, Dayna Guay, Theresa Maradei, Grumpy's Groupies, Matt Wildey, Heidi Goodhue, Emily Hudson, Karen Davis, Andrew Pettit, Davida, Caitlin Lewis, Smitty, Terry Fleming, Mark Proper, Karen Hotchkiss, Tom Buck, Jennifer Bogdan, Jackie Graebel, Sandy Miller, Jane Johnson, Joseph M. Zafia, Theresa Rucando, Stacey Barboza, Team Meeker, Stacy Guarracino, Walter N. Clark, Kate Fischer, Shannon Wright, Leigh Mertz, Patti Mccaffrey, The Kertes Family, The Patterson Family, George Mundy Jr, Agnes Ciotti, and Annette Ream. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
Which leads nicely to this: it's time for the monthly drawing! The January 2014 winner is: Craig Livingston! Congratulations, Craig! You'll be receiving your prize from Deb Wills soon!
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #317 Where in the world is this?

We're in a park. Do you know where in Walt Disney World this is?
 Where in the World #317

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

January 28, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I have often heard the story about Walt Disney wanting to use real animals for the Jungle Cruise until someone told him the animals would not be where he wanted them. He quickly switched to Audio-Animatronic animals and the rest, as they say, is history.

Still, I think Walt would have approved of the Kilimanjaro Safari adventure in Disney's Animal Kingdom. It can be true the animals are sometimes hard to see or photograph, but each ride is unique. Last time I rode, this cheetah was in perfect position with the light at the time and nice foreground and background elements to frame it nicely. Something I have rarely seen in all the times on the ride.

Cheetah photographed during a Disney's Kilimanjaro Safari ride in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cheetah photographed during a Disney's Kilimanjaro Safari ride.
Nikon D700/80-400VR, 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 560, EV +0.3, 400mm focal length.

Lisa will be here on Thursday to share her Disney Pic of the Week from Disney's Animal Kingdom.

January 3, 2014

Best of Walt Disney World in 2013

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

After visiting Disneyland in September, I had two trips to Walt Disney World in October and December. The first was a family vacation where I photographed while touring the parks. The other was a planned couple of days photographing with other Disney fan photographers. Both trips were fun, enjoyable and presented new challenges and experiences in each park. Today, I am sharing with you some of the highlights from those trips.

It is exciting to see something new at Walt Disney World even if it happens every day. In all my visits, I never saw the IllumiNations barges enter Epcot's World Showcase Lagoon. When I noticed the Earth barge coming through the draw bridge, I stopped and took several photos.

IllumiNations Earth barge entering Epcot's World Showcase lagoon, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
IllumiNations Earth barge entering Epcot's World Showcase lagoon.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 150mm focal length.

This was the first time I had the Fisheye lens with me at Walt Disney World. I probably used it way too much but it was a lot fun. While waiting for my ride on Rock'n'Roller Coaster, I photographed fellow guests being launched. The lens' f/2.8 aperture and a high ISO allowed me to photograph inside the dark ride.

Guests are launched at the Rock'n'Roller Coaster in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Guests are launched into the Rock'n'Roller Coaster.
Nikon D700/15mm, 1/30s, f/2.8, ISO 6400, EV 0.

Each December, Disney fan photographers always watch for Extra Magic Hours at Disney's Animal Kingdom. This allows for photographing in the park after sunset. Something that is a rarity. The bare light bulbs hanging over the path to Expedition EVEREST made for good foreground interest to the Forbidden Mountain. By using a small aperture of f/22, the small light sources became small starbursts. I waited for Blue Hour, the time between sunset and full night, to give it a magical light.

Blue hour at Expedition EVEREST in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Blue hour at Expedition EVEREST.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 2.5s, f/22, ISO 200, EV 0, 92mm focal length, tripod.

After Blue Hour in Disney's Animal Kingdom, I traveled to the Magic Kingdom to take advantage of its late night closing. Putting the Fisheye lens back on my camera, I photographed the lights and movement of the park. Fantasyland's Mad Tea Party is colorful and full of motion when using a long exposure and tripod to photograph it.

Mad Tea Party tea cups whiz around at night in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mad Tea Party tea cups whiz around at night.
Nikon D700/15mm, 10s, f/5, ISO 200, EV 0, tripod.

These are my favorites from this year's trips to Walt Disney World. Here's to even more in 2014. Do you have any favorites from the past year?

December 22, 2013

Where in the World #311

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!

Lots to celebrate!

The Winter Solstice:
From Millan.Net From Millan.Net

Christmas:
From Millan.Net From Millan.Net

and Boxing Day!
I don't have any smileys for it. Sorry! Have a wonderful holiday!
From Millan.Net

Whatever you do this week, enjoy and think Disney!

From last week: Challenge #310:
 Where in the World #310

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © Erin Blackwell
The entrance to Din-O-Rama in Disney's Animal Kingdom!

Jim Finley, my husband calls Primeval Whirl "The Hurl Maker". :) But it's actually one of his favorite rides.

Jim & Lorie Sonnen was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Jim & Lorie and all our winners this week! The Kahle Family, Linda Scrivano, Phil Vickers, Russ Morgan, Bruce Jones, Michelle Norris, Phyllis, The Gunnels Family, Virginia Pierce, Dee Dee Kenney, The Kertes Family, Linda K Ranatza, Carol Ney, Donna Frank, Mary Beth Tarbet, Tricia Petty , Sharon Pierce, Andrew Carrieri, Kris Nixon, The Youngs, England, Betsy Silvestri, Kerri Coggins, Kenny, Clare S, Megan K, Dennis Parker, Melissa Rymer, Heather Keenan, John Mahoney, Kelly Deleon, Deanna, Zach Szymko, Ed Suscreba, Jennifer Rowell, Scott Greenbaum, Melissa Moody , Barbie Tupua, Jenny Brennan, Sheree Montgonery, Jon Landis, Joseph Johnson, Amber Penske, Debbie Marielle, Dayshel Harwood, Jennifer Nencka, Matt Wildey, Gina Shaw, Mary Ann Lamay, Dave Freemyer, Jack Lynch, Jennifer Page, The Tisdale Family, Jennifer Chartier, Lisa Manrodt, Lee Anastasi, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Valerie Nance, Paul Dickson, Tinkerbell Wells, Kristi Strembicki, Maryann Eckenrode, Agnes Ciotti, Team Hill, Olszak Family, Deb Ragno, Melissa Mueller, John Bickers, Pam Vanaustin, Elaine Kleinhenz, Carolyn Como, Don Collignon, Robin Robinson , Chuck Sands, Jason Hocker, Judy Simonsen, Colette Stanton , Perlonia, Erin Hammer, Cathy Derecola, Belicia Cullen, Craig Livingston, Scott Cullen, Double Family, Joann Albrecht, Sheryl Hicks, Gallagher Family, Deb Audette, Linda Bowles, Amanda Campbell, Chris Horne, Emily Hudson, Colleen Leclair, Pollyanna Buff, Bill Mckim, Michael Scholz, Hallie Gleave, Maureen Handy, Melissa Such, Carrie Mccammon, Kara Cummings, Laurie Walker, Kerry A, Ryan Mccorristin, Janet T Thorn, Teala Van De Ven, Bruce Nash, Craig, Patti Gumiela, Bill Schmid, Heather Long, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, K Beasley, Karen Hotchkiss, Ruben O'meara, Trina Noggle, Louise Barton, Ed Hogan, Brian Mickle, Herb Miller, Carly &Colin, Jonathan Thomas, Jonathan Thomas, Lauren Thomas, The Parker Family ( I Love You Nikki), Amy Filliben, Sonya Shirley, Tom Koval, Ashley Collins, Craig Mitchell, Mickey Eckert, The Pearsall Family, Mark Benton, Les Whitten, Diane Furtado, James Steele, Mike Berry, Duskin Henard, Zachary Falcone, Andy Hickey, Team Meeker, Paul Scimeca, Darlene Haven, Drew Popek, Mike Haven, Karen Schlumpf, Lons, Wendy Beaudoin, Rosanna Bowser, Angela Curley, Blake Schmidt, Sarah Smee, Charles Alexander, Leach Family, Jennifer Gray, Jason Stelle, Laura V., Heather Stevens, Patty Carty, Susie Howard, David Lizewski, Larry Sprenkle, Rhonda Tomlinson, Bruce Hinterleitner, Jim Finley, Mike Hulse, Jim Nitschke, Heather Sabatino, Ashley P. , Tinker Fairy, Tim Johansen, Eric Enli, Chloe Mayhew, Sara Holloway, Morgan Williams, Josh Weiss, Jeremy Hardy, Karen Costa, Kelly Reynolds, Jeff Blank, Hunter Armstrong, Hillary Waldroop, Olga Vorontsova, Carrie Henderson, Morag Lemon, Matt Reed, Linda College, Kris, Chris Bauman, Tricia Noble, Paul Ignudo, Andrew Pettit, Wayne Witherspoon, Brenda H, Rebecca Keenan, Anastasia Macneil, Jennifer Harmon, Melody Odonnell, Alison Rosenberger, Heather Hynes, Karrie Duffey, Kelly Smith, Gail States, Antoinette Leblanc, Nathaniel Clements, Terry Fleming, Janice Enli, Kara Morton, Andrew Dimaggio, Tony Lliteras, Annie Snodgrass, Vicki Britt, Barbara Remele, Rob Blundin, Robert Wescovich, Shelly Borella, Kev Marriott , Maja K., Kate Kozlowski, Theresa Rucando, Dave Kanigowski, Maggie Klotz, Sandy Kanigowski, Kathryn Hughes, Jeremy Reichelt, Jeff Finger, Sarah Calvario, Ken Clark, Michael Dale Pennington, Cheryl Chambers, Jenn Steele, Kerry Finnamore, Hobbes And Snorky, Kimberly Sancranti, Brian Mcwithey, John P, The Patterson Family, Alex A, John Pasqueralli, Erin Connell, Matt Petty, Kerry Mccaffrey, Pj, Vera And Izzy Williams, Heidi Goodhue, Kelsi, Wayne Beck, Claire Gregory, Vicki Edwards, Kerrie Hogan, Jennifer Shaw, Fred Shakeshaft , Randy Thomas, Nicole Benoit, Leigh Mertz, Carolyn Duff, Ron Harper, Jullie Pudem, Patti Mccaffrey, Carri Marotto, Olivia, Paul Newbiggin, Les Stewart, Nan Amor, David Ballard, Walter N. Clark, Sherry Trapp, Ashley Hill, Jackie Graebel, Joseph M. Zafia, Doug Olson Family, Josh Carney, Jennifer A. Mcfarland, Carla C, Robert P. Flaherty, Cheryl Costello, Jean Bussell, Barclay Bakkum, Tom Higbee, Matt Holley, Alan Mize, Dave Carriere, Grasso Family, The Campbell Family, Chris, Gretchen, and Katie Barnes, Jane Johnson, Wayne Chadourne, Nathan York, Mark Franklin, and Carol Gamill. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #311 Where in the world is this?

Different park!

 Where in the World #311
Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, December 26th, 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 8, 2013

Where in the World #309

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!

Hello from Walt Disney World!
smiley

From last week: Challenge #308:
 Where in the World #308

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

It's Terk from Disney's Tarzan in the Jingle Jungle Parade in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Terk is one of my husband's favorite characters, so we always say hi.

Daniel Record was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Daniel and all our winners this week! Mary Beth Tarbet, Wayne Beck, Jennifer Rowell, Bruce Hinterleitner, Linda Scrivano, The Kertes Family, Nan Amor, Tricia Petty, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Kris Nixon, Smitty, Carol Ney, Linda K. Ranatza, Scott Cullen, Belicia Cullen, Jodi Cooks, Bryant O'meara, Elaine Kleinhenz, Team Hill, Colette Stanton , Phyllis, The Gunnels Family, Ken Clark, Gina Dounelis, Jacque Singleton, Jeanine B. , Chris Nichols, Tim Johansen, Mike Haven, Jennifer Harmon, Jason L, Rob Hepler, Pat Schwier, Lynette Michalos, Paul Moore, Chloe Mayhew, Caryn Schill, Betsy Silvestri, Kathy Morris, Deb Ragno, Sara Holloway, Kristi Waschitz, Scott Precise, Melissa Thomas, Melissa Such, Lori Rienhardt, Laura V., Ruth Senecal, Judy Simonsen, John &Rhonda Nottell, Brian Miller, Michael Frisbee, Craig, Jim Finley, Diane Batista, Chad Staeckler, Otown Popek, Vicki,elizabeth,thomas And William Edwards, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Sharon Powell, Chris Kelly, Pam Vanaustin, Susan Fuger, Hobbes And Snorky, Jim &Lorie Sonnen, Paul Dickson, Team Meeker, Mike Haeberle, Susie Howard, Carolyn Como, Rosmarie , Patti Mccaffrey, Tom Koval, Donna Frank, Kevin Miller, Audra Miller, Maureen Hanlon, Vera And Izzy Williams, Patty Carty, Jennifer Greene, Maureen Handy, Jen Eacret, Paul Knott, The Tisdale Family, Mickey Eckert, Clay Anthony, Kirsten Miller, Doug Olson Family, Kerri Coggins, Rhonda Tomlinson, Demetrios Makres, Luis Rodriguez, Karyn Christenson, Jim Dewalt, The Patterson Family, Duskin Henard, Herb Miller, Vicki Shearman, Kelly Smith, Anastasia Macneil, Kate Fischer, Dayna Guay, Nathaniel Clements, Gail States, Barclay Bakkum, Vicki Britt, Erin Hammer, Karen Aguiar, Robert Wescovich, Michelle Palazzo, The Pearsall Family, Robert Pearsall, Diane Ramos, Steve &Ruby Jordan, Theresa Rucando, Stephanie Newell, Josh Carney, Larry Sprenkle, Sarah Orman, Olivia, Christine, Sophia Clifton, Matt Holley, Jennifer Snook, Ron Harper, Hillary Waldroop, Mark Franklin, Russ Morgan, Rob Blundin, Carrie Kenney, Kristi Strembicki, Dee Dee Kenney, Kerry Mccaffrey, Jackie Graebel, Sandie Albrecht, Claire Gregory, Jane Johnson, Joseph M. Zafia, Diane Curfman, Kyle Burdo, Les Stewart, Tricia Noble, Randy Thomas, Tom Higbee, Peggy Saeger, Morgan M., Amanda Izzo, Jullie Pudem, Mary Ann Eckenrode, Andrea Kruszewski, and Amy Fleming. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #309 Where in the world is this?

We're going to another park, Players. I think this one is a toughie!

 Where in the World #309

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, December 12th, 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!

November 17, 2013

Where in the World #306

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!

A big thank you and hug to Claire Gregory and her family for sharing their Disney vacation with me!
 Where in the World #305

From last week: Challenge #305:
 Where in the World #305

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

"Everybody, this is Hope. Now Hope here is a symbol of one of the most successful conservation stories of all time." And so this lovely star of the Flights of Wonder show in Disney's Animal Kingdom is introduced to her guests. Namaste.
 Where in the World #306

You always hear ooohs and aaahhhhs when Hope is brought out! And see people rushing to get a picture. I know that because I'm one of those people, no matter how many other pictures I have of her. I can't resister her or Sluggo the Red-legged Seriema, the bird who smacks the beejeezus out of the little rubber lizard!

If any of you Players were picked to be on stage to get a photo of the owl in flight.... I'm not jealous at all. (grumblegrumblegrumble) And don't get me started on how not jealous I am of anyone who gets into the parade!

John P., you were a cast member at this show?! I can't thank you enough; this is one of our must sees, so thank you to you and everyone else in the show for all the wonderful times you've given us! (I'm not jealous of you either.) Of course we're thankful to all of the Cast Members: Walt's makers of magic!

Kristi Strembicki was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Kristi and all our winners this week! The Kahle Family, Andrew Carrieri, Tim Jeltes, Donna Frank, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, Scott Cullen, Kirsten Miller, Belicia Cullen, Mary Beth Tarbet, Daniel Meagher, Sharon Pierce, Kris Nixon, Jim &Lorie Sonnen, Ed Elder, Hillary Waldroop, Matt Wildey, The Kertes Family, Andrea Kruszewski, Bill Mckim, Joe Calomeni, Janet T Thorn, The Gunnels Family, Megan Conley, Linda College, Lee Anastasi, Tinkerbell Wells, Vicki Britt, Team Hill, Kye Layton, Kerri Coggins, Agnes Ciotti, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Betsy Silvestri, Deb Ragno, Clare S, Mark Lyons, Colette Stanton, Jennifer Rowell, Robert Wescovich, Deb Audette, Tina Powell, Ruben O'meara, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Sarah Orman, Julie Wickware, Chris Kelly, Sherri Pell , Julie Gilliard, Michelle Darabaris, Paul R Greenleaf, Josh Weiss, Jennifer Piehl, Elaine Kleinhenz, Jerry Felder, Melissa Such, Melissa S, Paul Knott, Kevin Jones, Craig, Michael Brown, Ed Suscreba, Deme Grabert, Brian Miller, Linda Mac, Elizabeth And Vicki Edwards, Tricia Petty, Caroline Knowles, Zach Szymko, Randy Laughlin, Kara Jones, Jen Snook, Maryann Romagnano, Bob Patterson, Dee Dee Kenney, Eileen Rice, Wayne Beck, The Parker Family (with Doubting Nikki), Ellen Sullivan, Mary Ann Lamay, Robert Hildebrandt , Tim Johansen, Phil Badcock, Russ Morgan, Amy Letts, Pam Vanaustin, Ruth Senecal, Leach Family, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Julie Harris, Phoebe Speiser, Jackie Drexler, Kate Nejman, Louise Barton, Claire Gregory, Nicolle Clement, Hobbes And Snorky, Cheryl Chambers, Ken Clark, Dave Freemyer, Tim Mckay, Carol Collins, Wendy Beaudoin, Patti Gumiela, Nathalie Periard, Kristyn Scibienski, Jen Eacret, Phyllis, Mickey Eckert, Chris Nichols, Mary Ann Eckenrode, Doug Olson Family, Nathan York , Patrick Crum, The Pearsall Family, Kerry A, John Pasqueralli, Jodi Cook, Craig Livingsotn, Lisa Zitek, Jeremy Reichelt, Mike Cerce, Dave Kanigowski, Sandy Kanigowski, Bruce Lawson, Joe Fortunato, Morgan M., Pat Schwier, Melody Odonnell, Karrie Duffey, Jenny Stoneburner, Sandie Albrecht, Nathaniel Clements, The Hutchinson Family, Annie Snodgrass, Sara Holloway, Sabine, Anastasia Macneil, Mario Grasso, Matthew Jadro, John Malone, Deborah D'agostino, Karen Smith, Daniel Record, The Holmes Family, Team Bonnie Sue, Erin Connell, Jim Finley, Terry Blair, Ken Rhinehart, Brian Mcwithey, Diane Ramos, Patti Mccaffrey, Kirk Hardy, Team Meeker, Kevin Welch, Rob Blundin, George Mundy Jr, Mark Franklin, Gail States, Ronald Delorey, Riki Popek, Penny Urell, Carolyn Como, Jane Johnson, Kevin, Rick R., Jackie Klafeta, Judy Simonsen, Amanda Campbell, Joseph M. Zafia, Kerry Mccaffrey, Betsy Dross, Nancy Cole, Kyle Burdo, Josh Carney, Paula B, Barclay Bakkum, and Jenn Durham. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #306 Where in the world is this?

We are going out of the parks!
 Where in the World #306

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, November 21st, 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!

October 3, 2013

Ranger Donald Duck at Camp Minnie-Mickey

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Ranger Donald Duck posing with guests at Camp Minnie-Mickey in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Ranger Donald Duck posing with guests at Camp Minnie-Mickey.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/100s, f/4.2, ISO 400, EV 0, 29mm focal length.

The Character Greeting Trails at Camp Minnie-Mickey in Disney's Animal Kingdom often has characters not seen in the other parks or uniquely themed costumes for one of the FAB Five.

My wife and daughter had their picture taken with Ranger Donald Duck a few years ago. Don't they make a great Disney Pic of the Week on Camp Minnie-Mickey?

September 6, 2013

Trekking through Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I have written about and shared many photographs from Disney's Animal Kingdom attractions: Kilimanjaro Safari and Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. Both can be found by visiting the village of Harambe in Africa. I have even taken you on the Wild Africa Trek: Photographing on the Wild Africa Trek, Part I and Part II.

Today, I want to share with you a few more photos from those experiences.

I see many people walking quickly on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. Time can be one's master at Disney's Animal Kingdom with so much to do and see. If one can, I suggest stopping along the trail to enjoy the animals. The Okapi (Okapia johnstoni) are an animal you need to observe. Watch how they use their tongues to eat and notice their neck in how it moves. Do not be fooled by the zebra-like stripes as the giraffe is their closest relative on the evolutionary tree.

To get a good photo of one of the okapi, you have to wait a bit as they move around looking for food in their habitat. Imagine trying to spot an okapi in the lush jungle of its native home in the Congo of Africa. It is no wonder it was not discovered by European adventurers until the late 19th century.

Young Okapi on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Young Okapi on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV +0.3, 300mm focal length.

The Gerenuk (Litocranius walleri), long-necked species of antelope, browse behind the Meerkats on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail. However, to get this view of one, you have to be on the Wild Africa Trek's overland trail which goes off into the woods to the side of the Meerkat compound. The Gerenuk was curious as to who was roaming his woods.

Gerenuk on the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Gerenuk on the Wild Africa Trek.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 300mm focal length.

While large bellied and cumbersome looking, Hippopotamus (Hippopotamus amphibius) are the most dangerous large animal in Africa. Hippos are very aggressive towards humans, whom they commonly attack whether in boats or on land for no apparent reason. Which is why I was happy to photograph this female Hippopotamus from a safe and raised distance while on the Wild Africa Trek.

Hippopotamus on the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Hippopotamus on the Wild Africa Trek.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 1100, EV -0.3, 300mm focal length.

Animal parks like Disney's Animal Kingdom educate and inspire people to help save these creatures in their native lands. I hope my photography helps in the same way.

August 8, 2013

DiVine, in profile

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

DiVine in profile as she walks around Discovery Island in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Orlando, Florida
DiVine, in profile, as she walks around Discovery Island.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 1100, EV +0.3, 300mm focal length.

DiVine, the living and moving vine you see at Disney's Animal Kingdom moves slowly, often stopping to blend into the vegetation surrounding Discovery Island. She is quiet, serene and always looking afar. When people see her, they are amazed and curious.

My contribution to our Disney Pic of the Week on DiVine.

July 30, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week: Waterfalls

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Disney Imagineers and architects used waterfalls everywhere in Walt Disney World. Some are very big and incorporated into major attractions like Splash Mountain in the Magic Kingdom and the Imagination Pavilion in Epcot's Future World. While other waterfalls are smaller and not as noticeable like this one in Disney's Animal Kingdom on Discovery Island.

A waterfall at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A waterfall at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 200, +0.3 EV, 70mm Focal Length

Come back on Thursday when Lisa shares her Disney Pic of the Week for Waterfalls.

July 28, 2013

Where in the World #290

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!

Thank you, Players, for all the wonderful anniversary messages! I appreciate it so much!
From Millan.Net

Let's answer those challenges.

Special challenge:
Where in the World Photo Fun

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © Barrie Brewer

I was very impressed with how many people got this, especially when a lot of the answers started with "I have no idea, but could it be...":

Let's get the answer from Barrie herself in the WitW second post:

"If you guessed Asia in the Animal Kingdom you're right! This string of lights crosses the path on the way past the restrooms disguised as a mountain trading post. That's Expedition Everest in the background.

Quick Tip: Head to Asia in the afternoon to get good photos of Expedition Everest. Later in the day the sun will be at your back, shining brightly on the mountain."

Sharon Pierce was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Justin and all our winners this week! Phyllis, Bill Mckim, Karen Schlumpf, Pam Vanaustin, Mary Beth Tarbet, Cathy, Colette Stanton , Steve And Ruby Jordan, Demetrios Makres, Larissa Huda, Evanna Huda, Ken Maikowski, Jen Tremley, Lee Anastasi, Team Hill, Team Hill, Chris Connors, Candice Grimes, Patti Gumiela, Donna Frank, John P, Andrew Carrieri, David Tarbet, Lynette Michalos, Deb Ragno, Daniel Record, Deb Ragno, Christina And Natalie Rotella, Jim Logue, Elizabeth And Vicki Edwards, Josette Gabel, Tricia Petty, Amy Martel, Carolyn Como, Mike Cerce, Evald Olson, Carol Ney, Linda Ranatza, Nathaniel Clements, Ladonna Tisdale, The Scimeca Family, Jeremy Hardy, Virginia Pierce, Heather Young, Mary Ann Eckenrode, Jim Riley, Jeff Blank, John Menjes, Kerri Coggins, Jason Skow, Catherine Connors, Amanda Campbell, Rob And April -team Vanderpool, Robert Wescovich, Tricia Noble, Tiffany Gibb, Vera Williams, Lily-pierre Couet, Josh Weiss, Michelle Boykin, Mickey Eckert, Barclay Bakkum, The Patterson Family, Shelly Borella, John Pasqueralli, Josh Carney, Team Bonnie Sue, Stephanie Dollar, Judy Simonsen, Kristan Bertelmann, Tom Hermes, Anna Keene, Dave Kanigowski, Sandy Kanigowski, Ashley P. , Karen Smith, Dave Carriere, Debbie Poole, Maryann Romagnano, George Mundy Jr, Heather Calvey, Vicki Britt, Wendy Mowery, Emily Harper, Jane Johnson, Hillary Waldroop, Timothy Hutchinson, and Tom Higbee. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

Now to announce the winner of our special Sixth Anniversary drawing! The winner is...

[can you feel the excitement in the air? From Millan.Net]

"Andrew Carrieri! Congratulations, Andrew! You will be receiving a prize shortly!

(Don't you love getting stuff in the mail? I'm always like:
From Millan.Net
)

Challenge #289:
 Where in the World #289

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

Purple Street Signs!! These are one of things that tell me I'm at Disney and when we leave & I see a green sign, I get like this: From Millan.Net

We didn't break the 555 record, and we all know why. It's because my friend Ed Elder didn't play. Tsk tsk, Ed. From Millan.Net Just kidding.

Thank you to everyone who did answer! Quite a lot of you did while on vacation, even on cruise ships! I appreciate you doing that!

Chris Masse was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Justin and all our winners this week! Phyllis, Rob Jacob, Brad Nolan, Erin Hammer, Sharon Pierce, Roger Vollmer, Karen Schlumpf, Pam Vanaustin, Tommy Montgomery, Mary Ann Lamay, Mary Beth Tarbet, The Kahle Family, Colette Stanton , Steve And Ruby Jordan, Demetrios Makres, Larissa Huda, Evanna Huda, Brian Odonnell, Jen Tremley, Lee Anastasi, Joanne Surprenant, Team Hill, Dawn Davis, Angela Fennell, Chris Connors, Candice Grimes, Patti Gumiela, Kristi Strembicki, Donna Frank, Fishman Family, Kenny, Dave Wang, Chris Nichols, Schweizer Family, Angie Blair, Liz Moreau, John P, Andrew Carrieri, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Rob Blundin, Kerri Kobylka, Jim Riddle, Leach Family, Emily Hudson, David Tarbet, Chris Hanna, Sandie Albreht, Tinkerbell Wells, Mike Haeberle, Lynette Michalos, Lynette Michalos, Deb Ragno, Daniel Record, Deb Ragno, Christina And Natalie Rotella, Jim Logue, Jim Dewalt, Elizabeth And Vicki Edwards, Cheryl Chambers, Bill Cudney , Michael O'brien, Belicia Cullen, K Beasley, Scott Cullen, Betsy Silvestri, Chuck Sands, Marsha Waidelich, Patty Carty, Laurie Walker, Stefanie Vandiver, Josette Gabel, The Malesky Family, Tricia Petty, Amy Martel, Tim Johansen, Carolyn Como, Maureen Handy, Mike Cerce, Evald Olson, Carol Ney, Linda Ranatza, Nathaniel Clements, Hobbes And Snorky, Bruce Hinterleitner, Kris Nixon , Michael Gunnels, Ladonna Tisdale, The Scimeca Family, Morgan M., The Omeara Family, Jeremy Hardy, Kerry A., Paul Knott, Virginia Pierce, Louise, Heather Young, Nathalie Periard, Jonathan Thomas, Antoinette Leblanc, Ainsley Poe, Mary Ann Eckenrode, Larry Sprenkle, Jared Orth, Cynthia Hitchcock, Cris Sefransky, Jim Riley, John Bickers, Tracy Discher, Russ Morgan, Diane Curfman, Jeff Blank, John Menjes, Kerri Coggins, Kristyn Scibienski, Robert Hildebrandt, Diane C., Chloe Mayhew, Jason Skow, Catherine Connors, Jodi Cook, Amanda Campbell, Rob And April -team Vanderpool, Robert Wescovich, Tricia Noble, Karen Costa, Tiffany Gibb, Paul Ignudo, Jr., Matt Holley, Janet T Thorn, Kate Fischer, Sara Alaimo, Vera Williams, Gallagher Family, Lily-pierre Couet, Josh Weiss, Craig Lordan, Katie, Chris Bauman, Jim Finley, Theresa Maradei, Michelle Boykin, Amber Slifer, Karen Bellamy, Steve Knapp, Mickey Eckert, Barclay Bakkum, Karrie Duffey, The Patterson Family, Mike M., Shelly Borella, Andy Schumacher, John Pasqueralli, Carri Marotto, Josh Carney, Carla C, Alison Rosenberger, Matt Ciccone, Diane Ramos, Caroline Burmester, Cheri Palmisano, Team Bonnie Sue, Terry Fleming, Stephanie Dollar, Lori Rienhardt, Melodye Berry, Dan And Elizabeth Johnston, Judy Simonsen, Sophia, Kristan Bertelmann, Derek Carty, Les Stewart, Jenn Crosby, Sarah Williams, Diane Batista, Tom Hermes, Patrick Broaddus, Anna Keene, Dave Kanigowski, Sandy Kanigowski, Ashley P. , Lindsey Nozal, Karen Smith, Dave Carriere, Curtis Bille, Kaylie Seeley, Theresa Rucando, Angel Diven, Melissa Rappley, Wendy Palmquist, Jeff Stetson, Debbie Poole, Karen Ford, Heidi Goodhue, Joseph M. Zafia, Maryann Romagnano, George Mundy Jr, Carla Nale, Shirley Garcowski, Heather Calvey, Ken Rhinehart, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Stacy Guarracino, Vicki Britt, Matthew Earl, Brian Richmond, Wendy Mowery, Claire Gregory, Emily Harper, Kristen Mccoy, Elaine Kleinhenz, Joseph M. Zafia, Jane Johnson, Cassandra Newton, Caitlin Lewis, Hillary Waldroop, Angela Johnson, Christi Ison, Carol J, Clare S, Jeff Finger, Timothy Hutchinson, Patti Mccaffrey, Tom Higbee, and Mark Franklin. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #290 Where in the world is this?

Back on track for our usual fun. We are in a park!
Where in the World Photo Fun

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, August 1st, 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!

July 25, 2013

Bug Eyed at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Kid looking through a bug eyed mask in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
A young guest finding out what a bug sees.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/400s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 200mm focal length.

Child looks through a bug eyed mask at Disney's Animal Kingdom can see how an insect sees through their compound eyes. This mask can be found by following the path pointed out by the MEET THE REAL STARS OF THE SHOW sign after exiting the It's Tough to be a Bug show on Discovery Island. A real eye opener for our Disney Pic of the Week for Insects.


July 7, 2013

Where in the World #287

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!

I can't believe what I forgot this:
From Millan.Net
It's belated, but heartfelt!

Will Gates, have a magical trip! Everyone say Bon Voyage, Players!
From Millan.Net

Christi Ison, I'm torn. Should I tell you to stay on the wagon but miss you? Or be an enabler and have you back? Oh heck with it! Welcome back! From Millan.Net

Here's Challenge #286:
Where in the World #286

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

I call this photo "Crocs"; my husband calls it "The stupidest picture you've ever taken, Erin". :)
It's the Nile Crocodile area on Kilimanjaro Safaris in Disney's Animal Kingdom with me in the safari truck. This is important, kids: my foot is inside the jeep, leaning on the side. Listen to your driver and keep arms, feet, and the rest of you in your seat! Right, John Pasqueralli?

Daniel Record was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Daniel and all our winners this week! Bruce Jones, Chris Masse, Chris Connors, Debbie Connors, Cj Connors, Hoekzema Family, Double Family, Mike Rotkiske, Ed Elder, Vicki Edwards, Mary Beth Tarbet, Mike Haeberle, Donna Frank, Kristi Strembicki, Amber P., Missy Tillman, Karen Schlumpf, Chris Horne, Dee Dee Kenney, Melissa Thomas, Joy Ferson, Tracy Ludwig, Heather Devito, Jennifer Rowell, Paul Knott, Lee Anastasi, Lindsey Nozal, Chris Nichols, Amanda Campbell, Deb Ragno, Josh Dean, Brian Miller, The Kertes Family, Dawn Bach, Steve And Ruby Jordan, Rob Blundin, Anne Marie Cronin, Anne Marie Cronin, Tiffany Gibb, Team Hill, Chris Kelly, Colette Stanton, Maryann Moore, Steve Goodman, Mike Walter, Eric Enli, Chuck Sands, Paul Moore, John & Rhonda Nottell, Ken Maikowski, Kathy Huckabee, Kathryn Perkins, Maryann Eckenrode, Scott Cullen, Belicia Cullen, Lori Rienhardt, The Parker Family, Pam Vanaustin, Sharon Pierce, Bryan Kruse, Kelly Cummings , James Dezern, Brian Mcwithey, Michael Gainey, Colin Sawyer, Theresa Lennon, Rob Hildebrandt , Kerri Coggins, Pollyanna Buff, Curtis Bille, Tina Powell, Betsy Silvestri, Kenny, Trisha Johnson, Theresa Rucando, Tim Johansen, Mary Ann Lamay, The Malesky Family, Jen Cerce, Jeremy Hardy, Judy Simonsen, Maggie Klotz, Lynette Michalos, Jason And Melinda Lenz, Dewayne Shaw, Susan Doucette, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, Cynthia Hitchcock, Alex Gamill, Mike Mondoux, The Foley Family, The Crea Family, Carolyn Como, Brian Beckom, Kaylie Seeley, Hulse Family, Jim Finley, Rebecca Smith, Bob Patterson, Jason Skow, The Patterson Family, Cameron Lange, Vera Williams, Karen Costa, Jen Snook, Tricia Noble, Sara Alaimo, Andrew Pettit, Timothy Hutchinson, Andy Schumacher, Ken Rhinehart, Wayne Witherspoon, Tinkerbell Wells, Barclay Bakkum, Jeremy Reichelt, Kara Morton, Stephanie Dollar, Caitlin Lewis, Diane Ramos, Bonnie, Jennifer Mercier, Mark Proper, Scott Greenbaum, Maryann Romagnano, Steve Narel, Sandie Albrecht, Leach Family, Erin Hammer, Jen Tremley, Josh Carney, Peter Boguszewski, Matt Holley, The Kahle Family, Antoinette Leblanc, Jeff Bush, Ladonna Tisdale, Vicki Yarnell, Cindy Pink, Team Bonnie Sue, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Christopher Hall, Carla C, Nadine Miltier, Zach Szymko, Lizanne Fisk, Mouse Junkie Adam, Stacy Guarracino, John Pasqueralli, Hayley Valk, Vickie Scioneaux, The Powells, Robert P. Flaherty, Fran Rendulic, Robert Wescovich, Russell Hamlin, Michael Gunnels, Meredith Rule, Les Whitten, Joseph M. Zafia, Elaine Kleinhenz, Tom Koval, Anjanette Tournillon, Jane Johnson, Evald Olson, Tricia Petty, Patti Mccaffrey, Paul Ignudo, Jr., and Julia C. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

In fact, time to draw the monthly winner! And that lucky Player is: Dawn Bach! Congratulations! You'll be getting a prize from Deb Wills!
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #287 Where in the world is this?

We're in a park with something newer! So if you haven't been to Walt Disney World in the past year, it's time to check around on the AllEars website!

 Where in the World #287

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, July 11th, 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!

June 30, 2013

Where in the World #286

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!

We'll be celebrating Independence Day here in America this week!
4th of July emoticon

Congratulations to Jeremy Mccaffrey and his football team for their PERFECT season record!
From Millan.Net

Karen Ramashyrez, thank you for your lovely note!

Rob And April Vanderpool, where have you been?! Missed you, you ol' so and so's!

A note about last 2 weeks: when I do those double challenges, the Tough challenge is meant to be INSANELY difficult. Hence it be a leaf or a seagull or a patch of grass. So always enter if you know the second challenge because that's the real one. The first one is to laugh over. :)

Here's Challenge #285:
Where in the World #285

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

The sign for Dinosaur in Disney's Animal Kingdom; a lot of you remembered this was originally "Countdown to Extinction" and was changed when the movie "Dinosaur" came out featuring the Iguanodon.

You know what this means, Christina Rotella: you reward yourself with another Disney trip!
Mickey ears smiley emoticon

Claire Gregory, you said your daughter likes dinosaurs, so here's some for her:
dinosaur emoticon dinosaur emoticon dinosaur emoticon

Kristi Strembicki was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Kristi and all our winners this week! Mary Beth Tarbet, Phyllis , Tricia Petty, Herb Miller, Chris Kelly, Daniel Record, Bill Mckim, Sharon Pierce, Lee Anastasi, Colette Stanton, Bruce Hinterleitner, Darlene Haven, Jessica Iglesias, Tinkerbell Wells, Dawn Bach, Carolyn Como, Mike Haven, Steve And Ruby Jordan, Theresa Lennon, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Team Hill, Mike Rotkiske, Lynette Michalos, Beth Mcmeekin, Jennifer Rowell, Scott Precise, Chris Nichols, Ken Motta, Ainsley Poe, Kerry B Finnamore, The Emich Family, Jeff Bush, Patti Gumiela, Joe Calomeni, Julie Wickware, Claire Gregory, Cheryl Chambers, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Joanne Dechiaro, Eric Enli, Ellie Argaluza, Kerry Mccaffrey, Kirsten Miller, Paul Moore, Barbara Remele, Sheena W., Antoinette Leblanc, Lee Deroia, Melissa Such, Kerri Coggins, Sandie Albrecht, Curtis Bille, Maureen Handy, Rob Blundin, Stuart Savage, Kathy Morris, Judy Simonsen, Danielle Suscreba, Rob And April of Team Vanderpool, Clay Anthony, Vinnie Gilberti, Karen Ramãshyrez, Betsy Silvestri, Kerry A., Hayley Valk, Belicia Cullen, Ashley P., Scott Cullen, Jason Skow, Laura Vaughn, Annie Snodgrass, Tammy Rice, Emily Hudson, Denise Cayz, Olivia, Jared Orth, Paul Dickson, Double Family, James Dezern, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, Hoekzema Family, Jeff Blank, Robert Hildebrandt, Cynthia Hitchcock, Robert Wescovich, Nicole Lassiter, Jennifer Shaw, Jeremy Reichelt, Tricia Noble, Christina Rotella, Brian Gallant, Sara Alaimo, Patrick Broaddus, Bob Henriksen, Terry Fleming, Team Meeker, Mike Cerce, Shelly Borella, Brian Yesutis, Kristen Mccoy, Jeff Finger, Chuck Sands, Patti Mccaffrey, Mitchell Holmes, Jenny Brennan, The Foley Family, Heidi Goodhue, Team Bonnie Sue, Jeremy Hardy, John Arena Jr, Vicki Britt, Karen Smith, Randi Balch, John Pasqueralli, Les Stewart, Evald Olson, Theresa Maradei, Melissa Rappley, Ashley Deitchler, Julia C, Jim Finley, Robert Flaherty, Agnes Ciotti, Jane Johnson, Maggie Klotz, Josh Weiss, and Jen Tremley. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #286 Where in the world is this?

We're in a park, Players, and wait until you see the reveal. It's fun. :)
 Where in the World #286

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, July 4th, 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!

June 28, 2013

Ceremonial Canoe in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Our next stop is along the walk to Asia and just past the Yeti Shrine in Disney's Animal Kingdom rests (rested) a very colorful ceremonial canoe. On a calm day, the water creates reflections of the canoe. To capture the beautiful colors of the canoe, I underexposed using exposure compensation by -0.3 of a stop.

Ceremonial canoe on the walk to Asia in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Ceremonial canoe on the walk to Asia.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/160s, f/16, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 200mm focal length.

I used a stopped down aperture of f/16 to make sure to get everything in focus from the water reflection to the wooden fencing behind the canoe. Have not seen this canoe on my last couple of trips. It may have been moved or otherwise taken off stage.

I will be taking a summer break the next two weeks. See you back here then!

May 26, 2013

Where in the World #281

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!

By this time next week, I will be in Walt Disney World, Players! So time to wish me Bon Voyage!
wave
Wow, thanks for the enthusiasm!

I'll tell Mickey Mouse you said hello! Plus I will of course see you here next week. And have the Disney bear ready for my post vacation blues. Who had the Disney bear last; they will have to spare him. I'm looking at you, Claire Gregory.

It looks like I'm sharing Disney with Hunter Armstrong who is also leaving for a vacation! See you around the parks, Hunter!
From Millan.Net

And welcome home, Susan and Mike Hill! I'm glad you had so much fun tracking down Where in the World clues!

Mickey Eckert, thank you for still loving me and the game despite the impossible clue. Hugs! hug
Sorry, too much?

Here's Challenge #279:
 Where in the World #279

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

The DCV outpost globe in Discovery Island in Disney's Animal Kingdom where you turn for Camp Minnie-Mickey.

Steve And Ruby Jordan, great answer. :) I found a boo-boo Disney bear to make your digital photo paper cuts feel a little better:
From Millan.Net

Bob Lanks was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Bob! A few people were close in their answers and congratulations to them too! Vera Williams, Team Hill, Diane Ramos, Emily Hudson, and Colette Stanton. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

Here's Challenge #280:
Where in the World #280

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

The sign welcoming you to Rockettower Plaza in Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom!

Plenty of people like Pam Vanaustin, Diane Ramos, & Steve And Ruby Jordan's daughter love this ride as much as my husband, especially the call "Paging Mr. Morrow... Mr. Tom Morrow!" Been there, love it, got my husband the t-shirt!

Jerry Turner was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Jerry and all our winners this week! Sairey, Ally, Colette Stanton, Colette Stanton, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Johansen Family, Judi Copley, Hunter Armstrong, Mike Mondoux, Linda College, K Beasley, Becky Norman, Ken Clark, Kathy Davies, Lorine Landon, Kelly Cummings, Louise, Tina Santacroce, Mike Walter, Andrea Weedmark , Duskin Henard, Maggie Klotz, Emily Hudson, Dave Kanigowski, Sandy Kanigowski, Leigh Mertz, Chris Bauman, Sara Alaimo, Alan Mize, Belicia Cullen, Melissa Littman, Maryann Romagnano, Carol Ney, Rob Hildebrandt , Mary Beth Tarbet, Linda Ranatza, Pam Vanaustin, Robert Hildebrandt, Scott Cullen, Vera Williams, Steve And Ruby Jordan, Team Hill, John Menjes, Rachel Taylor, George Mundy Jr, Theresa Rucando, Steve And Ruby Jordan, Tom Higbee, Diane Ramos, Chuck Sands, Mickey Eckert, and Emily Hudson. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #281 Where in the world is this?

We're still in the parks with a less impossible clue!

And remember, you can't just give the park name.

 Where in the World #281

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, May 30th, 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!

May 17, 2013

Using a Super Zoom Lens at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I am a big fan of using Super Zoom lenses on digital SLR cameras. When I travel to places like Walt Disney World, I do not want to be carrying a lot of heavy equipment. A Super Zoom lens lets me go with a small pouch which holds an extra battery, memory cards, lens cleaning cloth, flash and one extra lens, usually the 50mm f/1.8.

I have used Nikon's Super Zoom lenses on both a DX (cropped camera) and FX (full framed camera). They are the Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S VR DX Zoom and Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S VR II FX Zoom Lenses. Canon has their 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 EF-S IS Zoom Lens. Sigma and Tamron each have an 18-250mm zoom lens. All are image stablized and very versatile.

Super Zoom lenses are full of compromises. They have variable apertures and are not very fast nor are they extremely wide or long. I find they work perfectly in a place like a Disney themepark, festivals, or fairs. The following photos were all taken with a Nikon D700 FX camera and the 28-300VR lens.

For this photo of a tricycle parked near Kali River Rapids entrance in Disney's Animal Kingdom, I got in close and low using the widest focal length of the lens.

A tricycle parked near Kali River Rapids entrance in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A tricycle parked near Kali River Rapids entrance.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 25mm focal length.

Along the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail, the gorrilas, at their closest, are still far away and the reach of a super zoom lens comes in very handy.

Bachelor Gorilla on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Bachelor Gorilla on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/5.6, ISO 160, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

The Image Stablizaton (Vibration Reduction for Nikon's) in the Super Zoom lenses work even while doing motion photography like panning at the Tomorrowland Speedway in the Magic Kingdom.

Guests speeding around the Tomorrowland Speedway in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Guests speeding around the Tomorrowland Speedway in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/15s, f/29, ISO 200, EV 0, 85mm focal length.

The verstality of the wide range of focal lengths helps to photograph scenes like this one. Space Mountain was being lighted by a late day Sun with rain clouds behind it. I really liked being able to crop in and create this composition with the spires of the ride bright lighted in front of a dark, gloomy background.

Space Mountain with rain clouds in the Magic Kingdom's Torrowland, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spires of Space Mountain in Torrowland.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/100s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 105mm focal length.

Let me repeat, Super Zooms give you a lot of compostional freedom. I envisioned this photo of the Red Hero car from Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show in Disney's Hollywood Studios knowing I was going to be seating in the VIP section of the grandstands during the show. The wide end let me get the car's reflection, the camera truck and the set behind all in the frame. Using a fast shutter speed let me freeze all the action at the right time.

Red Hero car during the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Red Hero car jumping during the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/1000s, f/5, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

A slight zoom on the lens from 28mm to 40mm eliminated some foreground clutter and brought the broom in closer as I photographed the Sorcerer Mickey Mouse topiary in front of Disney's Hollywood Studios' entrance.

Sorcerer Mickey Mouse topiary in front of the entrance to Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Sorcerer Mickey Mouse topiary in front of the entrance to Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, f/16, ISO 1100, EV 0, 40mm focal length, HDR Image.

Are Super Zooms the perfect travel lens? Maybe not perfect but the closest thing I have used to one.

May 10, 2013

How to Create Travel Magazine Photos at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When you use Auto mode with a digital SLR camera, the programing in the camera will do its best to give you a "good" exposure. Even in Program mode if you do not understand how to use it, the camera will give you a "good" exposure. I put good in quotes because, while you will get "good" exposure, I would say 9 times out of 10, the exposure will not be the one you were looking for.

I say this because what our eyes see and what the camera sees are very different. The camera in Auto or Program mode will go for safe exposures meaning it will give you the fastest shutter speed first before setting the Aperture (which controls the depth of field or area of focus) and ISO which controls how grainy the final image will be.

By using Program mode correctly or changing to Aperture (A) mode, you take control of the depth of field. Below are three examples where I took control of the Aperture. I wanted a large area of focus to cover from the front to the back of the image. This would put everything in focus. Many travel images you see in magazines and on websites are photographed this way.

The first was taken from a Friendship boat leaving the Swan & Dolphin Resort dock heading to Epcot's International Gateway. I wanted people to know where I took if from and the relationship between the boat and the resort.

Dolphin Resort from a Friendship boat, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Dolphin Resort from a Friendship boat.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 400, EV +03, 28mm focal length.

The Tree of Life in Disney's Animal Kingdom was taken in mid-afternoon. I used five bracketed photos to create the HDR image to make sure to cover the full range of light from the dark shadows under the tree to the bright sky. Each photo was taken with a small aperture for maximum depth of field. Every plant in the foreground is as sharply focused as each carved animal on the Tree of Life.

Tree of Life in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Tree of Life in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length, HDR image.

I photographed a few trains at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom before I got the engine positioned at the top of the grade with the large rock formation behind it. A small aperture was used to keep sharp focus from the train back to the towering rocks. Well, except for a little blurring of the train since it was moving which was what I wanted, too.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/160s, f/16, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

Each of the photos above were taken at an aperture of f/16. That is a good setting to start with. If you use a Point & Shoot camera, look for the Landscape mode setting for the same effect.

May 3, 2013

How to Photograph at a Busy Disney Park

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I came upon an article called How to Photograph Busy Tourist Sites by Kav Dadfar on the Digital Photography School website a few weeks ago. All the tips sounded a lot like the ones Lisa and I have talked about either directly or indirectly here on the Picture This! blog. I thought it would be fun to take each tip and expand on them in relation to Disney Photography. I hope you enjoyed the series. Below is each tip and a summary from the Disney posts with links for your reference.

1. Get Up Early

As I explained in my Walt Disney World version, staying late at a Disney park will give you your best people-free photography opportunities. On my personal photo blog, I did show how getting to non-Disney tourist destinations early is the way to go.

2. Include the Tourists

Especially at Disney properties, it is almost impossible not to get other guests in your photos. As I showed, just include the people like I did below. In fact, I waited for someone interesting (see #4 below) to stop in front of the fish tank on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

A lady looking at the fish on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A lady looking at the fish on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5, ISO 1100, EV 0, 100mm focal length.

3. Compose Carefully

By carefully cropping people out of a photo either in camera or afterwards in post-processing, you can eliminate distracting crowds or individuals in your photos. While it is best to do it before taking the photograph, it is easy to crop and, even eliminate, distracting people in our photos using photo editing software.

4. Take Your Time

I do understand this can be hard to do for people visiting a Disney resort, waiting for a time when people are no longer around at the location you want to photograph does work. As Confucius said, The two most powerful warriors are patience and time.

5. Think Creatively

This can be very challenging and very rewarding to do. Look from different angles, get low, get high or tilt your camera in different directions. At Disney, you never know what you might uncover.

6. Focus on the Details

For Disney photographers, looking for details to photograph in the parks, resorts, restaurants and queues is a favorite subject. Do not forget about all the Hidden Mickeys to be found at Walt Disney World.

May 2, 2013

Flik at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Flik meets and greets guests in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Flik signs an autograph for a guest at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D700/18-200VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 70mm focal length, fill flash.

I got to meet and photograph Flik, one of my favorite Pixar characters, at Disney's Animal Kingdom. The star of the movie, A Bug's Life, was perfect for my Disney Pic of the Week about Pixar.

March 29, 2013

Including Guests in Walt Disney World Photography

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Continuing our tips for photographing in busy tourist attractions using Walt Disney World examples. When the parks are full of people, and it is a rare day when they are not these days, I just include them in the composition. People help to tell the story and add scale to whatever surrounds them.

Watching the Dream Along with Mickey show on the stage in front of Cinderella Castle with a few of my closest friends, I decided to include them. I stood up on the bench next to the Partner's Statue in the hub to get this photo.

Guests enjoy the Dream Along with Mickey show at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Guests enjoy the Dream Along with Mickey show in front of Cinderella Castle.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/80s, f/22, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 18mm focal length.

My niece and her family were visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom for the first time and stopped to marvel at the Tree of Life. I like this photo more than the posed one I took a few minutes later. They are involved with the Tree of Life as the parents and children look at all the animals on it.

A family seeing the Tree of Life in Disney's Animal Kingdom for the first time, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A family seeing the Tree of Life in Disney's Animal Kingdom for the first time.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 22mm focal length.

While both of these photos would have been fine without the people, I feel including them enhanced the photos and created better stories.

March 24, 2013

Where in the World #273

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!

Annie Snodgrass and Paul Moore: you're back! From Millan.Net

Frank & Sharon say hello from Disney's Soaring flower show! Hi! From Millan.Net Are you still there?

We have a lot of people going through post-Disney vacation blues:Amanda, Dave Carriere, and Steve Jordan. Hold on, I'll get the Disney bear to hug. Claire Gregory has it from last week. Claire, I need the Disney bear back. Claire, the bear? From Millan.Net Claire? Okay... maybe you guys could hug Claire?

On the other hand, Claire Gregory: thank you so much for your phenomenal note! You too, Judy Simonsen and Tina Horlick. It means so much!

Hey, Clinton Dickinson, of course there's room for you in the van. You called shotgun! Don't worry, everyone: Janet Thorn and Stephanie Dollar are driving too! Hop in!

Good for you, Gail H and your husband! Best of luck on the the Expedition Everest Challenge!

Here's last week's Challenge:
 Where in the World #272

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © Barrie Brewer

Scott Mcbride's got this. Scott?

"The tumble monkeys in Festival of Lion King at Animal Kingdom...when they fall into a seated position when Timon yells, "I WANT QUIET!"

And as so many pointed out, they then pick bugs off groom each other. :)

Debbie Poole had a wonderful story about this cast: I'd like to share it. "One of these wonderful primates took a liking to my wheelchair-using mom during the show. He always remembered her during each of our visits and would throw bugs to her, "sit" on her lap (he would balance on her wheelchair) and tried to teach her the hand jive (she never did get the hand of it). We understand that particular Tumble Monkey has moved on, but she loved every minute of the special attention he paid to her."

This person is the kind who Walt pictured when he said Cast Member.

Deb Ragno and Angel Diven said their husbands were picked to play the warthog in the show. You guys tell me these to make me jealous, don't you? ;)

I know a lot of us are worried we will lose this wonderful show with the new construction. But! Signs point to them saving it and it will supposedly move over to Africa. So, maybe a little less bitter party of two, Jason & Melinda Lenz? :) (That made me laugh!)

So.... a few of you got this right. :-)

Andrew Carrieri was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Andrew and all our winners this week! Ruth Woodhouse, Mackenzie D., The Kahle Family , Mary Beth Tarbet, Debbie Desimone, Al Desimone, Erin Loring, Jen Cerce, Theresa Rucando, Tinkerbell Wells, Becky Norman, Belicia Cullen, Chris And Alison, Mildred Popp, Becky Norman, Scott Cullen, Frank & Sharon, Doug Olson Family, Zach Szymko, The Kertes Family, Linda Kasych, Jonathan Ward, Brian Yesutis, Hoekzema Family, Edward Elder, Paul Dickson, Diane Curfman, Lynette Michalos, Eric Berger, Adrienne Clark-bogle, The Schweizer Family, Kristin Zuk, Beth Gladney, Christine Griffin, Kathy Opitz, Julie Bozeman, Josh Brown, Michele Dunn, Animal Kingdom , Ed, Dawn Hartson, Wendy Kimberly, Debbie Gresh, Kathy Morris, Beth Kugler, Robert Graham, Phil Vickers, Tiffany S., Denise Cayz, Scott Greenbaum, Melissa Such, Jennifer Harmon, Michelle, Christine Barton, Mike Haven, Larissa Huda, Dwayne Fontenot, Cameron Gainey, Patti Gumiela, Lisa Fronheiser, Becky Coppola, Amanda Deweese, Rebecca Smith, Jenny Brennan, Shannon Savoia, Rob Avnet, Tony Stevens, Jason Adams, Dee Dee Kenney, Lisa Jane Wood, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Laura W., Meghan Nichols, Daniel Meagher, Mary Finkle, Joyce Shipman, Sara Holloway, Ken Jobin, Chris & Maranda Nichols, Christa Graham, Sondra Tokarske , Sheila, Johansen Family, Clare Sadler, Mary Spina, Kelsichambers, Monica Westbrook , Kris Nixon, Les Whitten, Jeanne Bancroft, Judy Keziah, Pollyanna Buff, Paul Sankey, Kim Meyer, Sandy Weiss, Ryan Mccorristin, Aaron Buff, Jason Hocker, Christine Dagney, The O'meara Family, Shelley Diederich, Wayne Lutz, Denise Castiglione, Brian Gallant, Julie And Kody Rider, Vera Williams, Rob Blundin, Lauren Blundin, Becky, Team Hill, Sharon Lee, Reed J Martin, Kristi Strembicki, Morag Lemon, Chris Ames, Emma Poprock, Kelly Zanauskas, Denise Neighbors, Pam Hamarowicz, Kye Layton, Ed Suscreba, Kenny, Paul Gera, Michelle Raimist, Sandie Albrecht, Mary Anne Mundis, Tami Howerton , Linda College, Marie Vanacore, Mike Rotkiske, Jessica Iglesias , Stuart Hale, Kellie Harpel, Richard Atwood, Maureen Hanlon, Marguerite Garofalo, Chris Masse, Mike Haeberle, Anne, Dale Knight, Laura V, Sue Belemjian, Leigh Mertz, Bob Hendrix, Sharon Powell, Double Family, Nancy Cheladyn, Jodi Cook, Ladonna Tisdale, The Parker Family, Jonathan Thomas, Josh Weiss, Maryann Eckenrode , Christin Langtry, Meredith Rule, Ruth Maynard, Kris Blamphin, Deb Ragno, Ruth Senecal, Antoinette Leblanc, Salvatore Mangiacapre, Marsha Waidelich, Lee, Tricia Petty, Hayley Valk, Amy Bailey, K Beasley, Lorine Landon, Vickie Smialkowski, Karen Vittone, Carolyn Como, David Feldman, Ken Clark, Janet Thorn, Evanna Huda, Paul Scimeca, Jennifer Passman, Kristi Forbush, Courtney Payne, Katherine Gast, Kimberly Waldrop, Meredith Rule, Veronica Upwood, Mary Brennan, Ed Hogan, Russ Morgan, The Malesky Family, Jeremy Hardy, Nicole Amidon, Erika Loboda, Christine Sargeant, Candice Grimes, Betsy Silvestri, Carla C, Demetrios Makres, Megan Krainski, Millie Tenreiro, Tamara Gary, Ken Maikowski, Craig, Jim Riddle, Kara Jones, Mike Walter, Joe Armeni, Ken Jackson, Pam Vanaustin, Kerry Fox, Chris Kelly, Vicki Collins, Ed Aleszczyk, Stefan Owens, Jim Thompson, Maureen Handy, James Clementi, Hobbes And Snorky, Stephanie Hanstrom, Erin Hammer, Kerrie Hogan, Daniel Record, Linda Scrivano, Rick R., James Steele , Ronald Delorey, Mike Malampy, Cody Dilbeck, Bev Carson, Mary Thatcher, Steve Morin, Elizabeth Howarth , Emily Hudson, Mike Rotkiske, Deme Grabert, Curtis Bille, Patti Mccaffrey, Anita Jodouin, Jennifer Rupert, Jason & Melinda Lenz, Cindy Pink, Sarah Calvario, Timothy Hutchinson, Cindy C., Eileen Wiederspan, Cynthia Hitchcock, Kendra Watts, Kerry Mccaffrey, Andy Hickey, Kirsten Miller, Vicki And Elizabeth Edwards, Monica Duhon, Billie Jean Alblino, Pam Lorenz, Jerry Weldon, Larry Sprenkle, Nathalie Periard, Screen Watson, Ian Falk, Pat Morin, Cathy Connors, Leach Family, Kerri Coggins, Patrick Broaddus, Kathryn Perkins, Mckenzie Donald, Elyssa H., Lori Rienhardt, Eric Enli, Tina Wells, Brian Mcwithey, Josh Carney, Jenn Crosby, Jeff Blank, Ronald Zinke, Mike Hulse, Mailin Pares, Bruce Hinterleitner, Claire Gregory, Morgan M., Scott, Derek Carty, Mickey Eckert, Colin Sawyer, Krysten Toth, Debbie Boehm, Karen Ramirez, Maggie Klotz, Kristyn Scibienski, Alan Mize, Gail States, Trina Noggle, Cheryl Costello, Jason Skow, Bob Patterson, Jack, Bill, And Ryan Foley, Susan Doucette, Jared Orth, Karen Davis, Jennifer Shaw, Tom Donnelly , Wade A. Williams, Cameron Lange, Dana, Andrew Pettit, Andrea Kruszewski, Karen Costa, Kelly Smith, Paul Ignudo Jr, Brian Miller, Chris Bauman, Alison Rosenberger, Joy Ousterout, Sanford Fuller, Doug Andrews, Robert Hildebrandt, Kate Fischer, Tricia Noble, Terry Garvey, Kristen Mccoy, Karrie Duffey, Julie Johnson, Melody Odonnell, Gail H, Jeremy Reichelt, Tiffany Gibb, Rebecca Keenan, Michael Pennington, James Dezern, Brian Stake, Heather Hynes, Monica Owens, Amber Slifer, Anastasia Macneil, Teresa Cole, Suzanne C Denham, Jennifer Mercier, Shelly Borella, Maryann Romagnano, Jullie Pudem, Eric Holmes, Kelli Gordon, Scott Sangston, Carri Marotto, Jennifer Snook, Stephanie Dollar, Bob Henriksen, Katie Wood, Matthew Earl, Jeffrey Beauchamp, Matthew Jadro, Mickey Mouse, Nathan York , Michelle Wilinski, Scott Mcbride, Lisa Zitek, Les Stewart, Chloe Mayhew, Hillary Waldroop, Barclay Bakkum, Pat Cassidy, Stephanie Linares, Nancy Cole, Karen Smith, Steve Knapp, Thomas Farquharson, Matt Ciccone, Cheri Palmisano, George Mundy Jr, John Pasqueralli, Clinton Dickinson, Whitney M, Carrie Rampy, The Patterson Family, Jeff Finger, Natalie Pugh, Lizanne Fisk, Michelle Boykin, Orange Bird, Woodruff Family, Pecosace, Carrie K, Angela And David Blevins, Mike M., Jan Rosato, Becky Hosinger, Patty Carty, Danielle Murgia, Judy Simonsen, Tina Horlick, Jim Finley, Hillary Parker, Heidi Goodhue, Mitchell Holmes, Heather Pedulla, Angie Young, Linda Komp, Laura Labadie, Tracey Mayfield, Amanda, Rob Jacob, Walter N. Clark, Agnes Ciotti, Marcia Mardirosian, Jackie Purcell, Jillian Domings, Cheryl Chambers, The Pinder Family, Brian Grabowski, Michele Mongeon, Robert Wescovich, Ken Rhinehart, Matt Holley, Diane Ramos, Wayne Witherspoon, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, Ryan And Kerry A., Caroline Burmester, Carol, Team Meeker, Mike Cerce, Joan Schroeder, Katie Fitzgibbons, Kathryn Hughes, Jennifer Bourg, Chandra Mccall, Dave Carriere, Gloria Martin, Karen Hotchkiss, Kelsi, Sharon Dale, Madison Hovan, Patti Deluca, Linda Grau, Jackie Graebel, Dsnymom14, Liz Moreau, Linda Francescone, Randi Balch, Tammy Kallenbach, April Stinson, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Jennifer Bogdan, Jane Johnson, Joseph M. Zafia, Debbie Poole, Elaine Kleinhenz, Tom Koval, Allyson Fredd, Melissa Kirk, Tom Higbee, Amy Letterman, Shirley Garcowski, Emily Harper, Ashley P. , Rachel Hoover, Jean Ehlert, Brent Hand, Ron Harper, Dave Freemyer, Andrew G., Kim Walker, Diane Batista, Dave Kanigowski, Sandy Kanigowski, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Peggy Saeger, Julie Wickware, Jessica Townsend , John Paul Carnell, Ryan Esker, Megan W, Chris J, Vicki Yarnell, Lindsay Kasawski, Steve Jordan, Katie Bray, Becky And Elizabeth Johnston, Mark Franklin, Susan Grumblis, David Ballard, Mary Kay Samluk, Kellie, Randy Thomas, Angel Diven, Kat Curtis, Bonnie Cummings, Mike Kaczanowski, Chris Rooney, Sonya A, Melesia Love, Sophia Harrison, Jackie Klafeta, Annie Snodgrass, Theresa Maradei, Paul Moore, Barry Sklenar, Wendy Snelgrove, Andrea Lott Haney, and Betsy Dross. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #273: Where in the world is this?

So! Orange Bird said "Let's get harder next week!" You know what that means, Players! A DOUBLE CHALLENGE WEEK!

Here's the real touch challenge:
 Where in the World Difficult

Now the regular challenge: #273. Back in the cars, everyone! Remember Stephanie has that big car seat; someone short can fit in there. And what do you say? Shoot over to the Marketplace first for sundaes at Ghirardelli's? And then back to the parks!

 Where in the World #273

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Friday, March 28th, 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!

February 15, 2013

Travel Photography at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Really, Scott? Isn't the title redundant? We all take travel photos at Walt Disney World, don't we?

Well, yes and no. While photos taken at any Disney property can be considered travel photographs, do they tell a story? Do they give someone looking at the photo a sense of place? Travel photography should do both.

Last fall, Ocean Spray and Disney combined to create the Cranberry Bog Exhibit. My photo below shows the location of the exhibit in Epcot during the Food and Wine Festival. I used a small aperture of f/16 to keep everything in focus from the flowers all the way back to Spaceship Earth including the guests surrounding the exhibit. This is called using hyperfocus.

Ocean Spray's Cranberry Bog Exhibit at Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Ocean Spray's Cranberry Bog Exhibit at Epcot.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 320, EV 0, 28mm focal length.
To show you this technique works with a telephoto setting, I again used a small aperture photographing a Motor Cruiser on the Seven Seas Lagoon as it was leaving the Magic Kingdom. The Grand Floridian Resort in the background adds to the story.
Mermaid I Motor Cruiser leaving the Magic Kingdom on the Seven Seas Lagoon, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Mermaid I Motor Cruiser on the Seven Seas Lagoon.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 170mm focal length.

Most good travel photographs include people or imply people. Such is the case of the photo below. The seating area behind the Flame Tree Barbecue restaurant is a quiet, peaceful location. While there are not people in the photo, the empty tables and chairs in the background tell you this is a place for them.

Waterfall in the seating area behind the Flame Tree BBQ in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Waterfall in the seating area behind the Flame Tree BBQ.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/5s, f/22, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

For this photo, the small aperture of f/22 not only gave me a large depth of field but slowed down my shutter enough to give the smooth look to the waterfalls.

Next time you are out photographing at a Disney park or in your own backyard, look for story telling travel scenes.

January 27, 2013

Where in the World #265

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!

Matthieu, I hear you are the best in your family for knowing what the pictures are in Walt Disney World! Good for you!

To the Hoekzema Family, I'm always craving something from Disney. ;)

John Bickers, thank you for your wonderful note!

Chris Kelly is headed for Disney: have a great time, Chris!! Wave goodbye, Players! excited That was some good waving.

Here was the challenge last week:
 Where in the World #264

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

I honestly didn't know I sent you to another hot dog place! I just like the look of Dino Diner and how it fits in with the DinoLand backstory. :)

Mickey Eckert's daughter was a cast member there. Please tell her thank you for making magic!

Rob And April of Team Vanderpool was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Rob And April and all our winners this week! Craig, Chris Masse, Paul Dickson, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, The Hoekzema Family, Nathalie Periard, Kris Nixon, The Parker Family , Chris & Maranda Nichols, Kenny, Emily Hudson, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Mickey Eckert, Chris Kelly, Russell Hamlin, Vera Williams, Betsy Silvestri, Tracy Discher, Pam Vanaustin, Cathy Mager, Evald Olson, Agnes Ciotti, and Danielle Ciotti Harsley. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #265: Where in the world is this?

We're still in the parks, and I promise you, this is not a hot dog place!
 Where in the World #265

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, January 31st, 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!

November 23, 2012

Color Composition at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

There are many rules of composition in photography, like the Rule of Thirds, symmetry, golden triangle and others. One thing that is often overlooked is using color in composition. Color can be used to lead the viewer's eye to the subject, create a response in the viewer or even frame an image. When studying this subject, I found I relied mostly on my subjects position or their relationship to other elements in the viewfinder. The following photos I did take with color being the primary photographic element.

Besides his humor, Cool Hand Luke stood out in front of Disney's Boardwalk Resort with his brightly colored costume which contrasted with the natural tones of the resort's buildings and wooded boardwalk. To further enhance his appearance, I placed him in the right third of the frame where your eyes are lead to first before exploring the rest of the scene.

Cool Hand Luke Juggling Show entertaining guests on The Boardwalk, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Cool Hand Luke Juggling Show entertaining guests on The Boardwalk.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/11, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length, fill flash.

The blue twilight sky makes for a beautiful backdrop for the brightly lighted and colorful Characters in Flight tethered balloon ride at Downtown Disney. Here I balance the balloon with the horizon in the lower third of the frame.

Characters in Flight tethered balloon ride at Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Characters in Flight tethered balloon ride at Downtown Disney.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/30s, f/3.5, ISO 3200, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

A yellow Taveta Golden Weaver (Ploceus castaneiceps) bird on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom posed nicely for me against the natural background. The contrast of the yellow bird pops right out at you.

Taveta Golden Weaver bird on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Taveta Golden Weaver bird on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/80s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV +0.3, 300mm focal length.

Going to finish up with a couple holiday photos now that Thanksgiving here in the United States has passed and the shopping season is in full swing today.

The slivery-blue Cinderella Castle in holiday Dream Lights from the Ticket and Transportation Center near the Ferry dock reflects in the Seven Seas Lagoon on a December evening. Reflections in water and other surfaces help to draw one's eyes to the main subject.

Cinderella Castle in holiday Dream Lights from the Ticket and Transportation Center, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Cinderella Castle in holiday Dream Lights from the Ticket and Transportation Center.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 3s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 300mm focal length, tripod.

The Toy Soldier statues around the Main Street USA Christmas Tree in the Magic Kingdom can be made the colorful subject by using a wide open aperture to create the dreamy bokeh (out of focus background) of the lights on the tree behind them.

Toy Soldier figure in front of the Main Street USA Christmas tree at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Toy Soldier figure in front of the Main Street USA Christmas Tree.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/40s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV -0.6, 116mm focal length, polarizer filter.

This month on my personal photo blog, I ran an assignment about Color Composition where you can find more reference articles and links to people who participated.

October 28, 2012

Where in the World #252

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!

Thank you, Players, for your understanding for my mistake last week!

And Happy Halloween to everyone who is celebrating it!

Smiley from millan.net

As for this week, I am in Walt Disney World vacation! Everyone wave to me! Hi from Disney World! Smiley from millan.net

Kelly Mager is here too. You know we are both thinking of all of you! (In between kiosks a the Food and Wine festival.) ;)

Seriously though, if you are at Walt Disney World now and you see me with my AllEars backpack, say hi! I'm carrying AllEars swag like our trading cards and buttons!

Claire Gregory, I can't believe we're going to miss each other by a week!

Here was the challenge:
 Where in the World #251

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

It's the camel from Mickey's Mickey's Jammin Jungle Parade. in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Actually, it's Mickey's JINGLE Jungle Parade. when they decorate the floats for Christmas.

Players, I love it when you talk with Imagineers' jargon. I had quite a few entries for "one of those paradey/floaty thingies". I don't know how you memorize technical specs like that!

Danielle Ciotti Harsley was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Danielle and to all the readers who got the answer right: Emily Hudson, Ed Elder, Betsy Silvestri, Chris Kelly, Mary Beth Tarbet, Jenny Brennan, Kerri Coggins, Chris Masse, Team Hill, Amanda Campbell, Annie Snodgrass, Morag Lemon, Vera Williams, Larissa Huda, Jamie K, Hayley Valk, Diane Arsenault, Sara Powell, John Pasqueralli, Karen Ramirez, Angie Young, Wendy T Faler, Vicki, William, Thomas, And Elizabeth Edwards, Cynthia Hitchcock, Kye Layton, Claire Gregory, Maureen Handy, Theresa Rucando, Katie Marshall, Pam Tees, Kelly Cummings, Jerry Weldon, Kris Nixon, Megan, Hobbes And Snorky, Diane Curfman, Tom Koval, Clay, Lee Anastasi, Jennifer Rupert, Jason Geberdt, Sharon Dale, Trina Noggle, Nathalie Periard, Angela And David Blevins, Hoekzema Family, Carrie Henderson, Peg Howard, Kellie Harpel, Amber Slifer, Diane Ramos, Debbie Desimone, Tricia Noble, Stephanie Linares, Erin Loring, Lindsey Nozal, Kristen Mccoy, Jaclyn Kelch, Kelly, Dan And Elizabeth Johnston, Jenifer Moyer, Jackie Graebel, Mark Franklin, and Jared Meeker. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

Remember, you are all actually entered TWICE in the drawing!
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #252: Where in the world is this?

Now a new challenge!
 Where in the World #252

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, November 1st, 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!

October 18, 2012

Finale of the Festival of the Lion King

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Festival of the Lion King finale in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Festival of the Lion King finale in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 1600, EV -0.3, 28mm focal length.

The Festival of the Lion King takes you through a journey featuring the music from the animated movie. The finale is a crescendo of song, movement and colors which captivate audience members of all ages and is my Disney Pic of the Week for Festival of the Lion King.

August 19, 2012

Where in the World #243

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!

Jeremy Mccaffrey, your Aunt Patti feels bad she got your answer in too late for last week's challenge, especially when you answered it perfectly. So, on her behalf, you are getting a special honorable mention to start off all the Players this week! And if she wins the monthly drawing, she has to share the prize with you. She promised. Right, Patti?

Since I have Team Mccafrey's attention, you guys can help start the wave to Mike Venere who is in Walt Disney World as we speak! Hope you're enjoying your trip, Mike! Let's put you in the mood for the World Showcase and wave hello in.... Japanese. Love that pavilion!
Smiley from millan.net

Here was the August 12th Challenge:
 Where in the World #242

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © Barrie Brewer

It's Karen Schlumpf's personal friend - she always stops to see him when she is in the House of Mouse: the rabbit carving on the Tree of Life in the Discovery Island section of Disney's Animal Kingdom. Specifically, you'll find him on the trail around the exit of Tough to Be A Bug.

(Did I ever tell you, Players, that I met Dave Foley with his daughter IN the attraction? Nothing like watching Flik in the movie while he's sitting next to you!)

We're not sure who that critter is kissing the rabbit on the nose. I like her jacket though. And her Pal Mickey.

Kris Nixon was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Kris and to all the readers who got the answer right: Ed Elder, Christine Dagney, Erin Dagney, Jennifer Rowell, Linda Scrivano, Chris Kelly, Mary Beth Tarbet, Larissa Huda, Evanna Huda, Team Hill, Kenny, Scott Mitchell, Dolly Rettig, Wendy Snelgrove, Wendy T Faler, Chris Connors, Debbie Connors, Gabriella &Matthieu, James And Kathy Berry, Karen Schlumpf, Mike O'brien, Daniel Meagher, Louise Barton, Kristi Strembicki, Ruth Senecal, Michelle Boewe, Nathalie Periard, Mike Venere, Jenny Stoneburner, Ed Suscreba, Kyle Parker, Morgan M., Madison Hovan, The Kertes Family, Jessica Iglesias, Walter N. Clark, Lily-pierre &Mathieu, Tinkerbell Wells, Vera Williams, Kelly Smith, Alan Mize, Kate Fischer, Nancy, Matt Holley, Kelly Feeko, Dan Owens, Karen Smith, Sandie Albrecht, Heidi Goodhue, Danielle Ciotti, Cynthia Hitchcock, Lori Rienhardt, Liz Moreau, Kari Clark, Daniel Record, Evald Olson, Agnes Ciotti, Christopher Barnes, Holly Jaen, Alex Romanauskas, and Victoria Finnegan. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #243: Where in the world is this?

I'll be honest. This is a tough one. It's a tough one if you've never noticed this "Overlooked" or "Hidden" detail in Walt Disney World. Of course, if you've looked for it, you'll recognize it right away.

Since this is tougher, I'll give you a second hint (and let me know if you needed this hint or if you recognized this anyway. I'm just curious). You're looking at two parks right now:
 Where in the World #243

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, August 23rd, 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!

August 17, 2012

An African Day in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I spent a most of a day in Disney's Animal Kingdom Africa on my last trip. Thought I would share a few photos with you. Notice the camera data which will tell you how I was able to photograph them. Ask any questions in the comments.

First stop was the Kilimanjaro Safari. The attraction has a new story focusing on wildlife conservation and photography. The jeeps stop more often than before for more photo opportunities of the animals. As I have mentioned here before. Do not forget to photograph the wildlife spotting guide above your driver's head so you can identify the animals when you get back home.

Wildlife spotting guide on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Wildlife spotting guide on the Kilimanjaro Safari jeep.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/1000s, f/5.6, ISO 2200, EV +0.3, 300mm focal length.

Remember the Wild Africa Trek tour I took last year? Below is one of the trucks used on the savannah leg of the tour. You can see how close they get to the animals. They were stopped there for a long time, too.

A Common Eland lying down near a Wild Africa Trek truck in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Common Eland lying down near a Wild Africa Trek truck.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/1000s, f/5.6, ISO 1600, EV +0.3, 300mm focal length.

As I mentioned above, the Kilimanjaro Safari jeeps make more stops with the new story. This Reticulated Giraffe was forging for food about 20 feet from where we stopped along with two others. The driver allowed plenty of time for everyone get photos before moving on to the elephants.

Reticulated Giraffe on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Reticulated Giraffe on the Kilimanjaro Safari.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/1000s, f/5.6, ISO 640, EV +0.3, 300mm focal length.

After getting off the Kilimanjaro Safari, I took a stroll through the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail to visit with more of Africa's animals and birds. The Okapi is an amazing animal which looks like a cross between a zebra and an antelope. In reality, it is more closely related to the giraffes as the educational blackboard shows next to the Okapi's pen on the Pangani Trail.

Educational blackboard on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Blackboard explaining how the Giraffe and Okapi are related on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/4.2, ISO 720, EV +0.3, 48mm focal length.

The Aviary on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail has a healthy population of the Africa Golden Weaver bird. Guests enjoy watching them build and climb into their nests from below. Again, do not forget to take photos of the large bird spotting guides you find when you enter the aviary.

Africa Golden Weaver birds at their nests on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Africa Golden Weaver birds at their nests on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 720, EV +0.3, 300mm focal length.

There was a lot of activity in the gorilla enclave. The baby gorilla was playing on one side and a couple of bachelor gorillas were out on the other side. One of the bachelor troop was drinking from a little waterfall. Once he had his fill, he sat down and gave me this look.

Bachelor Gorilla on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Bachelor Gorilla on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/5.6, ISO 160, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

As many times as I have done both the Kilimanjaro Safari and Pangani Forest Exploration Trail, I have never come away without learning something new, seeing something new and photographing something new. Walt Disney once said, "I have a great love of animals and laughter." I think he would enjoy Animal Kingdom very much for both.

July 29, 2012

Where in the World #240

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!

Bon Voyage to Gabriella & Matthieu! They will be in Walt Disney World as we all read this, so let's wave to them! Enjoy your trip, Gabriella & Matthieu! Tell everybody we said hello!
Then Mary Tackett leaves soon after they come back. Could you bring me back an eggroll, Mary? From the eggroll cart in Adventureland. My favorite!

Here was the July 22nd Challenge:
 Where in the World #239

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © 2010 Erin Blackwell, Canon PowerShot SD890 IS, f/3.2, 1/60sec, 7mm, ISO-250

Emily Hudson said: On the back of license plate # KOD 1817 Kilimanjaro Safaris vehicle - specific enough?

Smiley from millan.net
Whoa...

Do it again! What's inside the cooler?!

Until we find that out, that is a Kilimanjaro Safari vehicle in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
I do want to say something about the picture, though. I forgot how many places have piled camping equipment in Animal Kingdom. I should have edited the photo to give more of the background surrounding the items; the way I did it was making this close to guessing where the patch of grass was. (Remember that?) So I'm opening up the answer pool to take that into account.

Chris Masse was the first to send in the correct answer! Two weeks in a row! Congratulations to Chris and to all the readers who got the answer right: The Cummings Family, Bill Cudney, Katelyn Rapoza, Jennifer Rowell, Rachel Johnson, Jenny Brennan, The Strukel Family, Teresa Plunkett, Karen Klein, Steve Bieniek, Chris Horne, Mike M., Mary Thatcher, The Leach Family, Mike Walter, Marcie Soderlund, Erin Hammer, Jay Burkhart, Dana, Will Gates, Kim Williams, Kenny, Deb Ragno, Erin Loring, Hannah M, Matt Cofone, Marian Leafblad, Kris Nixon, Deme Grabert, Dana Cortese, Gabriella & Matthieu, Becky A, Kevin Arndt, Louise Barton, Erin Macdonald-behrend, Ken Maikowski, Jenny Stoneburner, Bruce Hinterleitner, Brenda Mcguire, Maureen Handy, Scott Greenbaum, Bob Patterson, Sara Holloway, Phill Connelly, Morgan M., Lee A, Deborah Boucher, Carolyn Como, Amanda Perkins, Jeremy Hardy, Emma, Heidi Burke, Katie Helton, Susan Tadlock, Kelly Dagney, Clay Anthony, Scott Mitchell, Bob A, The Parker Family, Hemphill Family, Mike Malampy, Mary Tackett, Eli Young, Wendy Snelgrove, Jennifer Rupert, Chloe Mayhew, Christopher Barnes, The Moore Family, Emily Hudson, Carla Nale, Pam Vanaustin, Christine Beal, Bill Mckim, Tom Buck, Veronica Monteiro, Daniel Schweizer, Julie And Kody Rider, Nick Bentz, Scott Cullen, Steve Smith, Wayne Chadourne, Matt Holley, Melesia Love, Walt, Andrea Kruszewski, Jeremy Reichelt, Jack Foley, Elizabeth Scarborough, Josh Carney, Eva Mayhew, Cameron Lange, Belicia Cullen, Nancy Daniele, Wendy T Faler, Dave Carriere, Linda College, Stephanie Linares, Scott Sangston, Alan Mize, Michele Delorenzo, Annie Snodgrass, Jason Skow, Bruce Jones, Mickey Eckert, Emma Poprock, John Ames, Jennifer Hoffman, Heidi Goodhue, Crissy Stout, Mark Proper, Walter N. Clark, Linda Grau, Hillary Waldroop, Megan, Betsy Dross, Claire Gregory, Dee Riccio, Joy Ousterout, Brian Mcwithey, Amy W, Karen Smith, Alissa, Karen Dresser-smith, Hobbes And Snorky, John Foggo, Kerry Mccaffrey, Olivia D., Christine D., Connie Mcneillie, Darrell Shortt, Shirley Garcowski, Jared Orth, Les Stewart, Patti Mccaffrey, Cathy Mager, M. Bafuma, Sherri Pell, Sandra Smith, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Evald Olson, Nancy, Dave Kanigowski, Dee Dee Kenney, Eileen Miller, Jennifer Bogdan, Margie Larmon, Stacy Guarracino, George Mundy Jr, Lisa And Richard Palmer, and Noah Schweizer. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #240: Where in the world is this?

We're stay in the parks, Players. In fact, I hope you got park hoppers!

 Where in the World #240

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, August 2nd, 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!

June 10, 2012

Where in the World #233

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!

Pecosace, look! Here's your name, big and bold as life! I got your entry. :)

Gabriella And Matthieu, thanks for the fantastic note! Wow!

Here was last week's Challenge:
 Where in the World #232

And here's the answer:

Copyright © 2011 Erin Blackwell, Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS, f2.7, 1/320sec, 4mm, ISO-400

This is why they tell you that if you drop something in one of the Animal Kingdom enclosures, don't go in after it. Let one of the animal caretakers get it for you. Here I am, getting my shoe, and this gator guy thinks I want to play a game of tug-of-war.

Seriously, this stone friend is located by Beastly Bazaar, in Discovery Island in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Equally seriously, you just know my husband was so proud to be with me at that moment. LOL!

Mary Beth Tarbet, you couldn't have the answer more right if you tried. Kudos! ;)

Claire Gregory, I can't give you a secret mission in Cape Cod, so I'll just say have a good trip when you go! And we'll see what we can think of for your Disney trip later this year!

Larissa Huda was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Larissa and to all the readers who got the answer right: Mike Haeberle, Diane Tredore, Kenny, Hayley Valk, Nancy Johansen, Gabriella And Matthieu, Kathleen Wolfe, Tjm Johansen, Jacquelyn Law, Annette Nuenke, Ken Maikowski, Maryann Eckenrdoe, Dennis Weidner, Marian, Anne Marie Cronin, Becky Fuqua, Brian Fleming, Pecosace, Mike Cerce, Jen Cerce, Pam Vanaustin, Sherri Tatum, Sara Holloway, Lori Rienhardt, The Kertes Family, Jennifer Rowell, Belicia Cullen, Janice Alvord, Walter N. Clark, Kerri Coggins, Alison Rosenberger, Mary Beth Tarbet, Kathy Lubenow, Jason Skow, Wendy T Faler, Tim Widener, Amy Bolinsky, Deb Ragno, George Mundy Jr, Margie Larmon, Stacy Guarracino, Chris Rathsack, Paul Newman, Susie Howard, The Malesky Family, and Sarah Kuekes. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #233: Where in the world is this?

All right! We're staying in the parks! Do you know where this is in Walt Disney World?

 Where in the World #233

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, June 14th, 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!

May 1, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week: Animals

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

There are all kinds of animals in Disney themeparks. Some are real like in Disney's Animal Kingdom and some are not real like the entertaining audio-animatronic animals found on the Jungle Cruise in the Magic Kingdom. Guests can even meet their favorite Disney animated animals like Baloo the Bear and King Louie from the Jungle Book and many others.

What are your favorite animals in a Disney themepark?

Last December during an AllEars.net photowalk at Disney's Animal Kingdom, we came upon this relaxing hippopotamus underwater on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.

Hippopotamus underwater on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Hippopotamus underwater on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 2800, EV +0.3, 42mm focal length.

Lisa will be here on Thursday to show us her Disney Pic of the Week about Animals.

March 25, 2012

Where in the World #222

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

Welcome to all the new and veteran players of AllEars.Net's Where in the World: the weekly photo game challenge where you figure out where the picture is from! Along the way, the photos can make us relive memories and see the details Disney Imagineers put into everything we love in Walt Disney World!

Thank you, Lauree Little, for such a wonderful note! I'm so thrilled you enjoy it here each week!
Diane Ramos, I am blown away by how many people follow Where in the World each week. We had around 500 correct answers last week! FIVE HUNDRED! Isn't that incredible?
People even stop Deb Wills or me to say how much they enjoy this every Sunday. On top of that, so many people like you drop me a note in their answers. Wow.... I never would have imagined this would happen. It's a piece of Disney magic right here. Tinkerbell

Chris Kelly, don't let the Challenges drive you nuts. Let that go, dearheart. We would all miss you. Smiley from millan.net LOL!

Pssst, Kelly Smith, we're about to do last week's Challenge, so I need to whisper something to you first: you were right. :-) And, Christi Ison, you made it in plenty of time!

Here was last week's Challenge:
 Where in the World #221

And here's the answer:

Copyright © 2011 Erin Blackwell Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS, 4mm, 1/400s shutter, f2.7, ISO 125

The Rainforest Cafe sign in Disney's Animal Kingdom! This was a tough one and I am surprised, as always, at how many people got the right answer. Players, you are amazing! I would never get half of these challenges right, but I do find myself noticing more and more details in the parks after being a part of this game for a year. Maybe I will get good enough to guess the right answer 50% of the time. :)

I took this picture last December when two of the AllEars photographers, Scott and Barrie, started their Photo Meet. What a great time that was!

Belicia Cullen was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Belicia and to all the readers who got the answer right: Scott Cullen, The O'meara Family, The Strukel Family, Daniel Record, Kelly Mager, Julie and Dave Wickware, Dale Knight, Audra Miller, Kevin Miller, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Elizabeth Edwards And Vicki, Craig, Rob Blundin, Claire Gregory, Paul Dickson, Angie Young, Matt Degrandis, Jennifer Tremley, Millie Tenreiro, Carri Marotto, Scott Otis, Kelly Smith, Sarah Holodick, Tom Buck, Kelli Sangstom, Walter N. Clark, Christi Ison, Agnes Ciotti, Brian Mcwithey, Brian Grabowski, Ashley Elizabeth, Emily Hudson, Halo Barker, Chris Kelly, Ashley Pizzino, Patti Mccaffrey, Mike Cerce, Freya Schmidt, Gabriella & Matthieu, and Margie Larmon. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
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Challenge #222: Where in the world is this?

We had an easy one 2 weeks ago and a tough one last week (Claire Gregory, I'm glad you liked the challenge, and Patti Mccaffrey, girl, it was a teeth grinder, wasn't it!). I'm trying to do a medium level for this week. I hope you agree!

We're staying in the parks, walking around, and we see this:

 Where in the World #222

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

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!

February 13, 2012

March & April 2012 Disney Calendars

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Hi everyone! I have two calendars for you this week - March and April. I also have some news to share with you. I am planning to take a hiatus from AllEars in order to focus more on my business (Barrie Brewer Photography & Design - shameless plug!). The good news is that my work is keeping me very busy. Unfortunately, that is making it increasingly hard to keep up on my blogs - hence the two calendars this week! Not to worry though, my fabulous co-bloggers Lisa, Scott, and Erin will continue to keep you entertained.

I've met so many wonderful people through AllEars and it's been a pleasure getting to know you. I'm sure we'll see each other in the parks, but if you'd like to keep up with me in between trips, facebook is the best way for now: www.fb.com/barrieb

I know quite a few of you download these calendars so I will keep making them available. Look for links to future calendars and wallpapers on my facebook page. You never know, there may be some other goodies that show up there too.
Your friend, Barrie


You will need to have Adobe Reader on your computer to download the calendar(s). Just click on the photo to download the calendar you want. When printing CD Jewel Case size, make sure "Page Scaling" in your print dialogue box is set to "None" to ensure that the calendar prints out at the correct size.


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

March 2012 8.5x11 Calendar April 2012 8.5x11 Calendar

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

March 2012 Jewel Case Calendar April 2012 Jewel Case Calendar


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

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January 20, 2012

"Smile and Say Jambo!" Photowalk in Disney's Animal Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

It was a chilly Florida morning which greeted the attendees of the AllEars.net December to Remember photowalk event dubbed "Smile and Say Jambo!" at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Barrie, Erin and I were thrilled with the turnout. I handed out photography tips for the animal trails and Kilimanjaro Safari ride. Erin laid out a lot of AllEars.net swag which was well received as most of it was gone before we started the photowalk. After introductions and a short discussion as to what the event was about, we pulled raffle tickets for prizes. Items given away included prints from both Barrie and myself, one of Barrie's popular Disney calendars and a prize pack donated by Deb Wills, founder of AllEars.net, which included a rare Disney's Animal Kingdom opening day t-shirt. Then, John Hayes, known to many as the Town Crier, lead us in a hearty Hip, Hip, Hooray! to 15 years of AllEars.net and Deb Wills. You can see John in the photo collage.

Below is most of the group posing before entering the park. The rest are photos I took during the walk on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail and safari trip.

AllEars December to Remember Photowalk in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
"Smile and Say Jambo!" Photowalk in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Here's the Bird Spotting Guide you can use while on the trail.

I hope all who attended had a great time. I enjoyed meeting you all. Until next time, Kwaheri!

January 13, 2012

Photographing on the Wild Africa Trek, Part II

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When I left you last week, I was still wearing the safety vest (see below). After visiting with the sunbathing Nile Crocodiles, my Wild Africa Trek group headed overland until we were across from the place where the Safari jeeps first enter the savannah part of the Harambe Reserve. For those who have been on the safari, this is the location drivers stop to point out the large baobab tree.

Here's Scott all decked out in his Wild Africa Trek safety vest in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Here's Scott all decked out in his Wild Africa Trek safety vest.
Copyright Disney 2011. Used by permission.

Africa Trek Guide Lauren
Here you can see I had my camera secured via a neck strap and that I had on my flash which I used to fill in shadows during the first part of the Wild Africa Trek. You will also notice the black cord above and behind me which was attached to an overhead cable. They make sure you can not fall too far if you do slip. The vest itself had room for small objects in the zippered pockets like an extra camera battery and memory card.

Here we all took off our vests and climbed aboard a pickup-like truck with bench seating in the back with a canopy overhead. The tour guides switched places at this time. The photographer became the guide and visa versa. The bad news about these trucks is they bounce worse than the safari jeeps making photography very difficult when moving. The goods news is they stop for long periods of time when the guide asks the driver to pull over. This is how I got this photograph of the two young African elephants playing near the water. The truck pulled over and we all photographed them. We also stopped for antelopes, gazelles, kudus, giraffes, wildebeest and the Mandrill baboons.

Young African elephants photographed on the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Young African elephants photographed on the Wild Africa Trek.
Nikon D300/28-300VR, 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 280, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

After the elephants, the truck pulled off the safari road and up to a viewing platform which overlooks the savannah and the flamingo pool. We were treated to an African snack made specifically for the tour by Boma's staff and more Jungle Juice. There are restrooms here which were needed by several of us. I can imagine this place being very hot in the summer months. In early December, it was very pleasant.

Viewing platform on the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Viewing platform on the Wild Africa Trek.
Nikon D300/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 280, EV 0, 32mm focal length.

The animals came close but not up to the viewing platform. Here is a photo of a Thomson's gazelle which was grazing about 20 feet from the platform. I watched and photographed him for a long time. Finally, he lifted his head and I was able to get a very nice portrait.

Thomson's gazelle from the viewing platform on the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Thomson's gazelle from the viewing platform on the Wild Africa Trek.
Nikon D300/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

This reticulated giraffe played hide and seek with me for most of the time I was watching him. There was some tall palm trees nearby he was ducking his head and neck in and out of. He finally decided to cross over the maintenance road to see if there was better eating on the other side. Notice how his left and right side legs stay together and is called pacing. This is rare. Most animals, including us, have a diagonal gait.

A reticulated giraffe walking near the viewing platform on the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Reticulated giraffe walking near the viewing platform on the Wild Africa Trek.
Nikon D300/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV 0, 100mm focal length.

All to soon it was time to leave as another tour was getting close. In all, we spent about 45 minutes eating, enjoying each others company and watching and photographing the animals. We all gasped in unison a short time later after resuming our ride down the safari road as we saw two cheetahs lying out in the sunlight with another one walking slowing towards them. The guides quickly told the driver to pull over. As this is not a normal stopping area for the Wild Africa Trek, the driver had to be a bit creative as he pulled into the brush directly across from the cheetahs. There was no way I could have gotten this photo of cheetahs together on the regular ride.

Cheetahs rubbing heads in greeting photographed on the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Cheetahs rubbing heads in greeting photographed on the Wild Africa Trek.
Nikon D300/28-300VR, 1/160s, f/6.3, ISO 200, EV 0, 210mm focal length.

The group of 12 trekkers were a buzz about this encounter for the rest of the tour as we continued down the safari road. We did not stop for the warthogs but did slow down enough for me to get this photo.

Warthog photographed on the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Warthog photographed on the Wild Africa Trek.
Nikon D300/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 450, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

The lions where being their usual cat-selves. Snoozing through the mid-day and not being very photogenic. The tour guide told me it is best to go on the safari around 4 in the afternoon when they are more likely to be active.

The driver dropped us off at one of the safari terminals. We all gave him an ovation for his expert driving and finding a place to stop when the cheetahs presented themselves. We hiked back to the Wild Africa Trek starting location behind Tusker House to pickup our stuff from the lockers and get one last group photo with our guides kneeling in front; Lauren on the left and Eleanor on the right. This photo proves we started out with 12 and ended with 12. As you can see the group consisted of young and old, fit and not so fit individuals.

Scott and his fellow adventures and guides from the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Myself and fellow adventures and guides from the Wild Africa Trek.
Copyright Disney 2011. Used by permission.

For me, as an avid animal photographer and conservationist, I felt the price of the Wild Africa Trek was in line with what I got out of the tour. The photo opportunities can not be compared to the regular safari experience as I believe the photos I have shared with you over the last two weeks have shown. Everyone who goes on the tour gets a stainless steel water bottle with the Wild Africa Trek logo on it and a photo CD. The CD contains not only photos of yourself and fellow trekkers but photos of the animals taken by the guides. So, if you do not take a camera on the tour or only a small camera, you will still get good photos of the animals encountered on the trek.

The guides were great. They answered mine and everyone's questions, were pleasant, courteous and understanding of everyone's ability to handle the Wild Africa Trek's trails, bridges and bouncy truck. If you go on the tour and get either Eleanor or Lauren, you'll be well taken care of.

If you've already done the Wild Africa Trek, post about your experience in our Review Area.

January 6, 2012

Photographing on the Wild Africa Trek, Part I

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Last year Jeanine Yamanaka did a detailed review of the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom. I am not going to duplicate her excellent review here and will concentrate on telling you what I felt of it from a photographer's point of view.

Initially when this tour was announced Disney said nothing could be taken on it including cameras. That certainly put a damper on my excitement. It must have done the same for lots of other people as Disney soon changed their mind. I thought I would have to find a way to tether my camera to the safety vest everyone must wear during the first part of the tour. I was delighted to find out as long as the camera has a neck or wrist strap, no tethering would be necessary. After taking the tour, I totally agree with this assessment as I never felt my camera was in any danger.

My group heads out on the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
My group heads out on the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Copyright Disney 2011. Used by permission.

Africa Trek Guide Eleanor
After checking in, signing the waiver, getting my safety vest on and successfully walking over the test bridges to assure the tour guides I would not fall or trip. I waited for my eleven fellow adventurers by enjoying a steel cup of Jungle Juice from Boma. A very pleasant surprise as I love that stuff.

A quick note on the equipment I used. Because you must store anything you would carry in your pockets in a locker before you start the tour, I went with my Nikon D700 camera body and Nikon 28-300mm VR super zoom lens with image stabilization (VR). This is a very compact and useful combination for any Disney park. I attached a Nikon SB-600 Speedlight flash for fill light a fellow Disney photographer friend of mine said he wished he had done. I put an extra camera battery and memory card in a zippered pocket of the safety vest. One should always carry such backups as you would not want to miss any photo opportunities due to a dead battery or full memory card.

Soon, we were heading out into the park and down the start of the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail until we got to the Meerkats. There we headed off into the woods on an overland trail to the Hippopotamus pools. Here we meet up with a Hippo researcher who took our questions and explained the behavior of the hippos below us. Did you know, the males on in the right hand Hippo pool while the females are on the left side? If you are riding the Kilimanjaro Safari in the future, look just above the male Hippo pool on the right side and you might see a group of adventurers on the Trek. This is where the price of the Wild Africa Trek for a photographer pays off. At each location we stopped at, we were given time to enjoy watching and photographing the animals. Did not have to wish for a safari driver to stop!

A female hippopotamus walks towards the water after sunning itself seen on the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
A female hippopotamus seen on the Wild Africa Trek.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 1000, EV +0.3, 300mm focal length.

After the Hippo pools we walked over to a platform leading to the first of two long and high rope bridges. Your vest is securely attached to a steel cable above the bridge but with enough slack to have complete freedom when walking across the bridges. Here I am crossing the first bridge and the photos I took from it.

Walking over a rope bridge during the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Scott walking over a rope bridge during the Wild Africa Trek.
Copyright Disney 2011. Used by permission.
A female hippopotamus submerged as seen from a rope bridge on the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
A female hippopotamus submerged seen from a rope bridge on the Wild Africa Trek.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/16, ISO 900, EV -0.3, 150mm focal length.
A Kilimanjaro Safari jeep full of guests seen from a rope bridge on the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
A Kilimanjaro Safari jeep full of guests seen from a rope brige on the Wild Africa Trek.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/16, ISO 900, EV -0.3, 28mm focal length.

Below you see me photographing from the second bridge. I made sure my camera was using a fast shutter speed as the rope bridges bounce and sway some. Not to mention the large gaps between some of the planks. I had to spread my legs to get as stable a shot as I could.

Photographing from a rope bridge during the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Scott photographing from a rope bridge during the Wild Africa Trek.
Copyright Disney 2011. Used by permission.

I sure did not want to slip as these guys were below me...

Large Nile Crcodile males photographed from a rope bridge on the Wild Africa Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Large Nile Crcodile males photographed from a rope brige on the Wild Africa Trek.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/11, ISO 200, EV -0.7, 178mm focal length, fill flash.

All the Nile Crocodiles you see in Disney's Animal Kingdom are males. They range in age from 10 to 15 years and up to 20 feet long.

Once we all got to the other side of the two bridges, we attached ourselves to another safety cable and could get right out on the edge of an overlook about 10 feet above where the Nile Crocodiles where sunning themselves. It was quite a thrill to see them so close and without glass or bars between them and us.

After about 15 minutes, we headed back on the trail to our next destination on the Wild Africa Trek which I will talk about in Part 2 next week.

If you've already done the Wild Africa Trek, post about your experience in our Review Area.

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
_______________________________________________________________________

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 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 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.

November 5, 2011

New Guinea Masked Plover at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

 New Guinea Masked Plover
Copyright © 2011 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR, 1/500s shutter, f2.8, ISO 800

This very interesting looking bird is a New Guinea Masked Plover. You can usually spot him or her (the male and female look alike) foraging for food on the ground in the aviary of the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Do you want to join in on the fun and share your bird pictures too? We'd love to see them. Head on over to Google+ and post your photo(s), adding the hashtag of #disneypics-birds. Then share it publicly so we can all see it. Search for #disneypics-birds in Google+ to see everyone's pictures.

November 4, 2011

Flights of Wonder Photo Op

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Back in August, we featured a Disney Pic of the Week theme called Lucky Shot. I received an email from a regular reader and commenter Steve Knapp about his unlucky shot. Here is his story.

I tried posting a comment to your blog about "lucky shots" but something with my office system wouldn't permit me to post it. Then I got busy and totally forgot about it. But I wanted to make sure to let you know my experience with an "unlucky" shot.

I had the chance to take a photo of a lifetime and totally blew it. I was selected for this opportunity during the Flights of Wonder show in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Seated on stage, they released a bird from the back of the seating area and he flew right over me and another tourist. Before the release, the host told us to both focus on a spot at the end of the stage. Using my Nikon D5000 with the 55-200mm lens, I set my dial to "action" and focused on that spot. What I wasn't told was this bird had over a 6 foot wing span and I wasn't prepared for the speed of the bird as it flew. Needless to say, my autofocus shifted to the audience and, well, let's just say it was a nice photo of the audience as the bird flew quickly through my set spot. The other tourist missed the shot, too. As we were being led on stage, I almost shifted my settings to the multiple framed (ie., continuous or burst mode) setting. I should have also switched to using my 18-55mm lens and started shooting as soon as the bird left the handlers hand, tracking it all the way over my head. Attached is a picture of the bird, an Abyssinian Ground Hornbill, on its perch, which was my consolation picture! I did switch to the multiple frames setting for the rest of the show, capturing a few good shots of birds in mid-flight.

Abyssinian Ground Hornbill in the Flights of Wonder at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando Florida.
Abyssinian Ground Hornbill photographed by Steve Knapp at the Flights of Wonder.

Steve went on to say there really is no such thing as an "unlucky" photo at Walt Disney World and he did come home with lots of good photos.

I want to thank Steve for passing on his experience on stage during the Flights of Wonder show. Now I (and all of you) have a good idea what to expect if any of us are selected for such a photo opportunity.

November 1, 2011

Disney Pic of the Week: Birds

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Birds are found throughout the Walt Disney World resort. Most are indigenous species found in Florida like the snowy egrets, herons, ibis, ducks, sparrows and the like. They have become used to begging for food from the guests. Please, you should not feed them as people food is not good for them.

In Disney's Animal Kingdom, there are two trails which feature aviaries of birds. The Maharajah Jungle Trek features birds from Asia and the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail has birds from Africa. As you enter each aviary, you will see a large bird identification chart of the birds you may see. Take the time to photograph both sides of the chart so you can identify the birds later.

Below is a bird called the Hamerkop from Africa. It gets its name from the shape of its head with a curved bill and crest at the back which is reminiscent of a hammer. It is a wading bird found in wetlands. Their diet consists of amphibians, fish, shrimp and insects.

Hammerkop on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Hammerkop on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
Nikon D70/70-200VR, 1/640s, f/6.3, ISO 400, EV +0.3, 200mm Focal Length.

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

October 21, 2011

Photographing Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Pixelmania photographers at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Disney fans photographing around the Tree of Life.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/20s, f/5.3, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 95mm focal length.

Scott is at Walt Disney World this week and hanging out with a fun bunch of people who love to photograph Disney parks as much as he does. You can follow Scott's adventures from his Twitter account, @Scottwdw.

Scott will return next week with some Disney Halloween fun to share with all of us.

October 7, 2011

The Expedition EVEREST Challenge

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Most people when seeing the sign below just chuckle. They know Expedition EVEREST is a high-speed attraction. How can anyone take pictures while riding it. Right?

Photo memories sigh in the Expedition EVEREST queue in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Remember to capture memories in your ride through the Himalayas.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 2200, EV +0.3, 160mm focal length.

You know us here at Picture This!, we have a bit of an adventuresome spirit. They do take a ride photo for you of which I have a few. I ask you, where's the challenge in that? If you take care to secure your camera, you can successfully take ride photos on Expedition EVEREST.

I do not do this every time I ride (no matter what my family will tell you). I do like to sit back, scream and throw my arms up in delight while enjoying the thrill and awesome details of the experience that is Expedition EVEREST. Especially the big drop. I know I have left my stomach with the Yeti a few times.

Others may opt not to ride and enjoy taking in the beauty of the Disney Imagineer-ed mountain and how it blends in with the Asia section of Disney's Animal Kingdom park.

Expedition EVEREST loams behind the Yeti Shrine in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Expedition EVEREST loams behind the Yeti Shrine.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, f/16, ISO 900, 72mm focal length, HDR Image.

I used HDR processing to take five images from -2 to +2 to create this image. It was the best way to control the huge range of light from the overcast sky.

September 3, 2011

Festival of the Lion King

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Festival of the Lion King show
Copyright © 2011 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 AF-S VRll, 1/100s shutter, f2.8, ISO 1250

Can you feel the love tonight? The Festival of the Lion King show at Disney's Animal Kingdom is a spectacular show - definitely not to be missed.

August 26, 2011

FX Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

In keeping with our theme of creative processing this week, I want to share with you an app I was made aware of a few weeks ago. If you own an Apple computer, iPhone, iTouch or iPad/2. You might enjoy getting FX Photo Studio to quickly add one or more special effects to your photos.

The interface is very easy. Once you import your photo, you can select, preview and adjust one of almost two hundred special effect filters to apply to your photo. Here are a few of my favorite Walt Disney World photos after selecting a FX (movie shorthand for special effects) filter from the app.

I keep going back to this photo of Space Mountain. As much as I like the original, it is fun to see it differently using creative filters and textures.

Neon Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando Florida.
Neon FX filtered Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom.

Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World is based on our planet but what if it was something from another galaxy?

Alien Skin Spaceship Earth in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando Florida.
Alien Skinned FX Spaceship Earth in Epcot.

Using FX Photo Studio is very easy. After launching the application on a MacIntosh computer, you can import photos from iPhoto, Aperture 3 or LightRoom libraries. On an iPhone, iTouch or iPad, it can import from any photo album. I imported this photo of the Tree of Life in Disney's Animal Kingdom from my Aperture 3 album of what I consider my best photos.

Tree of Life in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Tree of Life in Disney's Animal Kingdom before adding an FX filter.

Here is the Tree of Life photo being compared with the special effect called Lindale (selected below in the strip of effects). Once you select an effect, you are given one or more sliders to adjust the effect to your liking.

Screen shot of FX Photo Studio.
Screen shot of FX Photo Studio with the Tree of Life photo.

After I adjusted the effect from 100% to 80% I saved the image back to my computer.

Tree of Life after the Lindale special effect filter added.
Tree of Life after the Lindale special effect filter was added.

See how easy that was to do? FX Photo Studio costs $9.99 from the Mac App store. The iPhone and iTouch versions cost $1.99 and the iPad version costs $2.99 from iTunes.

August 23, 2011

Disney Pic of the Week - Creative Processing

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Photography is a very creative endeavor, and the fun doesn't stop at taking the picture. With a little time on your hands and some photo processing software you can turn a basic photograph into a piece of art. For Pic of the Week this week Lisa, Scott and I will be sharing some of our own creations with you.

Blue and Yellow Macaws
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, Nikon 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6 ED AF VR, 1/60s shutter, f5.3, ISO 400

Here are two Blue and Yellow Macaws that I photographed at Disney's Animal Kingdom. I used a combination of Photoshop and Topaz software to manipulate the photo. If I could remember exactly what I did, I'd share the process with you. Truth is, I just keep clicking on buttons til I end up with something I like. It's easy and fun - just be sure to make a copy of your photo before you start messing with it.

If you click on the picture you'll see a larger version, which shows the detail of the design a little better. You can also click on that larger photo if you'd like to see a few of my other creations that started out as photographs. There are several from Walt Disney World and from an Adventures by Disney trip that I took in Europe. I always like looking at photo-art from other people so send me a link if you have some of your own to share!

August 20, 2011

Soaked and Happy on Kali River Rapids

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Soaked riders wave to the photographer towards the end of the Kali River Rapids in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Soaked riders wave to the photographer towards the end of the Kali River Rapids.

This photo was taken back in 2002 during a trip for my eldest daughter's Senior year. Each of my daughters brought a friend which allowed me to stay dry as I waited for them at the end of the Kali River Rapids in Disney's Animal Kingdom. As they had no control on how they would be oriented in the raft, I was hoping for the best and got it. They were soaked and happy as they waved to me from the raft. Makes for a very wet Disney Pic of Week about River Rapids.

Note: I do not have any data for this photo as it was taken with a Nikon 8008s film SLR camera on ISO 100 film. I was probably using an 80-200mm lens.

August 9, 2011

Disney Pic of the Week: Lucky Shot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I do not consider lucky shots to be "lucky". They are more like opportunities which one is prepared to take advantage of. What do I mean? The photo below of the male African Lion standing while I rode the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom is considered by many to be not only lucky but nearly impossible to get. In fact, I have not seen him standing since I took this back in December of 2008. Yet, I did increase my chances of seeing the lions active by taking one of the first safaris on a cool December morning.

What photos have you taken that you consider lucky?

Male African Lion on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
I still consider this photo of the male African Lion as my luckiest shot at Walt Disney World.
Nikon D70/80-200G, 1/400s, f/5.6, ISO 800, EV 0, 200mm Focal Length.

Barrie and Lisa will be here on Thursday and Saturday to share their Disney Pic of Week Lucky Shots.

July 31, 2011

Where in the World #188

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

Lee Anastasi, I'm so glad you enjoy Where in the World so much! And you're welcome to Chris Kelly! And thank you, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, for your note! I love doing this each week.

Mike Venere, you're back!

This was Challenge #187:
 Where in the World #187

And here's the answer:


Copyright © 2006 Erin Blackwell Finepix S5200, 12mm, 1/210s shutter, f/3.2, 800 ISO

Pluto is happily sitting while Mickey and Goofy fish in Camp Minnie Mickey in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Donald is on the other side (although not in the picture) and you pass Daisy hiking with Huey, Dewey and Louie before you reach this scene as you head for the Character Greeting Trails and the Lion King show.

Angela Fennell was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Louise and to all the readers who got the answer right: Amy Schweizer, Katie Bray, Mary Beth Tarbet, Linda Mac, Ed Suscreba, Rob Blundin, Christopher Barnes, Theresa Rucando, Lee Anastasi, Larissa Huda, Diana Fitzgerald, Dale Knight , Kye Layton, Jonathan Thomas, Scott Cullen, Dee Dee Kenney, Belicia Cullen, Scott Otis, Steven Bowling, Carol Gamill, Caryn Schill, Evanna Huda, Paul Cooper, Annette Nuenke, Kendra Kleintop, Erin Dagney, Christine Dagney, Ed Aleszczyk, Sharon Dale, Linda Kasych, Josh Weiss, Heather Young, Darrell Shortt, Kelly Mager, Michael Gainey, Heather Hynes, Kris Nixon, Todd Ritter, Karen Ramirez , Double Family, Deb Ragno, Colin Buchanan, Emma Poprock, Brian Haas, Danny And Analisa, Lisa Jones, Mike Haeberle , Sherry Klinefelter, Maryann Eckenrode, Glenn Meyer, Paul Dickson, Matt Holley, Bailey Constantine, Marie Phillips, Susan Higginbotham, Jarett Rutsky, Jeannine Reid, Sharon Pierce, Angela Blevins, Wendy Snelgrove, Debra Kuklinski, Tina Santacroce, Austin O'blenis, Vicki Edwards And Kids, Patti Mccaffrey, Carolyn, Stephanie Thomas, Heather Metzler, Stephanie Newell, Jeremy Coto, Betsy Silvestri, Brian Miller, Peggy Saeger, Kimberly Kusser, Gretchen Barnes, Mackenzie D., Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Antoinette Leblanc, Chris Masse, Bill Mckim, Holly Anderson, Charles Wright, Bryan Timko, Jennifer Tremley, Julie Wickware, Stephanie Visco, Merrily Westlake, Diane Curfman, Bob Patterson, Wade A. Williams, Tiffany, Jeremy Reichelt, Brittany & Jesse Siminitz, Kerrie Hogan, Ian Falk, Carol Baranowsky, Alison Rosenberger, Jared Orth, Tiffany W., Joe Cotroneo, James Berry, Kathy Berry, Tim Johansen, Karen Schlumpf, Daniel Record, Nathan Firth, Elaine Tomko-deluca, Melissa Duhamel , Peter Ciarcia, Chris Larys, Jullie Pudem, Scott Sangston, Gail States, Melody O'donnell, Diane Batista, Joanna, Ken Maikowski, Matt Cofone, Nicole Benoit, Heidi Goodhue, Deb Gallo, Barbara Sims, Melissa Dye, Kerry A., Jonah Rigby, Tom &Susan Linder, Luis Rodriguez, Shaun Leake, Marcy Sanborn, Kathryn Hughes, Karen Kenney, Kerry Mccaffrey, Victor Gonzalez, Dana L., Andrew Schumacher, Lauren Thomas, Vickie Scioneaux, Jamie K, Mike Kaczanowski, Nicole Lopresti, Robert P. Flaherty, Debbie Poole, Agnes Ciotti, Chip Vermette, Agnes Ciotti, Leslie Stewart, Robbyn Anglin, Pat Siebert , James Dezern, Sherri Pell, Linda Scrivano, Kathy Curtis, Melissa Bentz, Danielle Murgia, Julie Fahrner, Hoekzema Family, Barclay Bakkum, John Pasqueralli, James Hickey, Chris Stockton, Patti Deluca, Michael Bodkin, Lori Rienhardt, and Brian Skinner. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

It's time for our monthly drawing. This month's big winner is Shawn Lehnert! Congratulations, Shawn, you are the lucky recipient of a fabulous Disney book and some really cool AllEars® swag!
__________________________________________________________________________

Challenge #188: Where in the world is this?

We're leaving the parks this week!

 Where in the World #188

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on
Thursday, August 4th, 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, Worlders!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies and a cool Disney book!

July 23, 2011

Pizzafari's Beautiful Murals

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Pizzafari
Copyright © 2009 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR, 1/30s shutter, f3.5, ISO 1600

My Pic of the Week for counter service is Pizzafari. I love all the beautiful murals in this building. The Chicken Ceasar Salad's not bad either!

June 26, 2011

Where in the World #183

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

Happy Belated Birthday to my birthday twin, Evanna Huda!

Thanks to Deb Koma, AllEars' Senior Editor, for helping me with "technical issues" this weekend!

This was Challenge #182:
 Where in the World #182

And here's the answer:
Pumbaa float in Lion King show

Copyright © 2010 Erin Blackwell Canon SD890 IS, 20mm, 1/50s shutter, f/5, 3200 ISO, 180 dpi

It's Pumbaa on his float in the Festival of the Lion King in Disney's Animal Kingdom. The last time I saw the show, I saw how much he still interacts with everyone, like these dancers, as the show goes on. For a treat, watch Timon standing by Pumbaa during the birds' flight!

Heather Hynes was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Heather and all other readers who got the answer right: Ken Jackson, Theresa Rucando, Jennifer Harmon, Jennifer Tremley, Brett Landry, Dale Knight, Clay Anthony, Jamie K, Kathryn Perkins, Anastasia Macneil, Karen Hotchkiss, Alanna, Wendy Faler, Larissa Huda, Carri Marotto, Evanna Huda, Rob Blundin, Kelly Zanauskas, Michelle Raimist, Ed Elder, Karrie Duffey, Karen Schlumpf, Mary Virginia Clause, Brian Yesutis, Jim Finley, Stephanie Canales, Nick Bentz, Spencer Hart, Vicki Edwards And Kids, Tim Johansen, Erica Sipich, Tina Mezquita, Schuyler Stewart, Matthew Herman, Charles Wright, Melody O'donnell, Katherine Fallon, Diane Ramos, Jason Skow, Daniel Record, Susie Roberts, Erin Loring, Erin Hammer, Katie Bowling, Dan Owens, Mouse Junkie Adam, Caroline Burmester, Jullie Pudem, Kelly Kobiela, Bruce Hinterleitner, Sharon Dale, Elaine Johnson, Marc Lorenzo, Megan Turcotte, Mickey Eckert, Jodi Johnson, Jamie Poynton, Mike Haeberle, Jared Orth, Chuck Sands, Shaun Leake, Deb Ragno, Stacey Van Dyke, Emma Poprock, Blake Schmidt, Kevin Miller, Heidi Goodhue, Angela Fennell, Lee Anastasi, Chris Masse, Matt Degrandis, The Hicks Family, Paul Dickson, Josh Weiss, John Leach, Ed Wirth, Mary Beth Tarbet, Dee Dee Kenney, Kelly Mager, Kim Steiner, Jen Cerce, Tracey Mayfield, Matt Holley, Spring Smith, Elizabeth Howarth, Stuart Hale, Kye Layton, Nicole Alley, Diane Curfman, Karen Ramirez, Jacki Honig, Heather Young, Katie Simmons, Wade A. Williams, Bob Patterson, Brittany &Jesse Siminitz, Christopher Hall, Becky Terjung, John P, Nathalie Periard, Stephanie Visco, Kyler S., Wayne Witherspoon, Brian Grabowski, Amy Bloyd, Nicole Duddy, Jeremy Reichelt, Chris Bauman, David And Melissa Lizewski, Laura Pranaitis, James Greene, Hillary Waldroop, Jenn Steele, Russ Morgan, Danny And Analisa, Dani Deritis, Evelyn Wilson, Christopher Barnes, Miranda W, Edward Haja, Patti Deluca, Ronni, Laney, Len Scott, Vickie Scioneaux, Robert P. Flaherty, Millie Tenreiro, Jennifer Bogdan, Joseph M Zafia, Jennifer Mills, Paul Silagyi, Katie Bray, Carol Donoghue, Emily Harper, Thomas Higbee, Aimee Hewitt, Kristen Mccoy, Kristen Mccoy, Melody Salemi, Mary Tackett, Mike Kaczanowski, Kristin Dormuth, Chris Kelly, Lily-pierre Couãlaquot, Derek Carty, James Berry, Kathy Berry, Katerina Purdy, Joanne O'brien, Heather Pedulla, Luis Rodriguez, Mackenzie D, Brian Skinner, Al Desimone, Barclay Bakkum, Chris Iacobucci, Lori Rienhardt, Kathleen, Nathaniel Clements, Marcia Mardirosian, Dan Johnston, Greg Papa, Mike O"brien, Denise Cayz, Jonathan Thomas, Kristin Williams, Amanda Wright, and Lauren Thomas. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
__________________________________________________________________________

Challenge #183: Where in the world is this?

We're going slightly back in time for this photo:

 Where in the World #183

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, June 30th, 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, Worlders!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies and a cool Disney book!

June 13, 2011

August Disney World Calendar

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

In August we're going to Disney's Animal Kingdom, where we'll jump aboard a Kilimanjaro Safari jeep for an exciting ride out on the Harambe Reserve.

You will need to have Adobe Reader on your computer to download the calendar(s). Just click on the photo to download the calendar you want. When printing CD Jewel Case size, make sure "Page Scaling" in your print dialogue box is set to "None" to ensure that the calendar prints out at the correct size.


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

August 2011 8.5x11 Calendar


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

August 2011 Jewel Case Calendar

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

8-11_wallpaper_sm.jpg
1024 x 768
1280 x 800
1280 x 1024
1440 x 900
1600 x 1200

May 29, 2011

Where in the World #179

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

Thank you to Heather Young and Kelly Zanauskas for your wonderful notes to me about the Where in the World contest. I really appreciate it!

Mike Venere, I'm in New Jersey too! You know, "It's a small world", isn't it? I think there's a song like that. :)

This was Challenge #178:
 Where in the World #178

And here's the answer:


Copyright © 2006 Erin Blackwell Canon ZRDC MC, 6mm, 1/30s shutter, f/2.2, (Night Mode)

This is the Hidden Yeti face that you can see from certain angles on Expedition Everest in Disney's Animal Kingdom. My friend, Barrie Brewer, one of the AllEars photographers, has a wonderful picture where you can see the Hidden Yeti face on the mountain. I find it MUCH easier to see the face at night although I did find it during the day (once. LOL!)

Robin Fitts was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Robin and all other readers who got the answer right: Robin Fitts, Lee Anastasi, Heather Young, Maryann Eckenrode , Steven Bowling, Cathy Skiba, Angie Young, Debbie Desimone, Susan Doucette, Bill Mckim, A Leblanc, Kristine Gallatin, Dan Owens, Kimberly Woodruff, Kelly Zanauskas, Chris Lomonaco, Kurt, Luis Rodriguez, Roye Ann Morris, Ed Suscreba, and Amanda Linington. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

It's time for our monthly drawing. This month's big winner is Roye Ann Morris! Congratulations, Roye, you are the lucky recipient of a fabulous Disney book and some really cool AllEars® swag!
__________________________________________________________________________

Challenge #179: Where in the world is this?

Who wants to do a little time traveling? Then come with me to a little ways into the past for this week's photo:

 Where in the World #179

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, June 2nd, 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, Worlders!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies and a cool Disney book!

May 20, 2011

Photographing Tigers on the Maharajah Jungle Trek

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Over the years I have given you tips on how to photograph on the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom. However, the stars on this animal trail are the Asian Tigers. Being cats, the tigers sleep most of the day. In fact, up to 15 hours of a tiger's day is spent sleeping. In Disney's Animal Kingdom, the best time of day I have found to photograph the tigers is in the afternoons after 2:00pm. The series of photos below was taken around 3:00pm last October. It helps to ask a cast member on duty when they have seen the tigers and other animals on the trail active.

Besides sleeping, another popular activity of the Asian tigers is the daily cleanings.

Tiger keeping clean at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
An Asian Tiger keeping clean.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

Soon after I took this photo, the tiger got up and started prancing across the compound.

Tiger prancing at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
An Asian Tiger prancing.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

The tiger had a goal in mind and flushed out a fellow tiger. They raced each other down to the windowed viewing area.

Tiger chases another at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
An Asian Tiger chases another.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/160s, f/6.3, ISO 200, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

They soon settled down and enjoyed a quiet moment together.

Tigers on the Maharajah Jungle Trek at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Tigers on the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/400s, f/10, ISO 200, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

Have you found other times during the day when the tigers or other animals are active when visiting Disney's Animal Kingdom? Leave me a comment.

May 10, 2011

Disney Pic of the Week - Bicycles

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This week's Pic of the Week subject is bicycles. I've always loved bikes. My favorite thing to do as a kid was to ride as far and fast as I could, whenever I got the chance. Now that I am grown, I don't ride as often as I used to but I still love bikes. Now I photograph them.

Bikes are big at Walt Disney World. For a leisurely activity you can rent bikes at many of the resorts. There are bikes for kids and adults, as well as surrey bikes that the whole family can ride together. There are also many bikes used as props around the parks and resorts. Once I started noticing them, I was surprised by just how many there are. Next time you're there see how many you can count.

Asian Bike
Copyright © 2010 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR, 1/50s shutter, f2.8, ISO 400

This weighed-down three-wheeler can be seen when walking through the queue for Kali River Rapids. Disney's Animal Kingdom has a lot of bikes in the Asia and Africa areas of the park. Come back on Thursday and Saturday to see what bikes Scott and Lisa have found.

April 29, 2011

The Bird Sanctuary on the Maharajah Jungle Trek

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

One of my favorite areas in Disney's Animal Kingdom is on the Maharajah Jungle Trek. The Asian tigers are a crowd favorite on the trail but do not overlook the bird sanctuary. Grab a large bird identification chart as you enter to enhance your enjoyment. You will also see some very ornate bird houses just as a real Maharajah may have had in a royal bird sanctuary which was popular in Asia. Today, many of those sanctuaries still exist as national parks and refuges.

A royal bird palace in the sanctuary of the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Royal bird palace in the sanctuary of the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5, ISO 200, EV 0, 65mm focal length

Let's meet some of the exotic bird species in the Maharajah Jungle Trek bird sanctuary. It helps to have a lens with a focal length of 200mm or better. If you have a P&S with a 10x zoom or better that will work great to.

The male Mandarin Duck is Asia's version of the North American Wood Duck. Brightly colored and sometimes hard to tell it is a living waterfowl as they are as ornate as the bird house palaces in the sanctuary.

Mandarin Duck in the bird sanctuary of the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Mandarin Duck in the bird sanctuary of the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
Nikon D70/70-200VR, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 1000, EV +0.3, 155mm focal length

The Emerald Dove is the state bird of the Indian State of Tamil Nadu. With 'emerald' in the name, you can see why these pigeons were popular with the royal casts.

Emerald Dove in the bird sanctuary of the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Emerald Dove in the bird sanctuary of the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 5600, EV 0, 300mm focal length

As their name implies, Jambu Fruit Doves eat fruit directly from trees or from items dropped by hornbills or monkeys. Like other doves but, unlike most birds, it can drink by sucking.

Jambu Fruit Dove in the bird sanctuary of the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Jambu Fruit Dove in the bird sanctuary of the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 320, EV 0, 300mm focal length

Masked Plovers or Lapwings spend most of their time on the ground searching for food such as insects and worms and has several distinctive calls. Their bright and distinctive 'masked' face is easy to spot in the Maharajah Jungle Trek bird sanctuary.

Masked Plover in the bird sanctuary of the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Masked Plover in the bird sanctuary of the Maharajah Jungle Trek.
Nikon D70/70-200VR, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 250, EV -0.3, 200mm focal length

April 21, 2011

Disney Pic of the Week - Fountains

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This week we'll be taking a look at just a few of the fountains at Walt Disney World. There's really no way to do this subject justice in just one week. Walt Disney World is loaded with fountains and each one can be interpreted in so many different ways. I think we're going to have to revisit this topic.

Asia Fountain in Disney's Animal Kingdom
Copyright © 2010 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR, 1/80s shutter, f8, ISO 400

I had a hard time choosing my Pic of the Week this week. This fountain is a favorite of just about everyone, especially on a hot afternoon. You'll find it outside of the restrooms near Kali River Rapids in Disney's Animal Kingdom.


February 10, 2011

African Muziki Stand at Disney's Animal Kingdom

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

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

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

February 7, 2011

April Disney World Calendar

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

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


You will need to have Adobe Reader on your computer to download the calendar(s). Just click on the photo to download the calendar you want. When printing CD Jewel Case size, make sure "Page Scaling" in your print dialogue box is set to "None" to ensure that the calendar prints out at the correct size.


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

April 2011 8.5x11 Calendar


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

April 2011 Jewel Case Calendar

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

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

January 23, 2011

Where in the World #161

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #160:
 Where in the World #160

And here's the answer:
Finding Nemo - The Musical at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Copyright © 2010 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 70-200mm VR, 1/100s shutter, f/2.8, ISO 1000

Lots of winners this week! More than 200 of you recognized Crush from Finding Nemo. This picture was taken at Finding Nemo - The Musical in Disney's Animal Kingdom. The other place Crush can be found is in Epcot, at Turtle Talk with Crush. Either of those answers got you on the winner's list this week. Way to go everyone!

Nicole Ruzinski was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Nicole and all the other readers who got the answer right: Tina Santacroce, Lee Anastasi, Annette Nuenke, Linda Mac, Paula Munson, Julie Wickware, Megan K, Ken Jackson, Kim Meyer, Jennifer Harmon, Jessica Gruhlke, Sandra Shaw, Madi M., Paul Cooper, Cathy Skiba, Rich Kacprowicz, John Hout, Stephanie Newell, Kye Layton, Evanna Huda, The Kahle Family, Chad Ryan, Michelle Raimist, Susie Howard, David & Melissa Lizewski, Brendan Abel, Sandi B, Ed Suscreba, Chris Masse, Larissa Huda, Pollyanna Buff, Dillon, Kyle, Sammi Jo, Ronnie Lane, Lilli Blake, Beth Mcmeekin, Louise Barton, Erica Sipich, Judy Koslowski, Donna Currier, Robin Fitts, Tracy Discher, Karen Nelson, Angie Young, Laura Tarbet, Courtney Crowe, Nicole Amidon, Laurie Walker, Mike Kaczanowski, Maureen Handy, Double Family, Clay Anthony, Karen Ramirez, Rob Blundin, Elaine Johnson, Linda Scrivano, Stephanie Caskey, Teri Jo Fuson, Tiago De Oliveira, Ansley, Stephanie Canales, Tom Koval, Kelli Balewski, Bridgette Gallagher, Karen Hotchkiss, Matthew Herman, Wendy Snelgrove, Elizabeth Macgregor, Heather Young, Jamie K, Abby Grasso, Morgen Vanmeter, Austin O'blenis, Becky Terjung, Jane Bradley, Colin Buchanan, Christine Dagney, Jennifer Bourg, Leigh Mertz, Diane Ramos, Carol Baranowsky, Greg Strohmeyer, Brenda Strohmeyer, Cheryl Buchanan, Diane Curfman, The Perras Family, Kyler, Mary Virginia Clause, Kim Coons, Michelle Thompson, Kelsi B., Timmy Saunders, Nicole Shuler, Erin Loring, Christopher Barnes, Jonathan Ward, Paul Dickson, Ed Hogan, Teresa Cole, Betsy Dross, Jim Riley, Michael Pyle, Amy Miller, Liana Imbrogno, Millie Tenreiro, Mike O'brien, Bruce Jones , Caitlin Rush, Kameo Crea, Joyce Tofflemire, Laura, Noreen Rachuba, Shaun Leake, Trish Babler, Spencer Hart, Katerina, Diana Fitzgerald, Jeremy Reichelt, Matt Holley, Kelly Kobiela, Tiffany W., Barbara Sims, Randy Heintzelman, Chambers Family, Karrie Duffey, Paul Ignudo, Jr., Scott Otis, Mckinley Yeaman, Kathleen, William Edwards, Jim Finley, Scott Lau, Brian Yesutis, Mary, Mike Cerce, Dennis Blackburn, Eric Shinn, Andrew Medlock, Alan Mize, Kelly Zanauskas, Joshua Swainston, Melinda Lenz, Shelly Borella, Sara Roswell, Mike Timmer, Jodi Cook, Claire Gregory, Tim Johansen, Lisa Graham, Maureen Hanlon, Jennifer Tremley, Heidi Goodhue, Jennifer Mills, Daniel Mills, Angela Fennell, Nicole Duddy, Theresa Rucando, Betsy Silvestri, Sarah Holodick, Andrew Weed, Tim Rachuba, Carri Marotto, Nathalie Periard, Kathleen, Sandra Edwards, Francis Lachance, Kristen Carde, Kristen Mccoy, Brian Booth, Mickey Eckert, Jamie Poynton, Kerry Cormier, Walter N. Clark, Vickie Scioneaux, Robert P. Flaherty, Annjeanette Smith, Jennifer Bogdan, Gabby Stapp, Robert Hawley, Barclay Bakkum, Nancy Daniele, Jeff Stetson, Kristin Dormuth, Ken Rhinehart, Brandon Carlson, Sandra Ednie, Cara Richards, Wendy Kemp, Rick Hauser, Robert D Bostic, Marcia Mardirosian, Michael Malampy, Luis Rodriguez, Vicki Edwards, Mike Haeberle, Linda College, Corrie Haemmerle, Paula B, Laura Pranaitis, Jessica Gardner, Derek Carty, and Shane Stack! Each of you will be entered in this month's winners' drawing.

_______________________________________________________________________

Challenge #161: Where in the world is this?

 Where in the World #161

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, January 27, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post. Remember to be specific with your answer - just naming a park will not get you into the drawing.

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies and a cool Disney book!

January 12, 2011

Disney Dinosaur Mugs for the Camera

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Dinosaur at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Copyright © 2010 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 70-200mm VR, 1/3200s shutter, f2.8, ISO 640

This dinosaur lurks above the sign on the outside of the Dinosaur building in Disney's Animal Kingdom. He seems very happy to see all the snacks, I mean guests, coming in!

January 11, 2011

Disney Pic of the Week: Dinosaurs

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

As far back as the original Fantasia animated movie, Disney has had a fascination with dinosaurs. Not surprising as most boys and girls (myself included) become infatuated with these creatures from Earth's prehistoric past. Disney's latest technological dinosaurs live in Animal Kingdom's Dinosaur thrill ride where guests are whisked back to the Cretaceous period in Time Rovers. In the queue, you will see many dinosaur statues and skeletons including the one below of a Dromaeosaurus.

Skeleton of a Dromaeosaurus in the queue for Dinosaur in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Skeleton of a Dromaeosaurus in the queue for Dinosaur in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 6400, EV +0.3, 122mm focal length

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

January 7, 2011

Scott's Photography Tips

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Lisa asked me to post three of my favorite photography tips to start out the new year with. Great idea, Lisa!

Tip Number One

Fill the Frame
Whether by feet, telephoto/zoom lens or crop, the one tip I can give you to improve your photography immediately is to get close and fill the frame. This is what I did for this portrait of one of the male gorillas on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

Male gorilla portrait on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Male gorilla on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 3600, EV 0, 300mm Focal Length

Tip Number Two

Rule of Thirds
This simple rule of composition is easy to learn and will take your photography from simple snapshots to impact photographs. Below is a photo of Off Kilter's Bassist, Mark Weldon, I used to demonstrate the rule of thirds back in 2007.

A photo of Off Kilter's Bassist, Mark Weldon, used to demonstrate the rule of thirds in Epcot's Canada pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A photo of Off Kilter's Bassist, Mark Weldon, used to demostate the rule of thirds in Epcot's Canada pavilion.

Tip Number Three

Read the Manual
This is something many of us fail to do once we get a new digital camera or gadget. We dive right in and start using it. That works for awhile and then we start getting frustrated with the results. I suggest you take the time to read the manual. Learn what all the buttons, switches, dials and menu options do. The more you learn about your digital camera or gadget, the more satisfied you will be with your results.

A young woman reads the manual to her new digital camera.
A young woman reads the manual to her new digital camera..
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/50s, f/5.6, ISO 2800, EV 0, 38mm focal length, rear-sync flash at -0.7 power, bounced off ceiling.

Using these tips and those of Lisa's and Barrie's, will help you to improve taking photos with and using your digital cameras at the Disney themeparks in 2011.

December 16, 2010

Smiling in Mickey's Jammin Jungle Parade

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

A bird smiles during A bird smiles during Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A bird smiles during Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 900, EV +0.3, 200mm focal length, flash

Mickey's Jammin' Jungle Parade in Disney's Animal Kingdom has some of the most unique and colorful costumes of any of the current Walt Disney World parades. I used fill flash on a cloudy day to make the colors of this bird costume pop and and her eyes sparkle for my Disney Pic of the Week about Parades.

December 11, 2010

Yikes!

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Yikes! Riding the Primeval Whirl in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Yikes! Riding the Primeval Whirl in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 800, EV +0.3, 80mm focal length

For my Disney Pic of the Week of Primeval Whirl, I watched the ride for a few minutes and figured out my daughter and her friend would be facing me when they passed this part of the ride with the Yikes! above their heads.

December 5, 2010

Where in the World #155

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #154:
 Where in the World #154

And here's the answer:
Yeti from Expedition Everest
Copyright © 2010 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR, 1/6s shutter, f/2.8, ISO 3200

This handsome dude can be found hanging out on Expedition Everest in Disney's Animal Kingdom. He is an Audio-Animatronic Yeti but unfortunately has only been operating in "B mode" for most of his life.

Jennifer Lalli was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Jennifer and all the other readers who got the answer right: Hillary Waldroop, Linda Scrivano, Donnie, Karen Nelson, Daniel Record, Caryn Schill, Kelli Olthoff, Emma Poprock, Jen Cerce, Kyle Buff, Sharon Pierce, Ken Maikowski, Bruce Hinterleitner, Alfred Whiting, Rich Kacprowicz, Timmy Saunders, Doug, Roxanne Kliebert, Mia W., David, Phil Vickers, Sandra Shaw, Cindy Dore', Leigh Mertz, Kris Nixon, Double Family, Sharon Lee, Mark Hoban, Bryan Timko, Paul Dickson, Derek Carty, Lee, Dillon Buff, Candace Dadswell, Mary Beth Tarbet, Dave Wang, Marcia Mardirosian, Emily Currier, The Perras Family, Amanda Campbell, Kristen Mccoy, Debra Kuklinski, Tim Johansen, Chloe, Linda Mac, Louise Barton, Tim Jeltes, Kellie Harpel, Creese Family, Jennifer Horst, Kelly Mager, Betsy Silvestri, The Kahle Family, Lauren Thomas, Nicole R., Jim Thompson, Brian Gallant, Kelly, Tom Koval, Mary Virginia Clause, Kim Meyer, Kim Steiner, Aiden And Camryn Mcmeekin, Kelsi B., Terri Uchtman, Mike Walter, Steve Pocopanni, Boris Beckert, Deb Mangini, Dale Knight, Carla C, Misty Mehelic, Christopher Tweedle, Joshua Swainston, Collette Beuther, Angie Young, Belicia Dawson, Scot Cullen, Jodi Cook, Amy Schweizer, Erika Loboda, Jackie, James Greene, Diana Fitzgerald, Joyce Tofflemire, Seth Walker, Karen Hotchkiss, Deirdre Lewis, Jillian Smith, Christopher Barnes, Jeremy Coto, Suzanne, Brenda Hawk, Les Whitten, Laura Whitten, Clarissa K, Chris Connors, Stephanie Caskey, Daniel Mills, Linda Kasych, Spencer Hart, Rob Blundin, Karen Genda, Becky Terjung, Jim Finley, Danielle Aston, Clay Anthony, Tom Hermes, Gabby Stapp, Colin Buchanan, Scott Stubbs, Brian Haas, Kevin, Mike M., Cara Richards, Maureen Hanlon, Reagan Herman, Ken Fischler, Wendy Crober, Marina Crober, Susan Doucette, Vicki Edwards, Cameron Lange, Andrea Weedmark, Gennaro Rosato, Bruce Jones, Anne Hainsworth, Kelly Kobiela, Elizabeth Scarborough, Ken Jackson, Jamie K, Evan Gentile, Jason Wright, Erin Hammer, Andrew Weed, Allison Caputa, Kristen Carde, Wendy Snelgrove, Scott Greenbaum, J Brizzle, Wade A. Williams, Valerie Rodgers, Linda College, Jenn Steele, Terr Fleming, Brian Yesutis, Blake Schmidt, Michelle Wilinski, Diane Ramos, Michelle Kanger, Sarah Holodick, Tiffany W., Matthew Jadro, Jessica Cutler, Christine And Erin Claeys, Hannah M., Mike Cerce, Russ Morgan, Elaine Tomko-deluca, Sara M., Jennifer Mers, Bob Hendrix, Beth Finn, Colin Christenson, Angela Fennell, Victoria, Tina Krueger, Patrick Culpepper, Michael Timmer, Lisa Graham, Nathalie Doironw, James Berry, Kathy Berry, Susie Howard, Chris Kelly, Steve Benson, Webber Family, Megan K, Elaine Johnson, Linda Abbate, Stephanie Canales, Drew Deapo, Carrie Kenney, Stephanie Newell, John Dupre, Carri Marotto, Jen Schultz, Jen Norris, Mike Berryhill, Tena Keys, Bruce Lawson, Dan Owens, Lisa Jones, Kimberly Moore, Jamie Poynton, Tammy Kallenbach, Shirley Garcowski, Dennis Blackburn, Lisa Laskowski, Ray Stephenson, Peggy Saeger, Laney Wood, Walter N. Clark, Brenda Strohmeyer, Greg Stevenson, Heather Pedulla, Kevin Geiger, Morgan Mccalip, Joseph M Zafia, Jackie Brown, Zac & nathan, Chris Hills, Caitlin Rush, Kim Degroat, Christopher Bourassa, Mickey Eckert, Gregg Mcglasson, Kelly Zanauskas, Roye Ann Morris, Mary Tackett, Kate Fanning, Christine Dagney, Madi M., Jean Ehlert, Ansley, Kerry, Mckenzie Donald, Sandy, Jerry Weldon, Christy Schor, Leah Nan Broussard, Liz Patterson, Chuck Sands, Melissa Demonbreun, Jason Skow, Victoria Finnegan, Michelle Bates, Tiago De Oliveira, Katerina Purdy, Paula Massarelli and Dan! Each of you will be entered in this month's winners' drawing.

_______________________________________________________________________

Challenge #155: Where in the world is this?
 Where in the World #155

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, December 9, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post. Remember to be specific with your answer - just naming a park will not get you into the drawing.

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies and a cool Disney book!

November 14, 2010

Where in the World #152

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #151:
 Where in the World #151

And here's the answer:
Kali River Rapids Queue
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR, 1/13s shutter, f/5, ISO 200

This sculpture can be found in the queue for Kali River Rapids at Disney's Animal Kingdom. As long as you were in the neighborhood - in Asia, that is - I included you in this week's winners' list.

Kris Nixon was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Kris and all the other readers who got the answer right: Dale Knight, Larissa Huda, David Tarbet, Kelsi, Daniel Record, Katie Bray, Tim Johansen, Heidi Summers, Tracy Discher, John Hout, Mike Haven, Betsy Silvestri, Hillary Waldroop, Lisa Palmer, Tracey Mayfield, Louise Barton, Clarissa K, Anne Hainsworth, Nicole Duddy, Kim Degroat, Mike Thomson, Jason Brooks, Sammi Jo Albucker, Marissa "briar Rose" D'ambrosio, Sarah Holodick, James Greene, Matt Holley, Jeremy Reichelt, Sharon Dale, James Berry, Kathy Berry, Steven Bowling, Lily-pierre Couet, Karyn Christenson, Noreen Rachuba, Timmy Saunders, Evanna Huda, Suzanne, Rob Blundin, Elaine Tomko-deluca, Lisa Cash, Thomas Auckland, Brenda Mcguire, Kristin Dormuth, Jamie Poynton, Vicki, Elizabeth And William Edwards and Diane Arsenault! Each of you will be entered in this month's winners' drawing.

_______________________________________________________________________

Challenge #152: Where in the world is this?
 Where in the World #152

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, November 18, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post. Remember to be specific with your answer - just naming a park will not get you into the drawing.

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies and a cool Disney book!

October 31, 2010

Where in the World #150

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #149:
 Where in the World #149

And here's the answer:
 Restaurantasaurus Airstream
Copyright © 2006 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50, 18-200mm VR, 1/160s shutter, f/6.3, ISO 200

I love AllEars readers - I learn something new from you all every week! I had no idea that "I ARE SMART" was an anagram for "AIRSTREAM". How cool is that?! This particular Airstream is located in Disney's Animal Kingdom, in Dinoland outside of Restaurantasaurus.

Christine was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Christine and all the other readers who got the answer right: Kelsi B., Lee Anastasi, Mary Beth Tarbet, Betsy Silvestri, Julie Wickware, Dave Wang, Belicia Dawson, Scott Cullen, Jerry Weldon, David And Melissa Lizewski, Evelyn Wilson, Elizabeth Macgregor, Chloe, Ed Aleszczyk, Maureen Handy, Colin Buchanan, Cheryl Buchanan, Christie Condit, Derek Carty, Kevin, James Berry, Kathy Berry, Michael Mclucas, Jeremy Reichelt, Trista Newell, Christopher Hall, Andrea Weedmark, Maureen Hanlon, Jennifer Lalli, Jason, Mike Kaczanowski, Matt And Danielle Murgia, Sarah Holodick, Paul Dickson, Chris Connors, Debbie Connors, C.j. Connors, Clay Anthony, Kristen Mccoy, Sara Beth Wade, Chris Hills, Sharon Dale, Marissa 'captain Jack' D'ambrosio and Rob Blundin. Each of you will be entered in this month's winners' drawing.

_______________________________________________________________________

We're going abstract this week! Challenge #150: Where in the world is this?

 Where in the World #150

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, November 4, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post. Remember to be specific with your answer - just naming a park will not get you into the drawing.

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies and a cool Disney book!

October 8, 2010

Galloping Giraffe

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I have given tips in the past for photographing on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom. One tip I forgot to mention was to be ready for anything. The animals appear seemingly from out of nowhere at times. On my last safari, the jeep came around the bend onto to the savanna just as a group of giraffes were crossing the road in front of us. The guide had to stop for a bit for them to clear. As he did so, the two yearling giraffes in the group broke into a graceful gallop which I was quick enough to photograph.

A galloping giraffe on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A galloping giraffe on the Kilimanjaro Safari.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/500s, f/5.6, ISO 720, EV -0.6, 190mm focal length

If it is not too busy, ask to be seated in the very last row by yourself. You can slide from side to side and out the back to maximize your opportunities for photographing the animals. I must caution you the last row is the bumpiest one on the jeeps so crank up those shutter speeds!

September 19, 2010

Where in the World #144

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #143:
 Where in the World #143

And here's the answer:
Flame Tree Barbeque steps
Copyright © 2009 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR, 1/25s shutter, f/5, ISO 640

These steps lead to the seating area of Flame Tree Barbeque in Disney's Animal Kingdom, near the water garden. There are several different sculptures embedded in the rockwork of the staircase. Next time you are there, see if you can count how many different animal faces there are.

Theresa Rucando was the first, and only, person to send in the correct answer for this week's challenge! Congratulations Theresa - you rock! Your name was entered twice in the September winners' drawing.

It's time for our monthly drawing. Drumroll, please! This month's big winner is Sarah Holodick! Congratulations Sarah, you are the lucky recipient of a fabulous Disney book and some really cool AllEars schwag!


_______________________________________________________________________

Challenge #144: Where in the world is this?
 Where in the World #144

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, September 23, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post. Remember to be specific with your answer - just naming a park will not get you into the drawing.

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies and a cool Disney book!

September 11, 2010

Smile Pretty!

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Kali River Rapids Queue
Copyright © 2009 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50, 18-200mm VR, 1/4s shutter, f8, ISO 2000

I think some of the most interesting queues in Walt Disney World are in the Asia area of Disney's Animal Kingdom. I have been known to spend hours in the queues of the attractions there, even when there is no line. This handsome gentleman watches over guests as they make their way to Kali River Rapids.

September 3, 2010

Road Trip!

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Dino-Rama Prop in DinoLand USA, Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Dino-Rama Prop in DinoLand USA.
Nikon Coolpix 995, 1/350s, f/7.5, 100 ISO, 0 EV

The start of the long Labor Day holiday weekend in the United States starts tomorrow and I will be doing something for the very first time: Driving to Walt Disney World. My daughter (the one pretending to drive in the photo above when she was only 15) is hoping to become a full-time Disney Cast Member. She's already a seasonal Cast Member but is moving to Orlando to give her a better chance at full-time employment. In essence, this is a re-positioning trip for my daughter, her car and whatever she else she can fit into the trunk and backseat. I'll be flying back but not after taking in a park or two or three.

You can follow this adventure at my Disney twitter account, @Scottwdw. If you are on Twitter, please, consider following me, too. I'll be tweeting out photos and messages which will no doubt be amusing to those of you who have often driven long distances to visit Walt Disney World. So, 19 hours in a car is not a big deal, right?

August 21, 2010

Mountain Reflection

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Expedition Everest Reflection
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50, 18-200mm VR, 9.1s shutter, f9,

During winter Extra Magic Hours at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Expedition Everest looks beautiful reflecting in the water of the river.


August 17, 2010

Disney Pic of the Week: Expedition Everest

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

A true judge of a successful attraction at Walt Disney World is the number of people willing to see or ride it when the weather is not perfect. Expedition Everest still had long waits and Fastpasses going into the afternoon soon after rope drop at Disney's Animal Kingdom on a cold December day when I took this photo of my daughter and friend before heading back into the mountain for some dark high speed fun.

Riding Expedition Everest on a cold December day in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Riding Expedition Everest on a cold December day.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/320s, f/13, ISO 800, EV -1.0, 18mm Focal Length

Barrie and Lisa will share their favorite EE photos on Thursday and Saturday for our Disney Pic of the Week on Expedition Everest.

August 13, 2010

Photographing Disney Food

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I enjoy a good meal after spending a day walking around a Walt Disney World park. Thankfully, you have a choice of all kinds of table and counter service restaurants in the parks, resorts and Downtown Disney. I like to photograph the food for future restaurant reviews at the PSCalculator.net website. However, judging by all the photos I see on Disney forums, photographing Disney restaurant food is very popular.

To get really good photos of food with a digital SLR camera, I suggest you bring a flash unit you can rotate the flash head in order to bounce it off a nearby surface to spread and even out the light on the food.

Photographing food is not unlike anything else. Watch your backgrounds and edges along the frame, focus carefully, hold the camera steady and get a good exposure. A couple of other things, don't start eating until after photographing the food and arrange everything the way you want. This is what I did for the lunch buffet plate at the Tusker House restaurant in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

A plate of food from the Tusker House restaurant lunch buffet in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
A plate of food from the Tusker House restaurant lunch buffet.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/6s, f/3.5, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 18mm focal length, flash at -1 power

I took the photo directly from above as it worked best for the amount of different items arranged on the plate. For the Maine Lobster entree at Narcoossee's restaurant in the Grand Floridian, I photographed as one would see it if they were seating in my place. Yes, the lobster was as good as it looked.

Maine Lobster entree served at Narcoossee's restaurant in the Grand Flordian Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Maine Lobster entree served at Narcoossee's restaurant.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/5, ISO 400, EV +0.3, 18mm Focal Length, flash at -1 power

In both the above photos, I used the Nikon SB-600 Speedlight flash unit bounced off the restaurant's ceiling with a -1 power setting to give the food the added pop of color and succulent lighting.

When waiting in line at Norway's Kringla Bakeri og Kafe, I remembered Barrie's wonderful photo of the Cloudberry Horns. As I didn't want to duplicate her version, I made the famous Kringla Sweet Pretzels the main subject using the Cloudberry Horns in the softly focused background.

Cloudberry Horns and Kringla Sweet Pretzels at Kringla Bakeri og Kafe counter service restaurant in Epcot's World Showcase Norway pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Cloudberry Horns and Kringla Sweet Pretzels at Kringla Bakeri og Kafe counter service restaurant.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/15s, f/, ISO 360, EV +0.3, 170mm Focal Length

One last thing, you may have to get down low or stand up above or even look a bit goofy as you find the best angle to get a favorite snack properly framed in the viewfinder. Don't worry, the servers and cast members have seen it all before.

August 10, 2010

Disney Pic of the Week - Blue

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Photography is all about the way in which we see things. One way to force your eye to see differently is to narrow your focus and concentrate on capturing one particular thing, like a certain shape or color. Try spending a week photographing curves. At first they will be hard to spot but then by the end of the week you'll be seeing curves in everything. And you'll end up with some interesting images that you may never have captured if you hadn't forced yourself to see differently. Scott, Lisa and I focused on the color blue for Pic of the Week.

Bike
Copyright © 2008 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200VR, 1/13s shutter, f5, ISO 640

This blue on blue image is one of my all-time favorite photographs. I took it near Expedition Everest in Disney's Animal Kingdom.


July 16, 2010

Digital Photography Beginner's Guide

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

This month marks three years I have been writing weekly (more or less) on the Picture This! Photoblog here at AllEars.net. The questions Lisa got from her inquiry last week got me to thinking in the last three years, many of you have upgraded to better cameras which give you more control. With that in mind, I want to link you to some of the first posts I did here which explain the basics of Digital Photography.

Pirates of the Caribbean plaza in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Mechanics of Exposure: This post defines what aperture, shutter speed, ISO and exposure compensation are. For me, you have to define and understand the parts before you can understand the whole which in this case is called photographic exposure.

Exif Photo Data: In this post I explain the numbers you see under the photos here on the Picture This! blog.

Creative Uses of Aperture: Details on how aperture effects the depth of field in photographs.

Shutter Speeds and You: Read about how shutter speed controls the amount of movement in photographs.

Indian artwork on the Maharajah Jungle Trek in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Light Sensitivity: Of the three parts of the exposure triangle, ISO or light sensitivity is not easily understood. I lift the veil of the ISO numbers in this post.

Dialing in Digital Exposure: The exposure compensation button found on digital SLRs and advanced Point and Shoot cameras is often overlooked by many new digital photographers. I think you'll agree once you read this how useful the EV button is.

If you have any questions regarding these articles, leave a comment here and I will answer them.

July 9, 2010

Animal Portraits

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

In the past I have shown you a portrait of a Wood Stork but I never went into details as to how to make a good animal portrait. The principles are the same as a good human portrait. Good lighting, good background, sharp focus, fill the frame (or crop after) and good exposure. In most zoos, animal parks and in the wild, backgrounds are the toughest to control. The best way is to use the widest aperture your lens can go so as to create an out-of-focus, or bokeh, blur in the background. I found this Yellow-billed Stork (Mycteria ibis) along one of the Discovery Island Trails which surround the Tree of Life. He was close enough to fill the frame with the lens I was using with a little crop for a 4x5 (8x10) ratio.

Yellow-billed Stork portrait in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Yellow-billed Stork portrait in Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/25s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV +1.0, 200mm focal length

This portrait has the bokeh background, soft light coming from behind and to the right, exposure so as to keep detail in the white feathers, focus (like humans, the eye must be sharply focused for animals) and a nice pose.

Something I also try to get is an environmental portrait of the animal. Today's zoos and animal parks try to recreate as much as possible the actual living environment of the species they care for. In this case, a marsh-like setting along a river was created for many of the birds who live near or on Discovery Island and made for a suitable environmental portrait for this Yellow-billed Stork.

Yellow-billed Stork environment in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Yellow-billed Stork environmental portrait.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/11, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 200mm focal length

Here are previous Disney's Animal Kingdom photography guides:

Kilimanjaro Safari Photo Tips

Maharajah Jungle Trek Photo Tips

June 10, 2010

Expedition Everest Animal Kingdom Hidden Mickey

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Before my last trip to Walt Disney World, Steve Barret, the Hidden Mickey Guy, had just released his WDW Hidden Mickey iPhone App. The Hidden Mickey app lets you select which Walt Disney World themepark you are in and which area of the park, attraction or ride. For example, I was in the queue for Expedition Everest and the hint was: Search for a classic Mickey in the first sunken courtyard. It took me a few minutes which the length of the queue game me and I found it! Photo proof below for my Disney Pic of the Week for the theme on Hidden Mickeys.

Okay...I am adding Steve Barrett's website link for this HM: Expedition Everest - Yeti Base Mickey.

By popular request, here is a direct link for the Hidden Mickey iPhone app (Caution: This link will launch iTunes if it is on your computer): Steve Barrett's Hidden Mickey iPhone App

A Hidden Mickey in the Expedition Everest queue in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A Hidden Mickey in the Expedition Everest queue.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/50s, f/5.6, ISO 800, EV +0.3, 200mm Focal Length

June 6, 2010

Where in the World #133

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #132:
 Where in the World #132

And here's the answer:
Baby Gorilla
Copyright © 2010 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR, 1/80s shutter, f/8, ISO 800

I recently returned from a trip to Walt Disney World and one of my favorite moments was getting a chance to see this little baby gorilla. It was her 3 month birthday and her mama was just starting to put her down on the ground. Up til then, she had been carrying the baby all the time. You can see the gorillas on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom. If you'd like to see some of the other photos I took of her, just click on this link.

John Agnew was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to John and all the other readers who got the answer right: Maryann Eckenrode, Randy Heintzelman, Bonnie Smith, Katie Bray, Jodi Cook, Sharon Pierce, Kris Nixon, Deb Ragno, Melody Salemi, Steve Knapp, Stephanie Servaites, Austin Oblenis, Brian Miller, Chris Masse, Christi Ison, Dawn Bach, Dale Knight, Pollyanna Buff, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Steve Toponak, Bruce Hinterleitner, Craig, Louise Barton, Kerry Cormier, Wendy Crober, Baines Family, Tracey Mayfield, Edith Kahle & Doug, Mary Beth Tarbet, Robin Fitts, Amy Schweizer, Daniel Schweizer, Chris Connors, Shannon Murray, Sandra Shaw, Heather Young, Tim Johansen, James Greene, Mary Paolazzi, Sherry Klinefelter, Jen Cerce, Judy Koslowski, Millie Tenreiro, Mia W., Erica Sipich, Brenda Mcguire, Jen Bruno, Cathy Schill, Michael Joel Gainey, Linda Scrivano, John C. Lacasse, Debra Kuklinski, Cathy Skiba, Linda Mac, Shannon Milair, Kameo Crea, Claire Gregory, Paul Cooper, Jennifer Horst, Paul Cooper, Roxanne, Cheryl Buchanan, Colin Buchanan, Jerry Weldon, Ashley Ryan, Paula Munson, Christopher Barnes, Heather Pedulla, Ken Maikowski, Michael Malampy, Tina Benco , Ryan Benco, Hillary Waldroop, Amy Martel, Jeremy Hardy, Paul Newman, Daniel Record, Claressa Nisley, Alison And Chris, Ed Suscreba, Tom Koval, Deb Staples, Wendy Snelgrove, Melody O'donnell, Elizabeth Scarborough, Kye Layton, Hayden Pronto-hussey, Amanda Campbell, Tom & Susan Linder, Double Family, Jennifer Tremley, Aly Nichting, Kelly Mager, Brenda Strohmeyer, Steve Dolan, Kelli Olthoff, Debby Webber, Katarina Whitmarsh, Mickey Eckert, Kelly Zanauskas, Becky Terjung, Ruth Woodhouse, Theresa Rucando, Jim Finley, Rob Blundin, Diane Ramos, Karrie Duffey, Shirley Garcowski, Lee Krueger, Dave Carriere, Bob Sertic, Cara Richards, Jacque Schmidt, Jeremy Reichelt, Dennis Blackburn, Elaine Tomko-deluca, Chris Miller, Jennifer Schwing, Rachel Hoover, William Vangroll, Andrea D., Samantha Jo Albucker, Diana Fitzgerald, Bev Carson, Dana Robinson Hall, Laney Ood, Maggie W, Luis Rodriguez, Brendan Abel, Liz Moreau, Lee Anastasi, Sharon Dale, Bob Burge Jr , Joseph Zafia, Abby Earl, Walter Clark, Elaine Leviner, Matt Cofone, Janet Theriault, Barclay Bakkum, Heather Coursen, Denise Cavallaro, Kelley H, Tom Hermes, Shane Stack, Suzanne, Mike Venere and Ken Rhinehart. Each of you will be entered in the June winners' drawing.

_______________________________________________________________________

Challenge #133: Where in the world is this?

 Where in the World #133

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, June 10, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post. Remember to be specific with your answer - just naming a park will not get you into the drawing.

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies and a cool Disney book!

May 28, 2010

Flash Monkey

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Festival of the Lion King in Disney's Animal Kingdom has a unique rule which both surprised and pleased me when I first heard it: Flash photography is allowed during the entire performance. The problem though is most Point & Shoot camera's flash are not very strong. Even when I use my Nikon SB-600 Speedlight Flash, I need to up its power to +2 and sit in the first 10 rows or the flash is not effective.

That is the flash setting I used for the photo of the Tumble Monkey performer you see below. I had to be aware of a couple of issues when increasing the flash setting. It takes longer for the flash to recycle after firing and its batteries drain faster.

A Tumble Monkey performer during Festival of the Lion King live show in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A Tumble Monkey performer during Festival of the Lion King live show.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 1400, EV +0.3, 200mm focal length, Flash set to +2 Power


May 10, 2010

July Disney World Calendar

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This year, we'll be spending July in Animal Kingdom with one of the Asian Tigers from the Maharajah Jungle Trek. This is just one of the six female tigers living amongst the ancient ruins of India.

You will need to have Adobe Reader on your computer to download the calendar(s). Just click on the photo to download the calendar you want. When printing CD Jewel Case size, make sure "Page Scaling" in your print dialogue box is set to "None" to ensure that the calendar prints out at the correct size.


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

July 2010 8.5x11 Calendar


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

July 2010 Jewel Case Calendar

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

7-10_wallpaper_sm.jpg
1024 x 768
1280 x 800
1280 x 1024
1440 x 900
1600 x 1200

May 7, 2010

Walt Disney World at f/2.8

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Fast lenses for digital SLR cameras have a maximum aperture of f/2.8 or bigger. Except for the Nifty-Fifty which are 50mm prime lenses at f/1.8, fast lenses are expensive. Most of the lenses in this class are considered some of the best ever made. Over the last three years, I have purchased two f/2.8 lenses which I have enjoyed using at Walt Disney World. The Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 DX Ultra Wide Angle and the Nikon 70-200mm VR f/2.8. The following photographs were taken with these lenses at their wide open aperture of f/2.8.

The Tokina has gotten a large following among Disney photographers. For the price of around $650 in either Canon or Nikon versions, this is one of the better bargins in f/2.8 lenses. At it's widest setting of 11mm, there is some distortion of things near the edge of the frame. To cut down on the distortion, I try to make sure to keep the camera level and perpendicular to what I am photographing.

I found a post to lean against at my favorite counter service restaurant in the Magic Kingdom, Columbia Harbour House, to take this photo of the ordering area. The lens was able to capture the windowed ceiling, the tall ship paraphernalia on the walls and the cast members and guests ordering their food. I'll take the fish and chips with a bowl of New England clam chowder, please!

Ordering area for the Columbia Harbour House counter service restaurant in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Ordering area for the Columbia Harbour House counter service restaurant.
Nikon D70/Tokina 11-16, 1/30s, f/2.8, ISO 720, EV +0.3, 11mm focal length

Night photography at Walt Disney World is very popular as the parks have a whole different look after the Sun goes down. This is one of my favorite views of Spaceship Earth when walking towards the park's entrance. The colored lights on the palm trees were not as bright as I have photographed them in the past making the geodesic structure the star of the photo. At f/2.8, I was able to hand hold the camera at 1/15th of a second using a reasonable ISO of 900.

Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World.
Nikon D70/Tokina 11-16, 1/15s, f/2.8, ISO 900, EV -0.3, 11mm focal length

For those who have vacationed at Walt Disney World in December, you know it can get cold at night. Returning back to my room in the All Star Sports resort late one night, I took this image of the steam rising off of the main pool area. I thought the sign made a good foreground subject for the story I wanted to tell.

No Lifeguard on Duty as steam rises from the Main Pool at the All Star Sports resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
No Lifeguard on Duty as steam rises from the Main Pool at the All Star Sports resort.
Nikon D70/Tokina 11-16, 1/15s, f/2.8, ISO 900, EV +0.7, 11mm focal length

The Nikon 70-200 VR, VR is for Vibration Reduction which is what Nikon calls their Image Stabilization system, has long been considered one of Nikon's all time best lenses. Nikon recently updated this lens with the new VR II version going for around $2,400. I picked up my VR I version used for less than half of that so deals can be found on eBay and other used lens websites.

Fast lenses have one more trait I should mention: they are heavy. The Nikon 70-200VR weighs in at a little over three pounds. While I have no trouble using it without a tripod, in low light situations like Fantasmic! in Disney's Hollywood Studios, I used my tripod like a monopod (the tripod legs were folded in) to help steady this image of Mickey Mouse welding his fire sword to oust the dragon from his dream. Just a note, this is one lens where you leave the VR on when used on a tripod or monopod.

Mickey Mouse welding his Fire Sword during Fantasmic! in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mickey Mouse welding his Fire Sword during Fantasmic!
Nikon D70/70-200VR, 1/200s, f/2.8, ISO 1600, EV 0, 140mm focal length

The Festival of the Lion King does allow the use of flash photography during the show but, by using the lens at f/2.8 and zooming in, I had more than enough light to take this photo during the Can You Feel the Love Tonight duet scene. This shows the nice bokeh the Nikon 70-200VR creates when used wide open.

Can You Feel the Love Tonight duet during the Festival of the Lion King show in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Can You Feel the Love Tonight duet during the Festival of the Lion King show.
Nikon D70/70-200VR, 1/50s, f/2.8, ISO 1600, EV 0, 200mm focal length

I have tried for years to take a good photo of the fire dancer during the heina scene of the Festival of the Lion King show. By focusing on the performer's face, I picked up this photograph of some lingering fire on his tongue. The brightness of the fire gave me the fast shutter speed of 1/1600th of a second.

Fire dancer performing during the Festival of the Lion King show in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Fire dancer performing during the Festival of the Lion King show.
Nikon D70/70-200VR, 1/1600s, f/2.8, ISO 800, EV 0, 180mm focal length

These two lenses allowed me to get photos of higher quality than I have been able to in the past. Yes, they are expensive but you can rent them for a fraction of their costs.

May 2, 2010

Where in the World #130

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #129:
 Where in the World #129

And here's the answer:
Dream FastPass
Copyright © 2008 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200VR, 1/200s shutter, f/7.1, ISO 400

This is an Animal Kingdom Dream Fastpass from the Year of a Million Dreams promotion.

Alan P was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Alan and all the other readers who got the answer right: Wendy Crober, Marina Crober, Kelly Mager, Millie Tenreiro, Theresa Rucando, Nicole Ruzinski, Chris Connors, Don Whiteman, Caitlin Barringer, Chris Masse, Emma Poprock, Dave Cole, Marissa D'ambrosio, Chloe Albucker, Deb Gallo, Jane Rochefort, Steve Toponak, Virginia Pierce, Tim Wingfield, Brenda Strohmeyer, Ali S., Greg Strohmeyer, Michelle Raimist, Kathryn Barnes, Emily Currier, Scott Otis, Mckinley Yeaman, Sharon Pierce, Neil Taylor, Andrea K., Debra Kuklinski, Patty Carty, Gia Gillis, Matthew Herman, Clare C, Mary Virginia Clause, Daniel Record, Mark, Lauren Sullivan, Ken Maikowski, Leslie Dameron, Chris Miller, Patti Purdy, Jennifer Tremley, Kelly Zanauskas, Shannon Murray, Julie Wickware, Vicki Vaught, Amanda Campbell, Denise Cayz, John Agnew, Renee Engel, Danielle Ford, Jay Reagan, Danielle Aston, Brian Yesutis, Colin Buchanan, Scott Stubbs, Andrea Weedmark, Austin O'blenis, Cindy Dore', Cathy Skiba, Nathan Cripe, Debbie Mangini, Matt Rotondo, Steven Long, Karen Nelson, Stacey Van Dyke, Allison Burgess, Misty Mehelic, Jessica Gruhlke, Lauren Foss, Bruce Jones, Mike Malampy, Tina Benco , Ryan Benco, Kameo Crea, Cheryl Buchanan, Ken Fischler, Annie Hulsey, Katelyn P, Hillary Waldroop, Dale Knight, Trisha Johnson, Rebekah Anguish, Kim Steiner, Lee Anastasi, Barbie Lawless, Paula Munson, Hoekzema Family, Sandy Miller, Roye Ann Morris, Danielle Aston, Janet Fosbender, Jeremy Hardy, Gareth Molyneux, Brian Gallant, Shannon Milair, Allison Caputa, Jen Cox, Cara Richards, Aj Perras, Sandra Shaw, Alison Rosenberger, Christine Dagney, Jim Riley, Tiffany W., Sarah Connors, Steve Pocopanni, Karen Desantis, Elaine Leviner, Chris Miller, Karrie Duffey, Tracy Bradfute, Jerry Marceau, Becky Sterusky, Jessica Reed, Wendy Snelgrove, Holly Anderson, Rob Blundin, Jim Finley, Michelle Wilinski, Dennis Blackburn, Matt Degrandis, Jennifer Schwing, Mary Tackett, Tim Rachuba, Allison Dibiase, Marc Lorenzo, Jason, Joann Albrecht, Sara Beth Wade, Kevin Weidenweber, Danielle And Matt Murgia, Susan Pitts , Frank, Carrie Kenney, Sharon Blickensderfer, Dennis Loring, Erin Loring, Daniel Campozano O, Jill Fogg, Jen Cerce, Mark Franklin, Lisa Graham, Anjanette Tournillon, Erin Worley, Madi, Chloe, Christopher Bourassa, Wayne Witherspoon, Tommy M, Jim Riley, Isabelle Boivin, Abigail Burns, Chris, Carinne, Evelyn Wilson, Jessica Marcotte, Jill Davoll, Todd Ritter, Joel Armstrong, Krista Penno, Drew Deapo, Bill Mckim, Sandra Mcguire, Wade Gilliard, Marianne Goode, Dominic Bert Cooper, Peg Fliegel, Heather Coursen, Betty Llewellyn, Emily Robinson, Dave Carriere, Kate Fanning, Robert Flaherty, John P, Amy Reed, Christopher Jackson, Christi Ison, Ann Fowler, Gabby Stapp, Andrew Campopiano, Emily Dagney, Kelley Mossburg, Katarina Whitmarsh and Sandra Shaw. Each of you will be entered in the May winners' drawing.

_______________________________________________________________________

Challenge #130: Where in the world is this?

 Where in the World #130

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, May 6, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post. Remember to be specific with your answer - just naming a park will not get you into the drawing.

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies and a cool Disney book!

April 28, 2010

Flamingo Island

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Flamingo island on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Flamingo island on the Kilimanjaro Safari.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/125s, f/14, ISO 200, EV 0, 18mm focal length

Flamingo island on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom is one place on the trip I go with a wide angle focal length and small aperture to take in the picturesque view which even includes an African elephant. It's also how I decided to go for my Disney Pic of Week on Kilimanjaro Safari.

April 27, 2010

Disney Pic of the Week - Kilimanjaro Safaris

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This week we're going to take a trip to Africa to visit the Harambe Wildlife Reserve. Our Pic of the Week has us heading out to Kilimanjaro Safaris in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Come on along as we cross the savannah with our cameras in tow.

Baby Giraffe
Copyright © 2008 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR, 1/320 sec, f/9, ISO 640

This young giraffe was munching on some vegetation along the roadside. I was lucky enough to be sitting in the back seat of our jeep as we passed by! This is a reticulated giraffe. Reticulated refers to the pattern on its body. Each giraffe has its own distinct pattern.

April 25, 2010

Where in the World #129

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #128:
 Where in the World #128

And here's the answer:
Kali River Rapids
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200VR, 1/125s shutter, f/5.6, ISO 200

This looks a bit ominous. It can't be a good sign when a raft comes back empty from the Kali River Rapids in Disney's Animal Kingdom. I'm worried about what might have happened to the explorers who left on this raft. Do you think they got dumped out in the rapids?

Sharon Pierce was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Sharon and all the other readers who got the answer right: Alison Crutchfield, Alissa Ammons-coxsey, Amanda M., Amy Souden, An, Andy Renner, Angie Young, Annette Nuenke, April Ramey, Aruna, Ashley Deitchler, Ashley Ryan, Baines Family, Barbara Cerimele, Barbara Sims, Barbie Lawless, Becky Norman, Ben Dameron, Beth Cole, Betsey Whitehead, Brenda Strohmeyer, Brendan Abel, Brian Gallant, Brian Yesutis, Bridgette Gallagher, Bruce Jones, Bruce Lawson, Bryan Fencl, Cameron Love, Cara Richards, Cari-ann, Carinne, Carla C., Caroline Dupre, Casey Sullivan, Chambers Family, Charity Maas, Cheryl Buchanan, Cheyenne Padora, Chip Vermette, Chris And Alison, Christina Rotella, Christopher Barnes, Christopher Hall, Colin Buchanan, Collette Beuther, Daisy Karasek, Danielle And Matt Murgia, Dave Cole, Debbie Cody, Denise Cayz , Derek Carty, Diana F., Diane Ramos, Donna Brandt, Donna Currier, Doug & Edith Kahle, Duane Wisniewski, Ed Aleszczyk, Ed Suscreba, Emily Currier, Erika Loboda, Erin Loring, Erin Savoie, Evan & Avery Zanauskas, Greg Strohmeyer, Heath Hinch, Heather Barilla, Heidi Summers, Hilary, Hillary Waldroop, Isabelle Boivin, James Berry, James Greene, Jane Bradley, Jason Gilbert, Jay Reagan, Jen Bruno, Jen Cerce, Jennifer Harmon, Jennifer Toto, Jennifer Tremley, Jessica Marcotte, Jessica Reed, Jessica Ripley, Jill Smith, Jim Finley, Joe W., John Dupre, John Pasqueralli, Jon Herring, Jordan, Courtney And Maryann Eckenrode, Joshua Swainston, Joy Johnston, Julie Ellis, Julie Wickware, Karen Donald, Karen Schlumpf, Karrie, Karrie Duffey, Kate Fanning, Kate L, Katelyn P., Kathy Berry, Kelly Mager, Kelly Rogers, Ken Jackson, Ken Kleiner, Kerry Cormier, Kim Carroll, Kim Davis, Kirsty Butler, Kris Kline, Kristin Dormuth, Kristin Mazur, Laurie Mcminn, Laurie Walker, Lee Anastasi, Lilli Albucker, Linda Mac, Linda Scrivano, Lori Rienhardt, Maja Kodani, Marina Crober, Mary Jane Keeble, Mary Ruth Dickson, Mary Tackett, Matt Degrandis, Mckinley Yeaman, Melissa James, Michael O'brien, Michelle Thompson, Mike Venere, Millie Tenreiro, Nathan Ellis, Nick Straka, Nicole Alley, Nicole Costa, Noreen Rachuba, Patti Purdy, Patty Carty, Patty Newton, Paula Massarelli, Rebekah Anguish, Rich Kacprowicz, Rob Blundin, Robert Anderson , Robin Mcconnell, Ronni Hirschenberger, Sally Faracca, Sandi B, Sandra Shaw, Sarah Holodick, Scott, Scott Otis, Shannon Brueggemann, Sharon Lee, , Sonja Padora, Spencer, Stacy Cosshall, Stephanie Caskey, Stephanie Visco, Steve Pocopanni, Steve Toponak, Susan Davis, Susan Pitts, Susan Vaughan, Suzanne, Tammy Snyder, Terry Fleming, Tiffany Gibb, Tiffany W., Tim Rachuba, Tim Wingfield, Todd Ritter, Todd Tavender, Tom &Susan Linder, Tom Hermes, Tom Koval, Tommy M, Tracy Weber, Ulises Perez, Walter Fletcher, Wendy Crober and Wendy Snelgrove. Each of you were entered in the April winners' drawing.

It's time for our monthly drawing. This month's big winner is John Pasqueralli! Congratulations John, you are the lucky recipient of a fabulous Disney book and some really cool AllEars schwag!

Here's the note John shared when he sent in his answer this week: "I better know the answer to that, I was an Expedition Guide at Kali River Rapids for almost 2 years!! From there I went on to be a Safari Guide at Kilimanjaro Safaris, where I met my wonderful wife. Love at first safari!!" How sweet is that?! I was really pleased when the random generator picked his name as this month's winner.

_______________________________________________________________________

Challenge #129: Where, and what, in the world is this?

 Where in the World #129

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, April 29, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post. Remember to be specific with your answer - just naming a park will not get you into the drawing.

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies and a cool Disney book!

April 17, 2010

Pit Stop in Asia

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Animal Kingdom Restroom
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 1/40 sec, f/3.8, ISO 400

I don't think there is anywhere besides Walt Disney World where I would actually take photos of the restrooms. The painting on this one in Disney's Animal Kingdom caught my eye. There is no limit to the level of detail you'll find in Disney parks.

April 16, 2010

Spring Waterfalls

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

It is Spring. Both on the calendar and in the air where I live in upstate New York. Most of the United States has had serious bouts with Spring fever. Spring is also the time of rain and melting snow. The old adage of April showers bring May flowers and all that. This is the time of year for nature photographers to visit their favorite waterfalls as the flow is at its peak.

At Walt Disney World you don't have to worry about the flow of the waterfalls and fountains as they are artificially maintained. It gives visitors a chance to capture the wonder of moving water. To demonstrate, I re-visited the giraffe waterfall along one of the Discovery Island Trails just past the exit of It's Tough to be a Bug.

There are two ways to photograph moving water. Use a fast shutter speed to freeze it like this.

A fast shutter speed freezes the motion of the water of this waterfall in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A fast shutter speed freezes the motion of the water of this waterfall.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/5.3, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 80mm focal length

Or by slowing the shutter speed like in this photo to see water take on a smoother look.

A slower shutter speed shows the motion of the water of this waterfall in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A slower shutter speed shows the motion of the water of this waterfall.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/15s, f/9, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 80mm focal length

I did not have a tripod so I really could not go much slower than 1/15th of a second for my shutter speed. When I am going out to photograph natural waterfalls like the one below in the Robert H. Treman State Park near Ithaca, New York, I come prepared with a tripod and set my camera to get long shutter speeds for the silky look many people love about waterfall photography.

Enfield Creek waterfall in the gorge at the Robert H. Treman State Park near Ithaca, New York.
Enfield Creek waterfall in the gorge at the Robert H. Treman State Park near Ithaca, New York.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 5s, f/29, ISO 200, 135mm focal length

If you live near a waterfall this Spring, grab your tripod and have some fun capturing moving water. For more waterfall tips, click on this link: Photographing Waterfalls.

April 6, 2010

Disney Pic of the Week - Sculptures

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Animal Kingdom Sculpture
Copyright © 2009 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 1/50 sec, f/5.3, ISO 640

This week, Lisa, Scott and I will be taking a closer look at some of the sculptures found around the Walt Disney World property. There's no shortage of material, that's for sure. Disney World is loaded with beautiful sculptures, made of everything from wood to plaster to metal. There are even plastic sculptures to be found.

My choice for Pic of the Week can be found in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Behind Flame Tree Barbeque, in the seating area, is a beautiful garden filled with many sculptures. If you've never taken the time to wander around that area, please be sure to spend some time there on your next visit. It's really quite lovely. These giant bullfrogs are at the base of one of the lanterns near the reflecting pool.


February 5, 2010

Illuminating the Yeti Shrine

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

After I found out I was going to be attending Extra Magic Hours at night in Disney's Animal Kingdom. I had this photo idea in my head. The Yeti Shrine at night with Expedition Everest beautifully lighted in the background. I knew I would need a tripod, remote shutter release and a lens that could handle the sweeping image I had dancing in my head like the Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 lens I have.

Now, you can imagine my disappointment when I rounded the corner and saw the scene below which greeted me. I never thought the Yeti Shrine would NOT have a light or two on it like the stone column off to the right.

The unlighted Yeti Shrine with Expedition Everest in the background at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Unlighted Yeti Shrine.
Nikon D70/Tokina 11-16mm, 25s, f/11, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 16mm focal length, tripod

As I pondered this I came upon another idea. An even better one as it turns out. I took out the Nikon SB-600 Speedlight (flash unit) from my camera bag and set it and my camera to trigger the flash remotely. On any Nikon dSLR cameras with a pop-up flash, you can use the Nikon Creative Lighting System (CLS) with either the SB-600, SB-800 or SB-900 Speedlights. Other Nikon dSLR cameras will need either an SB-800, SB-900 or the SU-800 Commander Unit. If you own another camera brand, refer to your manual to see how you can set up remote flash.

I am not going into the detail on how to use the CLS (see link and Google for more information) this time but just give you the results you see in the next photo. Here is the photo I had in my head. By using off-camera flash held at camera left, I angled it in such a way as to illuminate the Yeti Shrine. I set the camera to Rear-Sync Flash mode to capture the purple-white colors of Expedition Everest in the background.

The illuminated Yeti Shrine with Expedition Everest in the background at Disney's Animal Kingdom, Orlando, Florida
Illuminated Yeti Shrine.
Nikon D70/Tokina 11-16mm, 25s, f/8, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 16mm focal length, tripod, rear-synced off-camera flash at -1 power

What do you think? See, flash is not a dirty word but another tool to correctly expose your subjects.

February 1, 2010

April Disney World Calendar

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

You'll find this pretty little area of Disney's Animal Kingdom when you exit It's Tough to Be A Bug. I think Animal Kingdom is just a beautiful park.


You will need to have Adobe Reader on your computer to download the calendar(s). Just click on the photo to download the calendar you want.


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

April 2010 8.5x11 Calendar


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

April 2010 Jewel Case Calendar


Desktop Wallpaper:
4-10_wallpaper_sm.jpg
1024 x 768
1280 x 800
1280 x 1024
1440 x 900
1600 x 1200

January 31, 2010

Where in the World #118

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #117:
 Where in the World #117

And here's the answer:
Dung Brothers Movie Poster at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Copyright © 2009 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200VR, 1/6s shutter, f/8, ISO 200

In the queue of It's Tough to Be a Bug at Disney's Animal Kingdom, you will be entertained by several movie posters introducing you to some of the bugs starring in the attraction.

Dawn Burns was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Dawn and all the other readers who got the answer right: Deb Ragno, Charlie Scheer, Phil Vickers, Sharon Pierce, Ed Aleszczyk, Tiffany Gibb, Marc Acosta, Joseph Tortorici, Ronnie Lane, Sandra Shaw, Allison Caputa, James Steele , Brian Yesutis, Christopher Masse, Jake Thompson, Joanna Snow, Sam Rossman, Jessica Folan, Joshua Barnett, Sherry Klinefelter, Jennifer Mccurry, James Berry, Kathy Berry, Brian Haas, Julie Wickware, Douglas Mcknight, Hoekzema Family, Mark Smith, Cara Richards, Lisa Palmer, Matthew Brisbin, Daniel Record, Allison Palmer, Jamie Miller, Jen Cerce, Theresa Peake, Brian Martin, Paula Munson, Theresa Rucando, Jennifer Harmon, Colin Buchanan, Kathleen Harmon, Kirsty Butler, Christine Dagney, Emily Dagney, Kye Layton, Cindy Dore', Jeremy Coto, Jay Bartels, Billy Luce, Jennifer Tremley, Angela And David Blevins, Marissa Dambrosio, Baines Family, Jason Albucker, Ken Gravitt, Tina Firestone, Kris Nixon, Erica Sipich, Karen Nelson, Cameron Love, Brittany &Jesse Siminitz, Kevin Scharf, Jonathan Thomas, Scott Otis, Mckinley Yeaman, Caryn Schill, Steve Cummings, Cathy Schill, Hillary Waldroop, Jennifer Townsend, Chris Connors, Amy Young, Linda Scrivano, Michelle Mcspadden, Joyce Tofflemire, Krista Penno, Tommy Carty, Travis Grim, Kelly Zanauskas, Robin Mcconnell, Bruce Hinterleitner, Donna Currier, Harry Wilson, John Dupre, Amanda M., Jessica Deans, Cameron Lange, Dallas Hamilton, Jaclyn Kelch, Erin Loring, Wade A. Williams, Carri Marotto, Steve Pocopanni, Mary Tackett, Bruce Lawson, Sarah Connors, Michelle Wilinski, Jamie Poynton, Michelle Wilinski, Quincy Delcolletti, Jennifer Schwing, Dan Owens, Melissa Dye, Allie L, Mickey Eckert, Anjanette Tournillon, Scott Junkin, Nicole Ruzinski, John Leach , Ana And Lucas Marlett, Wendy Snelgrove, Noreen E. Rachuba, Heidi Goodhue, Stacey Van Dyke, Misty Mehelic, Matt Cofone, Kathy Lutz, Tom Koval, Jared Orth, Erin Savoie, Christian Baas, Carrie Kenney, Robert Bostic, Trudy Vespucci, Josh Kight, Roye Ann Morris, Jay Reagan, Nicole Lopresti, Rob Frinzi, Kandise B., Louise Herrick, Bruce Arnold, Heather Coursen, Heather, Kelley H, Eileen Miller, Suzanne S., Tim Wingfield, Marie Phillips, Kelly Kobiela, Matt And Danielle Murgia, Kirsten Stark, Michael Fiedler, Theresa Maradei, Tom &Susan Linder, Tim Rachuba, Elizabeth Scarborough and Richard Nussbaum. Each of you will be entered in the February winners' drawing.

_______________________________________________________________________

Challenge #118: Where in the world is this?

 Where in the World #118

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, February 4, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post. Remember to be specific with your answer - just naming a park will not get you into the drawing.

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies and a cool Disney book!


December 27, 2009

Where in the World #115

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #114:
 Where in the World #114

And here's the answer:
African Fishing Boats at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Copyright © 2009 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200VR, 1/5000s shutter, f/3.5, ISO 400

You may never have noticed these fishing boats along the riverside unless you've ventured over to the wall along the side of the Dawa Bar in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Over the edge, you can catch a glimpse of the day's catch.

Sharon Dale was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Sharon and all the other readers who got the answer right: Robert Anderson, Sherry Klinefelter, Jeremy Hardy, Rick Ivnik, Kevin, Tim Rachuba, Jennifer Paolino, Aruna, Cameron Lange, Bev Carson, Gary E Genteman and Brian Haas. Each of you were entered in the December winners' drawing.

It's time for the monthly drawing. This month's big winner is Kevin, the same Kevin who got the challenge above correct! Congratulations Kevin, you are the lucky recipient of a fabulous Disney book and some really cool AllEars schwag!

Good luck to everyone as we begin another month! Here we go"

_______________________________________________________________________

Challenge #115: Where in the world is this?

 Where in the World #115

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, December 31, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post. Remember to be specific with your answer - just naming a park will not get you into the drawing.

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies and a cool Disney book!

December 18, 2009

Walt Disney World in HDR

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

High Dynamic Range imaging which is referred to simply as HDR is a process to increase the amount of luminance between the lightest and darkest areas of an image. Digital cameras can handle from 4 to 7 stops of light. In contrast, the human eye can see 20 stops of light. People "see" in HDR. Photographers for years have done all kinds of things in the darkrooms to increase their photos dynamic range.

With the advent of more powerful personal computers, digital cameras and imaging software, photographers and software engineers created the HDR process of merging a set of digital photographs which would have taken hours of setup in a darkroom and do it in just a few minutes. Today's blog is just an introduction to HDR as I have recently discovered it myself.

There are two kinds of HDR images. One is created by a set of images I call an HDR set. The second is created from one image which I will cover in three weeks. So, what is an HDR set? To explain that I first have to introduce you to the term bracketing. In photography, bracketing means to take one picture at a given exposure then one or two brighter and one or two darker, in order to obtain the best image. I did this often whenever I was using slide film. Digital sensors are a lot like slide film so when I took up digital photography, I returned to bracketing, especially if the the subject I was photographing had very light and dark areas.

HDR imaging takes bracketing a bit further. Instead of changing a half or a full stop around an exposure, HDR photographers go 2, 3 and sometimes more stops. Digital cameras make it very easy as most come with auto-bracketing settings which will program your camera to take a series of photos plus and minus around the exposure the photographer decides to start with. Auto-bracketing can be truly automatic where one shutter press takes all the photos in sequence or, like my older digital camera, you have to press the shutter for each bracketed photo. To find out how your camera does auto-bracketing, check its manual (haven't bugged you about reading that in awhile!).

Now that you have an idea of what HDR is. Let me show you how it works. Most HDR books and web tutorials recommend you start with a 3 image bracket of +2, 0, -2 EV (exposure compensation). When I turn on auto-bracketing, the first shutter press will take the +2 EV photo first, the 0 EV photo second and the -2 EV photo last. This gives me the HDR set of 3 photos you see below of Expedition Everest from the bridge to Africa in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

HDR set of photos of Expedition Everest in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
HDR set of photos of Expedition Everest in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

When I first started doing this I had to get used to seeing such light and dark images and to NOT delete them which I did the first few times. Once you get the HDR set onto your computer the real fun begins. A couple of years ago, you really needed something like Photoshop to merge the HDR sets together. Most HDR gurus today recommend Photomatix either as a stand along program or plugins for Photoshop, Lightroom or Apple's Aperture. Since I use Aperture, I'll explain how easy it is to use the Photomatix plugin. If you get the stand alone version, Photomatix Pro, you have to create the JPEG images for it.

In Aperture, I selected the three images you see above and choose to edit with the Photomatix plugin. This launches Photomatix and imports the three images. Since I didn't use a tripod here, I told Photomatix to align the images. After a minute or less, the merged image is displayed in the plugin. The first time you see this you'll be amazed. Dark and light areas which in the "properly" exposed image had little to no detail, now have detail. The links below will go into more detail as to what all the adjustment sliders in Photomatix does. After a few minutes, below is what I ended up with. Notice how you can see details in the bright clouds and dark green foliage. In my normal processing, I would have had a hard time getting something even close to this.

Expedition Everest from the bridge to Africa in Disney's Animal Kingdom in HDR, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Expedition Everest from the bridge to Africa in HDR.

Remember, HDR works best with scenes which have very dark and/or very light areas. If the scene is very evenly lighted, HDR won't do much for you. With that in mind, lighted structures at night have a large contrast in light and dark. I had seen others do HDR images of Spaceship Earth at Epcot but I thought I would give it a try and see what I came up with. Below is the HDR set of three images. This time, I decided to do it manually by using my camera's light meter and a tripod. I kept the ISO at 200 and aperture at f/16 and varied the shutter speed to get the same exposure range of +/- 2 stops.

HDR set of photos of Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
HDR set of photos of Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World.

Night HDR processing was a lot harder than I thought it would be. HDR increases noise. So, if you start with ISO 200 images, the HDR image turns out like an ISO 400 image. In very dark areas, like a night sky, noise can become very apparent. After a long time, I finally came upon the settings to keep the night sky black and not a grainy brown. The result you see below.

Nighttime HDR of Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Nighttime HDR of Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World.

When HDR images first appeared, they were panned as being too cartoonish and not very realistic. As software engineers and photographers improved the tools and techniques, HDR images got better and better. For fun, you can still create those extreme HDR images like the one I did below of the set of the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show in Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Extreme HDR of set of the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Extreme HDR of set of the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show.

To me, this looks like concept art which might have been seen in the offices of Disney Imagineering when they were creating the show. What do you think? For more HDR examples from Walt Disney World, click here.

I have been rather vague as to how to use Photomatix. This is because like all photo editing software, there are no wrong or right ways to create an HDR image once it's in Photomatix. Below are some links which will explain further how to create HDR photos using Photomatix.

Stuck In Customs HDR Tutorial - Trey Ratcliff is considered a master of HDR photography.

HDR Tutorial by Pete Carr - goes into how adjustment sliders in Photomatix effect an image. (This is an update from the original link.)

HDRsoft's website - the maker of Photomatix which have 30 day trials of the stand alone and plugin versions for download.

Stuart Perry's Photomatix Presets - I know it's early but this is my Christmas gift to anyone who wants to try out Photomatix. This link has a download with over 80 presets you can use in Photomatix. It's a great way to see how each preset changes your images while in Photomatix. Enjoy!

December 12, 2009

Slurp!

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Goats at Rafiki's Planet Watch
Copyright © 2009 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200VR lens, 1/320 sec, f/9, ISO 400

I love goats. They have so much personality. You can get up close and personal with them at Rafiki's Planet Watch in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Just watch out for those tongues.

December 8, 2009

Disney Pic of the Week: Rafiki's Planet Watch

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When Disney's Animal Kingdom opened, Conservation Station was a unique area giving guests some behind the scenes access to how animals are cared for and to highlight ways Disney is helping and supporting world-wide conservation efforts. Now known as Rafiki's Planet Watch, the mission is still the same and you can often meet Rafiki, Pocahantas and Jiminy Cricket there.

Now known as Rafiki's Planet Watch, the old Conservation Station logo can still be seen outside the entrance in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Now known as Rafiki's Planet Watch, the old Conservation Station logo can still be seen outside the entrance.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 200, EV +0, 18mm Focal Length

Come back on Thursday and Saturday to see Barrie and Lisa's views for our Disney Pic of the Week on Conservation Station.

November 21, 2009

A Perfect Day for a Hike

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Daisy Duck hiking with Hewey, Louie and Dewey
Copyright © 2009 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200VR lens, 1/50 sec, f/29, ISO 400

Daisy out on a hike with Hewey, Louie and Dewey.

November 17, 2009

Disney Pic of the Week: Camp Minnie-Mickey

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Camp Minnie-Mickey is situated in New York State's Adirondack Mountains and Disney Imagineers have done a good job depicting the woodsie feel from that location. I spent many days hiking, camping and photographing around the Adirondacks while growing up in nearby Syracuse. However, there's one thing you will not find in New York's Adirondacks that you will find in Disney's: Character Greeting Trails! Nor will you find Ranger Donald Duck high up in a fire tower on Whiteface Mountain but he is my Disney Pic of the Week for Camp Minnie-Mickey.

Ranger Donald Duck posing with guests at Camp Minnie-Mickey in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Ranger Donald Duck posing with guests at Camp Minnie-Mickey.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/5.3, 280 ISO, +0.3 EV, 90mm Focal Length, Flash Used

Barrie will be here later this week with a photo from Camp Minnie-Mickey. Lisa is experiencing computer trouble and will not be able to post this week.

October 23, 2009

Telephoto Landscape

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Mistakes. We all make them. Most of the time when we make a mistake, it doesn't work out to good. Sometimes you get a pleasant surprise. Such as the case in the photo below of Expedition EVEREST taken from the bridge between Africa and Discovery Island. I had just finished walking the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail and had my camera in Aperture Priority mode and set to it's largest f-stop of f/2.8. That is best for taking animal portraits with and not landscapes. Well, I forgot and took this photo. I didn't realize what I had done until later when I was on the other side of the park. What do you think? Ideally, I would have used f/11 to f/16.

Expedition Everest telephoto landscape in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Expedition Everest Telephoto Landscape.
Nikon D70/70-200VR, 1/3200s, f/2.8, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 70mm Focal Length

Using a telephoto lens, even a short one, compresses the image captured by the camera's sensor. The compression worked here to keep the depth of field small enough to keep the image in focus almost from front to back. Remember, with my camera crop of 1.5x, this is the equivalent to a 105mm telephoto lens (70mm x 1.5). There is softness in the extreme areas and I wouldn't want to print this any bigger than an 8" x 12".

September 21, 2009

Whac a Packycephalosaur

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Dinoland Sign
Copyright © 2006 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50, 18-200VR lens, 1/400s shutter, f5, ISO 400

Here's Dinoland's version of Whack a Mole. Can you pronounce "Packycephalosaur"? Don't look at me, I'm still working on "Worcester"!

September 20, 2009

Where in the World #102

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #101:
 Where in the World #101

And here's the answer:
Pizzafari
Copyright © 2009 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200VR, 1/30s shutter, f/3.5, ISO 1600

This is Pizzafari in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Once again, I'm going to refer you to Jack's blog. He shared some interesting details about Pizzafari that you might not have noticed.

Karrie Duffey was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Karrie and all the other readers who got the answer right: Lee Anastasi, Sharon Lee, Ken Maikowski, Krista Penno, Wade A. Williams, Alissa Ammons, Tiffany Wakefield, J-brizzle, Henrietta Porter, Amanda Perkins, Jeffrey Dunne, Baines Family, Ken Fischler, Dolores Riccio, Madison Meyer, K. Beasley, Tom Tom Auckland, Angela Johnson, Brian Yesutis, Matthew And Danielle Murgia, Jodi Cook, Theresa Rucando, James Berry, Kathy Berry and Lauren Thomas. Each of you will be entered in the September winners' drawing.
_______________________________________________________________________

Challenge #102: Where in the world is this?

 Where in the World #102

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, September 24, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post. Remember to be specific with your answer - just naming a park will not get you into the drawing.

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies and a cool Disney book!

September 12, 2009

November Disney World Calendar

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer


This shot of Expedition Everest in Disney's Animal Kingdom was taken from the seating area of Flame Tree BBQ. It was a postcard perfect day!


You will need to have Adobe Reader on your computer to download the calendar(s). Just click on the photo to download the calendar you want.


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

November 2009 8.5x11 Calendar


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

November 2009 Jewel Case Calendar

September 8, 2009

Disney Pic of the Week - Cast Members

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Once again, we are showcasing Disney Cast Members on Pic of the Week. It's the Cast Members who make all the magic happen and therefore we felt it was only fitting that we should show them some love again. We only wish we had room to include all their photos!

Cast Member from Kilimanjaro Safari
Copyright © 2008 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200VR lens, .0099s shutter, f5, ISO 640

Last September, my friend Linda and I had a great time on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom. It was near the end of the day and not many people were in the queue so we were able to walk on three times in a row. This is Michael, the driver of the second truck we rode giving us a thumbs up for beating him to the station. I took this photo from the back of the third truck that we rode - that's just how empty the queue was!

August 20, 2009

White Stork Portrait

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

White Stork portrait on Discovery Island in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
White Stork portrait on Discovery Island.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/80s, f/5.6, 200 ISO, +0.3 EV, 200mm Focal Length

Discovery Island Trails are one of those Over-Looked Attractions you hear about. With a 200mm lens, you can get beautiful portraits of the animals and birds along them. This White Stork was a willing model and is my Disney Pic of the Week on Discovery Island.

If you don't know the animal or bird along any of the trails in Disney's Animal Kingdom, look around for a sign (like the one below) which will identify the animal and give you information on where it lives. It's also a good idea to take a photo of the signs so you'll be able to add captions of your Animal Kingdom photos at a later time.

White Stork informational sign in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
White Stork informational sign.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, 200 ISO, +0.3 EV, 34mm Focal Length

August 18, 2009

Disney Pics of the Week - Discovery Island

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Discovery Island is the central hub of Disney's Animal Kingdom and our theme for Pic of the Week this week. Here you'll find the Tree of Life, It's Tough to Be a Bug and the Discovery Island Trails. When you get hungry, check out Pizzafari or Flame Tree BBQ and then wander through the numerous shops to find a perfect souvenir.

 Flame Tree BBQ at Night
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50, 18-200VR lens, 4.2s shutter, f9

My favorite thing to do on Discovery Island is to wander around admiring the amazing artwork. You'll find it everywhere from inside the shops to the tops of the buildings, on the sides of carts and even tucked into the vegetation. There are beautiful carvings, colorful paintings and murals and gorgeous sculptures. One place I always take time to explore is the seating area behind Flame Tree BBQ. No need to worry about the ants getting your food when you eat in this pavilion - there are plenty of anteaters to keep them in check!

August 7, 2009

Everest Sun

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

One of the first things you learn in any basic book or course on photography is to keep the Sun at your back when taking an outdoor photo. Yet, there at times when having the Sun in your photo creates interesting light patterns, flare and, when stopping down the lens, star effect. Remember NOT to look directly at the Sun as that will cause damage to your eyes. Very carefully put the sun in a corner, lower or upper half of the frame. Use a small aperture in the f/16, f/22 or f/32 range to cut down the amount of light entering the camera when the shutter is pressed.

This is what I did when heading towards the summit of Expedition EVEREST in Disney's Animal Kingdom. The Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 ultra wide angle lens has a 9-bladed diaphragm and creates lovely stars of bright light sources at f/22 and you can't get much brighter than the Sun.

Sun near the summit of Everest in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Sun near the summit of Everest.
Nikon D70/Tokina 11-16, 1/400s, f/22, ISO 200, +0.3 EV, 11mm Focal length

I found this link to 25 Excellent Sun Flare Photography Examples showing some outstanding photos featuring the Sun. Here's more tips for achieving artistic lens flare. Have fun and be careful!

July 25, 2009

JORODI Masks

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Jorodi Masks and Beads display outside of The Tusker House in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Jorodi Masks and Beads.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/80s, f/4.5, 200 ISO, +0.3 EV, 24mm Focal Length

Waiting to enter the Tusker House restaurant for lunch, I spyed these JORODI Masks and Beads adding to the atmosphere of the restaurant and making an excellent Disney Pic of the Week in Africa.

July 23, 2009

Queen of the Jungle

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

 Lioness on Kilimanjaro African Safari
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50, 18-200VR lens, 1/250s shutter, f8

Usually when I take the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, I am lucky if I get a small glimpse of one of the lions. You can imagine how great it was to turn the corner and see this beauty lounging on the rock. She's my Pic of the Week for Africa.

July 6, 2009

September Disney Calendar

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

I just love the Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom. What an amazing collection of sculptures. I think it's especially spectacular at night. I hope you enjoy this month's calendar as much as I do.

You will need to have Adobe Reader on your computer to download the calendar(s). Just click on the photo to download the calendar you want.


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

September 2009 8.5x11 Calendar


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

September 2009 Jewel Case Calendar

July 4, 2009

Rhino Face-off

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

White Rhinoceros on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
White Rhinoceros fills the frame.
Nikon D70/70-200VR, 1/5000s, f/4, 400 ISO, -0.3 EV, 200mm focal length

One of the first things I remember when having my photos critiqued during a beginner's course in photography was to get in close and FILL THE FRAME! To this day, when someone asks me how to improve their photos, that is the first thing I tell them. It wasn't hard to get my Disney Pic of the Week Fill the Frame photo with this White Rhinoceros on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom. White Rhinoceros can weigh in between 1 and 4 tons with horns as long as 59 inches in the wild. Remember that when looking through your viewfinder on your next safari.

June 27, 2009

Tree of Life

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

The Tree of Life at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Copyright © 2009 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200VR lens, 1/15s shutter, f22

Here's my photo for the Tree of Life Pic of the Week. I took this on my last trip to Disney World in April (oh so long ago, she whimpers"). This size photo really does not do the tree justice. It appears much smaller here than it actually is. If you want to see more of the detail, like the carvings or a tiny bit of the waterfall, just click on the photo for a larger version. If you're a fan of the Tree of Life, be sure to come back for a night time view on the September calendar. It'll be posted on July 6.

June 23, 2009

Disney Pic of the Week: The Tree of Life

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

There are over 320 animals carved into the Tree of Life in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Not all of them can be found on the massive trunk and limbs of the tree itself. Many can be found along the trails which serpentine around the tree's roots like this beautiful giraffe carving and makes a suitable start to this week's Disney Pic of the Week theme on The Tree of Life.

A giraffe carving is found amongst the Tree of Life's roots in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Giraffe carving amongst the Tree of Life's roots.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/25s, f/11, 250 ISO, EV +0.3, 62mm Focal Length

Barrie and Lisa will be investigating other wonders of the Tree of Life on Thursday and Saturday.

June 12, 2009

Capturing an Empty Disney Park

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Walt Disney World hosts millions of visitors each year. There are always people about even during a slow period. Yet, you can take photographs without people in them. One way is to get low and shoot at an angle to eliminate people around you or find a way to elevate yourself over people's heads. Another way is to find scenes where people can not get to like the photo of the ceremonial canoe I found in Disney's Animal Kingdom near the Yeti Shrine.

Ceremonial Canoe in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.

Ceremonial Canoe near the Yeti Shrine.
Nikon D70/18-200VR 1/400s, f/16, 200 ISO, +0.3 EV, 150mm Focal length

I am a lightweight when it comes to getting truly empty photos of a Walt Disney World park. Let me introduce you to a true heavyweight, Tom Bricker (aka WDWFigment) has perfected empty Disney park photography. What he does is stay late at one of the parks...say, the Magic Kingdom until all the guests have left. He has seen the second Kiss Goodnight more times than I've been to Orlando (did you know there was a second one? Have you ever seen the first one?). Long after most guests are sleeping back at their resorts, Tom is getting photos only a paid Disney photographer normally gets a chance to shoot. Here are a couple of his favorites from the Magic Kingdom.

An empty Main Street USA during the Christmas holiday season in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
An empty Main Street USA during the Christmas holiday season by Tom Bricker.
Nikon D40, 5s, f/20, 200 ISO, +0.6 EV, 26mm Focal length

Tom talked about this photo, "Although the rain dampened the mood on portions of the (Mickey's Very Merry) Christmas Party, it sure did make for some pretty after hours shots (my first with "rain reflections"!)."

In this very unique photograph of the castle below, Tom explains why it is often overlooked. "Most people stop in awe when they first see the Castle on the other side of Main Street, USA. By the time they walk through the Castle to Fantasyland, a little of the amazement has worn off, and they are scurrying off to get in line at their favorite attractions. However, the back of the Castle shouldn't be overlooked. With its nuances and beautiful architecture, it is unique and awe-inspiring in its own right."

Cinderella Castle from Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Cinderella Castle from Fantasyland by Tom Bricker.
Nikon D40, 1.3s, f/3.8, 200 ISO, +0.6 EV, 22mm Focal length

Tom uses a tripod to obtain these fantastic photos. He freely admits breakfast is something he seldom eats when visiting Walt Disney World. So, are you up to the challenge of photographing an empty Disney park?

I would like to thank, Tom, for letting me share some of his wonderful Walt Disney World photography!

June 5, 2009

On-Ride Photos

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I do and I'm sure many of you do it. Using our cameras while on a Disney ride or attraction. In the past I've shared one on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Test Track. Please, if you attempt ride photography do not endanger yourself or anyone riding with you. I make sure I am securely in my ride vehicle and my camera is not going to leave my hands. I wrap my strap about my arms and neck to make sure.

It is a challenge. Rides are fast and bumpy or slow and dark or a combination of the two. People who enjoy Disney themepark photography try to outdo each other on flickr and many Disney boards as to who can get the best ride shots. Many openly admit that it takes some luck to get a good ride photo. Just as the one I took on Expedition EVEREST. This is a fast ride which is half done inside a dark mountain with a Yeti chasing you. I thought it would be fun to see what a wide angle lens could do on this ride. The result you see below.

A Yeti mural seen on Expedition EVEREST in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
A Yeti mural found in one of the caves of Expedition EVEREST.
Nikon D70/Tokina 11-16, 1/15s, f/9, ISO 400, EV -0.3, 11mm focal length

If you look at the shutter speed, you can see why I was lucky. There is a lot of motion blur in this photo but the mural of the Yeti is fairly steady even with the large contrast of the bright light coming from the cave opening. By the way, anyone know where on Expediton EVEREST this was taken? Leave a comment.

May 24, 2009

Where in the World #87

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #86:
 Where in the World #86

And here's the answer:
 Dawa Bar in Disney's Animal Kingdom
Copyright © 2009 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200VR, 1/125s shutter, f/11

For this week's answer, if you knew this photo was from Africa in Disney's Animal Kingdom Park then you are winners - nice going! These two chairs are actually sitting on the roof of the Dawa Bar in Africa. Some folks knew that, some said they were on the roof of Tusker House and some knew it was Africa, but didn't give me anymore detail than that. All of those answers made it into the drawing. For all of you who thought they were above Restaurantasaurus in Dinoland"� sorry, better luck next time. Great guess, but not quite close enough. And although the chairs are indeed in Animal Kingdom, I am definitely always looking for a bit more detail than just the name of the park. Make sure you give me some idea of where in the park a photo was taken if you want a chance at the fabulous prize package.


Tiago De Oliveira was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Tiago and all the readers who got the answer right: Kye Layton, Ken Jackson, Ann Fowler, Dawn Burns, Matt Cofone, Shannon Milair, Danusia Rogacki, Dawn, Krystal Thomas, April Ramey, Amy Rupp, David Coates, Melody Salemi, Jeremy Coto, Lee Anastasi, Denise Owen, Joy Johnston, Cameron Love, Michelle Thompson, Susan Thompson, Michael Joel Gainey, Kelley H, Scott Otis, Craig Canady, Karen Hotchkiss, Mary Mchenry, Michelle Roth-smoot, Lynn Barber, Bryan Fencl, Kathy Berry, James Berry, Kris Nixon, Tim Rachuba, Paul Moody, Mark Wagner, Brenda Baines, Marie Phillips, Aruna, Patrick Riley, Krista Penno, Ben Dameron, Becky Bean, Richard Nussbaum, Katie, Wendy Snelgrove, Heidi Summers, Bonnie Smith, Jennifer Schwing, Amy Smith, Sharon Dale and Brian Miller. Each of you were entered in the May winners' drawing.

In case some of you have been wondering how the monthly prize winner is chosen - it is totally random. I assign each winning entry a number based on the order in which the winning entries are submitted. The person who is the first to send in the correct answer each week gets their name entered into the drawing twice that week. At the end of the fourth week I enter the total number of entries into a random number generator and let the computer choose the winner for the month. This month's big winner is Melody Salemi! Congratulations Melody, you are the lucky recipient of a fabulous Disney book and some really cool AllEars schwag!

Good luck to everyone as we begin another month! Here we go"

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Challenge #87: Where in the world is this?

 Where in the World #87

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, May 28, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Comment link at the bottom of this post.

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
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Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies and a cool Disney book!

May 3, 2009

Where in the World #84

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

This was Challenge #83:
 Where in the World #83

And here's the answer:
Ticket Booth topper at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Copyright © 2009 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200VR, 1/250s shutter, f/.6

Have you ever looked closely at the tops of the ticket booths at Disney's Animal Kingdom? There are some beautiful carvings just above the gorgeous bougainvillea. Each of the three booths has a different menagerie of animals carved on it. Next time you're rushing in to get to the safari or Everest, take a minute to enjoy some beautiful artwork on your way.

Louise Barton was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Louise and all the readers who got the answer right: Caroline Dupre, John Dupre, Kye Layton, Jeremy Coto, Katarina Whitmarsh, Trish Babler, Kte Gillespie, Elizabeth Scarborough, Jamie Poynton, Bruce Hinterleitner, Aj Perras, Melissa Dye, Carinne Kight, Kelly Zanauskas, Christina Cella, Kate Lavoie, Liz Moreau, Double Family and Neil Taylor. Each of you will be entered in the May winners' drawing.

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Challenge #84: Where in the world is this?

 Where in the World #84

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, May 7, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Comment link at the bottom of this post.

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

Everyone who sends in a correct answer to a Where in the World Challenge this month will be entered in a drawing at the end of the month for some special AllEars® goodies and a cool Disney book!