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June 6, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Launch Bay

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The building I talked about last week was re-imagined into the Star Wars Launch Bay to promote the universe of Star Wars for past and future movies, animated series and other tie-ins. Inside you will find Star Wars movie models, wardrobe and props on display as well as video games based on the movies and Meet and Greets with famous Star Wars characters.

Star Wars movie models, wardrobe and props on display inside the Launch Bay at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Star Wars movie models, wardrobe and props on display inside the Launch Bay.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125, f/4, ISO 5000, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to with her Star Wars Launch Bay photo.

May 31, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Animation Courtyard

Deb's Digest Blog

Like everything else at the Studios, the Animation Courtyard has undergone a number of changes over the years.

At one time, you could get a glimpse as some very cool autographs and hand prints back in that area.

Jim Korkis wrote the story about these hand prints his blog: The Hidden Hand-prints of The Magic of Animation I was fortunate enough after reading about these to go and take photos of the hand-prints.

Here is one I really like by Ward Kimball:

animation-handprints-3.JPG

Sadly, this area no longer exists today. Does anyone know what happened to these hand prints and autographs?

May 30, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Animation Courtyard

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When Animation Courtyard first opened, it was home to the Art of Animation building which housed a working animation studio. I remember seeing Disney animators working on backgrounds for movies like Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast. Others animators would be inking cells for sale in Walt Disney World stores. It was a heady time as Disney Animation was coming out with hit after hit through the 1990's.

Over the years, computer animation technology became the norm and the Art of Anmation building lost its studio as Disney consolidated operations in their California studio. The building has recently been re-purposed but that is a story for next week.

Archway into the Animation Courtyard with the Art of Animation entrance in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Archway into the Animation Courtyard with the Art of Animation entrance from 2011.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/60, f/16, ISO 720, EV +0.3, 82mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her Animation Courtyard photo.

October 22, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week: Animation Courtyard

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Archway for the Animation Courtyard in Disney's Hollywood Studios reminds me of the old Hollywood Movie Lot entrances from the 1920's, 30's and 40's. Large, colorful and ornate structures to give an air of importance to the film industry. That bigger than life feeling the Studios of back then and today try to give their audiences.

Upon walking through the Animation Courtyard archway, you can visit the Disney TV stars in Disney Junior Live!, be immersed under the sea in the Voyage of the Little Mermaid or learn how animated features are brought to the screen in The Magic of Disney Animation.

Archway into the Animation Courtyard in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Archway into the Animation Courtyard.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 720, EV +0.3, 82mm focal length.

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

August 9, 2013

Details of Disney's Hollywood Studios

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Every Disney park and resort has many amazing details which help to immerse us guests into the theme of attractions, areas and entire parks. Disney's Hollywood Studios has numerous little details I am guessing many guests do not see or look for. Here are a few I found.

This golden Buddha statue is one of several found outside the Great Movie Ride reproduction facade of the Mann's Chinese Theater entrance.

One of several Buddha statues on the Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Flordia
One of several Buddha statues on the Great Movie Ride.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/80s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 300mm focal length.

An Animal lobby dust pan eats up the grim and dirt left behind by guests visiting Muppet Labs to see Muppet*Vision 3-D.

Animal Lobby Dust Pan in MuppetVision 3D at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Flordia
Animal Lobby Dust Pan in Muppet*Vision 3-D.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/3.5, ISO 5600, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

Fire Station No. 1 (the home of the fire truck that appears at the end of Muppet*Vision 3-D) can been seen if you look north from the entrance to Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano. I found it looking a bit unkempt.

Fire Station No. 1 in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Flordia
Fire Station No. 1 in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Flordia.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 150mm focal length.

Figures on the Animation Courtyard Archway depicting the filming of a Hollywood Western. Maybe the Lone Ranger (wink). You will find scenes like this on either side of the archway.

Figures on the Animation Courtyard Archway in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Flordia
Figures on the Animation Courtyard Archway.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/8, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 68mm focal length.

Next time you are walking around Disney's Hollywood Studios, look for those details Disney Imagineers have left for us to discover.

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!

September 10, 2010

New Gear!

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I want to first thank everyone who followed my trip down to Walt Disney World last weekend. I tweeted over 35 photos from my iPhone and many other tweets. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.

What I did not tell you last week was I was bringing my new camera and lens to the parks for the first time. I purchased a new-to-me Nikon D700 digital SLR camera and new Nikon 28-300VR lens. This is a tremendous upgrade from the Nikon D70 dSLR camera and 18-200VR lens I have been using for the past three years. The D700 is a full-frame camera with a larger sensor (12 Megapixels) and high ISO capabilities. The 28-300VR lens was designed for the full-frame Nikon digital cameras and is the same range in 35mm terms as the 18-200VR for cropped camera bodies.

For this week, I want to share with you some of the photos I took with the new equipment. If you have any questions, leave me a comment!

The larger sensor allowed me to crop this photo of the explosive finale in the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show in Disney's Hollywood Studios and not lose the the detail of the fire and water in the air.

Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show explosive finale in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show explosive finale.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/1600s, f/5.2, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 92mm focal length

The Nikon D700 technology is five years newer than the D70 and its photos take a lot less time in post production. In fact, this photo of Lotso from Toy Story 3 in the The Magic of Disney Animation tour is straight out of the camera except for a little sharpening.

Lotso from Toy Story 3 in the Animation building at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Lotso from Toy Story 3 in the Animation building.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/100s, f/4, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 28mm Focal Length

Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular begins with a low light scene where Indy locates a golden idol. In the past, I was limited to a maximum ISO of 1600 which was also very noisy. The D700 has little noise up to 3200 ISO and even as high as 6400 is very clean.

Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular scene at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Indiana Jones sizing up the golden idol.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV 0, 300mm Focal Length

While it is not the camera that creates the photos, new tools can help a photographer improve even more through technological improvements in their gear.

September 14, 2007

Photographic Innoventions: Color of Light

Not all light is pure white and will have a certain color temperature. Engineers express this in degrees Kelvin which you might have used in your high school physics or chemistry classes. Our eyes see color temperature as color casts like blue, green or red. Have you ever taken a picture and have it look bluish or greenish when you see it just fine? That is because your camera's White Balance setting sees color temperatures. Our brain "knows" what color you are looking at so it adjusts for color temperatures that are not too extreme. Digital cameras are getting better automatically adjusting white balance with each new model but they are not there yet.

What do we do to get the right color? Digital camera designers and engineers have given us several ways to adjust the white balance and even fine tune it. Depending on your camera, look up white balance settings in the manual. You should see similiar settngs as these with a brief description: Auto or AWB, Incandescent (sometimes referred to as Tungsten or Indoor), Daylight or Sunny, Cloudy, Flash, Shade and Fluorescent. On the camera itself, these different settings are represented by icons. You may want to copy this information and carry it with you for reference. Those icons can get confusing. On most digital SLRs, you can also fine tune these settings further. On my Nikon D70, I can adjust plus or minus up to 3. For example, I often use Auto -3, which gives me very vivid colors, especially reds and yellows. It can sometimes give me too much red as evidenced below in my photo of Ariel during the Voyage of the Little Mermaid stage show at the Disney-MGM Studios. Not only is her hair a flaming red so is her skin!

Click for Larger Image. Copyright © Scott Thomas Photography 2007
Ariel with bad white balance setting. © Scott Thomas Photography 2007
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/15s, f/5.6, 640 ISO, -1 EV, 150mm Focal Length

Another photographer, Mark Barbieri, shows us how to set the white balance correctly. Notice Ariel's skin color is what we see during the show and how I expect the Disney Imagineers wanted us to see her. I'd like to thank Mark for allowng me to use this photograph.

Click for Larger Image. Copyright © Mark Barbieri
Ariel with good white balance setting. © Mark Barbieri

As always, you should practice using each of the white balance settings. For instance, the Shade white balance setting will warm up colors in a scene as shade looks bluish to a camera. That doesn't mean you have to use it in shade, it will warm up a sunset just as nicely. Investigate how others are using their white balance settings on the camera you own. Photography forums have lots of information on creative uses of white balance.

Further Reading: How to Set White Balance

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About Animation Courtyard

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to Picture This! in the Animation Courtyard category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Echo Lake is the next category.

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