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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!

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 !
cocktail.jpg

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!

ice-cream.jpg

What is your favorite flavor???

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.

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.

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!

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 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.

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.

May 21, 2010

Indoor Tour of World Showcase, Part 2

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

It is still raining so we will continue our tour around World Showcase and continue in the clockwise direction.

Next up is the American Adventure. There is a lot of photograph inside the World Showcase host pavilion. The Voices of Liberty perform before the show, the American Heritage Gallery and the American Adventure theatre and show. When proceeding to the theater, you ride escalators or hike up a set of stairs through the Hall of Flags. Above you is hung a collection of the flags that have flown over the United States in all of its forms. It includes Revolutionary War flags, Colonial flags, and foreign flags that once had claim to the land. There are 44 flags in all.

There are 44 flags in the Hall of Flags you pass under to see the American Adventure in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
There are 44 flags in the Hall of Flags you pass under to see the American Adventure.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/25s, f/3.5, ISO 1600, EV +1.0, 18mm focal length

In looking through my Disney photo library, I came up short on an indoor photo for Japan. A quick search of my flickr contacts found not many of them had them either. Then I came across this photo taken in the Japan pavilion by Scott Rison who graciously is allowing me to use it here. Scott has recently started a flickr group called Disney's Human Element with the goal of showing what really makes Disney special.... its people.

Scott explains his photo this way, "In Japan's Pick-A-Pearl area, there is already a bit of excitement in what kind of jewel you'll discover (of course you'll get a pearl... but there's also size and color to consider). But to really make you feel like you've come across the "Crème de la Crème", the Cast Member plays a little ditty to celebrate your accomplishment."

A Pick-A-Pearl Cast Member celebrates a guest finding a pearl in Japan's pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A Pick-A-Pearl Cast Member celebrates a guest finding a pearl in Japan's pavilion.
Canon Rebel T1i, 1/160s, f/4.5, ISO 3200, EV 0, 32mm focal length

The Brass Bazaar is one of the shops you will find in the Morocco pavilion. These shops remind me of the beginning of Aladdin with all kinds of pottery, jewelry, brass, baskets, clothing, carpets and, of course, lamps. You'll find lots of textures, patterns and shapes to photograph. Lighting is good but I still needed a slow shutter speed for a proper exposure.

Shopping in the Brass Bazaar in Epcot's World Showcase Morocco pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Shopping in the Brass Bazaar in the Morocco pavilion.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/15s, f/3.5, ISO 640, EV +0.3, 18mm focal length

This side of Epcot seems to have more shops than indoor attractions. France does have a movie but that's hard to photograph with my equipment. Instead, I found the classic souvenir of France: a scale model of the Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel Tower souvenirs in the Souvenirs de France shop in France's Epcot World Showcase pavilion, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Eiffel Tower souvenirs in the Souvenirs de France shop in France.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/10s, f/4.2, ISO 1600, EV +0.3, 34mm focal length

Rugby is a huge sport in the United Kingdom. Fans are rabid about it. When I visited England a few years ago, ruby fields were as common as football fields are in the United States. One of the things travel photographers look for in a culture is the sports they play. I bounced my speedlight, a Nikon SB-600, flash off the ceiling of The Toy Story store to soften the light and shadows.

Rugby balls and sweaters in The Toy Soldier shop in the United Kingdom pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Rugby balls and sweaters in The Toy Soldier shop in the United Kingdom.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/4, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 18mm focal length, bounce flash

Now we come to the last World Showcase pavilion on our tour, Canada. Again, there is a store and a Circle-Vision movie but not much else indoors. Ah, but if you happen to have reservations at Le Cellier, Canada's restaurant, you will see a Canadian Cast Member come out to call your name when your table is ready. Enjoy the cheese soup!

A Cast Member coming out to call out a party's name to eat at Le Cellier in the Canadian pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A Cast Member coming out to call out a party's name to eat at Le Cellier.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/15s, f/3.5, ISO 220, EV +0.3, 18mm focal length

Hope you have enjoyed our tour around Epcot's World Showcase and how to make a rainy day into a many photographic opportunities.


October 2, 2009

Pano-Magic

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I recently attended a photo workshop where I saw some fantastic panoramic images. As the presenter went through the steps to create them, I got so excited that when I got home last night I searched through my Walt Disney World photos to see if I had any candidates for a panoramic.

Though I did find some including the example I am showing you today, you really need to create images with the panoramic image in mind. Here's a list of tips when photographing for panoramics:

1. Use a level tripod. The key here is to make stitching the images together easier for the software. I will tell you the software I tried was very good a finding a way to match up images even if hand held. So, if you are going out to specifically create panoramic photos, then use a tripod. If you are in the middle of a themepark without one, go ahead and hand hold.

2. Use the same exposure for all images. Again, this will make matching up the images easier. Also, another good use of the Manual mode.

3. Make your exposures as fast as possible. This is help keep all your images even and, if you have any moving subjects, it will keep down the movements of those subjects.

4. Avoid using a polarizer filter. If you are trying to capture a wide expanse of sky, a polarizer will cause different hues as the camera is moved from one image to another and the angle to the sun changes.

5. If using a digital camera, turn off Auto White Balance (AWB). AWB can change the color cast of an image as the light changes from one image to another. If it's cloudy out, use the Cloudy setting. If bright sun, use the Sunny setting, etc.

6. Overlap the Images. For best results, overlap the images about 20% if you are using focal lengths of 35mm and up. If you are using a wide angle lens then increase that to 40 to 50% because wide angles can distort at the edges.

Now, let's create a panoramic of these two photos I took of a sunset at Epcot's World Showcase. As you can see they are level as I was using a tripod. They have enough overlap to make the stitching easy for software or to manually match them up if I choose to do so.

Two images from Epcot's World Showcase for panoramic stitching, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.

I have my photos selected. I edited them the same and matched up the sky colors as best as I could. Check to see if the software you use to edit photos with has a panoramic tool built-in. The last few versions of Photoshop has it and is called Photomerge. I tried out a few different programs and liked Arcsoft's Panorama Maker 5 (for PC or Mac) the best. It automatically did the hard work of stitching the photos together and even has virtual framing options available. There are many other programs out there so try them out to see which one is best for you. Here's the final version after Panorama Maker 5 got done with it's magic.

Finished panoramic of a World Showcase sunset, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
World Showcase Sunset Panoramic

Something to keep in mind. While this is a horizontal panoramic, I saw some vertical ones during the workshop which were gorgeous. I'll be looking for panoramic opportunities on my next visit to a Disney resort.

June 26, 2009

Belle's Library

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Photos like the one below, taken in the Beauty and the Beast Meet and Greet Library in Epcot's France pavilion showing some of the famous Disney detail, used to come out blurry and underexposed back in the days I shot film on my trips to Walt Disney World. I either didn't have a fast film of ISO 400 or better in my camera or a "slow" lens. With today's digital cameras allowing ISO settings up to 6400 and Image Stabilized lenses, I can now enjoy photographing in low light situations in all the Disney parks and resorts when needed.

Book shelf in Belle's Library inside the France pavilion in Epcot's World Showcase, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Book shelf in Belle's Library inside the France pavilion. See text below for details.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/30s, f/3.5, ISO 1600, EV +0.3, 18mm focal length

Books from left to right are Little Red Riding Hood, Grimm (as in the Brothers Grimm), Perrault (Charles Perrault, the Frenchman who wrote many French fairy tales including Cinderella - he's the reason we have the glass slipper - it's actually a mistranslation from the old French) and King Arthur. Research done by my Disney trivia lovng and French honor student daughter, Krystal.

It doesn't hurt that I've learned to hold my camera very steady, too.

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About France

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

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