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May 5, 2017

Watch Your Edges at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Many new photographers make a common mistake of concentrating on their subject and not looking around the subject. Especially the edges of the frame. It is very easy to overlook objects and people creeping in from the sides, top and bottom of a camera's viewfinder edges.

Below is a photo of Spaceship Earth on a beautiful Flordia day. I turned around and focused on the big geodesic sphere and got the photo you see below.

Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spaceship Earth with Edge Distractions.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 125, EV 0, 16mm focal length.

Well, I looked at my camera's LCD to review the photo and saw all the edge distractions of palm tree fronds, tree branches and people walking past. Not what I remember shooting. To get the photo I really wanted, I moved out from underneath the trees and raised my camera's angle upward.

Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spaceship Earth without Edge Distractions.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm focal length.

This was the photo I wanted to capture at the time.

Let us review, I noticed all the edge distractions in the camera's LCD. I moved and changed the angle to Spaceship Earth and before pressing the shutter button, I checked all around the viewfinder to make sure I had elminated any distractions. This is good practise to do whenever you are photographing.

April 28, 2017

Geometrics at Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

An image having a strong organization of shapes and forms, which is essentially the geometric elements of the photo, will create a strong composition. When I think Disney and geometric elements, I think Epcot's Future World.

The architecture of the pavilions use many geometric shpapes starting with the triangles on Spaceship Earth. In fact there are 11,324 individual triangles which make up the exterior of Spaceship Earth. Each one is an isosceles triangle meaning two of the three sides must be of equal length.

Triangle surfaces make up the exterior of Spaceship Earth at Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Triangle surfaces make up the exterior of Spaceship Earth.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 1600, EV +0.3, 16mm focal length.

Looking at the glass structure of the Imagination pavillion, notice the steel framework. They are all parallelograms which repeat over and over.

Parallelograms framework on Imagination pavilion in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Parallelograms framework on the Imagination pavilion.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length, tripod, HDR Image.

Getting away from straight lines and angles, Epcot's Mission Space pavilion is more rounded with curves and spheres.

Curves and spheres of Mission Space in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Curves and spheres of Mission Space.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 450, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length.

You can find geometrics everywhere around us not just in Man-made structures but in Nature, too. Look for them the next time you are out photographing at Walt Disney World or in your backyard.

April 18, 2017

Disney PIc of the Week: Monorails

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

After a long and fun day at Epcot, seeing a monorail entering the station for the trip back to the Ticket and Transportation Center before heading to the Magic Kingdom to catch a late fireworks show is a very welcome sight. The seats are comfortable and the ride smooth.

Monorail Green entering the Epcot station, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Monorail Green entering Epcot station.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/160, f/6.3, ISO 1600, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length.

Raise your hand if you have ever fallen asleep on the Epcot to TTC track or visa versa. I know I have.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her monorail photo.

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.

March 29, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Photographers Choice

Deb's Digest Blog

Epcot's 25th Anniversary. One of my favorite photos from the re-dedication ceremony is this one of Disney Legend Marty Sklar with Spaceship Earth as the background.

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Hard to believe that was 10 years ago as Epcot celebrates 35 in October!

March 28, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Epcot at Night

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Night time in any Walt Disney World park or resort is magical. Use of lighting and shadows enhances the architecture's colors and shapes. The Morocco pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase is beautiful at night. The patterns found on the fountains and in the buildings is hard to pass up photographing them. The lighting after dark gives the buildings a golden color against the night sky. I tried to show this in the photo featuring the pavilion's water fountain and Koutoubia Minaret (prayer tower) raising high in the background.

Morocco pavilion at night in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Morocco pavilion at night in Epcot's World Showcase.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm Fisheye, 1/15, f/2.8, ISO 6400, EV 0.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her night time photo from Epcot.

March 24, 2017

More Epcot Yesterland: Rainbow Tunnel

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Looking through old prints for this week's Epcot Yesterland topic, I came across this photo of my daughters from 1998 in the Rainbow Tunnel or Corridor. This area was called ImageWorks and had all kinds of interactive activities for guests to enjoy.

Young guests in the Rainbow Tunnel in Epcot's Journey Into Imagination pavilion from 1998, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Young guests in the ImageWork's Rainbow Tunnel in Epcot's Journey Into Imagination pavilion from 1998.

Did you take a photo like this? I did not have a tripod with me back then so the colors are very muted here. Guessing I was using my trusty Nikon 8008s film SLR here with a 50mm lens.

March 21, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Epcot Yesterland

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Remember the hysteria as the year 2000 approached? People were worried computers would stop working and computerized systems from air traffic control towers to thermostats would cause all kinds of problems. I sure do as I was running the computer systems for a manufacturing company. Meanwhile, Disney proudly waved a Mickey-handed wand over Spaceship Earth proclaiming the coming of the 21st Century (even though technically it didn't start until 2001), I was holed up in my company's computer room just in case something happened. Luckily, nothing did and we all went on with our lives.

Not at Epcot, however, as I took this photo in October 2001, way after 2000 had come and gone. Do you remember what came after this?

Spaceship Earth with the Mickey wand from 2001 in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spaceship Earth with the Mickey wand of 2000.

Since digital, for me, was still a few years down the road, this was taken with a Nikon 8008s SLR camera and a Sigma 24-70mm lens as I used it until the lens literally fell apart.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Epcot Yesteryear photo.

March 15, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Test Track

Deb's Digest Blog
EXHILARATION!

Remember that very first time you rode Test Track??.

You exited the building and took off on the track, veering left and right, and ramping hard left as you went past the front of the building.....

test-track.jpg
WOOOOOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

March 14, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Test Track

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The "crash test" in Test Track is a cool way to exit out onto the high banks especially after it got the Tron Effect-like updates back in 2012.

Test Track pavilion in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Test Track pavilion in Epcot's Future World.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/250s, f/4, ISO 10000, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Test Track photo on our tour of Epcot's Future World.

March 8, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Journey Into Imagination

Deb's Digest Blog

I had the recent opportunity to examine the Journey Into Imagination Press Kit by Kodak and was able to scan the photos. See if you know the area of the pavilion this photo is from. Scroll down for answer. If only I had a digital camera back then.

jjji-press-photo.JPG

"The Magic Palette, one of several color video painting and drawing devices, entertains Dreamfinder and Figment as they experiment with the attractions in Image Works at Journey Into Imagination Epcot Center. The row of palettes is one of eleven different activities in the Image World, a hands-on special-effects area of the pavilion presented by Kodak"

March 7, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Imagination

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I was pleased when Disney decided to bring back my pal, Figment, to the Imagination pavilion. You can see him again inside the pavilion and outside, too.

Imagination pavilion in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Imagination pavilion in Epcot's Future World.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 560, EV 0, 26mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Imagination photo on our tour of Epcot's Future World.

March 1, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Universe of Energy

Deb's Digest Blog

Here's an interesting photo I found of the outside of the Universe of Energy. At one time, in the early 2000s, the Flower and Garden festival would feature larger than life insects and bugs. From spiders to bees, to lady bugs.. they were great sculptures to see.

Here is one in the water feature out front of the Universe of Energy.

JUNE3-0203-universe.jpg

February 28, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Universe of Energy

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Back when Epcot first opened in 1982, the concept of using solar panels to produce electricity was still a new and expensive proposition. The Universe of Energy's roof is filled with such panels which partially power the huge vehicles filled with guests through the attraction teaching when, where, how and what energy is.

Universe of Energy pavilion in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Universe of Energy pavilion in Epcot's Future World in HDR.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm Fisheye, 1/320, f/9, ISO 100, EV 0, Cropped.

Today, Tesla will soon be selling solar roofs which look no different then non-solar ones. "Now, that's progress!", to quote another famous Walt Disney created attraction.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Universe of Energy photo on our tour of Epcot's Future World.

February 24, 2017

Shopping Around Epcot's World Showcase

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Shopping in Epcot's World Showcase pavilions can be a lot of fun and very expensive. I prefer to "shop by camera" and to record items I find during my visits as the merchandise changes over time.

For instance, upon leaving the Frozen Ever After ride and entering Puffin's Roost shop in Epcot's World Showcase Norway pavilion, you come upon a wall display of framed prints and gifts for sale from the animated movie, Frozen. Something you would have not seen before the movie was released back in 2013.

Framed prints and gifts for sale in The Puffin's Roost inside the Norway pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Framed prints and gifts for sale in The Puffin's Roost.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm Fisheye, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 1100, EV +0.3.

Then, there are the timeless items for sale which have been in the shops since Epcot opened. Coo Coo Clocks inside the Der Bucherwurm store in the Germany pavilion have been ticking and coo coo-ing every time I have visited since 1983.

Coo Coo Clock for sale inside Der Bucherwurm store in the Germany pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Coo Coo Clock for sale inside the Der Bucherwurm store.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/40s, f/3.8, ISO 6400, EV 0, 32mm Focal Length.

What I enjoy seeing is how pop culture comes and goes throughout World Showcase. No where does it show more than the Mitsukoshi Department Store in the Japan pavilion where last year the Pokemon Go phenomenon was in full swing.

Pokemon plush toys for sale inside the Mitsukoshi Department Store in the Japan pavilion at Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Pokemon plush toys for sale inside the Mitsukoshi Department Store.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 1250, EV 0, 32mm Focal Length.

France is the home to many Disney classics including Beauty and the Beast. In the Galerie Des Halles shop you find all manner of souvenirs from Eiffel Tower replicas to shirts from the movie.

Shirt for sale found in Galerie Des Halles shop in the France pavilion at Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Shirt for sale found in the Galerie Des Halles shop.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 1400, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length.

And I did not spend a dime. Well, not exactly, I bought the shirt as a gift for my daughter. Happy shopping!

February 22, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Mission Space

Deb's Digest Blog

I'm the first to admit I am not a fan. I wanted to be! I always dreamed of going into space as a kid growing up with Mercury, Gemini and Apollo. I will say Mission Space allowed me to experience a rocket launch but that's about it. The rest is a blur.

Here's a nod to the past:

Fastpass-2004.JPG


Oh and if you want to check out my report "To Boldly Go Where I Will Never Go Again", here you are!

February 21, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Mission: SPACE

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

With clouds above, I used a set of 5 photographs from -2EV to +2EV to create a High Dynamic Range (HDR) image of Mission: SPACE in Epcot's Future World.

Mission: SPACE pavilion in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mission: SPACE pavilion in Epcot's Future World in HDR.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, f/16, ISO 220, EV 0, 19mm Focal Length, HDR Image.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Mission: SPACE photo on our tour of Epcot's Future World.

February 17, 2017

A Visit to Club Cool in Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

In 2005, Coca Cola re-imagined their popular Ice Station Cool in Epcot into Club Cool.

Last year I brought in my camera with a Fisheye lens attached to photograph the coolest club in Epcot. The entrance to the Coca Cola beverages has moved and its space has gotten a bit bigger. Still with same theme of serving International soda/pop/soda pop flavors and free to try, too.

Entrance to Club Cool in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Entrance to Club Cool in Epcot's Future World.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm Fisheye, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 450, EV 0.

Inside, there are soda fountain stations and cups to use for all to try out all those wonderful International flavors. As you can see, you have eight different flavors to try.

Inside Club Cool at Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Inside Club Cool at Epcot's Future World.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm Fisheye, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 2500, EV 0.

I did a 5-shot HDR set of photos and got some interesting effects. The software did a really good job for the most part with the moving people including the family trying out the sodas.

Inside Club Cool in HDR at Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Inside Club Cool in HDR at Epcot's Future World.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm Fisheye, f/2.8, ISO 2500, EV 0, HDR Image.

For anyone who may have never stopped in at Club Cool but, have heard about it, this is what it looks like. It is up to you to find out what it tastes like.

RELATED LINKS:
** Try the Beverly

** Disney Pic of the Week: Club Cool

** Beverly Strikes Again at Club Cool

February 15, 2017

Disney Photo of the Week: Living Seas

Deb's Digest Blog

While not an opening day attraction, the Living Seas grand opening was held in January 1986 with Michael Eisner, Diver Mickey Mouse and Diver Frank Wells.

In the early days of the Living Seas, you walked along banister lined curves that displayed historical photographs and artifacts of famous undersea explorations. Here was one the displays from the movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.

102-0266-living-seas.jpg


February 14, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: The Seas with Nemo & Friends

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Seas of the world are ever moving, always in motion. I really liked how Disney captured that trait of the sea at The Living Seas when it first opened and kept it with the re-imagined The Seas with Nemo & Friends in Epcot's Future World. The sign to the attraction sits in the middle of a rugged sea shore reminisent of the western United States. "Waves" randomly splash up onto the rocks around the sign. Sea Gulls from the movie, "Finding Nemo", declare nearby, "Mine, mine, mine" ad nauseam.

The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilion in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilion in Epcot's Future World.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Polarizer Filter .

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her The Seas with Nemo & Friends photo on our tour of Epcot's Future World.

February 10, 2017

Photographing a Disney Icon: Spaceship Earth

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I missed a Disney Pic of the Week a couple of week's ago. You know how it goes sometimes. I got busy, was traveling...yada, yada, yada...I ended up missing the post.

I want to make it up to you today. The one I missed was for Spaceship Earth. I figure it is my second most photographed object at Walt Disney World. Cinderella Castle being by far and away the first one. I went through my photos and found three different ways I photographed the big ball which I thought you would enjoy.

I talked about how to use objects for framing other objects awhile back. I even used a similar photo as this one. This was a wide angle photo I cropped in post-processing to bring everything in a little closer.

Spaceship Earth seen through the Red Torii Gate at the Japan pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spaceship Earth seen through the Red Torii Gate from the Japan pavilion.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/1000s, f/5.6, ISO 100, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Cropped.

When I looked over my shoulder while walking to World Showcase from Future World I saw this composition. I noticed how the trees along the walkway leads you right to Spaceship Earth behind the people, monorail rail and water fountain.

Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/1000s, f/8, ISO 100, EV 0, 122mm Focal Length.

In this last one, I liked the composition and the contrast between the living palm tree and the metal triangles of Spaceship Earth behind it.

Palm tree in front of Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Palm tree in front of Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 62mm Focal Length.

Hope you will forgive my transgression and this gives you some ideas on how to photograph other familiar subjects you know of.

February 8, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: The Land

Deb's Digest Blog

Like most of Future World, I get lost looking through my photo galleries for each pavilion and start remembering times past and things that would make me smile. I've always loved The Land, there is/was so much do to in one building. One of my favorite "original" attractions is still there, the Living with the Land boat ride. Although I do miss the live Cast Member narrating, change is inevitable and at least the attraction is still there. (Yes, I love Soarin' but I go back to the early days.)

There was one small "attraction" that was very cool back in the 2000s... the Junior Chef Program, presented by Nestle Toll House. A small area in the back of the pavilion was set up as a mini kitchen where a couple times a day junior chefs would make Nestle Toll House cookies.

This photo was taken November 2005. Does anyone have additional information about the Junior Chef Program? How long it was in the Land? Other specifics? Please share them in the comments below.

juniorchef.jpg

February 7, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: The Land

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The old adage when visiting Walt Disney World is to always look up when inside a pavilion, attraction and even shops. In The Land pavilion at Epcot's Future World, the huge atrium has balloons "floating" high above the seating area for the Sunshine Seasons food court. I have taken many photos of them from the walkways but never from directly below them until now.

Season Balloons in The Land pavilion in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Season Balloons in The Land pavilion.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm Fisheye, 1/125, f/2.8, ISO 100, EV 0.

Each of the balloons circling the Earth balloon depicts a season.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her The Land photo as we continue our tour of Epcot's Future World.

February 1, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Spaceship Earth

Deb's Digest Blog

From aerial photos we turn our attention to Epcot for several weeks. Today, Spaceship Earth!

Spaceship Earth is arguably the most photographed building in all of Epcot, perhaps only 2nd to Cinderella's Castle in all of Walt Disney World. I enjoyed going back through my gallery of photos. From beautiful topiary displays, the magical wands of "2000" and "Epcot", the Lights of Winter Arch, to the Fountain of Nations dancing water... there is much to love. And I haven't even talked about the attraction yet.

Here is one photo that just stood out to me as I looked through all my pictures:

spaceship-earth.jpg


January 18, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Epcot Aerial

Deb's Digest Blog

For this photograph, I was trying to find pictures I had taken while riding the monorail from the TTC that goes through much of Future World. Well, where most of those photos are remains a mystery.

However I did find this photograph of the original Test Track in my Test Track folder. This was certainly taken from the monorail as it circled Future World.

epcot-aerial.JPG

January 17, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Epcot Aerial

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The aerial subject this week is Epcot. I am recycling an image I took during Epcot's 30th Anniversary celebration which still represented much of what I remember seeing when I first visited 29 years prior.

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

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Epcot aerial photo.

January 3, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Best of 2016

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

As we begin 2017, Deb and I looked back and picked each other's favorite Disney Pic of the Week photo from 2016. I really liked a lot of them but after a few years of not being at Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival, this photo of a monorail cruisng over the colorful flower beds in Epcot kept catching my fancy. For me, it brings the two things I love most about being at Epcot: color and the promise of a bright future for all of us.

Monorail Yellow moves over the Flower and Garden Festival in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Monorail Yellow moves over the 2016 Flower and Garden Festival.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 180, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Favorite Disney Pic of the Week photo from 2016.

December 27, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Christmas at Disney

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I strongly recommend those coming to Walt Disney World for the first time during the holiday season to see a performance of the Candlelight Processional in Epcot. The Candlelight Processional is the telling of the Christmas story by a celebrity narrator with music sung by a mass choir and performed by a 50-piece live orchestra. The choir is made up of the Voices of Liberty, volunteer Disney Cast Members, who make up the "tree", and high school chorus' from all over the United States.

Candlelight Processional takes place in the America Gardens Theatre across from the American Adventure in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Candlelight Processional being performed at the America Gardens Theatre in Epcot's World Showcase.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/400s, f/3.5, ISO 3200, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Christmas at Disney photo.

November 18, 2016

Fisheye Awakening at Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Lately, when I want to use a prime lens these days at Walt Disney World, I put the Sigma 15mm f/2.8 Fisheye lens on my full-frame digital SLR. A Nikon D750 in my case. This is the third time I have featured this lens on the blog. Let's get started.

Spaceship Earth is my Cinderella Castle for Epcot. It is my second most photographed object next to the Magic Kingdom landmark. In this photo, I put it at the top third of the composition as I featured the flower bed as you walk into Future World from World Showcase. It's almost like Spaceship Earth is rising from behind the flowers.

Spaceship Earth rising behind a flower bed in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spaceship Earth rising behind a flower bed in Epcot.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 280, EV 0.

Next, I took a trip back in time. I mean way, way back with Ellen and Bill Nye the Science Guy in the Universe of Energy. The ride vehicles do not go very fast so I used 1/60th of a second shutter speed with the aperture set to wide open at f/2.8. The D750 can go as high as ISO 12,800. Lightroom did a good job of cleaning up the noise.

Dinosaurs inside the Universe of Energy in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Dinosaurs inside the Universe of Energy.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm, 1/60s, f/2.8, ISO 12800, EV +1.0.

Next, it was my first ride on Soarin' since they updated to a new flight plan. Disney does allow photography without a flash. I requested to sit in the middle of the three rows of seating on the "plane". With the fisheye, this allowed me to frame the photos using people's legs and feet.

Flying towards the Taj Mahal in Soarin' inside The Land pavillion at Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Flying towards the Taj Mahal in Soarin' inside The Land.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 6400, EV 0.

The Fisheye Lens is not for everything or everybody. I like to use it to get my creative photographic juices going as it does take forethought to use it correctly.

For reference, here are the other two blog posts on the Fisheye:

Fisheyed Disney

Return of the Fisheye Lens to Epcot

November 9, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Artisans

Deb's Digest Blog

For several years during Holidays Around the World, Reinhard Herzog set up his custom made glass ornament shop at Epcot's Germany pavilion.


The master at work:

artisan1.JPG

It is fascinating to watch the art of glass blowing as he took ground glass and made it into beautiful ornaments.

artisan3.JPG
artisan2.JPG

Do you have a favorite Disney artisan? Who is it?

November 8, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Artisans at Work

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Back in 2011, I had the pleasure of photographing the famed Disney character artist, Don "Ducky" Williams, during the "Everything's Just Ducky!" 15th Annversary AllEars.net Event in Epcot's Odyssey restaurant. He talked for nearly an hour all the while producing sketch portraits of Disney characters. It was a joy to watch a person who clearly loved his job. So much so that he keeps showing up years after his "retirement".

Don 'Ducky' Williams, famed Disney character artist, with a finished a portrait of Ariel during an event in Epcot's Odyssey restaurant, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Don "Ducky" Williams, famed Disney character artist, with a finished a portrait of Ariel during an event in Epcot's Odyssey restaurant.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/8, ISO 2500, EV 0, 200mm Focal Length, Bounced Flash.

Ducky makes the perfect person for the Disney Pic of the Week about Artisans at Work.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Artisan photo which will really blow you away.

November 2, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Gardeners

Deb's Digest Blog

I guess I have always been too fascinated watching gardeners at work at Walt Disney World, that I have very few photos of them.

As I looked back through my Flower and Garden festival pics, I came across this 2010 photo of Mother Nature herself! I mean, if she isn't the ultimate gardener, who is? And yes, her name tag says Mother Nature, so it must be so.

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November 1, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Gardeners

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

This week's theme was to focus attention to all those wonderful Gardeners who keep Walt Disney World looking colorful and lush from the resorts to the themeparks and the roadways in between. I did not find any photos of them in my archives nor did I locate any on my last trip. Instead, I will show you the results of one of my favorite locations in Epcot.

Behind Spaceship Earth, there is a garden which changes throughout the year. During the annual Flower and Garden Festival, it gets particularly colorful as it was last March.

Flower garden behind Spaceship Earth in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Flower garden behind Spaceship Earth in Epcot.
Nikon D750/Tokina 16-28mm, 1/50s, f/16, ISO 6400, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length.

I shall keep my eye out for WDW gardeners on future trips as I do enjoy the results of their fabulous work.

Tomorrow, Deb will share the quintessential gardener.

October 14, 2016

Lens Correcting inside the American Adventure

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I enjoy photographing with a Fisheye lens even when entering the American Adventure to listen to the Voices of Liberty.

Voices of Liberty performing in the American Adventure pavilion at Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Voices of Liberty performing in the American Adventure using a Fisheye Lens.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 4000, EV 0.

Many photo editors can "correct" distortions in many lenses including fisheye ones. To test this in my editor of choice, Adobe Lightroom CC, I opened up the Lens Correction brick. After enabling profile corrections, the software found and used the profile for the Sigma 15mm lens I photographed with. Using the profile, Lightroom cropped and rotated the image to straighten the curves created by the fisheye lens. The results you see below.

Voices of Liberty performing in the American Adventure pavilion at Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Voices of Liberty performing in the American Adventure with Lens Correction.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 4000, EV 0.

This is an extreme example but you get the idea. Check your software and see if it has Lens Corrections for any lenses you own.

October 11, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Food Preparation

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

There a few show kitchens at restaurants in Walt Disney World. None more unique than that in Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria in Epcot's Italy pavilion. There, you can see pizzas made from start to finish.

Chef making a pizza in Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria in Epcot's Italy pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Chef making a pizza in Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 1800, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

I have featured this photo before in a post called: Making Pizzas at Via Napoli.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Disney restaurant food preparation photograph.

October 5, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Cocktails

Deb's Digest Blog

I'm not much of a cocktail drinker, wine is my preference. However in the last few years I have acquired a deeper appreciation of fine bubbles :)

During a recent lunch at Chefs de Francein Epcot, I decided to begin with the Cocktail des Chefs - blanc de blanc sparking wine and black currant ($9.99), I found it quite refreshing and enjoyable.

A votre santé !
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September 21, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Ice Cream

Deb's Digest Blog

Recently I had the opportunity to sample 4 of the YUMMY ice creams sold at L'Artisan des Glaces. This great ice cream and sorbet store is located in the French area of World Showcase, Epcot.

Starting at the top center is the Mixed Berries sorbet. Following clockwise is the Cinnamon with Caramelized Pecan, their newest flavor which is Candied Peanuts with Chocolate, Peanut Butter Fudge and finally coffee!

I must say these were wonderful to taste!

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What is your favorite flavor???

September 20, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Ice Cream

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

On a typical warm weather day at Walt Disney World, what is the one dessert or snack everyone loves to get? Ice cream you say? I think most of us would agree.

At Tutto Italia restaurant in Epcot's Italy pavilion, if you do not want one of their Italian desserts, you may order an ice cream one with a crunchie, candied stick like my daughter did here.

Ice cream dessert at Tutto Italia restaurant in Epcot's Italy pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A guest with her Ice cream dessert at Tutto Italia restaurant.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5, ISO 1100, EV +0.3, 72mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her ice cream delight.

September 7, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Rocking Chairs

Deb's Digest Blog

A variety of locations came to mind as I thought about this week's focus, Rocking Chairs. There are those great chairs in Frontierland and Liberty Square that you can sit on and people watch. I think there were some at Aunt Polly's over at Tom Sawyer Island.

I'm sure other locations come to mind when you think of rocking chairs.

Here's one you probably didn't think about... I vividly remember the time I met Betsy Ross at the American Adventure. Her story was told as part of the 4th of July festivities back in 2010. Here are 2 photos featuring Betsy Ross and her rocking chair in the American Adventure Rotunda.

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I'm not sure if she appeared after that time, but I know I never saw her again.

August 26, 2016

My Walt Disney World Photography Kit

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Back in 2008, I showed and explained what photography equipment I bring and why to Walt Disney World. While the principles remain the same, my equipment has changed and for the better. Unlike most visitors, I take my photography in the resort very seriously. It is fun and challenging and brings an extra dimension to my trips.

Photographer in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Fully prepared photographer in Epcot.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

I still follow one rule: keep it light. My daily park kit consists of a Nikon D750 dSLR camera and Nikon 28-300VR super zoom lens using an Optech Sling Strap for comfort. I use a not-so-cool "fanny" pack to carry an extra camera battery, lens cleaning cloths, speedlight flash unit. a small prime lens (either a Nifty-Fifty or Fisheye). Sometimes I might switch out the prime for the Nikon 16-35mm f/4 VR wide angle zoom lens and a CPF or Circular Polarizing Filter. On days I plan to shoot a fireworks show or long exposure shots, I will bring my tripod and rent a locker to put it in until needed. Keeping the kit small helps to speed things up through Disney Security checks, too.

Other photographers I have been with have a slightly different view. They may bring a photographer's backpack with more lenses and and extra camera body. This allows them to pull out a big zoom lens for the safari and animal trails in Disney's Animal Kingdom or for use on stage shows at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

There are some photographers who are switching to the smaller camera kits like the 4/3 bodies and lenses which are even smaller and lighter then dSLR equipment and just as good.

Many are taking iPhones and other smartphone photography to new heights as the cameras get better and better each year and more powerful photography apps become available.

Just remember to have fun and enjoy your trip and let the photography enhance it.

August 19, 2016

September Trip and a Meet & Greet

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Got a couple of announcements to make...

I'M GOING TO DISNEY WORLD!

I may be closing in on 60 but I still get excited when I get to visit Walt Disney World. It's only been a few months and a lot has changed: Frozen Ever After opened in Epcot's Norway pavilion, new Star Wars fireworks show in Disney's Hollywood Studios, new restaurant and night time events at Disney's Animal Kingdom and a new castle show at the Magic Kingdom. Lots to cover and photograph. I will work on a Shot List (as mentioned in last week's post) over the next couple of weeks.

I am also taking suggestions. If you have something you would like me to photograph. I will feature it in a future blog post and explain how I did it. Tell me your suggestion in a Comment below.

Continue on after a short photographic break for the second announcement.

Hot air balloons above the Sunshine Seasons food court in The Land pavilion in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Hot air balloons above the Sunshine Seasons food court.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/4.5, ISO 5600, EV 0, 58mm Focal Length.

EPCOT ALL EARS MEET & GREET

I will be at the All Ears Meet and Greet on Friday, September 9, at the Sunshine Seasons in the Land. The meet starts at 10am and Deb will be there with lots of swagger..er, I mean All Ears Swag (aka freebies) and the ever popular Trading Cards to pass out to those attending. Also joining the fun are AllEars Team Members Jack Marshall, Kristin Ford and Linda Eckwerth! Click the link for the FaceBook event page for full details.

Looking forward to seeing some of you!

June 1, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Memorial Day

Deb's Digest Blog

This week's theme for Pic of the Week had me stumped. I did a few google searches for images and saw lots and lots of poppy flowers and flags at grave sites I looked through my Disney photos and found nothing that said Memorial Day to me.

Memorial Day is about remembering those who have died for our freedom, and there was a group in Epcot that always made me stop and pause, and remember.....

First, allow me to share a very small bit about the history of Memorial Day and then use a bit of "photographer's license" to use a photo from Disney that reminds me of Memorial Day.

Did you know that Memorial Day was in response to the huge loss of life of the Civil War. "Gen. Logan, commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of Union veterans made it official. On May 5, 1868, he issued General Orders No. 11, which set aside May 30, 1868 "for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion."

Did you know that on Memorial Day, it is customary for the the US flag to fly at half staff until noon, ad then be raised until sunset?

My photo selection is of the American Adventure Fife and Drum corp. (I know they represented a different era but I said I was using "photographer's license", remember? )

Every-time I heard them play I would stand and watch. It always made me feel very patriotic. I always took a few moments to thank those who have died fighting for our freedom!

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May 20, 2016

Narrow Your Focus at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Another way to improve your photos at Walt Disney World and elsewhere is to use Selective Focus (click this link for details on how to create it). Most people try to put the foreground subject in sharp focus with this method. One can also put the foreground in soft focus and let the subject in the "back" of the frame be in sharp focus. People viewing such an image will gravitate to the area of sharp focus. Another way a photographer can control how an image is viewed.

The three ovens in Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria in Epcot's Italy pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The three ovens in Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria in Epcot's Italy pavilion.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/60s, f/1.8, ISO 400, EV +0.7.

Notice how the unfocused area leads the eyes to the three ovens in the Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria in Epcot's Italy pavilion. Here is some trivia for you. The ovens are named after volcanos in Italy. They are from left to right: Stromboli, Vesuvio and Etna.

Using my favorite lens, the Nifty-Fifty, I can even create an out of focus vignette if you have enough foreground and background elements like the photo of a Mickey Mouse golf ball found in a basket of golf balls at the World of Disney store in Downtown Disney Disney Springs.

Mickey Mouse golf ball at the World of Disney store in Disney Springs, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mickey Mouse golf ball selectively focused on at the World of Disney Store.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/125s, f/1.8, ISO 220, EV +0.3.

Selectively focusing on subjects is a fun way to give your photography a boost.

April 27, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Trees

Deb's Digest Blog

Who remembers this Orange Tree that used to appear during the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival in World Showcase??

Here is what the placard explained: "Sun and Citrus: From 1643-1715, France was ruled by King Louis XIV. Known as the Sun King, he is also recognized for building the infamous Palace of Versailles, which houses one of the most magnificent orangeries in Europe>"

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April 20, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Flower and Garden

Deb's Digest Blog

I must have hundreds of photos of Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival. The American Adventure had a great patriotic display in 2002. It featured American Flags, Stars, and Mickey and Minnie. This is one of my favorite Flower and Garden Displays. Enjoy this look back.

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April 19, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Flower and Garden Festival

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Each year's Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot features a different display in front of Spaceship Earth. in 2016, Daisy Duck was part of the display with her own vegetable stand.

Daisy Duck's vegetable stand in front of Spaceship Earth at Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Daisy Duck's vegetable stand in front of Spaceship Earth.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 280, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Intensify CK.

Deb will show you patriotic Flower and Garden pics tomorrow.

April 15, 2016

More Topiaries from Epcot's Flower and Garden Festival

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

This week's Disney Pic of the Week theme was Topiaries. A topiary is a shrubs or trees clipped into ornamental shapes. Disney landscape artists have been using topiaries since the early 1960's at Disneyland. The annual Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot gives these artists a larger venue to show, astound and thrill Walt Disney World guests with topiaries both big and small.

Earlier this week, I shared with you one of the biggest topiaries: Dragon in China. Today, I am going to show you others I found as I walked around World Showcase during the 2016 edition of the Flower and Garden Festival.

As you approach Canada from Future World, topiaries of Bambi (deer), Thumper (rabbit) and Flower (skunk) from the animated feature, Bambi, greet you. It is a delightful scene of youth and merriment as Bambi watches his friends in a field of flowers. To include the Canada pavilion's Hotel du Canada in the background to tell the viewer where the photo was taken, I used a small aperture of f/16 and focused on the closest topiaries of Thumper and Flower about a third into the frame. This creates a hyperfocal photo where everything is in focus from the front (bottom) to the back (top) of the scene (click the link for more information on Hyperfocus).

Character topiaries from the movie, Bambi, near the Canada pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Bambi, Thumper and Flower topiaries near the Canada pavilion.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 280, EV 0, 18mm focal length.

The topiaries in the United Kingdom featuring Peter Pan overlooking Captain Hook from the top of a building got me to thinking how to best capture the scene. If I moved way back, I would get both of the characters in and probably a lot of my fellow guests as well. As much as I adore all of you, I decided to get in close with a wide angle lens, get on my knees in front of Captain Hook and angle my camera upwards. The result you see below. Again, using the hyperfocal technique, the composition has a nice anchor with Captain Hook standing in a bed of flowers and Peter Pan high above on the roof with a beautiful blue sky behind him.

Character topiaries from the movie, Peter Pan, in the United Kingdom pavilion of Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Topiaries of Peter Pan and Captain Hook in the United Kingdom pavilion.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 220, EV 0, 22mm focal length.

As a "rule", photographers are told NOT to photograph into the Sun (or any bright light source). Like all good rules, however, this one was made to be broken. While I photographed both the Cogsworth and Lumiere topiaries in the France pavilion various ways, it was the photo you see below which I found the most interesting. The large Sun with the star effect shining down did put the topiaries into dark shadows.

I used photo enhancing software from Macphun called Intensify CK for Mac computers to pull out the details and colors of the topiaries and balance out the bright sunlight. I got in low in front of good old Cogsworth to get most of the people enjoying the area out of the frame. There are several kinds of photo enhancement software products on the market for both Macs and PCs which can do similar effects.

Character topiaries from the movie, Beauty and the Beast, in the France pavilion of Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cogsworth and Lumiere topiaries in the France pavilion.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 220, EV 0, 16mm focal length, Intensify CK.

Earlier this week, Deb showed you the Snow White and the Dwarfs topiary in a different location from 12 years ago. This year, Snow White and her band of merry Dwarfs are found in between Germany and France near the World Showcase Lagoon. Comparing the two photos, you can see how Disney landscape artist have given the faces on the topiaries a far more animated look including eyes, noses, mouths, lips and hair in the case of Snow White in today's versions.

Character topiaries from the movie, Snow White, near the Germany pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Snow White and the Dwarfs topiaries near the Germany pavilion.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/250s, f/9, ISO 100, EV 0, 23mm focal length.

If you want to learn more about the history of Disney topiaries, click here for an article by Disney historian Jim Korkis.

April 12, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Topiaries

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Each year during the annual Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot, Disney brings out many topiaries to decorate both Future World and World Showcase.

The topiaries come in many sizes from very small to extremely large like the Dragon I photographed in Epcot's China pavilion in front of the scaled replica of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest.

Dragon topiary in front of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest in the China pavilion at Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Dragon topiary in front of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest in the China pavilion.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 25mm Focal Length, Intensify CK.

Last week's theme was Spring and I missed posting it so I have added it for this week. So you get a Two-fer from me today.

When I think of Spring at Walt Disney World, the first thing that comes to mind are the floating flowers in the ponds between Epcot's Future World and World Showcase. Thought I would throw in a monorail in Spring yellow, too.

Monorail Yellow moves over floating flowers in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Monorail Yellow moves over floating flowers in Epcot.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/250s, f/16, ISO 160, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length.

Deb will travel back in time for her topiary photo tomorrow.

April 8, 2016

More Food Compositions at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I am back with another edition about Disney Food Photography. It has been a year since a wrote that last article about phtographing the foods at Walt Disney World and beyond. This time I want to talk about how I include little extras which add interest or help to tell a story.

First, it is always a good thing to get close to your main subject. At Teppan Edo in Epcot's Japan pavilion, the food is prepared right in front of guests. Using a short zoom lens, I was able to get in close to one of the wonders of any meal there, the Onion Volcano as it was erupting. The softly focused guests in the background add a fun element.

Onion volcano erupting at Teppan Edo restaurant in Epcot's Japan pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Onion volcano erupting at Teppan Edo restaurant in Epcot's Japan pavilion.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/100s, f/5.6, ISO 400, EV 0, 52mm Focal Length.

Restaurants at Disney can have cluttered backgrounds with guests dining and tables waiting to be bussed. Using bounce flash, you can pull your subject out of the background. When I dine at Kona Cafe in the Polynesian Village Resort, I get Tonga Toast. My Son-In-Law prefers the Big Kahuna Breakfast. Using a person traveling with you adds interest and delights your family and friends.

Big Kahuna breakfast entree at the Kona Cafe in the Polynesian Village Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Big Kahuna breakfast entree at the Kona Cafe.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 900, EV -0.3, 28mm Focal Length, Bounced Flash.

Not every time do I take a photo of food inside the location I purchased it from. Especially if it is a beautiful morning in Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland. There, I got one of Gaston's Tavern's warm cinnomon rolls and a cold milk to wash it down with. I placed the food on an outside table and used a wide focal length to include the entrance to the quick service restaurant in the background.

Warm cinnamon roll and cold milk from Gaston's Tavern in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Warm cinnamon roll and cold milk from Gaston's Tavern.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 180, EV +0.3, 28mm Focal Length.

I have a lot of fun photographing the food and restaurants at all Disney venues. For one thing, people do not mind you doing it in Disney restaurants as most people are doing the same thing with their cameras and smart phones. Secondly, I enjoy people telling me how my photos help them consider eating at a particular restaurant on their trips to Disney parks and resorts. I hope you do to.


March 18, 2016

Flower and Garden Festival Monorails

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Colorful flowers on land and water at the annual Flower and Garden Festival in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Colorful flowers on land and water at the annual Flower and Garden Festival.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 160, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length, Panorama.

I spent a day recently at Epcot's annual Flower and Garden Festival. I wanted to capture the beauty and color of the festival. Above, I used four photographs stitched together to create a panoramic. As much as I like this photo and it does show how colorful Epcot gets, it is missing an important element which would make you think "That's Epcot" immediately. In the photos below, I waited and captured it.

Monorail Yellow moves over the Flower and Garden Festival in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Monorail Yellow moves over the Flower and Garden Festival.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 180, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length.

Monorail Yellow was a bit shaded and I dodged (lightened) it a little to pull out its color. After taking this photo, I walked over to the path between the Imagination pavilion and World Showcase to get a front lighted photo of the next monorail. Notice the difference in the exposures.

Monorail Green moves over the Flower and Garden Festival in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Monorail Green moves over the Flower and Garden Festival.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 100, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length.

Monorails come through the Epcot loop more or less on a regular basis. A lot depends on how busy the parks are as to how often you see a monorail moving overhead as you walk around Future World. On this day, these two monorails ran ten minutes apart.


March 16, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Yesterland Epcot

Deb's Digest Blog

I love Walt Disney World history and so I was very excited when my friend Kay told me she had found a huge collection of her WDW photos from the 1980s! Here's some information on Epcot's Daredevil Circus 1987-1988.

One of the finds were photos of Elephants in Epcot! Kay remembered there was a Daredevil Circus that not only included the elephants but also trapeze acts and much more.

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As we talked I recalled a flyer I had from the 80s which talked about the circus.

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A google search turned up several articles on the Daredevil Circus as well as some video.
One of the articles I found, written by Lenn Millbower a former Cast Member, actually called it a "spectacular disaster" due to the tremendous amounts of problems with the show.

"That’s why, those of us who worked in Future World at Epcot in the 1980s —this Examiner was an operations lead—were surprised to learn that the beloved CommuniCore Fountain would be torn up and replaced with a stage for a circus so it could support “36,000 pounds of elephant pachyderm.” We were also told that the beautiful fountain would never return. ... And the fountain? It was rebuilt and runs to this day." (http://www.examiner.com/article/a-ground-level-view-of-the-epcot-daredevil-circus-spectacular-disaster)

Here is one the the Disney Photos that was used in promotion of the show:

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Here are links to the videos I found on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j3pTRxr4U58
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gw8tQZUuZdE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hY58CMPYYBo

So while this Yesterland Epcot blog does not contain my own photos, I hope you will find the information as interesting as I did.

March 15, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Yesterland Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Of all the changes that has occurred at Walt Disney World since I started visiting back in 1983, Future World in EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow) as it was known then has changed the most. In my opinion, not for the better. I remember it as a place of hope and openess. The plazas around the lands were open just like I envisioned future cities to be. The monorails moving quietly overhead and around the futuristic buildings. Walking through the gates and up to Spaceship Earth's geodesic sphere was humbling and exciting. Today, the plazas have been closed in with paths and the Leave a Legacy stones. I hear guests thought the openess made the park feel to large and intimdating.

I really miss the EPCOT symbol water sculpture in front of Spaceship Earth. Today, there is nothing but a rock water fountain. While it is nice, I feel there should be something more there...like it was in 1989.

Epcot symbol water sculpture in front of Spaceship Earth in 1989, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Epcot symbol water sculpture in front of Spaceship Earth in 1989.

Tomorrow, Deb is combining her Yesterland's posts for the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. Some really cool stuff!

March 1, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Macro

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I do not own a Macro (or Micro in Nikon speak) lens and have never brought one to Walt Disney World. It would be interesting to explore Disney through such a lens. Imagine the detail you could find with one.

Like last week, you can get a Macro like image by cropping which is what I did below with the butterfly I found one day in Epcot's World Showcase. With insects, you have to be patient and wait for them to stop moving long enough to get a good, sharp image.

Butterfly on a flower bush in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Butterfly on a flower bush in Epcot's World Showcase.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV 0, 300mm focal length, cropped.

In the past on my personal photography blog, I have explored a few ways to create Macro images: Close Up Photography 101

I rented a true Macro (Micro) lens once, too: Weekend with Macro

Here are more Macro tips: Quick Overview of How to do Macro Photography

Many smartphones and cameras today have Macro capabilities and settings. Check to see if your's does.

Deb will share her peek at a small world tomorrow.

February 23, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Panorama

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I have written about how to create a proper panorama photo in the past and how NOT to create them. I did fail to mention the easiest way to create what I call pseudo-panoramics.

A pseudo-panoramic is done by cropping an image taken with a wide angle lens in a panoramic aspect ratio like 16x9 or 18x6. While you could use any lens to do this, a wide angle image works out better. The photo below of Epcot's Spaceship Earth at night was done in the 16x9 ratio or sometimes referred to as the HD (High Definition) ratio as that is the ratio used for High Definition televisions.

Spaceship Earth at night in Ecpot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spaceship Earth at night in Ecpot's Future World.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 10s, f/16, ISO 200, EV -1.0, 16mm focal length, cropped.

Many smartphones and cameras today have panoramic modes. Look to see if your's does.

Deb will share her panorama tomorrow.

February 12, 2016

Illuminations at 28mm

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

On my last trip to Walt Disney World, I went light by only bringing the Nikon AF-S 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G VR lens. At 28mm this lens is not as wide as I would like to photograph Illuminations, I found this pleasing composition back when photographing at last December's All Ears event.

Illuminations Holiday Tag in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Illuminations Holiday Tag at 28mm.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 6s, f/11, ISO 100, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length, Tripod.

As you can see there are a few fireworks at the top giving a nice framing effect.

Just before the grand finale, I took this "fast" photo. Being in Bulb mode, this was a very quick open and close of the shutter.

Illuminations Holiday Tag in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Illuminations Holiday Tag at 28mm.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 3/5s, f/11, ISO 100, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length, Tripod.

The next frame was totally blown out as the air was filled with white fireworks.

Even though I did not have the best lens with me, I made the best of it by finding a composition I liked. Hope you did, too. Click here to see a wider view of Illuminations.

February 5, 2016

Return of the Fisheye Lens to Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Back in 2013, I wrote about my ideas for using a Fisheye lens. What I did not say was how easy it was to leave the Fisheye lens on the camera. Case in point was this day in Epcot. My family started the day with a FastPass+ at Test Track. I had an idea for the Fisheye lens for ride shots. Why I was not thrilled with the ride photos I got, I did really like using the Fisheye on the cars in the show room area of the attraction.

Chevrolet Corvette on display inside Test Track in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Chevrolet Corvette on display inside Test Track through a Fisheye lens.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm, 1/25s, f/4, ISO 6400, EV 0.

After Test Track, we walked across the plaza on our way for our lunch dining reservation and I could not resist this photo. It is not often I have gotten such nice clouds in the middle of a Florida day on my visits.

People walk past Pin Central in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
People walk past Pin Central through a Fisheye lens.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm, 1/640s, f/8, ISO 100, EV 0.

Call me lazy or creative but I left the Fisheye lens on my camera for our lunch at the Garden Grill in The Land pavilion. I especially liked how the distortion of the lens worked with Pluto's nose.

A couple gets a hug from Pluto in the Garden Grill restaurant in Epcot's The Land pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A couple gets a hug from Pluto in the Garden Grill through a Fisheye lens.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 5600, EV 0.

What's a day at Epcot without a monorail photo? Right, not a good one so here it is. Yep, never did take the Fisheye off as we headed out of the park.

Monorail Green heading into Epcot over the entrance to the park, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Monorail Green heading into Epcot through a Fisheye lens.
Nikon D750/Sigma 15mm, 1/320s, f/8, ISO 100, EV 0.

One of the best exercises a photographer can do is take a prime (non-zoom) lens and use it all day. If the prime lens happens to be a Fisheye lens, then enjoy the day!

January 15, 2016

Framing the Gates of Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Unlike framing a picture to hang on a wall, using a "frame" in your photographs is very different. By doing so you give the image added depth, leads the viewer to the main subject and gives the photo context and sense of place. This is especially true with architectural subjects like arches or gates. Epcot's World Showcase has two excellent ways of using a frame in a photo to do all of the above.

In the waters of World Showcase Lagoon at the Japan pavilion, Spaceship Earth can be seen and framed through a red Torii Gate. To keep everything in focus I used an aperture of f/16 and set my distance so the Torii Gate was about one third into the frame. I underexposed it slightly by setting my exposure compensation or EV to -0.3. This brought out the colors in the scene.

Does anyone know what type of focus this is called? First person to answer correctly in the comments will win an 8x10 print of the Red Torii Gate photo below. Hint: I have wrote about it A LOT! [We have a winner of the Torii Gate print! No more comments will be accepted. Thank you all for participating!]

Spaceship Earth framed by the Red torii gate in the Japan pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spaceship Earth framed by the Red torii gate in the Japan pavilion.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 360, EV -0.3, 28mm focal length.

In the China pavilion, the very ornate Paifang Gate in front of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest is another place you can use framing in a photo. Here I waited until night and long after Illuminations: Reflections of Earth was over. This gave me a scene without other guests around. Using a tripod, I set up in front of the gate and waited for a few guests to move before using a long shutter speed of 30 seconds to pull in all the light and detail of the scene.

To continue the fun, the first person to post a comment telling me why the number "12" is of significance in the China pavilion wins an 8x10 print of the Paifang Gate below. [We have a winner of the Paifang Gate print! No more comments will be accepted. Thank you all for participating!]

Paifang Gate in front of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest at night in the China pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Paifang Gate in front of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest at night in the China pavilion.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 30s, f/11, ISO 100, EV 0, 28mm focal length, tripod.

Both of these locations are Nikon Picture Spots and for all the reasons I have talked about here. Next time you are out photographing, look for opportunities to use a "frame" in your composition.

December 29, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Goodbye to 2015

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

As the Norway pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase prepares for Frozen Ever After, we bid goodbye to the Maelstrom boat ride through Norway's lore, wildlife and off shore oil platforms. Before boarding the longboats, the queue was overlooked by huge murals giving a preview of the ride's scenes.

Mural in the queue to ride the Maelstrom in Epcot's Norway pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mural in the queue to ride the Maelstrom.
Nikon D70/50mm, 1/20s, f/2.2, ISO 1600, EV +1.0.

Deb will be here tomorrow to give her Goodbye to 2015.


December 11, 2015

Celebrating 20 Years of All Ears

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

All Ears founder Deb Wills celebrated her 20th year since launching her website featuring information about Walt Disney World last weekend. I attended two of the anniversary events starting with the Anniversary Adventure held in Epcot on Saturday.

All Ears guests checked in for the event and received their name tags and lanyards to give them access to the American Adventure pavilion later that evening.

All Ears staff members check in guests in front of the American Adventure pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
All Ears staff members Glo (third from left) and Cathy (far right) check in guests in front of the American Adventure pavilion before the Anniversary Adventure on Saturday, December 5, 2015.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.8, ISO 180, EV +0.3, 35mm Focal Length.

First, the group was escorted over to the America Gardens Theatre for a performance of the Candlelight Processional with Whoopi Goldberg as the narrator.

Whoopi Goldberg narrates the Candlelight Processional in the America Gardens Theatre at Epcot's World Showcase on Saturday, December 5, 2015, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Whoopi Goldberg narrates the Candlelight Processional in the America Gardens Theatre on Saturday, December 5, 2015.

After the Candlelight Processional, people attending the event were welcomed by All Ears founder, Deb Wills, and Mouse Fan Travel President, Beci Mahnken, as they entered the American Adventure to enjoy a buffet dinner under the rotunda of the pavilion.

Deb Wills and Beci Mahnken welcome guests to the rotunda of the American Adventure and the start of the Anniversary Adventure on Saturday, December 5, 2015, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
All Ears founder, Deb Wills (on left), and Mouse Fan Travel President, Beci Mahnken, welcome guests to the rotunda of the American Adventure and the start of the Anniversary Adventure celebrating 20 years of AllEars.net and 10 years of Mouse Fan Travel on Saturday, December 5, 2015.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 1600, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length, Bounce Flash.

Deb kept promising special surprises for the night and one of them came out and took the stage. The a cappella group, Voices of Liberty, entertained us with a set of classic and international Christmas and holiday songs.

Voices of Liberty perform during the All Ears 20th Anniversary event in the American Adventure at Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Voices of Liberty perform during the All Ears 20th Anniversary event in the American Adventure.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/160s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV 0, 32mm Focal Length.

Another surprise was the arrival of Scrooge McDuck, Donald Duck's Uncle, who posed for photos with the guests.

Scrooge McDuck made a special appearance during the All Ears 20th Anniversary event in the American Adventure at Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
All Ears founder Deb Wills and All Ears Editor Deb Koma pose for a photo with Donald Duck's Uncle, Scrooge McDuck.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 1600, EV 0, 55mm Focal Length, Bounce Flash.

With dinner over, we were all escorted behind the Disney Traders shop for an Illuminations Dessert Party. I enjoyed a comfortable seat as I photographed on the rail using a tripod and remote shutter release. This time of year, Disney adds what is called the Holiday tag. If you have never seen it, look for it on youTube. Here is a part of it.

Illuminations: Reflections of Earth Holiday tag fireworks in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Illuminations: Reflections of Earth Holiday tag fireworks.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1.6s, f/11, ISO 100, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length, Tripod.

After Illuminations, the group then went on Soarin' while I took advantage of the time to photograph around World Showcase for future blog posts.

The next day, the All Ears crew convened for a Meet and Greet on the Tomorrowland Terrace in the Magic Kingdom. These are always fun and people can talk with All Ears authors like Hidden Mickey guy, Steve Barrett, founder Deb Wills, editor Deb Koma and others.

Steve Barrett poses for a photo with Deb Wills during a Meet and Greet event on the Tomorrowland Terrace in the Magic Kingdom on Sunday, December 6, 2015, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Steve Barrett, poses for a photo with All Ears founder, Deb Wills, during a Meet and Greet event on the Tomorrowland Terrace in the Magic Kingdom on Sunday, December 6, 2015.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 360, EV 0, 100mm Focal Length, Bounce Flash.

The highlight of many a Meet and Greet: the group shot.

Fans of All Ears gather during a Meet and Greet event on the Tomorrowland Terrace in the Magic Kingdom on Sunday, December 6, 2015, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Fans of All Ears gather during a Meet and Greet event on the Tomorrowland Terrace in the Magic Kingdom on Sunday, December 6, 2015.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/50s, f/5.6, ISO 400, EV 0, 50mm Focal Length, Bounce Flash.

I now know how to make a group of Disney nuts excited. You just have to promise them a free Disney cruise. Not that they got one. ;-)

Another milestone was reached for All Ears. On to the next one in five years.

December 8, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: All Ears 20th Anniversary

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Attended the All Ears Net/Mouse Fan Travel Anniversary Adventure inside the rotunda of the American Adventure at Epcot's World Showcase. Surrounded by lovely holiday garland and wreaths, me and a couple hundred guests enjoyed a buffet and special holiday performance of the Voices of Liberty, an a cappella group, singing Christmas Carols from around the World.

Voices of Liberty perform during the All Ears 20th Anniversary event in the American Adventure at Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
All Ears fans and guests enjoy a performance of the Voices of Liberty during the All Ears 20th Anniversary event in the American Adventure.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length bounce flash.

As always, Deb and her crew put on a wonderful event.


November 13, 2015

Photographing the American Adventure in Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Photographing the American Adventure audio-animatronics show in Epcot's World Showcase is just like photographing one with live performers. Disney lights their shows the same regardless of the kind of performers. Very moody with bright areas used to focus the audience's attention where the show's producers want them to.

I set my camera up to use Spot Metering and put the spot right on the brightest part of a scene. That is usually one of the performers. In the case of the American Adventure, they are audio-animatronic performers. The rest of the stage may go very dark. This is fine though are cameras are not as good as our eyes. I opened up the background in the photo below of Thomas Jefferson reading the opening sentences of the Declaration of Independence to Benjamin Franklin to show the words behind them better.

Thomas Jefferson reads to Benjamin Franklin during the American Adventure audio-animatronics show in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Thomas Jefferson reads the opening sentences to the Declaration to Benjamin Franklin during the American Adventure audio-animatronics show.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/80s, f/4, ISO 6400, EV 0, 24mm focal length.

Check your camera's LCD early, you may have to adjust your shutter speed if there are too many "hot spots" or "blinkys" occuring. If changing the shutter speed results in ISOs which are too high, adjust the Exposure Compensation (EV) button to dial in the correct exposure.

In the scene inside the Great Hall in Philadelphia at the Centennial International Exhibition of 1876 with Mark Twain and Alexander Graham Bell, there is better lighting on Mr. Bell than Mr. Twain but spot metering worked perfectly to capture them.

Mark Twain and Alexander Graham Bell in the American Adventure audio-animatronics show in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mark Twain and Alexander Graham Bell in the Great Hall in Philadelphia at the Centennial International Exhibition of 1876 during the American Adventure audio-animatronics show in Epcot's World Showcase.

With President Franklin Delanor Roosevelt in full spotlight, the area behind and in front of him goes to black. This is very inpactful and told the audience this was a very important part of the show. Meanwhile, the 1939 gas station was lighted evenly with yellow-ish light simulating the electric lighting of the day and setting a mood of depression. Both fitting for the story about the Great Depression.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gives a speech while people listen to him on a radio at a gas station in 1939 during the American Adventure audio-animatronics show in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt gives a speech while people listen to him on a radio at a gas station in 1939 during the American Adventure audio-animatronics show.

In the closing scene of the American Adventure show, Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain shake hands on the Statue of Liberty's torch overlooking New York Harbor. This was a scene I wanted to get as this was the first time Disney Imagineers had their audio-animatronics directly interact with each other. Though, as you can see, it is all in the angle. Zooming in to fill the frame, the camera had no trouble getting a good exposure.

Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain shake hands in the closing scene of the American Adventure audio-animatronics show in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain shake hands in the closing scene of the American Adventure audio-animatronics show.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/60s, f/4, ISO 3600, EV 0, 120mm focal length.

Stage lighting is very tricky. Watch your exposures, wait for the performers to stop and keep the shutter speeds up and you will get great photos of any stage show. Just remember, do not use flash! There is enough light on the performers in most scenes so it is not needed anyway.

October 28, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Spaceship Earth

Deb's Digest Blog

In order to keep construction employees and support personal working at the Epcot Center Site well informed, a publication entitled "Epcot Center Construction News" was published periodically beginning February 1982. The 4 page basically black and white publication was full of construction photos including many of the employees.

This photo of Spaceship Earth under construction is from the initial publication. I hope you enjoy it.

My collection of this publication has several holes. If anyone has other issues of this publication and is willing to send me scans, please contact me via the comment form below and I'll email you back. Much appreciated!

SE.jpg

October 27, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Spaceship Earth

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Though we continue with Epcot, Deb and I are now going to be sharing photos of each Walt Disney World park "castle" or icon for the next four weeks. Starting with Spaceship Earth.

Like a grand and miraculous spaceship, our planet has sailed through the universe of time; and for a brief moment we have been among it's passengers.

So begins the narrative as people travel through time and space inside Spaceship Earth. Riding in time machine vehicles, guests learn about the history of human communication and how it has served to take Man from caves to today's technology, which allows us to get information and to communicate almost instantly anywhere on Earth. Spaceship Earth was the first ride I went on in Epcot and still remains one of my favorites even as the script and the ride technology has changed over the years.

Late day sunlight mixes with lighting on Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Late day sunlight mixes with lighting on Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World.
Nikon D750/Tokina 1-28mm, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 5000, EV +0.3, 16mm Focal Length.

Tomorrow, Deb is going to take you for a trip back in time to the beginning of Spaceship Earth.


October 21, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: The Seas with Nemo and Friends

Deb's Digest Blog

As Scott mentioned yesterday, the Seas with Nemo and Friends was an evolution of the Living Seas pavilion. The remake was quite refreshing offering new ways to learn about the sea and breathe life into what was once a tired, old poorly attended Living Seas pavilion. The overall theme is now tied into the animated feature "Finding Nemo"! It was officially dedicated in January 2007.

I love the themeing of this area outside and inside. One of my favorite exterior locations is where the Sea Gulls are... as they chant "Mine Mine Mine"..... Thus, my photo for Pic of the Week: The Seas with Nemo and Friends

seaswithnemo.jpg

Be sure to check back next week for more Disney Pic of the Weeks Featuring Epcot!!

October 20, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: The Seas with Nemo and Friends

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Like Test Track, The Seas with Nemo and Friends evolved from the original The Living Seas pavilion which opened with Epcot back in 1982. The popularity of the movie, Finding Nemo, made the transition an easy one for Disney. It was nice to see people of all ages enjoying this pavilion on my last visit.

A Yellow Tang swims in one of the aquariums inside The Seas with Nemo and Friends in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A Yellow Tang swims in one of the aquariums inside The Seas with Nemo and Friends.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5, ISO 3600, EV 0, 85mm Focal Length.

Which character in Finding Nemo was a Yellow Tang and where did we first see it?


October 14, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: The Land

Deb's Digest Blog

Let's do another Step Back in Time. This black and white photo is from a press kit I own called "The Land, Presented by Kraft". It only has three photos but lots of press releases about the pavilion.

When the Land opened on October 1, 1982, the highlights were:

Listen to the Land Boat ride
Harvest Theater - playing Symbiosis
Farmers Market (counter service dining)
The Good Turn Restaurant (now known as Garden Grill)
The Kitchen Kabaret

My photo of the week is of the Kitchen Kabaret, a musical revue on basic nutrition featured at The Land,

land-kk.jpg

Learn more about Kitchen Kabaret in our Epcot Archives!

Til next week.....

October 13, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: The Land

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Land pavilion in Epcot's Future World is the home to the popular Soarin' ride. It is also the home to the best and healthiest quick service restaurant, Sunshine Seasons. After checking out the wall menu (see below), you can get your food at one of the stations. With such a variety, everyone traveling with you should find something good to eat.

The wall menu for Sunshine Seasons counter service restaurant at The Land in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The wall menu for Sunshine Seasons counter service restaurant in The Land pavilion.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 4500, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

I find Sunshine Seasons a nice alternative to the other quick service locations at Walt Disney World.


October 9, 2015

Spaceship Earth at Night in Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Before a trip to Walt Disney World, I will browse through photos on flickr and Google in search of ideas. I found this composition and put it on my shot list for the trip. Though the photo which was the inspiration for the photo of Spaceship Earth below was taken during the day, the rest of the image was similar.

Spaceship Earth at night in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spaceship Earth at night.
Nikon D750/Tokina 16-28mm, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Tripod, HDR Image.

Besides being photographed at night, I noticed it was hard to control the light on the top of Spaceship Earth and still get detail in the fountain and underneath the structure. That is when I decided to produce a High Dynamic Range image. I took three photos one stop apart at these shutter speeds: 15 seconds, 30 seconds and 60 seconds. Merging the photos using Photomatix Pro, created the image. This opened up the lower part of the frame while still retaining the detail of the sphere. The bonus was all the colors over the time it took to take the three photos. The long exposures created the fantasy look of the flowing water of the fountain.

Next time you are looking for photography ideas at Walt Disney World or any other travel destination, search and browse to see what others have done in the past.

October 7, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Test Track

Deb's Digest Blog

For my Test Track blog, I'm going to share a pre-opening photo and also a couple photos from the Cast Preview held in December.

This first photo is of the huge banner that was outside the pavilion during construction. Many people, myself included, were anxious to see what this new attraction was all about.

ttr3.jpg

In the Spring 1997 issue of the Magic Key Newsletter (for Magic Kingdom Club Holders) the headline said "Test Track on Track for Summer 1997! Of course, we all know now, that date slipped on by and no new attraction.

Finally in December 1997, a Cast Preview was held.

ttr18.jpg


I was very fortunate to be able to ride Test Track during the soft opening. During that time, a Test Dummy was greeting folks at the exit. I have no idea if the "Dummy" stayed around during the early days, as it was months before I would return to WDW.

ttr4.jpg

Want to relive more of the original Test Track? Visit our archives!

Or check out the lastest 2.0 version if you haven't visited in a while!

So there you have my photos (from my old film camera) for this week's Pic of the Week - Test Track!


October 6, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Test Track

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Not everyone likes to see changes at Walt Disney World. I do as I like to see today's Imagineers try to out-imagine their predesessors. Take today's Test Track in Epcot's Future World. Test Track was the successor to the World of Motion which was one of the original attractions when Epcot opened on October 1, 1982. It was a delightful ride through the history of Mankind motion from the discovery of the wheel to a breathtaking IMAX sized launch of a NASA Space Shuttle.

The first version of Test Track, call it 1.0, was about the testing of cars. The queue had all kinds of displays showing how cars, car parts and people (played by crash dummies) were tested. The ride continued the story as you rode a test vehicle through all kinds of road, environmental and high speed tests. It was very popular. Guests loved going around the banked curves at up to 65 miles per hour.

The lastest version, 2.0, of Test Track sponsored by Chevrolet is about designing vehicles. In the queue, you see all kinds of concept vehicles (like the one pictured below) and what went into their design. There are interactive displays along the way to show the start of the design: A Line. Before going on the ride, your party designs the car or truck of their dreams and take it for a ride on the Test Track.

Chevrolet concept car in the queue for Test Track in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Chevrolet concept car in the queue for Test Track.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 720, EV +0.3, 32mm Focal Length.

I really like how Test Track has evolved over the years. Exactly how I feel a Disney attraction should.


October 2, 2015

FP+ Fireworks Locations at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I photographed Illuminations and Wishes fireworks shows from FastPass+ (FP+) locations in Epcot and the Magic Kingdom on my last trip. The FP+ locations had their advantages and disadvantages which I will discuss below.

Magic Kingdom

Wishes photographed from the FP+ location in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Wishes photographed from the FP+ location in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D750/Tokina 16-28mm, 10.5s, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Tripod, Cropped.

The FP+ locations in the Magic Kingdom are found around the Central Plaza or Hub in the new Main Street Plaza Gardens locations in front of Casey's Corner and Plaza restaurants. I was in the one in front of the Plaza Restaurant for the Wishes photo. The big advantage to FP+ fireworks viewing locations are you are not shoulder to shoulder with other guests and there is plenty of room to setup a tripod. The people with me thought it was the best place to watch Wishes. As a photographer, there are lots of obstacles between the FP+ location and Cinderella Castle. You can see light posts and a water fountain in my photo.

Overall, for photography, I would prefer to set up on Main Street USA, near the Partners statue or from the Main Street Train Station for Wishes.

Epcot

Illuminations fireworks show in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Finale of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth fireworks show.
Nikon D750/Tokina 16-28mm, 11.3s, f/16, ISO 100, EV -1.0, 16mm Focal Length, Tripod.

The FP+ location for Illuminations is between the two gift shops as you walk from Future World to World Showcase. It is a slopped plaza area and is an excellent spot to both watch and photograph the show from. Being slopped, people do not mind a tripod setup as much as on Main Street USA. The slope makes it easier to photograph over people in front of a tripod, too. I set up about twenty feet from the fence you can see people lined up against.

Like at the Magic Kingdom, there are things like columns, torches and even some tall palm trees between the camera and the World Showcase Lagoon. They are not as distracting as in the Wishes photo and people are lower in frame.

For me, the Illuminations FP+ location is about as good as it gets. The only issue is you can not get on the rail along the water for safety reasons. You can set up closer in other areas along the lagoon but the angle may not be as good.

The FP+ locations for the fireworks shows are definitely something to try on your next trip whether you are photographing or just watching. Note you will have to try and get them as soon as they become available as they go quickly depending on the time of year one is visiting.

September 29, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Mission: SPACE

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

For the next few weeks, Deb and I will be exploring Epcot's Future World pavilions. Starting with the modern version of a trip to Mars.

Mission: SPACE in Epcot's Future World is a very good re-enactment of a trip to Mars for a themepark environment. I know when it first opened it was a little intense for a lot of people. Disney had gotten the help of NASA astronauts in development of the ride. To those astronauts, Mission: SPACE probably seemed tame. Goes to show you the difference between people like us and them.

After a few tweaks, most people started to really enjoy the experience. While some, as Deb will tell you tomorrow, never did.

Mission: SPACE in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mission: SPACE in Epcot's Future World.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 1250, EV -0.3, 55mm Focal Length.

I have always liked this late day photo I took back in 2011 of Mission: SPACE.

August 21, 2015

Tripods at Walt Disney World Review

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

A very useful photographer tool for low light and night photography at Walt Disney World is a Tripod. While it is not essential to have a tripod for the upcoming All Ears Picture This! Photo Meet on Saturday, Setpember 12, 2015, having one would allow you to photograph past sunset and into the Blue Hour.

I realize tripods are bulky to travel with and tough to carry around WDW especially with families. However, bringing a tripod in the parks is not hard to do if you rent a locker and track your time before needing it. Lockers are also handy for storing sweaters and sweatshirts during warm days which cool off rapidly at night.

Photographer using a tripod outside the entrance to Les Chefs de France at night in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Photographer using a tripod outside of Les Chefs de France restaurant at night.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 6s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length, Tripod.

Here are past blog posts where I have used tripods at Walt Disney World:

Extreme Long Exposure of the Main Street Electrical Parade

How to Photograph Fireworks at WDW (Part 1 and Part 2)

Motion Photography

Star Tours Queue

Liberty Bell at Night

Night HDR at the Tower of Terror

Tiki Gods in the Magic Kingdom

Using a tripod at Disney parks is part patience, part common sense and only limited by your imagination. Patience comes from waiting for the light and for guests to move out of your frame. Common sense to set up a tripod where people will not trip over it. Imagination is such a wonderful thing. Use it wisely and you will be rewarded.

August 11, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Blue

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

This week's color is Blue. I changed it up some and instead of showing you a blue building, character or ride, I decided to go with my favorite time of day to photograph: Blue Hour. I also like to find brown/yellow to contrast the deep blue sky with. The Aztec Pyramid in the Mexico pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase was the perfect subject.

Blue hour over the Aztec Pyramid in the Mexico pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Blue hour over the Aztec Pyramid in the Mexico pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/100s, f/4, ISO 6400, EV -0.3, 24mm focal length.

Back in 2010, I did another Disney Pic of the Week for Blue. It still is one of my favorite posts here on Picture This! featuring Susie the Little Blue Coupe.

Deb will be here tomorrow to get all wrapped up in her Blue photo.


July 7, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Trashcans

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Trashcans at Walt Disney World are everywhere. You can not walk 20 feet without coming upon one. Sadly, Disney has found in their American parks, such an abundance is needed. When photographing there, it is hard not to get a trashcan in a wide angle composition. This is what happened to me when I was setting up to photograph the Katoubia Minaret Prayer Tower in Epcot's Morocco pavilion.

Trashcan outside restrooms in Epcot's Morocco pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Trashcan outside restrooms in Morocco.
Nikon D70/Tokina 12-24mm, 1/2s, f/2.8, ISO 1600, EV +1.0, 12mm (18mm DX) focal length, tripod.

Of course, trashcans can come in handy for photography. Check out my past article about Quadpods: No Tripod? No Problem!

Deb will be here tomorrow to share musical trashcans.

June 26, 2015

macPhun with Spaceship Earth at Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Today, photo editing software comes in three flavors: Expensive, Cloud based subscriptions and bits and pieces (aka apps). The exception would be Adobe Elements. An excellent choice as it has most of the photo editing capabilities of Photoshop. I am still considering my next move in photo management software. Apple's Aperture 3.x software is no longer being supported by Apple and it will be interesting to see for how long Aperture will continue to run as OS X continues to evolve. Currently, the new Photo App does not meet my needs (though it may yours).

Thankfully, there are companies who thrive on creating add-ons to programs like Aperture, Lightroom and Photoshop. Macphun is one such company which I highly recommend if you are a Mac user. Over the last few years they have put together a very impressive list of photo applications. If they ever come out with the missing photo management piece, that could be my solution going forward. For right now, I use Macphun's applications as external tools to Aperture.

Today I want to show you how I used two of them, Intensify Pro and Noiseless Pro, to edit a photo. I use the Pro versions as they support running directly out of Aperture (or Lightroom or Photoshop). The do create a different version of the image so as not to destroy the original and then put it nicely back into your editor's library. In the case of Aperture, it creates a Stack or Set with the original photo.

As I was walking towards Spaceship Earth in Epcot after sunset one evening, I noticed this composition. I did not have a tripod with me so I did the best I could hand held. The original photos lacks punch and is very dull.

Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Original (unedited) version of Spaceship Earth.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 2800, EV -0.6, 28mm Focal Length

Of of the main reasons I use Macphun's products is they save me a lot of time. When I open an image for editing in Intensify Pro, I get a series of Pre-Sets or Filters which I can select and see how each affects the image. Once I find one I like, I can change the pre-set's effects between 0 (no affect) to 100 (full effect). I found myself using some pre-sets more than others so I can select them as Favorites and quickly get to them in a separate selection tab. Favorites is something found in each of Macphun's products. For the Spacehip Earth photo I went with one of my Favorites, HDR Soft. I backed it up to 80.

After saving it back into Aperture, I found the noise or grain got enhanced by Intensify Pro. Never fear as Macphun recently came out with a superb noise reduction product called Noiseless. I really like how you can easily select between the different noise reduction settings. The before and after split screen view quickly shows you the effects of the selected setting on the image. For this image, I used the Medium setting at 90.

Back in Aperture, I finalized the image by opening up the shadows and reducing any hot spots (blown out highlights) before adding a final sharpening.

Here is the result.

Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Edited version of Spaceship Earth.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 2800, EV -0.6, 28mm Focal Length

Macphun currently only has applications for Macs and iOS products. They are easy to use, save a lot of time and are not expensive.

June 9, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Cast Costumes Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

There are thousands of different costumes at Walt Disney World. Each different park, land, attraction, restaurant, resort and transportation type has unique costuming requirements. Deb and I thought it would be fun to share a cast member costume from each Walt Disney World park. Now, you would think that would be easy. I have shared some cast member photos here in the past as Lisa (remember her?) took many photos of CMs. Me, not so much.

In looking through my Disney photo library I did find I liked to photograph the servers at restaurants. At Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria in Epcot, the servers from Italy have always been willing to be photographed. Though I am sure wondering why I would want them in a photograph. The brightly colored costume of the server you see below really goes with the restaurant's decor and his wonderful disposition.

Via Napoli server in brightly colored costume serving up a pizza in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Via Napoli server in brightly colored costume serving up a pizza.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/30s, f/3.5, ISO 1400, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

Deb outdid me this week as you will see tomorrow. Though I did get a pizza.


June 2, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Metal

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When it comes to metal, there are tons of it at Walt Disney World. Yet, every year Disney Imagineers find ways to make metal into things which make us smile. Which is what I did when walking in from the Magic Kingdom parking lot and was met by a shiny, smiling Mickey Mouse.

Metallic Mickey Mouse greets guests walking in from the Magic Kingdom parking lot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Metallic Mickey Mouse greets guests walking in from the Magic Kingdom parking lot.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 200, EV 0, 34mm focal length.

Deb shares with us a special metallic Mickey tomorrow.


May 22, 2015

Foreground Objects at Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

More on Aperture this week with a pinch of composition.

I am going to guess most of the time the subject you are photographing is in front of something. Have you ever tried putting something in front of the subject?

During last year's Food and Wine Festival at Epcot, a temporary entertainment location was put in next to the Morocco pavilion. When I looked over at Morocco's Katoubia Minaret Prayer Tower from the location, I saw it through the flags which were strung overhead. I liked the composition of a repeating element (the flags) in front of the tower.

Katoubia Minaret prayer tower behind flags in Morocco's World Showcase pavilion in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Katoubia Minaret Prayer Tower behind flags in Morocco.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 250, EV 0, 40mm Focal Length

To keep the close flags and the far away tower in focus, I used a large Aperture number (f/16) to give me a large focus area or depth of field.

I was a little late setting up to photograph Illuminations at Epcot and had to settle for an obstructed view. I decided to take advantage and used a fellow photographer's camera in the foreground.

A photographer's camera sits on a tripod during Illuminations fireworks at Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A photographer's camera sits on a tripod during Illuminations fireworks.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 17s, f/9, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length, Tripod.

In this case, because I was so close to the foreground object and using a smaller Aperture number (f/9) thus a smaller focus area, the camera on the tripod is not in focus as the subject is the fireworks. I still feel this works because you can tell it is a camera and the fireworks over the long exposure time of 17 seconds gives it interest.

May 1, 2015

Adjusting White Balance Inside the American Adventure

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

One of my favorite entertainers is the Voices of Liberty a cappella group at Walt Disney World. They perform shows inside the American Adventure under the rotunda at Epcoot's World Showcase. The area was designed for the acoustics and the talented singers take full advantage of them. But (isn't there always one?), the lighting for ambient light (no flash) photography is very challenging in the rotunda. The color cast is very yellow due to the incandescent lights as seen in the photo below.

Voices of Liberty performing in the American Adventure at Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Voices of Liberty BEFORE White Balance Adjustment.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/80s, f/4, ISO 6400, EV 0, 24mm focal length.


There are two ways to fix the color cast to bring it back to what our eyes see. You can take a Custom White Balance before photographing or change the white balance in post processing. Most photo editors allow you to change White Balance by either the use of sliders or by selecting a spot on the photo which should be white or gray with a dropper. Once selected by the dropper, the editor will alter the white balance based on the spot. It works very well and if not exactly correct, you can then adjust it via the sliders to your taste. That is what I did below. The spot I choose was one of the pillars behind the singers.

Voices of Liberty performing in the American Adventure at Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Voices of Liberty AFTER White Balance Adjustment.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/80s, f/4, ISO 6400, EV 0, 24mm focal length.

I use JPEG for my image size and quality so white balance works most of the time. If you use the image size and quality of RAW, adjusting white balance in post processing works even better.

April 29, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Daisy

Deb's Digest Blog

As Scott mentioned yesterday, my photo archive is also short on photos of Daisy! How can that be?

Here is a colorful photo of Daisy that I took last year in Tokyo. Here she is in Tokyo Disney Sea in the Arabian Coast.


daisy.jpg

The folks in Asia LOVE their characters!!!!

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.

January 16, 2015

Focus on Epcot Photowalk

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Focus on Epcot Photowalk, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Focus on Epcot Photowalk

As I mentioned awhile back, I will be traveling to Walt Disney World a couple of times this year. My first trip is next month and I have planned an All Ears Photowalk around Epcot's Future World. The focus (pun intended) will be on these three photographic items:

  • Hyperfocal Distance or Hyperfocus (Landscape Mode)
  • Selective Focus (Portait Mode)
  • Using a Polarizing Filter

The Photowalk will be held on Monday, February 9, 2015, from 9:30AM to 11:30AM. Meeting location will be outside the Nikon Camera Center. The location is across from Spaceship Earth on the right side as you walk in from the Future World entrance. While you may attend by just showing up, if you think you will be at the photowalk, add a comment to this post. I will not be publishing the comments but will use the emails to correspond with everyone interested.

Click here for Focus on Epcot Facebook Event Sign Up

Before the Photowalk, I will be posting blogs about each of the items to be covered. Note, you do not need a polarizing filter but one will be demonstrated along with a special tip.

January 13, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

CONGRATS TO Nicole N. ! You are the lucky winner of an AllEars.net Prize package! Your comment was selected by random number generator! Please go to the Contact Us page (http://allears.net/forms/feedback.htm) and send your shipping address! We must hear from you no later than January 26, 2015, to claim your prize. Thank you!!


Spaceship Earth looms over Epcot at 180 feet (55 meters) in height. The geodesic sphere has a total of 11,520 full and partial silver isosceles triangles on its surface forming 3,840 points. Disney uses light at night to create a multicolored sphere using those triangles and points which is just too hard NOT to photograph. I have photographed this very composition several times over the years. On my last trip, I noticed the orange color for the first time.

Spaceship Earth at dusk in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spaceship Earth at dusk in Future World.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 6400, EV -0.7, 28mm focal length.

What is your favorite structure to photograph at Epcot?

What would YOU like to see in our Disney Pic of the Week for 2015?! We welcome your ideas as we develop our schedule for the upcoming year. Leave your comments below. On January 19, 2015 we will select on person at random who left a comment to receive an AllEars Prize Package! We must hear from you no later than January 26, 2015, to claim your prize.

November 21, 2014

Shopping Around Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Next to dining, my guess would be shopping as the next most popular thing to do at Walt Disney World. This being one week away from Black Friday, America's day to spend freely for the holiday season, I thought I would share with you a few photos from the shops around the resort. Remember, to always be on the lookout for patterns like the Vinylamation collectibles. Colorful sales displays of things like the pyramid of Duffy the Bears make for very pleasing compositions. Shopping is a very human thing to do and I like to include people even if the expensive artwork is only to be looked at. Leading lines of decorative beer steins in Germany takes the viewer on a trip.

Shopping around Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Shopping around the Walt Disney World Resort
See text for more information.

From top left: Duffy the Bear shop display at Epcot, shopping for Disney art on Main Street USA, Vinylmation collectibles on display inside the D Street store in Downtown Disney's West Side and Beer steins in Germany's Der Bucherwurm shop in Epcot's World Showcase.

Besides, photography gives me something to do while the rest of my family shops.

November 18, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Technology

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

We all know Walt Disney loved technology as it gave his vision life. The two Innoventions pavilions in Epcot's Future World present sponsored exhibits showing how today's technology makes our lives better. I took a tour of The Vision House by Green Builder Media which demonstrated the latest in green building methods and how the use of technology saves both energy, resources and money for the family who "lives" there.

If I was to build a house today, I would use many of the ideas found in the Vision House including this Trane ComfortLink™ II XL950 Wi-Fi Thermostat which is an easy-to-use, programmable, digital thermostat controller that gives remote access, live weather and more, all on a beautiful color touch-screen display (Source: trane.com). The smart house is here today and it is much different than what was envisioned back in the 20th century.

A Wi-Fi Digital Thermostat inside the Vision House exhibit at Epcot's Innoventions, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A Wi-Fi Digital Thermostat inside the Vision House exhibit.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 2500, EV 0, 24mm focal length.

Deb will be here tomorrow for a peek back at technology used at Walt Disney World.

October 30, 2014

Deb Wills and Don Ducky Wiliaims at Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Deb Wills having her picture taken with Don
Deb Wills having her picture taken with Don "Ducky" Williams.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/30s, f/8, ISO 2200, EV -0.3, 28mm Focal Length.

With this being All Ears in the Parks for the Disney Pic of the Week, I felt it appropiate to feature All Ears Founder and all around great gal, Deb Wills. Back in 2011, All Ears celebrated 15 years of sharing information about Walt Disney World. One of the anniversary events was held in the Odyssey Pavilion at Epcot. Disney animator 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. Afterward, Deb Wills raffled off each of the 22 different characters Don had drawn that morning. Each one having been signed by him.

Before the event started, I took the photo you see above of Deb getting her picture taken with Ducky and thought it was a great one to share for this week's topic.

October 24, 2014

Flag Wavers of Sansepolcro Italy in Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

One never knows when a new photographic opportunity will present itself. At Walt Disney World, it could happen while talking with friends in one of Epcot's countries. This happened to me last week while in Italy. A fanfare of drums and trumpets was heard before a parade of colorful men came into the pavilion with large flags. I quickly surmised this was the new show Disney said was coming.

The four flag bearers and four musicians paraded up the stairs to the circular center stage of the pavilion. People were drawn around the stage and I quickly went to the stairs and sat down in front. The stage is elevated and getting low did a couple of things for me: it cleaned up the background as my field of view was over most spectators heads and gave a more dramatic angle to the entertainers.

Flag Wavers of Sansepolcro show at Epcot's Italy pavilion in World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Flag Wavers of Sansepolcro Show in Italy.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/320s, f/10, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length.

Being an entirely new show, I did not know what to expect. I will say the costuming was excellent. The colors of the flags did not clash with the Italy pavilion colors in anyway. Making the performers and the flags stand out.

Flag Wavers of Sansepolcro show at Epcot's Italy pavilion in World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Flag Wavers of Sansepolcro Show in Italy.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/320s, f/10, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length.

Again, not knowing what to expect, I found myself clicking at almost every move the performers made. This resulted in a lot of images I discarded later.

I used a fast shutter speed to freeze the action. The day was bright enough to still have a good Depth of Field aperture in the f/9 to f/10 range. Next time, I would like to try slower shutter speeds when the performers are standing still while waving the flags.

Flag Wavers of Sansepolcro show at Epcot's Italy pavilion in World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Flag Wavers of Sansepolcro Show in Italy.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 200, EV 0, 31mm Focal Length.

What this show does do, is a lot of repetition. Which means if you miss a move, a toss or a jump the first couple of times, be patient, as they will repeat it again in a few seconds. The move you see above was about the fourth or fifth jump in the routine.

Since I photographed this show, I found out the group is called Flag Wavers of Sansepolcro. If you click on the link, you will see more of my photos from the show and a video of an early performance. I suspect the show will evolve over the next few weeks but the video will give you a good idea of what to expect.

October 19, 2014

Where in the World #354

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 belated Happy Thanksgiving to all our Canadian Players! I hope you had a lovely holiday!
From Millan.Net

Mike and Susan Hill & Christopher Hall are in Disney World this week! That's two separate trips: the Hills and the Hall's. Wait, I just got that! Maybe you guys are traveling the Food & Wine Festival together. If you are, don't talk bad about me. And have a magical trip (separately or as a group)!
From Millan.Net

Patti Mccaffrey, I'll be thinking of you on Tuesday. *hug*

Last week's challenge: number #353
Where in the World #353

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

We're at the Sommerfest entrance of Epcot's German Pavilion! But now I keep thinking of the Biergarten's buffet; haven't been there in awhile. And by the way:
From Millan.Net

Dori's Friend Vicki: did you get me a cream puff? I could use a cream puff. Well, after my diet. Sigh...

Thanks for that, Jeff Blank. Now I have the Hogan's Heroes theme in my head.

Sarah And Chris, I completely forgot about that Full House episode! I definitely think you should be able to hold out your hand and have birds land, like you were Disney royalty!

The Murr Family was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to The Murres and to all our winners this week! The Sands Family, Kristi Strembicki, Tim Johansen, Diane Tredore, Andrea Kruszewski, The Kertes Family, Jennifer Rowell, Betsy Silvestri, Andrew Carrieri, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, Mike Amor, Julia Wickware, Andy Hickey, Ed Elder, Sharon Pierce, Becky Norman, Christi Ison, The Gunnels Family, Ken Maikowski, Mike Haeberle, The Strukel Family, Kenny, Nan Amor, Deb Ragno, Eric Berger, Theresa Rucando, Jason Skow, Team Bonnie Sue, Melissa Such, The Tisdale Family, Janet T Thorn, Judy Simonsen, Kris Nixon, Lori Rienhardt, Grumpy's Groupies, Brian Mcwithey, Bob Patterson, The Parker Family, Linda Scrivano, Team Hill, Susie Howard, Robert Wescovich, Claire Gregory, John Bickers, Kye Layton, Sydney Von Schriltz, Lynette Michalos, Team Hill, Lyn Johnson, Timberly Aymond, Jamie Newell, Phyllis, Kate Nejman, Ellen Sullivan, Lori Elias, Amber Penske, The Koren Family, Walter Johnson, Elisabeth S, Molly Sawyer, Dawn Simpson, Ken Savage, Brian Miller, Karen Schlumpf, Tiffany Gibb, Rider Family, Kelly Van Eerden, Dave Freemyer, Carla C, Andra Truitt, Liz Moreau, Linda College, Beverly Carr, Brenda Mclean, Pat Schwier, Adam Lucas, Fiona Knigh, Tommy Montgomery, Christina Trigiani, Cheryl Chambers, Mike Haven, Cheryl Gattudo, Megan Krainski, Rachelle Desjardins, Steve Shadle, Maryann Eckenrode, Kathy Dockham, Tom Swan, Cindy Pink, Rebecca Emery, Bruce Hinterleitner, K Beasley, Al &Kerry Ganter, Tammy Rice, Andrew Eckert, Maryann Romagnano, Theresa Lucorri, Matt Wildey, Stefanie Vandiver, Paula Massarelli, Rebecca Smith, Maureen Handy, Leach Family, Morag Lemon, Chris Horne, Beth Mcmeekin, Ruben O'meara, Rex Biederman, Dawn Fiege, Eric Enli, The Long Family, Valerie Yoder, Maggie Klotz, The Double Family, Hobbes And Snorky, Rebecca Keenan, Jeremy Hardy, Eric Johnson, Timothy Gallany, Pete Dragstrem, Joseph M. Zafia, Tracy Davis, Stefanie Vest, Stefanie Vest, Evald Olson, Jim &Lorie Sonnen, Dawn Bach, Tracy Davis, Mary Ann Lamay, Rob Hepler, The Kahle Family, Jonathan Ward, Heather Capraun, Brian Gallant, Lisa Pinder, Herb Miller, Suzanne Denham, Suzanne Denham, Scott Precise, Vera And Izzy Williams, Chris Guilmett, Christine Dagney, Stefan Owens, Bethany &Dan Angermaier, Trina Noggle, Antoinette Leblanc, Peg Readinger, Lisa Bufo, Ken Jobin, Jen Peterson, Duskin Henard, Lisa Dreher, Jen Snook, Paul Dickson, Tanya Riggio, Mike O'brien, Demetrios Makres, Phil Vickers, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Elaine Kleinhenz, Anastasia Macneil, Larry Sprenkle, Diane Burke, Carolyn Como, Tracer Kascak, Cheryl Costello, Kyra C., Michele Mongeon, Chloe Mayhew, Karen Costa, Theresa Maradei, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Nicole Benoit, Jessica Gruhlke, Gallagher Family, Lisa K., Lizzy &Dave Fullerton, Luis Rodriguez, Owen States, Anna Tietje, Cathy Welsh, The Foleys, Mary, Dee Dee Kenney, Paul Ignudo, Jr., Josh Carney, Blake Schmidt, Margie Bigelli, Dori's Friend Vicki, Jeremy Reichelt, Karen Spreitzer, Patrick Broaddus, Kate Fischer, Annie Niece, Mark Proper, Kristan Bertelmann, Christopher Hall, Carri Marotto, Chris Bauman, Karrie Duffey, Lee Anastasi, Scott Sangston, Al Sandal, Mildred Popp, Tammy Alweis Family, Smitty, Dave Carriere, Tricia Petty, Darrell Shortt, Vicki Britt, Lizanne Fisk, Tyler Otts, Jim Finley, Tricia Noble, Andreas Beer, The Patterson Family, Mary Jo Gallion, Karen Bellamy, Mickey Eckert, Kathleen Bast, Terry Fleming, Daniel Record, Ashley Collins, Matthew Frey, Ed Adams, Arlene Vicek, David Dunkle, Les Whitten, Laura Whitten, Sheryl Hicks, Lorine Landon, Melissa Hendrix, Emily Hudson, Ron Harper, Jairo Caso, Christine Kahle, Jeff Blank, Terry Blair, Virginia Pierce, Paul Scimeca, Gina Dounelis, Caitlin Lewis, Davida, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Matt Holley, Jennifer Mercier, Diana Grady, Curtis Bille, Patti Mccaffrey, Mary Beth Tarbet, Jo Ann Bailey, Rob Blundin, Heidi Goodhue, Elise, Doug Olson Family, Jackie Graebel, Les Stewart, Jane Johnson, David Ballard, Carol Collins, Kyle Burdo, Thomas Higbee, Kevin Jones, Jamie Steiner, Hillary Waldroop, Trish Babler, Sherry Trapp, Ken Rhinehart, Alan Mize, Barclay Bakkum, Lindsay Coram, Michael &Jackie Mclucas, Jackie Klafeta, Kelly Smith, Wendy Palmquist, Heidi Goodhue, Erin Rix, Robert Hildebrandt, Deborah Wolfe, Sarah And Chris, Danielle Harsley And Agnes Ciotti, Caroline Burmester, Maja Kodani, Stacy Guarracino, Carol Bertolo-gamill, Marcie Soderlund, Dan And Elizabeth Johnston, Sandie Albrecht, Tanya Keene, Shannon Murray, Heather Pedulla, and Robert P. Flaherty!
__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #354 Where in the world is this?

We're getting tougher this week! I think it's tougher.
Where in the World #354

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

October 2, 2014

Farewell to Epcot's Red, White & Blue Spirit of America

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps performing in front of the American Adventure in Epcot's World Showcase., Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps performing in front of the American Adventure in Epcot's World Showcase.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/16, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 32mm focal length.

Like many Walt Disney World fans, I was surprised at the announcement to replace Off Kilter, Mo'Rockin', World Showcase Players and the group I choose to highlight for the Disney Pic of the Week on Epcot Entertainers.

The Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps has been a part of my Epcot experience since 1983. It will be hard to not see them perform their American patriotic music and introduce the Voices of Liberty before each American Adventure show. They were as much a part of the American Adventure as the show was to me.

September 18, 2014

Clouds and Spaceship Earth in Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

For eons, our planet has drifted as a spaceship through the universe.

-- Walter Cronkite version from 1986-1994

Spaceship Earth on an Autumn day in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spaceship Earth on an Autumn day in Epcot.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 280, EV 0, 150mm focal length.

I have been riding Epcot's Spaceship Earth since 1983 and have heard every narrator for the attraction. By far, Walter Cronkite's version is my favorite. He was Uncle Walter to my generation who grew up watching his nightly newscasts on television.

For the Disney Pic of the Week on Spaceship Earth Exterior, I share an early Autumn day when the clouds billowed up behind the huge geodesic structure.

September 14, 2014

Where in the World #349

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!

Kameo Crea and her husband will be celebrating their 10th wedding anniversary soon!
From Millan.Net

Last week's challenge: number #348
Where in the World #348

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

Wethers mural in the German Pavilion's Karamell-Küche shop! MMMMM, the lovely scent of caramel in the air!

Ed Elder was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Ed and to all our winners this week! Jim & Lorie Sonnen, Kye Layton, Stuart Savage, Antoinette Leblanc, Sandie Albrecht, Andrew Carrieri, Tricia Petty, Kristi Strembicki, Katie Parker, Joyce S, Elaine Kleinhenz, The Gunnels Family, Brian Miller, Jen Peterson, Pollyanna Buff, Kevin Wagner, Sharon Pierce, Linda Scrivano, Ellen Sullivan, Jen Tremley, Margot Garofalo, Helen Graves, Britta Andrews, Kris Nixon, Bet Pleban, Mary Beth Tarbet, Tom Hermes, Donna Frank, Tammi Price, Tim Johansen, Linda G., Laurie Walker, Lori Rienhardt, Paul Dickson, Becky Chapman, Double Family, Hillary Waldroop, Bill Schmid, Christina Trigiani, Vera And Izzy Williams, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Bruce Hinterleitner, Laura Zuidema, Beth Mcmeekin, Stefanie Vest, Stefan Owens, Clay Anthony, Phyllis, Duskin Henard, Andrew Eckert, Robert Wescovich, Tammy Rice, Kristy Balbuena, Sands Family, Kyra C., Kameo Crea, Leach Family, Carol Collins, Michele Zowacki, Jeremy Hardy, Karen Adamakis, Bethany Angermaier, Andie Harman, Kevin Jones, Brian Gallant, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Mike Mondoux, Elizabeth Scarborough, Trina Noggle, Maureen Handy, Al & Kerry Ganter, Eric Johnson, Betsy, Carolyn Como, Vicki And Elizabeth Edwards And William, Jen Eacret, Hobbes And Snorky, Linda College, Jeff & Cheryl Simmons, Krista Serpi, Carol Gamill, Christina Rotella, Mary Ann Lamay, The Rider Family, Craig, Amy Maddox, Trisha, Penny Urell, Mickey Eckert, Theresa Rucando, Les Whitten, Gail States, Maryann Romagnano, Chloe Mayhew, Claire Gregory, Anastasia Macneil, Jonathan Ward, Virginia Pierce, Mike Malampy, Stephanie Peterson, Josh Carney, Allison Scholes, Christopher Hall, Kristyn Scibienski, Terry Blair, Phil Vickers, Cameron Lange, Sarah And Chris, Kevin Parmeland, Tricia Noble, Melissa Littman, The Hutchinson Family, Chris Bauman, Rob Blundin, Ed Adams, Jed Orth, Kristie, Lindsay Clayton, Kate Fischer, Jim Riley, Tom Swan, Jamie Steiner, Kathryn Hughes, Smitty, Ron Harper, Pam Lorenz, Gloria Martin, Michael Haeberle, Ashley Collins, Kerry A., Lorine Landon, Brian Grabowski, John Dupre, Schuyler Etheridge, Maja Kodani, Amy Fleming, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Jo Ann Bailey, Jane Johnson, Kerri Coggins, Susan Doucette, Sheila And Kelly Barnes, Jennifer Mercier, Angela Johnson, Colette Stanton, Darrell Shortt, Susan Linder, and Vicki Britt.

__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #349 Where in the world is this?

Still in the parks!
Where in the World #349

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, September 18th, 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 5, 2014

Epcot Night Portrait

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Ever wonder how the Disney PhotoPass Cast Members get those night photos of people in front of Walt Disney World icons? It is not very hard IF you use the right equipment. You will need a flash, a tripod or an Image Stablized Lens and patient subjects.

For the night portrait below, I did not have my tripod with me so I hand held the camera at 1/15th of a second and dragged the shutter to build up the light of Spaceship Earth and Innovention Fountains behind the couple. I instructed them to stay very still until the flash went off.

Night portrait of a couple in front of Innovention Fountains in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Night portrait of a couple in front of Innovention Fountains.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/15s, f/8, ISO 6400, EV 0, 48mm focal length.

By using a tripod, I could have lowered the ISO but the shutter speed would have been longer. Making it harder for the subjects to stay still this late at night. If you do this around sunset, you will get even better results at faster shutter speeds.

July 20, 2014

Where in the World #341

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!

Stuart Savage, thank you for such a lovely note!

Also, thank you to everyone who voted for Deb Wills as the Best Theme Park blogger! I'm still disappointed that she got second (she's not, she's thrilled! Such a good heart!); she'll always be the best to us!
From Millan.Net

Last week's challenge: number #340
Where in the World #340

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

It's Figment's Melody Maker! Located in the ImageWorks "What If" Labs in Epcot's Imagination! pavilion.

Kristi Strembicki was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Kristi and to all our winners this week! Donna Frank, Jennifer Rowell, The Kertes Family, Jim &Lorie Sonnen, Eric Berger, Jonathan Thomas, Christi Ison, Theresa Rucando, Mary Beth Tarbet, Deb Ragno, Ellen Campbell, Vera Dercole, Kristi Kelly, Lori Rienhardt, Ellen, Olszak Family, Bryant And Ruben O'meara, Jenny Brennan, Shannon Heffern, Tom Swan, Tom Koval, The Gunnels Family, Virginia Pierce, Christy Dehning, Theresa Fontaine, Team Hill, Bethany Angermaier, Tricia Petty, James Warda, Andrew Carrieri, Pati Nystrom, Kelley Madensky, Erin Hammer, Megan Krainski, David Villarrubia, Vera And Izzy Williams, Phyllis, Pollyanna Buff, Kathie Peluso, Beth Richards, Tim Breaux, Ann Dunnington, Demetrios Makres, Stuart Savage (uk), Margot Garofalo, Christine Dagney, Yvonne Marchione, Mary Dieuliis, Danielle Harsley And Agnes Ciotti, Carolrn722, Tinkerbell Wells, Mary Ann Lamay, Mike Haeberle, Todd Johns, Kathy Davies, K Beasley, Laura V., Josh Carney, Sharon Pierce, Rosemarie Novelo, Sarah Francis, Angela Fennell, Jennifer Peterson, Candice Grimes, Tonya Gibson , Debbie, Scott Precise, Ralph Chamberlain, Missy Bremer, Kelly Deleon, Tyler Otts, Desiree Fremer, Kenny, Hobbes And Snorky, Arlene Alejandro-mace, Jennifer Harmon, Lee Deroia , James Wiley, Paul Moore, Susie Howard, Maggie Klotz, Eric Johnson, Karen Schlumpf, Linda Scrivano, Mike Mondoux, Stefanie Vest, Ken Daube, Chuck Sands, Louise Moss, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Beth Pleban, Maureen Handy, Christina, The Kahle Family, Nan Amor, Grumpy's Groupies, Maryann Romagnano, Etcoggins, Al Desimone, Deb Desimone, Tim Johansen, Suzanne Renfroe, Team Bonnie Sue, Les Stewart, The Long Family, Wayne Beck, Jennifer And Elizabeth Geno, Michele Zowacki, Lisa Bufo, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Mike Amor, Caroline Steill, Vanessa Gordon, Josette Gabel, Carrie Mckinney, Russ Morgan, Jizelle Pickering, Julia Marsh, Elaine Tomko-deluca, Kevin Parmeland, Kymie Crews, Gail States, Bonnie Tulenko, Tricia Noble, Carla C, Patti Mccaffrey, Rob Blundin, Rebecca Keenan, Gloria Martin, Evald Olson, Dave Carriere, Karrie Duffey, Caroline Burmester, Nicole Benoit, Kelly, Scott Harrington, Angel Diven, Angela Horan, Mike Malampy, Les Whitten, Les Whitten, Vicki Britt, Jen Tremley, Shannon Murray, Hillary Waldroop, Erin, Betsy Silvestri, Walt Sent Us, Emily Hudson, Karen Adamakis, John Bickers, Kristin Dormuth, Brian Grabowski, Amber Slifer, Tom Higbee, Jane Johnson, Sarah Coleman, Kerry Mccaffrey, Olivia D, and Joan Lindley.
__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #341 Where in the world is this?

We're staying in the parks again, although not necessarily the same one, for this week's challenge!
 Where in the World #341

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, July 24th, 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 4, 2014

Flag Bearer outside the American Adventure

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

A Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps member carries the Spirit of '76 flag in front of the American Adventure in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps member carries the Spirit of '76 flag in front of the American Adventure.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/250s, f/11, ISO 200, EV +0.3.

Today, the United States of America is celebrating its 238th year since America declared its independence from England. Each day in front of the American Adventure in Epcot's World Showcase the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps perform fifteen minute shows of patriotic songs and songs of the colonial era throughout the day.

TIP: After the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps finishes, the Voices of Liberty, an a cappella group, will then be performing in the rotunda of the American Adventure pavilion.

For my fellow Americans, have a safe and fun holiday weekend.

July 1, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Flower and Garden Festival

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Each year the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival transforms the park into a display of natural colors and shapes of favorite Disney characters using over 100 topiaries to decorate both Future World and World Showcase. This year, Disney brought in a couple of new celebrities who were promoting their new movie.

Kermit the Frog serenades the love of his life, Miss Piggy, surrounded by posters from their lastet movie, Muppets Most Wanted. The topiaires can be seen between Germany and Italy around Epcot's World Showcase.

Kermit the Frog serenades Miss Piggy between Germany and Italy in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy topiaries during the 2014 Flower and Garden Festival.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 1000, EV 0, 40mm focal length.

Lisa will be here on Thursday to share her whimsical view for the Disney Pic of the Week on the Flower and Garden Festival.

June 16, 2014

Where in the World #336

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!

Come on, Claire Gregory! So I'm having a streak of bad luck lately; what could be the worst thing if you flew on the same plane as me?
Snakes on a Plane

Oh.

Marsha Waidelich is also headed for Walt Disney World. With a high school marching band. Um... good luck, Marsha!

Jeff Blank, the Mouse says Hi back!

Now for Challenge #335:
Where in the World #335

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

The sails in Epcot's Future World right in front of the fountain and by the pin central station.

Daniel Record was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Daniel and to all our winners this week! Kristi Strembicki, Jennifer Rowell, Andrea Kruszewski, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, The Kertes Family, Mary Beth Tarbet, The Koren Family, Sharon Pierce, Jacquelyn Law, The Gunnels Family, Kerri Coggins, Bruce Jones, Mike O'brien, Grumpy's Groupies, Rob Blundin, Lauren Blundin, Bryant O'meara, Sandie Albrecht, Andrew Carrieri, Phyllis, Jen Tremley, Jen Cerce, Paul Dickson, Scott Coleman, Janet Chocky, Courtney Payne, Megan Krainski, Beth Sazama, Mary Dieuliis, Michelle Darabaris, Caryn Schill, Heather Keenan, Liz Moreau, Kevin Jones, Leslie Schmauder, Emily Hudson, Elaine Kleinhenz, Team Hill, Deb Ragno, Tinkerbell Wells, Gail Reller, Candice Grimes, Caroline Steill, Dave Freemyer, Robert Fancher, Karen Ramirez, Timothea Van Doren, Belicia Dawson, Scott Cullen, Jessie Regan, Mary Harpe, Maryann Eckenrode, Donna Begley, Jack And Mike Hulse, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Jennifer Shoulders, Melissa Such, Kathryn Perkins, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Brian Miller, Gina Falzone, Virginia Pierce, The Lenz Family, Kirsten Miller, Laurie Dalesio, Gina Smith, Donna Frank, Debbie Desimone, Barbara Remele, Becky Norman, Carla C, Juliet O'hare, Mike Haeberle, Jennifer Snook, Jason Hocker, Allie Beecy, Michael Mclucas And Jackie Mclucas, K Beasley, Lee Dyches, Lynette Cadwallader, Eric Johnson, Duskin Henard, Laura V., Lynette Michalos, Jennifer Harmon, Lynette Michalos, Penny, Lauren Kemble, Ryan Mccorristin, Claire Gregory, Pollyanna Buff, Diane, Ed Suscreba, Hunter Armstrong, Valerie Lunsford, Elizabeth And Dan Johnston, The Murr's , Pati Nystrom, Hobbes And Snorky, Ruth Senecal, Maureen Handy, Lee Anastasi, Natasha Gareau , Jim &Lorie Sonnen, Liz And Dave Fullerton., Jim &Lorie Sonnen, Kris Nixon, Karen Schlumpf, Chuck Sands, Mickey Eckert, Evald Olson, The Kahle Family, Heidi Goodhue, Heidi Goodhue, Carolyn Como, Clay Anthony, The Reichl Family, Phil Vickers, Shari Prater, Craig, Theresa Lucotti, Tommy Montgomery, Jim Thompson, Maggie Klotz, Kara Jones, Morgan M., Andrew Swiatowicz , Bill Cudney , Jim Curley, Chris Kelly, Scott Greenbaum, Randi Balch, Marsha Waidelich, Bill Mckim, Bob Ruer, Gail States, Larry Sprenkle, The Long Family, Les Stewart, Tammy Rice, The Pearsall Family, Bruce Hinterleitner, Betsy Silvestri, Roxanne Kliebert, Tom Hermes, Madie Hovan, Patti Mccaffrey, Margaret Boone, Tom Buck, Christina Trigiani, Doug Olson Family, Scott Precise, Kye Layton, Brendan Abel, Heather Pedulla, Mike Malampy, Jeff Blank, Michele Johnson, Team Bonnie Sues, Rob Hepler, Jeremy Hardy, Eric Enli, Art Hutchinson, Carly &Colin, Robert Hildebrandt, Robert Wescovich, Christopher Hall, Barclay Bakkum, Chuck Everson, Chuck Everson, Chris Bauman, John Bickers, Rebecca Keenan, Jeremy Reichelt, Shelly Borella, Matt Wildey, Herb Miller, Stephanie Dollar, Patrick Broaddus, Sara Alaimo, Tom Swan, Josh Carney, Alison Rosenberger, Michele Zowacki, Fran Rendulic, Carri Marotto, Wayne Witherspoon, Dave Carriere, Matt Holley, Alan Mize, Tricia Noble, Terry Blair, Grumpy's Groupies, Erin Connell, Anastasia Macneil, Matthew Jadro, The Hutchinson Family, The Patterson Family, Diana Grady, Ron Harper, Diane Ramos, Smitty, Nathan York, Scott Sangston, Cheryl Edwards, Hillary Waldroop, Jim Finley, Eileen Miller, Brian Adams, Mark Proper, Jodi Trosclair, Lauren Thomas, Terry Fleming, Dennis O'reilly, Renee Hardiman, Gerald Skanes, Amanda Campbell, Les Whitten, Luis Rodriguez, Kerry Mccaffrey, Janet T Thorn, Brian Grabowski, Noah Schweizer (10 Years Old ), Erin Hammer, Kevin Parmeland, Kelly Smith, Pj Popsuj, Gallagher Family, Kate Fischer, The Parker Family, Nicole Benoit, Mark Franklin, Tim Johansen, Nan Amor, Shannon Murray, Pat Schwier, Tyler Otts, Heather Sabatino, Chloe Mayhew, Vera And Izzy Williams, Joseph M. Zafia, Kyle Burdo, Shirley Garcowski, Tom Higbee, Cheryl Costello, Jennifer Bogdan, Annie Snodgrass, Vicki Britt, Haylee Smolek, Margie Larmon, Ken Rhinehart, Josh Weiss, Davida, Stacy Guarracino, Jane Johnson, Alex Gamill, Jackie Klafeta, and Dawn Bach. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #336 Where in the world is this?

Switching parks, Players

 Where in the World #336

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, June 19th, 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 12, 2014

Flowers and Trolls in Norway

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

A Troll topiary pops up out of a field of flowers in Epcot's Norway pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A Troll topiary pops up out of a field of wildflowers.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 2200, EV -0.3, 24mm focal length.

Appropiately, a troll pops up among beautiful wildflowers in Epcot's Norway pavilion during the Flower and Garden Festival. A bright and beautiful Disney Pic of the Week about Flowers.

June 8, 2014

Where in the World #335

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!

When we talk next Sunday, Players, I will be in Walt Disney World! Well, depending on what time you're reading it. :)

Thank you for all the good wishes on my broken ankle. I also got tonsillitis this week, but I'm better now and hoping my karma will be better!
From Millan.Net

But don't worry! I'd have a great time at Disney if I had to jump on my husband's back and ride him like Seabiscuit. He'd have some complaints though. :)

Chloe Mayhew left for her Disney trip on Friday and Shelly Borella will be there when I am. Not that we're rubbing it or anything. Shelly, if that large group of yours needs all that time for bathroom breaks, at least use the Tangled restrooms. :)

Patti Mccaffrey, I never heard of that! Ouch, your poor ankle! From Millan.Net

Now for Challenge #334:
Where in the World #334

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

We're looking at the American Adventure pavillion in Epcot's World Showcase as Smitty so aptly said.

Vera And Izzy Williams, do you mean the song "America with your Golden Wings"? My husband loves that song: he once had it on replay for 5 times in a row or more. Sarah And Chris, you've seen people wave their cellphone lights during this song? I never have but I would love to see that!

Shout out to Rosemarie Novelo: your story made me laugh!
From Millan.Net

The Kertes Family was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to The Kerteses and to all our winners this week! Diane Tredore, Kristi Strembicki, Dee Dee Kenney, Donna Frank, Jim And Lorie Sonnen, Nan Amor, Bruce Jones, Ed Suscreba, Mary Beth Tarbet, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, Laurie Walker, Kenny, Jorge Caso, Phyllis, The Gunnels Gang, Betsy Silvestri, Melissa Such, Andrea Kruszewski, Daniel Record, Steve And Ruby Jordan, Courtney, Sharon Pierce, Craig Mitchell, Donald Leblanc, Janet T Thorn, Patti Odom, Robin Robinson , Kristi Paraday, Theresa Rucando, Kye Layton, Andrew Carrieri, Allison Caputa, Heather Keenan, Mary Ann Lamay, Kathleen Glovna, Jennifer Page, Ashley R. , Rosemarie Novelo, Kara Cummings , Sandie Albrecht, Cecilia Cocucci, Bridget, Michelle Boykin, Marguerite Garofalo, Vera And Izzy Williams, Rick Lahmann, Beth Sazama, Tricia Petty, The Parker Family, Mike Mondoux, Patty Carty, Mike Walter, Mike Amor, Chris Horne, Craig, Patti Gumiela, Eric Enli , Lenz Family, Wayne Beck, Jennifer Rowell, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Mike O'brien, Terri Vicknair, Maureen Wahtera, Tara Weaver, Eric Johnson, Jd Conti, Josette Gabel, Christine Brown, James Johnson, John Bickers, Tim Johansen, Deb Cumpstone, Lee Deroia, Mary Harpe, Pollyanna Buff, Bryan Fencl, Deb Ragno, Stefanie Vest, Lorine Landon, Pat Schwier, Melissa Gundrum, Laura V., Brian Mickle, Scott Greenbaum, Bruce Hinterleitner, The Long Family, Derek Carty, Brian Miller, Ryan Mccorristin, Jason Hocker, Emily Hudson, Carla C, Linda Scrivano, Maria Boyer, Lauren Kemble , Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Cathy Derecola, Sheryl Hicks, Heather Sabatino, Katie Bray, Lisa Pinder, Jon Landis, Amy Guerrini, K Beasley, Paul Dickson, Dennis O'reilly, Team Hill, Paul Scimeca, The Pearsall Family, Elaine Tomko-deluca, Gallagher Family, Cindy Pink, Trish Roam, Chris Kelly, Trish Roam, Cathy Connors, Ellen Sullivan, David Forister, Robert Wescovich, Robert Wescovich, Jim Finley, Maureen Handy, Julie Harris, John Stella, Herb Miller, Candice Grimes, Lisa , Amanda Campbell, Leach Family, Bill Schmid, Kerri Coggins, Kathryn Perkins, Bill Bingham, Chloe Mayhew, Dave Freemyer, Hobbes And Snorky, Dan Mangini, Louise Barton, Jeremy Hardy, The Kahle Family, Tom Koval, Judy Simonsen, Caroline Elliott, Bill Mckim, Lynette Michalos, Stan Kolis, Karen Ramirez, Cindy Tanner, Hilary Metzger, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Paul Newbiggin, Elaine Kleinhenz, Kris Nixon, Rob Blundin, Cynthia Hitchcock, Tyler Otts, Vicki Shearman, Claire Gregory, Sandy Reedy, Rob Hepler, Fran Rendulic, Diane Furtado, Virginia Pierce, The Emich Family, Haylee Smolek, Gerald Skanes, Larry Spernkle, Melanie Dalton, Bruce Nash, Grumpy's Groupies, Liz And Dave Fullerton, Mickey Eckert, Kirsten Miller, Grumpy's Groupies, Dawn Bach, Josh Willner, Maggie Klotz, Carolyn Como, Heather Pedulla, Demetrios Makres, Brenda Strohmeyer, Kerry A., Luis Rodriguez, Les Stewart, Bethany Angermaier, Chris Joyce, Doug Olson Family, Koren Family, Team Bonnie Sue, Cheryl Chambers, Morag Lemon, Terry Blair, Palicia Tipton, Wayne Chadourne, Al Sandal, Susie Howard, Sarah And Chris, Kevin Parmeland, Linda College, Shannon Murray, Amy Mccullough, Paul Ignudo, Jr., Jennifer Harmon, Lauren Thomas, Christopher Hall, Josh Carney, Wendy Barney, The Olszak Family, Sara Alaimo, Clay Anthony, Terry Fleming, Karrie Duffey, Shelly Borella, The Patterson Family, Jim Thompson, Maryann Romagnano, Courtney Moran, Darrell Shortt, Scott Sangston, Diana Grady, James Dezern, Hunter Armstrong, Caroline Burmester, Anastasia Macneil, Karen Bellamy, Team Meeker, Matt Holley, Kim Paulakos, Dave Carriere, Mike Cerce, Patti Mccaffrey, Gail States, Wade A. Williams, Christina Trigiani, Smitty, Mark Proper, The Hutchinson Family, Linda Bowles, Tyler Haeberle, Cathy Fleming, Gina Falzone, Andy Hickey, Shari Prater, Jonathan Ward, Tracy Discher, Jeff Blank, Julia, Leigh Mertz, Brian Grabowski, George Mundy Jr, Murr Family, Ron Harper, Josh Weiss, Joseph M. Zafia, David Ballard, Jennifer Bogdan, Heidi Goodhue, Dan And Elizabeth Johnston, Randi Balch , Jane Johnson, Timmy Saunders, Kyle Burdo, Barclay Bakkum, Shirley Garcowski, Kim Watson, Stephanie Dollar, Tom Higbee, Chris Bauman, Jeremy Reichelt, Amy Schweizer, Nicole Benoit, Vicki Britt, Jackie Klafeta, Terry Fleming, Jackie Graebel, Les Whitten, Fred Shakeshaft, Jo Ann Bailey, Danielle Harsley And Agnes Ciotti, and Tom Buck. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #335 Where in the world is this?

Staying in the parks.
 Where in the World #335

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

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

June 3, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Space Exploration

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Walt Disney, as most Americans did back in the 1950's, had a fascination with space exploration. Disneyland, followed by Walt Disney World, had attractions which took guests to the Moon and later Mars. It was not until 2003 when the ride technology would finally be able to give people a taste of what it would be like to actually leave Earth and venture into Space. Mission: Space in Epcot's Future World opened at that time. It might have been a little too real at first, in fact. Still, it is the closest most people can come to feeling the kind of forces astronauts encounter during spaceflight.

As crew members wait for their launch team designation, relics from the history of Manned space exploration is on display in the queue of Mission: Space. An Apollo era Moon Buggy can be seen overhead.

An Apollo Moon Buggy on display in the queue for Mission: Space in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
An Apollo Moon Buggy on display in the queue for Mission: Space.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/10s, f/3.5, ISO 6400, EV +1.0, 28mm focal length.

Lisa will be here on Thursday to share an out of this world Disney Pic of the Week about Space Exploration.

April 27, 2014

Where in the World #329

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'm watching WDW Resort TV from the 100 Years of Magic Celebration: It's the Zip A Dee Doo Dah Tip of the Day! Today's tip is:
Don't be like me and totally miss discussing Easter. LOL I hope you had a good one!
From Millan.Net
^Get it? :-)

Danielle Harsley And Agnes Ciotti are going to Disneyland for the first time! Stop at the window of Walt's apartment and at his bench for me! Ride the subs! And the posh train car! Sit in the rear bubble of the monorail as well as trying to get up front! And definitely go to the Wonderground Gallery!

Carol Gamill, you do need to go home! And I completely understood that you meant home to Disney! I raise a Grand Marnier Slush to you. :)

Congratulations to Sarah Thomas for signing up for her first Disney marathon! Good for you, Sarah! Wear your Disney medal proudly:
From Millan.Net

Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu: Bonjour! That's all the French I know, other than food like croissant. :) As I said to the Cast Member in the France Pavilion: "I apologize if I butcher your language when I pronounce what I want to order."

The Gunnels Family: I'm the youngest of seven kids, just like your family. :)

Now for Challenge #328:
Where in the World #328

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © Barrie Brewer
Chris Kelly, you risk taker you! You're right: it's Chefs de France in Epcot's France Pavilion!

Also some of the fountain. :)

Yes, I know the restaurant's name is in the picture. I thought it was too hard without something in it!

Janet T Thorn, I would love to join you for lunch or dinner! Ashley Collins, come with us!
Mickey Eckert, I am a freak for crème brulee! I'll meet you at Les Halles Boulangerie and Patisserie.

Davida, I walked into a trash can when I was a kid! I was backing away from the Big Bad Wolf and went right into the can. My mother, of course, was very concerned --- after she was done laughing. I still haven't forgiven the Wolf. ;)

Kristi Strembicji were the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Kristi and to all our winners this week! Eric Berger, Daniel Record, Bruce Jones, The Kertes Family, Tricia Petty, Emily Hudson, Betsy Silvestri, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, Judy Simonsen, Mary Beth Tarbet, Team Hill, Curtis Bille, Sandie Albrecht, Phil Vickers, Jim &Lorie Sonnen, Sharon Pierce, Carol Gamill, Mike Haeberle, Vera And Izzy Williams, Ed Suscreba, Virginia Pierce, Kris Nixon, Ruban And Bryant Omeara, Christine Dagney, The Parker Family, Scott Greenbaum, Kye Layton, Phyllis, Diane Tredore, Al Ganter, Mike O'brien, Amy Filliben , Josh Weiss, Maryann Eckenrode, The Gunnels Family, Donna Frank, Colette Stanton, David Manning, Les Whitten, Kenny, Mike Haven, Katie Bray, Carla C, Cheryl Costello, Kerry A., Deborah Wolfe, Annette Nuenke, Murr Family, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, K Beasley, Deb Ragno, Bill Cudney , Lori Rienhardt, Belicia Cullen, Tiffany Gibb, Ashley Collins, Tim L, Scott Cullen, Ellie Argaluza, Jennifer Harmon, Leach Family, Mike Amor, Karen Schlumpf, Matt Wildey, Mommybat, Tinkerbell Wells, Dave Freemyer, Beth Mcmeekin, Andrea Kruszewski, Jen Eacret, Patty Carty, Lorine Landon, Bill Mckim, Louise Barton, Paul Knott, Paul Knott, Melissa Such, Bruce Hinterleitner, Karen Bellamy, Dennis O'reilly, Phil Badcock, Kathryn Perkins , Megan Krainski, Laurie Walker, Morgan M., The Emich Family, Michael Mclucas And Jackie Mclucas, Hillary Waldroop, Tom Koval, Vicki Britt, Jeremy Hardy, Koren Family, Maureen Handy, Elaine Kleinhenz, Karen Adamakis, Craig, Janet T Thorn, Debbie Desimone, Al Desimone, Mary Virginia Clause, Long Family, John Menjes, Hobbes And Snorky, Kerri Coggins, Joe Calomeni, Angie Young, Rita Henderson, Antoinette Leblanc, Dee Dee Kenney, Hunter Armstrong, Erin Hammer, Lana Hauth, Julia Wickware, Olszak Family, Gerald Skanes, Chris Kelly, Sarah Calvario, Les Stewart, Linda College, Robert Wescovich, Russ Morgan, Chloe Mayhew, Trina Noggle, Elizabeth And Dan Johnston, Karen Ramirez, Tara Weaver, The Kahle Family, Juliet O'hare, Brian Richmond, Demetrios Makres, Rob Blundin, Kirsten Miller, The Tisdale Family, Jeff & Cheryl Simmons, Nan Amor, Jen Cerce, Lauren Thomas, Jonathan Thomas, Nicole Amidon, Stefan Owens, Jim Finley, Clay Anthony, Cheryl Chambers, Betsy Dross, Haylee Smolek, Andy Hickey, Heather Pedulla, Julie And Kody Rider, Theresa Maradei, Christopher Thacker, Andrew Carrieri, Jan Rosato, Carolyn Como, Paul Dickson, Team Bonnie Sue, Jeff Blank, Robert P. Flaherty, Maggie Klotz, Kev Marriott , Stephanie Mcnamee, Dusty Cheatham, Theresa Rucando, Wade A. Williams, Rosanne Williams, Duskin Henard, Terry Blair, Dallas Hamilton, Sarah And Chris, John Dupre, Brian Mcwithey, Jeremy Reichelt, Kerrie Hogan, Wayne Witherspoon, Paul Moore, The Holmes Family, Alison Rosenberger, Kate Fischer, Melesia Love, The Patterson Family, Kim Paulakos, Rebecca Keenan, Anastasia Macneil, Kevin Parmeland, Josh Carney, Tricia Noble, Melody Odonnell, Sara Holloway, Matt Holley, Mark Proper, Gail States, Ken Maikowski, Amanda Campbell, Davida, Christopher Hall, Cathy Connors, Diane Ramos, Tom Hermes, Maryann Romagnano, Matthew Jadro, Michelle Wilinski, George Mundy Jr, Michelle Palazzo, Wayne Chadourne, Smitty, Luis Rodriguez, Scott Sangston, Mike Venere, Erin Loring, Michael Dale Pennington, Tim Johansen, Diane Furtado, Pat Schwier, Gloria Martin, John Pasqueralli, Erin Connell, Jonathan Ward, Claire Gregory, Brian Grabowski, Sarah Thomas, Pecosace, Doug Olson Familey, Ldp, Nigel Mcquire (uk Wales), Paula Massarelli, Kelly Smith, Karrie Duffey, Jullie Pudem, Terry Fleming, Carri Marotto, Beth Josuweit, Maja Kodani, Nathan York, Jennifer Mercier, Matt Cofone, Grumpy's Groupies, Patti Mccaffrey, Teri Michalski, Jan Rosato, Jodi Cook, Jo Ann Bailey, Sharon Lightfoot, Evald Olson, David Ballard, Jackie Graebel, Liz Moreau, Lisa Cash, Heidi Goodhue, Jane Johnson, Gallagher Family, Double Family, Jennifer Bogdan, Joseph M. Zafia, Julia Marsh, Kyle Burdo, Robin Meredyk, Caitlin Lewis, Shirley Garcowski, Mark Franklin, Tom Higbee, Kirk Hardy, Tom Armstrong, Team Meeker, Cameron Lange, Barclay Bakkum, Shannon Murray, Dave Carriere, Ron Harper, Jackie Klafeta, Christi Ison, Mickey Eckert, Barry Sklenar, The Hutchinson Family, Timmy Saunders, Ken Rhinehart, Stacy Guarracino, Danielle Harsley And Agnes Ciotti, and Tom Armstrong. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #329 Where in the world is this?

Some people complained last week was too easy. So.... you know what that means! DOUBLE CHALLENGE!

The toughie:

Where in Walt Disney World is this?
 Where in the World #329a

For the regular challenge:
Wow, we're at the end of April already. Grab some form of Disney transportation because we're switching parks!

 Where in the World #329

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

April 13, 2014

Where in the World #327

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!

Guess what? My husband surprised me with a birthday trip to Walt Disney World this June! He worked with John Ames at MEI Travel to set it up and then showed me the trip on My Disney Experience! Afterwards, he said, "I should have waited until the night before to tell you." I, of course, handled the announcement with grace and elegance.
Squee

Now for Challenge #326:
Where in the World #326

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

"Beautiful sight, isn't it? Something to dream about on the way to Mars." Because we are looking at Mission:Space in Epcot! I had a fantastic group of people the last time I rode this attraction. When they told us we would be in hypersleep for three months, the woman next to me said, "Thank god, I need a nap!"

Susie Howard, is it wrong that I did this when I read the story about your husband:
From Millan.Net

Bruce Jones were the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Bruce and to all our winners this week! Jennifer Rowell, Kristi Strembicki, Donna Frank, Beth Mcmeekin, Jim And Lorie Sonnen, Rob Blundin, The Koren Family, Ed Elder, Team Hill, Linda Scrivano, Kerri Coggins, The Kertes Family, Tricia Petty , Nan Amor, Claire Gregory, The Kertes Family, Tom Hermes, Phyllis, Jennifer Harmon, The Kahle Family, Jen Cerce, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Kerry A., Mary Beth Tarbet, Dee Dee Kenney, Christina, Chris Kelly, Ed Suscreba, Karen Schlumpf, Melissa Such, Erin Connell, Robert Vadovic , Phil Vickers, Tina Kahl, Reasha Kling, Linda Ranatza, Judy Simonsen, Darlene Haven, Carol Ney, Jenny Brennan, Brenda Harrington , Deb Ragno, Andy Hickey, Sheryl Hicks, Mike Haven, Michelle Darabaris, Jon, Todd George Blosser, Rick Rollins, Nicolle Clement, Torrey Beasley, Robin Fitts, The Parker Family, Trish Roam, The Pearsall Family, Jennifer Jacobs, Claudette Laferriere, Kerry Hill, Mary Virginia Clause, Tom Donnelly, Kimyartta Mckines, Theresa Lucotti, Eric Johnson, Belicia Cullen, Kristina Rohrbach, Jack Lynch, Tim Johansen, Tim Thompson, Scott Cullen, Dennis O'reilly, Michele Smith, Trish Roam, Stuart Savage, Paul Knott, Morag Lemon, Taylor K, Matt Wildey, Bill Schmid, Angela Jones, Erin Peterson, Nicole Garon, The Gunnels Family, Ellen Sullivan, Sharon Pierce, Laura V., Megan Krainski, Jim Finley, Wendy Hupp, Karey Brown, Carol Lyons, Maggie Klotz, Cindy Pink, Jim Nitschke, Jodi Lupp, Jackie Cannata, Jodi Lupp, Kathy N Brooke, Donna Begley, Mike M., Amber Penske, Vicki Britt, Steve And Ruby Jordan, The Fosbender's, Tommy Montgomery, Sarah Orman, Pam Vanaustin, Kevin Wagner, Paul Dickson, The Emich Family, Evald Olson, Crystal King, Susie Howard, Brendan Abel, Kaja Durkis, Leigh Mertz, Bruce Hinterleitner, Robin Robinson , Katie Bray, Heather Long, Carla C, Tammy Kallenbach, Ken Jackson, Gina Smith, Richard Beverly, Julia Wickware, Michele Zowacki, Bill Mckim, Ken Maikowski, Rebekah Johnson, Weaselmouse, Maggie Biederman, Paula Massarelli, Kathy Wilkerson, Michelle Gurn, Olszak Family, Carol Collins, Duskin Henard, Katina Dehart, Robert Wescovich, Robert Wescovich, Les Whitten, Jeremy Hardy, Dan Cozby, John Stella, Jen Tremley, Dave Freemyer, Jim Martin, Tinkerbell Wells, Mary Dieuliis, Debbie Desimone, Mandie Hubbard, Al Desimone, Skip Broome, Stefan Owens, Antoinette Leblanc, Lauriebeth, Liam And Fiona Odonnel, Rita Henderson, Vera And Izzy Williams, Kenny, Peg R, Hunter Armstrong, Lana Hauth, Lana Hauth, Craig, Tom Koval, Hobbes And Snorky, Mike Malampy, Tammy Rice, Patty Carty, Daniel Record, Karen Costa, Virginia Pierce, Melissa Rymer, Pecosace, Christopher Thacker, Betsy Silvestri, Krista Serpi, Ken Clark, Laua Spangler, Derek Carty, Heather Pedulla, Patti Gumiela, Irene Ng, Eleanor Taberski, Eleanor Taberski, Juliet O'hare, Bruce Nash, Matt Petty, Heather Capraun, A. Beaulieu, Brian Mcwithey, Eric Berger, Kathryn Perkins , Jamesd (dzneynut), Arlene Vicek, Andrew Swiatowicz , Jackie Purcell, Kris Nixon, Chuck Sands, Colette Stanton , Joe Armeni, Anna Otts, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Josh Weiss, Lee Anastasi, Mary Ann Eckenrode, Leach Family, Chris Nichols, Diane Furtado, Wayne Chadourne, Ian Falk, Kameo Crea, John Menjes, Kelly Sroka, Doug Jacobs, Dawn Miller, Craig Livingston, Frank Abbamonte, Michael Pyle, Jonathan Thomas, Vicki Christensen, Anjanette Tournillon, Carolyn Como, Teri Jo Fuson, Maryann Romagnano, John Bickers, Terri , Theresa Maradei, Russ Morgan, Jeff Blank, Kevin Jones, Karen Ramirez, Terry Blair, Herb Miller, Les Stewart, Kelly Smith, Dallas Hamilton, Christian Langtry, John Dupre, Sarah And Chris, Mark Proper, Morgan M., Melody Odonnell, Christopher Hall, Kate Fischer, Matt Holley, Jeremy Reichelt, Chris Bauman, Richard Smith, Holmes Family, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Carri Marotto, Eric Raygor, Scott Sangston, Gail States, Karrie Duffey, Shelly Borella, Davida, Jeff Richardson, George Mundy Jr, Terry Fleming, Rebecca Keenan, Andy Schumacher, Michelle Palazzo, Matthew Jadro, Anastasia Macneil, Amber Slifer, Smitty, Nathan Gray, Matt Earl, Fred Shakeshaft, Herb Reeves, Jeff Finger, Tim English, Jan Rosato, Hannah Crowley, Alison Rosenberger, Cathy Connors, John Snider, Kim Paulakos, Jennifer Chartier, Team Meeker, Jeff Stetson, Lauren Pinder, Sean Diven, Darlene Collins, Matt Ciccone, Dayna Guay, Mike Haeberle, Steve Mills, Ron Harper, Theresa Rucando, Mickey Eckert, Kirsten Miller, Bryant And Ruben O'meara, Jorge Caso, Josh Carney, Karla Callen, Team Bonnie Sue, Luis Rodriguez, Franki Larocca, Brian Grabowski, Emily Hudson, Bobbie Mills, Lorine Landon, Jim Thompson, Hillary Waldroop, Liz Weiter, Scott Greenbaum, Mark Franklin, Annie Snodgrass, Tracy Discher, John Pasqueralli, Jo Ann Bailey, John Foggo, Michael And Kelly Barnes, Jennifer Fasy, April Stinson, Caitlin Lewis, Gallagher Family, Robert P. Flaherty, Lindsay Coram, Joseph M. Zafia, Cheryl Costello, Shirley Garcowski, Grumpy's Groupies, Jackie Graebel, Barclay Bakkum, Tom Higbee, Lynn Torre, Nathan York, Dave Carriere, Robin Meredyk, Stacy Guarracino, Tom Armstrong, Lynne Reiter-truby, Pat Morin, Darrin Diaz, Lori Rienhardt, Karen Ford, Steve Gayman, Kyle Burdo, Melissa Kirk, Patti Mccaffrey, John Teehan, Margie Larmon, Heidi Goodhue, Jennifer Bogdan, Heidi Goodhue, Danielle Harsley, Agnes Ciotti, and Jane Johnson. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #327 Where in the world is this?

Hi Ho! Hi Ho! It's off to another park we go! (But singing this song is not a clue.)
 Where in the World #327

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, April 17th, 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!

April 11, 2014

Down Under Spaceship Earth

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The entrance to Spaceship Earth at night in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The entrance to Spaceship Earth at night.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 10s, f/16, ISO 200, EV -1, 15mm focal length, tripod.

This is a fun and popular composition when photographing around Epcot's Spaceship Earth. Use a wide angle or fisheye lens under Spaceship Earth and place its bottom at the top of the frame. I really like the photos at night when Disney "paints" the reflective triangles with golden and purple colors.

I do not know about you, this photo makes me feel the weight of the geosphere above it. The next time you find yourself underneath Spaceship Earth, remember this fact: it weighs 15,520,000 Pounds (7,040,000 Kilograms) or 7,760 Tons.

April 8, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Club Cool

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Club Cool in Epcot's Future World is famous... or infamous, depending on your taste buds. Sponsored by Coca Cola, you can sample for free sodas or pops or soda pops (depending on where you live) from all over the world. Like foods, people's tastes in sodas from other countries can be very different. Just ask anyone who has tried Beverly from Italy during their tastings at Club Cool.

Inside Club Cool in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Inside Club Cool in Epcot's Future World.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 1100, EV +0.3, 16mm focal length.

Which soda/pop/soda pop is your favorite at Club Cool?

Lisa will be here on Thursday to share her experiences with the Disney Pic of the Week about Club Cool.

March 28, 2014

World Showcase Details

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Epcot's World Showcase is a treasure trove of photographic opportunities. I find new things to photograph in the countries with every trip. Here are three examples.

I photograph lots of t-shirts when traveling. I like to use them for online galleries and slideshows. This t-shirt I found in an outdoor kiosk at the Canada pavilion would be a good one for an introduction slide to Canada.

TA t-shirt for sale in the Canada pavilion n Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A T-shirt for sale in the Canada pavilion.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/80s, f/4.5, ISO 200, EV +0.3.

When people think of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, I believe the famous Gargoyles which "guard" it come to mind. Outside the entrance to Impressions de France at the France pavilion sits a replica of the Spitting Gargoyle which may be the most famous resident of the cathedral.

Spitting Gargoyle replica at the France pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spitting Gargoyle replica at the France pavilion.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/60s, f/1.8, ISO 900, EV +0.3.

The Morocco pavilion is one of the most detailed around the World Showcase. The tile work is beautiful and colorful. Add a touch of falling water and I could not resist.

Water fountain at the Morocco pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Water fountain at the Morocco pavilion.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/40s, f/8, ISO 6400, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

Keep your senses peeled as you walk and explore Epcot's World Showcase pavilions and share with us what you find.

March 12, 2014

Remembering the Tapestry of Nations Parade

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Puppet and puppeteer in the Tapestry of Nations in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Puppet and puppeteer in the Tapestry of Nations Parade.

As long as we are waxing nostalgic this week, I also came upon this photo from the Tapestry of Nations Parade in Epcot's World Showcase from 2000. I saw this parade many times during its run and never got tired of it or the wonderful musical score.

March 9, 2014

Where in the World #322

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!

Sara Holloway, here's your Mickey Ice Cream bar! Don't worry about the outside temperature. Wrap yourself up, nice and cozy, and enjoy!
Mickey ice cream bar

Wait! Jonathan Ward: you're telling me that Epcot has caramel apple oatmeal cookies?! And Alan Mize says they have croissant doughnuts?! Why didn't someone say so sooner! This is what happens when I don't work on menus for awhile. AND I need a Tiki Tankard! (Thanks for letting me know, Claire Gregory!)

From last week: Challenge #321:
Where in the World #321

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

The Gardeners' Cottage in the Victoria Gardens at the Canadian Pavilion in Epcot. Imagine if you could stay there! Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu gave more details: "We think it's our home country of Canada (Epcot) in the Victoria Gardens, which is called Butchart Gardens here in Victoria on Vancouver Island, British Columbia."

Rebecca Siimith, if your garden looks like this, can I stay with you this Spring? If not, we can go to Cindy Pinki's. Her place is going to look like this. Dibs on the cottage!

Judy Simonsen, Jack Spence is a wonderful person and a great blogger! I'm hoping to be him when I grow up. :)

Davida, I didn't know that! Now I'll have to look for pictures of the house near Niagara Falls to how much the cottage looks like it!

Jen Tremley were the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Jen and to all our winners this week! Craig, Kristi Strembicki, Linda Ranatza, Phyllis, The Kahle Family, Sharon Pierce, Donna Frank, Mary Beth Tarbet, Murr Family, Trina Noggle, Chris Kelly, Bill Mckim, Kenny, Kirsten Miller, The Kertes Family, Kirsten Miller, Laura V., Antoinette Leblanc, Melanie Emmons, Andreas Beer, Adam Lucas, Carol Gilliland , Andrew Carrieri, Tim English, Marian Sefcik, Julia Wickware, Mary Walsh, Lexi Franquiz, Carol Ney, Nancy Ahlsen, Rebecca Smith, Cindy Pinki, Nicole Doney, Pamela Csonka, Melissa Thomas, Vanessa Stjohn, Brigitte Fagan, Cathy Derecola, Crystal Ellis, Becky Norman, Patti Gumiela, Dave Freemyer, Dave Cole, Tinkerbell Wells, Ken Daube, Rob Blundin, Theresa Lucotti, Ellen Sullivan, Sisk Family, Jennc, Candice Grimes, Kelly Sroka, Susan Lawrence, Mark Deroia, The Parker Family, Janet T Thorn, Michele Zowacki, Disney Bob, Samantha Fontana, Shari Prater, Liz Paxton, Ken Maikowski, Jon Landis, Tyler Otts , Andrea Kruszewski, Ellie Argaluza, Keirsten Sangster, Trish Roam, Jen Cerce, Trish Roam, Marielle Montoro, Tammy Wilson, Suzanne Renfroe, Tom Steveley, Team Hill, Michelle Bunton , Katherine Pretzman, Chris England, Pat Schwier, Melissa Rymer, Liz &Dave Fullerton, Katie Bray , Les Stewart, Scott Precise, Jamie Tauer, Holly Liska, Tony Stevens, Michelle Darabaris, Jacquelyn Law, Dee Dee Kenney, Maryann Eckenrode, Christi Ison, Mildred Popp, Vera And Izzy Williams, Tim Johansen, Terry Blair, Deb Ragno, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, The Pearsall Family, Amiee Augustine, Pat Morin, Danielle Rennicks, Judy Simonsen, Beth, Bryant And Ruben O'meara, Tom Mcgrew, Elaine Kleinhenz, Ryan F, Melodye Berry, Popek Family, Kris Nixon, Carolyn Como, Anne Heffentreyer, Kathy Wilkerson, Taylor Kmiech, Karen Ramirez, Tricia Petty, K Beasley, Sarah Orman, Pam Manseau, Gerald Skanes, Jan Benton, Doug Olson Family, Heather Pedulla, Jodi Lupp, Kathleen Thornton, David Forister, Ed Suscreba, Scott Greenbaum, Amanda Campbell, Megan Krainski, Kathy Love, Roger Vollmet, Susie Howard, Jennifer Rowell, Julie And Kody Rider, Gina Smith, Kerry A., Lori Rienhardt, Jason And Melinda Lenz, Ashley Collins, Barbara Ajak , Pam Lorenz, Dennis O'rrilly, Janet Harp, Charissa Troup, Maggie Klotz, Mike O'brien , Sarah A, Michaela O'brien, Karen O'brien , Brian Miller, Sandie Albrecht, Lindsay Arlene Clayton, Helen Amer, Emily Hudson, Dawn Bach, Nan Amor, Ron Harper, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Jim &Lorie Sonnen, Gail States, Ruth Senecal, Lisa Zitek, Maureen Handy, Melesia Love, Chris Nichols, Patrice Hollenshead, Leach Family, Donna Currier, Stefan Owens, Renee Hardiman, Frank Kishel, Tracey Mayfield, Darlene Haven, Jonathan Ward, Diane Furtado, Mary Sanderson, Blake Schmidtd, Jennifer And Elizabeth Geno, Eric Enli, Nathaniel Clements, Lesli Rendall, Paul Dickson, Darrin Brooks, Rob Hepler, Duskin Henard, Stacey Kiefer, Vanessa Gordon, Wendy Snelgrove, The Hoekzema Family, Kerri Coggins, Nathan York, A. Beaulieu, Michele Mongeon, Bob Patterson, Dallas Hamilton, The Patterson Family, Matthew Jadro, Mike Haven, Patrick Broaddus, Tricia Noble, Josh Carney, David Wang, Kevin Parmeland, Angie Grimes, Melody Odonnell, Wendy Markwood, Mickey Eckert, Betsy Silvestri, Alex Gamill, Carol Gamill, Kelly Smith, Cameron Lange, Maja Kodani, Anastasia Macneil, Sharon Dale, Terry Fleming, Barclay Bakkum, Mark Proper, Patti Mccaffrey, Michael &Jackie Mclucas, Kay Moss, Alison Rosenberger, Randy Thomas, Vicki Shearman, Rebecca Keenan, Scott Sangston, Lizanne Fisk, Theresa Rucando, Mike Amor, Amy L Santapau, Reagan, Jan Rosato, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Kirk Hardy, Amy Guerrini, Tom Koval, L Dean, Andy Schumacher, Dan And Elizabeth Johnston, Jullie Pudem, Becky, Kris Nixon, Terry W., Carrie R, Matt Holley, Alan Mize, Claire Gregory, Karen Ford, Luis Rodriguez, Vicki Britt, Jo Ann Bailey, Jennifer Bogdan, Vickie Scioneaux, Jane Johnson, Team Bonnie Sue, Joseph M. Zafia, Cheryl Costello, Shirley Garcowski, Pamela Vanaustin, Bonnie Cummings, Penny Urell, Tom Higbee, Douglas Florey, Steve Thorpe, Jill Davoll, Collette Beuther, Peggy Saeger, Heidi Goodhue, Jim Thompson, Larry Brooks, Davida, Hillary Waldroop, Jenny Leek, Kimberly Stephens, Margie Larmon, Rachel Hoover, Danielle Harsley, and Agnes Ciotti. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #322 Where in the world is this?

Going to a different park. Who is this? Remember: you can't just tell me what park!
 Where in the World #322

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

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

February 11, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Test Track

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Walt Disney pioneered the use of sponsored attractions in his theme parks. When Epcot was built, sponsorship was taken to a new level. The latest version of Test Track is innovative, educational and fun. It is also the coolest showroom for Chevrolet automobile models in the world. This coming from a Ford guy.

Take this photo of a yellow and black Chey Camaro display themed to a city street in the post queue area of Test Track. I used a fisheye lens and got permission from the Cast Member to get in real close. I used an old landscape trick to start low and slowly move to a higher position over the subject to include the background. Works best with wide angle lenses.

Yellow Chevrolet Camaro inside Test Track at Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Yellow Chevrolet Camaro inside Test Track.
Nikon D700/Sigma 15mm, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 1250, EV 0.

Lisa will be here on Thursday to share her Disney Pic of the Week on Test Track.

January 17, 2014

Highway in the Sky over Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Keeping with this week's photo theme, here is another iconic symbol of not only Epcot but all of Walt Disney World: the WDW Monorail System known as the Highway in the Sky. Each day, monorails transport thousands of resort guests around the Seven Seas Lagoon on either the Express or Resort track back and forth to the Magic Kingdom. You can also transfer to the Epcot track at the Ticket & Transportation Center (TTC) for further service to Epcot.

Monorail Pink in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Monorail Pink passing by the Imagination Pavilion.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/11, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 180mm focal length.

I took this from the walkway between the Odyssey restaurant and World Showcase. I waited for a few minutes for a monorail to pass by. This is one of those reference photos I take to remind me to revisit this location in the future when the Sun is close to setting.

Monorails give a very relaxing, smooth and air conditioned ride even if you have to stand. Remember...Por favor mantenerse al lado de las puertas! at each stop.

January 14, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Epcot was the first park I visited at Walt Disney World some 30 years ago. While attractions have come and gone, new countries have sprung up around World Showcase and the trees have gotten taller, Spaceship Earth has endured to become the iconic symbol of Epcot.

Spaceship Earth as seen from Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spaceship Earth as seen from Epcot's World Showcase.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 280, EV 0, 150mm focal length.

Lisa will be here on Thursday to share her Disney Pic of the Week from Epcot.

January 10, 2014

Looking Above the Trees at Walt Disney World

Prime Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

As veterans of many trips to Walt Disney World, Lisa and I have often said to always look up and down when visiting the resort. Most of the time you will find wonderful details and even a Hidden Mickey. You may discover a composition you never noticed before. In reviewing photos from my last couple of trips, I came upon these photos which were taken in different parks and at different times but have similar properties.

The first was taken as I walked from Japan to Morocco late in the day. I noticed the low Sun angle was giving the Hotel du Canada of the Canadian pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase a nice golden glow. I decided to crop the photo leaving out any indication of the people and lamps at the bottom of the original photo. I wanted people to see the beauty of the Hotel du Canada framed between green trees and a cloudy sky.

Hotel du Canada in the Canadian pavilion of Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Late afternoon sunshine illuminates the Hotel du Canada.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 1100, EV +0.3, 300mm focal length.

While walking the bridge between the entrance to Adventureland and Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom late at night, I looked up at the spires of Cinderella Castle illuminated above the trees. Not seeing the entire castle created a new composition for me.

The spires of Cinderella Castle illuminated at night in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
The Spires of Cinderella Castle illuminated at night.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/13s, f/5.6, ISO 5600, EV 0, 200mm focal length.

While I often do not mind including people and other elements in my Walt Disney World photographs, I liked how I cropped or composed these two photos to eliminate any distracting elements.

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?

November 22, 2013

Photographing Tutto Italia Desserts in Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When Travel and Food Photography mix, I like to include members of my party in my food photos. In this case, my daughters presented their dessert choices after our meal at Tutto Italia in Epcot's Italy pavilion.

My youngest decided she did not really like what Tutto Italia had for dessert. The server was kind enough to get her a simple ice cream dessert with a chocolate cookie stick. As you can see, she was very happy with it.

Ice cream dessert at Tutto Italia restaurant in Epcot's Italy pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Ice cream dessert being presented at Tutto Italia restaurant.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5, ISO 1100, EV +0.3, 72mm focal length.

My eldest ordered the Gianduja-Chocolate Torta which is a chocolate and hazelnut torte with whipped cream and raspberry sauce. She determined it to be delicious.

Gianduja - Chocolate Torta dessert at Tutto Italia restaurant in Epcot's Italy pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Gianduja - Chocolate Torta dessert being presented at Tutto Italia restaurant.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/4.5, ISO 560, EV +0.3, 52mm focal length.

I also got a more traditional food picture of the Cannoli ordered by another member of my party. It must have been good as it was gone before I got a second shot at it.

Cannoli dessert at Tutto Italia restaurant in Epcot's Italy pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cannoli dessert at Tutto Italia restaurant.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5, ISO 1100, EV +0.3, 72mm focal length.

Remember to include members of your dining party in your visits to any of the wonderful Walt Disney World restaurants. Not just the Character Meals. They make for fun and memorable photographs.

November 8, 2013

Fisheyed Disney

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

A fisheye lens is an ultra-ultra wide-angle lens that produces strong visual distortion intended to create a wide panoramic or hemispherical image. Fisheye lenses achieve extremely wide angles of view by forgoing producing images with straight lines of perspective (rectilinear images), opting instead for a special mapping (for example: equisolid angle), which gives images a characteristic convex non-rectilinear appearance (Source: Wikipedia).

Did you get all that? Fisheyes have been a favorite fun lens for Disney photographers for years. The lens, as the above definition says in a round about, distorts straight lines near the edges. That effect can ruin a photo unless used creatively. Earlier this year, I obtained a Sigma 15mm Fisheye lens for my Nikon D700 FX (full frame) dSLR camera. Last week, I used it at Walt Disney World for the first time. Let's see how I did.

I look for three conditions when I am shooting with a Fisheye lens:

1. Compositions with curved or circular objects which wrap around the image.
2. Put something of interest in the center and let straight lines get bent to lead people to the frame's center.
3. When a Fisheye is the only way to get far enough away from a subject to photograph it in cramped quarters (like a ride queue).

The huge red guitar outside of the building containing the Rock 'n' Roller Coaster in Disney's Hollywood Studios was a perfect subject for a Fisheye composition. The curves of the piano keys, guitar, palm trees and even the railing all work to create the uniqueness of a Fisheye photograph. You will also notice how close I got. I was learning over the railing to get as close to those piano keys as I could. Just like any wide angle lens, you want to get as close to the main subject as you can. It is easy to loose a subject in the extreme wide angle of a Fisheye and make a photo confusing.

Rock 'n' Roller Coaster building in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Rock 'n' Roller Coaster building in Disney's Hollywood Studio.
Nikon D700/Sigma 15mm, 1/640s, f/13, ISO 200, EV 0.

With the Bust of Walt Disney at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in Disney's Hollywood Studios, I got in real close and let the Fisheye distort all the straight lines of the nearby celebrity busts, palm trees, lines in the pavement and building. Notice how the bust itself is relatively distortion free.

Bust of Walt Disney at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Bust of Walt Disney at the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
Nikon D700/Sigma 15mm, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0.

In the Test Track queue where you can use the giant touch screens to design cars, it is really tight quarters for even a wide angle lens. The Fisheye worked great to tell the story of how Disney entertains and educates even while waiting in line.

A young woman designing a car in the queue for Test Track in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A young woman designing a car in the queue for Test Track.
Nikon D700/Sigma 15mm, 1/50s, f/2.8, ISO 3200, EV 0.

You will see more Fisheye photos in the future as I found it a fun and useful lens to have in Disney themeparks.

November 3, 2013

Where in the World #304

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 forgot a very important celebration last week (facepalm). I hope everyone celebrating Día de Muertos had a very special time!
From Millan.Net

Thank you to everyone for the lovely anniversary wishes! Kerri Coggins, you're right. I should put the hubby in touch with Paul Moore about how to plan a celebratory Disney trip! Oh honey?!

Claire Gregory, I'll be in touch about plans for our secret mission.

From last week: Challenge #303:
 Where in the World #303

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

The Mariachi Cobre band performing inside the Mexico pavilion! Their page on the official WDW website gives their schedule for each day!

Or you can ask Jane Johnson because she is besties with them! She knew who each one was just by their feet!

And we have Barrie Brewer fans amongst us! I'm so happy about that. You knew from the thumbnail that this was her photo!

Karen Ramirez says, "So glad you put this challenge from my country. Greetings from Mexico City! Viva Mexico!"

Viva Mexico! From Millan.Net

Thomas Beebe was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Thomas and all our winners this week! The Kahle Family, Matt Wildey, Kristi Strembicki, Sarah Orman, Bethany Mattiuz-king, Theresa Rucando, Julia B. Meyer, Phyllis, Jeannette Ayoob-urban, Mary Beth Tarbet, Tim Thompson, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, Tim Jeltes, Donna, Matt Petty, Rob Blundin, Heather Brennan, Marguerite Garofalo, The Pearsall Family, Jim Finley, Wendy Beaudoin, Ed Elder, Tricia Petty, Belicia Cullen, Ellen Sullivan, Ryan Mccorristin, Barbie Tupua, Rebekah Schultz, Lindsey Nozal, Scott Cullen, Keirsten Sangster, Charlene Stauch, Phil Vickers, Kerri Coggins, Agnes Ciotti, Joey Bessman , Cindy Pink, Hayley Valk, Sean Eggleston , Juliano Bergo, Judy Simonsen, Carol Domangue, Dee Dee Kenney, Ken Clark, Leach Family, Virginia Pierce, Tina Cason, Chris Nichols, Cheryl Chambers, Amber Slifer, Susie Howard, Kathy Morris, The Parker Family, Kara Cummings, Torrey Beasley, Betsy Silvestri, Alicia Seeley, Mike Rotkiske, Lee Deroia, Tammy Scott, Colette Stanton , Mike Walter, Paul Knott, Janet T Thorn, Elaine Kleinhenz, Andrew Carrieri, Melissa Such, Ken Jackson, Emery Fellows, Andrea Flanders , Double Family, Candice Grimes, John Gately, Deborah Brister , Ruby Roberts, Deb Ragno, Brian Miller, Jen Cerce, Team Hill, Dylan Weidner, Maryann Eckenrode, Pam Isbell, Drew Eckert, Kate Bocko, Jane Bogan, Sharon Pierce, Gina Smith, Ken Maikowski, Josette Gabel, Larry Drum, Darlene Harmon, Kerrie Hogan, Chris Kelly, Tony Deluccio, Pam Vanaustin, Jason & Melinda Lenz, Annie Snodgrass, Kelly Turner, Josh Weiss, K Beasley, Louise Barton, Maggie Klotz, Liz Moreau, Ronald Delorey, Ashley P. , Jason Hocker, Vicki Edwards, Ed Suscreba, Jackie Kirner, Jane Threlfall , Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Marie Summers, Patty Carty, Shannon Savoia, Pollyanna Buff, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Karen Adamakis, Craig Livingston, Deb Gallo, Terry Blair, Amanda Campbell, Laura V., Wayne Chadourne, Kate Nejman, Wendy Markwood, Gerald Skanes , Claire Gregory, Deme Grabert, Antoinette Leblanc, Sheryl Hicks, Kerry A., Bob Patterson, Bruce Hinterleitner, Dawn Bach, Darren Morehead, Linda Mac, Heather Long, Bill Mckim , Pat Schwier, Kenny, Ruben O'meara, Robert Wescovich, Barbara Mazzarella, Kristi Kempton, Vera And Izzy Williams, Cathy Derecola, Joe Derecola, Tracey Mayfield, Maureen Handy, Carolyn Como, Jeremy Hardy, Gina Shaw, Katie Bray, Angie Young, Tim Johansen, Robert Hildebrandt, Karen Schlumpf, Dave Kanigowski, Sandy Kanigowski, Ashley Hill, Andrea Kruszewski, Carla C , Stefanie Vandiver, Teala Van De Ven, Suzanne Baker, Hobbes And Snorky, Dave Freemyer, Jen Eacret, Mike O'brien, Dusty Cheatham, Julie Wickware, Chuck Sands, Chris Hambleton, Craig, Vicki Gelb, Caryn Schill, Andrew Swiatowicz, Nicole Amidon, Jimvan18, Robin Robinson , Larry Sprenkle, Maryannlamay, Roxanne Kliebert, Lisa Zitek, Kris Nixon, Diane Furtado, Trisha Johnson, Gail States, Maryann Romagnano, Stefan Owens, Brian Gallant, Linda College, Lisa Hudson, Clay Anthony, Barbara Schmitt, Billie Jean Albolino, Kathryn Perkins, Carol Collins, Josh Carney, Brenda Strohmeyer, Rapunzel, Lynette Michalos, Kirsten Miller, Scott Greenbaum, Wayne Beck, Kerry Mccaffrey, Steve Morin, Mickey Eckert, Jeff Blank, Nigel Mcquire (wales Uk), Lynn, Nancy Crossman, Jared Orth, Duskin Henard, Karen Costa, Brian Mcwithey, Nathaniel Clements, Matt Holley, Jeremy Reichelt, Fishman Family, Tommy Montgomery, Karrie Duffey, Anastasia Macneil, Zachary Ott, Jennifer Mercier, Sara Alaimo, Chuck Everson, Rob Hepler, Chuck Everson, Tom Hermes, The Holmes Family, Mary Jo Gallion, The Patterson Family, Les Stewart, Terry Fleming, Scott Sangston, Karen Davis, Dan Potts, Lindsey Schlauderaff, Sara Holloway, Paul Ignudo, Jr., Brian Richmond, Barclay Bakkum, Curtis Bille, Matthew Jadro, Team Meeker, Jim & Lorie Sonnen, Herb Miller, Miguel Gonzalez, Steve Knapp, Alan Mize, The Hutchinson Family, Morgan M., Diane Ramos, Michelle Holloway, Ron Harper, Penny Urell, Mark Proper, Jim Thompson, Christine Dagney, Erin Dagney, Lori Rienhardt, Daniel Record, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Heather Pedulla, Terri Thornton, Randi Balch, Dwayne Fontenot, Karen Ramirez, Cheryl Costello, Lorri Gumanow, Steve Stubbs, Hunter Armstrong, Sophia Clifton, Alison Rosenberger, Michael Pennington, Vicki Britt, Vicki Shearman, Nancy Cole, Al Desimone, Paul Moore, Jeff Beauchamp, Karen Smith, Stephanie Visco, Carri Marotto, Tom Buck, Lisa Pinder, Joanne O'brien, Robert P. Flaherty, Jo Ann Bailey, David Ballard, Jackie Graebel, Karen Hotchkiss, Joseph M. Zafia, Russ Morgan, Tom Koval, Maryann Daly, Sherry Trapp, Caroline Williams, Tom Higbee, Craig Thorn, Shelly Borella, Angela Johnson, Sherri Pell, Sharon Minock, Morag Lemon, Julie And Kody Rider, Shirley Garcowski, Shannon Wright, Robert Bostic, Rachel Hoover, Hillary Waldroop, Ann Muckle, Karen Bellamy, Team Bonnie Sue, Jackie Klafeta, George Mundy Jr, Jacquelyn Law, The Kertes Family, Lauren Blundin, Gunnels Family, Jane Johnson, Kyle Burdo, Kate Fischer, Gallagher Family, Cameron Lange, Betsy Dross, Stacy Guarracino, John Pasqueralli, Evald Olson, Patti Mccaffrey, and Roye Ann Morris. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

Hey, Betsy Dross, could you come here? I need to tell you something. You're the monthly winner for Where in the World Photo Fun! Deb Wills will be sending you a prize!
airhorn

_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #304 Where in the world is this?

Still in the parks. I think it's harder, but you tell me, Players.
 Where in the World #304

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, November 7th, 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 17, 2013

Sunshine Seasons in Epcot's The Land

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The atrium in The Land pavilion in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
People inside The Land pavilion in Epcot's Future World.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/3.5, ISO 900, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

People sitting at tables inside The Land pavilion in Epcot's Future World enjoying a variety of foods from the Sunshine Seasons counter service restaurant. A colorful Disney Pic of the Week about The Land.

October 4, 2013

Canadian Rockies in Epcot's World Showcase

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Canadian Rocky Mountains in the Canada pavilion of Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Canadian Rocky Mountains in the Canada pavilion.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/80s, f/29, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 34mm focal length.

This week Scott is photographing in the beautiful Rocky Mountains of Colorado which are simliar to the Canadian Rockies you see in Epcot's Canada pavilion. You can continue to follow Scott's adventure on his Twitter account @sthomasphotos or his personal photoblog at Views Infinitum.

As always, you can follow @Scottwdw on Twitter for his Disney feed.

September 29, 2013

Where in the World #299

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

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

Rob And April Vanderpool, thank you for your note!

Patti Mccaffrey, oh no! I hope you're feeling better!
From Millan.Net

From last week: Challenge #298:
 Where in the World #298

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © 2013 Erin Blackwell

This is one of the phone boxes in the UK Pavilion in Epcot! Can you believe I didn't know you can CALL them?! One Player thinks the numbers have been disconnected; I'll try to find out. OR! If one of you who is in the World could find out and report back, we'd be grateful!

You Players are impressive! You used the hinges, reflections in the windows, and more to pinpoint where this one was. Wow!

I read an article saying some communities in the UK are converting these to free small libraries where you "Take A Book, Leave a Book" since public phones aren't needed with mobiles. Good for you!

In the UK pavilion, one of them has been converted for the Agent P adventures; if you haven't tried this yet, this pavilion has a great one. And the others are great photo ops and for pretending to call places like the Ministry of Magic.

I have the Mickey t-shirt where he's using one of these phone boxes. Love it. :)

As for me, Stacy Lee and John Bickers, we keep hoping this will show up:
From Millan.Net

The Kahle Family were the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to The Kahle Family and all our winners this week! Theresa Rucando, Ed Suscreba, Linda Ranatza, Phyllis, Carol Ney, Dee Dee Kenney, Bruce Jones, Donna Frank, Chris Nichols, Team Hill, Ashley Arndt, Jeff Schoeling, Steve And Ruby Jordan, Paul Dickson, Josh Carney, Tina G, Kris Nixon, Christina Lutes, David Dawson, Andrea Lai , Meghan Gleason-vollmer, Chris Horne, Melissa Such, Trisha Johnson, Jamie Stepp, Melissa Darling, Roger Vollmer, Vanessa Stjohn, Michael Nelson, Robert Graham, Tammy Wright, Dianne Mercer, Dave Wang, Fishman Family, Laura Nicholes, Joy Serio, Colette Stanton , Sara Colwell, Jon Landis, Kristi Strembicki, Mike M., Cheryl Jung, Jennifer Walker, Jennifer Newhouse , Ken Clark, Jodi Civill, Robert Wescovich, Morgan M, Carrie Kiger, Paige Meeker, Russ Morgan, Carla C, Hayley Lawson, Janet Stavrides, Dylan Newhouse , John Sharpe, The Kertes Family, Andrew Carrieri, Laura, Lucy, Janet T Thorn, Heather Odom, Tom Koval, Sharon Sejda, Shea Martin, Kenny, Kelly Beckner, Mike Mondoux, Barbra Crabtree, Nancy B, Leach Family, Chris Schrider, Dave Gerber, Karen Ramirez, K Beasley, Jimmy Wiley, Richard Atwood , Kathy Davies, Rob And April - Team Vanderpool, Lynette Michalos, Sharon Pierce, Marcus Davies, Jd Conti, Mike Rotkiske, Cindy Pink, Tammy Tidmore, Vera Williams, Mike Walter, Liz Moreau, Sharynne Smith, Scott Greenbaum, Bill Cudney , Donald Leblanc, Vera Dercole, Barb O'malley, Jennifer Rowell, Jenna Setticasi, Demetrios Makres, Ken Maikowski, Ed Elder, Leigh Mertz, Jill Sisk, Lorine Landon, Jennifer Page, Tammy Wilson, David Uchtman, Tim Jeltes, Cory Wilson, Debbie Desimone, Wendy Barney, Al Desimone, Virginia Pierce, Brittany Jaynes, Gabrielle Carpino, Ellen Sullivan, Linda College, Ann Wittemann, Patty Carty, Lauren Wambach, Andrew Mulino, Kye Layton, Terry Blair, The Parker Family , Erin Hammer, Lindsay Coram, Jonathan Ward, Robert Hildebrandt , Lyle Stevens, Jen Cerce, Mike Haeberle, Tina Himaya, Sydnee Tisdale , Lori Rienhardt, Stuart Hale, Anne Heffentreyer, Pam Vanaustin, Noah Schweizer, Christina R, Wayne , India, Lois Lynch, Robert Fancher, Jeanette Luce, Double Family, Debbie Marielle, Josh Weiss, Amber Penske, Kerry Mccaffrey, Louise Barton, Betsy Silvestri, Jen Eacret, Matt Hanlon, Ed Hogan, Deb Ragno, Elizabeth And Vicki Edwards, Kathy Huckabee, Wendy Beaudoin, Amy Filliben, Elaine Kleinhenz, The O'meara Family, Melissa Beatty, Carol Gamill, Stefan Owens, Belicia Cullen, Tinkerbell Wells, Stefan Owens, Scott Cullen, Lisa Bohannon, Jason &Melinda Lenz, Laurie Walker, Kathy Morris, Mickey Eckert, Ruth Woodhouse, Anjanette Tournillon, Mildred Popp, Nathalie Periard, Karen Adamakis, Marshall Stevens, The Malesky Family, Marguerite Garofalo, Brittany Chichester, Sheri Hall, Chris Kelly, Maureen Handy, Ellie Argaluza, Maryann Romagnano, Anita Jodouin, Antoinette Leblanc, Michelle Wilinski, Lynne Lafrance, Amanda Campbell, Diane Tredore, James Steele, Julie Wickware, Kelly Cummings, Heather Young, Erin Hendricks, Annette Nuenke, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Mary Ann Eckenrode, Wayne Chadourne, Marisa Swinford, Pollyanna Buff, Stefanie Vandiver, John Bickers, Carolyn Poirier, Brenda Strohmeyer, Paula Massarelli, Pat Morin, Brian Miller, Bruce Arnold, Paul Scimeca, Deb Audette, Deme Grabert, Joann Albrecht, Michelle Boewe, Chuck Sands, Eric Enli, Jeremy Hardy, Phil Badcock, Sandie Albrecht, Zach Szymko, Nicole Nimon, Megan Krainski, Michael Mclucas And Jackie Mclucas, Scott Precise, Matt Wildey, Kerryann , Jessica B., Dusty Cheatham, Hobbes And Snorky, Dan And Elizabeth Johnston, Dana Hall, Jenny Stoneburner, Pat Schwier, Ashley Martz, Amber Slifer, Aaron Sakovich, Brian Mickle, Lee Deroia, Darlene Haven, Larry Scarafile, Jeffrey Hunt, Andrea Kruszewski, Sharon Emich, Rob Blundin, Mary Ann Lamay, Roxanne Kliebert, Lisa Cash, Janet Chocky, Chris Connors, C.j. Connors, Debbie Connors, Jodi Cook, Jacquelyn Law, Karen Schlumpf, Ed Krol, Jim Thompson, Claire Gregory, Rebecca Smith, Carol Baranowsky, Stephanie Newell, Gina Smith, Diane Ramos, Les Whitten, Tracey Mayfield, Jeff Thomas, Rebecca Weaver, Billie Jean Albolino, Beth Mcmeekin, Candice Grimes, Heather Sabatino, Nicole Amidon, Les Stewart, Larry Sprenkle, Jess Batchelor, Heidi , Dawn Rutter, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Paul Knott, Joe Armeni, Earl Wilcher, Cheryl Newman, Linda Scrivano, Jed Orth, Al Popek, Susan Thompson, Michelle Norris, Randi Balch, Sarah Calvario, Kirsten Miller, Dwayne Fontenot, Clay Anthony, Nathan York , Kathryn Perkins, Darren Morehead, Carolyn Como, Susan Higginbotham, Melody O'donnell, Jennifer Harmon, Bruce Hinterleitner, Gail States, Cathy Connors, Josette Gabel, Craig Livingston, Lj Mathis, Sarah Orman, Luis Rodriguez, Jackie Purcell, Jeff Blank, Laura V., Nigel Mcquire, Bob Patterson, Blake Schmidt, Brian Gallant, Dallas Hamilton, Jennifer Shaw, Michael Pennington, Andrew Pettit, Karen Davis, Karen Costa, Alison Rosenberger, Chris Bauman, Tom Hermes, Karen Aguiar, Chloe Mayhew, Mike Haven, Anastasia Macneil, Randy Thomas, Bonnie Cumming, Ken Rhinehart, Jennifer Snook, Miguel Gonzalez, Kate Fischer, Karrie Duffey, Bob Henriksen, Craig Lordan, The Holmes Family, Matt Holley, Gallagher Family, Mike Kaczanowski, Zachary Ott, Sara Alaimo, Jennifer Mercier, Elizabeth Scarborough, Michelle Boykin, Steve Narel, Schuyler Stewart, Sharon Dale, Scott Sangston, Hunter Armstrong, Tricia Petty, Paul Ignudo, Jr., Jim Finley, Sara Holloway, Barclay Bakkum, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Terry Fleming, Nancy Johansen, Elizabeth Caruso, Patrick Broaddus, Carri Marotto, Kate Kozlowski, Matthew Jadro, Mark Franklin, Mike Gillardi, Jullie Pudem, Vicki Britt, Team Meeker, Caitlin Lewis, Doug Olson Family, Karen Bellamy, Deb V., Hillary Waldroop, Diane Batista, Wayne Witherspoon, Jeff Finger, Maggie Klotz, Mike Barlow, Jeremy Reichelt, Al Sandal, Mary Greger, Jim Logue, Susie Howard, Judy Simonsen, Michael Rudge, Kristen Mccoy, Gloria Martin, Lynn Lofton, Tom Buck, Nicole Shuler, Heidi Goodhue, Jim Riddle, Terri Thorntoon, Trina Noggle, Chris Thomas, Amy Scott, Wayne Beck, Team Bonnie Sue, Diane Curfman, Morag Lemon, Jason Skow, John Arena Jr, Michele Mongeon, The Patterson Family, Ron Harper, Jeff Brashear, Karen Smith, Kerrie Hogan, George Mundy Jr, Rachel Hoover, Annie Snodgrass, Andy Hickey, Caryn Schill, Tim Johansen, Carla Leger, Steve Knapp, Mary Ann Kozlowski, Scott, Joe Pfrangle, Ben, Lizanne Fisk, Cheri Palmisano, John Menjes, Tricia Noble, Jen Tremley, Mark Proper, Carol Rodrigue, Phil Vickers, Nichola Day, Ashley Hill, David Ballard, Tom Higbee, Patti Mccaffrey , Robert Bostic, Matt Cofone, Lindsay Morris, Jackie Graebel, Bob Whittier, Derek Carty, Stacy Lee, Robert P. Flaherty, Walter N. Clark, Evald Olson, Wendy Snelgrove, Christi Ison, Jo Ann Bailey, Nicole Paniccia, Joseph M. Zafia, Melissa Littman, Remus , Barb Welshhans, Amanda Garrett, Karen Hotchkiss, Abigail Grasso, Nancy Crossman, Shirley Garcowski, Karen Ford, Emily Hudson, Margie Larmon, Mike Venere, Sherri Pell, Stacy Guarracino, Alan Mize, Dee Riccio, Colin Jones, Wendy T Faler, P.j. Popsuj, Ashley Collins, Nathaniel Clements, Peggy Saeger, John Pasqueralli, Cheryl Costello, Lisa Z., Kyle Burdo, John And Tracey Roerty, Alicia Littleton, Dave Kanigowski, Sandy Kanigowski, Heather Pedulla, Melissa Bradley, Betsy Dross, Sandra Loveless, Ronald Delorey, and Jackie Klafeta. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #299 Where in the world is this?

Changing parks again!
 Where in the World #299

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

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

September 19, 2013

Moroccan Light in Epcot's World Showcase

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Colorful light fixture in the Fez House in Epcot's Morocco, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Colorful light fixture hanging in the Fez House.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/30s, f/4.8, ISO 1400, EV 0, 65mm focal length.

I kind of paniced when I saw the subject, Light Fixture for the Disney Pic of the Week. I was not sure I had one but a search of my Disney photo library came up with this very colorful lighted lamp hanging from the ceiling of the Fez House in the World Showcase pavilion of Morocco at Epcot. Lisa almost had me stumped, almost.

September 5, 2013

Eat to the Beat Celebrity Concert

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Mik Kaminski of The Orchestra performs during an Eat to the Beat concert in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Mik Kaminski of The Orchestra performs during an Eat to the Beat concert.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/5.6, ISO 720, EV -1.0, 300mm focal length.

Mik Kaminski is the violin player for the band, The Orchestra, at an Eat to the Beat concert in Epcot's World Showcase on Thursday, October 20, 2011. Mik is one of the former members of the original Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) from the 1970's and 1980's. Eric Troyer is on keyboards and vocals in the background. A musical Disney Pic of the Week for Celebrity Concert.


August 30, 2013

Anchoring Your Disney Photographs

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

In Landscape Photography, the use of an Anchor Point is commonly used in compositions. An anchor point is an item in the foreground that is in focus that the eye can lock on to and then wander out into the photograph. You can use this concept in your Disney photos to improve your compositions and bring a professional quality to your photography.

The anchor point in the photo of the Victoria Gardens in Epcot's Canada pavilion in the World Showcase is the plaque rock. Notice how you see the rock first before your eyes move into the flowers and trees beyond.

Victoria Gardens tribute in Canada of Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Victoria Gardens Plaque Rock is the Anchor Point.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 560, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length,.

In nature landscape photography you will often see rocks, trees or flowers used as anchor points as I did at the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC). I only needed to wait for a monorail to complete the picture.

Monorail Green leaving the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) on the Resort Hotel line, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
The flowers anchor this photo of Monorail Green leaving the TTC.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/100s, f/16, ISO 720, EV -0.3, 28mm focal length,.

In Disney parks, anchor points could be anything.

The Partners statue in the hub in front of Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
What is the Anchor Point of this photograph?
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/160s, f/16, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 15mm focal length,.

For instance, the Partners statue in front of Cinderella Castle. Next time you are out photographing, try to compose photos using anchor points.

August 11, 2013

Where in the World #292

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, Mickey Eckert! I think it's cool that we broke the record too. A Disney Balloon for everybody! Disney blue balloon

Congratulations to new DVC owner, Sarah Thomas! From Millan.Net

Challenge #291:
 Where in the World #291

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © 2011 Erin Blackwell, Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS, f/2.7, 4 mm, ISO-1000, 1/20 sec

This was a toughie!

It's the framed letter from George Washington to His Majesty Mohamed III of Morocco in Restaurant Marrakesh in the Morocco pavilion in Epcot. Morocco was the first ally America had in their Revolutionary War. This letter is a reproduction; the King still has the original that's been handed down through the generations. I love that.

From Millan.Net From Millan.Net

Mike and Susan of Team Hill were the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Mike and Susan and all our winners this week! Kerry A., Vicki Britt, Jill Davoll, and Jane Johnson. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #292 Where in the world is this?

Staying in the parks!
 Where in the World #292

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, August 15th, 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 21, 2013

Where in the World #289

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!

It's a big day, Players! A Big, big day! Does everyone have everything for the party? Then let's go! Celebrate!

From Millan.Net From Millan.Net From Millan.Net From Millan.Net From Millan.NetFrom Millan.NetFrom Millan.Net

It's the SIXTH ANNIVERSARY OF WHERE IN THE WORLD PHOTO FUN!

Why didn't we celebrate the fifth anniversary, I hear you ask. Because: I didn't think to look up when it started until this year. :) We can call it:
THE ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of WHERE IN THE WORLD PHOTO FUN TURNING FIVE!

Barrie Brewer began the game with this description:
"The magic is in the details.

A visit to Disney World is like no other experience. From the moment you arrive you are engulfed by the atmosphere. Seems like every step you take provides a new treat for your senses, from the sound of beating drums to the sight of spectacular colors in every direction. There's so much to absorb that your brain focuses on the big picture rather than on the details. And that's the plan - Imagineers don't just create a set for us to look at, they immerse us in the set so that we actually feel something magical. For them it's is all about the detail. It wasn't until I started photographing Disney World that I really began to see the amazing intricacies of their work."

As I searched for the game's history, I discovered Jack Spence very nicely mentioned us on his blog:

"Each Sunday, under the "Picture This" section of the AllEars Blog Central page, Erin Blackwell presents "Where In The World." It's a great game that I play regularly. I can usually guess the location, but Erin is definitely capable of stumping me on occasion. If you haven't played this game, I recommend that you give it a try. "

Several of you were equally nice in commenting how much you liked the game.

Thank you, everyone, for all your support every week. It means so much to me and AllEars!

Here's how we're going to celebrate: TWO challenges, a call for action, and a special drawing!

But before we go any further, let's answer last week's challenge:

Challenge #288:
Where in the World #288

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

Elizabeth Johnston? "What is Ellen's Energy Adventure for $500, Alex?" That's right! The dinosaur section of Ellen's Energy Adventure in Epcot! Or as Karen Schlumpf says, "It's one of those mean ole dinosaurs who are either chewing with their mouth open or who sneeze on you :o)" As as Claire Gregory added: "Okay, everybody put on your widest bell bottoms and sparkliest disco tops, and sing along!! Here we go, see it glow....its the universe of Energy!" Finish it up, Matt Holley and The Hulse Family: "stupid Judy, stupid Energy."

Jeff Blank, the smellitzers and fog in this area was great, wasn't it? Added so much to it.

Justin Clavet was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Justin and all our winners this week! Amy Weber, Candice Grimes, Jodi Civill, Tammy Wright, Kate Nejman, Dawn Davis, Mary Ann Lamay, Leah Bailly, Jennifer Rowell, Andrew Carrieri, Maureen Handy, Sally Fralix, Jim, Melissa Such, Deme Grabert, Kim Miller, Kathy Morris, Allison Forson, Paul Knott, Laura V., Susan Burks, Trisha Johnson, Darlene Haven , Bill Cudney , Betsy Silvestri, Agnes Ciotti, Karen Ramirez, Chris Masse, Dave Wang, Jennifer Rowell , Leigh Mertz, Dawn Bach, Mary Beth Tarbet, Heather Arnold , Bruce Jones, Tricia Petty, Jason and Melinda Lenz, Patti Mccaffrey, Tom Koval, Christie Haskin , Luke Acquaro, Tracy Ludwig, Clare S, Ed Elder, Thetesa Rucando, Keith Rogers, Julie Canaday, Kathy Opitz, Denise Cayz, Kathy Wicks, Sharon Pierce, Janet Stavrides, Jill Sisk, Kathy Davies, Tinkerbell Wells, Fran Rendulic, Chris Matejka, Dave Freemyer, Vanessa Stjohn, Scott Cullen, Virginia Pierce, Sam Rossman, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Kristi Strembicki, Belicia Cullen, Lisa Eyer, Kelley Madensky, Chris Nichols, Angela Fennell, Robert Hildebrandt , Ed Suscreba, Craig Grillo, Jennifer Page, Jenny Brennan , Karen Schlumpf, Axel Beer, Monica Hatch, Deb Ragno, Team Hill, Lindsay Coram, Kris Nixon, Kertes Family , The Strukel Famil, Tim Mcnulty, Mitzi Idziorek, Josh Weiss, Kim Shilkuski , Vera Dercole, Erika Murphy, Sharon Lucia, Chris Kelly, Leach Family, Pamela Gerdes, Ken Jackson, Mary Thatcher, Kye Layton, Kisha Garcia, Paul Gera, Deedee Kenney, Jacquelyn Law, Donna Frank, Justin Foss, Ashley P. , Erin Hammer, Karen Tuso, The Kahle Family, Tom Buck, Yvonne Marchione, Lynette Michalos, Jeff Schoeling, Olszak Family, Maggie Klotz, Steve And Ruby Jordan, Kenny, Scott Greenbaum, Lori Jordan, Jason Hocker, Julie Wickware, Karen Adamakis, Wendy T Faler, Janet Fishman, Noah Schweizer (9 Yrs Old), Wade, Duskin Henard, Janet Thorn, Daniel Schweizer (13 Yrs Old), Christopher Treece, Al Ganter, Sandie Albrecht, Kirsten Miller, Antoinette Leblanc, Emily Hudson, Pollyanna Buff, Bob Patterson, The Parker Family, Double Family, Sarah And Chris, Stephanie Henry, Tracey Mayfield, The Malesky Family, Laura Zale, Anjanette Tournillon, Kerri Coggins, Josh Carney, Jonathan Thomas, Lauren Thomas, Cynthia Hitchcock, Christina Rotella, Curtis Bille, Staci Plunkett , Pat Schwier, Jeremy Hardy, Paige, Theresa Fontaine, Lynn, Ronald Delorey, Morgan M., Irene Ng, Kaylie Seeley, Hobbes And Snorky, Bruce Hinterleitner, Liz Moreau, Tammy Kennedy, Trina Noggle, John Bickers, Tim Johansen, Stefan Owens, Linda Ranatza, Crol Ney, Evald Olson, Stefan Owens, Maryann Eckenrode, John P, Jeff And Cheryl Simmons, Brenda.r., Clay Anthony, Stacy, Shannon Stitzel, Hillary Waldroop, Rob Blundin, Kerry A., Larry Sprenkle, Claire Gregory, Annie Snodgrass, Ellie Argaluza, Kelly Cummings , Steve Morin, Jim Riddle, Eneli, Billie Jean Albolino, Emily Dagney, Christine Dagney, Carolyn Como, Kay Eidt, Anna Keene, The O'meara Family, Mike Malampy, Herb Miller, Sarah Calvario, Roxanne Kliebert, Kerry Mccaffrey, Gail States, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Ron Harper, Daniel Record, Jenn Crosby, Josette Gabel, Jenny Brams, Jeff Blank, Olivia, Nigel Mcquire (wales Uk), Craig, Cameron Lange, Les Stewart, Russ Morgan, Erika Loboda, Jodi Cook, Heather Hynes, The Patterson Family, Karen Costa, Melodi Clark, Mark Franklin, Paul Ignudo, Jr., Tricia Noble, Charles Everson, The Foley Family, Nathaniel Clements, Kate Fischer, Eva Mayhew, Dee Riccio, Shelly Borella, Jeff Stetson, Alison Rosenberger, Matt Holley, Ken Rhinehart, Andrew Pettit, Jim Finley, Michelle Boykin, Anastasia Macneil, Terry Fleming, Chris Bauman, Andrea Kruszewski, Maryann Romagnano, Matt Petty, Terry Blair, Stephanie Dollar, Carla C, Rebecca Keenan, Stephanie Linares, Dale Knight, Matt Ciccone, Suzanne Denham, Nancy Johansen, Ainsley Poe, Karen Smith, Diane Ramos, Anita Jodouin, Kristan Bertelmann, Mickey Eckert, Elizabeth Johnston, Stephanie Davis, The Hulse Family, Vera Williams, Nancy Cole, Amy Scott, Carolyn Duff, Melesia Love, Timothy Hutchinson, Melissa Littman, Dave Kanigowski, Sandy Kanigowski, Payton Dross, Robert P Flaherty, Melissa Rappley, Michael Gunnels, Chris Connors, Michael Pennington, Rob And April - Team Vanderpool, Carrie Kwiat, Kathryn Perkins, Peter Boguszewski, Team Bonnie Sue, Christina Meyer, Paul Dickson, Heidi Goodhue, Linda Scrivano, Elaine Kleinhenz, Jen Cerce, Steven Pluff, Sharon Leitgeb, Jane Johnson, Jared Orth, Joseph M. Zafia, Rachel Taylor, Kate Flanagan, Amanda Campbell, Terri Thornton, Shirley Garcowski, Allison Dibiase, Christian Lewis, Barclay Bakkum, David Ballard, Carrie Rampy, Craig Lordan, Mike Venere, Brendan Abel, Edward Haja, Angela Johnson, Team Meeker, George Mundy Jr, Madeline Davis, Emily Harper, Stacy Vasilak, Gloria Martin, Carri Marotto, Peggy Saeger, Marie Seilus, Marie Phillips, Jen Tremley, Caroline Burmester, Dave Carriere, Kathryn Hughes, Robert Wescovich, Barbara Ingrm, Tom Higbee, Ashley Collins, Sonnen's, Paul Scimeca, Gallagher Family, Vicki And William Edwards, Mike Haeberle, Theresa Rucando, Vickie Scioneaux, and Lori Rienhardt. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #289 Where in the world is this?

First, our Special Challenge:
AllEars Where in the World Special Challenge

This was the very FIRST Challenge posted six years ago! Can you guess where this is in the parks without looking up the answer in the photo blog?

Remember, you don't have to know both challenges to send in an answer. If you don't know this one but you know the next, just say so in your answer.

Now for our regular weekly challenge and the rest of our celebration:

The highest number of answers we've ever had was 555! I want to see you beat that, Players! I'm calling for everyone to show Barrie Brewer and Deb Wills how glad we are that they started this game as part of AllEars. BLOW THE DOORS OFF THIS GAME! As Eva Mayhew will tell you, I will happily enter 700 winner names if that's how many we have! And to help make this happen, I made this challenge Player friendly!

We are outside the parks! Do you know what this 'iconic' Walt Disney World thing is? There's more than one, but you only have to give me the general name. For example: if I posted something of a Disney bus, just say "A Disney bus", you don't have to give the bus number. :)

 Where in the World #289

Somebody answer for The O'meara Family; because they are going to DISNEY! Whoo hoo! Have a great time! From Millan.Net

And now to sweeten our celebration: we are having a special SIXTH ANNIVERSARY DRAWING! I will randomly draw a winner just like I do for the monthly ones. That means you get a chance to win TWICE this month! And you are still eligible for the monthly drawing even if you win the Sixth Anniversary special!

Let the challenges begin!

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, July 25th, 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 16, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week: Fish

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Fish have been a part of Disney movies and parks from the beginning. No Disney fish have had a bigger impact then the characters from the movie, Finding Nemo. They became so popular, Disney Imagineers made over a whole pavilion in Epcot called The Seas with Nemo and Friends. Inside you will meet Nemo and his friends as you ride a clam-mobile. As you explore the pavilion further, you will find the real inspirations for the movie's characters in living reef displays. That is where I found a Blue Tang. Can you tell me which character this fish reminds you of?

A Blue Tang fish swims in a reef tank inside the Seas with Nemo and Friends in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Blue Tang fish swims in a reef tank inside the Seas with Nemo and Friends.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/4.5, ISO 3200, EV 0, 58mm focal length.

Lisa will be here on Thursday to share her Disney Pic of the Week on Fish.

July 11, 2013

United Kingdom Kidcot Fun Stop

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

World Showcase Cast member decorates a Duffy cutout for a guest in Epcot's United Kingdom pavilion, Orlando, Florida
World Showcase Cast member decorates a Duffy cutout for a guest in Epcot's United Kingdom pavilion.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/60s, f/1.8, ISO 200, EV 0.

Kidcot Fun Stops in Epcot's World Showcase pavilions give young guests an opportunity to meet Cast Members from all over the world in a fun and creative way. In the United Kingdom last year, cast members were decorating the back of Duffy, the Disney bear, cutouts with the Union Jack flag.

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

July 5, 2013

Declaration of Independence in the American Adventure

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Ben Franklin listens to Thomas Jefferson reading from the final draft of the Declaration of Independence in a scene from the American Adventure in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Scott is off this week. Probably recovering from a good old American cookout in celebration of the 4th of July holiday in the United States of America. He wanted to share this scene from Epcot's American Adventure to remind his fellow patriots of the history behind our annual day of celebration and fireworks.

Scott will return in two weeks with more Disney photos to share.

June 18, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week: World Showcase

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I have enjoyed returning to Epcot's World Showcase going on 30 years this year. The changes over that time have given the perpetual world's fair renewed life with grand festivals in the Spring and Fall. Musical entertainment in the pavilions and featured acts on the America Gardens Theater stage throughout the year. And the evolution of Illuminations fireworks show which is performed each and every night (weather permitting, of course).

Yet, it still gives my a huge smile when I see a little blond girl in a blue dress dash off into the garden behind the shops looking for a white rabbit. I bet you would to.

Alice looking for a white rabbit in Epcot's United Kingdom pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Alice looking for a white rabbit in the United Kingdom.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 92mm focal length.

Lisa will be here on Thursday to share her Disney Pic of the Week on World Showcase.

June 14, 2013

Looking Up at Spaceship Earth

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

This week we visit Epcot and its "castle", Spaceship Earth. You will often hear Walt Disney World fans say to Look Up when walking around the parks. I took the saying to heart when I walked up to one of the pillars which hold up Spaceship Earth and looked straight up its edge. I leaned my camera right against it and looked through the viewfinder to see this...

Looking up at Spaceship Earth in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Looking up at Spaceship Earth in daylight.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 1600, EV +0.3, 16mm focal length,.

Leading lines, reflections, geometric and repetitive shapes in silver popped right at me. If someone had never seen Spaceship Earth, they might thing this was an abstract image.

As Walt Disney World fans, you all know once the Sun goes down, the parks become transformed. Spaceship Earth is no different. I repeated the same photo here...

Looking up at Spaceship Earth in Epcot at night, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Looking up at Spaceship Earth at night.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/50s, f/2.8, ISO 6400, EV +0.3, 16mm focal length,.

The gold and yellow lighting gives it a different feel don't you think?

While this is an extreme case of Looking Up, it is a good idea to do anywhere you find yourself photographing.

April 19, 2013

Being Creative with Crowds at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Here's a fun way to approach photographing in busy tourist attractions like Walt Disney World. Be creative! Easier said than done I can hear you saying. Really, when confronted with people everywhere, start looking from different angles, get low, get high or just tilt your camera.

A couple of weeks ago, I showed you how I used guests watching a show in front of Cinderella Castle to create a good travel photograph. The photo today was taken a little before that one. I tilted my camera to eliminate most of the people and included the Partners Statue with the castle as a backdrop.

A creative view of the Partners Statue in front of Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A creative view of the Partners Statue.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/400s, f/10, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

There is almost no such thing as an unique photo taken at Walt Disney World anymore. Many people told me this was until I told them I had seen this idea done by another photographer. I got down on my stomach in front of Spaceship Earth and, using Aperture Priority mode, dialed in an f/18 aperture to get lots of depth of field. I know those are people's legs and feet in the photo. Can you recognize any of them?

A low view of people walking towards Spaceship Earth in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A low view of people walking towards Spaceship Earth.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/80s, f/18, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 18mm focal length, tripod.

Disney park fans have a saying, "Look up, look down". I have an addition for Disney park photographers, get LOW, get HIGH and look ALL around. Let your creativity go and enjoy the magic!

I will conclude this series next week with something Disney has always been famous for. Can you guess?

April 12, 2013

Play the Waiting Game at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Returning to Epcot for another tip on photographing in busy tourist attractions using Walt Disney World examples. This one can be tough if you are traveling with children but not impossible. Even as busy as a Disney themepark can be, if you wait a bit, an opportunity will present itself.

The first photo of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest in the China pavilion, I took at 6:27PM. People were still going in and out and walking about the area.

People are seen entering the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest in the China pavilion at Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
People are seen entering the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest in the China pavilion.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 18mm focal length, tripod.

I really wanted a people free photo so I waited. It only took 20 minutes and the Cast Members had closed the doors to the attraction. People would still walk up to the building but not very often. I was able to capture the scene a few times without anyone entering or leaving the frame.

A quiet Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest in the China pavilion at Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A quiet Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest in the China pavilion at Epcot.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 30s, f/18, ISO 200, EV 0, 18mm focal length, tripod.

The added benefit of waiting was the start of Blue Hour which added color to the sky. Next time, take a few added minutes to see if where you are photographing clears of people, even at Walt Disney World.

April 9, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week: Norway

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Norway is a mysterious country and its pavilion in Epcot brings that out. You meet trolls in the shops and attractions. Roofs are made of grass and flowers. The exhibits inside the Stave Church tell the story of Norway's Vikings.

One night as I was waiting for Illuminations to start, I turned around and noticed people walking by behind me. I set my camera to shutter priority and created ghosts with a long exposure. Will have to try this again with a tripod. For now, envision the ghosts wearing Viking helmets.

Guests look like Ghosts as they pass the Stave Church in Epcot's Norway pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
People look like Ghosts as they pass the Stave Church at night.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/3s, f/5.6, ISO 1250, EV +0.3, 18mm focal length.

Lisa be here on Thursday to share her Disney Pic of the Week about Norway.

April 7, 2013

Where in the World #275

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!

Welcome back, Players! Here's hoping we are finally entering Spring!
From Millan.Net

Here's last week's Challenge:
 Where in the World #274

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

Hidden Mickey display stand in MouseGear in Epcot!

I'll be right back. Claire Gregory, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, and Mary Bethtarbet have to do some browsing in this store. :)

Chris Kelly, I'd be thrilled if Steve Barrett was proud of me. Like Claire said, his Hidden Mickey is amazing (and I'm thrilled his apps are now available); if you ever get a chance to meet him, you'll see what a wonderful man he is who will be equally happy to meet you!

Shannon Savoia was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Shannon and all our winners this week! The Kertes Family, Fred Shakeshaft, Wtmontgomery, Paul Moore, Craig, Amanda Campbell, Cheryl Costello, James Steele, Zach Szymko, Paul Dickson, Tinkerbell Wells, Doug Olson Family, Dee Dee Kenney, Sharon Pierce, Melissa Thomas, Ed Elder, Palmer Family, Rob & April - Team Vanderpool, Nancy Johansen, Deme Grabert, Deb Ragno, Tricia Petty, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, John & Rhonda Nottell, Steve And Ruby Jordan, Bill Mckim, Caryn Schill, Bob Patterson, Team Hill, Les Stewart, Tom Koval, Chris Dagney, Emily Dagney, Lauren Thomas, Dan And Elizabeth Johnston, Louise Barton, Olivia, Mickey Eckert, Zachary Falcone, Hobbes And Snorky, John P, Marguerite Garofalo, Christina Rotella, Pinder Family, Anne Marie Cronin, Daniel Record, John Bickers, Emily Hudson, Claire Gregory, Maureen Handy, David Tarbet, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Agnes Ciotti, Paul Knott, Mary Bethtarbet, John Dupre, Jeremy Reichelt, Bonnie Cummings, Robert Wescovich, Josh Carney, Brian Nale, Anastasia Macneil, Elizabeth And Vicki Edwards, Kameo Crea, Stephanie Linares, Carla Leger, Leigh Mertz, Cheri Palmisano, Noreen Rachuba, Betsy Silvestri, Nathalie Periard, Patti Mccaffrey, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Heidi Goodhue, Tracy Discher, Kat Sievers, Hoekzema Family, Dave Kanigowski, Sandy Kanigowski, Jim Finley, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, The Patterson Family, Karen Smith, Marcia Aulenback, Jennifer Bogdan, John Arena Jr, Sue Anne Kennedy, George Mundy Jr, Chris Kelly, Jennifer Shaw, Lisa Zitek, Kelsi, and Chris & Maranda Nichols. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

It's time to announce the monthly winner! And the March 2013 winner is: Jeremy Mccaffrey! Congratulations, Jeremy! Deb Wills will be sending you your prize in the mail!
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #275: Where in the world is this?

Players, we are leaving the parks!
 Where in the World #275

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

April 5, 2013

Cropping People from Walt Disney World Photos

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Last week I discussed using guests, tourists if you will, as part of photos in a crowded Disney park. I know, many do not like to see other people in their vacation photos. You can take some of those photos and crop out distracting subjects, like people. You could do this while you are photographing by checking your LCD screen and retaking the photo to eliminate any people. Sometimes it is not an option or hard to tell in those small camera screens.

Here is an example from a photo I took of Spaceship Earth in Epcot. I decided I would like to see this photo without the people you see underneath the attraction. The Leave A Legacy granite structures are a bit overwhelming, too.

Guests are framed between Leave A Legacy structures near Spaceship Earth in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Guests are framed between Leave A Legacy structures near Spaceship Earth.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/80s, f/9, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

A little cropping of the photo and, using the Rule of Thirds, I came up with this version. I like how Spaceship Earth is now the dominate subject and it is set off by the blue sky and clouds above with the Leave A Legacy tops below.

Cropped version without the guests of Spaceship Earth in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cropped version without the guests of Spaceship Earth.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/80s, f/9, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

I do like how the people are framed between the Leave A Legacy "monoliths" and Spaceship Earth in the first photo. Both photos are winners in my book. What do you think?

It is best to "crop" in camera as you get the best quality image, if possible, cropping in post-production is still a very useful tool to create your vision.

March 26, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week: Brave

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Last Spring when I visited Epcot, the movie Brave was still a few weeks away from being released to theaters. On the walking path between Future World and World Showcase, Disney Imagineers were perparing a new guest area featuring the movie. I spyed the sand sculpture with Merida and her triplet brothers which was still in production.

Brave Sand Sculpture in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Brave Sand Sculpture being readied in Epcot.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV +0.3.

Lisa be here on Thursday to share her Disney Pic of the Week about Brave.

March 22, 2013

Photographing at Night in Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I recently read an article about photography tips for busy tourist attractions. I think Walt Disney World qualifies as such a place. The first tip was to get up early to avoid the crowds. I have to agree this works for many tourist areas in the world but Disney parks are not accessible in the early morning. The exceptions being if you get an early dining reservation for a character breakfast in the Magic Kingdom or Epcot before they are open to guests.

For the most part, the best way to not get other guests in your photos is to stay after hours. This works especially well on Extra Magic Hour nights as many people leave before the park closes.

After Illuminations, people stream out of the World Showcase area and is a favorite time for photographers to enjoy people free time with the pavilions. Such was the case when I set up a tripod in France just fifteen minutes after the fireworks show ended.

France pavilion at night in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
France pavilion at night in Epcot's World Showcase.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 30s, f/14, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length, tripod.
While attending Extra Magic Hours in the Magic Kingdom, I noticed the Hall of Presidents was still open around midnight. The lobby was empty and the Cast Members did not mind me setting up a tripod to take some photographs. A few guests would come through once in a while. For the most part, the place was empty.
Hall of Presidents foyer in Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Hall of Presidents foyer in Liberty Square.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/60s, f/8, ISO 5600, EV +0.3, 16mm focal length, tripod.

I know for many people, staying late is not an option. I will be back next week with more ideas.

March 21, 2013

Epcot's Mexico Pyramid

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Mexico pyramid in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mexico's Aztec Pyramid in Epcot's World Showcase.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/100s, f/16, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length, polarizer filter.

Florida has lots of blue sky which sets up the warm tones of Mexico'a pyramid in Epcot's World Showcase. I used a Circular Polarizing filter to deepen the sky's color even more for my Disney Pic of the Week on Mexico.

March 15, 2013

Shopping in Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Do you like to shop? Even when on vacation at Walt Disney World? When traveling with my wife and two daughters, shopping is a part of the trip. I do like to shop though not as much as they do. Luckily, I have a camera with me and find my own kind of shopping...capturing details of shops imagineeered and themed as much as any Disney attraction or ride is.

The Tea Caddy shop sells specialty tea items, candies and chocolates found in the United Kingdom. I found this item particularly fitting, a tea pot featuring Aice in Wonderland characters.

Alice in Wonderland tea pot in Epcot's United Kingdom pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Alice in Wonderland tea pot for sale in The Tea Caddy shop.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5, ISO 200, EV +1.0, 40mm focal length, bounced flash.
In Germany's Die Weihnachts Ecke shop, it is always time for Christmas shopping for beautiful ornaments.
A mouse ears Christmas ornament in Die Weihnachts Ecke shop in the Germany pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
A mouse ears Christmas ornament in Germany's Die Weihnachts Ecke shop.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/50s, f/5, ISO 1600, EV 0, 78mm focal length, bounced flash.

In Mouse Gears, the merchandise carts are kept together with unique nuts and bolts.

Nut and Bolt display fixture in Mouse Gear at Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Nut and Bolt display fixture in Mouse Gear.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 320, EV 0, 230mm focal length.

So, if you find yourself a little bored with your travelmates shopping habit, pick up your camera or camera phone and capture the experience.

March 10, 2013

Where in the World #271

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!

Guess what I realized? I've been doing Where in the World Photo Fun for two years! Barrie handed me the hostess duties on Feburary 13, 2011. Can you believe it? All of you have been so wonderful to me this past 2 years; sometimes when a popular person leaves, the following leaves with them. But you Players have been loyal to AllEars and what Barrie started, and just very supportive of me. Thank you!
Thank You smiley From Millan.Net

Here was last week's challenge:
 Where in the World #270

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

This one was a toughie. It's Christopher Robbins bedroom where you meet Winnie the Pooh and his friends in the UK Pavilion in Epcot.

I bet a lot of you aren't very pleased with me right now, because when I quoted "March comes in like a lion...", it looked like a clue. Mea Culpa, Players! Blushing smiley From Millan.Net

And then there's Maranda Nichols who laughed in the face of the challenge and said bring it on! :)

Mike Rotkiske was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Mike and all our winners this week! Tina Wells, Christina Rotella, Maranda & Chris & Amanda Nichols, and Rob & April Team Vanderpool. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #271: Where in the world is this?

We're changing parks! Why? Because we can.
 Where in the World #271

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

February 22, 2013

Vacation Photography at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Last week we talked about what makes a good Travel Photograph. This week, I am talking about what makes a good Vacation Photograph. It will not surprise you to hear they both are very much a like. You want them to tell a story and to give a sense of place or where you were on vacation. The added element are people and, specifically, members of your traveling party. For my examples, I will be using my own family.

Here you see my wife and daughters at the Port of Bay Lake in front of the Magic Kingdom. While we were waiting to board a Motor Cruiser to Fort Wilderness for a meal at the Trail's End restaurant, I spotted this nice photo location. The story is nautical and it sure does tell the viewer we were at Walt Disney World.

Members of a family getting ready to board a Motor Cruiser at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Members of Scott's family getting ready to board a Motor Cruiser to Fort Wilderness.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 65mm focal length.

Look for ways to connect a person's history or interests in your vacation photos. My daughter meet up with her high school French teacher at Epcot during this trip. I thought it appropriate to have them pose with Epcot's France pavilion behind them.

People posing with Epcot's France pavilion in the background, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Scott's daughter and her French teacher with Epcot's France pavilion.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 200, EV 0, 40mm focal length.

Let us not forget the most fun kind of vacation photos, the embarrassing kind! My wife loves pandas. I used these props found just across from the China pavilion in Epcot to show that love. She was a dear to allow me to do this. Of course, she did not think I would be sharing it with all of you at the time. Sorry, honey!

Vacationer posing at the China pavilion in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Scott's wife at Epcot's China pavilion with a panda puppet.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/10, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

Be creative and have fun photographing your vacation whether it is at a Disney park or anywhere else in the world.

TIP: All of these photos were taken using Fill Flash to cut down the harsh shadows and to brighten the subjects.

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.

February 12, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week: Journey Into Imagination

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Imagination pavilion in Epcot's Future World is the home to the most famous Disney character who was never in an animated short or movie, Figment! I first meet Figment, the little purple dragon, back in 1983 when Dreamfinder created him using his Dream Catcher. Figment disappeared for a short time but came back when Dr. Nigel Channing opened the Imagination Institute.

What has not changed is the outside of the Imagination pavilion with its jumping water pods which facinate every person no matter their age as water leaps from one pad to another in a seemingly random pattern.

Imagination pavilion in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Jumping water pods outside the Imagination pavilion.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/100s, f/5.6, ISO 200, +0.3 EV, 22mm Focal Length

Come back on Thursday when Lisa shares her Disney Pic of the Week for the Journey Into Imagination.

February 7, 2013

Germany Chocolate Covered Snack in Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Chocolate covered strawberry snack from Germany in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Chocolate covered strawberry snack from Germany.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV +0.7.

My wife loves the chocolate and caramel dipped strawberries from Germany's Karamell-Küche shop. It is her favorite snack so I had to use it for my Disney Pic of the Week on Snacks

January 24, 2013

United Kingdom Guitar Solo in Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

British Revolution band performer playing at the United Kingdom's pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
British Revolution band performer doing a guitar solo in the United Kingdom pavilion.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/80s, f/5.6, ISO 500, EV 0, 250mm focal length.

The British Revolution play throughout the day in the United Kingdom pavilion at Epcot's World Showcase. They bring all the energy of British Rock from The Beatles to The Who. Most sets feature a crowd pleasing guitar solo and makes for my Disney Pic of the Week on Musical Performances.

January 15, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week: Illuminations

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The current Illuminations fireworks show, Reflections of Earth, is a fabulous show right in the heart of Epcot's World Showcase Lagoon. I believe it it the closest guests get to a Disney fireworks show at Walt Disney World.

I recently shared with you photography tips and a new favorite location for Illuminations. For this Disney Pic of the Week on Illuminations, I have a unique photo I took when I was with a group of photographers. I had come late to the meeting location and got in behind a few of them. Not getting the best view, I decided to include one of the camera's photographing the show. I set my focus for the show to get nice fireworks streams. Hope you like it.

Illuminations camera at Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, Florida
Illuminations camera at Epcot's World Showcase.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 17.3s, f/9, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length, 3-stop ND filter.

Lisa will be here on Thursday with her Illuminations photo.

January 10, 2013

Epcot Flowers

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Hanging flowers in front of the Italy pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Hanging flowers in front of Epcot's Italy pavilion.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/100s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length, polarizer filter.

It was a beautiful Autumn day in Epcot's World Showcase when I took this photo featuring these beautiful flowers in hanging pots in front of the Italy pavilion. I used a small aperture of f/16 to get everything in focus from the lamppost to the Friendship boat and Norway and China's pavilions in the background. I used a polarizing filter to deepen the colors of the water and sky.

A very colorful Disney Pic of the Week on Flowers.

December 27, 2012

Three Favorite Photos of 2012

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 7, 2012

Illuminations from Showcase Plaza

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 29, 2012

EPCOT30 Pins

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Cast Member showing guests the Limited Edition Epcot 30th Anniversary Pins outside of Mouse Gear in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
ast Member showing guests the Limited Edition Epcot 30th Anniversary Pins.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/4.5, ISO 200, EV 0, 40mm focal length.

While waiting in line for EPCOT30 merchandise, Cast Members were showing guests waiting in line for Mouse Gear these photos of the Limited Edition Epcot 30th Anniversary Pins which were worth the three plus hour wait to buy. I mean, they must have been to make it my Disney Pic of the Week about Pins. Right?

November 9, 2012

Cast Member Magic at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Disney parks are wonderful.The attractions and rides are second to none in the world. As Lisa would remind us, without the Cast Members, the MAGIC we all associate with a Disney vacation would not exist. On my last trip, I meet three such Cast Members which created magic for my family and other guests.

While eating at Trail's End Buffet, I watched Chef Stephen going over foods on the buffet for a guest who had special dietary needs. Disney chefs are very good at helping guests with health concerns enjoy good meals at Disney restaurants. After he was finished, I talked with him a bit and asked if I could take his photo. He obliged, though a bit surprised. Thanks, Stephen!

Chef Stephen at Trail's End Buffet at Disney's Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Chef Stephen at Trail's End Buffet.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/8, ISO 500, EV +0.3, 45mm focal length, bounce flash.

After enjoying a performance by the Voices of Liberty in the American Adventure, one of the performers noticed my daughter singing along and sought her out. My daughter was thrilled as she has sung in choirs since grade school.

Voices of Liberty Singer in Epcot's American Adventure, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Voices of Liberty Singer with guest in the American Adventure.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60, f/8, ISO 800, EV +1, 36mm focal length, bounced flash.

If any of you visited Walt Disney World towards the end of September this year, you know how hot and humid it was. So, it was with delight and relief when I entered the Fountainview Cafe in Epcot's Future World to order up a strawberry ice cream cone. The server was a College Program Cast Member who took pride in getting the ice cream correctly in the cone so it would not fall out. I know this as I had been watching her. Look at her concentration.

Fountainview Cafe Server making an ice cream cone in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Fountainview Cafe Server making an ice cream cone for a guest.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/80s, f/4.8, ISO 1600, EV +0.3, 62mm focal length.

These cast members helped make my last trip magical and give me and my family three reasons to keep going back.

November 6, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week: Canada

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Canada pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase is home to the O'Canada CircleVision 360 Theater. The movie got a make over in 2007 and is hosted by Canadian actor Martin Short. He does liven up the movie a lot and most of the imagery from the original movie is still used including a scene were the Royal Canadian Mounted Police encircle the audience during a filmed performance.

A quick trivia question for you. Do you know what the National Sport of Canada is?

Canadian Mounted Police circling the audience in Epcot's Canada pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Canadian Mounted Police circling the audience in Epcot's Canada pavilion.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 6400, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

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

November 2, 2012

EPCOT30 Celebration

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

A few things have changed in this view of Epcot's Future World from the monorail since the park opened in 1982. The trees and landscaping have been expanded. There is a water play area and the Phineas and Ferb: Agent P's World Showcase Adventure kiosk along the promenade between Future World and World Showcase now. Oh, and nobody had come up with the idea of a Food & Wine Festival so there was no Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog setup.

Pavilions have come and gone in Future World and a couple of countries were added to World Showcase since Epcot opened. Landscaping has been used to create avenues instead of the wide open terraces around Future World. Horizons and World of Motion have been replaced by Mission: SPACE and Test Track. Morocco opened in 1984 and Norway made its appearance in 1988 to fill out the current eleven countries in World Showcase. (edited after guest comment was received, see comments below).

On October 1, 2012, Walt Disney World celebrated Epcot's 30th Anniversary. It was a beautiful sunny day and unusually hot and humid for early October. Thousands of people lined up at the turnstiles to enter at opening. Cast members passed out special EPCOT30 pins and park maps.

People lined up on either side of the dedication plaque flagpole outside Epcot on October 1, 2012, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
People lined up on either side of the dedication plaque flagpole outside Epcot on October 1, 2012.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 200, EV -0.6, 28mm focal length.

Below is a close up of the dedication plaque which reads:

"To all who come to this place of joy, hope and friendship, welcome.

"Epcot Center is inspired by Walt Disney's creative genius. Here, human achievements are celebrated through imagination, the wonders of enterprise, and concepts of a future that promises new and exciting benefits for all.

"May Epcot Center entertain, inform and inspire. And, above all, may it instill a new sense of belief and pride in man's ability to shape a world that offers hope to people everywhere."
- E. "Card" Walker, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Walt Disney Productions, Oct. 24, 1982

Close up of Epcot's dedication plaque outside the front entrance, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Close up of Epcot's dedication plaque outside the front entrance.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/4.8, ISO 200, EV -0.6, 65mm focal length.

Many of the people there were looking to buy limited edition EPCOT30 merchandise. Disney released pins, t-shirts, shirts, hoodies, mobile phone accessories, shot glasses and other things to only be sold on October 1st. Other kinds of merchandise was only available for a few days before and after the 1st. As you can image, the line to buy this merchandise was long. My party waited three hours to get into the special 30th Anniversary section of Mouse Gears.

Epcot30 merchandise on display at Mouse Gear in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Epcot30 merchandise on display at Mouse Gear.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.3, ISO 3600, EV 0, 112mm focal length, polarizer filter.

When photographing through windows either on a monorail or a store, use a Cicrular Polarizing Filter (CPL) to cut down on reflections.

If you were not at Epcot on October 1st, you can enjoy the special events on Deb Wills' blog here: Epcot's 30th Anniversary.

October 9, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week: United Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Unitied Kingdom pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase is home to the Rose & Crown Pub and Yorkshire County Fish Shop restaurants. People can shop for British sporting goods, clothing, ancestry, tea and music. Speaking of music, the Hide Park garden in the back of the pavilion is the new home of the British Revoluion band who get guests rocking with British pop hits of the 1960s to the 1980s.

The British Revolution rocking the United Kingdom pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The British Revolution rocking the United Kingdom pavilion.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 560, EV +0.3.

Lisa will be here on Thursday sharing her Disney Pic of the Week of United Kingdom.

October 7, 2012

Where in the World #250

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!

Thanks for your wonderful messages, Carolyn Como and Karen Ramirez! I appreciate that!
I actually leave for Walt Disney World in 3 weeks, Patti Mccaffrey. My husband and I are going to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary! We're dressing up and having our picture taken in front of the castle; we even have bride and groom mouse ears for the picture. :)

On the other hand, Rob & April Vanderpool, Sharon Pierce, and Caroline Burmester are going through the "My Disney vacation is over" blues. Come on, Players, bring it in for a group hug. (Guys, you can give a manly chuck on the shoulder if that would be more comfortable for you.)
together

Penny Urell, look! It's your name again! :)

Here was the September 30th challenge:
 Where in the World #249

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

The Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
in Epcot's Norway pavilion! Home to Princess Storybook Dining which draws a sea of tiny Disney Princesses and their families there to meet their heroines in person!

Patterson Family, look at you speaking Norwegian! I'm impressed!

Brian Gallant was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Brian and to all the readers who got the answer right: Ed Elder, The Kahle Family, Kenny, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, The Kahle Family, Louise Barton, Lorine Landon, Jennifer Rowell, Chris Landon, Ashley Johnston, Kelly Zanauskas, Anna Warburton, Theresa Rucando, Kerry A., Carol Gamill, Pollyanna Buff, Jennifer Harmon, Curtis Bille, Jackie Kirner, Cindy Smith, Colette Stanton, Kristen Kempf, Jamie K, Melissa Bacon, Anne Marie Cronin, Dave Wang, Deb Ragno, Mary Beth Tarbet, Emily Jabas, Paul Dickson, Olivia Def, Robert Avnet, Stuart Hale, Lee Jourdan, Melyssa Mignone, Lee Jourdan, Noah Schweizer, Janet Thorn, Brian Nale, Lynette Michalos, Paula Massarelli, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Vera Williams, Christine Dagney, Erin Dagney, Emily Dagney, The Omeara Family, Gabriella & Matthieu, Kristen Moody, James And Kathy Berry, Lee Anastasi, Theresa Lucotti, Mike O'brien , Carolyn Como, Tommy Montgomery, Ken Maikowski, Nathalie Periard, Audra Miller, Kevin Miller, Linda "the Pooh" scrivano, Katie Marshall, Ken Clark, Mike Walter, Veronica Peterson, Angie Young, Kelly Cummings, Kara Cummings, Scott Welch, Dave Kanigowski, Hoekzema Family, Robert Noecker, Maureen Handy, Eva Mayhew, Gerald Skanes, Chris Connors, C.j. Connors, Debbie Connors, Jennifer Snook, Griffin Harpel, Emily Hudson, Jen Tremley, Patty Carty, Kim Skanes, Maggie Klotz, Chris Kelly, Cynthia Hitchcock, Ruth Woodhouse, Linda College, Morgan M., Laura V., Susie Howard, Patti Mccaffrey, Pam Vanaustin, Carri Marotto, Mackenzie D., Staci Plunkett, Teresa Plunkett, Nancy Johansen, Sandie Albrecht, Julie And Kody Rider, Erica Zielewski, Kim Mobley, The Kertes Family, Kathy Huckabee, Laurie Walker, Hillary Waldroop, Christopher Barnes, Les Stewart, Jenny Stoneburner, Mickey Eckert, James Chris Nichols, Heidi Burke, Evanna Huda, Clay Anthony, Karen Ramirez, Melodye Berry, Morag Lemon, Craig, Chloe Mayhew, Dan Johnston, Mike Haven, Sandy Kanigowski, Tricia Noble, Gallagher Family, Ashley Hill, Amber Slifer, Kristen Mccoy, Dale Knight, Jeremy Reichelt, Kristen Carde, Andrea Kruszewski, Betsy Silvestri, Anastasia Macneil, Andy Schumacher, Jennifer Cravener, Matthew Jadro, Nathaniel Clements, Rebecca Keenan, Patrick Broaddus, Emily Watson, Al Desimone, Debbie Desimone, Scott Sangston, Claire Gregory, Christopher Dotzman, Doug Andrews, Karen Martin, Kevin Jones, John Pasqueralli, Pecosace, Kelly Smith, Hobbes And Snorky, Lori Rienhardt, Walter N. Clark, Heidi Goodhue, Sharon Dale, Caryn Schill, Jim Fonseca , Jim Fonseca , The Hicks Family, Rob Jacob, Eric Holmes, Stephanie Dollar, Mike Sosnovich, John Menjes, Alan Mize, Matt Holley, Jack And Bill Foley, Mike Haeberle, Kelly Chipmunk Barnes, Rob & April Team Vanderpool, Kerrie Hogan, Kate Flanagan, Nancy, Jason Skow, Kerry Mccaffrey, Dawn Bach, Agnes Ciotti, Ruth Cookson, Jenny Brennan, Maryann Daly, William Edwards, Emma Ramsey, George Mundy Jr, Sharon Pierce, Caroline Burmester, Jenn Steele, Wendy T Faler, Trish Babler, Fred Shakeshaft, Paula B, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Mark Proper, Kristin Dormuth, Taylor Pocopanni, Annie Snodgrass, The Patterson Family, Mark Franklin, Kirsten Miller, Gerald Buford, Carolyn Duff, Lisa Zitek, Karen Smith, Ed Bene, Kyler Scott And Kevin Too, Emily Henderson, Ana Petersen, and Kathryn Willer. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

That closes out September, which means: TIME TO DRAW THE MONTHLY WINNER! And the September 2012 winner is: Heidi Burke! Congratulations, Heidi! You win AllEars swag from Deb Wills!
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #250: Where in the world is this?

Staying in the parks!
 Where in the World #250

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

September 25, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week: The Three Caballeros

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Three Caballeros are the stars of the Gran Fiesta Tour boat ride inside the Mexico pavilion of Epcot's World Showcase. Panchito, José Carioca and Donald Duck or, as Lisa would remind me, Pato Donald make up the famous trio featured in Walt Disney's animated movie of the same name. José is the one on the right.

The Three Caballeros entertain guests riding on the Gran Fiesta Tour inside Epcot's Mexico pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Three Caballeros entertain guests riding on the Gran Fiesta Tour.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/60s, f/1.8, ISO 720, EV +0.3.

Lisa will be here on Thursday with her take for our Disney Pic of the Week about The Three Caballeros.

September 16, 2012

Where in the World #247

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 continued Good Wishes for my health, like the notes I got from Mary Beth Tarbet, Danielle Ciotti,Susan & Mike Hill, Agnes Ciotti, and Kerry A.! Smiley from millan.net

Here was the September 9th challenge:
 Where in the World #246

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

It's the mural in the Living with the Land attraction in Epcot. Everybody sing!

Smiley from millan.net
Just make believe you're a tiny little seed,
a tiny little seed that's reaching up to meet your need.
With the right amount of faith and the right amount of earth
you'll grow to see the sunshine on your day of birth.

Let's listen to the land we all love.
Nature's plan will shine above.
Listen to the land, listen to the land.

I LOVE that song!

Amy Schweizer was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Amy and to all the readers who got the answer right: Gabriella And Matthieu, Alex And Carol Gamill, Paul Jeffers, Anne Marie Cronin, Liz, Mickey Eckert, Louise Barton, Colette S, Rob Anderson, Jenny Stoneburner, Dee Cote, Nick Bentz, Vicki, Elizabeth And William Edwards, Ruth Senecal, Kerry A., Morgan M., Paul Ignudo Jr., Clay Anthony, Callie Conrad, Chuck Everson, Patrick Broaddus, Jim Finley, Karen Ramirez, Emily Hudson, Carla Nale, Allie Reckendorf, Jan Rosato, Kristy Garrity, Carol Eaton, Rob Blundin, Cynthia Hitchcock, and Danielle Ciotti. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #247: Where in the world is this?

I thought last week's Challenge was going to be easier, but I realized that it depended on what I showed in the thumbnail. So let's try it better this week! We're still in the parks.

 Where in the World #247

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

September 14, 2012

Advanced Dark Ride Photography at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I have talked about my attempts at photographing Disney dark rides in the past. I have not been satisfied with my results thus far. So, I contacted an expert. Michael Besant is an accomplished dark ride photographer and I asked him for his secret. Turns out I was not the only one to inquire and he had decided to write up how he photographs and processes his dark ride photos. I will reference the link soon.

First, I want to outline it for you:

Equipment

The better a camera handles high ISO settings the better its ability to capture dark ride images. If you get good images up to ISO 3200 or higher, your camera will work.

A fast lens is a must. The one I recommend is the 50mm f/1.8 prime lens as it is very affordable. Other lenses with wide open apertures like f1.4, f/2 and f/2.8 are in longer focal lengths and thus are more expensive. Many kit lenses are too slow in the f/3.5 to f/5.6 aperture range.

Photography

As in all photography, the better exposed your photo is, the better you will be able process the images. Michael gives excellent tips on how to do this. One which helped me was to switch from my normal use of JPEG images to the camera's RAW image capture. RAW files contain a lot more information in which your photo editor can use in pulling out details in photos.

Other tips are to use Shutter Priority mode to keep the shutter speed manageable. He recommends a shutter speed of at least 1/40th of a second (I try to keep it at 1/60th of a second, if possible), use continuous and single point focus settings and put your camera in burst (continuous) mode. Single point focus allows you to move the focus point to lock in on the brighter locations of the scene you are photographing. Lastly, set exposure compensation to +0.3 to slightly overexpose your photos. This will help in post processing.

Post Processing

I am going to give you the short version which Michael shared with me recently. For a detailed account you will need to visit his Dark Ride Shooting Tutorial (see link at end of article). He uses Adobe Photoshop software which is expensive but is the industry standard and for a good reason as you will see. I used Apple Aperture 3.3 which is like Adobe Lightroom 4.

Michael will open an image in ADOBE CAMERA RAW He always will 'open' it up with the exposure slider to see what details are lurking in the shadows. Then he starts with the WHITE BALANCE. This is done on multiple levels, the first being the normal adjustments. Before he takes it further and goes into selective color and remove or tone down the HOT colors.

Depending on the image, Michael will adjust with either the RECOVERY or the FILL LIGHT slider followed by SHARPNESS/NOISE REDUCTION (NR) tab to adjust the sharpness and NR at that point. From there he finishes up using the CURVE tool.

If any of this sounds confusing, check your photo editing software's Help to learn how to use them.

For my processing, I had to substitute the NR part with a trip to another program called Noise Ninja. Once done, I returned back to Aperture for the final steps.

Below are photos I took in Mexico's Grand Fiesta ride and the Tower of Tower. I sent copies of the RAW files to Michael so as to compare my processing to his.

The Aztec Pyramid on the Grand Fiesta ride at Epcot's Mexico pavilion in World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
The Aztec Pyramid on the Grand Fiesta ride by Scott.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/60s, f/1.8, ISO 12,800, EV +0.3.

The Aztec Pyramid on the Grand Fiesta ride at Epcot's Mexico pavilion in World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
The Aztec Pyramid on the Grand Fiesta ride by Michael Besant.

You will notice right off the difference in the Aztec Pyramid's color which I left more in keeping with the lighting on the ride and I opened up the colors above the pyramid by using a dodging (lighting) brush. Both versions are fine with the differences being artistic and not technical.

Ghosts beckon during the Tower of Terror in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Ghosts beckon during the Tower of Terror by Scott.
Nikon D700/70-200VR, 1/40s, f/2.8, ISO 12,800, EV +0.3, 92mm focal length.

Ghosts beckon during the Tower of Terror in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Ghosts beckon during the Tower of Terror by Michael Besant.

Michael was able to pull out a lot more detail in the ghosts. I tired brushing in a few different effects but never got them as good as he did. Keep in mind Adobe Photoshop is a $600 photo editor and is considered the gold standard in professional photo editing. Apple Aperture is a $90 program which does a very good job.

I will say this is the best I have done with dark ride photos thanks to Michael Besant's Dark Ride Shooting Tutorial. I hope it will help you, too.

If you have any questions, leave them in the Comments.

September 6, 2012

China's Stone Dragons

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Dragon stone carving in front of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest at China in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Dragon stone carving in front of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest at China.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/1600s, f/2.5, ISO 200, EV +0.3.

I am constantly surprised at the amount of detail I find in all the pavilions in Epcot's World Showcase. I found this craved dragon of stone in front of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest for my Disney Pic of the Week about China.


August 28, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week: Flower and Garden Festival

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Epcot has wonderful landscaping most of the year but, during the Flower and Garden Festival, Walt Disney World's gardeners and topiary specialists go all out to produce color and shapes using the vast cast of characters from Disney's movies and shorts. Including Captain Hook who has not learned to leave Peter Pan alone.

Peter Pan and Captain Hook topiaries in Epcot during the Flower and Garden Festival, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Peter Pan and Captain Hook topiaries on display during the Flower and Garden Festival.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/80s, f/22, ISO 200, EV -0.3.

Lisa will be here on Thursday with her Disney Pic of Week about the Flower and Garden Festival.

August 26, 2012

Where in the World #244

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!

Smiley from millan.net STOP the presses, Players! Carolyn Conway is getting married this weekend! Her fiancee proposed in Walt Disney World while watching the water electrical pageant on the balcony at the Grand Floridian! WOW!

Here was the August 19th Challenge:
 Where in the World #243

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

Soooo... I honestly thought this would stump everyone. I full expected to get 3 answers this week, but I got a little more than that.

560.

LOL!

Ken Maikowski and Lee Anastasi, you did a great job of explaining this: Walking towards Mexico and looking across the World Showcase lagoon, you see the Minaret in Morrocco in Epcot and the back side of the Hollywood Hotel in Disney's Hollywood Studios (Tower of Terror). Curtis Bille, could you finish about the Imagineers? Imagineers realized you would be able to see the back of the Tower, so they painted it and worked the facade so it would like part of Morocco.

I meet a lot of people who have no idea about this, but obviously those people aren't Where in the World Players. :-) In fact, Noah and Daniel Schweizer, part of the AllEars next generation pointed out all of you would figure this out. Thumbs up, guys! Not to mention, Deb Ragno's mother-in-law who lived in Morocco let her know, and I'm not arguing with that kind of knowledge!

Claire Gregory got a Cliff Claven reference in her answer. That is so awesome, Claire! Smiley from millan.net

Kenny was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Kenny and to all the readers who got the answer right: Chris Masse, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Misty Mehelic, Ellie Argaluza, Diane Tredore, Mike M., Agnes Ciotti, Jennifer Rowell, Emily Hudson, Kris Nixon, Virginia Pierce , Stephanie Newell, Heather Young, Mackenzie D., Walter Fletcher, Bill Mckim, Scott Mitchell, Jack Foley, Mary Beth Tarbet, Tinkerbell Wells, Claire Gregory, Amy Schweizer, Tom Hermes, Karen Schlumpf, Ed Elder, Daniel Schweizer, Ed Suscreba, Christina R, Kathryn Perkins, Noah Schweizer, Cindy Dore, Dawn Bach, Evanna Huda, Dawn Bach, The Kahle Family, Julie Wickware, Erin Hammer, Larissa Huda, Linda College, Steve Smith, James Ankathy Berry, Erin Dagney, Christine Dagney, Kelly Mager, Vera Williams, Leigh Mertz, Jennifer Harmon, Chris And Alison, Mark Benton, Sodrosky Family, Jim Logue, Kameo Crea, Stuart Hale, Debbie Desimonecraftydjd, Jen Tremley, Amy R., Matt Holley, Kristi Strembicki, Curtis Bille, Jennifer P, Megan Krainski, Ken Maikowski, Froneberger Family, Kye Layton, Dave Wang, Craig, Melissa Such, Leanne Brownlee, Kait, Cindy Nagel, Deb Ragno, Shannon Milair, Krystal Pound, Kristie Bazile, David B, Brandon Emerson, Colette S, Brian Wojtowicz, Lindsay Leach Age 9, Jenny Brennan, Amanda Campbell, Christopher Barnes, Leach Family, Lynette Michalos, Jennifer A Walker, Mailin Pares, Tom Koval, Jon Landis, Kerri Coggins, Craig Livingston, Starr Cookson, Ellen Sullivan, Becky Coppola, Keith Maser, Jamie K, Steven Mickholtzick, Jay Burkhart, Harley Coleman, Tiffany Gibb, Pat Daly, Lori Gautreaux, Liana Imbrogno, Casey, Scott O'donnell, Brian Gallant, K. Beasley, James, Stephanie Davis, Renee Delk, Shannon Sheek, Team Hill, Jim Oneil, Paul, Michele Leite, Karen Ramirez, Marsha Waidelich, Kelli Simpson, Sam Magri, Kelly Sage, Nate, Janet, Brian Yesutis, Mark, Erin, Laurie Nicholson, Lynman99@aol.com, Lynette Michalos, Meredith Dean, Bob Hendrix, Reagan Herman, Katie Bray, Josh Carney, Heidi Summers, Jenny Stoneburner, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Michelle Raimist, Robin C Hood, Nora Martinez, Allie Reckendorf, Wendy T Faler, Alan Mize, Janet Thorn, Steve Toponak, Melody Salemi, Kelly Deleon, Mandy Kromer, Julie And Kody Rder, Kristin Hoover, Michael Joel Gainey, Fiona Knight, Wayne Alexandre, Mike O'brien, Dave Cole, Jeremy Hardy, Lindsay Coram, Jerry Felder, Dana Camp, Melanie Horton, Jennifer Mccurry, Rob And April - Team Vanderpool, Dan Mangini, Daniel Meagher, Stacy Wilson, Courtney Payne, Jeffrey Dunne, Anne Marie Cronin, Hobbes And Snorky, Jim Vandenberghe, Bonnie Cola, Louise Barton, Scott Precise, Mike Hulse, Morgan M., Nathalie Periard, Tim Jeltes, Jennifer Snook, Dale Knight, Becky Hosinger, Emery, Sharon Record, Diane, Kristen Clegg, Jeffrey Martin, Maureen Hanlon, Caryn Scjill, Angie Young, Donna Currier, David W., Carolyn Como, Stephanie Visco, Eric Enli, Carla Nale, Wendy Snelgrove, Shannon Brueggemann, Morag Lemon, Diane Curfman, Jason Hocker, Mike Walter, Gabriella &Matthieu, The Kertes Family, Laurie Walker , Josh Lind, Scott, Wendy Crober, Vicki, William , Elizabeth And Thomas Edwards, Sara Holloway, Sherrie Morse, Chambers Family , Ruth Woodhouse, Derek Carty, Candy Dadswell, Brianne, Hannah Couture, Candice Grimes, Linda Scrivano, Brian Miller, Jerry Weldon, Betsy Silvestri, Debbie, Lily-pierre &Mathieu, John P, Double Family, Mike Malampy, Joe Bateman, Pam Vanaustin, Kelly Feeko, Daniel Mills, Kristi, Addison Welp, Madi Mertz, Clare S, Rebecca Keenan, The Parker Family, Josh Weiss, Jorge R. Caso, Maggie Klotz, James Greene, Debra Moscara, Patty Carty, Vicki Vaught, Brian Haas, Abigail Grasso, Tina Wells, Chris Forner, Richard And Lisa Palmer, Jason And Melinda Lenz, Andrew Swiatowicz , Kevin Scott, Erin Connell, Bruce Jones, Lindsey Schlaud, Steve Bieniek, Kelsi, Pamela Carlson, Scott, Denise Cayz, Rob Blundin, Amanda Perkins, Sarah Hyman, Elyssa H., Mickey Eckert, Clay Anthony, Trina Noggle, Carrie, Audra Miller, Kevin Miller, Erin Loring, Nick Bentz, Sharon Dale, Megan , Chris Kelly, Walter N. Clark, Cynthia Hitchcock, Robert Jacob, Travis Grim, Hoekzema Family, Luis Rodriguez, Nigel Mcquire (wales Uk), Gareth Molyneux, Carrie Henderson, Sharon Pierce, Brian Grabowski, Bob Patterson, Kristyn Scibienski, Kerrie Hogan, Jason K, Andrea Kruszewski, Anthony Lipinski, Jessica Folan, Annette Nuenke, Jullie Pudem, Kevin O, Andrew Pettit, Barbara, Anne Hainsworth, Zachary Ott, Monica Owens, Steve Narel, Chris Bauman, Paul Ignudo, Jr., Kate Fischer, Alison Rosenberger, Carla C, Cameron Lange, Jenn Steele, Kristen Mccoy, Tim Johansen, Jim Thompson, Michelle Roth-smoot, Melody O'donnell, Karrie Duffey, Wayne Chadourne, Isabelle Boivin, Dee Dee Kenney, Jenifer Moyer, John Snider, Chrissie Smith, Jeremy Reichelt, Dan Huebner, Diane Ramos, Andy Schumacher, Anastasia Macneil, Carri Marotto, Betsy Dross, Payton Dross , Andrew Weed, Stacey Creed, Phil Thach, Patrick Broaddus, William Sharp, Lynda Brothers, Austin Oblenis, Scott Sangston, Natalie Hackney, Kurt Knappman, Annie Snodgrass, Kevin Weidenweber, Kristen Carde, Stephanie Linares, Matthew Earl, Lisa Zitek, Gallagher Family, Mike Schultz, Stephanie Dollar, Dan Owens, Mark Grosso, Bruce Lawson, Bob Henriksen, Mark Franklin, Ian Falk, Lori Rienhardt, Jeff Onorato, Meredith Rule, Karen Davis, Elaine Tomko-deluca, Carrie Rampy, Jeff Finger, Christine Mckay, Mark Proper, Brian Sheets, Ainsley Poe, Deborah Wolfe, Matt Ciccone, Jennifer Cline, Mike Pennington, Melissa Dye, Angela Horan, Melissa Kirk, Sam Thomas, Eileen Miller, The Perras Family, Cathy Mager, Paul Latella, Jason Skow, Susan, Shelly Borella, Erika Loboda, Heidi Goodhue, Jim Curley, Phil Vickers, Wendy Palmquist, Kris Blamphin, Karen Smith, Bob Smith, Jessica Iglesias, Jennifer Greene, Mitchell Holmes, Barbara Sims, Hannah M., Russ Morgan, Madison Hovan, Al Desimone, Kerry Mccaffrey, Michele Mongeon, Evald Olson, Jeff &Cheryl Simmons, Mona Hornbuckle, Patti Mccaffrey, Olivia D, Chrissy D, Maryann Y, Christine Def, Sam Cridlin, Greg Berg, Lynn Lofton, Nancy, Chris Straw, Debbie Hicks, Nicole Shuler, Jen Cox, Sandy Kanigowski, Dave Kanigowski, Mary Jo Gallion, Teresa Cole, Karen Bellamy, Michael Schelfhaut, Timothy Hutchinson, Les Stewart, Christina Rotella, George Mundy Jr, Ron Harper, Paul Conry, Mike Cerce, John Foggo, Timmy Saunders, Miguel Gonzalez, Ashley Deitchler, Duane Wisniewski, Joy, The Moore Family, Karen Adamakis, Kelly Barnes, Ashley Pizzino, Mary Virginia Clause, Sandie Albrecht, Trish Babler, Liz Moreau, Peggy Saeger, Amanda, Patricia Newton, Nathaniel Clements, Jane Johnson, Robert P. Flaherty, Karrie Trotter, Nicole Amidon, Robert Anderson, Bill Cudney , Danielle Howells, Clinton Dickinson, Chip Vermette, Hillary Waldroop, Angela Fennell, Joy Ousterout, The Patterson Family, Melodye Berry, Stefan Owens, Terri Thornton, Dan Johnston, Tom Higbee, Marc Lorenzo, Tara Weaver, Tammy Henry, Suzanne C Denham, Carolyn Conway, Dotti Chesney, Dotti Chesney, Lee Anastasi, Kristin Dormuth, Mike Venere, Matt Carrera, Barclay Bakkum, Wendy Barney, Paula B, Tracy Discher, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Lindsay Kasawski, Jodi Cook, Chris Connors, Lizanne Fisk, Mukta Mohapatra, Jan Rosato, Dave Carriere, Allison Caputa, and Rebecca Baker. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________
Challenge #244: Where in the world is this?
In case this one is tough, here's a hint: it's somewhere in Walt Disney World. :)

 Where in the World #244

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

August 10, 2012

Prime Epcot

Prime Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When I am in a photography funk and want to challenge myself, I take my favorite zoom lens off my camera and put on my Nikon 50mm f/1.8 prime lens. What I call the Nifty-Fifty. I did this for a day at Epcot and came away with some of the best photos I have taken there.

Prime lenses are fixed focal length, tend to be sharper than zoom lenses and have a larger aperture range. The aperture range allows for extreme selective focus by using it wide open like on this lovely flower I found near Spaceship Earth.

Blue flower near Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Blue flower near Spaceship Earth.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/640s, f/1.8, ISO 200, EV +0.3.

Without the ability to zoom in with the lens, I had to "zoom" with my feet. During a performance of the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps in front of the American Adventure, I walked up and photographed the Fife player from three feet away. I did this quickly as I knew others were photographing the performance with their zoom lenses.

Fife player in front of the American Adventure in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Fife player in front of the American Adventure.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/250s, f/11, ISO 200, EV +0.3.

Another place I had to move in close was at Germany's Karamell-Küche shop where I found these scrumptious chocolate covered strawberries with Werther's Original Caramel wrapped around them.

Chocolate Strawberries in Germany's Karamell-Küche shop in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Chocolate Strawberries in Germany's Karamell-Küche shop.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/60s, f/2.8, ISO 200, EV +0.3.

Prime lenses are your best bet when it comes to dark rides like the Gran Fiesta Tour inside Epcot's Mexico pavilion. Here I photographed Donald Duck photographing me during the relaxing boat ride.

Donald Duck is one of the Three Caballeros of the Gran Fiesta Tour in Epcot's Mexico pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Donald Duck is one of the stars of the Gran Fiesta Tour.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/60s, f/1.8, ISO 640, EV +0.3.

I switched to Shutter Priority mode while watching the Matsuriza, the Taiko Drummers, in Japan to show the motion of the entertainer's arms and drum sticks. I could not get as close as I did for the Fife player so I used leading lines to draw viewers to the drum and drummers.

Taiko Drummers performing at Japan in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Taiko Drummers performing at Japan.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/20s, f/14, ISO 200, EV +0.3.

As you can see, prime lenses will challenge you and make you think before pressing the shutter. If you have used a prime lens at a Disney themepark, let me know your thoughts.

July 31, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week: Monorails at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Monorails are a favorite subject on the Picture This! blog and are my favorite "ride" at Walt Disney World. I have been known to plan my day to take advantage of the long monorail line between Epcot and the Magic Kingdom or around the Seven Seas Lagoon. How about you?

Monorail Lime passing Spaceship Earth on approach to the Epcot station, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Monorail Lime passing Spaceship Earth on approach to the Epcot station.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 300mm Focal Length.

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

July 27, 2012

Spaceship Earth Triptych

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

A triptych is a work of art which is divided into three sections. I took a photo of Spaceship Earth looking right up one of the pylons. I decided to use FX Photo Studio to make a few special effect versions of the Spaceship Earth photo and create a triptych from them.

A triptych of Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
A triptych of Spaceship Earth.

In this case I used the same photo of Spaceship Earth. I could have used three different photos of the same subject or of different subjects if they worked together. For me, it means the three subjects should relate together in some way.

July 26, 2012

Italian Volcano Ovens in Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Chefs work to feed the three wood fired ovens at Via Napoli in Epcot's Italy pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Chefs work to feed the three wood fired ovens at Via Napoli.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/60s, f/1.8, ISO 400, EV +0.6

Napoli restaurant has become my favorite restaurant in Epcot's World Showcase. On my last trip I got in low at the large communal table leading up to the open air kitchen featuring the three wood fired ovens named Stromboli, Vesuvius and Etna after the three active volcanoes in Italy. Fitting for my Disney Pic of the Week on Italy.


July 17, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week: Disney Maps

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When planning my very first trip to Walt Disney World back in 1983. Websites like this was still more than a decade in the future. I had to rely on a book called Birnbaum's Walt Disney World which showed detailed maps of both the Magic Kingdom and Epcot. The only two parks at the time. I spent hours with that book to make sure I got the most out of my vacation (which doubled as my honeymoon).

Today, you can find maps of any Disney themepark in the world online. Click this link for maps of Walt Disney World here on AllEars.net. When you enter any Disney park there are maps and entertainment guides readily available and in many languages. Shops and carts will have them, too. One of those things we take for granted by must cost Disney plenty to keep updated and fresh.

If you could not see, all these maps are of no use to you. In each Walt Disney World park there are braille maps for the blind and visually impaired. This one is located at the International Gateway entrance to World Showcase in Epcot.

Braille map of Epcot at the International Gateway entrance to World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Braille map of Epcot at the International Gateway entrance to World Showcase.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 1100, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

Lisa will be here on Thursday with her Disney Pic of the Week photo about Maps in the Disney parks.

July 12, 2012

Blue Hour in Epcot's Morocco

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Koutoubia Minaret at night in Epcot's Morocco in the World Showcase,Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Koutoubia Minaret at night in Epcot's Morocco in the World Showcase.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/25s, f/3.5, ISO 6400, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

Blue hour is a special time for photographers. While the human eye can not detect it easily, a long exposure will build up the deep blue sky color. I like to put lighted buildings or areas with blue hour as I like the yellow lights against the blue. Such was a night in Epcot's Morocco pavilion with the Koutoubia Minaret, prayer tower, in golden light against the twilight sky. Hope you enjoyed my Disney Pic of the Week on World Showcase at Night.

July 6, 2012

Patriotism at the American Adventure

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Member of the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps saluting the American flag in front of the American Adventure in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Member of the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps saluting the American flag in front of the American Adventure.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/13, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

When it comes to American Patriotism, the Walt Disney Company is a master at bringing on such feelings for the citizens of the United States. Performances of the Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps occur several times a day in front of the American Adventure pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase.

June 28, 2012

Maelstrom Trolls in Norway

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Guests meet trolls on the Maelstrom ride in Norway at Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Trolls warn guests riding Norway's Maelstrom ride.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/60s, f/1.8, ISO 12800, EV +0.3

In norse mythology, trolls are rarely described as helpful or friendly. The trolls guests meet on the Maelstrom ride in Norway send them into an exciting and backwards ride through a dark forest and almost over a waterfall. Not a very helpful trio are they?

This is an example of an extreme high ISO image for my Disney Pic of the Week on Norway.


June 7, 2012

Inside Spaceship Earth: Gutenberg Press

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Johann Gutenberg examining a page from his printing press inside Spaceship Earth in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Johann Gutenberg examining a page from his printing press inside Spaceship Earth.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/60s, f/1.8, ISO 6400, EV +1.0.

The Gutenberg Press scene inside Spaceship Earth shows a page of the Bible that Johann Gutenberg is examining. The page is an exact replica of one from the Gutenberg Bible on display in the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. Another example of Disney detail and makes for a cool Disney Pic of the Week from Inside Spaceship Earth.


May 24, 2012

San Angel Inn in Mexico

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

San Angel Inn restaurant inside the Mexico pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
San Angel Inn restaurant inside Mexico.
Nikon D70/Tokina 11-16mm, 25s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 11mm focal length, tripod.

The San Angel Inn restaurant inside the Mexico pavilion always looks so inviting. Nice rich colors and an awesome atmosphere which was I why I chose it for my Disney Pic of the Week on Mexico. Problem is I am not a fan of Mexican food. Or, as I was told once, I never had good Mexican food. I am asking you for some help. If you were to take me here, what would you recommend I order? Click Here for the San Angel Inn Menu.

May 18, 2012

Disney Land and Sea

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Disney Land and Sea, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Disney Land and Sea.

Scott is on vacation this week. This time he is doing a Land and Sea trip to Walt Disney World which will include a 4-night cruise on the Disney Dream followed by a stay at Disney's Animal Kingdom Lodge. He'll be back next week with more Disney photography information and tips.

You can follow Scott on his Disney Twitter feed @Scottwdw or on Google+ at Scott Thomas as he will be posting comments and photos during the trip.

May 10, 2012

Juggling Entertainment at World Showcase in Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Interactive juggler Sergio entertaining guests at Italy's pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Interactive juggler Sergio entertaining guests at Epcot's Italy pavilion.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV 0, 58mm focal length.

Sergio, the International interactive juggler, entertains guests in the World Showcase pavilion of Italy five days a week. Check the Epcot entertainment guide when you enter the park for specific times. As you can see by his title and the photo, Sergio gets guests involved in his act and is my Disney Pic of the Week on World Showcase Entertainers.

May 4, 2012

Disney through a Crystal Ball

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

A crystal ball is believed by some people to aid in the performance of clairvoyance like witches and wizards. At Walt Disney World, the most famous crystal ball is found in the Haunted Mansion where the ghost of Madame Leota is calling spirits from the world beyond. Crystal balls are a fun prop to create very unique photos.

Spaceship Earth as seen through a crystal ball in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spaceship Earth as seen through a crystal ball.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/400s, f/10, ISO 200, EV 0, 230mm focal length, flipped, cropped.

Here are some tips for using a crystal ball in photography:

1. Things are upside down or inverted when looking through a crystal ball so you must flip them in your photo editor (see below).

Crystal ball being held up in front of Spaceship Earth in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Crystal ball being held up in front of Spaceship Earth.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 200, EV 0, 230mm focal length.

2. Focus sharply on the crystal ball image and let the background go out of focus.

3. If you can not levitate the crystal ball (I wish I could learn how to do that!), find a secure place for the crystal ball or get the aid of an assistant to hold it (see above).

4. Lens choice is up to you but ones that can focus closely are easier to use.

5. Be careful when using a crystal ball in the Sun. They get very hot, very fast!

6. Find an interesting subject like maybe a fantasy castle.

Cinderella Castle through a crystal ball in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cinderella Castle through a crystal ball.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 68mm focal length, cropped, flipped.

If you would like to procure your own crystal ball, check out the Crystal Company and have some fun!

April 17, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week: American Adventure

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

As an American, it is hard not to feel a huge sense of pride when visiting the American Adventure pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase. The Disney Imagineers did a monumental job in fitting together the history and elements of the United States of America in its art, accomplishments and architecture.

The pavilion itself was done in classic English Georgian style. Elements of the building were inspired by Independence Hall, Boston's Old State House, Monticello, and Colonial Williamsburg. The structure's 110,000 bricks are handmade from Georgian clay, which were then colored and aged to make them look authentic. The roof is made of slate and the floor of marble and copper.

Even at night, the American Adventure shines between Italy and Japan.

The American Adventure at night in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The American Adventure at night in Epcot's World Showcase.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 20s, f/16, ISO 200, EV -0.7, 95mm focal length, tripod.

Lisa be here on Thursday to salute the American Adventure for the Disney Pic of the Week.

April 12, 2012

Hall of Flags inside the American Adventure

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Hall of Flags inside the American Adventure in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Hall of Flags inside the American Adventure.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/30s, f/3.5, ISO 800, EV +1, 18mm focal length.

After being allowed to enter the walkway to the theater inside the American Adventure pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, you walk up stairs or take the escalators through the Hall of Flags. These flags were displayed at different times throughout the history of the United States and include flags used by state and federal governments. They make for a colorful and historic Disney Pic of the Week on Flags & Banners.

April 6, 2012

Flyer Mickey at Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Flyer Mickey on a t-shirt in a shop across from Soarin' inside Epcot's The Land pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Flyer Mickey on a t-shirt in a shop across from Soarin'.

Scott is on vacation this week as he seeks out all manner of historic aircraft at the Smithsonian's Air & Space Museums in Washington, DC. He will return next week to continue with his weekly photography tips from Disney parks.

You can check out Flyer Mickey and other aviation merchandise like this t-shirt in the kiosk across from Soarin' inside Epcot's The Land pavilion.

March 23, 2012

Illuminations over Imagination in Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I follow many photographers who enjoy perfecting their craft in Disney parks all over the world. These men and women come up with many photo ideas I often make note of these photos to try an attempt myself. These help to push my photographic skills as I try to master new techniques and see things differently.

Once a person has photographed the many Disney fireworks shows from the traditional viewpoints, one looks for different angles and perspectives. I had seen versions of the photo below. To photograph it, I found this position across from the Journey into Imagination pavilion's famous reverse waterfall a few minutes before Illuminations started. I setup a tripod and put a three-stop neutral density filter on a wide angle lens. Unlike when I can hear the show music, I had to wait for the bursts to emerge high enough to open the shutter.

Illuminations firework bursts behind the Imagination pavilion in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Illuminations firework bursts behind the Imagination pavilion.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 8.6s, f/9, ISO 400, EV 0, 16mm focal length, 3-stop ND filter, tripod.

If you are looking for alternative places to photograph firework shows at any of the Disney parks, websites like flickr have thousands of images for you to get inspiration from.

March 16, 2012

Rockin' Around Epcot's World Showcase

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Epcot's World Showcase features live musical entertainment daily and seasonally. Canada, Japan, Morocco and the United Kingdom have permanent stages while Mexico and the American Adventure have roving musicians. Today I am showing you the Rockin' part of World Showcase.

First up is the Celtic Rock band in Canada, Off Kilter. Lead by singer and bagpipe player, Jamie Holton (upper right below), Off Kilter's unmistakable sound pulls people in and their fun on stage presence keeps them there. Along with Jamie, (from top left) bass guitarist Mark Weldon, master guitarist Randy Holbrook and keyboardist Tony Escapa. Not pictured is drummer Scott Zymowski. Click the Photo for a Larger Version.

Off Kilter on stage in the Canada pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Off Kilter on stage in the Canada pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase.

Morocco is our next stop where Mo'Rockin take Arabic rhythms into a contemporary flair. I must admit while the music is good and lively. When the dancer appears, the interest of those around increase and she enjoys teaching little ones to dance, too. Click the Photo for a Larger Version.

Mo'Rockin entertaining in Morocco in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mo'Rockin entertaining in Morocco in Epcot's World Showcase.

Twice a year, Epcot hosts festivals with special musical acts at the America Gardens Theatre in front of the American Adventure. In the Spring, there's the Flower and Garden Festival with a series of concerts called Flower Power. The Fall festival called Food and Wine has the Eat to the Beat concerts. These concerts feature bands from the 1970's and 1980's.

Last Fall, I enjoyed seeing one of my favorite bands from my college days. The Orchestra has former members of the popular band Electric Light Orchestra also known as ELO. If you are at Walt Disney World this May from 4th to the 6th, stop by and enjoy their unique rock sound featuring violinist Mike Kaminski (see below). Click the Photo for a Larger Version.

Former members of ELO make up The Orchestera performing during an Eat to the Beat concert at the America Gardens Theatre, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Former members of ELO make up The Orchestera performing during an Eat to the Beat concert at the America Gardens Theatre.

To make sure you catch all the entertainment found around Epcot, pick up an entertainment guide as you enter the park or in any shops or kiosks.

March 15, 2012

Morocco Belly Dancer

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Dancer entertaining guests inside Restaurant Marrakesh in the Morocco pavilion at Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Dancer entertaining guests inside Restaurant Marrakesh.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5, ISO 6400, EV 0, 48mm Focal Length, bounce flash.

A few times a day, traditional Moroccan music is played and a belly dancer invites children and adults to join her on the floor inside Restaurant Marrakesh in the Morocco pavilion at Epcot's World Showcase. Sometimes she even comes to your table which made for this exciting Disney Pic of the Week on Morocco.

March 4, 2012

Where in the World #219

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

Time for another Where in the World Photo Challenge!

Claire, I can't believe it's been a year since the Troll mission! And as I type this, you're grabbing some extra rest after One More Disney Day! What is it FANTASTIC?!

Yo, Mike! How are you, bragging about your new trip in August! ;)

Mackenzie D., it is never cheating to look through your pictures. After all, I look through my pictures each week. :)

Players, you are the best! So many of you played the seagull challenge. You make me so proud!
seagull

Two people got it right: Steve Jordan with his guess of "above some part of Walt Disney World" and Shannon Thomas with her answer "That seagull is in the sky". It's spooky how you both could get figure that out. I got shivers like the hyena Shenzi when she hears the name Mufasa. Smiley from millan.net

Karen Schlumpf, you think this could be the one that stole your chocolate croissant? Let's take another look... he is looking down like "Hey, you got any croissants down there?" He took Debbie Poole's sister's hot dog too. Tsk tsk, talk about being all "Mine! Mine! Mine!"
With all that food theft, maybe he is waiting for the Food and Wine Festival, Chris Kelly. That is one long wait: six months!

Here was the so called 'regular' Challenge from last week:
 Where in the World #218

And here's the answer:

Copyright © 2011 Erin Blackwell Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS

Pluto's doghouse in Epcot, in the pathway between World Showcase and Future World! In this case, he's decorated for Christmas. :)

Deb Ragno picked up that this is Pluto's Epcot house because his name is on a white board instead of a blue one like it was in the Magic Kingdom. That. Is. Impressive. Major kudos to you, Deb!

Hunter Armstrong, I get my picture in front of the doghouse too!

Jared Orth, gasp! Say it isn't so! You weren't allowed to make topiaries when you were a little boy! So not fair! Didn't your parents see "Karate Kid"? He was allowed to play with a bonsai tree; if only you had a Mr. Miyagi in your life to point out that you NEEDED to make a Pluto topiary. Sigh...

Quite a lot of people wondered if this was Pluto's house from ToonTown Country Fair. And they're like me: missing Mickey's house and his note on the doghouse. Sigh. Right, Doug Olson?

Shirley Garcowski, I never thought about that! Where is Pluto's doghouse from Toontown?! I wonder if it's up for auction somewhere... it wasn't in the archives' display at Disneyland's D23 expo with Mickey's mailbox, but that doesn't mean it's not stored.

Sharon Lee was the first to send in the correct answer for the second week in a row! Congratulations to Sharon and to all the readers who got the answer right: Julie Wickware, Lynxy Gurgula, Virginia Pierce, Leach Family, Larissa Huda, Steve Jordan, Emily Hudson, Dee Dee Kenney, Scott Cullen, Belicia Cullen, Al Desimone, Kevin Miller, Debbie Desimone, Audra Miller, Steve Jordan, Mary Beth Tarbet, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Team Hill, Sharon Pierce, Amanda Campbell, Scott Otis, Chris Mase, Deb Ragno, Evanna Huda, Paul Dickson, Misty Mehelic, Brian Yesutis, Hillary Waldroop, Hillary Waldroop, Caryn Schill, Paul Knott, Pam Tees, Kerri Coggins, Lee Anastasi, Brian Miller, Jodi Cook, Megan, Stephanie Hardhous, Erin Loring, Kerry A, Louise Barton, Claire Gregory, Angela Blevins, Matt And Danielle Murgia, Collette Beuther, Sharon Dale, Betsy Silvestri, Millie Tenreiro, Michael Malampy, The Kertes Family, Tina Benco, Jamie Poynton, Ashley Pizzino, Christopher Barnes, Cindy Dore', Tracy Henkel, Mary Virginia Clause, Kelly Zanauskas, Mackenzie D., Katie Bray, Jason &Melinda Lenz, Wayne Chadourne, Robert Anderson , Hunter Armstrong, Kelsi, Nikki Parker, Troy Parker, Christie Condit, Jared Orth, Kelly Smith, Dallas Hamilton, Les Stewart, Heather Hynes, Dan Johnston, Alison Rosenberger, Mark Franklin, April Mcbride, Elyssa H., Vera Williams, Jennifer Mercier, Andrea Kruszewski, Scott Sangston, Patti Mccaffrey, Karen Schlumpf, The O'meara Family, Heidi Goodhue, Lori Netti, Anastasia Macneil, Lauren Thomas, Jeannine , Dave Cole, George Mundy Jr, Melesia Love, Wendy T Faler, Eric Lagerblade, The Patterson Family, Erin Dagney, Christine Dagney, Carol Baranowsky, Patti Deluca, Patti Deluca, Andrea Lott, Debbie Poole, Mike Venere, Barclay Bakkum, Barclay Bakkum, Betsy Dross, Brian Mcwithey, Theres Rucando, Caroline Burmester, Tracy C., Paula B, Linda Allen, Agnes Ciotti, and James And Kathy Berry. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

Speaking of which, guess what time it is! Yes, it is time to announce the monthly winner! That honor goes to: Brian Miller! Congratulations, Brian! Deb Wills will be sending you AllEars swag! She's nice that way. :) I will contact you soon on how you can claim your prize!
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #219: Where in the world is this?

Now, here is Challenge #219:
 Where in the World #219

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, March 8th, 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!

March 2, 2012

Canada Waterfall in Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Waterfalls are a favorite subject of photographers everywhere. Ever wonder how they get the water to look so silky even in the middle of the day? First, they use the lowest ISO on their digital camera around 100 to 200 depending on the camera. Second, they select small apertures like f/16 or f/22. This gets them the slowest shutter speed possible. Slow shutter speeds does require the use of a tripod to keep everything sharp.

That is what I did below. The water is still too detailed for the look I wanted. A longer shutter speed would be needed.

Canada's Rocky Mountain waterfall in Epcot without an ND filter, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Canada's Rocky Mountain Waterfall without an ND filter.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/22, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

To cut down the amount of light for longer shutter speeds, I used Neutral Density (ND) filters in different strengths. If you recall, ND filters act like sunglasses.

Canada's Rocky Mountain waterfall in Epcot with ND filters, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Canada's Rocky Mountain Waterfall with ND filters.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, f/22, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

Leaving the aperture and ISO the same, you can see above the effects of each Neutral Density filter I used.

  • ND2 (or 0.3) filter cuts 1 stop of light and increased the shutter speed to 1/30s.
  • ND4 (or 0.6) filter cuts 2 stops of light and increased the shutter speed to 1/10s.
  • ND8 (or 0.9) filter cuts 3 stops of light and increased the shutter speed to 1/3s.

Do you see how the water got silkier the slower the shutter speed became? Not bad for a mid-afternoon in central Florida. But...I wanted more.

Canada's Rocky Mountain waterfall in Epcot with stacked ND filters, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Canada's Rocky Mountain Waterfall with stacked 2 & 3 stop ND filters.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 2s, f/22, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

To get the shutter down to a whole 2 seconds, I stacked my two strongest ND filters, the ND4 and ND8, to create one 5 stop filter. When you stack filters, you may get some vignetting which was the case here. I simply cropped that out.

You can get stronger ND filters or photograph in the early morning, late in the day or when the weather is cloudy and/or rainy.

Click here to learn how to use Neutral Density filters for fireworks and themepark rides.

February 28, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week: Fences

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Ah, Canada! A country in World Showcase full of lively music, hockey merchandise, cold beer and the popular steakhouse, Le Cellier. It is also the home to the most unique fencing found around World Showcase as it is not made out of metal. Wooden fencing decorated with red maple leafs, a national symbol of Canada, aline the pavilion facing the World Showcase lagoon.

Looking over Canada's fence at World Showcase in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Looking over Canada's fence at World Showcase.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/80s, f/16, ISO 6400, EV 0, 16mm focal length.

Lisa will be here on Thursday with a familiar take on the Disney Pic of the Week about Fences.

February 24, 2012

Photographing in the Rain at Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Rain on vacation can be a bad thing if you let it. When it starts raining at Walt Disney World there is lots to photograph if you are prepared. It can go from sunny to storming in central Florida in a manner of minutes. I carry large zip locked bags with me to protect not only my camera but cell phones and small electronics. For point and shoot cameras, a small ziplock bag will work.

If you want to photograph in the rain. I suggest asking a family member to help by using an umbrella to keep you and your camera dry while photographing in the rain. If no one is available, a tripod can hold your camera while you use the umbrella like I did when photographing the rain dropping into the reflecting pool in front of the Universe of Energy.

Rain drops in the pool in front of the Universe of Energy in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Rain drops in the pool in front of the Universe of Energy.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/10s, f/11, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 18mm focal length, tripod.

Another way to protect your camera in the rain is to put on a poncho like thousands of guests do at Walt Disney World when it begins to rain. Optech Rainsleeves are inexpensive plastic coverings designed for digital SLR cameras with or without a flash unit attached. They protect your equipment while giving you access to the camera's controls. They come in handy during long rainy days or when photographing around fast water or waterfalls.

People in Disney ponchos walking in the rain at Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
People in Disney ponchos walking in the rain at Epcot.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/50s, f/11, ISO 200, EV -0.33, 18mm focal length, tripod.

If you would rather stay out of the rain, Epcot has lots of interesting indoor locations to photograph from attractions like Spaceship Earth to these ideas around World Showcase:

Indoor Tour of World Showcase, Part I

Indoor Tour of World Showcase, Part 2

Don't let rain stop you from enjoying photography at home or while at a Disney themepark.

February 17, 2012

A Jolly Holiday with Mary in the United Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Been awhile since I have mentioned using Fill Flash to open up the shadows on those bright sunny days we encounter at Walt Disney World. Fill flash came in handy when I photographed Mary Poppins who was wearing a very pretty hat in the United Kingdom pavilion.

Mary Poppins at United Kingdom in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Mary Poppins being supercallifragilisticexpialidocious in Epcot's World Showcase.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/10, ISO 200, EV 0, 170mm, fill flash at -1.0 power.

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.

3-12_wallpaper_sm.jpg
1024 x 768
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1600 x 1200

4-12_wallpaper_sm.jpg
1024 x 768
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February 10, 2012

Inside Spaceship Earth at Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Dark rides are very hard to photograph at Walt Disney World. Not only is the lighting very moody and low but the ride vehicles move so you have to keep your shutter speed around 1/60th of a second. Remember, you can not use flash in a dark ride. Disney Cast Members will interrupt the ride experience with announcements if you do. Really breaks the magic of the ride for your fellow guests.

I am nowhere near close to getting the excellent results of other Disney photographers seen on flickr and Google+. On this trip, I rode through Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World to see if I can improve. I did get better results using a Nifty-Fifty (Nikon 50mm f/1.8) lens than in the past. At it's maximum aperture of f/1.8, it is the fastest lens I own. My camera, a Nikon D700, is pretty good with high ISO photography. Still, I needed to add some noise reduction via Noise Ninja to the photos below.

Oh, and the audio-animatronics figures move, too!

Renaissance Players scene of Spaceship Earth in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Renaissance Players scene of Spaceship Earth.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/80s, f/1.8, ISO 6400, EV +0.3
Renaissance Artists scene of Spaceship Earth in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Renaissance Artists scene of Spaceship Earth.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/80s, f/1.8, ISO 6400, EV +0.3.

I know what you are thinking. This is NOT Lieutenant Uhura of the Star Ship Enterprise though one has to think Disney Imagineers must have known we would all think it is.

Mainframe Computer scene of Spaceship Earth in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Mainframe Computer scene of Spaceship Earth.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/80s, f/1.8, ISO 6400, EV +0.3.

As you can see, these are not the best photos of inside Spaceship Earth on the web. Just goes to show you, we all need to continue to practice, experiment and strive to do better.

February 9, 2012

Taiko Drummer in Japan

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Taiko Drummer performaing at Japan's pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Taiko Drummer performing at Japan's pavilion.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/30s, f/29, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 230mm focal length.

I wanted to show the speed of one of the Taiko Drummers in Epcot's World Showcase pavilion for Japan. To do that I switched to Shutter Priority mode and selected 1/30th of a second. These performers put their all into it as this photos shows.

February 7, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week - Japan

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Japan Pagoda
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D50, 18-200mm VR, 1/500s shutter, f5.6,

The Japan pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase is the theme for our Pics of the Week this week. This beautiful 5-story pagoda stands at the entrance to the pavilion and was inspired by an 8th-century shrine in Nara, Japan. Just step inside this Disney imagineered version of Japan to find a little peace and serenity. Later this week, Scott and Lisa will share their images from Japan too.


January 29, 2012

Where in the World #214

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

Happy Belated Birthday, Lauren Thomas! I hope it was magical!

I'm glad you're finally feeling better, Mary Beth Tarbet. Good job on sending that healing pixie dust, players!

Mike Venere, we had snow (your fault), then Spring, and apparently are headed back into Winter. Here's a shocker: I got a cold. ;-)

Here was last week's Challenge:
 Where in the World #213

And here's the answer:


Copyright © 2011 Erin Blackwell Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS, 6mm, 1/60s shutter, f3.5, ISO 200

Here's something I never noticed until this past December: The old Coca-Cola truck at the African Coolpost (formerly Refreshment Outpost) - next to the African Outpost - in Epcot's World Showcase. I stumbled upon this when my little 18-month old nephew played on the drums nearby.

Way to go, Tiffany Gibb! Let the hubby know he was wrong - nicely. :)

Larissa Huda was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Larissa and to all the readers who got the answer right: Matthew Herman, Mary Beth Tarbet, William, Thomas Elizabeth, Gordon And Vicki Edwards, Peter Strukel, Betsy Silvestri, Tiffany Gibb, Julie Wickware, The O'meara Family, Craig, Karen Ramirez, Dee Dee Kenney, Patti Mccaffrey, Kerry Mccaffrey, Brian Miller, Paul Dickson, Margie Larmon, Karrie Duffey, Evanna Huda, Andrew Schumacher, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Susan Doucette, Sharon Dale, Linda Mac, Scott Price, Ruth Cookson, Emily Hudson, Danny Wags, Tim Schneider, Harry Wilson, Christopher Barnes, and Rob Blundin. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #214: Where in the world is this?

Another one from the parks. (I need to get one from outside the parks for next week...) Anyway!
 Where in the World #214

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, February 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, 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 27, 2012

Lighting up a Monorail in Epcot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I have seen other photographers sharing photos of Walt Disney World Monorails at night in Epcot using a single flash unit to illuminate the moving vehicle. Without a flash, one could only get a blurred monorail late at night. You know me by now, I had to see if I could light up a monorail using my trusty Nikon SB-600 Speedlight flash unit.

I set up a tripod near the Universe of Energy so I could use Spaceship Earth for a backdrop when a monorail came by. Another reason for this location is the monorails slow down when they enter Epcot allowing me to use slower shutter speeds. The Universe of Energy is closed at night even if Epcot has an EMH night making it quiet enough to hear when a monorail was approaching. When a monorail appeared I tried to wait for it to get to the T in the track (see photos). I got better with each monorail.

I set my camera to use Rear-sync flash (sometimes called second curtain) where the flash is fired at the end of the exposure. This freezes most everything being photographed even if it is moving. Bright lights, like a monorail's headlight, will still show a streak. The flash's power was set to full power (+/- 0).

I put my camera in Manual mode and set the aperture to f/5 and ISO to 3200. I used my zoom lens on the scene until I found 82mm gave me a good composition. Used auto-focus to set focus and turned it off. By doing so, the focus will not change unless I moved the camera or hit the tripod. I used a remote shutter release to eliminate touching the camera. The flash was in the hot shoe on the camera.

The first monorail was orange and I took it at 1/30th of a second. I was a little quick on the shutter and the flash did not cover as much of the monorail as I had hoped. I liked how Spaceship Earth looked.

Monorail Orange passing Spaceship Earth at night in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Monorail Orange passing Spaceship Earth at night.
Nikon D300/28-300VR, 1/30s, f/5, ISO 3200, EV 0, 82mm focal length, rear-sync flash at full power, tripod.

Monorail Green was the second one to enter Epcot. I changed the shutter speed to 1/15th of a second. Notice how the headlight has become elongated in this photo. Spaceship Earth is better exposed and more of the monorail has been lighted. I hit my mark, too.

Monorail Green passing Spaceship Earth at night in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Monorail Green passing Spaceship Earth at night.
Nikon D300/28-300VR, 1/15s, f/5, ISO 3200, EV 0, 82mm focal length, rear-sync flash at full power, tripod.

Monorail Blue was the next one and has an even longer headlight streak from the longer exposure at 1/4th of a second. The monorail is well lighted and Spaceship Earth looks great behind it. The mark is a bit late but I liked it better. I cropped it to a 4x5 (8x10) ratio.

Monorail Blue passing Spaceship Earth at night in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Monorail Blue passing Spaceship Earth at night.
Nikon D300/28-300VR, 1/4s, f/5, ISO 3200, EV 0, 82mm focal length, rear-sync flash, tripod at full power, cropped.

I now know it can be done. I will try it again with a whole monorail as it crosses the World Showcase walkway from Future World. Others have done it with off-camera flash. Something I want to try at Walt Disney World in the future.

January 24, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week: Monorails

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Monorails at Walt Disney World are not ride vehicles. They are an example of what public transportation could be. I remember growing up and reading the city I lived near was considering monorails and how excited I got. Sadly, the cost of a monorail system for even a small city is very high. That is too bad as riding the monorails in Walt Disney World is a future which people back in the 1950's, Walt Disney included, thought would be a staple of modern cities in the 21st Century. Basically, monorails are just plain cool! Especially orange ones quietly moving overhead through Epcot's Future World.

Monorail Orange in Epcot's Future World, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Monorail Orange in Epcot's Future World.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/8, ISO 3600, EV +0.3, 62mm focal length.

Barrie and Lisa will be here on Thursday and Saturday with their Disney Pic of the Week photos of Monorails in the Disney parks.

January 12, 2012

Lisa Berton/Tigger Rumors Confirmed!

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Tigger and Lisa
Copyright © 2007 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR, 1/10s shutter, f3.5, ISO 800

Paparazzi were on hand to capture the illustrious Lisa Berton and her close, personal friend, Tigger, at 1900 Park Fare in the Grand Floridian. Also in attendance at the grand affair were Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, Mad Hatter, Pooh and Eeyore. Rumor has it that Lisa and Tigger have also been seen frequenting the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom. Our crack photographers have been hiding out in the United Kingdom in Epcot in hopes of finding them bouncing around there as well.

Remember, you heard it here first!


January 7, 2012

German Wine Selection in Epcot

Focus on Disney World by Barrie Brewer

Germany's Wine Selection
Copyright © 2009 Barrie Brewer, Nikon D300, 18-200mm VR, 1/8s shutter, f4.5, ISO 400

The Weinkeller shop in Epcot's Germany carries assorted German wines and accessories. The wine tasting is a good way to sample some of Germany's different wines. The cost of the tasting includes a souvenir wine glass.


January 3, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week - Germany

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Germany in Epcot's World Showcase is a feast for the eyes and the stomach. Here you can eat and drink as every day is Oktoberfest in the Biergarten restaurant. Beer steins, wine, cuckoo clocks, dolls, pottery and hand-painted eggs by German artisans can be found in the shoppes outside the restaurant.

While most guests leave Epcot after Illuminations, I stayed one night and photographed the Germany pavillion using a tripod.

Germany pavillion after Illuminations in Ecpot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Late night in Epcot's Germany pavillion.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 10s, f/16, ISO 200, EV -0.7, 18mm Focal Length, Tripod.

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

December 29, 2011

Close Up of an Epcot Butterfly

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Butterfly close up in Epcot's Italy pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Butterfly close up in a garden in front of Italy in Epcot.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

I do not own a macro lens. Instead, I use my zoom lens to focus in close on small objects. This is what I did with the butterfly I found going from flower to flower in the gardens across from the Italy pavilion in Epcot. Due to the focal length of 300mm, I had to be about two feet from the butterfly to keep him in focus. I cropped the resulting photo about 40 percent to further bring the butterfly in closer for my Disney Pic of the Week for Macro/Close Up Photography.

I must have looked a bit nutty as I stalked this butterfly from flower cluster to flower cluster through two gardens. If you are at Epcot during the Flower and Garden Festival held in the Spring, you can visit Bambi's Butterfly House where you can photograph hundreds of butterflies in a more controlled environment.

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 8, 2011

Epcot's Eiffel Tower

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Eiffel Tower in Epcot's France pavilion at dusk, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Eiffel Tower in Epcot's France pavilion at dusk.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/25s, f/5.6, ISO 6400, EV -0.3, 116mm focal length.

When I think of France, I think of Paris which naturally takes me to the Eiffel Tower. In Epcot, the France pavilion uses Disney's age old trick of forced perspective to make their Eiffel Tower look as tall as the original when it is only one-tenth its size. A fitting photo for my Disney Pic of Week for France.

December 6, 2011

Disney Pic of the Week: France

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I am substituting for Barrie this week who found herself without access to the Internet where she is staying in Florida before coming to Walt Disney World later this week. Barrie will owe me big time for this. ;-)

France, the country, brings thoughts of romance, Paris, the Eiffel Tower, French cuisine and fabulous breads and pastries. The France pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase embodies all those thoughts and feelings. Here you can meet Beauty and the Beast and ask them about their tale as old as time. Walk among Paris-styled streets and cafes. See the Eiffel Tower. Eat at the award winning Chefs de France restaurant where you might see a Little Chef at your table or dine upstairs in the elegant Bistro de Paris restaurant. Ah, and my favorite, Boulangerie Paitisserie, where you can enjoy fresh French pastries and breads.

A couple of years back, I found myself photographing around World Showcase past sunset and the photos I was taking showed a beautiful blue sky. Little did I know at the time I had stumbled upon the "Blue Hour". Felt it a fitting color and time for France.

The France pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The France pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/30s, f/4.5, ISO 6400, EV -0.3, 55mm focal length.

Lisa and I will be here on Thursday and Saturday with our Disney Pic of the Week of France.