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August 18, 2017

Disney Photographer Habits Part 2

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about a few bad habits you want to stay away from when photographing at a Disney property. This week I want to go over a couple of good habits. I am often asked how I get such good photographs of Walt Disney World. I do a couple of things most people do not take the time or effort to do.

The first is stopping when I see a shot. Now, before you say but I cannot as I am with my family or a another group or some other excuse. It does not take long to take a photograph. When my children were young I got very good at the grab shot. The photos in the collage below were all taken when I took the time to stop when I saw a good photo opportunity.

The Great Movie Ride in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Photos from Walt Disney World.

From top left: DJ Anaan dancers in Asia entertaining guests in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Père Noël in Epcot's France pavilion, Trolley Show dancers in the Magic Kingdom and a Glass Blower in Arribas Brothers at Disney Springs.

I have written about how to get great photos at Walt Disney World after the Sun sets many times. The common denominator for all those posts is to secure your camera for long exposures. The best way to do that is with a tripod. I know tripods are big and a pain to carry around the parks and resorts. Remember, you can rent lockers at all the parks to store tripods in until needed.

Cinderella Castle after sunset at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cinderella Castle after sunset at the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 6s, f/16, ISO 100, 0 EV, 22mm Focal Length, Tripod.

Do you have any habits or tips for getting great photos at Disney? Pass them along in the comments below.





August 9, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Landscape Magic Kingdom

Deb's Digest Blog

As Scott mentioned yesterday, Disney Imagineers are experts when it comes to "forced perspective". It tricks the eye into believing something is larger /taller than it really is. Walt was famous for this as he tried to deal with the space limitations at Disneyland.

Here is a recent example from the New Fantasyland, the Beast's castle! The architecture makes it look much larger than it really is.

forced-perspec.jpg

August 8, 2017

Disney PIc of the Week: Magic Kingdom Landscape

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

For the next few weeks, Deb and I will be sharing our landscape photography from Walt Disney World. The definition of Landscape Photography is showing spaces within the world, sometimes vast and unending, but other times microscopic. That's pretty broad. Must people think of vast expanses showing mountains, deserts, oceans and other such places when it comes to landscape photos.

Given that information, you can see where such photography is a challenge at any Disney themepark. As vast as the Walt Disney Resort is, the places where guests visit are certainly not "vast expanses". Luckily, Disney Imagineers are experts in forced prespective which helps a great deal. You can see forced prespective in action below in the photo of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D750/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 1250, EV +0.3, 16mm Focal Length.

Landscape photography is also known for the use of wide angle lenses which go from approximately 24mm to as wide as 16mm. Depending on your camera sensor's size it could go as wide as 10mm.

Deb will be here to share her Magic Kingdom Landscape photo tomorrow.





July 21, 2017

Look Up with a Twist at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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


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

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

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






July 11, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: 1970s

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Liberty Square dedication plaque in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Liberty Square dedication plaque in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 28mm Focal Length.

I did not visit Walt Disney World until 1983. For my 1970's photo, I found something I photographed in 2010 which was there back in the 1970's. The Liberty Square dedication plaque (not sure about dedication but that is what I am calling it.) is found as you enter Liberty Square from the Hub.

Deb will be here tomorrow with a real photo from the 1970's.





June 28, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Live Performances

Deb's Digest Blog

While there are many live entertainers I have totally enjoyed over the years there is one special one I have to share with you. It's not a photograph but a video.....

When the Dapper Dans did Boy Bands!


The World Disney World Dans:

The Disneyland Dans:

Hope you enjoyed! What is your choice for Live Entertainment??

June 23, 2017

Editing Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

This week I am going to take you through a challenging photo edit using Adobe Lightroom CC.

Here is the before image I took while riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom.

Riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom [UNEDITED].
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 400, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length.

There are several issues with the original photo. The main object of the rock columns are at an angle as is Cinderella Castle in the background. The exposure of the rock formations is under exposed and the clouds in the sky are a little over exposed. As many photography websites will tell, you should not photograph into the light. Well, during a ride like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, you tend to get all kinds of angles as you whirl around the track.

After opening the image in Lightroom CC, the first thing I do is start with the Crop tool which can not only crop but straighten using the Angle slider.

Straighten and crop Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Straighten and crop the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Image.

Then I use the Basic sliders to make the initial adjustments to fix the exposure issues. I start by adding a little Contrast to bring out the rock's textures. I open up the Shadows of the rock formation by moving the slider as far as it is needed to the right. You can see the Highlight (Red areas) and Shadow (Blue areas) Clipping warnings on the screen to guide when you have removed the shadows (when the Blue disappears). Same goes for the Highlights when the Red disappears.

To pop the image, I add a little (not a lot) of Clarity. I bring in the blue of the sky and reds of the rocks, I add a good dose of Vibrance. I like color in my travel images especially at Walt Disney World.

The last thing I do is add a Sharpen pre-set called Scenic designed to add enough sharpening for a landscape type of image.

Processing the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Processing the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Image.

In a still image, you can often notice things you might not see as you are riding a ride. I zoomed in when I saw something not natural looking among the rocks. I found what looks like lights which come on at night.

Lights on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Lights on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Image.

Well, I really don't want to see those on my final image so I used the Spot Removal tool in Clone mode to highlight over the lights and let Lightroom do its magic to find and copy a nearby section and blend it in. Unless you know where to look, you will not notice the fix.

Cloning Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cloned out the Lights on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Image.

Here is the final image after editing. How do you like it?

Riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom [EDITED].
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 400, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length.

The trick to processing is to slowly work with the tools until you get the results you like. Play with them when you first start. Go from one extreme to the other and see how it effects the photo you are working on. Over time, you will develop a style. I like very realistic "looking" images for the most part though the image may not start out that way.

There are many photo editors out there. I prefer Lightroom for its photo management tools and the large amount of support you can find online, books and videos.






May 12, 2017

Observing the Extraordinary at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 2, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Train

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The trains at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World give people an enjoyable and relaxing experience. They are also a good way to bypass Main Street USA when the parade is going on. Walking the path between Tomorrowland and Fantasyland, people can photograph the trains as they slowly leave Fantasyland station. If the engineer spots anyone, he will put on a show!

The Roy O. Disney Steam Train at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Roy O. Disney Steam Train putting on a show at the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/200, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 55mm (82mm DX) Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to with her Disney Train pic.

April 21, 2017

Eliminating Distracting Backgrounds at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 14, 2017

Photographic Patience at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 31, 2017

Going Rogue on Main Street USA

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

You might have heard about a movie being released on Blu Ray next week. A prequel from a time long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away. (cue the music!)

Yes, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is coming out on April 4, 2017. Not to be out done, these t-shirts were on sale in the Emporium on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom even before the movie was released to theaters back in November of 2016.

Rogue One t-shirts for sale in the Emporium on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Rogue One t-shirts for sale in the Emporium on Main Street USA.
Nikon D750/50mm, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 4500, EV 0.

Do you see one you like?

February 3, 2017

Photographing Disney Statues in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Hub in front of Cinderella Castle was expanded a couple of years ago into the Central Plaza. When that happened the Disney character statuettes which were near the Partners statue moved to the new Main Street Plaza Gardens in front of Casey's Corner and Plaza Restaurant. If you happen to have some free time with your camera on your next visit, you might want to explore the new statuette locations. I did find myself with time on a recent trip and decided to do a little composition practice.

As the time of the day was nearing high noon with harsh shadows being cast down on the character statuettes, I used fill flash to fill in those shadows. I wanted to show a couple of things: how distance effects a set aperture and moving positions for better backgrounds or composition.

I set my camera to Aperture Priority mode and used an aperture of f/11. The camera would then calculate the shutter speed and ISO settings.

First up are those adorable chipmunks, Chip and Dale. My first attempt shows how getting in close focus range effected the background focus. This created a soft focus or bokeh behind the sharply focused chipmunks.

Chip and Dale Chipmunk statuette on the Main Street Plaza Gardens in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Chip and Dale Chipmunk statuette on the Main Street Plaza Gardens.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/11, ISO 140, EV +0.3, 100mm Focal Length, Fill Flash.

While the background is out of focus it still looks very busy and distracting. To simplify, I moved around the statuette and found the water fountain to be more suitable for a background.

Chip and Dale Chipmunk statuette on the Main Street Plaza Gardens in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Chip and Dale Chipmunk statuette in front of a water fountain on the Main Street Plaza Gardens.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/11, ISO 125, EV +0.3, 105mm Focal Length, Fill Flash.

Is that not better?

I found my favorite flying pachyderm, Dumbo with his buddy, Timothy Q. Mouse, and was happy to see I could still put Cinderella Castle behind them.

Dumbo with Timothy Q. Mouse statuette on the Main Street Plaza Gardens in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Dumbo with Timothy Q. Mouse statuette on the Main Street Plaza Gardens.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/160s, f/11, ISO 100, EV 0, 52mm Focal Length, Fill Flash.

I pulled back the zoom so the background would not be as out of focus. I wanted you to know where I took this photo.

I, also, wanted to get a good photo of Timothy Q. Mouse and moved in very close using a zoom lens. What do you think will happen? See below for the answer.

Timothy Q. Mouse on the Dumbo statuette on the Main Street Plaza Gardens in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Timothy Q. Mouse on the Dumbo statuette on the Main Street Plaza Gardens.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/160s, f/11, ISO 100, EV 0, 300mm Focal Length, Fill Flash.

If you thought the background would go super-bokeh, you were right. It would take a real Disney park fan to figure out where this was taken.

You can do this type of photographic exercise anywhere. At home using decorative figurines or kids toys or at a local park or plaza with statues. You can even use real people if you like. The more you practice, the more you will find a use for this technique when you are out photographing.

January 13, 2017

Getting in Close at Casey's Corner

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

One of the tips I mentioned last week in the Disney Camera Tips to Start Out 2017 article was to get in close and fill the frame. I thought I would demonstrate the tip today.

Using a camera with a 50mm prime lens which, is a lens with a fixed focal length, I spotted this interesting baseball player outside of Casey's Corner on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom from the street.

Baseball player statue outside of Casey's Corner on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Baseball player statue outside of Casey's Corner on Main Street USA (Full Length Portrait).
Nikon D750/50mm, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 360, EV +0.3.

This is called a Full Length Portrait as it shows the baseball player's full height from head to toe. I still wanted to get to know this character better. As I was using a Prime lens, the only way to do that was to get closer. Being he was a statue I did not have to worry about him walking away. With real people or Disney characters, one must keep it mind.

Baseball player statue outside of Casey's Corner on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Baseball player statue outside of Casey's Corner on Main Street USA (3/4 Length Portrait).
Nikon D750/50mm, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 360, EV +0.3.

A photo of a person or, in this case, statue from the waist up is called a Three Quarter (3/4) Length Portrait. A stale-mark of corporate photographers, the 3/4 length portrait can be seen in many boardrooms around the world. Being closer, I started to notice the statue's facial features and wanted to explore them more. Best way to do it is to get even closer.

Baseball player statue outside of Casey's Corner on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Baseball player statue outside of Casey's Corner on Main Street USA (Head & Shoulder Portrait).
Nikon D750/50mm, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 800, EV +0.3.

Ah, the Head & Shoulder Portrait. If you graduated from high school, this was the type of photo found in most senior yearbooks. It is also the best kind of portrait to see and study a person's eyes, nose, mouth and other facial features. This guy, has a noble stare of an athlete ready to take on the challenge of a game of baseball.

If I had been using a zoom lens, I could have done all three of these photos from one location. However, moving around and exploring as I photograph a subject is, to me, a lot more fun.

January 10, 2017

Disney Pic of the Week: Magic Kingdom Aerial

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Deb Wills asked Deb Koma, AllEars.Net Newsletter Editor, for ideas for the Disney Pic of the Week segment on the Picture This! blog. She gave us a bunch we have used over the last two months. Then, I came upon a series called Aerial Photos. Now, considering I was not going to rent a helicopter and Disney does not allow drones except for their use, I had to dig around my photo library. There, I discovered some "aerial" photos to share.

First up is the Magic Kingdom. Six years ago, a friend of mine invited me to his Magic Kingdom view room in Disney's Contemporary Resort. He did not get a chance to finish his sentence when I agreed. It was December and not the greatest of days either. Still, this photo of Cinderella Castle came out very good from an angle only seen from the resort.



Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom photographed from Disney's Contemporary Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida

Cinderella Castle photographed from Disney's Contemporary Resort.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/200s, f/10, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 170mm (255mm DX) Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her Aerial Photo of the Magic Kingdom.

December 23, 2016

Christmas Wish 2016

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Cinderella Castle decorated for the holidays in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cinderella Castle transformed by Queen Elsa into an Ice Castle.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/60s, f/4, ISO 6400, EV -1.0, 16mm Focal Length.

Just because I cannot see it, doesn't mean I can't believe it!

-- Jack Skellington, The Nightmare Before Christmas

Wishing you and yours a Very Merry Christmas.

Scott will be taking next week off to spend with friends and family for the holidays and will be returning again for another year of Walt Disney World photography fun, tips and knowledge.

December 20, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Favorite Holiday Entertainment

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When I was at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party earlier this month, I enjoyed a new a cappella group for the first time. Voiceplay performed on the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland and sang traditional and non-tradtional Christmas songs. To hear them perform a mashup of several Christmas favorites was both funny and totally awesome.

Voiceplay performing on the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland during a Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Voiceplay performing on the Rockettower Plaza Stage in Tomorrowland during a Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/5.6, ISO 2500, EV -1.0, 28mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her Favorite Holiday Entertainment.

December 16, 2016

Holiday Wishes from Main Street USA

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Before the Once Upon A Christmastime Parade, I photographed Holiday Wishes from the same location. I used the Bulb Technique described in this post: Photographing Fireworks.

This is a test shot to line up Cinderella Castle down Main Street USA.

Cinderella Castle at the end of Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cinderella Castle at the end of Main Street USA in Ice Lights.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 30s, f/11, ISO 100, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length, Tripod.

By the time, Holiday Wishes commenced, Main Street USA filled in with party goers.

Holiday Wishes over Cinderella Castle during a Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Holiday Wishes over Cinderella Castle during a Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 16s, f/11, ISO 100, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Tripod.

One of my favorite moments of Holiday Wishes is when they make a Christmas tree over Cinderella Castle and O Christmas Tree is played.

Holiday Wishes over Cinderella Castle during a Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
O Christmas Tree sequence of Holiday Wishes during a Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 14s, f/11, ISO 100, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Tripod, Cropped.

This location for Holiday Wishes was not my favorite. Though I did enjoy not being elbow to elbow with my fellow Disney fans for the long exposures needed for fireworks.

Holiday Wishes over Cinderella Castle during a Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Holiday Wishes "snow" artifacts during a Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 28s, f/11, ISO 100, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Tripod.

Oh, one last little issue to look out for...."snow" falling on Main Street USA may cause artifacts in your photos.

December 9, 2016

Photographing the Christmas Parade in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

As I mentioned a few days ago in the Disney Pic of the Week on Holiday Parade Floats, I would be telling you about my experience photographing Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade for the first time.

Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mickey's Once Upon A Christmastime Parade.

Seeing it might be a long time before I could see the parade again, I asked Orlando-based photographer and Disney fan, Don Sullivan, for his tips on photographing a parade he has done many times. I will go over them with photos from the parade.

  1. LENSES: I (Don) typically use fast lenses in the range between f/1.4 and f/2.8. Anything darker will likely either push your shutter speed too slow, or force the ISO too high. Don has used a 35mm f/1.4, 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses for this parade using a full-frame camera.
  2. EXPOSURE: I (Don) typically use the camera's Shutter Priority mode, 1/125th of a second minimum, f/1.4 - f/2.8, ISO Auto with max set to 6400, Matrix metering (be prepared to adjust this based on the performance of the lens being used). Lighting in this parade is more even and brighter than other night parades so spot metering is not typically needed.


Here is one example of how Don's suggestions helped me get a photo of Mickey Mouse on the lead float of the parade. The "snow" on Main Street USA really stands out.

Mickey waving to guests during the Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mickey waving to guests during the Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.
Nikon D750/50mm, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 5600, EV 0.

When it comes to lenses, the ones Don has used are very expensive. If you do not already own a similar lens, I suggest either renting one for your trip or getting an inexpensive Nifty-Fifty which is a 50mm f/1.8 prime lens. Most camera and third party lens manufacturers produce it. I put on my Nifty-Fifty and set my camera manually to 1/125th of a second at an aperture of f/2.8. Per Don's suggestion, I set my Nikon D750 full-frame camera to Auto ISO but to go no higher than 6400. This combination worked particularly well for the face characters.

Queen Elsa from Frozen in Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Queen Elsa from Frozen in Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.
Nikon D750/50mm, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 2800, EV 0.

The exposure is just about right. I had to work a little longer in Lightroom for each image to pull out the shadows a little, do some selective dodging and clean up the high ISO noise. Really only added a few seconds to each image. A fast lens really is needed to get the best results. Like this one of the Big Guy...Santa Claus.

Santa Claus greeting everyone in Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Santa Claus greeting everyone in Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.
Nikon D750/50mm, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 6400, EV 0.

There was one photo Don had taken of the Toy Soldiers marching down Main Street USA I wanted to try an duplicate. However, I found out not all Christmas parades are the same. In the parade I was photographing, the Toy Soldier Marching Band proceeding the Marching Toy Soldiers did not leave any room between them and I had no opportunity to photograph them. Don was nice enough to allow me to share his photo. Nice work, Don!

Toy Soldiers marching in Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade at Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Toy Soldiers marching in Mickey's Once Upon a Christmastime Parade. Copyright, 2016, Don Sullivan.
Nikon D500/24-70mm, 1/125s, f/2.8, ISO 6400, EV 0, 24mm (36mm DX) Focal Length.

I would like to thank Don for passing along his tips. He travels to Disney parks all over the world and I urge you to check out Don Sullivan's flickr photostream (click here).

December 2, 2016

Photographing Holiday Lights at Home and at Disney

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

It is that time of year when cities, towns, villages and, yes, even us put up our holiday light displays to celebrate the season. Whether it be Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa or something else, photographing these displays can be a challenge.

For outdoor lighting, it is best NOT to wait until it is totally dark out. Go out early just after sunset and wait for the sky light and outdoor lights to balance. This gives a nice overall exposure to the scene instead of bright light points which often are blown out. There is no formula as to when the light will balance. The photo below was taken about 15 minutes after sunset using a tripod which I recommend for the long exposures needed at a low ISO.

Balanced light for a home's holiday light display in Orlando, Florida
Balanced light for a home's holiday light display.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 4s, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 22mm Focal Length.

Another type of photo people like to get is what PhotoPass photographers do at night in all the parks. Using a method called dragging the shutter, a tripod and instructing people to stand still, they are able to get a brightly lighted background like Cinderella Castle, Spaceship Earth, Tree of Life or Hollywood Blvd. while correctly exposing, with the flash, the people they are photographing.

In a pinch, you can do it without a tripod as I did below.

Couple portrait in the Magic Kingdom with Cinderella Castle lighted in the background, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Couple portrait with Cinderella Castle lighted in the background.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/5s, f/5.6, ISO 400, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, Rear-Sync Flash, Cropped.

Here are a couple more links with information on Photographing Christmas Lights at Disney and on Dragging the Shutter.

Have any great photos of holiday displays whether they be yours, Disney's or another public display, send them my way. I might share them in a future blog post.

November 25, 2016

Harper's Mill in HDR

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Harper's Mill on Tom Sawyer Island at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
HDR Image of Harper's Mill on Tom Sawyer Island.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, f/18, ISO 100, EV +0.3, 52mm Focal Length, HDR Image.

How was your Thanksgiving? Eat alot? Out shopping today?

Scott is doing both as he is visiting relatives in central Florida before moving over to Walt Disney World all of next week. Follow Scott's Twitter account @Scottwdw as he covers all the holiday happenings around the parks and resorts. Not to mention all the meals on this visit. You might find Scott taking a nap on Tom Sawyer Island near Harper's Mill after one of those meals.

November 4, 2016

Bibbity Bobbity Boo...Crane Be Gone!

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

A while back I was complaining about a maintenance crane being used on my recent trip to the Magic Kingdom. I mentioned I could remove the crane using software. This does take added time so I do not like to do it often. Later in the day, I caught the end of the new Mickey's Royal Friendship Faire on the castle stage when fireworks are used.

Cinderella Castle with a maintenance crane behind it at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cinderella Castle with a maintenance crane behind it.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 360, EV +0.3, 28mm Focal Length.

I am a fan of the photo editing software by Macphun which run on Apple Mac computers. One of their products called Snapheal has recently been updated so it can be used as a plug-in for Apple Aperture and Adobe's Lightroom and Photoshop programs. You can find many Windows programs which can do the same thing. I had to carefully select the crane using the software's brush tool. I zoomed in to 100% to make sure I did not overlap the roof line too much. Snapheal has three different methods of erasing selected objects. For this job, the Dynamic method proved to be the best to get the crane away from where it first sticks out from behind Cinderella Castle.

Cinderella Castle with the maintenance crane removed at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cinderella Castle with the maintenance crane removed via software.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 360, EV +0.3, 28mm Focal Length.

As you can see, I now have a keeper.

Adobe Lightroom has something which can replace small objects or ones not intersecting with other objects like dust bunnies. For larger objects, Snapheal does a much better job.

Adobe Photoshop can do an even better job. However, since I do almost all my processing in Lightroom, Being able to use Snapheal within LIghtroom or Aperture is much easier and faster for me.

October 28, 2016

Mickey Mouse Pumpkin Heads in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

My last visit to Walt Disney World was the day after Labor Day here in the United States. Even so, the Magic Kingdom was all decked out for Halloween and the start of Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Parties later that week. Main Street USA had these bright and lighted lamp post decorations featuring Mickey Mouse pumpkin heads. Photos of them have been all over flickr, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.

Being a big fan of Mickey Mouse, I could not resist taking a few photos either. Here are three of them with show different aspects of photographic composition.

The first Mickey Mouse pumpkin head lamp post decoration I use as an anchor and story telling piece in front of Main Street USA's City Hall. It is easy to assume City Hall is ready for Halloween or maybe it's celebrating Autumn. By using the decoration in the frame, it is easy to see the decorations are for Halloween. What other holiday uses a jack o' lantern? See? Placing the deocration in front of City Hall and in the lower third of the frame, anchors the photo and gives a viewer's eye a place to start exploring the image.

City Hall celebrating Halloween on Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
City Hall celebrating Halloween on Main Street USA.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/1, ISO 110, EV +0.3, 40mm Focal Length.

In the second photo, I leave no doubt as to the subject by getting in closer to the Mickey Mouse pumpkin head lamp post decoration. I still leave part of the image open and fill it with Cinderella Castle. This gives the viewer a sense of place and time.

Mickey Mouse Pumpkin decoration in front of Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mickey Mouse Pumpkin decoration in front of Cinderella Castle.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/11, ISO 160, EV +0.3, 105mm Focal Length.

In the last image, I got in close and filled the frame with the smiling Mickey Mouse pumpkin head lamp post decoration. Letting a viewer enjoy the fun of a Mickey Mouse Halloween.

Close up of a Mickey Mouse Pumpkin decoration on Main Street USA at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Close up of a Mickey Mouse Pumpkin decoration on Main Street USA.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/11, ISO 100, EV -0.3, 98mm Focal Length.

In these photos I showed you three different ways to tell a story using the same subject. This is how you work a subject. The subject could be a person or persons, a landscape, a building, a pet or a smiling Mickey Mouse pumpkin head decoration.

October 7, 2016

Partners and the Crane at the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I got on the ferry to travel from the Ticket and Transportation Center on my last visit to the Magic Kingdom. I walked up the ferry's stairs and made my way to the front railings. I looked over the Seven Seas Lagoon to see the beautiful sights as the ferry sailed closer. I first notice the Main Street USA Train Station and, off to the side, the brilliantly white Space Mountain thrill ride. Then I look back for a glimpse of Cinderella Castle and frown. I picked a day Disney was doing work on the exterior of the castle using a big -- no, huge -- construction crane.

Partners statue in front of Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Partners statue in front of Cinderella Castle.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/13, ISO 100, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length, Fill Flash.

I could use software to remove the crane. Still, it would never look as good if the crane was not there. It was time to think, as I wanted a good, recent photo of the Partners statue featuring Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse for my photo library. I started to walk around the statue while avoiding everyone else who was photographing the statue and/or guests in front of the statue. I found a composition I liked and got a little lower in my stance for a good angle.

Partners statue in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Partners statue in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/13, ISO 100, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length, Fill Flash.

The next time you go to photograph in a location and things are not what you thought they would be -- think, move and let your creativity find a solution.

September 27, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: People Watching

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

This week's topic is a tricky one. We all love to people watch at Walt Disney World. From the very young to the very old, people are just entertaining as they move about the parks and resorts. As a photographer, one has to take into account a person or persons privacy. Disney property is private and not subject to the laws of public domain and access. If I do see an interesting subject, I will politely ask if I may take their photo. If they agree, I take the photo(s) and then hand them a contact card. Most people will email me and I will send them a digital copy with a permission note so they can get it printed if they wish.

The only time I do not do that is when someone has been brought "on stage" with cast members. This happens a lot and I have had the pleasure of being volunteered for a few shows as have members of my family. It is quite fun. When participating on stage, I feel fine in photographing the event as the person or persons has agreed to be on stage. Such was the case on Main Street USA when the Philharmonic was putting on a concert and asked this young lady to join them.

Main Street Philharmonic playing in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Main Street Philharmonic having fun with a guest at the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 100, EV 0, 145mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her people watching moment with you.

September 16, 2016

Anatomy of a Magic Kingdom Sunset

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

On my trip last week, I was on my own Friday at the Magic Kingdom. Using an app on my phone, I had determined a location to photograph the sunset. It was from the bridge on the Wishing Well side of Cinderella Castle. With the sunset at 7:38PM and Wishes starting at 9PM, I set up my camera on a tripod at 7PM. If you are wondering why I mentioned Wishes, people started to line up on the bridge soon after I got there to wait for the fireworks show.

As you can see by the picture below, the weather was not being cooperative when I took my first test image about 40 minutes before sunset. From my experience photographing many sunsets in upstate New York, I have learned never to judge a sunset until about 30 minutes afterward. Instead of packing up, I waited.

Cinderella Castle on a cloudy day at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cinderella Castle on a cloudy day before sunset.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 100, EV 0, 24mm focal length, tripod.

Sunset came and went with no good color in the sky. That was until 10 minutes after sunset when the clouds which, had been slowly clearing, was lit up by the Sun over the horizon. Processing the image in Adobe Lightroom CC, I opened up the shadows in front of the castle and added vibrance to the overall scene. Disney added lighting on the castle which kept it from becoming a silhouette against the bright sky.

Cinderella Castle after sunset at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cinderella Castle ten minutes after sunset.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 1/3s, f/22, ISO 100, EV 0, 24mm focal length, tripod.

The color came and went quickly. 10 minutes later or 20 minutes after sunset, the sky color was gone. The darkened sky was a nice backdrop for the lighted castle using a long 6 second exposure.

Cinderella Castle during dusk at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cinderella Castle twenty minutes after sunset.
Nikon D750/16-35VR, 6s, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 22mm focal length, tripod.

Sunsets are different every time and one must be prepared to wait with patience and be ready to capture the fleeting colors when they occur. Even with Disney's wonderful lighting, at sunset, it compliments Nature's own light show.

September 6, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Rocking Chairs

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

After a few hours of walking around any Walt Disney World park, a rocking chair to sit down and relax in is a very welcome sight. I found a member of my party really relaxing over on Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom back in 2009.

A guest takes a nap in a rocking chair on Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A guest takes a nap in a rocking chair on Tom Sawyer Island.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/20, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 44mm Focal Length.

I am not sure the rocking chairs are still there. Can someone confirm this for me?

Deb will be here tomorrow to share her favorite rocking chair location.

September 2, 2016

Goodbye to the Main Street Electrical Parade at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I have seen the Main Street Electrical Parade or MSEP for short numerous times. The brightly colored floats and the extremely catchy tune stays with one for a long, long time. Lisa and I photographed the parade back in 2010. She was hand holding her camera whie I was trying out slow sync flash on a tripod.

Magic Kingdom's Main Street Electrical Parade, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mickey and Minnie Mouse lead off the Main Street Electrical Parade.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/30s, f/3.5, ISO 1600, EV +0.3, 28mm Focal Length, Flash, Tripod.

This current run of the MSEP at Walt Disney World comes to a close on October 9, 2016. I will miss it and am planning on seeing it one more time next week.

Magic Kingdom's Main Street Electrical Parade, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Main Street Electrical Parade in the Magic Kingdom

From upper left: Elliot from Pete's Dragon, Big Ben clock tower from Peter Pan, fast snails and the Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland.

Will something be replacing the Main Street Electrical Parade in the future? I do hope Disney does as night parades down Main Street are extra special.

August 5, 2016

Finding the Best Light at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

A common mistake made by vacation travelers is missing the best light of the day. With the best light being early morning just after sunrise and one hour before sunset, it often interferes with things like sleep, breakfast and dinner. With a little planning, you can arrange to clear those times to capture Walt Disney World or any location during the Magic or Golden Hours of the day.

Town Square Theater in the Magic Kingdom at Magic Hour, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Town Square Theater in the Magic Kingdom at Magic Hour.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/160s, f/6.3, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 50mm Focal Length.

While early morning is tough at Walt Disney World, the resorts do offer many beautiful early morning opportunities. Parks open early some days and early morning character breakfasts can get you in even earlier. I do understand and agree, it is much easier to capture the evening Magic Hour. Using any number for Smartphone or Internet apps, you can determine the time of sunsets or sunrises during your stay and before can you make your dining plans. I like to eat an early dinner during the 4 o'clock hour. Eating early has a nice perk in allowing me a snack later in the evening.

Magic Kingdom's Space Mountain at Magic Hour, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Magic Kingdom's Space Mountain at Magic Hour.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/160s, f/6.3, ISO 200, EV 0, 210mm Focal Length.

So, if you like or would want to start capturing Magic Hour photographs in the most magical place on Earth, plan to free up those couple of hours during your trips.

July 29, 2016

Be Prepared for Disney Photography

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The old motto of Be Prepared is especially appropriate for us Disney park vacationers. You never know when you will walk around a corner and see a great photo opportunity. For walking around the parks, I try to keep my camera at the ready with a good starting setup. I call it Zeroing Out My Camera.

Another aspect of being prepared is bringing equipment with you for the day or night appporpiate for what you may be planning to photograph. For instance, if I am headed out to the Magic Kingdom for the day only. I like to go with a simple setup of just a camera with a super zoom lens. For cropped sensor cameras, I would use an 18-200mm range or for full frame cameras a 28-300mm works great. These type of lenses give me the flexibility to capture everything up close to far away.

It is always good to have the following with you as well: extra battery or batteries, flash unit, lens cloth, extra memory cards and, if you have room, a small extra lens like a 50mm or Fisheye.

Another part of being prepared is to research your destination. Even if you have been to Walt Disney World dozens of times, the parks are always changing. New rides, new shows, new characters, new parades, new shops, new restaurants...you get the drift. When it comes to rides, parades and shows, you can find full versions of them on youTube. That is what I did when I planned on being at the Magic Kingdom's opening ceremony. This show is preformed daily. I watched a video of it a few times so I knew when things would happen. Like the blast of fireworks towards the end.

Fireworks go off at the end of the Magic Kingdom's daily opening ceremony show on the Main Street USA Train Station platform, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Fireworks go off at the end of the Magic Kingdom's daily opening ceremony show.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/9, ISO 100, EV +0.3, 28mm Focal Length.

With just a little forethought, research and planning (we are Disney people after all, we love to plan!), you can be prepared to take amazing photographs of your next trip to Walt Disney World or anywhere else.

July 15, 2016

Adding People to Your Walt Disney World Photographs

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 8, 2016

A Dapper Dan Close Up on Main Street USA

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The famous photographer, Robert Capa, once said that, “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you aren’t close enough”. Keep this in mind when photographing at Walt Disney World. Using either a zoom lens or zooming with your feet, you will find getting closer and filling the frame will immediately improve your photos.

As an example, the photo below of the Dapper Dans playing the Deagan Organ Chimes on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom is typical and one everyone takes. It is a good "I was there and saw this" type of photo.

Dapper Dans playing the Deagan Organ Chimes on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Dapper Dans playing the Deagan Organ Chimes on Main Street USA.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5, ISO 100, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

To get closer, I moved as close as I could to the performers without getting in anyone's way and zoomed in with my lens to fill the frame with one of the Dapper Dans playing the Deagan Organ Chimes. I find this photo a lot more interesting than the one of the entire group.

Close up of a Dapper Dan playing the Deagan Organ Chimes on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Close up of a Dapper Dan playing the Deagan Organ Chimes on Main Street USA.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 125, EV 0, 160mm Focal Length, Fill Flash.

Remember...closer means better.

July 1, 2016

Liberty Bell in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

This weekend marks the 240th year of the birth of the United States of America. Below is a photo of the famous Liberty Bell replica on display in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom with the Hall of Presidents behind it. Happy Birthday to America and to my fellow countrymen.

Liberty Bell replica on display in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Liberty Bell replica on display in Liberty Square.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/18, ISO 320, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length.

Technical information about this photo. I used a small aperture and focused on the Liberty Bell which is about a third into the frame. This put everything in focus from the bell back to the Hall of Presidents. Not totally happy with this photo. As an exercise for the reader, can you tell me why you think I am not happy with it?

June 24, 2016

Purple Wishes over Cinderella Castle

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Wishes over Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Purples hues during Wishes over Cinderella Castle.
Nikon D750/Tokina 16-28mm, 5.4s, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, tripod, remote shutter release.

Scott is still on his Stay-cation this week but will be back next week with more on Disney Photography. He hopes you enjoy this purple hued photo of Wishes over Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom. After all, it is Fireworks Friday.

June 14, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Quick Service

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Have I ever mentioned the Columbia Harbour House is my favorite quick service restaurant at Walt Disney World? No? Well, it is. Below is one of the signs outside the restaurant which is very ornate like many signs back in the late 1700's.

Columbia Harbour House counter service restaurant in Liberty Square at Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
One of the signs outside the Columbia Harbour House counter service restaurant.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 28mm Focal Length

Tomorrow, Deb will share another quick service restaurant.

June 10, 2016

Nikon Picture Spots at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Looking for a great place for a picture perfect photo at Walt Disney World? Using all the techniques I have outlined the last few weeks, Disney and Nikon have teamed up to take the guess work out of a good photo location.

Look for Nikon Picture Spots throughout the parks. They were chosen to provide good places to take a photo of the scene and, especially, for taking photos of you, your family, friends and maybe a random fellow guest and their family (I get asked a lot to do this at the parks). For us old-timers, they were known for years as Kodak Picture Spots but Nikon took over sponsorship a few years ago.

Nikon Picture Spot for Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Nikon Picture Spot for Cinderella Castle.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/18, ISO 400, EV +0.3, 24mm Focal Length.

What is interesting at this Nikon Picture Spot in front of Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingodom is the changes that have taken place since the original photo was taken. It has changed even more since I took this photo back in 2014 with the new Hub design.

I will be taking an early summer break the next two weeks. Look for a couple of fun photos as I recharge my photographic batteries.

June 7, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Snack

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Snacks and Walt Disney World go hand in hand. Walk anywhere in the resort and you will find all kinds of sweet concoctions. I found these Maleficent candied apples in the Confectionery on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom. They look absolutely evil-ly good.

Maleficent candied apples in the Confectionery on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Maleficent candied apples in the Confectionery on Main Street USA.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV 0, 250mm Focal Length

Tomorrow, Deb will share a another snack.

June 3, 2016

Motion Photography in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

As I conclude my series on how to improve your photography at Walt Disney World, I want to talk about my favorite kind...Motion Photography. When done right, motion photography gets the most attention when sharing it. It has good "Wow" factor.

First kind of motion photography is keeping the camera still with a slow shutter speed. Something below 1/60th of a second though it can be faster depending on how fast the subject is moving. In the case below, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland gave a good motion blur at 1/30th of a second. If I used a tripod, I could have gone even slower.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train flying by in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train flying by in Fantasyland.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/30s, f/22, ISO 250, EV +0.3, 24mm Focal Length.

The second kind of motion photography and the hardest to master is Panning. This is where you move the camera using a slow shutter speed while keeping the subject in the same relative location in the view finder. It takes practice which can be done anywhere you find moving subjects. Parks, race tracks, sporting events and getting your family to ride bikes up and down the street all make good subjects for panning practice. Tomorrowland Speedway in the Magic Kingdom is an excellent place to use panning. The cars stay on the same course and never stop going by. You do have to slow the shutter down to make them look fast.

Guests fly by on Tomorrowland Speedway in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Guests "fly" by on Tomorrowland Speedway in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/15s, f/29, ISO 200, EV 0, 85mm Focal Length.

You can read a more in depth article on panning here: Panning for Gold.

As I pointed out, motion photography is not easy and takes practice. I find the time well worth it when I see and hear people comment on them.

May 31, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Memorial Day

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I am re-sharing this photo from the Magic Kingdom Flag Retreat Ceremony I photographed one October a few years ago. To me, it embodies the spirit of Memorial Day as a World War II veteran is honored and the fallen remembered.

Veteran of the Day and Disney Security pay homage as the flag is lowered during the Flag Retreat ceremony in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Veteran of the Day and Disney Security pay homage as the flag is lowered during the Flag Retreat ceremony in the Magic Kingdom.

Tomorrow, Deb will share some interesting facts about Memorial Day.

April 22, 2016

Fireworks Primer for Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

As the calendar heads towards summer, can Fireworks Season be far behind?

Wishes fireworks show over Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Wishes fireworks show over Cinderella Castle.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 15s, f/11, ISO 280, EV 0, 35mm focal length, tripod.

At Walt Disney World, every day is in Fireworks Season with shows in three parks almost nightly:

Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular, debuting in 2016, at Disney's Hollywood Studios
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth in Epcot
Wishes in the Magic Kingdom

Below are links to blogs I refer people to when I am asked how to photograph fireworks specifically at Walt Disney World. They pertain to any fireworks show you want to photograph:

Photographing Fireworks - Part 1

Photographing Fireworks - Part 2

Of course, this blog might just be an excuse for me to share a photo of Wishes. Still my favorite fireworks show.

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.


April 1, 2016

Anchoring Your Photography at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

In landscape photography, the idea of anchoring a photo with an interesting element in the foreground is almost a rule. An anchor creates drama, shows scope, scale and tells a story.

I use anchors a lot at Walt Disney World especially when I have a wide angle lens on my camera. Wide angle lenses allow you to get close to a subject and include a sweeping background. In the photo below of a geyser erupting next to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom, I was able to encompass not only the geyser but the Liberty Belle Riverboat on the Rivers of America and the clouds in the sky overhead. The geyser anchors the photo and gives a viewer a starting location before moving on to the rest of the image.

Geyser near Big Thunder Mountain Railroad erupts as the Liberty Belle cruises by on the Rivers of America in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Geyser near Big Thunder Mountain Railroad erupts as the Liberty Belle cruises by on the Rivers of America.
Nikon D750/Tokina 16-28mm, 1/400s, f/10, ISO 100, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length.

Being more of a travel and vacation photographer when at Walt Disney World, I like to add people as the anchor. Specifically, the people I am traveling with. While, it may not be of interest to everyone, it is for my family with me and for those back at home I share the photos with. There are so many places you can do this in all the parks. This one was taken at a favorite location for Disney Photopass photographers. For good reason with the beautiful Cinderella Castle in the background.

Guests pose in front of Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Guests pose in front of Cinderella Castle.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/80s, f/18, ISO 200, EV 0, 34mm Focal Length.

The next time you are out with your camera, look for anchors to use to create beautiful story telling photographs.


March 8, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Yesterland Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

First, let me define what "yesterland" photos are to me. It is any Disney photo I took before I purchased my first digital SLR camera in 2005. In other words, I fired up my scanner and went through a bunch of prints I have in photo albums and boxes for this series. Deb and I will be sharing yesterland photos from each of Walt Disney World's parks over the next four weeks.

My first photo is from the 1992 Magic Kingdom parade called the Surprise Celebration Parade which has part of Walt Disney World's 20th anniversary.

King Mickey float in the 1992 Surprise Celebration Parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
King Mickey float in the 1992 Surprise Celebration Parade in the Magic Kingdom.

My thanks go to Jim Korkis' article Walt Disney World Chronicles: The 20th Anniversary for the following information:

Towering 35 to 40 feet, a series of larger-than-life inflated Disney characters would be the centerpiece of a new parade called the "Surprise Celebration Parade". These balloons were cold-air filled, meaning there was no helium used. These huge figures were "borrowed" and refitted from Disneyland's "Party Gras" parade the previous year, which had celebrated Disneyland's 35th birthday.

Actually, once they were placed on the floats, the entire float unit was 55 to 65 feet high and towered above the Magic Kingdom's Main Street USA.

For Walt Disney World, there would be a surprise Grand Marshal each day, selected from the park visitors, leading the procession. The Grand Marshal group rode on the Roger Rabbit float that began the parade. To tie in with the festivities' theme, Roger wore a jester's cap, something he did not wear at Disneyland.

He was followed by Minnie Mouse's float, which was unchanged from its Disneyland appearance. Goofy's was unchanged as well. However, Disneyland's Sorcerer Mickey Mouse was transformed into King Mickey and Donald Duck no longer wore a party hat, but played the drum.

There were floats without balloons, like one featuring a pineapple and King Louie and Baloo the bear from the film "Jungle Book". Chip 'n' Dale rode on palm tree carts.

Deb will be here tomorrow as she visits her Magic Kingdom yesterland.

February 2, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Close Up

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

For the next few weeks, Deb and I will be sharing general photography themes. I am going to add past tips I have written about for each one. Starting with "Close Up".

The best tip I can give a new photographer is to get close and fill the frame. People will see an immediate improvement in their photographs using this advice.

Here are few ways to get close up:

1. Move closer by walking up to your subject.
2. Use a longer focal length.
3. Crop in post-production.

In my Close Up photo below, I used a long lens of 300mm to photograh the dancer in front of The Little Mermaid float in the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade at the Magic Kingdom to get in close and fill the frame. Don't you just love the colorful costumes in this parade?

Dancer in front of The Little Mermaid float in the Disney Festival of Fantasy parade at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Close up of dancer in front of The Little Mermaid float in the Disney Festival of Fantasy parade.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 160, EV 0, 300mm focal length, fill flash.

Note the use of fill flash to add a little sparkle to her eyes.

Deb will be here tomorrow with her Close Up.

January 22, 2016

Photographing While Riding at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

One of the hot topics I get asked about a lot is photographing while on a ride at Disney themeparks. There is an easy way and a harder way which I will be talking about and giving examples.

First, let me stress the importance of securing your camera while on rides. Whether you are taking pictures or not. You do not want your camera to bang up against anything during the ride or, worse, dropping it. I always use my camera strap around my person and then around the wrist which holds the camera.

Once secured, the next thing I worry about is how I want the photo to come out. If I am taking photos of people on the ride, I will use a fast shutter speed to get a nice and sharp image of them. That is what I did with the photo of my daughter on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom. I put my camera in Shutter Priority and set it to 1/800th of a second. This happened to open up the aperture to f/4.5 which gave the background a pleasing out of focus area or bokeh.

The type of lens is important, too. Wide angle lenses are best or a zoom set to its widest focal length. Believe me when I say it is not easy aiming the camera as a ride is in motion. A wide angle lens gives the best chance for a successful photo.

Riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad using a fast shutter speed.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/800s, f/4.5, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm focal length.

The harder way is slowing your shutter speed down to keep the ride vehicle(s) in sharp focus but the background becomes a blur. That is what I did when I rode Tomorrowland's Astro Orbitor in the Magic Kingdom. I again used Shutter Priority and set my camera to 1/10th of a second. I took several photos during the ride and this photo was the only one which came out the way I wanted it to.

Long exposure photo of the Astro Orbiter from the Pilot Seat in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Long exposure photo of the Astro Orbiter from the Pilot Seat.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/10s, f/22, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm focal length.

Another ride for cool slow shutter speed photos is the Mad Tea Party or Tea Cups in Fantasyland. Here you need to get the cup spinning fast. Start out with a shutter speed of 1/125 and decrease to 1/60, 1/30 and even as low as 1/15th of a second. I would love to show you a photo I took but I can not stomach the Tea Cups. My friend, Joe Penniston, an accomplished Disney photographer, can and captured this wonderful photo.

Slow shutter on the Mad Tea Party in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Slow shutter on the Mad Tea Party or Tea Cups.
Nikon D3S/14-24mm, 1/15s, f/6.3, ISO 200, EV 0, 20mm focal length.

Do not forget one very important ride photo...the end of the line photo showing everyone survived!

Riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
End of the ride photo on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
Nikon D750/Tokina 16-28mm, 1/250s, f/2.8, ISO 320, EV +0.3, 16mm focal length.

Remember, secure your camera first. Then enjoy photographing the ride.

December 23, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Christmas

Deb's Digest Blog

I went back into my archives for this 1972 Christmas Parade photo from the Magic Kingdom:

1972-magic_kingdom_christmas_parade.jpg


Merry Christmas to all !

December 22, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Christmas

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Main Street Trolley Show in the Magic Kingdom takes on holiday theme around Christmas time (which for Disney starts after Halloween and goes through December). The show features Christmas songs and dance routines. The performers have on holiday colors and festive smiles. They still go Clang-Clang down Main Street USA but not until the very end.

Holiday version of the Main Street Trolley Show in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Holiday version of the Main Street Trolley Show.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/10, ISO 100, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

Deb will be here tomorrow for her Disney Christmas photo.

December 15, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Holiday Lights

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Frozen Holiday Wish returned to the Magic Kingdom for the 2015 holiday season. During the show, Queen Elsa uses her power and two hundred thousand LED lights to transform Cinderella Castle into a frozen palace. In my mind, this is the greatest Disney holiday light display.

Cinderella Castle as an ice palace in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cinderella Castle transformed into an ice palace in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/20s, f/8, ISO 800, EV -0.67, 28mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to show us a holiday light display from the past.


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.

November 18, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Cinderella Castle

Deb's Digest Blog

It didn't take me long to decide what photo to share for this week's Disney Pic of the Week.

Back in 2009, Scott took this amazing photo of the Cinderella Castle as a Rainbow Ice Castle. He was kind enough to donate several copies to me for a breast cancer fundraiser. Because of both the beauty of the photo and Scott's kindness...this is my choice for photo of the week!

rainbowcastleprint.jpg

November 17, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Cinderella Castle

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When it comes to icons, Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom is hard to beat. I know photographers all over the Internet who try and capture Cinderella Castle in unique and new ways. Not sure it can be done. I am not immune to the quest. I even think this photo might be unique. Though I doubt it.

Spires and towers of Cinderella Castle poke above trees in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spires and towers of Cinderella Castle poke above trees in the Magic Kindom.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/800s, f/5.6, ISO 100, EV +0.3, 210mm Focal Length, Tripod.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share another Cinderella Castle photo I am very proud of for the good it did for her.

October 30, 2015

Halloween at Disney

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Disney loves holidays and Halloween is one of its favorites. At Disneyland, every year the Haunted Mansion gets transformed into Haunted Mansion Holiday where Jack Skellington and the rest of the Halloweentown gang take over in a very popular ride transformation.

Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland in Anaheim, California
Haunted Mansion Holiday at Disneyland.
Nikon D700/Sigma 15mm, 1/160s, f/6.3, ISO 200, EV 0, 15mm Focal Length.

Even on the high seas, Disney Cruise Line celebrates with the Pumpkin Tree legend. A nice treat for guests with no tricks.

Elaborately carved pumpkins accompany the Pumpkin Tree on the Disney Dream, Disney Cruise Line
Elaborately carved pumpkins accompany the Pumpkin Tree on the Disney Dream.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 4000, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length.

Back on dry land, Walt Disney World has Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party allowing people of all ages to enjoy the fun of the holiday.

Sign outside the Magic Kingdom entrance advertising Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Sign outside the Magic Kingdom entrance advertising Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 38mm Focal Length.

Have a fun and safe Halloween!

October 23, 2015

Vacation Photography at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We enjoyed a very good meal in the West Wing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 4, 2015

Where in the World #401

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, Sandie Albrecht and Susie Howard, for the happy 400th wishes! I'm proud of our corner in AllEars. :)

Chris Kelly hit the single digit dance! So, let's dance because he's there this week!
Smiley from Millan.Net

Jennifer Rowell, you're right: I did mention a Hidden Mickey in the Wilderness Lodge Villas lobby! On the way to the train room, look up to the ceiling beams. You'll a mouse hole where a little fella burrowed in. Looking into the mouse hole, and you'll see Mickey smiling back at you! A castmember can help you find it; that's how I know about it.
You can see him at Steve Barrett's Hidden Mickey Guide here.

Now for Challenge #400:
Where in the World #400

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

We're in Maurice's cottage at Magic Kingdom's Enchanted Tales with Belle. You can see the portrait of Belle with her mother on the right.

Jan Rosato, I didn't know it's called the Hearth Room; thank you!

Jeff Blank, I missed your trip? Mea culpa. :( On the other hand, I love your photo! You got to be one of Belle's knights! Carla C's daughter played the Beast! I haven't done anything like that but I have played enthusiastic cheerer in the audience several times. :)

The Parker Family was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to The Parkers and to all our winners this week! Ruben O'meara, Kristi Strembicki, Donna Frank, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, Mary Beth Tarbet, Erin Hammer, Robert Wescovich, Melissa Such , Deb Ragno, Sam Rossman, Ed Elder, The Modecki's, Hillary Waldroop, Sandie Albrecht, Cassidy , Ellen Sullivan, Linda College, Beth Mcmeekin, Kris Nixon, Darrin Mann, Claire Gregory, Kathy B., Paul Dickson, The Kertes Family, Tricia Petty, Nan Amor, Laura, K Beasley, Sarah And Chris, The Fosbenders, Karen Schlumpf, Team Hill, Deb Gallo, Chris Kelly, Pat Schwier, Matt Wildey, Laurie Walker, Ellie Argaluza, Cynthia Hitchcock, Lori Rienhardt, John Bickers, Elaine Tomko-deluca & Aj Deluca, Phyllis, Mickey Eckert, Kerry A., Karen Taylor, Herb Miller, Jan Rosato, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Susie Howard, Maureen Handy, Jim Finley, Kyra, Christopher Thacker , Mark Donahue, Bridget, Duskin Henard, Carolyn Como, Chloe Mayhew, Jim Poplawski, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Cathy Derecola , Toni, Les Whitten, Arlene Vicek, Andrew Carrieri, Debra Kuklinski, Eric Johnson, Patrick Broaddus, Jeff & Cheryl Simmons, Josh Weiss, Maryann Romagnano, Brian Mcwithey, Adolph And Kimberly Timm, Diane Curfman, Kerri Coggins, Josette Gabel, Kristan Bertelmann, Jeff Blank, Luis Rodriguez, Andrew Pettit, Stephanie Linares, Jeremy Hardy, Jeremy Reichelt, Carla C, Lyn Johnson , Jim & Lorie Sonnen, Matthew Frey, Brian Yesutis, Karen Bellamy, Annie Snodgrass, Dave Carriere, John Casey, Sheila Savage, The Filiater Family , Vera And Izzy Williams, The Gunnels Gang, Brian Miller, Mark Proper, Vicki Britt, Mark Franklin, Gabriella & Matthieu, Kelly Smith, Barclay Bakkum, Julia Wickware, Emily Hudson, Emma Ramsey, Michael Z., Caroline Burmester, Thomas Higbee Sr., Grumpy's Groupies, Theresa Maradei, Rob Blundin, Shirley Garcowski, Jackie Graebel, Tammy Cousin, Joseph M. Zafia, Michael Haeberle, George Mundy Jr, Theresa Rucando, Smitty, Melody Odonnell, Rachel Hoover, Andy Hickey, and Jackie Klafeta!

Incredibly, it's time for the monthly drawing! The September winner is Shannon ! Congratulations! I'll be emailing you to talk about getting your prize from Deb Wills!
__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #401 Where in the world is this?

Hey, I found what could be a tough challenge for the challenge after this. Do we want to go tough?

Meanwhile, here is this week's:


Where in the World #401

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, October 8th, 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 soon, 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, 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 25, 2015

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in Motion

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When I am out photographing, I like to include motion shots. Sometimes I will use panning to show motion but that can be hit or miss. Another way to show motion is to slow down the shutter and keep the camera still as a moving object goes past the lens. This is how I got this speed shot of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride speeds by in Fantasyland.
Nikon D750/28-300VR, 1/40s, f/7.1, ISO 100, EV +0.3, 28mm Focal Length.

To keep the camera steady, I used the wooden fencing overlooking the ride to anchor my elbows and leaned on it. I took a series of photos as the ride vehicle passed by. After watching people having fun riding, I got in line to ride it myself.

This was my first time going through the standby line and I enjoyed the interactive activities to help pass the time. When I came upon the barrels full of brightly colored gems, I took a few photos before I saw other guests spinning them.

Barrel full of gems on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train queue in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Barrel full of gems on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train queue in Fantasyland.
Nikon D750/Tokina 16-28mm, 1/20s, f/2.8, ISO 2000, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

I had members of my party spin the barrels as fast as they could while I photographed them with a slow shutter. I kept the camera steady using Da Grip holding technique.

Spinning barrel full of gems on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train queue in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spinning Barrel full of gems on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train queue in Fantasyland.
Nikon D750/Tokina 16-28mm, 1/20s, f/2.8, ISO 4000, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

I really liked how some of the shots came out.

When it was time to get on the ride, I changed the shutter speed to 1/30th of a second and did my best to keep the camera steady during the ride. Of the fifty or so photos I took during the ride, six came out.

Riding the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Riding the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride in Fantasyland.
Nikon D750/Tokina 16-28mm, 1/30s, f/9, ISO 100, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length.

The photo above was the best of the lot. As luck would have it, it was near the same location as the photo I took from outside the ride.

Next time you are near a moving subject, give this technique a try.

September 15, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: The Little Mermaid

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Little Mermaid was the first Disney movie I took my first born child to. It did not take me long as I watched to realize Disney animation was back making wonderful stories, sharing beautiful songs and creating dazzling scenes after a long drought. The Disney renaissance had begun.

Near the entrance to Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid in the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland, you can see Prince Eric's seaside castle. At night, bathed in blue light, you can almost hear Ariel singing to him.

Prince Eric's seaside castle shines at night in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Prince Eric's seaside castle shines at night in Fantasyland.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 20s, f/16, ISO 400, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length, Tripod.

Deb will be here tomorrow to share with you the voice of the Little Mermaid.


September 8, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Pirates of the Caribbean

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

This week's Walt Disney Studios film is one which comes directly from one of Disney Imagineering's best shows: The Pirates of the Caribbean.

Debuting in 1967 at Disneyland, it was the most immersive and technologically advanced attraction of its time. I remember Walt Disney gleefully describing how they got the audio-animatronics to work in a coordinated manner on the TV show, The Wonderful World of Color.

Jumping ahead to 2003, a movie based on the attraction called Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl was released featuring Captain Jack Sparrow portrayed by Johnny Depp who became so popular, Disney decided to change the attraction to incorporate the character. A first in Disney park history.

And it all started with pirate skeletons...

Pirate skeleton in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Pirate skeleton in the Pirates of the Caribbean attraction.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/60s, f/1.8, ISO 10000, EV +0.6.

Deb will be here tomorrow time shifting to the beginning of pirates at Walt Disney World.


August 28, 2015

Tinker Bell on Parade in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Tinker Bell in the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Tinker Bell in the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade on Main Street USA.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 400, EV +0.3, 120mm Focal Length.

I have not gotten any really good photos of Tinker Bell until last year when I photographed her in the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade at the Magic Kingdom. I used a fast shutter speed as Tink is always moving her arms, legs and head during the parade and set the aperture to f/9 using Program Mode on my camera. I got a few good poses including the one I choose to share with you today. The fast shutter created a very sharp photo with no motion blur.

If you are going to be in Walt Disney World or live in central Florida, come by and see me at the next All Ears Photo Meet on Saturday, September 12, 2015 starting at 6:30PM. Click that link for details and click this one to sign up on the FaceBook Event page. Hope to see you there!

July 31, 2015

Cooling Off in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Brer Rabbit points guests to the entrance to Splash Mountain in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Need a place to cool off this summer? Brer Rabbit points the way.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 250, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length, Polarizer filter.

Scott is taking a summer break this week. With the hot summer weather finally getting to where Scott lives, he was looking for a place to cool off. Brer Rabbit pointed him to a nice swimming hole. He only needed to take a log raft down Splash Mountain to find it.

July 28, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Doors

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Doors are fascinating. Useful and practical. They are often used in metaphors about life. Walt Disney once said this about his company, We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we're curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.

This is such a fun quote. My photo today shows the handle of a door which would make me curious to try it to see what it was inside. Why would a musical symbol called a clef be used on a door? For those of us who have gone through this door to experience Mickey's PhilharMagic know it is a delight to the senses and dazzles our imaginations. Something I believe Walt would have been proud to have at the Magic Kingdom.

A Clef handle for a door to Mickey's PhilharMagic auditorium at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A Clef handle for a door to Mickey's PhilharMagic auditorium.
Nikon D70/50mm, 1/60s, f/1.8, ISO 1250, EV -0.3.

Deb will be here tomorrow to show you a magical door found at Walt Disney World.


July 14, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Benches

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Next to trashcans, benches are very plentiful at Walt Disney World. This is a good thing as anyone who has spent a day walking around a Disney park will testify. Park of the "magic" of Disney is that you will rarely find a bench which is wet. This is because cast members will dry off benches in the morning or after a rain.

Cast Members drying off benches in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cast Members drying off benches in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/125s, f/14, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 18mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow to show us a famous Disney bench which traveled overseas.


July 10, 2015

Photographing Where the People Are at the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

These days it is hard to find any of the Walt Disney World parks and resorts not crowded. As photographers we have to deal with those other tourists the best we can. Outside of Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid in the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland, I realized I would not get this composition people-free until closing time.

People walking past the entrance to Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
People walking past the entrance to Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid in Fantasyland.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 400, EV 0, 78mm Focal Length

Instead, I changed my position to line up Ariel in the foreground and the Beast's Castle in the background while shooting above the crowd. I used a small aperture of f/16 to keep everything in focus. I further cropped the final image you see below in post.

Ariel outside the Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid ride in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Ariel outside the Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid ride in Fantasyland.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 450, EV 0, 82mm Focal Length, cropped

As you can see, it changes the whole outlook of the photo. This was what I had in mind when I took the first photo until I reviewed it on my camera's LCD screen. Another advantage digital technology has brought to photography.

For more tips on how to photograph at Walt Disney World when it gets crowded, read my articles on How to Photograph at a Busy Disney Park.

June 16, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Cast Costumes Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Not sure if I am supposed to use entertainment Cast Members but I am. Main Street USA is my second favorite place to find, interact and photograph Streetmosphere cast members. You have characters like the Mayor, Town Councilors and, if you are lucky, you can meet a Suffragette (think Mrs. Banks from Mary Poppins).

Each one of them are in costumes fitting the time period of Main Street USA. Including this Town Councilor who was looking to get my vote for his upcoming election.

Town councilor greeting people on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Town councilor greeting people on Main Street USA.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 32mm focal length, Fill Flash.

Deb will be here tomorrow no doubt showing you a real Cast Member at the Magic Kingdom.

May 19, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Glass

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Have you ever thought how much glass is at Walt Disney World? From the windows of the monorail to the gifts made of glass found on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, there are millions of things made of glass. As I was waiting for my time at the Be Our Guest restaurant in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, I saw this magnificient stained glass window right out of the movie, Beauty and the Beast.

Stained glass window at the Be Our Guest restaurant in Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Stained glass window at the Be Our Guest restaurant in Fantasyland.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/60s, f/3.5, ISO 2100, EV 0, 24mm focal length.

Deb will show us how something of glass is made tomorrow.

May 8, 2015

What's My Aperture

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Going to do something different this week. For those new to the Picture This! blog or to photography, this might be confusing. To those who have been following along, I hope this will be easy for you.

I am going to post two photos and I want you to tell me the aperture used and why. I won't post the comments for a few days.

Nikon Picture Spot near the Sword in the Stone located in front of Prince Charming Regal Carrousel at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Nikon Picture Spot near the Sword in the Stone.

Nikon has taken over sponsorship of the Picture Spots found in all of Walt Disney World. How many of you have tried to pull out the sword?

Spires of Cinderella Castle behind rock outcroppings in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom., Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spires of Cinderella Castle behind rock outcroppings in Tomorrowland.

Rocks are used between Tomorrowland and Fantasyland as transitional landscaping in the Magic Kingdom. I noticed this composition as I was heading back to the Hub.

Leave your educated guesses in a comment using the link below. (Hint: Select the Depth of Field category link)

April 21, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Goofy

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Of the Fab Five, I think Goofy gets some of the best outfits and he tends to show up where you least expect him to. As I was walking out of the Pirates of the Caribbean, I spotted Goofy in pirate garb near The Pirates League where young and old can get made into a pirate.

Pirate Goofy hanging out near the Pirates League in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Pirate Goofy hanging out near the Pirates League.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.3, ISO 2500, EV 0, 105mm focal length.

Tomorrow, Deb finds Goofy in what I consider his best outfit ever. Of course, that is my opinion.


April 17, 2015

Cinderella Castle Archway

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

There is always something new to discover at Walt Disney World. While I had seen in the past the beautiful mosaic murals in the Cinderella Castle archway in the Magic Kingdom, I had never taken the time to photograph them. In doing so I was reminded of a series of blog posts I did back in 2013 on how to photograph at a busy and crowded Disney themepark.

I know a lot of Disney photographers who feel people in the photo is not a good thing. I, on the other hand, do not mind including people. They help to tell the story and add scale to whatever surrounds them. Below a family member is pointing out the dramatic scene when Cinderella has to leave the Ball at midnight leaving one of her glass slippers behind.

A family stops to view a mural in Cinderella Castle archway at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A family stops to view a mural in the Cinderella Castle archway.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 6400, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

I do realize it is nice to have a clean view, too. A couple of ways to do that at Walt Disney World is to either wait until late at night around park closing or wait for an opportunity when people vacate the scene as I did below.

A mural in Cinderella Castle archway at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A mural in the Cinderella Castle archway.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 4500, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

You can also look for details and get in close either by foot or using a zoom lens. In the Cinderella Castle archway, there are carvings at the top of the pillars on either side of the murals. The one I chose here shows the birds and mice who helped Cinderella make her dress.

Top of a pillar in Cinderella Castle archway at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mice and birds at the top of a pillar in the Cinderella Castle archway.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/4.5, ISO 3200, EV 0, 52mm Focal Length.

While it is a challenge photographing at busy Walt Disney World parks, you can still get wonderful photos by being flexible, creative and patient.

April 7, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Liberty Square

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom is home to the Haunted Mansion and its new gift shop called Memento Mori Relics from Regions Beyond. Memento Mori features merchandise of the Haunted Mansion and you can even get a ghostly photo of yourself.

Memento Mori Relics from Regions Beyond gift shop in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Memento Mori Relics from Regions Beyond gift shop in Liberty Square.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 220, EV +0.3, 11mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow with a special moment from Liberty Square.

March 27, 2015

Disney Social Media Cover Photos

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 24, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Adventureland

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Have you ever noticed the attractions in Adventureland have elements of water as part of the story? Waterfall in the pre-show of the Enchanted Tiki Room and boats in Pirates of the Caribbean and Jungle Cruise. While guests ride in the boats, it is what they experience...a trip into the time of pirates and a trip past an ancient idol on the Mekong river in Cambodia in Southeast Asia.

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

Deb will be here tomorrow with another Adventureland attraction featuring water.


March 17, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Tomorrowland

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Predicting the future is tough enough but when attractions are built showing the near future, time tends to catch up and even pass those attractions. Walt Disney's Carousel of Progress premiered during the 1964 World Fair, traveled back to Disneyland and then moved to its current location at the Magic Kingdom in 1975.

The first sections of the show usually do not need updating as their time is in the past. The last section is supposed to show modern day living and has been updated a few times over the show's run. The latest change has started to look dated to me. Even Grandma's Virtual Reality gaming device seem a bit "old".

Grandma playing a game in Tomorrowland's Carousel of Progress at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Grandma playing a game in Tomorrowland's Carousel of Progress.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV -0.3, 116mm focal length.

I would really like to see this updated using the turn of the 21st Century decades like the 1964 original did for the first decades of the 20th century. No matter what the future holds in store for the Carousel of Progress, I know it will always be a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow.


March 13, 2015

Super Zoom Lens at the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I have seen a few discussions about what lenses to bring to Walt Disney World lately. I have for years touted the advantages to using Super Zoom lenses at the parks specifically and for travel photography in general. For cropped sensor cameras, they run in the ranges of 18-200mm and even 18-300mm. For full framed sensors, I have only seen Nikon's 28-300mm lens which I used in both the photos for this article. All lenses of this type have image stabilization technology from reliable brands Canon, Nikon, Sony, Sigma, Tamron and Tokina.

They come in very handy when photographing stage shows and parades like the Disney Festival of Fantasy parade in the Magic Kingdom. As the Tangled float approached me, I zoomed out and captured the entire float.

Tangled float in the Festival of Fantasy parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Tangled float in the Festival of Fantasy parade.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/400s, f/10, ISO 200, EV 0, 58mm Focal Length.

As the float got closer, I zoomed in to photograph the details of the float including Rapunzel who was not looking too impressed by Flynn Rider's antics at all.

Rapunzel on the Tangled float in the Festival of Fantasy parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Rapunzel on the Tangled float in the Festival of Fantasy parade.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/400s, f/10, ISO 200, EV 0, 170mm Focal Length.

I removed a lot of background clutter by zooming in and captured a nice story telling photo and Rapunzel's expression is wonderful, too. Some people do not like the super zooms but I find them perfect for Disney parks and allows me to carry one lens when visiting.

March 10, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Fantasyland

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

New or Old, Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom is full of Disney's beloved animated fairy tales brought to life for us to enjoy. The expansion of Fantasyland which is now complete brought in a mix of the older and newer Disney classics including a new counter service run by the one guy in town who's got it all down...Gaston's Tavern from Beauty and the Beast. I highly recommend his Warm Cinnamon Roll.

Gaston's Tavern in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Gaston's Tavern in Fantasyland.
Nikon D7100/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/200s, f/8, ISO 100, EV +0.3, 11mm Focal Length.

I used a program from MacPhun called Intensify Pro to add a soft HDR filter to the photo. I guy like Gaston deserved it.

Deb will be here tomorrow with a past Fantasyland favorite.


March 3, 2015

Pic of the Week: Main Street USA

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Walking on Main Street USA takes you back in time. The architecture of the buildings, the background music and the smells coming from the Main Street Bakery. For me though it is just a static set until the cast members make it come alive.

The Dapper Dans, a barbershop quartet, sings to guests on Main Street USA and are as colorful as their outfits. Check the daily entertainment schedule as to when they will be performing.

The Dapper Dans singing on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Dapper Dans singing on Main Street USA.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/25os, f/14, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 28mm Focal Length.

Deb will be back tomorrow sharing a look at a special Main Street USA parade.


February 27, 2015

A Day in the Life at the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

We all have our own perspectives. Each day we spend in our world which might include family, friends, work or play. When visiting Walt Disney World, it seems the rest of the "real world" disappears for a few days. It is tremendously refreshing to me and I am guessing it is to you, too. After returning from a trip to Walt Disney World we bring something back. Souvenirs, clothing, life experiences and, of course, photographs.

Back in the day of film, we would have to wait a few days after returning to get the finished prints back from the lab. Sort through them and visit people or have them stop by to share our vacation photos. Things have certainly changed over the last twenty years. Today, we can share our experiences instantly via our smart phones and using services such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Family and friends see our photos as we experience them. When I sit back and think about it, a person back in the 1980's would look upon what we do today with photographs as magic.

With that in mind, let me share with you the magic of a day in the Magic Kingdom. The day was February 11, 2015. It started out cool which had me in long jeans and a light sweatshirt. Cloudless blue skies with plenty of Florida sunshine promised good times ahead as I walked on Main Street USA towards Cinderella Castle. I heard the familiar sounds of the Main Street Trolley Parade. I had just missed the performance but I saw an opportunity to catch the trolley pulled by a white horse in motion.

Horse drawn trolley goes by on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Horse drawn trolley goes by on Main Street USA.
Nikon D7100/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 100, EV 0, 11mm focal length.

To add drama to our vacation photos, photograph at a low angle which is what I did here.

My party had a FastPass+ to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad next and after getting off, we decided to take a short trip on the Walt Disney World Railroad to relax after being on the wildest ride in the wilderness!. We got on at the Frontierland station and got off at Fantasyland. Most people go directly into Fantasyland from the station but there is a quiet little path which goes over to Tomorrowland. I always stop on the path and wait for a train to go by. The engineers love to put on a show for anyone with a camera.

WDW Railroad train putting on a show in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
WDW Railroad train putting on a show.
Nikon D7100/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/250s, f/5.6, ISO 100, EV 0, 11mm focal length.

This location is really the only good place to get a photo of the trains.

Doubling back to Fantasyland, I enjoyed a performance of the Main Street Philharmonic, a 12-piece brass and percussion ensemble, right outside the Dumbo entrance.

Main Street Philharmonic performing in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Main Street Philharmonic performing in Fantasyland.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/640s, f/6.3, ISO 100, EV 0, 92mm focal length.

Don't you love their uniforms?

After a late lunch it was time to head back down Main Street USA and find a spot for the Festival of Fantasy Parade which we all know starts at 3 o'clock. I photographed from the Main Street Train Station and got my spot about 90 minutes before the start of the parade. Remember the parade starts in Frontierland and takes about 20 to 25 minutes before the first float comes around Town Square. For this parade, I wanted to get close ups of the characters on top of the floats.

Festival of Fantasy parade at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Festival of Fantasy parade (see text for caption).

From top left: Maleficent Dragon from Sleeping Beauty; Ariel from The Little Mermaid; Princess Merida from Brave and Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

After the parade, I took a leisurely walk back up Main Street USA, getting an ice cream at the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor along the way and watched a Dream Along with Mickey show on the Cinderella Castle stage.

Dream Along with Mickey stage show in front of Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Dream Along with Mickey stage show in front of Cinderella Castle.
Nikon D7100/24-120VR, 1/250s, f/6.3, ISO 100, EV 0, 110mm focal length.

The challenge I find with Mickey and the gang in this show are the moving eyelids. I take more photos of this show to make sure I get photos like this with all their eyes open.

With plans for dinner in Epcot later that night, it was time to end the day at the Magic Kingdom. Hope you enjoyed it and maybe you picked up a tip or two along the way.

February 6, 2015

Polarizing Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

This is the third of three blogs about subjects being taught at the Focus on Epcot Photowalk held on Monday, February 9, 2015. Click the link for more information.

The previous two posts in this series talked about focusing issues. This week we turn towards changing the light entering our camera's lens with a polarizing filter. Specifically, a Circular Polarizing Filter. Being circular means the filter moves once it is mounted on your lens in a circular motion. This gives various amounts of polarization as the filter is turned in either a clockwise or anticlockwise direction. Polarizing filters main claim to fame is how it darkens and enhances a sky. Let me demonstrate using a typical Florida sky above Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom.

Cinderella Castle without a polarizing filter in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cinderella Castle without a Polarizing Filter.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV 0, 42mm focal length.

The sky is blue but not the deep blue people like to see. This is when a circular polarizing filter comes in handy. After one attaches it to a lens and looks through the viewfinder, a slow turn of the filter will show its effect from none at all to fully polarized. The photographer determines how much. The next photo of Cinderella Castle is with a polarizer filter set to maximum.

Cinderella Castle with a polarizing filter in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cinderella Castle with a Polarizing Filter.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV 0, 42mm focal length, polarizing filter.

Not only is the sky a deeper blue, the colors of the castle become enhanced. Yes, you can create the same effect in software but it only takes a quick turn of a filter to get it done in camera.

The other advantage of using a polarizing filter is to cut down on reflections. To see how that is done, check these two blogs:

Disney Pic of the Week - Filters

Case for Using a Polarizer Filter

If I still have not convinced you a polarizing filter is a must for the digital SLR camera owner, check this article out from the Digital Photography School: Why You MUST Have a Polarizer.

I was not convinced myself until I got a circular polarizer filter to try out once. I now have one for every different sized lens I own.

January 23, 2015

Using Hyperfocus at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

This is the first of three blogs about subjects being taught at the Focus on Epcot Photowalk held on Monday, February 9, 2015. Click the link for more information.

If you look at any travel magazines or websites, you will notice many of the photos showing such exotic places as tropical beaches, snowy mountain peaks or colorful cities are in focus over the entire image. I refer to it as getting everything in focus from the front (bottom) to the back (top). To get such photos, photographers employ the technique of Hyperfocal Distance or Hyperfocus. I tend to use the latter name as I think it is cooler.

If you read up on Hyperfocus, you will come across charts full of numbers and diagrams. If you are into Landscape Photography, I encourage you to learn how to use those tools. For the purpose of photographing while visiting a Disney themepark, I much prefer a simpler way.

A Friendship boat leaves the Swan/Dolphin Resorts dock, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A Friendship boat leaves the Swan/Dolphin Resorts dock.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

By setting the aperture to f/16 or smaller, focusing on an object about one-third (1/3) into the lower part of the frame when looking through the camera's viewfinder, you will get everything in front of the object AND behind it in focus. It many not look like it through the viewfinder but will once you review the photo on the camera's LCD screen. That is what I did in the photo above of the Friendship boat leaving the dock in front of the Dolphin Resort at Walt Disney World. I focused on the front windshield of the boat which is approximately one third into the frame.

Besides landscapes, another good use of hyperfocus at a Disney themepark or any tourist location, is photographing people in front of an interesting background. I know until I learned how to use hyperfocus, I had many photos of people in focus posing in front of Cinderella Castle or Spaceship Earth while the park icons behind them were not.

People in front of Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Guests in front of Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/80s, f/18, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm focal length.

By placing the people's faces about one third into the frame and setting the aperture to f/18, I have them and Cinderella Castle in sharp focus. When I am looking to use Hyperfocus, I switch my camera to Aperture Priority Mode and select a small aperture. The camera will then select the shutter speed and ISO to use. Be careful of the shutter speed, if it gets to slow, you may need to use a tripod or Da Grip to hold your camera steady.

Here are more blog posts about Hyperfocus:

How to Create Travel Magazine Photos at Walt Disney World

Hyper-Hollywood

You can practice using hyperfocus at home by placing objects in the foreground with an interesting background. Review the photos on a computer screen to check the results.

January 6, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Going to start out 2015 by visiting each Walt Disney World park starting with the Magic Kingdom.

The Fantasyland expansion has brought many new photographic compositions like this mashup of two Disney animated movies, The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. Ariel's figurehead on the bow of a ship outside the Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction with the Beast's castle in the background which is behind the Enchanted Tales with Belle attraction.

Ariel figurehead outside Journey of the Little Mermaid in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Ariel figurehead outside Journey of the Little Mermaid.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 450, EV 0, 82mm Focal Length.

Deb is going to travel back in time and space tomorrow for her Magic Kingdom photo.


December 5, 2014

Meeting Talking Mickey Mouse at the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I have not waited in line to visit with a Disney character in a long, long time. If one happens to be standing by oneself, I will stop, converse and take a photo or two. There is one which I will wait for...Mickey Mouse at the Town Square Theater on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom. Not only do you get to meet Mickey, you also get to have a talk with the Big Cheese.

Meeting talking Mickey Mouse in the Town Square Theater at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Meeting talking Mickey Mouse in the Town Square Theater.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 2800, EV 0, 40mm focal length, bounced flash.

The technology which allows Mickey to talk is sensational. While not truely interactive like Crush over in Epcot, he does his best to carry on a conversation based on who is meeting with him.

Meeting talking Mickey Mouse in the Town Square Theater at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Meeting talking Mickey Mouse in the Town Square Theater.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV 0, 24mm focal length, bounced flash.

After my wife had her photo and we had ours together, I stepped in for a Bro shot with my favorite Mouse.

Meeting talking Mickey Mouse in the Town Square Theater at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Meeting talking Mickey Mouse in the Town Square Theater.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV 0, 24mm focal length, bounced flash, cropped.

Using FastPass+ makes meeting Mickey Mouse a fun experience without having to wait in a long line or having to change plans walking around the parks.

I gave my camera over to the Disney Photopass person on duty with everything preset. I had my flash unit pointed upwards to bounce the light off the ceiling. For more on using flash, click here: How to Use Bounce Flash.

December 2, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When Disney decides to do something, they do it right. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a prime example. It features the first ever swinging ride vehicles adding a thrill to every tight turn while telling the tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. A great ride for adults, it is perfect for the kids who have outgrown Goofy's Barnstormer but not quite ready for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Below you see the effect of the swinging ride as the train undulates through the curves.

Guests ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Guests ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in New Fantasyland.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/500s, f/16, ISO 3200, EV 0, 38mm Focal Length.

Deb will be here tomorrow showing what it was like the day the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opened.


November 23, 2014

Where in the World #359

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 have an announcement, Players. I will be away for two weeks after this challenge because I need to take care of a family situation. You will obviously be in good hands while I am away and the game will be going on during my little hiatus! Enjoy my challenge this week and I can't wait to see what challenges lay ahead. I will announce the November monthly winner when I get back. Promise!

This is the point where I had planned to apologize to Claire Gregory for a mistake I made, but then she rubbed it in that she's at Disney and I'm not. So! Instead, I bring you this, an image of Claire revealing her true colors:
From Millan.Net

Oh I can't stay mad at any of you players! I found the Disney bear of comfort for your post-vacation blues, Claire. Lots of trips coming up and ending so be ready to share!
From Millan.Net

Now for Challenge #358:
Where in the World #358

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

It's the little hunny bees from the interactive queue at The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in the Magic Kingdom! As I mentioned, you might be more used to seeing these from the side as you slide the bees on their metal rails! Like this:

Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © Erin Blackwell

Aren't you amused on how I took this different angle? Like I was a real grown up artsy person? No?

I blame the bees.

Oh no, Grumpy's Groupies actually waved the white flag of surrender! (hugs) It wasn't you guys. It was the bees. Those tricky, tricky bees.
From Millan.Net

Jim & Lorie Sonnen was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Jim & Lorie and to all our winners this week! Eric Berger, Jerry Felder, Jim Finley, Hillary Waldroop, Clare, Mary Beth Tarbet, Mary Thatcher, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Shannon Murray, Shannon Savoia, Kenny, Emily Canales, Chloe Mayhew, The States Family, Theresa Rucando, Robin Fitts, Anastasia Macneil, Tricia Petty, Christine Twomey, Tiffany Gibb, Nathan Y, Arlene Vicek, Kate Fischer, Patrick Broaddus, Matthew Frey, Ryan Filiater, Elaine Tomko-deluca, Caroline Burmester, Jan Rosato, The Foley Family, Michaela O'brien, Sarah And Chris, Nicole Benoit, Mike O'brien, Kerri Coggins, Virginia Pierce, Vera And Izzy Williams, and Sharon Pierce!

__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #359 Where in the world is this?

Staying inside the parks but we're going to a different one!
Where in the World #359

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, November 27th, 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 soon, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

November 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 14, 2014

Main Street Electrical Parade Over Time

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

There was a late night performance of the Main Street Electrical Parade on my last visit to the Magic Kingdom. The platform overlooking Main Street USA only had a few people so I set up the camera on a tripod to get ready to make a photo I had seen many other photographers do.

I put my camera in Manual mode and set the lens to its smallest aperture of f/22 for a large Depth of Field. This resulted in a shutter speed of 30 seconds at ISO 200. Focused on the scene and put the lens in manual focus mode. Focus would not change as long as I did not move the camera position. I screwed on a 3-stop Neutral Density filter and calculated the new shutter speed to be 90 seconds or 3 times 30 seconds. I put the camera in Bulb mode and used a timer on my smartphone with a cable release to open and close the shutter manually. Very low tech but it worked fine.

The 90 second exposure seemed a little dark to me so I did another one at 120 seconds which came out better.

Late night view of Town Square on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Late night view of Town Square on Main Street USA.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 120s, f/22, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm focal length, 3-Stop ND Filter.

When the Main Street Electrical Parade starts, they turn off most of the lighting around the park. To compensate, I added even more time as the colorful floats passed by me and up Main Street USA. I found 180 seconds gave me a very interesting photo.

Long expsoure of the Main Street Electrical parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Long expsoure of the Main Street Electrical Parade.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 180s, f/22, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm focal length, 3-stop Neutral Density filter.

Like fireworks, very colorful moving subjects like the Main Street Electrical Parade floats create beautiful photos when photographed over a long period of time.

November 4, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Fire

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Water is used extensively throughout the Walt Disney World Resort for landscaping, live shows and special effects. Fire, on the otherhand, is used sparingly. I am sure it is for safety reasons but, when fire is used, it tends to be very dramatic.

When you frist see the Sleeping Beauty float in the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade with the wicked Maleficent as a Steampunked Dragon. You have to wonder how far Disney Imagineers had gone. Would the dragon actually breath fire? Why, yes...yes it does.

Fire breathing dragon on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Fire breathing dragon on Main Street USA.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

There are several places where Disney uses fire at Walt Disney World. Can you name some?

October 31, 2014

Scarecrows of Town Square

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Today being Halloween, I thought I would share with you a different angle on the Scarecrows of Town Square.

Most people photograph the scarecrows you see upon entering the Magic Kingdom standing up. When you do it that way, you have to be very careful of what is happening in behind the scarecrows. People will be walking there, Photopass photographers have a Halloween setup which is very busy and cast members could be selling balloons on Main Street USA to name a few background distractions.

To help eliminate such "noise" in my scarecrow photos below, I got down low (yes, folks, that means bending those knees). There are still people in some of the photos below but they are at the bottom of the frame and blended into the corn stalks Disney used this year at the base of each of the scarecrows.

Dressed up Scarecrow on Town Square in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Dressed up Scarecrow in Town Square.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/11, ISO 200, EV 0, 30mm focal length.

Another tricky background object is the flag pole. As you can see here, I did not do a very good job of getting the flag pole out of the frame. I should have moved to my right a little more.

Baker Scarecrow on Town Square in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Baker Scarecrow pushing sugar around Town Square.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/11, ISO 200, EV 0, 34mm focal length.

On this photo of the Scarecrow Mayor I did a better job.

Scarecrow Mayor on Town Square in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Scarecrow Mayor looking for votes around Town Square.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/14, ISO 200, EV 0, 30mm focal length.

It was very hard to not get any of the trees in the frames for a couple of the scarecrows so I tried to find a pleasing composition with them in it.

Drummer Scarecrow on Town Square in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Drummer Scarecrow banging away on Town Square.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/11, ISO 200, EV 0, 38mm focal length.

Working to get clean or less distracting backgrounds in your photos is well worth the effort. Keep it in mind the next time you are out photographing.

BLOG NOTE: As you may have read this week, Lisa will no longer be writing her Picture This! blog or contributing to the Disney Pic of the Week. For the time being, it is just Erin and myself. Erin will be continuing the popular Where in the World contests as I will post a Disney Pic of the Week every Tuesday and this blog on Friday.

Next year I plan on visiting Walt Disney World a couple of times. Watch for Photowalk announcements about a month before each visit. If you have any questions, would like me to cover a particular photography subject or have a Pic of the Week suggestion, drop me a comment.

October 26, 2014

Where in the World #355

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!

Halloween is this week in the US! So for everyone celebrating it:
From Millan.Net

And remember:
From Millan.Net

Chris Kelly has the Disney blues. I hear you, Chris. Sometimes it helps to look at pictures and videos. I know your too manly to weep, so I'll do it for you.
From Millan.Net

Last week's challenge:
Where in the World Photo Fun

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

It's the Critter Elixir in Splash Mountain! You can learn more about it and the whole story behind this mountain in Jack's post.

Jeff Blank had to put the song in my head. So, all together, Players!
From Millan.Net
How do you do? Mighty pleasant meetin
How do you do? Say it when you're meetin
How do you do? With everyone repeatin
Pretty good sure as you're born!

Thanks, Jeff. I want to sing this into my Maxwell Smart shoe phone!

Jim Finley, you nicely slipped in that bragging about being at the Food & Wine festival. :-)

Jim & Lorie Sonnen was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Jim & Lorie and to all our winners this week! Emily Hudson, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, Elaine Kleinhenz, Carol Ney, Linda K Ranatza, Sandie Albrecht, Dee Dee Kenney, The Gunnels Family, Kris Nixon, Rider Family, Evanna Huda, Carla C, Claire Gregory, Joe Bateman, Daniel Record, Andreas Beer, Allison Beecy, Lenz Family, Jennifer Hess, Christina Trigiani, Paul Knott, Axel Beer, Hobbes And Snorky, Maureen Handy, Ken Daube, Liz Moreau, Rob Hildebrandt , The Koren Family, Timothy Gallant, Eleanor Taberski, James Roberts, The Long Family, Herb Miller, Ruben O'meara, Vicki Britt, Tjg, Team Hill, Duskin Henard, The Kahle Family, Bob Ruer, The States Family, Kathy Huckabee, Nan Amor, Lizzy &Dave Fullerton, Bruce Nash, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Melissa Such, Larry Sprenkle, Paul Dickson, Scott Precise, Christopher Thacker, Shannon Murray, Doug Olson Family, Team Bonnie Sue, Bethany Boucher, Denise Mcevoy, Brian Gallant, Matt Holley, Hillary Waldroop, Patrick Broaddus, Kelly Smith, Scott Sangston, Barclay Bakkum, Matthew Jadro, Scott Cullen, Belicia Cullen, Ron Harper, Terry Fleming, Mike Haeberle, Robert P Flaherty , Betsy Silvestri, Josh Carney, Mary Dieuliis , Jeff Blank, The Foley Family, Ashley Wilson, Julia Marsh, Darrell Shortt, Jen Peterson, Jennifer Kamradt, David Ballard, David Ballard, Gallagher Family, Rob Blundin, Jane Johnson, Team Hill, and Jackie Klafeta
__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #355 Where in the world is this?
Headed for a different park:
Where in the World #355

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

October 16, 2014

Jungle Cruise Skipper at the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Skipper of a Jungle Cruise boat at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Skipper of a Jungle Cruise boat waves goodbye to a departing crew.
Nikon D700/Sigma 15mm Fisheye, 1/200s, f/7.1, ISO 200, EV -0.3.

UPDATE: I seemed to have caused a stir with this post title. First, I only write about and share photography from Disney themeparks in this space. I do not report news from the Disney Company. Second, the Jungle Cruise Skippers are NOT going away. The title comes from my boat waving goodbye to the skipper you see in the photo. I think people saw the title and JUMPED to conclusions. So, I have changed the title which was, "Goodbye Jungle Cruise Skipper at the Magic Kingdom".

Skippers of the Jungle Cruise in either the Magic Kingdom or Disneyland have one wry sense of humor. They have to pilot all of us guests around and around the great rivers of the world and be funny each and every time. My Mickey Mouse Ears hat off to them all.

Now, let's everyone turn around and wave good-bye to those people on the dock we've left behind. (In low voice) Come on folks... pretend like you're having a good time. - Jungle Cruise Skipper

A fun Fisheyeed photo for the Disney Pic of the Week about the Jungle Cruise.

October 7, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Main Street USA

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When touring Walt Disney World with friends and family who have never been to the Magic Kingdom, I tell them how I do not feel like I am at Disney until I walk up Main Street USA. It is hard to describe but if feels timeless. Yes, things have changed over the years but the essense of what Walt Disney wanted to convey to his guests is still there. A place and a time which was less hectic as the world we live in and where he grew up in.

Another thing I share with them is to always look up to see the many windows dedicated to past and current Cast Members which made large contributions to the Disney company over the years. As well as notice the detail in the architecture and colors used for each store as they walk up the street. The Uptown Jewelers is a good example. There one can buy those beautiful Disney snow globes, photo frames, charms, pens, jewelry, watches and other finery.

Uptown Jewelers along Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Uptown Jewelers along Main Street USA.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/640s, f/13, ISO 400, EV -0.3, 24mm focal length.

Lisa will be here on Thursday to share her Disney Pic of the Week about Main Street USA.

October 5, 2014

Where in the World #352

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!

Did you have a good Yom Kippur? I hope so!

Kristi Strembicki, Shari Prater, and Jennifer Rowell, thank you for the birthday wishes to John! He thanks you too!

Susie Howard, oh someone's first visit to Disney. Always magical to see. :)

John Bickers, Davida, and Matthew Jadro, you're welcome! I'm glad you enjoy the contest each week.

In fact, thanks to you all, Players! You've been so wonderful with your notes and for supporting WitW and All Ears!
From Millan.Net

Last week's challenge: number #351
Where in the World #351

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

It's the Diamond Horseshoe Saloon in the Magic Kingdom! I'm like a lot of you: I miss the old show and when this was open all the time.

Herb Miller, that was a great story! I can imagine your little sister being mad at the lady on stage flirting with your dad while your mom was laughing!

Everyone got this one right! A couple asked if I was throwing the Players a bone. I try to do 2 easy ones, 1 medium, and 1 diffiult each month. Or at least what I think are easy, medium, and difficult. :)

Sands Family was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Sands and to all our winners this week! Sands Family, Bruce Jones, Nick Cristea, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, Kristi Strembicki, Elaine Kleinhenz, Linda Scrivano, Tricia Petty, Jeremy Hardy, Kerri Coggins, Ed Suscreba, Mary Beth Tarbet, Andrea Kruszewski, Theresa Rucando, Cheryl Costello, Nan Amor, Grumpy's Groupies, Hunter Armstrong, Jill Hauth, Lana Bloomfield, Tom Armstrong, Julia Wickware, Bruce Hinterleitner, Paul Dickson, Mike O'brien, William Toth, Melissa Such, Evan Hambleton, Christie Corcoran, Grace Seeley, Matt Wildey, Heather Keenan, John Gillis, Leslie Schmauder, Ed Hogan, The Strukel Family, Ellen Sullivan, Gallagher Family, Chris Horne, Andrew Carrieri, Nadine Anderson, The Kertes Family, Kathy Dockham, Amber Penske, Maggie Klotz, K Beasley, Danielle, The Kahle Family, Heather Brennan, Sarah, Herb Miller, Stephanie Perkins, Candice Grimes, Elizabeth Matherne, Jennifer Snook, Katia Seguin , Wendy Barney, Stephanie Liebl, Mary Dunnett, Lynette Michalos, Gina Smith, Team Hill, The Tisdale Family, Jennifer Starling, Bruce, Angie Johnson, Jeffrey Roehm, Axel Beer, Jill Fox, Kye Layton, Dave Freemyer, Mike Amor, Karen Ramirez, Torrey Beasley, Candy Yancey, Laura V., Carolyn Como, Tinkerbell Wells, John Bickers, Olszak Family, Gunnels Family, Jim Finley, Lizzy &Dave Fullerton, The Koren Family, Susan Doucette, Patti Gumiela, Eric Berger, Mike Shook, Tommy Montgomery, Maryann Eckenrode, Anne Heffentreyer, Barbara Remele, Jamie Fahey, Deb Ragno, Rex Biederman, Denise Marchese, Jeff Schoeling, Margot Garofalo, Murr Family, Nancy Ohal, Deborah Schroer, Robert Wescovich, Patrick Broaddus, Becky Norman, Pat Schwier, Rider Family, Al &Kerry Ganter, Vicki Britt, Tracy Davis, Annette Nuenke, Darrell Shortt, Jen Peterson, Kendall Huffman, Mickey Eckert, John Mahoney, Stacey Long, Lindsay Coram, Dee Dee Kenney, Tom Swan , Paul Knott, Russ Morgan, Double Family, Cindy Pink, Morag Lemon, Amy Schweizer, Deborah Wolfe, Eric Johnson, Britta Andrews, Joanne, Vanessa Stjohn, Kris Nixon, Wendy Markwood, Ruth Senecal, Ruth Senecal, Rob Jacob, Ken Maikowski, Jennifer And Elizabeth Geno, Beth Tygart, Jack Lynch, Janet T Thorn, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Tim Thompson, Ed Bogle, Phyllis, Stephanie Peterson, Suzanne Denham, Leach Family, John Gately, Emily Hudson, Amy Maddox, Claire Gregory, Karen Schlumpf, Betsy Silvestri, Arlene Vicek, Bill Cudney , Christine Dagney, Maureen Handy, Andy Hickey, Carla C, Karen Costa, Trisha Johnson, Danielle Harsley And Agnes Ciotti, Janet Chocky, Jannie H., Bethany Angermaier, Frank And Sharon, Terry Blair, Terry Blair, Jen Eacret, Hobbes And Snorky, Ashley Collins, Krista Serpi, Tyler Otts, Lenz Family, The Long Family, Stefan Owens, Ruben O'meara, Jonathan Ward, Terri Rimorin, Demetrios Makres, Carla Fernandez, Judy Simonsen, Chris Kelly, Jodi Cook, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Ken Savage, Bob Destephano, Roxanne Kliebert, Mike Haeberle, Scott Greenwald, Vicki Edwards And William, Lori Rienhardt, Pollyanna Buff, Jeanne Cundiff, Bill Mckim, Carol Collins, Debbie Desimone, Rebecca Keenan, Ed Adams, Clay Anthony, Ed Adams, Daniel Record, Lisa Sullivan , Scott Precise, Larry Sprenkle, Jen Tremley, Paula Massarelli, Kerry A., Josh Weiss, Blake Schmidt, John Pasqueralli, Nicole Benoit, Maryann Romagnano, Lisa Bufo, Lee Anastasi, Brian Mcwithey, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Jim & Lorie Sonnen, Pam Lorenz, Les Stewart, Jason Skow, The Parker Family, Ginger Sneeringer , Dawn Bach, Jeff Stetson, Antoinette Leblanc, Ellie V, Jennifer Rowell, Matthew Bassett, Jeff Blank, Diane Curfman, Kristan Bertelmann, Team Bonnie Sue, Theresa Maradei, Kyra C., Trish Roam, Rob Hepler, Luis Rodriguez, Kameo Crea, Shari Prater, Sarah Korodi, Ken Jobin , Kristyn Scibienski, Jan Benton, Abigail Grasso, Joan Schroeder, Brian Gallant, Susie Howard, Sarah And Chris, The Patterson Family, Tammy , Andrew Pettit, Vicki Shearman, Matt Holley, Brian Grabowski, The Foley Family, Ken Rhinehart, Bonnie Tulenko, Linda College, Kelly Smith, Kate Fischer, Brian Yesutis, Beth Josuweit, Rob Blundin, Lorine Landon, Karen Spreitzer, Melody Odonnell, Chris Bauman, Jason Hocker, Maureen Tavrell, Karrie Duffey, Matt Cofone, Christopher Hall, Terry Fleming, Chloe Mayhew, Michael Dale Pennington, Scott Sangston, Jeremy Reichelt, Carri Marotto, Lizanne Fisk, Josh Carney, George Mundy Jr, Teri Michalski, Matthew Jadro, Steve Thorpe, Diana Grady, Danielle I., Diane Furtado, Karen Bellamy, Dave Carriere, Smitty, The States Family, Barbara Lemasurier, Heather Pedulla, Paul Ignudo, Jr., Lisa Pinder, Caroline Burmester, Team Meeker, The Hutchinson Family, Randy Thomas, Vera And Izzy Williams, Jan Rosato, Wendy Palmquist, Dave Adkins, Lisa Kaiser, Alan Mize, Bruce Nash, Ron Harper, Karen Adamakis, Kathryn Hughes, Betsy Dross, Christine Twomey, Greg Nguyen, Bob Ruer, Ryan Filiater, York Family , Anastasia Macneil, Erika Leverock , Haylee Smolek , Lynda Abiuso, Leslie Krysinel, Mike M., Les Whitten, Tricia Noble, Carrie R, Jennifer Mercier, Cathy Connors, Robert P. Flaherty, Scott Harrington, Sara Holloway, Steve Knapp, Tim Johansen, Hillary Waldroop, Mark Proper, Bob Hendrix, Sherri Pell, Leslie Skidmore, Sandie Albrecht, Heidi Goodhue, Mark Franklin, Gina Falzone, Joseph M. Zafia , Owen States, Jo Ann Bailey, Liz Moreau , Jennifer Bogdan, Michael Bailey, Ilene, Kelly Mt. Castle, Maryann Daly, Wendy T Faler , Thomas Higbee, Buffalo Barnes Family, Davida, Dayna Guay, Melissa Littman, Jackie Graebel, Eric Enli, Marie Tennant, Robert Bostic, Peggy Saeger, Jane Johnson, Scott Greenbaum, Kyle Burdo, Patti Mccaffrey, and Amy Fleming.

The winner of our October drawing is: Carolyn Como ! Congratulations, we will be sending you a prize!

That leads to a good time for this note: Monthly winners, PLEASE be patient! Deb Wills sends out these prized and as you can imagine, her schedule is extremely busy! She will get your prize to you so even though it can take awhile, you will receive it. Thanks!
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Challenge #352 Where in the world is this?

Different park!

Where in the World #352

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, October 9th, 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 12, 2014

Classic Cinderella Castle in HDR

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

It was about a half hour before sunset and the top spires of Cinderella Castle was being illuminated with golden sunshine. Below, the castle and moat was in shade. Such lighting can be tough for a camera to capture in a single exposure. In post, you can open up the shadows some.

On the other hand, a set of photos for High Dynamic Range processing using today's software like Photomatix, can produce excellent results.

Classic View of Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Classic View of Cinderella Castle in HDR.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 27mm focal length, HDR Image.

The HDR image here was produced using five photos taken in 1 stop increments from -2EV to +2EV and merged in Photomatix.

August 17, 2014

Where in the World #345

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!

Last week's challenge: number #344
Where in the World #344

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

Woody from Toy Story with Jesse (and my husband) at the meet-and-greet area by Splash Mountain in the Magic Kingdom.

Britta, I guess you do know those boots! I always love hearing from Cast Members. :) We have a question that you can probably answer: does it say Andy on the bottom of his boot?

Chuck Sands was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Chuck and to all our winners this week! Nan Amor, Jim and Lorie Sonnen, Donna Frank, Kristi Strembicki, Andy Hickey, The Kertes Family, Les Whitten, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, Mary Beth Tarbet, Andrea Kruszewski, Kenny, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Mike Amor, Virginia Pierce, Kerri Coggins, K Beasley, Dee Dee Kenney, Mike O'brien, Jen Peterson, Double Family, Sandie Albrecht, Chris Kelly, Sharon Pierce, The Parker Family, Becky Norman, Ed Suscreba, Jennifer Rowell, Eric Berger, Stefanie Vandiver, Michael Haeberle, Julia Wickware, Brian Miller, Betsy Silvestri, Ed Elder, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Patty Carty, Margot Garofalo, Kate Nejman, Tricia Petty, Kristina Rohrbach, Ken Clark, Mike Mondoux, Phil Vickers, Janet T Thorn, Alex Gamill, Bruce Hinterleitner, Eric Johnson, Evan And Aidan Crank, Christina Trigiani, Crystal King, Candice Grimes, Jodi Cook, Antoinette Leblanc, Dave Freemyer, Olszak Family, Kathryn Perkins , Tyler Otts, Dawn Bach, Pollyanna Buff, Jeff Schoeling, The Gunnels Family, Jamie Fahey, Amiee Augustine, Chris And Sarah, Team Hill, Kelly Sroka, Andrew Carrieri, Emily Hudson, James Steele, Karen Schlumpf, Ken Maikowski, Rob Blundin, Kimberly Langh, Val Baldwin, Heather Sabatino, Claire Gregory, Lee Anastasi, Ruben O'meara, Pat Morin, Pat Schwier, Deb Ragno, Joann Albrecht, Hillary Waldroop, Jeff Sidebotham , Elaine Kleinhenz, Clay Anthony, Ellen Sullivan, Patty N., John Bickers, Jon Landis, Erin Connell, Shannon Bechtel, Herb Miller, Vicki Britt, Craig, Lorine Landon, Leach Family, Tinkerbell Wells, Brian Gallant, Arlene Vicek, Michelle Darabaris, Caryn Schill, Jim Riley, Chloe Mayhew, Trina Noggle, Jeremy Hardy, Terry Blair, Jen Cerce, Allison Caputa, The Pearsall Family, Angela Fennell, Maryann Eckenrode, Vickie Smialkowski, Ladonna Tisdale, Kathy Davies, Debbie Desimone, Vera And Izzy Williams, Hobbes And Snorky, Maureen Handy, Susie Howard, Tjg, Danielle Harsley And Agnes Ciotti, Eric Enli, Pam Lorenz, Judy Simonsen, Maryann Romagnano, Cheryl Chambers, Suzanne Denham, Roxanne Kliebert, Maureen Tavrell, Karen Hotchkiss, Jennifer Harmon, The Kahle Family, The Kahle Family, Robert Wescovich, Krista Serpi, Megan Krainski, Lorraine Penoro, The Koren Family, Connie Smith, Suzanne Renfroe, Double Family, Luis Rodriguez, Pearl Gordon, Laurie Walker, Bill Mckim, Haylee Smolek , Mickey Eckert, Jim Curley, Josh Carney, Linda Scrivano, Jim Thompson, Karen Ramirez, Desiree Fremer, The Long Family, Teala Van De Ven, Diane Furtado, Karen Costa, Kris Nixon, Maggie Klotz, Trisha Johnson, Barbara Remele, Madison Hovan, Rebecca Keenan, Daniel Record, Jen Tremley, Josh Weiss, Matt Wildey, Jason Skow, Britta Andrews, Peg Readinger, Larry Sprenkle, Kristyn Scibienski, Jim Finley, Heather Pedulla, Susan Higginbotham, Hunter Armstrong, Carla C, Les Stewart, Trish Roam, Taylor Pocopanni, Doug Olson Family, Jeff Blank, Shelby Watson, Russ Morgan, Lindsay Coram, Kathy Morris, Cheryl Costello, Susan Moeller, Shannon Murray, Al Sandal, Jen Snook, Nancy Crossman, Tim L, Matt Holley, Amy Schweizer, Mike Venere, Beth Josuweit, George Mundy Jr, The Hutchinson Family, Bruce Arnold, Stephanie Dollar, Chris Bauman, Lisa Zitek, Jed Orth, Kate, Ken Daube, Dick Smith, Shelly Borella, Carri Marotto, Jeremy Reichelt, Terry Fleming, Cathy Connors, Karrie Duffey, Erin Hammer, Tom Swan, Wendy Faler , Christopher Hall, Nicole Pecoy, Mike Cerce, Smitty, Patti Mccaffrey, Dave Carriere, Heather Heidtman, Scott Greenbaum, Jamie Steiner, Diana Grady, Eileen Miller, Anastasia Macneil, Kara Morton, Angela Horan, Matthew Frey, Carolyn Como, Stefanie Vest, Lori Rienhardt, Tiffany Gibb, Heidi Goodhue, Ron Harper, Sara Holloway, Ansley, Marcie Soderlund, Chris Thacker, Julia Marsh, Cathy Fleming, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Deb Gallo, Paul Ignudo, Jr., Michael Dale Pennington, Brian Mcwithey, Phyllis, Ashley P., Mark Franklin, Matthew Jadro, The Patterson Family, Nicole Benoit, Paula Massarelli, Heather Metzler, Jennifer Bogdan, Sharon Leitgeb , Jo Ann Bailey, Lauren Kemble, Grump's Groupies, Jackie Graebel, Sheila Bagg, Jackie Graebel, Mary Mizell, Gloria Martin, Liz Moreau, Cheri, Robert P. Flaherty, David Ballard, Team Bonnie Sue, Joseph M. Zafia, Tom Koval, Maryann Daly, Jean Bussell, Barclay Bakkum, Ken Rhinehart, Kathleen Bumpers, Leigh Mertz, Sandy Ednie, April Cahill, Michelle Palazzo, Santiago Rivera, Brian Richmond, Melody Odonnell, Darrell Shortt, Todd Johns, Kristan Bertelmann, Jane Johnson, Sophia, and Gail Tomberlin.
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Challenge #345 Where in the world is this?

I just know people are going to say this is too easy. ;)
Where in the World #345

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on
Thursday, August 21st, by clicking on the blue box below.

Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

August 15, 2014

Recording Details in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Magic Kingdom is full of details and I had fun looking for and photographing on a recent trip. Let's start with the Pirates Bazaar which is the shop you enter after sailing through Pirates of the Caribbean. This shop, like all Disney shops, is a treasure trove of subjects. As I was walking around, I felt like I was being stared at. I looked around and found Captain Jack Sparrow, as portrayed by actor Johnny Depp, looking right at me.

Painting of Captain Jack Sparrow on display in the Pirates Bazaar outside Pirates of the Caribbean in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Painting of Captain Jack Sparrow as portrayed by actor Johnny Depp on display in the Pirates Bazaar outside Pirates of the Caribbean.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/50s, f/4, ISO 6400, EV 0, 120mm focal length.

The Big Thunder Mountain Railroad's queue had some updates done during the last refurbishment. I found this longitudinal section diagram of the mountain fascinating and something you will miss using the FastPass+ line.

Longitudinal section diagram of Big Thunder Mountain in Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Longitudinal section diagram of Big Thunder Mountain in the queue for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Frontierland.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 4500, EV 0, 24mm focal length.

Fans of the movie, National Treasure, will remember how the company which cast the Liberty Bell was part of the clues leading to the historical treasure. The replica in Liberty Square has the clue, too.

Close up of the Liberty Bell in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Close up of the Liberty Bell in Liberty Square.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 4000, EV -0.3, 85mm focal length.

Did you know the The League of Planets and The Loyal Order of Little Green Beings are sponsors on the Tomorrowland Welcome Sign?

Tomorrowland welcoming signs at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Welcoming signs as you enter Tomorrowland from the Hub.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/320s, f/16, ISO 400, EV +0.3, 50mm focal length.

You know about the windows above Main Street USA but have you ever noticed the doors? Like this one which opens into the Magic Kingdom Casting Agency run by one Walter Elias Disney featuring his quote: "It takes People to Make the Dream a Reality".

Door to the Magic Kingdom Casting Agency on Main Street USA which opened in 1971 by Founder & Director Emeritus Walter Elias Disney in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Door to the Magic Kingdom Casting Agency on Main Street USA which opened in 1971 by Founder & Director Emeritus Walter Elias Disney.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 400, EV -0.3, 24mm focal length.

These are the kinds of details that come and go at Walt Disney World over the years. As fellow All Ears team member Jim Korkis reminds me every time I see him, photograph everything as you never know when it will be changed or totally disappear from a Disney park. Noted, Jim!

August 3, 2014

Where in the World #343

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!

Mr. Gunnel! I'm just passing on the message that if you and the family went to Walt Disney World more often, everyone would get the answers right!

Wendy Barney, I miss the Skyway too.

Last week's challenge: number #342
Where in the World #342

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

It's one of Pascal's friends for the "Look for friends of Pascal" at the.... well, it has many names but I call them the Rapunzel bathrooms. I once told a guest in Liberty Square that she had to go to these restrooms when she was looking for one. She looked at a cast member who said she should check them out. Still looking back like we're crazy, she left. She came back later and said, "Best. Bathrooms. Ever." :)

Sandie Albrecht, I found 7 of the Pascals. One was really tough because the plants had grown so much around his spot. After the 7th, my husband begged, "Can we go on a ride now?" So I stopped my hunt. I can't wait to finish it!

Kristi Strembicki was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Kristi and to all our winners this week! Chuck Sands, Judy Koslowski, Deb Gallo, Antoinette Leblanc, Linda Ranatza, Virginia Pierce, Donna Frank, Tricia Petty, Carol Ney, Jennifer Rowell, Phil Vickers, Ed Elder, Ed Suscreba, Mary Beth Tarbet, Jim &Lorie Sonnen, Kerri Coggins, Emily Hudson, Jed Orth, The Kertes Family, Kris Nixon, Debbie Desimone, Olszak Family, Kenny, Nan Amor, Becky Norman, Kris Blamphin, Debbie Desimone, Al Desimone, Phyllis, Andrew Swiatowicz , Elaine Kleinhenz, Jen Peterson, Lee Anastasi, K Beasley, Karen Adamakis, Linda Scrivano, Sharon Pierce, Sandie Albrecht, Team Hill, Andrew Carrieri, Maryann Eckenrode, Desiree Fremer, Deb Ragno, Claire Gregory, Rachele Dalton, Mary Ann Lamay, Melissa Such, Scott Cullen, Ellen Sullivan, Jack Lynch, Belicia Cullen, Lynette Michalos, Tim Johansen, Lyn Johnson, Katherine Campos, Heather Sabatino, Jennifer Harmon, Brian Miller, Jim Poplawski, Tinalala, Ed Adams, Susan Moeller, Donna Begley, Kye Layton, Ashley P. , The Parker Family , Herb Miller, Lorine Landon, Laura Tracy, Amber Penske, Karen Spreitzer, Pat Schwier, Ruth Senecal, Susie Howard, Pegreadinger, Christi Ison, The Fosbender's, Mary Graves, Krista Serpi, Rebekah Schultz, Betsy Silvestri, Britta Andrews, Andreas Beer, Mike Haven, Rob Hepler, Ken Daube, Haylee Smolek , Christina Trigiani, Meghan Gleason-vollmer, Shari.sand, Lori Rienhardt, Roxanne Kliebert, Candice Grimes, Darrell Shortt, Angela Fennell, Laurie Walker, Abby Otts, Lisa Mckenzie, Chloe Mayhew, Duskin Henard, Kerry Mihalik, Candi Highsmith, Robin Robinson , Jennifer And Elizabeth Geno, Pollyanna Buff, Maureen Handy, Gunnels Family, Paul Dickson, Carla C, Theresa Rucando, Hobbes And Snorky, Jen Cerce, Dave Freemyer, Kara Morton, Tom Koval, Shelly, Carol Anne Hastings, Suzanne Denham, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Louise Barton, Les Whitten, Jen Eacret, Jen Tremley, Jonathan Ward, Patti Mccaffrey, Jim Finley, Lisa Bohannon, Scott Precise, Grumpy's Groupies, Janet T Thorn, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Smitty, Colleen, Dee Dee Kenney, Judy Simonsen, Jim Nitschke, Diane Curfman, Cynthia Hitchcock, Maryann Romagnano, Dawn Bach, Kathy Morris, Daniel Record, Team Bonnie Sue, Chris And Alison, Mickey Eckert, Karen Bortz, Demetrios Makres, Jamie Rayot, Scott Greenbaum, Lorraine Williams, Hillary Waldroop, Maggie Klotz, Stefanie Vest, Josette Gabel, Paul Moore, Vera And Izzy Williams, Carida De La Torre, Kimberly Langh, Fiona Knight, Julia Marsh, Andrew Pettit, Kevin Parmeland, Wendy Barney, Christopher Hall, Michelle, Jeremy Reichelt, Chris Bauman, Rebecca Keenan, Barclay Bakkum, Sara Alaimo, Tricia Noble, Bob Hendrix, Karrie Duffey, Erin Duncan, The Lenz Family, Shelly Borella, Monica Owens, Matt Holley, Anastasia Macneil, Erin Loring, Kate Fischer, Fred Shakeshaft, Fran Rendulic, Vicki Britt, The Hutchinson Family, Sarah And Chris, Melissa Littman, Sarah Noelle, George Mundy Jr, The Patterson Family, Amy B., Carrie R, Rob Blundin, Lauren Blundin, Caroline Burmester, Brian Yesutis, Stacy Guarracino, Chris Kelly, Joy Shaw, Les Stewart, Jeremy Hardy, Carolyn Como, Heather Pedulla, Chris Thacker, Hope Hardy, Bryant O'meara, Cheryl Costello, Ken Rhinehart, The Koren Family, Jamie Steiner, Maja Kodani, Josh Carney, Jeff Finger, Eric Enli, Matthew Frey, Jamesd (dzneynut), David Ballard, Nathan York, Danielle Harsley And Agnes Ciotti, Jennifer Bogdan, Joseph M. Zafia, Jane Johnson, Tom Higbee, Matthew Jadro, Sandy Ednie, Heidi Goodhue, Jackie Graebel, Allison Caputa, Trina Noggle, and Mike Haeberle.

Guess what? It's time to announce the July winner! And that Player is: Kate Fischer! Congratulations! You will receive a prize from Deb Wills!
__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #343 Where in the world is this?

We're leaving the parks for this week's challenge:
Where in the World #343

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

July 18, 2014

Family Photography at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

July 11, 2014

Riding Tomorrowland's Astro Orbiter in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I have been visiting Walt Disney World since 1983. In all that time, I have never ridden one of the iconic rides in the Magic Kingdom. This has always been my view of it...

The Astro Orbiter in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Long exposure photo of the Astro Orbiter in Tomorrowland.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 6s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 55mm focal length, tripod.

On my last trip, I was bound and determined to rectify such an oversight. The Astro Orbiter has a very different queue. You line up in an outdoor queue below the PeopleMover platform. As you get close to the elevators, you are given a pilots card or a riders card and you are then placed in a holding area. The people in the holding area will take the next elevator up to the Astro Orbiter platform. Upon reaching the loading platform, you will have unique views of the Magic Kingdom.

Getting to Tomorrowland's Astro Orbiter in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Getting to Tomorrowland's Astro Orbiter.

The main fascination for riding the Astro Orbiter on this trip was to do some slow shutter speeds while piloting one of the rocket ships. It is not that easy but I managed to get this one out of all the photos I took which came out.

Riding the Astro Orbiter in Tomorrowland at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Long exposure photo of the Astro Orbiter from the Pilot Seat.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/10s, f/22, ISO 200, EV 0, 24mm focal length.

Remember, motion photography is a high risk, high reward kind of photography. I felt very rewarded with the last photo. Until next time Space Rangers...To Infinity and Beyond!

June 29, 2014

Where in the World #338

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!

Sandie Albrecht, thanks for asking! But I'm not one of the bloggers here so I don't have one for the trip. :) I will say I saw a whole new side because I traveled with a ECV scooter and couldn't walk.

Last week's challenge: number #337
Where in the World #337

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

It's me in front of City Hall in the Magic Kingdom with a message for all of you! (You can also see my Pal Mickey, Glow with the Show ears, and my new Sven. Because Disney stuff is cool.) If you want to see it larger, you can click on the image above.

Kristi Strembicki was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Kristi and to all our winners this week! Andrew Carrieri, Jim &Lorie Sonnen, Carol Ney, Linda Ranatza, The Gunnels Family, Ed Suscreba, Virginia Pierce, Ed Elder, Mike Amor, Melissa Such, Mary Beth Tarbet, Ashley Cohen, Sandie Albrecht, Dianne Mcginty, Nan Amor, Rob Blundin, Scott, Axel Beer, Jennifer Rowell, Lee Anastasi, Patricia J. Carty, Bill Mckim, Michele Johnson, Lyn Johnson, Jennifer Bliss , Judy Simonsen, The Emich Family, Deb Ragno, Christina Trigiani, Paul Knott, Andrea Kruszewski, Tricia Petty, Jen Tremley, Lynette Michalos, Eric Johnson, Robert Hildebrandt, Maryann Eckenrode, Kenny, Donna Begley, Mary Ann Lamay, Todd Johns, Pollyanna Buff, Rosemarie Novelo, Ed Hogan, Phyllis, Melissa Gundrum, Matt Wildey, Murr Family, Chris Kelly, Chloe Mayhew, Ellen Sullivan, Karen Schlumpf, Grumpy's Groupies, Donna Frank, Ed Adams, Christi Ison, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Christine Dagney, Caroline Steill, Carol Gamill, Kathryn Perkins, Mary Dieuliis, The Kahle Family , Jim Dewalt, Kirsten Miller, Tyler Otts, Scott Precise, The Long Family, Pam Lorenz, Karen Ramirez, Pam Lorenz, Brian Mcwithey, Ken Maikowski, K Beasley, Janet Carvalho, Kris Nixon, Megan Krainski, Pam Marsingill, Bill Cudney , Team Bonnie Sue, Janet T Thorn, Dan Angermaier, Double Family, Emily Hudson, Bryant And Ruben O'meara, Desiree Fremer, Desiree Fremer, Desiree Fremer, Hobbes And Snorky, Taylor K, Lori Rienhardt, Mickey Eckert, Robert Wescovich, Kerri Coggins, Maureen Handy, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Leach Family, Antoinette Leblanc, Jim Finley, Donna Currier, Bruce Hinterleitner, Chris Spark, Melanie Kolacy, Daniel Record, Gail States, Jen Cerce, Kim Howe, Claire Gregory, Barbara Remele, Linda Scrivano, Les Stewart, Penny, Jim Curley, Jim Curley, Vera And Izzy Williams, Elaine Kleinhenz, Evald Olson, Mike Haeberle, Scott Merrill, Jen Eacret , Tim Johansen, Russ Morgan, Heather Sabatino, Laurie Walker, Stefanie Vest, Chris Joyce, Wendy Cohen, Sara Holloway, Luis Rodriguez, Jeff Blank, Rob Hepler, Bruce Lawson, Cheryl Chambers, Eric Enli, Tom, Natasha Gareau , Linda College, Carri Marotto, Bethany Boucher, Carla C, Karen Spreitzer, Caroline Burmester, Tricia Noble, Tom Hermes, Michelle Darabaris, Karrie Duffey, Wayne Witherspoon, Herb Miller, The Parker Family, Kate Fischer, Lisa Zitek, Dave Carriere, Diane Ramos, Maryann Romagnano, Jeremy Reichelt, Erin Hammer, Theresa Rucando, Anastasia Macneil, Terry Blair, Diana Grady, Alan Mize, Betsy Silvestri, Chad Adams, Fran Rendulic, Matt Holley, Cathy Fleming, Deborah Wolfe, Amy P, Mike Venere, Ron Harper, Chuck Sands, Arlene Vicek, Gina Smith, Brian Grabowski, Kevin Parmeland, Tom Swan, Nathan York, Tommy Montgomery, Terry Fleming, Robert P. Flaherty, Scott Cullen, Michelle , Craig, Julia Marsh, Joseph M. Zafia, Joseph M. Zafia, Sheila Bagg, Haylee Smolek, Kyle Burdo, Linda Grau, Kerrie Hogan, Barclay Bakkum, Les Whitten, Mark Proper, Dennis Blackburn, Smitty, Frank &Sharon, Hillary Waldroop, Erin Loring, Tonya Neill, Gabriella Rizzo, Ann Dunnington, Danielle Harsley And Agnes Ciotti, Susan Higginbotham, Christy Schor, Cheryl Costello, Leigh Mertz, Team Hill, Theresa Maradei, Vicki Britt, Heidi Goodhue, Fred Shakeshaft, Carrie R, Margie Larmon, Ronald Delorey, Stacy Guarracino, Jane Johnson, and Darrell Shortt. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #338 Where in the world is this?

Still in the parks! (Yes, I know it's easy. No, it's not a trick. :) )
 Where in the World #338

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

June 27, 2014

Photographing Festival of Fantasy Parade - Part 2

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Last week, I photographed Disney's Festival of Fantasy Parade at the Magic Kingdom from the Main Street USA Train Station platform. I ended the article by saying how I itched to get down to street level. Today, I get to share with you why.

TIP: I photographed from the left side of Main Street USA as you look from the Magic Kingdom entrance towards Cinderella Castle. This is the side of the street which is shaded at the time of the parade. Meaning the Sun will be behind you and front lighting the people and floats in the parade. My exact location was on the corner outside the Emporium. Be prepared to find a location on the shaded side about 60 to 90 minutes before the parade starts. Keep in mind, the parade starts in Frontierland and takes about 30 minutes to get to the end of Main Street USA.

The costumes worn by the dancers and entertainers before each float are very colorful and the choreography fitting each float's theme. The first dancers in the parade proceed The Princess Garden float in their ball gowns and princely garb. The entertainers keep smiling through the heat of an Orlando afternoon.

Dancing couple preceeding the Princess Garden float in the Festival of Fantasy parade at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Dancing couple preceeding the Princess Garden float in the Festival of Fantasy parade.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/320s, f/16, ISO 400, EV +0.3, 35mm focal length.

With The Princess Garden float being the shortest in the parade, the princesses and princes are at a good angle. The problem, the royals are on turnstiles which may not turn fast enough to see all of the characters as the float passes by. The photo of Tiana and Prince Naveen below was just as they came around and had started greeting guests on my side of the street. Elsa and Anna (which I got a photo of last week) never made it around for me to photograph.

Tiana and Prince Naveen on the Princess Garden float in the Festival of Fantasy parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Tiana and Prince Naveen on the Princess Garden float in the Festival of Fantasy parade.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/320s, f/14, ISO 400, EV +0.3, 85mm focal length.

By far the most outlandish costumes of the Festival of Fantasy parade were on the dancers before The Little Mermaid float. The dancer in the shell below did manage to shine through with that huge smile and sparkling eyes.

Colorful dancer preceding The Little Mermaid float in the Festival of Fantasy parade at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Colorful dancer preceding The Little Mermaid float in the Festival of Fantasy parade.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/320s, f/20, ISO 400, EV +0.3, 75mm focal length.

The Little Mermaid float presents a photography challenge. Ariel is very high above you when shooting at street level and Flounder "swims" over her head. Shooting up at Ariel, be patient for her to be looking in the camera's direction and Flounder is in good position.

Ariel and Flounder on The Little Mermaid float in the Festival of Fantasy parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Ariel and Flounder on The Little Mermaid float in the Festival of Fantasy parade.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/320s, f/16, ISO 400, EV +0.3, 66mm focal length.

The Peter Pan float is the tallest but hanging below the rainbow is the Jolly Roger's anchor with Captain Hook hanging on in spit of Peter Pan and Wendy high above him on the deck of his ship.

Captain Hook below the Peter Pan float in the Festival of Fantasy parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Captain Hook below the Peter Pan float in the Festival of Fantasy parade.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/320s, f/16, ISO 400, EV +0.3, 38mm focal length.

I felt Prince Phillip was walking very confidently, maybe even a bit cocky, in front of the Sleeping Beauty float. I think I would have been more leery.

Prince Phillip walks confidently before the Sleeping Beauty float in the Festival of Fantasy parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Prince Phillip walks confidently before the Sleeping Beauty float in the Festival of Fantasy parade.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/320s, f/11, ISO 400, EV +0.3, 100mm focal length.

I mean right behind him was Maleficent in Dragon form. Another way to get the tall floats to fit in your camera's frame is to use a wide angle lens and photograph them before they get to your location. Oh, and wait for Maleficent to stretch her neck and head upwards as that is when she breaths fire.

Maleficent Dragon breathing fire on Main Street USA in the Festival of Fantasy parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Maleficent Dragon breathing fire on Main Street USA in the Festival of Fantasy parade.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/320s, f/16, ISO 400, EV +0.3, 24mm focal length.

Before Mickey's Airship float caps off the Festival of Fantasy parade, the long Finale float comes by lead off with Pinocchio riding on top of a toy Monstro whale. Again, a wide angle lens comes in handy here.

Pinocchio sits on a toy Monstro whale in the finale float in the Festival of Fantasy parade at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Pinocchio sits on a toy Monstro whale in the finale float in the Festival of Fantasy parade.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/320s, f/18, ISO 400, EV +0.3, 24mm focal length.

The Festival of Fantasy parade has so much more to see and photograph then what I have shown in the last two articles. It will take more than one viewing to see it all and from different locations along its route. There is a FastPass+ viewing location in the Hub, too.

June 20, 2014

Photographing Festival of Fantasy Parade - Part 1

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When photographs of Disney's Festival of Fantasy Parade at the Magic Kingdom first started to appear, I knew I would be photographing it from a couple of different locations. Each float in the parade is tall. In fact, they are the tallest floats I have ever seen come down Main Street USA. The floats are accompanied by dancers and characters which proceed them. Thus, you have interesting subjects up high and below.

Next week I will show you the Street level photos. For this week, I photographed from the Main Street USA Train Station Platform above the parade route. Plan on getting to the platform, at least, an hour before the parade to find a position. I suggest favoring the side towards Town Square Theater for a clear view of the floats as they come around the square. All the photos below were taken from that vantage point.

The first float features a few Disney Princesses and their Princes. The Princess Garden float has Belle in her summer evening dress with the Beast in front. Cinderella and Prince Charming revolve around to greet guests on both sides of the parade route. Tiana and Prince Naveen from the Princess and the Frog and Princess Anna and Queen Elsa from Frozen share another turntable. Music from all four movies is played when this float goes by. Notice how long this float is.

The Princess Garden float in the Festival of Fantasy parade at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Princess Garden float in the Festival of Fantasy parade.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/160s, f/11, ISO 200, EV 0, 65mm focal length.

The Princess Garden float is more of your traditional sized float. Not as tall as the rest of the parade's floats. Photographing the characters meant looking down which is not always a very flattering angle but worked quite well from this location.

Princess Anna and Queen Elsa on the Princess Garden float in the Festival of Fantasy parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Princess Anna and Queen Elsa on the Princess Garden float in the Festival of Fantasy parade.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/200s, f/9, ISO 200, EV 0, 105mm focal length.

The Peter Pan float has got to be the tallest of the Festival of Fantasy floats. It is not as long as the Princess Garden float so I could rotate my camera for a portrait orientation to better get the entire float in the frame.

Peter Pan float in the Festival of Fantasy parade at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Peter Pan float in the Festival of Fantasy parade.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/320s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 50mm focal length.

Here is the other reason for photographing the Festival of Fantasy parade from the train station platform. You are level with the characters who are at the top of the floats. Peter Pan and Wendy were about level with my camera lens. I did not have to zoom too much either as the floats come very close to the train platform which allowed me to include Cinderella Castle in the background.

Wendy and Peter Pan wave from the deck of the Jolly Roger in the Festival of Fantasy parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Wendy and Peter Pan wave from the deck of the Jolly Roger in the Festival of Fantasy parade.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/320s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 38mm focal length.

For me, the highlight of the Festival of Fantasy parade is the steampunk inspired Maleficent Dragon of the Sleeping Beauty float. This float measures 53 feet (16m) in length and 26 feet (8m) tall when the dragon is breathing fire.

Sleeping Beauty float in the Festival of Fantasy parade at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Sleeping Beauty float in the Festival of Fantasy parade.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 50mm focal length.

It is silly to think of how excited I was to get face to face with such a beast. I could feel the heat from the dragon's breath I was so close as it passed by the train station platform.

Maleficent Dragon breathing fire in the Festival of Fantasy parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Maleficent Dragon breathing fire in the Festival of Fantasy parade.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/500s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 82mm focal length.

Mickey's Airship float caps off the Festival of Fantasy parade. Bright colors with both Mickey and Minnie Mouse waving to everyone from the gondola of the lighter-than-air craft weighed down by the dancing, pink hippos from Fantasia.

Mickey's Airship in the Festival of Fantasy parade at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mickey's Airship in the Festival of Fantasy parade.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/400s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 65mm focal length.

I really enjoyed photographing the Festival of Fantasy parade from the Main Street USA Train Station platform. I still itched to get down to street level for all the dancers. I satisfied the itch later in the trip which I will share with you next week.

June 14, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Hall of Presidents

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The latest version of the Hall of Presidents located in Liberty Square is my favorite. The story and the fact every President on stage moves and acknowledges when they are introduced is very impressive to my tech and patriotic sides. For those who might think this is a waste of time or a nice air conditioned place to take a short nap, here are the Top 10 Reasons to Visit the Hall of Presidents.

In previous posts, I shared with you the lobby where you wait before entering the theater and the photo of all the Presidents on stage using a wide-angle lens. Today, I show you the Hall of President's exterior from the point of view of the replica Liberty Bell displayed across the street.

Hall of Presidents behind the Liberty Bell in Magic Kingdom's Liberty Square, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Hall of Presidents behind the Liberty Bell in Libery Square.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 320, EV 0, 24mm focal length.

Lisa will be here on Thursday to share her patriotic colors for the Disney Pic of the Week on the Hall of Presidents.

June 6, 2014

Nikon 24-120mm f/4 VR at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

If you have followed Photographic Innoventions long enough, you would know I am a big fan of Super Zoom Lenses. For a cropped sensor camera, the 18-200mm and 18-300mm are the ranges used. For a full frame sensor camera, the 28-300mm is the range. All are image stabilized (IS for Canon, VR for Nikon and a host of other letters depending on your camera or lens manufacturer) and have variable apertures to keep both the weight and costs down.

Over the last couple of years, I have had a need for another type of zoom lens. This one is not as large a range but has a fixed aperture throughout the zoom range. The Super Zooms start out at f/3.5 at the short end and end up being f/5.6 or f/6.3 at the long end when shooting wide open. For a fixed aperture zoom, it will keep the same wide open aperture from the short to the long end. The Nikon 24-120mm f/4 VR lens is one such lens and I used it on my last trip to Walt Disney World.

To give you an idea of the range of this lens, I stood in the middle of Main Street USA and took a short (24mm) and a long (120mm) photo from the exact same position (see below) of Cinderella Castle. I did no cropping or straightening to the photos. Both taken with identical exposures except for the zoom setting.

Cinderella Castle from Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cinderella Castle from Main Street USA using a Nikon 24-120mm VR f/4 Lens.

Unlike the Super Zooms which only go as wide as 28mm (18mm cropped), the extra amount of angle at 24mm gives a real wide angle look. The 120mm is a very workable zoom at a Disney park. The Nikon 24-120 f/4 VR lens worked outstandingly for the Festival of Fantasy parade in the Magic Kingdom. At street level I was able to get the large floats in the frame at 24mm and zoom in for the characters on the floats and street.

Festival of Fantasy parade on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Festival of Fantasy parade on Main Street USA using a Nikon 24-120mm VR f/4 Lens.

Image stabilization (IS) or vibration reduction (VR) comes in handy when you are photographing from a moving vehicle or as day fades into night. The VR for the Nikon 24-120mm f/4 lens is excellent. I could hand hold down to 1/15th of a second easily. I could use even slower shutter speeds with the Da Grip Technique. Don't know about Da Grip? Click Here, you will be glad you did.

Friendship boat docking at Disney's Boardwalk Resort, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Friendship boat docking at Disney's Boardwalk Resort.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/11, ISO 360, EV 0, 105mm focal length, polarizer filter.

As a travel lens, I found the Nikon 24-120mm f/4 VR lens more than capable. The only time I missed my Super Zoom lens was on the Kilimanjaro Safari in Disney's Animal Kingdom. I still feel you need, at least, a 200mm lens to get good, frame filling results on the safari.

May 22, 2014

Riding the Liberty Belle Riverboat in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Need a ride the whole family can enjoy in the Magic Kingdom? One which is in a boat on water perhaps? No, not that one! I am talking about the Liberty Belle Riverboat in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom. When operating, the Liberty Belle takes guests on a 17 minute journey down the Rivers of America and around Frontierland's Tom Sawyer Island.

Liberty Belle Riverboat cruising the Rivers of America in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Liberty Belle Riverboat cruising the Rivers of America.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 900, EV 0, 86mm focal length, polarizer filter.

The Liberty Belle leaves the Liberty Boat Landing at the top and bottom of the each hour. Once underway, guests are treated to a slow cruise with views of Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and other interesting sights along the river.

Splash Mountain photographed from the Liberty Belle Riverboat in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Splash Mountain from the Liberty Belle Riverboat.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 800, EV 0, 78mm focal length, polarizer filter.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad photographed from the Liberty Belle in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad from the Liberty Belle Riverboat.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 720, EV 0, 38mm focal length, polarizer filter.

As you round the bend from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, you will see Alligator Swamp, Elk, Moose, an Indian village and people roaming around Tom Sawyer Island.

Alligator Swamp photographed from the Liberty Belle in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Alligator Swamp on the Rivers of America.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV 0, 48mm focal length, polarizer filter.

As you come to end of your Riverboat journey, you will pass the Haunted Mansion and return back to Liberty Boat Landing to continue your magical day in the Magic Kingdom well rested.

Approaching Liberty Boat Landing on the Liberty Belle in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Approaching Liberty Boat Landing on the Liberty Belle.
Nikon D700/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 560, EV 0, 24mm focal length, polarizer filter.

The Liberty Belle captain will blow her horn as she approaches Liberty Boat Landing. If you wait for the Liberty Belle between the Landing and the Haunted Mansion entrance, you can get photos of the steam from the horn and engines with a natural looking background (see photo at start of article).

May 11, 2014

Where in the World #331

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!

Does anyone else see the name of this game and think of the "Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?" theme song? No, just me? Ok.
Carmen Sandiego World

Now for Challenge #330:
Where in the World #330

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

The Beast's Castle in New Fantasyland! Of course it sits atop of the "Be Our Guest" restaurant. I took this one from Belle's Cottage.

We could sing "Be Our Guest" but I still have Carmen Sandiego in my head. Oh what the heck!
Be our guest! Be our guest!
Put our service to the test
Tie your napkin 'round your neck, cherie
And we'll provide the rest
Soup du jour
Hot hors d'oeuvres
Why, we only live to serve
Try the grey stuff
It's delicious!

By the way, the gray stuff really is delicious.

(Where is Carmen Sandiego? Carmen Sandiego, Where on Earth can she be?) I couldn't help it.

Ed Elder was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Ed and to all our winners this week! Kristi Strembicki, Donnafrank, Phil Vickers, Lee Anastasi, Elizabeth And Dan Johnston, Andrew Carrieri, Bill Mckim, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, Kenny, Kye Layton, Virginia Pierce, Jennifer Tremley, Colette Stanton, Pat Schwier, Scott Precise, Jenny Brennan, Amber Penske, Carol Lyons, Tina Powell, Lindsay Coram, Judy Simonsen, Sandie Albrecht, Lindsay Palmer, Kris Nixon, Deb Ragno, Sean Mobley, Eric Johnson, Paula Massarelli, Weaselmouse, Lorine Landon, Haylee Smolek, Paul Moore, Duskin Henard, Herb Miller, Theresa Rucando, Annie Snodgrass, Jim &Lorie Sonnen, Dee Dee Kenney, Claire Gregory, Carolyn Hashimoto , Patti Gumiela, K Beasley, Jennifer Snook, Betsy Silvestri, Jeremy Hardy, Ken Clark, Tom Koval, John Stella, Katie Bray, Carla C, Craig, Team Hill, Paul Dickson, Gail States, Bryant And Ruben O'meara, Sophia, Christina, Erica, Scott Cullen, Belicia Cullen, Chris Kelly, Julie Wickware, Karen Ramirez, Kerri Coggins, Nan Amor, Emily Hudson, Shelby Watson, Carolyn Como, Heather Pedulla, Maryann Romagnano, Theresa Maradei, Sarah And Chris, Brian Grabowski, Michele Mongeon, Dana, Hunter Armstrong, Ron Harper, Schuyler Etheridge, Patrick Broaddus, Chris Bauman, Scott Sangston, Matt Holley, John Sheridan, Lynda Abiuso, Erin Connell, Karen Bellamy, Matthew Jadro, George Mundy Jr, Rebecca Keenan, Vicki Shearman, Jeffrey Beauchamp, Dave Carriere, Kelly Smith, Anastasia Macneil, Randy Thomas, Brian Mcwithey, Mickey Eckert, Murr Family, Rob Blundin, Eric Enli, Lindsey Nozal, Kerry Mccaffrey, Vicki Britt, Melody Odonnell, Reagan, Kerry A., Scott Greenbaum, Maggie Klotz, Les Stewart, Janet T Thorn, Hillary Waldroop, Megan Hayes, Morgan M., David Ballard, Grumpy's Groupies, Melissa Such, and Patti Mccaffrey. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #331 Where in the world is this?

We are going outside the parks for this challenge:
 Where in the World #331

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

April 6, 2014

Where in the World #326

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!

Jennifer R. and Kristi S: you worked in Tomorrowland?!
From Millan.Net

Josh Carney, have a magical trip! Thank you so much for offering to pick up something! I love Oswald, so anything with him would be great.
Disney Oswald

Christi Ison, thank you for your lovely note! Guess what? I had a typing class too! My high school insisted everyone take it because we'd need it one way or the other. They proved all the nay sayers wrong!

Now for Challenge #325:
Where in the World #325

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

The entrance to Tomorrowland from the Magic Kingdom hub! Yes, this was easy but look at my pretty picture! I took this from the PeopleMover, Players! You can click on it for a larger size if you want.

Wow, Karen Schlumpf, Lynette Michalos, Timmy Saunders, Jim Thompson, and Cheryl Costello! You nailed it! Brian Mcwithey, thank you for the PeopleMover quote! I've been trying to get that "Calling Tom Morrow, calling Tom Morrow. Your party from Saturn has arrived. Please give them a ring." as clean as possible for my husband's ring tone. But I always get too much track noise. Sigh.

Thank you to everyone for their compliments on the photo. :)

Curtis Bille, you have a gift for Disney comedy, my friend! ;)

Deb Ragno, Team Hill says the technical name for this is "the entrance archway thingamagig". Maureen Handy says it's also known as "the deelymabobber thingamajig". So you can stop searching now. :)

Michelle Norris were the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Michelle and to all our winners this week! Kristi Strembicki, Eric Berger, Tricia Petty , Donna Frank, Virginia Pierce, The Kertes Family, Elaine Kleinhenz, Craig, Sandie Albrecht, Jennifer Rowell, Mary Beth Tarbet, Scott Greenbaum, Susie Howard, Sharon Pierce, Dee Dee Kenney, Betsy Silvestri, Judy Simonsen, Theresa Ruando, Andrea Kruszewski, Nan Amor, Ed Suscreba, Laura Labadie, Kevin Koszola , Kristina Rohrbach, Mike Pinkosky, Reynic Compton, Hillary Waldroop, Sarah Francis, Jen Cerce, Joyce Thiam , Rebecca Yaccarino, Dawn Pitnerdavis, Rachel Johnson, Vera And Izzy Williams, The Fosbender's, Linda Scrivano, Jayson Novak, Tinkerbell Wells, Jen Tremley, Paul Knott, Patty Norman, Eric Johnson, Crystal King, Jodi Cook, Team Hill, Mike Malampy, Rob Hepler, Bill Mckim, Duskin Henard, Chris Kelly, Amiee Augustine, Matt Holley, Emily Hudson, Dawn Miller, Robin Robinson, Mike Haeberle, Kathy N Brooke, Ken Daube, The Tisdale Family, Kevin Miller, Audra Miller, Melanie Dalton, Curtis Bille, Bruce Hinterleitner, Kye Layton, Jodi Lupp, Pat Schwier, Deb Ragno, Kris Nixon, Jim Finley, Kirsten Miller, Karen Schlumpf, Belicia Cullen, Zoe Cullen, Jennifer Page, Scott Cullen, Melissa Such, Kelly Sroka, Carolyn Como, Mary Ann Eckenrode, Amanda Campbell, Mike Haven, Lindsay Coram, Rebekah Johnson, Amy Pultrone, Janet T Thorn, Lorine Landon, Phyllis, Bobbie Mills, Vicki Britt, Donna Begley, Jeremy Hardy, K Beasley, Jim Logue, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Bob Ruer, Cheryl Costello, Patti Gumiela, The Parker Family, Paul Moore, Dennis O'reilly, Michele Smith, Morgan M., Megan Krainski, Pam Vanaustin, Ed Hogan, Kim Hamilton, Carla Coulter, Chris Nichols, Shari Prater, Charles S Alexander , Erin Connell, Maureen Handy, Dave Freemyer, Kerry A., Charlene Stauch, Jennifer Harmon, Carla C, Nicolle Clement, Patty Carty, Bonnie Cummings, Juliet O'hare, Mike Mondoux, Vickie Scioneaux, Jamie Tauer, Jenny Stoneburner, Mickey Eckert, Pecosace, Rob Blundin, Meghan Gleason-vollmer, Les Stewart, Claire Gregory , Jim Nitschke, Roxanne Kliebert, Michael Amor, Chloe Mayhew, Christopher Thacker, Christi Ison, Diane Furtado, Josh Weiss, Gerald Skanes, Paul Dickson, Lynette Michalos, Daniel Record, Michele Zowacki, The Kahle Family, Melody Odonnell, Team Bonnie Sue, Kerri Coggins, Tyler Otts, Wayne Chadourne, Sara Holloway, Sarah And Chris, Brian Gallant, Shannon Murray, Kevin Parmeland, Christopher Hall, Kate Fischer, Ron Harper, Will, Holmes Family, Tracy Kuhnemann, Schuyler Etheridge, Gail States, Patrick Broaddus, Terry Fleming, Debra Moscara, Maryann Romagnano, Karen Costa, Eric Enli, John Snider, Desiree Fremer, Smitty, Dave Carriere, Brian Mcwithey, Jan Rosato, Grumpy's Groupies, Kelly Smith, Heidi Goodhue, Jim Thompson, Mike O'brien, John Sheridan, Timmy Saunders, Theresa Maradei, Luis Rodriguez, Jeff Blank, Chris Bauman, Amber Slifer, Karen Bellamy, Michelle Palazzo, Patti Mccaffrey, Steve Knapp, George Mundly Jr, Team Meeker, Linda Palencar, Jane Johnson, Barclay Bakkum, Wayne Witherspoon, Josh Carney, Olszak Family, Thomas Higbee, Victoria Finnegan, Jennifer Townsend, Joann Albrecht, Gallagher Family, Shirley Garcowski, Margie Larmon, Ken Rhinehart, Stacy Guarracino, and Annie Snodgrass Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

In fact, it's time for the monthly drawing! And the winner is:
Vickie Scioneaux! Congratulations, Vickie! You'll be getting a prize from Deb Wills!
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Challenge #326 Where in the world is this?

Different park, Players!
 Where in the World #326

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, April 10th, 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 4, 2014

Wishes over New Fantasyland

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Wishes fireworks go off over New Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Wishes fireworks go off over New Fantasyland.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 5.9s, f/16, ISO 400, EV 0, 28mm focal length, tripod.

The opening of the New Fantasyland expanision in the Fall of 2013 added new locations to photograph Wishes, the nightly fireworks show, from in the Magic Kingdom. A new favorite composition of Disney photographers is placing the Ariel statue near the entrance to The Little Mermaid -- Ariel's Undersea Adventure at the bottom of the frame as fireworks burst overhead. The statue is lighted and works very well.

For more ideas, search flickr to see all the interesting locations our fellow Disney fan photographers have found throughout the Magic Kingdom to photography Wishes from.

April 3, 2014

All Aboard Peter Pan's Flight

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Guests getting on Pirate ships for a ride on Peter Pan's Flight in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Guests getting on Pirate ships for a ride on Peter Pan's Flight.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/50s, f/3.5, ISO 1600, EV +0.3, 18mm focal length.

While today's dSLR cameras can capture photos inside Peter Pan's Flight in the Magic Kingdom, back when I had a Nikon D70, photographing the loading area was about the best I could hope for.

I remember for years bypassing this attraction thinking it was like a carnival's funhouse ride. When my daughters where young and this was one of the few rides they could go on, I finally got to try it. Imagine my surprise at the wonderful imagery and smooth ride technology. A must-do for anyone.

For the Disney Pic of the Week on Peter Pan's Flight.

February 23, 2014

Where in the World #320

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 for the anniversary wishes. :)

Tom Buck, thank you for sending warmer weather from Walt Disney World! Mike Venere and I are not like Queen Elsa; we can't say "The cold never bothered me anyway."
From Millan.Net

From last week: Challenge #319:
Where in the World #319

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

It's the Barnstormer in the Magic Kingdom! I love this ride and always have! Previously, The Barnstormer at Goofy's Wiseacre Farm and now it's The Barnstormer featuring the Great Goofini. Anyone who has ridden it knows one very important thing: brace yourself for the brakes at the end. ;)

This is a lot of people's first rollercoaster, grownups and kids, while in the Fishman Family, it's a great place to petrify a kid. Awesome. :) My big brother did that to me with the Haunted Mansion. I go in but I still hide behind my husband until we're reach Madame Liotta. ;)

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, Leigh Mertz, Murr Family, Kris Nixon, The Kahle Family, Emily Hudson, Donnafrank, Sharon Pierce, Renee, Olszak Family, Linda K Ranatza, Bill Mckim, Carol Ney, Rob Blundin, Lauren Blundin, Tricia Petty, Mary Beth Tarbet, Dee Dee Kenney, Melissa Such, Ed Elder, Jack Lynch, Angie Blair, Scott Greenbaum, Stu Horowitz, Joe Derecola, Erick Jauregui, Sheryl Hicks, Gallagher Family, Mickey Eckert, Nicki Seay, T. J., Leigh, Teddy And Carleigh Moos, Tracy Ludwig, Joy Laughlin, Ken Daube, Jen Eacret, Kathleen Bast, Michele Schlenker, Dave Freemyer, Kerri Coggins, Amber Slifer, Kristy Creeden , Carly &Colin, Andy Hickey, Chasady Mirkes, Annie Keane, Tinkerbellwells, Michelle Palazzo, Susan Hewell, Candice Grimes, Sarah Francis, Cindy Shatzel, Sherry L Dougherty, Gail Reller, Scott Precise, Matthew Jadro, Anjanette Tournillon, Lauren Thomas, Taylor, Nicki Joseph, Carla C, Liz Mckinnell, Michelle Darabaris, Virginia Pierce, Jeff Schoeling, Amber P, Deb Gallo, Deb Ragno, Jason L, Beth Mcmeekin, Andrew Schneider, Christie Linard, Stuart Savage, Jonathan Thomas, Anne H., Theresa Rucando, Christa Loss, Elaine Kleinhenz, The Frisbee Family, Amy Hayes, Lee Anastasi, Krista Serpi, Erin Hammer, Mike O'brien, Michele Smith, Kris Blamphin , Stefanie Hendley, Mark Avis, The Tisdale Family, Stephanie Peterson, Sand Family, Janice Enli, Vanessa Gordon, Kathy Morris, Patty Carty, Sandie Albrecht, Gina Smith, Carolyn Como, Dawn Miller, Sarah Goulding, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Jim Finley, Leanne Seeman, Paul Dickson, Tara Williams, David Hahner, Kathryn Perkins, Matthews Family , Team Hill, Steve Morin, Alex Popek, Clay Anthony, Patti Gumiela, The Chamberlain Family, The Kertes Family, Morag Lemon, Mark Schaefer, Al Ganter, Linda Scrivano, Lorine Landon, Belicia Cullen, Jennifer Harmon, Scott Cullen, Amiee Augustine, Tina G., Gerald Skanes, Lauren Holcomb, Steph Isham, Rebecca Smith, Chris Kelly, The Williamson Fanily, Amy B, Cindy Pink, Jodi Lupp, Brandie Baughman, Sharynne Smith, Jodi Lupp, Bill Schmid , Teala Van De Ven, Paul Robuck, Joseline Hernandez, The Fosbender's, Suzanne Baker, Laurie Murray, Jason And Melinda Lenz, John Baker, Andrea Kruszewski, Pat Schwier, Ken Jackson, Meredith Wall, Wendy Bedard, Lisa, Josh Weiss, Shawn, Paul Knott, Liz S., Ryan Mccorristin, Peg Readinger, Eric Enli, Laura V. , Trina Noggle, Dave And Liz Fullerton, Andrew Carrieri, Terry Blair, Lindsay Koren, Patty Newton, Robert Hildebrandt, Susie Howard, Blunk Family, Diane Emberton, Kathleen Glovna, Tina Gottron, The Gunnels Family, Michele Mongeon, Meghan Gleason-vollmer, Annie Niece, Louise Barton, Brian Miller, Ed Mahoney, Weaselmouse, Dawn Fiege, Paul Moore, Bruce Hinterleitner, Trisha Johnson, Lisa Zitek, Paul Silagyi, Roger Vollmer, Mary Kay Samluk, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Torrey Beasley, Ashley Tomlinson, Nathaniel Clements, Janet T Thorn, Tracy Discher, Linda College, Ruben Omeara, Doug Kopp, Judy Simonsen, Stefanie Vandiver, Jim &Lorie Sonnen, Shari Prater, Vera Dercole, Allison Forson, Angela Beaulieu, Jill, Tommy Montgomery, Chloe Mayhew, Sisk Family, Maureen Handy, Julie And Kody Rider, Suzanne Deffendall, Suzanne Caris, Demetrios Makres, Kelly Deleon, Tessa Flanagan, Kevin Zieger, Pete Dragstrem, Karen Marsich, Ken Clark, Tim Keenan, Karla, Karen Adamakis, Beth Beecy, Julia Wickware, Vicki Britt, Chuck Sands, Darlene Haven, Barbara Ajak , Jason Skow, Pam Vanaustin, Christine Dagney, Erin Dagney, Phil Vickers, Malampy Family, Amy Urton, Diane Curfman, Clayton Dymond, Amanda Campbell, Linda Lundsten, Karla Lefan, Karla Lefan, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Tyler Otts, Chris Thacker, Richard Tyre, Morgan M., Hobbes And Snorky, Kevin Scott, Karen Schlumpf, Gina Perrone, Hunter Armstrong, Betsy Silvestri, Gail States, Kerri Kobylka , Ally Faber, Doug Olson Family, Dawn Bach, Bryan Kruse, Nicole Amidon, Mark A. Santora, Maryann Eckenrode, Christi Ison, Tammi Trout, Kenny, Daniel Record, The Parker Family, Yvonne Marchione, Diane Butler, Matt Wildey, Sarah Orman, Chris Nichols, Fishman Family, Bruce Nash, Paige Angermaier, Lindsay Coram, Pollyanna Buff, Les Stewart, Cindy Wilhite, Megan Krainski, Sara Holloway, Kathy Sinniger, Kirsten Miller, Jen Cerce, Michelle B. , Erin Connell, Heather Pedulla, Emily Esker, Craig, Wayne Beck, Jim Nitschke, Brad Magaha, Chris Thomas, Larry Sprenkle, Jeff Blank, Tom Buck, Karen Ramirez, Brenda, Wayne Chadourne, Sarah And Chris, Caitlin Lewis, The Reichl Family, Robert Wescovich, Karen Costa, Brian Mcwithey, Shannon Murray, Duskin Henard, Dallas Hamilton, Karen Davis, Brenda H, Bonnie Tulenko, Sean Diven, Jeremy Reichelt, Dawn Simpson, Chris Bauman, Kelly Smith, Melody Odonnell, Annie Snodgrass, Kate Fischer, Rebecca Keenan, Robin Fitts, Shelly Borella, Mike Haven, Caryn Schill, Jenn Steele, Terry Fleming, Ryan Dimeo , The Patterson Family, Karrie Duffey, Michael Dale Pennington, Vicki Vaught, Karen Spreitzer, Wayne Witherspoon, Regina Allen, Barclay Bakkum, Josh Carney, Kathy Huckabee, Mike Venere, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Melodye Berry, Team Meeker, Anastasia Macneil, Russ Morgan, Wendy Snelgrove, Bonnie , Gail Geiser, Karen Bellamy, Nathan York, Jen Tremley, Nan Amor, Ashley Collins, Les Whitten, Tim Johansen, Mark Proper, Herb Miller, Kara Jones, Ron Harper, Matt Cofone, Danielle Murgia, Julie Harris, The Hulse Family, The Carrera Family, Shelby Watson, Susan Doucette, Cathy Connors, Allison Caputa, Diane Ramos, Ed Suscreba, Vicki Shearman, Amanda Kenney, Ashley P. , Carri Marotto, Kara Morton, The Holmes Family, Renee Hardiman, Smitty, Scott Sangsaton, Tricia Noble, Joseph M. Zafia, Luis Rodriguez, Jennifer Bogdan, Walter N. Clark, Kent Hustead, Jackie Graebel, Kim Hamilton, Maryann Daly, Melesia Love, Melissa Littman, Jean Bussell, Scott, Kelli Sangston, Robert P. Flaherty, Diane Furtado, Sonya A., Tom Higbee, Amy Scott, Alan Mize, Stacy Guarracino, Matthew Earl, Kirk Hardy, Hillary Waldroop, Mike Amor, Sabrina Kenney, Noah Schweizer (10 Years Old Now - ), Amy Fleming, Matt Holley, Eleanor Karwowski, Mark Franklin, Claire Gregory, Maggie Klotz, Agnes Ciotti, Cheryl Costello, Mike Haeberle, Davida, Mike Kaczanowski, Maryann Romagnnao, Amy Filliben, Kelly Reynolds, Patti Mccaffrey, Jane Johnson, Jackie Klafeta, Billie Jean Albolino, Scott Heffren, and Patrick Thomas. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #320 Where in the world is this?
We got Josh Carney's Carrot Cake Cookie (my husband get's one every trip) and Claire Gregory's cupcake before we left the Studios last week. I'm going to the eggroll cart before we leave Magic Kingdom for this week's challenge. Anybody else want something?

 Where in the World #320

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, February 27th, 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 14, 2014

Photographing the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel at Night

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Photographing in the Magic Kingdom at night is a lot of fun. Especially, late at night as the crowd thins out and photographers can set up their tripods almost anywhere. Which is exactly what I did in Fantasyland to photograph the Prince Charming Regal Carrousel. Did you know the carousel has 2,325 lights on it?

In my first photo, you might even be able to count some of them as the ride was stopped as guests exited and the next ones found one of the uniquely carved and decorated horses to ride. I used a long exposure of six seconds to get all the detail I could.

The Prince Charming Regal Carrousel in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
The Prince Charming Regal Carrousel in Fantasyland.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 6s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length, tripod.

The really fun part (at least for this photographer) is when the carousel starts to move again. Without having to change a thing on my camera, I took another six second exposure.

The Prince Charming Regal Carrousel in motion in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
The Prince Charming Regal Carrousel in motion.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 6s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length, tripod.

Now, you can see all the lights but you would be hard pressed to count any of them.

Click here for more information about using a tripod at night in Walt Disney World

February 9, 2014

Where in the World #318

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!

Wendy Barney, bon voyage on your Disney vacation! Yes, please tell the Mouse that I said:
From Millan.Net

Rob and April Vanderpool, where have you been?! Did you get depressed and stay away because of Cindy Pink bragging about her Disney Aulani vacation? (I told you this could happen, Cindy!!)

From last week: Challenge #317:
 Where in the World #317

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

Oh yeah, it's the adorable tiger in "it's a small world" in the Magic Kingdom!

Jennifer Rowell, I'm glad your husband was happy with this one. We aim to please here at AllEars! And, Angel Diven, could you bring your husband to the screen? Dave Carriere, Sara Holloway, get your sons too. Are they there? Good.

(OK, Players, all together now. We're taking it from the second verse:)
There is just one moon and one golden sun
And a smile means friendship to everyone.
Though the mountains divide
And the oceans are wide

It's a small small world!
its a small world after all
its a small world after all
its a small world after all
its a small, small world!

Dave Carriere, that's the best parenting ever!

Jim and Lorie Sonnen was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Jim & Lorie and all our winners this week! Kris Nixon, Karen Adamakis, Donna Fr5ank, Mark, Zach Murr, Hillary Waldroop, Bruce Jones, Jim and Lorie Sonnen, Carol Ney, Linda Ranatza, The Kahle Family , Carla Nale, The Kertes Family, Theresa Rucando, Stu Horowitz, Vanessa Stjohn, Sharon Pierce, Laura W, Rubem O'meara, Amber P, Catherine Wilson, Kevin Flynn, Emily Hudson, Stefanie Hendley, Dave Freemyer, Terri Rimorin, Adam , Melissa Such, Desiree Denker, Kristin Archibald, Heather Lester, Erick Jauregui, Valerie Nance, Dulcie Hayes, Jim Dickey, Jim Dickey, Sue, Michele Smith, Tricia Petty , Dave Cole, Sabrina Allen, Lynette Michalos, Hazel, The Kertes Family, Darlene Mann , Olszak Family, Mike Haven, Ashley P. , Laura V., Kim Kroll, Lauren Ricciardi, Gina Shaw, Paula Barnes, Daniel Meagher, Pat Schwier, Bill Mckim, Vilma, Kara Cummings, Amy Ehrlich, Karen Schlumpf, Michele Bitner, Amiee Augustine, Jaclynne, Colette Stanton, Jen Butler, Kathy Morris, Amanda, Vincent Acosta , Nicolle Clement, Melanie Kolacy, Sherry Everett, Amanda Campbell, Double Family, Monica Dailey, Pamela Vanaustin, Donna Begley, Phinon Woodside, Betsy Silvestri, Rich Westervelt, Erin Butcher , Ed Suscreba, Theresa Lucotti, Torrey Beasley, Ed Elder, Adam Lucas, Duskin Henard, Curtis Bille, John Mahoney, Gemma Cooke, Karen, Greg Welck, Kim Riley, Chasady Mirkes, Leigh Mertz, Lauren, Jen Cerce, Lauren Kelton, Heather Long, Dee Dee Kenney, Brooke Ivey, Tiffany Gibb, Patty Norman, The Gunnels Family, Linda Johnson, Scott O'donnell, Christine Huff, Liz Whitman, Tyler West, Angel Diven, Beth Smith, Kelsi, Beth Gandy, Paul Dickson, Stefanni Malczewski, Kathleen Glovna, Aimee Leblanc, Christina Trigiani, Mike Mondoux, Phyllis, Team Hill, Kenny, Marilyn Royce, Sarah Francis, Lori Pahl, Judy Simonsen, Kevin Scott, Jen Dawson, Jason Hocker, Rob Blundin, Annie Niece, Sharon Williams, Carol Lyons, Shannon Babin, Kathleen Rosenwinkel, Mary Beth Tarbet, The Frisbee Family, Trish Roam, Derek Carty, Patty Carty, Timberly Aymond, Robin Mcconnell, Paul Silagyi, Alex Gamill, Kelly Sroka, Chris Nichols, Brian Yesutis, Sheri, Wendy Barney, Jennifer Shoulders, Jennifer Rowell, Bruce Hinterleitner, Lee Anastasi, Mary Ann Lamay, Claire Gregory, Matt Petty, Pollyanna Buff, Beth Mcmeekin, Jodi Lupp, Tinkerbell Wells, andrea Kruszewski, Jeff Robertson, Barbie Tupua, Liz Mckinnell, Bob Ruer, Deb Ragno, Cosette Leonard, The Tisdale Family, Angela Breeden, Stephanie Campbell , The Tisdale Family, Charlie Oshust, Dawn Farganus, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Ken Jobin, Brian Gallant, Shari Prater, Dawn Miller, Belicia Cullen, Krista Serpi, Scott Cullen, Jen Eacret, Meghan Gleason-vollmer, Tina Santacroce, Lee Deroia , Nancy Bolton, Mike O'brien, Maryann Eckenrode, Chris Kelly, Michaela O'brien , Paul Scimeca, Les Stewart, Ashley Collins, Marsha Dostal, Robin Fitts, Jim Logue, Jason and Melinda Lenz, Laurie Walker, Michael Cooke, Will Gates, Lori Rienhardt, Elaine Kleinhenz, Donna Hassard, Cindy Pink, Nancy Jordan, Chloe Mayhew, Maureen Handy, K Beasley, Craig Livingston, Carla C, Peg Readinger, Gabriella, Terry and Matthieu, Tracey Horan, Jim Curley, Suzanne Baker, Vicki Christensen, Josette Gabel, Stefanie Vandiver, Michelle Darabaris, Susan Karberg, Matt Wildey, Doug Olson Family, Demetrios Makres, Phil Vickers, Shannon Richey, Jeremy Hardy, Janet T Thorn, Sharon Lee, Bill Schmid, Kathryn Perkins, Ellie Argaluza, Carolyn Como, Suzanne Denham, Gina Smith, Daniel Record, Ed Hogan, Kim Rogers, Louise Barton, Herb Miller, Brian Miller, Virginia Pierce, David Gould, Jennifer Harmon, Joyce Shipman, Delia Brown, Ellen Sullivan, Jim Finley, Eva Mayhew, Susan Higginbotham, Jonathan Thomas, Lauren Thomas, The Strukel Family, Tami Spoerl, Maggie Klotz, Jennifer Chartier, Al Ganter, Joe Lubaway, Bill Cudney , Kim Skanes, Art Hutchinson, Amy Hayes, Erin Hammer, Marie Vanacore, Cindy Wilhite, Leach Family, Deb Gallo, Nan Amor, Lindsay Koren, Kelly Partin, Hannah B., Smitty, Caryn Schill, Chris B, Diane Tredore, Gina Falzone, Barbara Ajak , Morgan M., Lynissa Newsome, Nicole Amidon, Stephanie Henry, Hobbes and Snorky, Helen Amer, Donna Currier, Chuck Sands, Quincy Delcolletti , Marshall Stevens, Robert Wescovich, Theresa Maradei, Jim Nitschke, The Parker Family, Glenn Chenier, Karen Costa, Michelle B. , Mary Wells, Gerald Skanes, Mary Lamothe, Mike Malampy, Bethany Angermaier, Karen Blunk, Bruce Nash, Paul Knott, Kerri Coggins, Tracey Mayfield, Diane Curfman, andy Hickey, Cheryl Chambers, Vera and Izzy Williams, Ruth Senecal, Ron Harper, Matthew Jadro, Linda Scrivano, Karen Hotchkiss, Linda Lundsten, andrew Swiatowicz, Sheryl Hicks, Mickey Eckert, Trishqa Johnson, Teala Van De Ven, Sandie Albrecht, Heather Pedulla, Tom Hermes, Mary Thatcher, Shelby Watson, Rob Hepler, Melissa Littman, Tim Johansen, Mike M., Josh Weiss, Hayley Valk, L Dean, Ken Savage, Russ Morgan, Wayne Chadourne, Cameron Lange, Jennifer Shaw, Susan Doucette, Linda College, Jodi Cook, Cathy Connors, Robert Hildebrandt, Kirk Hardy, andrew Pettit, Les Whitten, George Mundy Jr, Mike Gillardi, Mike Amor, Brenda H, Bonnie Tulenko, Jeremy Reichelt, Gail States, Christopher Hall, Davida, Patrick Broaddus, Gallagher Family, Tricia Noble, Rebecca Keenan, Chris Bauman, Chuck Everson, Elizabeth Scarborough, Sara Holloway, Karrie Duffey, Doug Reichl, Dena Lumpkin, Ken Jackson, John Pasqueralli, Kara Morton, Dayna Guay, Josh Carney, Schuyler Etheridge, Sonya, Sara Alaimo, andy Schumacher, Anastasia Macneil, Amy Filliben, Jan Rosato, Maja Kodani, Ryan Mcmahon, Team Meeker, Karen Bellamy, Billie Jean Albolino, Michelle Wilinski, Michelle Palazzo, Erika Loboda, Nathalie Periard, Michelle Kuijer, Erica Sipich, Melodi Clark, Terry Fleming, Kathryn Hughes, Mike T., Amber Slifer, Kevin Parmeland, The Patterson Family, Stephanie, Jillian D., Bonnie, Jacquelyn Law, Jenn Steele, Matt Holley, Rachel Hoover, Kameo Crea, Tyler Otts, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Lisa Dunn, Pam Lorenz, Scott Sangston, Michael Haeberle, Vicki Shearman, Vicki Edwards, Marty Martin, Luis Rodriguez, Lynne Schneider, Mike, Abby, and Valerie Hulse, Stephanie Mcnamee, Jessica Iglesias, Yvonne Marchione, Cheryl Costello, Sarah and Chris, Rita Henderson, Olga Vorontsova, Fran Rendulic, Kathy S, Tim Keenan, Paul Ignudo Jr, Paul Moore, Lorine Landon, Maryann Romagnano, Grumpy's Groupies, Alison Rosenberger, Mark Franklin, andrew Carrieri, Dave Carriere, Jolynn Digiallonardo, Dale Knight, Julia Marsh, Sarah H, Kelly and Sheila Barnes, Joseph Zafia, Jackie Graebel, Kristi Robert, Tom Buck , Tracy Discher, Vickie Scioneaux, Jo Ann Bailey, Stacy Lee, Suzette Frey, Lynn Lofton, Nikki Weller, Jane Johnson, Cary Burke, Cary Burke, Kristine Gallatin, Carol Donoghue, Shirley Garcowski, Al Sandal, Virginie Baus, Tom Higbee, Kyle Burdo, Barclay Bakkum, Angela Johnson, John Bickers, Lisa Zitek, Matthew Earl, Tommy Dibenedetto, Len Scott, Peggy Saeger, Wayne Witherspoon, David Ballard, Jennifer Bogdan, Ron Mattison, Chris, Gretchen, and Katie Barnes, Kirsten Miller, David B, Zandria Michaud, Dwayne Fontenot, Rob and April - Team Vanderpool, Vicki Britt, Debbie Hicks, Liz Weiter, Stacy Guarracino, Lynn Torre, and Kaitlyn Rezek.
Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #318 Where in the world is this?

I just heard a certain song (no, not "Small World" from above), so I HAD to use this attraction for the contest this week!
 Where in the World #318

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

January 31, 2014

Photographing Inside the Be Our Guest Restaurant

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Be Our Guest Restaurant located in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom is indeed magical. It is like stepping onto real world movie sets for a live version of Beauty and the Beast. Complete with the grey stuff and it is delicious.

For a photographer, the dining rooms are not the best lighted. They are dark in keeping with the ambiance of a restaurant. Our eyes see fine but our cameras need a little help. For me, that meant using a high ISO to increase the sensitivity of my camera's sensor to pick up the dim light and the use of Rear-sync flash (sometimes called second curtain) where the flash is fired at the end of the exposure. This helps to gather background details which using regular flash would make almost completely dark.

Ballroom diningroom inside the Be Our Guest restaurant in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Ballroom dining room inside the Be Our Guest restaurant.
Nikon D700/24-85G, 1/50s, f/8, ISO 6400, EV 0, 24mm focal length, rear sync flash.

This is where rear-sync flash comes in particularly handy. Photographing people in a darkened environment like the Be Our Guest dining rooms, it properly exposes them while still showing the beautiful Ballroom dining room in the background.

Guests inside the Be Our Guest restaurant in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Guests inside the Be Our Guest restaurant.
Nikon D700/24-85G, 1/50s, f/8, ISO 5600, EV 0, 24mm focal length, rear sync flash.

No flash needed here as there was enough light on a rainy day to give nice moody and naturally vignetted light on the stained glass window in the foyer of the Be Our Guest restaurant.

Stained glass window outside of the Be Our Guest restaurant in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Stained glass window outside of the Be Our Guest restaurant.
Nikon D700/24-85G, 1/60s, f/3.5, ISO 3200, EV 0, 24mm focal length.

If you have not given Rear Sync a try, look it up in your camera's manual. You will be surprised at the results you can get especially when it comes to events such as weddings and parties or vacations with darkened rooms for dining where a Beast may be lurking.

January 19, 2014

Where in the World #315

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 looks like we had a liiiiittttttlllle glitch last week. The post was published last Sunday but didn't show up on the site for a couple days at least. (I also forgot to update the answer's deadline date like a ninny.) Many of you wrote in asking if I was okay. Thank you! I am so touched that you would think of me.

Bruce Nash, my maiden name is Nash! We could be related! Hey, where are you going?

Grumpy's Groupies, thanks for sharing your story! A few years ago, different Disney fan sites competed in a scavenger hunt. Whenever AllEars started getting a little ahead, someone on the other teams would shout, "Look over here! It's Deb Wills of AllEars and her team!" Deb's fans would come running over and the team would fall to dead last. LOL! Totally worth it though to meet so many people who enjoy AllEars!

From last week: Challenge #314:
 Where in the World #314

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

It's one of Pascal's friends who hide around the Rapunzel rest area, down the path from her Meet N Greet in Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland! I had no idea he had more than one friend in this area; now I know to look for all of them the next time I go back!

Look at the cutie! Do you think he's giving us "the smolder"?

I know, this area is amazing and all for rest rooms! But it is gorgeous; I have so many pictures of this area and I always take a ton more. On my last trip, a woman asked a cast member in Liberty Square where the closest bathrooms were. I had to chirp in: "You HAVE to go to the Rapunzel rest rooms!" The cast member eagerly agreed and off wen the guest. She returned saying: "Best restrooms ever!" Sarah And Chris agree, right?

Warren Handy, it's going to be fun at your house when you two read the answer! lol

Paul Silagyi was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Paul and all our winners this week! Paul Silagyi, Bud Luskus, Jennifer Harmon, Sarah, Leah, And Sophie Orman, Nancy Johansen, Jen Arabian, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, Pamela Vanaustin, Stacey Kelsall, Orlando Larosa, Mary Ann Lamay, Matthew Jadro, Donna Begley, Ed Elder, Jennifer Page, Mike Haven, Michelle Norris, Tricia Petty, Yvonne Marchione, Samantha Watson, Sara Alaimo, Jason L, Fiona Knight, Brian Mickle, Chris Bauman, Sara Holloway, Karrie Duffey, Jim Finley, Will Gates, Carolyn Como, Mary Greger, Beth Landis, Erin Hammer, Carla Nale, Theresa, James Steele, Theresa Rucando, Mary Beth Tarbet, Warren Handy, Jennifer Walker, Jack Lynch, Stefanie Vandiver, Leigh Mertz, Craig, Vicki Edwards, Jennifer Rowell, Lindsey Nozal, Jeremy Reichelt, Rob Hepler, Wayne Chadourne, Maryann Eckenrode, Debbie Desimone, Chris Scott, Al Desimone, K Beasley, Carla C, Karen Costa, Ashley P. , Jason Gravette, Betsy Silvestri, Claire Gregory, Dave Carriere, Hillary Waldroop, Kathy Morris, Teala Van De Ven, Nan Amor, Matt Petty, Bruce Nash, Ken Clark, Belicia Cullen, Vicki Britt, Scott Cullen, Kate Nejman, Rebecca Keenan, Team Meeker, Helen Amer, Shelly Borella, Melody O'donnell, Jim &Lorie Sonnen, Phyllis, Mike Gillardi, Les Stewart, Rob Blundin, Desiree Soppick, Kathryn Perkins, The Gunnels Family, Ken Maikowski, The Patterson Family, Jodi Lupp, Patti Mccaffrey, Peg Readinger, Scott Greenbaum, Maggie Klotz, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Heather Pedulla, Elaine Kleinhenz, Mary Thatcher, Fran Rendulic, Ashley Collins, Jen Cerce, John P, Daniel Record, Sharon Pierce, Chloe Mayhew, Eva Mayhew, Ansley, Pollyanna Buff, The Tisdale Family, Kathy Huckabee, Team Hill, Kelly Sroka, Scott Precise, Murr Family, Joseph M. Zafia, Melissa Such, John Bickers, Trina Noggle, Chris Kelly, Jackie Graebel, Cynthia Stinson, The Kertes Family, Rebecca Smith, Judy Simonsen, Jessie L Regan, Linda Overfield, Michael Frisbee, Susie Howard, Mike Malampy, Theresa Lucotti, Laurie Walker, Jane Johnson, Diane Curfman, Michelle Darabaris, Craig Livingston, Dwayne Fontenot, Bob Ruer, Josette Gabel, Tom Koval, Jeremy Hardy, Vanessa Gordon, The O'meara Family, Sarah And Chris, Robert Wescovich, Tricia Noble, Vicki Vaught, Barclay Bakkum, Scott Sangston, Melissa Littman, David Ballard, Kristi Strembicki, Becky Norman, Gail States, Peggy Saeger, Katey Davis, The Olszak Family, Duskin Henard, Stacy Guarracino, Steve And Ruby Jordan, Annie Snodgrass, Hobbes And Snorky, Mickey Eckert, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Deb Ragno, Jessica Iglesias, Emily Hudson, Matt Holley, Mike Haeberle, Alex Gamill, Jenn Steele, Alan Mize, Randy Thomas, George Mundy Jr, Cheri Palmisano, Grumpy's Groupies, Danielle Harsley, Agnes Ciotti, Doug Olson Family, Josh Carney, Lauren Thomas, and Paul Silagyi. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #315 Where in the world is this?

Still in the parks. This might be tougher since it's so new or you might immediately recognize a landmark in the Hidden Mickeys!
 Where in the World #315

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

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 9, 2014

Hall of Presidents Lobby in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Hall of Presidents' lobby in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Fisheye view of the lobby inside the Hall of Presidents.
Nikon D700/Sigma 15mm, 1/6s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0.

The above photo took two years to get it right. The first time I attempted this photo, I did not notice the release cable was in the corner of the frame. The railing surrounding The Great Seal of the United States confounded any skill I had in removing the cable without ruining the image. Last December, when I again visited the Hall of Presidents in the Magic Kingdom, I had my new Fisheye lens which captured even more of the lobby than the wide angle lens I used previously. As luck with have it, the last show of the night was about to start. I waited for everyone to exit the lobby and took this photo.

A patriotic scene for the Disney Pic of the Week for the Magic Kingdom.

January 5, 2014

Where in the World #313

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!

Patti McCaffrey, don't you leave for Walt Disney World this week?

Cheri Palmisano, I'm sorry about the mix up. I'm guessing your post came in after I got the list of answers. I'm sorry I didn't have you in the winners list last week. To help make up for it, let me announce to the Players right here that you got the answer right!

From last week: Challenge #312:
 Where in the World #312

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

It's Cinderella Castle during Wishes in the Magic Kingdom!

I love that some of you thought I was trying to pull a trick because this was so easy. But I just thought it was a good photo for New Year's. :)
From Millan.Net

Craig was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Craig and all our winners this week! The Tisdale Family, Tim Johansen, Trina Noggle, Kris Nixon, The Kahle Family , Paul Dickson, Carol Ney, Linda Ranatza, Mary Beth Tarbet, Jason And Melinda Lenz, Kerri Coggins, John Bickers, Chuck Sands, Erin Hammer, Bruce Jones, Dee Dee Kenney, Hoekzema , Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Donna, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Sharon Pierce, Andrew Carrieri, Agnes Ciotti, Phil Vickers, Vanessa Stjohn, Nan Amor, Ken Maikowski, Tami H., Jason L, Amanda Campbell, Dave Freemyer, Jeremy Nixon, Toni Paul, Josh Freilich, Jeany Sanchez, Karen Adamakis, Linda Scrivano, Doug Olson Family, Tinkerbell Wells, Annie Snodgrass, Mark Schmidt, Tami Neilson, Michelle Raimist, Kelly Lathrop, Jennifer Rowell, Carly And Colin, Jim &Lorie Sonnen, Angie Blair, Matt Wildey, Melissa, Heather Keenan, Vicki Britt, Vera And Izzy Williams, Michelle Darabaris, Elisa Steccato , Kate Case, Diane Curfman, Rob Hepler, Jodi Cook, Daniel Record, Sisk Family, Scherry Yates, Melissa Such, Holly Titone, Taylor K, Hayley Valk, Heather Long, Rebekah Schultz, Colette Stanton , Terri Pope, Brittany Englert, Elaine Kleinhenz, Chad Citro, Tricia Petty , Phyllis, The Gunnels Family, Lindsey Nozal, Crystal King, Team Hill, Kye Layton, Terry Lambert, Maryann Eckenrode, Jamie Robertson , Melissa Rookard, Barbara Bonner, Mike Haeberle, Jennifer Cerce, Theresa Rucando, Double Family, Virginia Pierce, Pollyanna Buff, Chris Nichols, Dawn Bach, Robert Vadovic , Bill Schmid, Deb Ragno, Kathy Morris, Steve And Ruby Jordan, Lynette Michalos, Nathan York, Linda Bowles, Kara Cummings , Heather Pedulla, Megan Krainski, Timberly Aymond, Mike Mondoux, Leach Family, Dawn Miller, Jason Hocker, Lorine Landon, Andrea Kruszewski, Scott Greenbaum, Elizabeth And Vicki Edwards, Ken Clark, Patty Carty, Rhonda Tomlinson, K Beasley, Jason Curtis, Renata Aragao, Hallie Gleave, Karen Ramirez, Susie Howard, Susan Higginbotham, Ruth Senecal, Duskin Henard, The Parker Family, Jeremy Hardy, The Kertes Family, Maureen Handy, Ashley P. , Chris Kelly, Hobbes And Snorky, Cheryl Chambers, Kenny, Jackie Drexler, Jim Finley, Claire Gregory, Pam Vanaustin, John P, Chloe Mayhew, Stefanie Vandiver, Brian Miller, Robert Wescovich, Hunter Armstrong, Jonathan Ward, Debbie Desimone, Andy Hickey, Mary Ann Lamay, Amy Filliben, Judy Simonsen, Sharynne Smith, Elizabeth Johnston, Rob Blundin, Mickey Eckert, Murr Family, Gallagher Family, Larry Sprenkle, Janet T Thorn, Stefan Owens, Tom Koval, Jennifer Harmon, Billie Jean Albolino, Bryant O'meara, Les Stewart, Carolyn Como, Josette Gabel, Christina Page, Eric Enli, Jeff Blank, Bob Patterson, Robert Hildebrandt, Linda College, Chris Bauman, Jeremy Reichelt, Josh Carney, Kathy Huckabee, Michael & Jackie Mclucas, Popek Family, The Patterson Family, Barclay Bakkum, Sara Holloway, Alan Mize, Cheri Palmisano, Anastasia Macneil, Carri Marotto, Kameo Crea, Carla C, Steve Townsend, Melesia Love, Jeff Swearingen, George Mundy Jr, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Morgan M., Josh Weiss, Wendy Palmquist, Carol Gamill, L. Dean, Patti Mccaffrey, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Karen Schlumpf, Grumpy's Groupies, Mike Hulse, Maja Kodani, Melody Odonnell, Sandie Albrecht, Smitty, Sharon , Maryann Romagnano, Thomas Higbee, Jackie Graebel, Maggie Klotz, Jo Ann Bailey, Robert P. Flaherty , Pat Schwier, Cheryl Costello, Les Whitten, Bill Mckim, Kerry Mccaffrey, Karen, Wendy Barney, Matt Holley, Randi Balch, Jane Johnson, Gallagher Family, Wayne Witherspoon, Erin Loring, Derek Carty, and Terry Fleming. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

Here it is! The final winner for 2013! And that player is Terry Lambert! Congratulations, Terry! You will be receiving a prize from Deb Wills herself!
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #313 Where in the world is this?

We are going outside of the parks, Players:
 Where in the World #313

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, January 9th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

January 3, 2014

Best of Walt Disney World in 2013

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 29, 2013

Where in the World #312

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

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

I can't believe it. This week is the end of 2013 and begins 2014.

From Millan.Net

And we've already started Kwanzaa!
From Millan.Net

Chris Kelly, welcome back! I thought you were going to Disney this week. How are you doing with post-magic blues?

From last week: Challenge #311:
 Where in the World #311

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

It's Rover in the final scene for Carousel of Progress in the Magic Kingdom! Remember when he used to have different names in different scenes like Sport and Queenie? I took his picture in each scene this last trip. :)

Josh Weiss, Chloe Mayhew, and Annie Snodgrass did it; they put the song in my head. From Millan.Net So everyone together! Jennifer Rowell, are you ready? Cheryl Costello, make sure your husband can hear us!

Carol Gamill, you start us off:

There's a great big beautiful tomorrow.
Shining at the end of everyday.
There's a great big beautiful tomorrow.
Just a dream away!

Suzanne Gray was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Suzanne and all our winners this week! Kris Nixon, Colette Stanton , Jen Eacret , Yedliw, Jim Riddle, Lauren Black, Jill Vieck, Michelle Gurn, Fred Shakeshaft, Vanessa Stjohn, Linda Bowles, Josh Weiss, Shawn Dilts, Teala Van De Ven, Heather Long, Jennifer Ingle, Jim And Lorie Sonnen, Kristi Strembicki, Harvey Householder, Bruce Jones, Colleen Leclair, Mary Ann Lamay, Renata Aragao, Bethany Angermaier, Vincent Pullo, Nishelle, Annie Snodgrass, Sharon Pierce, Phyllis, Shawn Atkins, Brian Stansbury, Linda Ranatza, Laurie Johnson, Mary Beth Tarbet, Donna, Carol Ney, Bill Mckim, Mike Walter, Donald Leblanc, Jenny Brennan, Nicole Methven, Melissa Rookard, Michelle Norris, Suzanne Baker, Kelly Deleon, Laura V., Cindy Pink, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Ed Elder, Vera Dercole, Emma Johansen, Kerri Coggins, Rebecca Smith, Agnes Ciotti, Andrew Carrieri, Michael And Michaela Frisbee, Rex Biederman, Maggie Biederman, Trina Noggle, Jonathan Ward, Demetrios Makres, Barbara Ajak , Ellen Sullivan, Claire Gregory, Rita Garcia, Antoinette Leblanc, Carla Nale, The Gunnels Family, Dave Wang, Paul Dickson, Jennifer Rowell, Carrie Mcdaniel, The Kertes Family, Ruth Senecal, Jacquelyn Law, Mike Malampy, Elizabeth Hillery, Pollyanna Buff, Jennifer Snook, Crystal King, Double Family, Michelle Darabaris, Les Stewart, Kara Cummings , Evelyn Fayard, Judy Simonsen, Bob Patterson, Belicia Cullen, Joy Laughlin, Scott Cullen, Riley Carroll, Zach Szymko, Tem Hill, Chris Nichols, Liz Moreau, Elaine Kleinhenz, Diane Furtado, Julia Wickware, Dawn Miller, Jamie Robertson , Megan K, Brittany Jaynes, Olszak Family, Bill Cudney , Lee Anastasi, Michelle Rosner, Craig Livingston, Wendy Beaudoin, John Mahoney, Pat Schwier, Linda Scrivano, Michele Smith, Ken Maikowski, Carolyn Como, Chuck Sands, Stefan Owens, Doug Olson Family, Hunter Armstrong, Mary Ann Eckenrode, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Pam Vanaustin, Chris Thomas, Leach Family, Angela Mansell, Robin Robinson , The Kahle Family, Tricia Petty, Michelle Striegel , Rhonda Tomlinson, Patti Gumiela, Dave Freemyer, Emily Hudson, Scott Greenbaum, Maggie Klotz, Paul Knott, Robert Wescovich, Abigail, Johnathan, And Michael Hulse, Lorine Landon, Kathleen Glovna, Brian Miller, Patty Norman, K Beasley , Christie Chojnacki, Matt Petty, Julie And Kody Rider, Jackie Purcell, Melissa Such, Paul Moore, Chloe Mayhew, Maureen Handy, Annette Stephen, Cheryl Costello, Jodi Gorfinkel, Ashley Collins, Craig, Hallie Gleave, Jeremy Hardy, Karen Schlumpf, Bill Schmid, Carrie Kwiat, Jason &Melinda Lenz, Dwayne Fontenot, Rob Hepler, Nicole Benoit, Erin Hammer, Deb Ragno, Katia , Jodi Cook, Patti Mccaffrey, Hobbes And Snorky, Laurie Walker, Derek Carty, Theresa Rucando, Taylor K, Carol Gamill, Betsy Silvestri, Chad Citro, Helen Smith, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Matt Holley, The Parker Family, Roxanne, Kevin Miller, Sarah Calvario, Audra Miller, Jim Vandenberghe , Christina R., Eric Enli , Bruce Nash, Temple Klevesahl, Karen Ramirez, Larry Sprenkle, Jerry Ladwig, Elizabeth And Vicki Edwards, Lauren Thomas, Melissa Littman, Ruben O'meara, Michelle Palazzo, Dean Poppe, Josette Gabel, Patty Carty, Nathaniel Clements, Larry Drum, John Bickers, Carol Hoffman, Russ Morgan, John P, Melanie Dalton, Nigel Mcquire (wales Uk), Joe Bateman, Christina , Jennifer Shaw, Vera And Izzy Williams, Amy Hayes, Robert Wescovich, Linda College, Diane Ramos, Janet T Thorn, Tricia Noble, Tom Donnelly, Jeremy Reichelt, Ina Edwards, Wayne Witherspoon, Dayna Guay, Elizabeth Scarborough, Melesia Love, Alison Rosenberger, Randy Thomas, Terry Fleming, The Patterson Family, Carla C, Alan Mize, Marie Seilus, Josh Carney, Anastasia Macneil, Melanie Dunlap, Lori Rienhardt, Diane Curfman, Steve Knapp, Jen Arabian, George Mundy Jr, Mark Franklin, Mike Cerce, Ken Rhinehart, Jenn Durham, Andrew Swiatowicz, The Hutchinson Family, Ashley Martz, Rob Blundin, Kylene Hershberger, Heidi Goodhue, Janna Jewett , Kris Curcio, Abigail Grasso, Caryn Schill, Spmorin@comcast.net, Tom Koval, Beth Josuweit, Kevin Geiger, Dawn Bach, Nan Amor, Kim Wolfe, Linda Lee, Walter N. Clark, Joseph M. Zafia, Jackie Graebel, Team Meeker, Smitty, Grumpy's Groupies, Ruth Cookson, Karla Garard, Murr Family, Chris Kelly, Sarah, Ainsley Poe, Gallagher Family, Duskin Henard, Rob And April - Team Vanderpool, Tom Higbee, Susan Higginbotham, Ashley P. , Ronald Delorey, Alex Gamill, Vicki Britt, Vicki Finnegan, Nathan York, Kerry Mccaffrey, Jullie Pudem, and Jane Johnson. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #312 Where in the world is this?

Maybe this is a good way to end one year and start another:
 Where in the World #312

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, December 26th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

December 27, 2013

Wishing You a Happy New Year

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Christmas Wishes over Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Christmas Wishes over Cinderella Castle.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 11s, f/22, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length, tripod.

Ending the year with a bang! Christmas Wishes over Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom. Happy New Year!

December 20, 2013

Snowflakes on Main Street USA

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Snowflakes on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Snowflakes on Main Street USA.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 6s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 16mm focal length, tripod.
Wishing You a Magical & Merry Christmas!

Who says there is never any snow(flakes) on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom? I found some on my last trip. Do you notice anything unusual about this photo or the one below?

Cinderella Castle Dream Lights at the end of Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cinderella Castle Dream Lights at the end of Main Street USA.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 8s, f/22, ISO 200, EV 0, 105mm focal length, tripod.

If you have been to the Magic Kingdom during the Christmas holiday celebration, you should remember there are normally wreaths strung across Main Street USA. However, on the days they film the Christmas Day Parade in early December, those wreaths and the large Christmas tree at the beginning of Main Street USA are taken off stage. Thus, giving a clear view from the Railroad Station to Cinderella Castle.

I will be off next week to spend time with Family and Friends. See you in two weeks as we start another year of Disney Photographic learning and fun!

December 13, 2013

Main Street Railroad Station White Balance Problem Solved

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

There are many places in Walt Disney World were one will run into challenging light for the Auto White Balance or AWB settings on today's digital cameras. One such place is the Railroad Station on Main Street USA. The lighting is very yellow in color even to the naked eye. This mimicks the lighting found back in the early 1900's which is the era of Main Street USA. While it looks pleasing to our eyes, camera's tend to see more of the yellow cast to the light. The photo below is an example of a photo using AWB of the Main Street Railroad Station office in the Magic Kingdom.

Main Street Railroad Station office behind a Christmas tree in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Main Street Railroad Station office behind a Christmas tree decoration.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/5s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 92mm focal length, tripod.

While this color can be removed in post processing, it is much easier to do it with your camera. To do that, I used a Preset White Balance often referred to as a custom white balance. For my Nikon camera, I pressed the White Balance (WB) button and used the rear command dial to move to the PRE icon on the upper LCD screen. I then released, pressed and held the WB button again until the PRE started to blink on the LCD screen. I then filled the viewfinder with a white object (in the case of the Railroad Station, I used the white woodwork next to the office window) and clicked the shutter. I checked the LCD screen and saw a flashing 'GOOD' on the screen indicating I did the PRESET correcly. If it had said, 'No Good', I would have had to try again.

I once again pointed my camera towards the Railroad Station office. This time I included the two Christmas trees on either side of the office's windows.

Main Street Railroad Station office framed by a pair of Christmas trees in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Main Street Railroad Station office framed by a pair of Christmas trees.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 4s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length, tripod.

The colors are much truer in the PRESET WB photo than the AWB one. Check your camera's manual to see if you can do a custom white balance and how to do it. I must warn you, once you do so, to remember any light change on your subject or if you move to another location will need a new WB setting or a switch back to AWB. Otherwise, you could get some really strange results.

This being within two weeks of Christmas, here are a couple of previous posts about photographing Christmas lights at Walt Disney World and at home:

Photographing Christmas Lights at Disney

Photographing Christmas Lights at Disney II

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

November 15, 2013

Magic Kingdom's New Fantasyland at Night

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

A couple of weeks ago I got to enjoy the attractions added last year to Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom for the first time. Having spent most of the day at Epcot, I arrived as night was beginning to fall. I set up across from the Under the Sea -- Journey of the Little Mermaid where Ariel was hanging around its entrance. Having to use long shutter speeds for proper exposures at night, I used a tripod to steady my camera.

Ariel hanging around the entrance to Journey of the Little Mermaid in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Ariel hanging around the entrance to Under the Sea -- Journey of the Little Mermaid in Fantasyland.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 5s, f/16, ISO 400, EV 0, 105mm focal length, tripod.

From the bridge to the Be Our Guest restaurant is a beautifully lighted waterfall. I am amazed at how you can still photograph stars over the attractions at night. Disney does a good job of minimizing light pollution to enhance the lights, parades and fireworks shows.

Waterfall near the Be Our Guest restaurant in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Waterfall near the Be Our Guest Restaurant in Fantasyland.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 30s, f/16, ISO 1600, EV 0, 28mm focal length, tripod.

As I left Fantasyland towards the Haunted Mansion, Rapunzel's Tower loomed over the lanterns of her kingdom at the best themed restrooms in Walt Disney World.

Rapunzel's Tower from the movie Tangled in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Rapunzel's Tower from the movie Tangled in Fantasyland.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 4s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 82mm focal length, tripod.

In the past, I talked about how bringing a tripod in the parks is not hard to do if you rent a locker. Did you know, if you change parks on the same day, you only have to pay for a locker once? Bring your receipt and you can get a locker by just paying the deposit at the next park. You get that back at the end of the night.

October 27, 2013

Where in the World #303

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!

All together, Players! What are we celebrating this week in America? That's right: my wedding anniversary! Oh stop, please! I'm blushing!

Oh and Halloween. :) Of course, Halloween! Enjoy your holiday and let's all remember that this is not the Disney spirit:
From Millan.Net

Team Hill, Vera And Izzy Williams, and John Bickers, thank you so much for the lovely notes!
Players, Paul Moore raised the bar: pay attention, spouses. He's is taking his wife on a birthday trip that starts at the Beach Club in Walt Disney World and then off to Disneyland! A coast-to-coast Disney parks birthday trip. Way to go, Paul!

On the other end of the spectrum, Kerri Coggins has the post trip blues. From Millan.Net We know exactly how you feel.

From last week: Challenge #302:
 Where in the World #302

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © 2012 Erin Blackwell

It's like you're the Skipper here on the Jungle Cruise in the Magic Kingdom! If you enjoyed this challenge, my name is Erin Blackwell. If you didn't, my name is Lisa Berton. (This is very funny if you know this joke from the attraction.) :)

Cheri Palmisano, how was the chocolate? Better than a hat, right?

Phil Vickers was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Phil and all our winners this week! Ed Elder, Kristi Strembicki, Paul Dickson, Melissa Such, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, Dawn Bach, Donna Frank, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Elaine Kleinhenz, Bruce Jones, Karen Schlumpf, The Kahle Family, Pam Vanaustin, Janet T Thorn, Hunter Armstrong, Bruce Hinterleitner, Jennifer Harmon, Phyllis, The Kertes Family, Theresa Rucando, Cathy Campbell, Heather Keenan, Sharon Sejda, Andrew Carrieri, Jennifer Rowell, The Pearsall Family, Jd Conti, The Uchtman Family, Pat Schwier, Jack Lynch, Keirsten Sangster, Amy Lindsey, Heather Kowalczyk, Sharon Dawson, Mike Rotkiske, Clare S, Mary Dunnett, Nicole Shuler, Tammy, John Sharpe, Mary Beth Tarbet, Mandy Reineke, Dave Freemyer, Ruth Senecal, Garrette Leroux, Gina Smith, Liz Moreau, Fishman Family, John And Annette Melcher, Lindsey Nozal, Rachel Moser, Gene Chadwick, Dee Dee Kenney, Sarah Goulding, Kevinjones, Jeff Schoeling, Lori, Jenny Brennan , Rebekah Schultz, Stacie Owens, Jennifer Vanisko, Kevin Williams , Lindsay Coram, Matt Wildey, Belicia Cullen, Ashley R Simmons, Scott Cullen, Melissa Thomas, Jan Tyre, Jason And Melinda Lenz, Andy Verge, Chris Caufield, Rob Blundin, Candice Grimes, Wendy Barney, Maryann Romagnano, Christi Ison, Po Popek, Team Hill, Sarah Orman, The Gunnels Family, Lois Lynch, Gerald Skanes, Donna Brzuchalski, Tinkerbell Wells, Andrew Swiatowicz, Cheryl Chambers, Wendy , Jon Landis, Robyn Fischer, Barbara Gabriel, Gerry Skanes, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Heather Long, Linda Scrivano, Calvin Phillips, Lee Anastasi, Drew Eckert, Carol Collins, Lee Deroia, Sharon Pierce, Tricia Petty, Scott Greenbaum, John Mcdowell, Bob Patterson, Mike Haven, Colette Stanton , Kerrie Hogan, Ken Maikowski, Mike Malampy, Wendy Beaudoin, Ruben O'meara, Jason Hocker, Claire Gregory, Patty Norman, Tommy Montgomery, Amber Penske, Terry Blair, Phil Badcock, Deme Grabert, Kris Nixon , Christine Dagney, Erin Dagney, Torrey Beasley, Sheryl Hicks, Vicki Edwards, Chris Kelly, Paul Knott, Bill Mckim, Maryann Eckenrode, Jordan Miller &Courtney Crowe, Kris Blamphin, Jennifer Piehl, Chris Horne, Lori Posey, Josh Weiss, Dina , Bethany Angermaier, Trisha Johnson, Scott Precise, Zach Szymko, Steve Morin, Dave Wang, Fiona Knight, Judy Simonsen, Scott Lefstein, Patty Carty, Megan Krainski, Kathryn Perkins, Rex Biederman, Angela Fennell, Roger Vollmer, Stephanie Visco, Mary Ann Lamay, Karen Adamakis, Lee Deroia, Caryn Schill, Deb Ragno, Ken Clark, Bill Cudney , Mike Walter, Joanne O'brien, Jennifer Chartier, Robin Robinson , Matt Petty, Kara Cummings, Double Family, Diane Furtado, Marguerite Garofalo, Maureen Handy, The Parker Family (nikki helped This Time), Les Whitten, Alex Gamill, Chloe Mayhew, Dan And Elizabeth Johnston, Robert Hildebrandt, Louise Barton, Tom Koval, Annie Snodgrass, Annette Nuenke, Craig Livingsotn, Susie Howard, Hobbes And Snorky, Tim Jeltes, Rosemary Lambert, Bill Johnson, Janna Jewett, Pollyanna Buff, Jen Cerce, Mike Mondoux, Dusty Cheatham, Paula Massarelli, Robert Wescovich, Christine Rowlands, Karen Ramirez, Paul Moore, David Hatter, Deb Gallo, Laurie Walker, Lynn Lofton, Angie Young, Michelle Norris, Trina Noggle, Steve Major, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Penny Urell, Larry Sprenkle, Russ Morgan, Liz Alban, Craig, Virginia Pierce, Michele Mongeon, Sarah Calvario, Daniel Record, Kendra Watts, Diane Curfman, Jeff Bush, Ashley Hill, Betsy Silvestri, Hayley Valk, Antoinette Leblanc, Roxanne Kliebert, Ellie Argaluza, Eva Mayhew, John Mahoney, Chuck Sands , John Allen, Lynette Michalos, Sherri, Duskin Henard, Lisa Z., Jim Finley, Billie Jean Albolino, Vera And Izzy Williams, Morgan M., Art Hutchinson, Dawn Miller, Ken Jackson, Kenny, Amy Lemonds, Chris Nichols, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Chris Thomas, Jim Logue, Erin Connell, Erin Hammer, Rebecca Weaver, Matthew Fishman, Randi Balch, Doug Olson Family, Stephen Nesteriak, Jeff & Cheryl Simmons, Theresa Maradei, Maggie Klotz, James Hammack, Michelle, Jared Orth, Lindsay Morris, Jeff Blank, Jeremy Hardy, Debra Kuklinski, Hulse Family, Chris Connors, Hillary, Sarah Rosser, Meghan Gleason-vollmer, Jason Stelle, Wayne Chadourne, Jason Skow, Margaret, Cheryl Costello, Karen Costa, Andrew Pettit, Karen Davis, Rebecca Keenan, Leigh Mertz, Gail States, Bonnie Tulenko, Paul Ignudo Jr, Dee Riccio, Michael Dale Pennington, Clay Anthony, Heather Hynes, Shelly Borella, Olga Vorontsova, Zachary Ott, Carolyn Como, Patrick Broaddus, Brian Mcwithey, Randy Thomas, The Patterson Family, Nancy Johansen, Nancy Crossman, Jennifer Snook, Karrie Duffey, Linda Sanders, Mickey Eckert, Steve And Ruby Jordan, Mike Kaczanowski, The Holmes Family, Sara Alaimo, Alison Rosenberger , Mary Jo Gallion, Yvonne Marchione, Mark Franklin, Matt Holley, Wayne Witherspoon, Andy Schumacher, Carla C, Lori Rienhardt, Team Meeker, Kate Fischer, Carri Marotto, Scott Sangston, Scott, Kay, Brian Yesutis, Karen Bellamy, Anastasia Macneil, Curtis Bille, Steve Knapp, Kerri Coggins, Karen Smith, Tricia Noble, Caitlin Lewis, Schuyler Stewart, Erin Flaherty, George Mundy Jr, Joe Derecola, Cathy Derecola, Jim &Lorie Sonnen, Mike M., Cathy Connors, Blake Schmidt, Bruce Lawson, Dallas Hamilton, Ashley Collins, John P, Ron Harper, Tisdale Family, Ronald Delorey, John Pasqueralli, Linda College, Sophie!!, Susan Allizzo, Diane Butler, Dave Kanigowski, Sandy Kanigowski, Dwayne Fontenot, Susan Higginbotham, John Bickers, Bruce Arnold, Wayne Beck, Nigel Mcquire (wales Uk), Reagan Herman, Tim Johansen, Ed Suscreba, Nicole Benoit, Jeremy Reichelt, Elizabeth Scarborough, Ashley P. , Ken Rhinehart, Jim Thompson, Vicki Britt, Chris Bauamn, Karen Aguiar, Bonnie Cummings, Fran Rendulic, Chris Brown, Diane Batista, Wendy T Faler, Kerry Mccaffrey, Matt Cofone, Bob Bloom, Patti Mccaffrey, Tammy Kallenbach, Jo Ann Bailey, Walter N. Clark, Adrianne Brewer, Sharon Leitgeb, Robert P. Flaherty, Joseph M. Zafia, Jennifer Powell, Rick R., Vickie Scioneaux, Jackie Graebel, Sarah Hamiter, Kyle Burdo, Karen Hotchkiss, Tom Higbee, Tom Buck, Terry Fleming, Barry Sklenar, Fred Shakeshaft, Shannon Wright, Jackie Klafeta, Gallagher Family, Jennifer Mercier, Scott Hanko, Melodye Berry, Shirley Garcowski, Michael Bailey, Betsy Dross, Cheri Palmisano, Allison Caputa, Amanda Campbell, Brian Richmond, Les Stewart, Peggy Saeger, Christina Rotella, Heather Pedulla, Zachary Falcone, Vicki Yarnell, Jane Johnson, Luis Rodriguez, Team Bonnie Sue, Modecki Family, Andrea Kruszewski, Cory Elliott, Sherri Pell, Nathan York , Beth Josuweit, Barclay Bakkum, Josh Carney, David Ballard, Christy Schor, Michelle Buchecker, Mike Cerce, Mike Haeberle, Nancy Cole, Darrell Shortt, Mike O'brien, Carrie Kwiat, Agnes Ciotti, Josh Dean, and Stacy Guarracino. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #303 Where in the world is this?

Staying in the parks! Just maybe not the same park.
 Where in the World #303

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, October 31st, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

October 13, 2013

Where in the World #301

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

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

Happy Thanksgiving - Jour de l'Action de grâce to all the Canadian Players! I hope this year has given you a lot to be thankful for and you have even more in the upcoming year!
From Millan.Net

We also have Eid-al-Adha this week. My best wishes to everyone who is celebrating!

Cynthia Hitchcock, we totally understand the post-Disney vacation crying. From Millan.Net

Patty Carty, are you still there in the World? Or does Cynthia need to make room on the blues bench? I'll get the Disney bear, just in case. (And thank you for your lovely note!)

On the flip side, The Schweizer Family and Kerri Coggins are now in the World! Have a wonderful time! If you see Deb Wills, tell her what a good job I'm doing!

Just kidding, Deb. From Millan.Net

Happy 300th to you too, Tricia Petty, The Fosbenders, and Claire Gregory! Thank you! I can't believe you guys noticed. :) When I typed 300 last week, it made me wonder how long it's been since I started with WitW. So I looked it up:

February 13, 2011 with challenge #164! That's when Barrie introduced me to everyone. Can you believe it? If you look at my first challenges, I was much more... succinct. :) Which reminds me of when I took a Disney character quiz during "December to Remember" celebrations. It said I was quiet. The team said they never saw someone get it so wrong. LOL

Thank you also to The Young Family for their wonderful note! How's the UK?
From Millan.Net

From last week: Challenge #300:
 Where in the World #300

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © 2012 Erin Blackwell

Engine Co. 71, the fire station at Town Square in the Magic Kingdom. I used to love going here to see all the patches and badges from firehouses from everywhere. Now Engine Co. 71 gathers people to play the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card game.

Like John Bickers said, " I am always excited when I see it to my left, and tired when it moves to my right."

Jennifer Harmon, I read that many of those patches and badges from here went to Reedy Creek Fire and Rescue Department so maybe your husband's is there? An old report said they used to give tours of the station. They have a website and a Facebook page, so maybe you can contact them through it and ask. They also have an online store where you can get shirts, although they don't have the ones that said "Protecting the Magic" anymore. I love that phrase!) You can also find fire dept. patches for Disneyland, the actual Walt Disney Studios, and Reedy Creek on ebay. Just search for Disney fire department. So maybe you can get one of each and put them on a jacket for your husband? Something unique and the holidays are coming up.

To your husband, Chris Kelly, Chief Meeker, Mary Beth Tarbet's uncle, Kelly Smith's father-in-law and all the others serving in Fire and Rescue, thank you!

Tom Buck, I can't imagine the days when you went into Disneyland and Walt was there in his apartment above the fire house. Just seeing the lamp in the window gets to me now. Walt's apartment was going to be in Cinderella Castle in Disney World; in fact, one of his windows is above the Plaza and looks to the castle. My favorite story on why it's there is because Roy wanted his brother to have the best view in the park.
From Millan.Net

Dave Carriere, my dogs have so many things from the old store here and the others in Walt Disney World!

This has been a long one, Players, but I hope you found at least some of it interesting and fun!
And now!

Kristi Strembicki was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Kristi and all our winners this week! Phyllis, Jennifer Rowell, Bruce Jones, Betsy Silvestri, Dee Dee Kenney, Stefanie Vandiver, Donna Kennedy, Karen Steinbach, Christa Ryan, Cathy Campbell, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Jack Lynch, Jeanne Miller, Kris Nixon, Stephen Nesteriak, Ed Krol, Kay Egan, Tara , Tabitha Davidson, Tami Howerton , Paul Podkanowicz, Ken Jackson, Mike Geary, Chris Nichols, Melissa Such, Pat Schwier, Melissa Rymer, Sarah Lagasse, Tommy Montgomery, Sean Eggleston, Elizabeth White, Ed Suscreba, Art Hutchinson, Kaye Buchter, Janet T Thorn, Theresa Rucando, Christopher Treece, Krista Serpi, Team Hill, Kathy Morris, Valerie Saliceti, Donald Beck, Vera Williams, Donna Frank, Scott Vesterfelt, Tim Jeltes, The Emich Family, Jen Tremley, Kilby Kipping, John Mahoney, Ryan Mccorristin, Scott Cullen, Theresa Lucotti, Belicia Cullen, Jim Finley, Dave Freemyer, Sharyn Bluestein, Trisha Johnson, Mike O'brien, Katharine Marshall, Karen Williamson, Sisk Family, Chris Kelly, Josette Gabel, Linda Ranatza, Tammi Trout, Carol Ney, Jeff Bush, Bill Mcdonald, Rob And April - Team Vanderpool, Christine Mckay, Kerrie Hogan, Mary Mizell, Scott Precise, Jonathan Ward, Brian Miller, Ericka Zwettler, Joe Timko , Ed Hogan, Calvin Phillips, Lynette Michalos, Elaine Kleinhenz, Mary Beth Tarbet, Uchtman Family, Danielle Mahoney , Angie Young, Megan Krainski, Terri Vicknair, Marge Crowther, Paul Moore, Jeanna Covert, Deb Ragno, Craig, Sheryl Hicks, Cindy Carrigan, Liz Moreau, Karen Schlumpf, Jason Hocker, Karen Adamakis, Darrin Mclellan, Josh Weiss, Sandy Zeringue, Tricia Petty, Kye Layton, Tisdale Family, Robert Hildebrandt, Michelle Boewe, Chris Schrider, Schweizer Family , Paul Knott, Claire Gregory, Lori Arnold, Roger Vollmer, Maureen Handy, Cindy Pink, Jodi Cook, Kerryann, Dawn Bach, The Kahle Family , Anjanette Tournillon, Susie Howard, Carolyn Como, Sarah Strouse, Brendan Abel, Jennifer Galloway, The Kertes Family , The Fosbender's, Andy Hickey, Dawn Simpson, Patty Carty, Kristen Thumser, John Bickers, Francis Lachance, Morgan M., Mike Mondoux, Elizabeth Johnston, Marguerite Garofalo, Carolyn And Andrew Poirier, Daniel Record, Carla C, Cavin Michaud, The Young Family, England, Margaret Erath, Bonnie Chojnicki, The Gunnels Gang, Rosanna Bowser, The O'meara Family, Lee Anastasi, Erin Dagney, Christine Dagney, Paul Dickson, Pam Bryant, The Parker Family (w/out Nikki's Help), Fishman Family, Rob Blundin, Vicki Edwards And William Edwards, Karen Smith, Lynn Behr, Zach Szymko, Robert Wescovich, Lynnette Feltner, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Rachel Resciniti, Larry Sprenkle, Kerry A., Amy Filliben, Kerm Popek, Andrea Kruszewski, Vera Dercole, Double Family, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Penny, Michelle Brown, Emily Hudson, Sarah Orman, Doug Olson Family, Tom Buck, Diane Curfman, Maria Beaumont, John Menjes, Maryann Romagnano, Jd Conti, Hunter Armstrong, Jeremy Hardy, Lori Pahl, Kerri Coggins, Kathryn Perkins, Sarah Calvario, Krostyn Scibienski, Terry Blair, Brian Gallant, Bob Patterson, Dallas Hamilton, Leigh Mertz, Wayne Witherspoo, Jennifer Harmon, Rebecca Keenan, Ken Rhinehart, Alison Rosenberger, Jennifer Snook, Shelly Borella, Dee Riccio, Wayne Beck, Patrick Broaddus, Timothy Hutchinson, Karrie Duffey, Anastasia Macneil, Michelle Kuijer, Jennifer Walker, Jullie Pudem Scanlon, Terry Fleming, Lindsey Schlauderaff, Paul Resnick, Al Sandal, Craig Lordan, Karen Bellamy, Team Meeker, Jennifer Mercier, Kelly Smith, Scott Sangston, Brian Mcwithey, Gail States, Melody O'donnell, Kristi Jack, Ashley Hill, Mark Benton, Bonnie, Tracy Discher, Katie Bray, Susan Higginbotham, Luis Rodriguez, Chris Thomas, Carla Leger, Kelly R., Les Stewart, Elizabeth Scarborough, Kristen Mccoy, Wayne Chadourne, George Mundy Jr, Nathalie Periard, Dave Carriere, Carri Marotto, Dana, Heather Pedulla, Sara Holloway, Joseph M. Zafia, Robert P. Flaherty, Vickie Scioneaux, Melissa Littman, Ellen, Maryann Daly, Curtis Bille, Dick Smith, Dave Kanigowski, Amor Family, Sandy Kanigowski, Fred Shakeshaft, Mike Walter, Vicki Britt, Myra Mann, Team Bonnie Sue, Gallagher Family, Shirley Garcowski, Tom Higbee, Patti Mccaffrey, Kim Wolfe, Peggy Saeger, Chris Joyce, Jo Ann Bailey, Al Desimone, Debbie Desimone, Christy Schor, Agnes Ciotti, Jane Johnson, Nancy Crossman, Nathaniel Clements, Emily Harper, Heidi Goodhue, Susan Higginbotham, and Julia Wickware. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #301 Where in the world is this?

We are going outside the parks this week, Players!
 Where in the World #301

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

October 8, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week: Adventureland

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When you enter Adventureland from the Hub in Walt Disney World, you are greeted by native drums and lush vegetation. You know you are going to have to be careful. Yet, you still sign up to be a crew member on a Jungle Cruise. It is not until just before boarding your first boat do you find out the crew mess menu. I sure hope you like chicken! It's a long three week or month or year expedition depending on who's your skipper. Bon Voyage!

Crew Mess Menu in Adventureland's Jungle Cruse queue at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Crew Mess Menu. Hope you like chicken.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 1100, EV +0.3, 112mm focal length.

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

September 27, 2013

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Rock Formations

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Imagineered rock formations on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Imagineered rock formations on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/160s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 105mm focal length.

After leaving Disneyland, Scott is now in the American Southwest photographing colorful rock formations like those seen around the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom. You can 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 photos and information.

September 22, 2013

Where in the World #298

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!

Brock and Anka, your good friend Les Stewart wants to wish you a Magical Vacation! What a wonderful friend! (You should bring him back something. Just my 2 cents.)
Ashley P. and Linda Ranatza are also on their way to Walt Disney World! Ashley, you should look for Linda's Scooter Patrol because you always want to be with the cool kids! Darn, I wish I was going with all you guys! Oh, look! The Scooter Patrol!
From Millan.Net From Millan.Net From Millan.Net

Like you said, Christi Ison, if I have to take a fall, let it be in Disney. Could it would still be a good day!

Sarah Thomas, what a lovely note! I'm the Monday morning tradition at your office! That is sooooo awesome! To you, Judy Simonsen, Linda Ranatza, and everyone else who sent such amazing notes, thank you!
From Millan.Net

Tom Buck, I miss the old skyride too! What a great view, wasn't it? And you could get such great photos up there. The last time I rode it, it was sunset so I did a video of the whole thing.... Cinderella Castle and Fantasyland at sunset. Happy sigh. (It also helped save the sore feet!)

The Hoekzema Family, I love the summer too! I have a convertible; come over and we'll head for the beach!
From Millan.Net

From last week: Challenge #297:
 Where in the World #297

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

So many of you not only knew what this was, but it's original name. So, Kathy Rubin, please represent your fellow Players with the answer: The attraction was known as Cinderella's Golden Carrousel until June 2010 when the name was changed to Prince Charming Regal Carrousel to better fit with the plans for New Fantasyland. Or, as Robert Wescovich calls it, Cindy's Carousel because he and Cinderella are close friends.

Alan Mize adds this interesting tidbit: " I love that Disney chose to spell it as carrousel instead of carousel since that is the original spelling. "

Timothy Hutchinson also mentioned: "I believe this is the oldest attraction in Fantasyland as I believe it was actually built in 1917 for Olympic Park in NJ." You are right! It originally was named The Liberty Carrousel and was built in 1917 for the Belle Isle Park in Detroit by the Philadelphia Toboggan Co. It's one of the largest of its kind in the world. Walt Disney and his Imagineers discovered it in 1967 at Olympic Park in New Jersey. They bought it and performed an extensive renovation for the Magic Kingdom where it's been a favorite ever since!

Lots of us ride it at all ages from the little kids to the kids of 19, 42, and 65 & above! Clay Anthony, you're a good man, racing to THE horse for your favorite girl. :)

Bill Mckim would like to rub it in that he was in the Magic Kingdom the other day. Gee, thanks, Bill. :) OK, he didn't actually say that, I'm just teasing. Up high, Bill!
From Millan.Net

John Foggo were the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to John and all our winners this week! Kenny, David Uchtman, Chris Masse, Danielle Ciotti Harlsey, Linda Ranatza, The Kahle Family, Andrea Kruszewski, Kris Nixon, Agnes Ciotti, Carol Ney, Renee, Ashley P. , Ed Hogan, Kristi Strembicki, Jeff Schoeling, Patty Carty, Tracey Lynch, Gay Lynn Brown, Kelly Mager, Rose Sakowski, Torrey Beasley, Theresa Rucando, Jennifer Brown , Kelly Deleon, Diane, Kathy Peak, Dave Freemyer, Tricia Petty, Kerri Coggins, Ken Maikowski, Monica Westbrook , Deb Falvo, Sharon Pierce, Kerrie Hogan, Colette Stanton , Dawn Hartson, Kevin Holbrook, Tina Powell, Jessica Rienzi, Laura V., Pat Schwier, Christina Trigiani, Morag Lemon, Tricia Mynes, Kara Morton, Michael Rudge, Jennifer Rowell, Amy Kirby, Melissa Such, Patty Norman, Tara Colton, Melissa Roberts, The Gunnels Family, Lynn Johnson, Cynthia Hitchcock, Nicole Marvin, Chris S., Matt Wildey, Lori Rienhardt, Leach Family, Team Hill, Sheryl Hicks, Mike Haven, Andrew Carrieri, Clare Snyder, Nick Monitto, Maryann Eckenrode, Tim Johansen, Barbara Ajak , Shanda Huston , Lorine Landon, Wendy Beaudoin, David Templeton, Carol Falk, Tammy Wright, Tina G, Kathie Puckett, Jen Tremley, Valerie Lunsford, Jason Hocker, Tina , Gerald Skanes, Shirley Bomgaars, Tommy Montgomery, Penny, Robert Fancher, Judy Simonsen, Sarah Orman, Kirsten Miller, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Sharynne Smith, Amy James, Mary Ann Lamay, Marcie Soderlund, Marie Lornie, Double Family, The Fosbender's, Gina Smith, Karen Hochstetter, Deb Ragno, Josh Weiss, Mike Malampy, Shannon Waggoner, Dawn Bach, Karyn Benczenleitner, The O'meara Family, Claire Gregory , Linda Ranatza, Joyce Madden, Barbra Crabtree, Craig Livingsotn, Meghan Gleason-vollmer, Dee Dee Kenney, Maggie Klotz, Carla C, Beth Mcmeekin, Ellen Sullivan, Angie Blair, Kelsi, Mike O'brien, Linda Scrivano, Stefanie Vandiver, Karen Schlumpf, Lauren Thomas, Kye Layton, Carolyn Como, Maureen Handy, Janet T Thorn, Bob Patterson, Lauren Wambach, Derek Carty, Lisa Bohannon, Josette Gabel, Paul Moore, Brian Miller, Jeffrey Thomas, Kelley Madensky, Al Ganter, Morgan M, Heather Sabatino, Clay Anthony, Ed Suscreba, Hobbes And Snorky, Jennifer Chartier, Carolyn Poirier, Mike Mondoux, Diane Curfman, The Malesky Family, Jodi Cook, Karen Davis, Sharon Sejda, Chris Kelly, Pam Vanaustin, Robert Wescovich, Robert Wescovich, The Kertes Family, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Rose Doney, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Evald Olson, Wendy Barney, Bruce Hinterleitner, Jonathan Ward, Pollyanna Buff, Hulse Family, Karen Ramirez, Kris Blamphin, Justin Murphree, Sarah Calvario, Nathalie Periard, Robert Hildebrandt , Doug Reichl, Tammy Wilson, Tom Hermes, Dan And Elizabeth Johnston, Sandy Weiss, Laureen Loftus, Erin Hammer, Laurie Walker, Paul Knott, Patti.mccaffrey, Christi Ison, Vicki Britt, Larry Sprenkle, Sarah Thomas, Andrew Swiatowicz , Jim Finley, Trina Noggle, Doug Olson Family, John Bickers, Betsy Silvestri, Josh Carney, Paul Dickson, Rob Blundin, Andy Hickey, Mary Thatcher, Ed Elder, The Parker Family, Heather Pedulla, Jason & Melinda Lenz, Emily Hudson, Les Stewart, Kate Nejman, Vera Williams, Amanda Campbell, Karen Wheatley, Timmy Saunders, Dave Kanigowski, Sandy Kanigowski, The Hoekzema Family, Billie Jean Albolino, Russ Morgan, Maryann Romagnano, Jennifer Denenholz, Jeff Blank, Kristyn Scibienski, Brian Gallant, Noelle Darcy, Al Sandal, Linda College, Jennifer Shaw, Duskin Henard, Paul Ignudo, Jr, Bonnie Tulenko, Ken Clark, Karen Costa, Heather Hynes, Jeremy Reichelt, Chris Bauman, Jennifer Snook, Alison Rosenberger, Jennifer Harmon, Karrie Duffey, Diane Ramos, Rob And April - Team Vanderpool, Stephanie Dollar, Nancy Cole, Carol Gamill, Anastasia Macneil, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Gallagher Family, Wayne Witherspoon, Andrew Pettit, Sara Holloway, Thomas Farquharson, Shelly Borella, Louise Barton, Brian Yesutis, Carri Marotto, The Patterson Family, Nathaniel Clements, Scott Greenbaum, Scott Heffren, Team Meeker, Steve Knapp, Matthew Jadro, Karen Bellamy, K Beasley, Kathy Rubin, Melody O'donnell, Ashley Collins, Alan Mize, Heather Haynes, Karen Smith, Ron Harper, Team Bonnie Sue, Matt Ciccone, M'shel Bowen, Jerry Weldon, Taryn Dewald, Caitlin Lewis, Les Whitten, Elaine Kleinhenz, Craig Lordan, George Mundy Jr, Mickey Eckert, Jennifer Mercier, Jim Thompson, Fran Rendulic, Terry Fleming, Barbara Ingram, Wendy Ingram, Ladonna Tisdale, Robert P. Flaherty, Jeremy Hardy, Jim & Lorie Sonnen, Duke Popek, The Holmes Family, Tom Buck, Joseph M. Zafia, Tom Koval, Sharon Dale, Heather Calvey, Jackie Graebel, Christy Schor, Margie Larmon, Amy Fleming, Susie Howard, Matt Holley, Ken Rhinehart, Mary Kat Samluk, Sherri Pell, Denise Finkle, Brian Haas, Heidi Goodhue, Wendy Snelgrove, Stacy Guarracino, Wendy T Faler, Cheri Palmisano, Mike Haeberle, Emily Harper, Erin Connell, Kristan Bertelmann, Susan Higginbotham, Timothy Hutchinson, Linda Grau, Mark Proper, Randi Balch, Bill Mckim, Linda Allen, Ashley Hill, Wayne, and Chris & Maranda Nichols. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #298 Where in the world is this?

Different park this week, Players, but still a park!
 Where in the World #298

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, September 26th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

September 15, 2013

Where in the World #297

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!

Mickey Eckert, I tried to find the same video you mentioned, but only found the official one. Very pretty though!

Challenge #296:
 Where in the World #296

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © 2011 Erin Blackwell

Andy Hickey, you're right!

Welcome to "Dream Along With Mickey" in font of Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom! Mickey and Minnie are ready for the grand finale where they rise to great pinnacles!

I took this picture in December, so you can see the Castle Dream Lights on the walls although they blend in rather well.

Chris Masse were the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Chris and all our winners this week! The Kahle Family, Hillary Waldroop, Paul Dickson, Janet T Thorn, Kristi Strembicki, Mary Beth Tarbet, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Virginia Pierce, Carol Gamill, Kerri Coggins, Carol Ney, Linda Ranatza, Theresa Rucando, Maryann Eckenrode, Jason &Melinda Lenz, Andrew Carrieri, Carla C, Dee Dee Kenney, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Patty Carty, Mary Thatcher, Trina Noggle, Mickey Eckert, Kye Layton, Derek Carty, Kenny, The Parker Family, Tiffany Gibb, Team Hill, Deb Ragno, Vicki Britt, Karen Schlumpf, Wendy Barney, Dawn Bach, Kerry A., Kris Nixon, Carolyn Como, Chris Kelly, Dan And Elizabeth Johnston, Sarah Calvario, Donna Frank, Louise Barton, Pam Tees, Sharon Pierce, Double Family, Linda Scrivano, Alan Mize, Andrea Kruszewski, Tom Koval, Betsy Silvestri, Rob Blundin, Jeremy Hardy, Jennifer Rowell, Sharon Dale, Morgan M., Cheryl Chambers, Hobbes And Snorky, Nathalie Periard, Erin Hammer, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Lee Anastasi, Penny, Pollyanna Buff, Larry Sprenkle, Diane Curfman, Schweizer Family, Jim Finley, Elizabeth And Vicki Edwards, Kristan Bertelmann, Robert Wescovich, Stefan Owens, Cynthia Hitchcock, Christina, Chris Nichols, Mikemalampy, Vanessa Gordon, Sara, Les Stewart, Maryann Romagnano, Cathy Connors, Jeff Blank, Pam Vanaustin, Chris Connors, Russ Morgan, Jason Skow, Bob Patterson, Duskin Henard, Wayne Chadiurne, Diane Ramos, Tricia Noble, Bonnie Tulenko, Jeremy Reichelt, Shelly Borella, Matt Holley, Melody O'donnell, Karrie Duffey, Wayne Witherspoon, Anastasia Macneil, Peter Boguszewski, Terry Fleming, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Brian Yesutis, Nancy Cole, George Mundy Jr, Karen Costa, Karen Smith, Michael Gunnels, Stephen Knapp, Stephanie Linares, Fran Rendulic, Carri Marotto, Patti Mccaffrey, Karen Bellamy, Sarah Thomas, Wendy T Faler, The Kertes Family, Kim Paulakos, Tim Johansen, Susan Higginbotham, Lori Rienhardt, Lorie &Jim Sonnen, Heidi Goodhue, Olivia, Craig Lordan, Jennifer Harmon, Josh Carney, Angela, Vera Williamss, The Scimeca Family, Amanda Campbell, Tom Buck, Amy Scott, Liz Moreau, Patti Deluca, Elaine Kleinhenz, Jackie Graebel, Taryn Dewald, Claire Gregory, Alicia Littleton, Jennifer Bogdan, Joseph M. Zafia, Katie Bray, Stephanie Dollar, Ken Rhinehart, Josh Weiss, Gail States, Jo Ann Bailey, Vicki Yarnell, Agnes Ciotti, Emily Watson, Christy Schor, Stacy Guarracino, Andy Hickey, Lisa Cash, Sandy Kanigowski, Dave Kanigowski, and Evald Olson. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
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Challenge #297 Where in the world is this?

Keep the park passes handy because we're not leaving them.
 Where in the World #297

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

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 2, 2013

New Fantasyland, New Photo Opportunities

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

With the new additions to Fantasyland, came new photo opportunities. I have been enjoying all the new views from fellow Walt Disney World fans since the expansion opened to the public last November. I have not been back yet to see all the new attractions and beautifully Imagineered landscaping and structures. I did get a sneak peek of one of the attractions about a month before the "official" soft openings.

The queue for Enchanted Tales with Belle winds along a treed path into the house Belle and her father lived. I found this view of the Beast's castle off in the distance which may get blocked once the trees grow to their full height in the future. Of course, the castle is not very far away in reality. Caulk it up to Disney's famous use of forced perspective.

View of the Beast's castle from the Enchanted Tales with Belle queue in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
View of the Beast's castle from the Enchanted Tales with Belle queue.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/80s, f/16, ISO 250, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

Notice the use of the small aperture of f/16 to get maximum depth of field called hyperfocus.

July 14, 2013

Where in the World #288

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!

Everybody, stop! We missed a birthday! So all together and with great feeling: Happy Belated Birthday, Sara Holloway! I'm glad at least we released the Tangled lanterns for your big day!
From Millan.Net

Thank you, Sophia! I really like my Crocs picture too. :)

Christi Ison, wow!!! Thank you so much for that wonderful note!

Here's Challenge #287:
Where in the World #287

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

All right, before we get to the answer, does anyone have to go potty? OK, then it's a good thing we're here at the Tangled/Rapunzel themed bathrooms in Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland. Where, as Sarah And Chris said, "Disney proves even the bathroom can be an attraction". Because, like Chloe Mayhew said, the detailing is amazing, you can spend an hour checking it out, and like me, Duskin Henard, and a lot of others, you sit there going, "Really? Just bathrooms?!" They quickly became mine and Dave Carriere's favorite rest area! Plus the outlets for charging phones and tablets hidden in the tree stumps where you sit outside, as Vanessa Gordon pointed out. I think John Bickers had to make use of those while he waited for his teen daughter. Didn't you, John? :)

Or as Melissa Straka's daughter said, "Why does Belle have a new castle and Rapunzel's house is the bathrooms?" Oh snap! Actually, that's a very good point, Miss Straka. :)

OK, Annie Snodgrass put the song in my head. Rapunzel, it's a different one, but I think you'll like it. Players, it's time for a sing along:

All those days watching from the windows
All those years outside looking in
All that time never even knowing
Just how blind I've been
Now I'm here blinking in the starlight
Now I'm here suddenly I see
Standing here it's all so clear
I'm where I'm meant to be
Rapunzel Tangled emoticon

So what you're saying is, Patti Mccaffrey, that I should put Leslie Stewart's name in the winners. ;)

Amanda Campbell was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Amanda and all our winners this week! Erin Hammer, Mary Beth Tarbet, Chuck Sands, Ed Elder, Scott Greenbaum, Clinton Dickinson, Jessica Gardner, Chris Masse, Steve And Ruby Jordan, Sharon Pierce, Melissa Such, Karen Schlumpf, Dulcie Hayes, Jen Arabian, Tricia Petty, Scott Precise, Hayley Lawson, Jennifer Rowell, Louise, Paul Gera, Debbie Desimone, Al Desimone, Belicia Cullen, Candice Grimes, Dawn Bach, Christina Trigiani, Jim Riddle, Kenny, Cedric Ching, Scott Cullen, Kristi Strembicki, Donna Frank, Christine Mckay, Amy Weber, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, K Beasley, Edwina Borde, Laura V., William Patton, Jen Tremley, Steve Soares, Katie Buck, Meredith Koeval, Sarah Calvario, Tiffany Mink, Melissa Straka , Rachel, Maryann Eckenrode, Kye Layton, The Kertes Family, Tracee Kascak, James Schmidt, Team Hill, Kimberly Brammer, Patti Gumiela, The Omeara Family, Lynette Michalos, Phil Vickers, Scott O'donnell, Susie Howard, Jennc, Shanea Carr, John &Rhonda Nottell, Leigh Mertz, Carol Ney, Linda Ranatza, Pam Vanaustin, Paul Dickson, The Crea Family, Tinkerbell Wells, Brian Miller, Paul Moore, Colette Stanton , Trina Noggle, Lee Anastasi, Megan K, Kristen Mccoy, Sophia, Paul Knott, Betsy Silvestri, Mike Rotkiske, Kathy Morris, Kerri Coggins, Lisa Bohannon, Julie Wickware, Pam Tees, Sara Holloway, Suzanne C. Denham, Sarah And Chris, Kirsten Miller, Kate Nejman, Kelly Cummings , Gail States, Jefrey Hunt, John Edwards, Vicki Yarnell, Sandie Albrecht, Chris Kelly, Stacey Thibodeau , Kathryn Perkins , Caryn Schill, John P, Maggie Klotz, James Steele, Kris Nixon, Dan And Elizabeth Johnston, Carolyn Como, Cindy Pink, Deb Ragno, Jen E., Kyler And Kevin Scott, Rebecca Keenan, Shannon Stitzel, Mickey Eckert, Emily Hudson, John Bickers, Madeline Davis, Michelle Palazzo, Chloe Mayhew, Laurie Walker, Carol, Randi Balch, Josette Gabel, Vanessa Gordon, Chris Nichols, Cynthia Hitchcock, Nathaniel Clements, Diane Curfman, Morgan M., Jeremy Hardy, Vickie Smialkowski, Heather Hynes, Tammy Kennedy, The Patterson Family, The Foley Family, Melesia Love, Diane Batista, Josh Carney, Melody O'donnell, Craig Lordan, Bonnie Tulenko, Ashley Ryan, Anastasia Macneil, Timothy Hutchinson, Karrie Duffey, Jeremy Reichelt, Mike Gillardi, Kara Morton, Andy Schumacher, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Ashley P. , Carrie Rampy, Chris Bauman, Lori Rienhardt, Barclay Bakkum, Jim Finley, Matt Holley, Melissa Rappley, Stephanie Linares, Doug Reichl, Randy Thomas, Hillary Waldroop, Jeff Finger, Ashley, Alison Rosenberger, Stephanie Dollar, Tim Johansen, Dave Carriere, Amy Martel, The Holmes Family, Tracey Mayfield, Claire Gregory, Duskin Henard, Michelle Norris, Daniel Record, Erin Connell, Kristan Bertelmann, Sanford, Agnes Ciotti, Mike Fisk, Annie Snodgrass, Tricia Noble, Olszak Family, David Ballard, Elaine Kleinhenz, Theresa Rucando, Whitney M, Jim Riley, Shelly Borella, Marie Phillips, Team Bonnie Sue, Kerry A. , Charlotte Pardo, Tom Koval, Sara Alaimo, E, Jackie Graebel, Carrie Kwiat, Virginia Pierce, Les Stewart, Patti Mccaffrey, Christi Ison, Ladonna Tisdale, Kerry Mccaffrey, Hoekzema Family, Rapunzel, Carla Leger, and Cheri Palmisano Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #288 Where in the world is this?

Time to spread out in the parks and figure out where this is!

 Where in the World #288

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

July 2, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week: Pirates of the Caribbean, the Movie

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Raise your hands if you thought Disney would be successful in making movies based on themepark rides or attractions? I wonder how many of you would have raised your hands before the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie, Curse of the Black Pearl. Now with four movies in the series with a fifth in the works, it is safe to say this movie ride far surpassed anyone's expectations.

It helps to have a great cast and, none more important, than Johnny Depp as the infamous Captain Jack Sparrow. A character who now has his own show at the Magic Kingdom and audio-animatronics of himself added to the ride in the first ever change to the Pirates of the Caribbean storyline. I even had the good fortune of meeting Captain Jack during a media event back in 2011. He was just as charming in person as in the movies.

Blog photograher and his wife with Captain Jack Sparrow at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Scott and his wife with Captain Jack Sparrow.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/50s, f/5, ISO 1100, EV 0, 32mm focal length, rear-sync flash.

TIP: Look who got in a photo! I handed my camera over to a PhotoPass Photographer. Remember, they will use your camera upon request. Make sure it is all set to go like mine was.

Lisa will be here on Thursday to share her Disney Pic of the Week on Pirates of the Caribbean (Movie).

June 23, 2013

Where in the World #285

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 writing this on the first official day of Summer!
From Millan.Net
Who wants to join me in my convertible and head for the beach? convertible

Thank you to everyone for all the lovely birthday wishes!

Chloe Mayhew has the post-Disney vacation blues. What would you like, Chloe? Hug hug emoticon or Disney comfort bear From Millan.Net?

Rapunzel, good luck with your Disney trip sweepstakes! You're taking me along if you win, right?

We had two challenges last week.! Here's the Extra Tough Challenge:
Where in the World Extra Tough Challenge

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

A Mickey topiary fountain garden in the Disney Marketplace, Downtown Disney. I asked my husband if we could get one, but he said they had sold out. Sigh. How awesome would that have looked?

Craig and Jeff Blank came the closest. Craig said a flower bed and Jeff said a few plants in in 44 sq miles of plants. Way to go, guys!

Duskin Henard, again with the potty mouth, saying bumfoozled! You are a rebel!

Here's Challenge #284:
Where in the World #284

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

Just about everyone got this: the backdrop at Country Bear Jamboree in the Magic Kingdom.

Everybody, sing!
The bear band bears will play now in the good ol' key of G
Zeek and Zeb and Ted and Fred and a bear named Tennessee
Zeck's a-tangin' on the banjo and a-tappin' with his feet
While bangin' on a dishpan with a real ol' country beat
Zeb's a-sawin' on the fiddle with a crooked hickory bow
When the spirit moves that bruin, he can make that fiddle go
Brother Ted is on the corn jug now I mean that bear can blow
He also plays the washboard with a handle of a hoe
And big Fred's playin' mouth harp, he plays it kinda sad
He never took a lesson, he just picked it up from Dad
And lil ol' Tennessee Bear is a featured on the thang
Sounds just like a guitar but it's only got one string
So clap your hands and stomp your feet and try to keep right with 'em
One sure thing the Bear Band's got is real ol' country rhythm
Yeah. clap your hands and stomp your feet and try to keep right with 'em
One sure thing the Bear Band's got is real ol' country rhythm - AH Ha!
(teddy bear squeak)

Jeremy Hardy, let me know how that Dr. Winch sign goes over at your dental clinic! ;)

Paul Dickson was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Paul and all our winners this week! Candice Grimes, Denise Cayz, K Beasley, Mark Burden, Karen, Tinkerbell Wells, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Mary Beth Tarbet, Janet Thorn, Donald Leblanc, Chris Nichols, Kenny, Ellen Sullivan, Dave Wang, Anne Marie Cronin, Tracy Ludwig, James Dezern, Bruce Hinterleitner, Christina, Steve And Ruby Jordan, Team Hill, Melissa Such, Vera Williams, Deb Ragno, Johansen Family, Amy Schweizer, Kristi Strembicki, Tricia Petty, Joe Calomeni, Dee Dee Kenney, Robert Avnet, Deb Falvo, Colette Stanton, Daniel Record, Duskin Henard, Lee Anastasi, Maggie Klotz, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Pat Schwier, Herb Miller, Sharon Powell, Anne Beebe, Maureen Handy, Dawn Bach, Stuart Savage, Kat Georgiou, Scott Greenbaum, Tom Koval, Craig, Brian Miller, Jeremy Hardy, Patty Carty, Sandie Albrecht, Betsy Dross, Pam Vanaustin, Jennifer Rupert , Jim Thompson, Morgan M., Bill Mckim, Chuck Sands, Julie Wickware, Les Stewart, Michael Mclucas And Jackie Mclucasi, Mike Rotkiske, Jonathan Thomas, Ladonna Tisdale, The Parker Family, Susie Howard, Kerry Mccaffrey, Andrew Swiatowicz , Judy Simonsen, Billie Jean Albolino, The Kertes Family, Vicki And Elizabeth Edwards, Kristyn Scibienski, Claire Gregory, Brenda Strohmeyer, Carolyn Como, Jenn Crosby, Randi Balch, Erin Lamb, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Agnes Ciotti, Lindsay Coram, Jeff Blank, Kevin Miller, James Steele , Nigel Mcquire, The Foley Family, Linda College, Heather Sabatino, Jeremy Reichelt, Barclay Bakkum, Chloe Mayhew, Karrie Duffey, Rebecca Keenan, Anastasia Macneil, Nathaniel Clements, Michelle Boykin, Nathaniel Clements, Josh Weiss, Jim Finley, The Patterson Family, Davida, Karen Bellamy, Team Meeker, Brian Richmond, Jen Cox, Ron Harper, Kat Curtis, Carla Leger, Dave Freemyer, Ed Suscreba, Matt Holley, Betsy Silvestri, Emily Hudson, Team Bonnie Sue, Sharon Pierce, John Pasqueralli, Hoekzema Family, Chris And Sarah, Jason Skow, Mandy Kromer, Ed Elder, Doug Olson Family, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, Kerry A., Dan And Elizabeth Johnston, Brian Gallant, Brooke Whitlatch, Caroline Burmester, Evald Olson, Dave Kanigowski, Sandy Kanigowski, Stacy Lee, Rapunzel, Kristen Mccoy, Larry Sprenkle, Robert Wescovich, Leigh Mertz, Terry Fleming, George Mundy Jr, Patti Mccaffrey, Virginia Pierce, Josh Carney, Karen Smith, and Peter Boguszewski. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
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Challenge #285 Where in the world is this?

Once more into the parks! Look at me, I'm quoting Skakespeare.... kind of.
 Where in the World #285

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, June 27th, 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 13, 2013

Building a Home for the Beast in Fantasyland

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Construction of the Be Our Guest and Gastons Tavern in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Construction of the Be Our Guest and Gastons Tavern in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/500s, f/11, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 105mm focal length.

It can be disappointing when we walk around a Disney park and there are signs of construction. As much as Disney would love to hide it, when a project as large as the ongoing work in the new Fantasyland is, it is just impossible. However, I look at it as new magical adventures to come. Which is what I did back in October of 2011 when I took this photo where the Be Our Guest restaurant and Gaston's Tavern were being built. They are now open and receiving guests daily. An interesting Disney Pic of the Week on Construction.

June 9, 2013

Where in the World #283

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!

As you read this, Players, I am home from my Disney vacation. (lip trembling). Someone Disney bear me.
From Millan.Net
Although, Claire Gregory, I did do everything you said. :)

On the other hand, there's apparently a Where in the World Photo Fun convention that I didn't know about because Duskin Henard, Chloe Mayhew, Penny Urell, and Karen Smith are all in the World! Have wonderful trips!

Sophia and John Bickers, thank you so much for your wonderful notes!

Here's Challenge #282:
Where in the World #282

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

Elaine & Aj Deluca would like to say, this is "the unbelievably, totally awesomely wicked, statue of AJ's favorite pals Chip & Dale in the Hub of the Magic Kingdom". :) A lot of people listed these little guys as their favorite hub statue while other people are visiting others!

Dulcie Hayes was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Dulcie and all our winners this week! Daniel Record, Deedee Kenney, Michelle Raimist, Cheryl Akers, Karen Drum, Denise Cayz, Kevin Miller, Chris Nichols, Audra Miller, Kris Nixon, Jim Dewalt, Jessica Longdon, Anne, Kenny, Julie Canaday, Ed Elder, Theresa Rucando, Paul Gera, David, Belicia Cullen, Russ Morgan, Scott Cullen, Tinkerbell Wells, Amanda Campbell, Johnny Kay, Hoekzema Family, Anne Marie Cronin, Pam Vanaustin, Cheryl Chambersl, The Fromm Family, Tiffany Gibb, John Sheridan, Ed, Stephanie Clark, Wendy T Faler, Kathy Wicks, Deme Grabert, Lori Thomas, Suzanna Tweddle, Kristina Mcdonald, Steve And Ruby Jordan, Ken Daube, Ellen Sullivan, Marcus Davies , Mike Walter, Jennifer Lovell, Zach Szymko, Roger Vollmer, Will Belmonte, Jenni Miller, Mary Beth Tarbet, Sharon Pierce, Colette Stanton , Jenny Brennan, Kristi Strembicki, Chris Masse, Julie Wickware, Becky Norman, Jennifer Harmon, Andrew Carrieri, Mary Thatcher , Theresa Lucotti, Susie Johnson, Ed Hogan, Laurie Walker, Betsy Silvestri, Maryann Eckenrode, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, James Dezern, Matthew Brisbin, Jared Orth, Clinton Dickinson, Kathy Morris, Elaine & Aj Deluca, The O'meara Family, Deb Ragno, Dawn Bach, Paul Moore, Emily Hudson, Team Hill, Craig Lordan, Jillian Domings, Kye Layton, Jason Hocker, Patti Miller, Staci Plunkett, Patti Gumiela, Brian Miller, Double Family, Lynette Michalos, Laura V., Sharon Dale, Rebecca Smith, Curtis Bille, Virginia Pierce, Lee Anastasi, Jennifer Bourg, Angie Young, Lorine Landon, Rachel Rimorin, Megan Krainski, Mary Jo Gallion, Vicki And Elizabeth Edwards, Karen Stevens, Mike Malampy, Craig, Christine Kahle, Maureen Hanlon, Billie Jean Albolino, Paul Knott, Craig Livingston, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Emma Poprock, The Kahle Family, James Steele, Cheryl Costello, Patty Carty, Cynthia Hitchcock, Kelly Cummings , Sandie Albrecht, Joe Calomeni, Vera Williams, Jim Riddle, Millie Tenreiro, Caryn Schill, Melanie Dunlap, John Bickers, Jeremy Hardy, Sharon Powell, Donna Currier, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Hobbes And Snorky, Susan Thompson, Trina Noggle, Karen Schlumpf, Kristen Mccoy, Erin Hammer, Alan Mize, The Moore Family, Susie Howard, Pollyanna Buff, Dan Mangini, Kristyn Scibienski, Linda Scrivano, Brian Mcwithey, Maggie Klotz, Sophia, Kyler Scott, Ellie Argaluza, Morgan M., Gerald Skanes, Trisha Johnson, Maureen Handy, The Klein Family, Alison Rosenberger, Duskin Henard, Herb Miller, Mike Rotkiske, Judy Simonsen, Leach Family, Ashley P. , Chris Kelly, Tom Koval, Claire Gregory, Mike Gunnels, Lindsey Schlaud, Matt Petty, Stefan Owens, Kerri Coggins, Angela Fennell, Larry Sprenkle, Rob Blundin, Heather Pedulla, Tricia Petty, Ed Suscreba, Janet Thorn, Nick Bentz, Nick And Steph, Louise, The Patterson Family, Jennifer Rupert, Brenda, Paul Dickson, Jennifer Greene, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Mike Haeberle, Blake Schmidt, Patti Mccaffrey, Diane Curfman, Clay Anthony, Chloe Mayhew, The Kertes Family, Carolyn Como, Jackie Purcell, Karla Callen, Lynn Goshert, Orange Bird, Doug Olson Family, Christina & Natalie Rotella, The Foley Family, Kelly Smith, Brian Gallant, Richard Costall, Les Stewart, Melesia Love, Andrew Bailey, Jessica Folan, Karen Aguiar, Kerrie Hogan, George Mundy Jr, Josh Carney, John Menjes, Kate Fischer, Michelle Roth-smoot, Stephanie Dollar, Jeff Brashear, Steven Rose, Jennifer Snook, Matt Holley, Diane Ramos, Randy Thomas, Shelly Borella, Mary Virginia Clause, Anastasia Macneil, Joy Ousterout, Mary Greger, Tim Johansen, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, Christopher Hall, Carri Marotto, Andy Schumacher, Carla C, Zachary Falcone, Maryann Romagnano, Jullie Pudem, Nancy Johansen, Peter Boguszewski, The Holmes Family, Mike Cerce, Will Gates, Stephanie Linares, Melodye, Diane Furtado, Matt Ciccone, Lorie, Karen Bellamy, Penny Urell, Brian Yesutis, Vicki Vaught, Jim Thompson, Annie Snodgrass, Cris Sefransky, Sara Alaimo, Nathan York, Karen Smith, Reagan Herman, John P, Scott Greenbaum, Mike Venere, Team Bonnie Sue, Chuck Sands, Ashley Hill, Agnes Ciotti, Evald Olson, Mike Hulse, Mickey Eckert, The Hicks Family, Terry Berringer, Robert Hildebrandt, Donna Hawkins , Laney, Elizabeth Scarborough, Davida, Jim Riley, Carla Leger, Vincent Maltese, Brooke Whitlatch, Cheri Palmisano, Melissa Kirk, Nathaniel Clements, Angel Diven, Brendan Abel, Tom Buck , Sandy, Kim Howe, Patti Deluca, Vanessa Gordon, Kim Howe, Pecosace, Jane Johnson, Joseph M. Zafia, Team Meeker, Diane Batista, Olivia , Christine, Kathryn Hughes, Paul Ignudo Jr, Jeremy Reichelt, Christy Gattis, John Pasqueralli, Kerry Mccaffrey, Kathie Goldberg, Peggy Saeger, Theresa Maradei, John Paul Carnell, Vicki Britt, Jean Ehlert, Paul Latella, Stacy Guarracino, Emily Harper, Margie Larmon, Edward Haja, Tom Higbee, Heidi Goodhue, Elizabeth And Dan Johnston, Jeremy Mccaffrey, and Karen Kristoff. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #283 Where in the world is this?

Still in the parks! Don't let the fact that this picture was taken at night throw you off when you're guessing.

 Where in the World #283

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 7, 2013

Splash Mountain Motion in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

For the next four weeks I am going to go around the World of Disney and share a photo from each of the Walt Disney World parks starting with the Magic Kingdom. I will tell you how I took each photo and link to relevant posts for research if you wish to find out more.

This is a photo I planned to get in advance. I wanted a photo to show motion and the Splash Mountain ride in Frontierland immediately came to mind. To take this photo I needed a slow shutter speed but not so slow the log and people in it would become invisible. The rest of the image had to be sharp and I did not have a tripod. When I need to hand hold a slow shutter speed, I use Joe McNally's Da Grip Camera Holding Technique.

Setting the camera to Shutter Priority mode, I photographed the scene using several shutter speeds between 1/2 of a second to 1/80th of a second. I found this one at 1/15th of a second to best fit my vision.

Guests drop down the Splash Mountain waterfall in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Guests drop down the 52 foot Splash Mountain waterfall.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/15s, f/20, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 122mm focal length.

With all the moving rides and attractions in Walt Disney World, capturing motion in a still photograph is a fun way to jazz up your vacation photos.

June 4, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week: Dumbo

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I do not usually partake of the Fantasyland rides. Even when my kids were little, I let Mom do those rides. So, when this topic was proposed by Lisa, I sighed and had every intention of riding Dumbo the Flying Elephant on my very next trip. You know how it goes at Walt Disney World? Time gets away from you or lines become too long or it gets to late before a parade or fireworks show. About two years later, I finally got to ride Dumbo. In the meantime, Dumbo had been moved and had cloned itself. There was now a no-line queue under the Big Top which for little ones and their parents is a fantastic idea.

I used a wide angle lens to look across at the end of the ride when all the Dumbos are lifted as high as they can go. You get a good view of the new Storybook Circus area in Fantasyland from up there.

View from Dumbo in its new location in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
View from Dumbo in its new location in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 16mm focal length.

Lisa will be here on Thursday to share her Disney Pic of the Week with her View From Dumbo.

June 2, 2013

Where in the World #282

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!

Lisa Nelson, you're in Walt Disney World too? I thought that was you! But you didn't wave back; you probably didn't see me. :)

The Kertes Family is here too! It's just a Where in the World Players reunion here. Let's all meet at the castle. I'll be the one acting like a big kid! That narrows it down, right?


Emily Hudson, where in the Garden State are you? North, Central, South? And is it Six Flags or Great Adventure to you? ;)

Patti Mccaffrey, Dale says hi!

Sure, Claire Gregory, you gave the Disney bear back. From Millan.Net Hey, do you have a mission for me? ;)

IMPORTANT: If you received an email from me that you won the monthly prize and have not received it; please let me know with your address.

Here's Challenge #281:
Where in the World #281

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

Sing along, everyone! You know you already were!
From Millan.Net

it's a world of laughter,
a world of tears
it's a world of hopes,
it's a world of fear
there's so much that we share
that it's time we're aware
it's a small world after all

CHORUS:
it's a small world after all
it's a small world after all
it's a small world after all
it's a small, small world

Specifically, the joey in Momma Kangaroo's pouch in the Australian/Pacific North Rim section of the ride!

The Hoekzema Family was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to The Hoekzema Family and all our winners this week! Hobbes And Snorky, Erin Hammer, Lisa Nelson, Erin Loring, Axel Beer, Lori Elias, Tracy Ludwig, Devin Wisman, Paige Meeker, Russ Morgan, Chris Masse, Erika Murphy, Alyssa, Darcy , Richard, Ed Elder, Michelle Raimist, Victoria Wieting, Kathy Davies, Heather Ferguson-hull, Andrew Pettit, Kathy Hucabee, Terri , Jennifer Harmon, Kim, Mike Rotkiske, Karen Adamakis, Amber Henry, Hillary Waldroop, Rob And April - Team Vanderpool, Jared Orth, The Foley Family, Mary Beth Tarbet, Debbie Marielle, Angela Fennell, Todd Ritter, Andrew Swiatowicz, Pam Brzuski, Kristen Mccoy, The Kahle Family, Hayley Valk, Hayley Valk, Kye Layton, Barbara Remele, David B, Sharon Pierce, Emily Hudson, Amanda Woods, Virginia Pierce, Kristi Strembicki, John Sheridan, Betsy Silvestri, Scott Cullen, Belicia Cullen, The Kertes Family, Diana Harris, Kerryann, Chris Kelly, K Beasley, Karen Schlumpf, Larissa Huda, Tricia Petty, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Maggie Klotz, Derek Carty, Chris, Gretchen, &Katie Barnes, Patty Carty, Jason Hocker, Nick Bentz, Susan Doucette, Kerri Coggins, Jennifer Rupert, Noah Schweizer (9 Yrs Old), Hannah Couture, Karen Costa, Erin Connell, Patti Mccaffrey, Jason Skow, Steph And Nick , Diane Curfman, Kathryn Perkins, Josh Weiss, Dan Johnston, Billie Jean Albolino, Carolyn Como, Morgan M., Len Beebe, Tom Donnelly, Karen Davis, Mark Franklin, Melodi Clark, Michelle Roth-smoot, Wayne Chadourne, Kate Fischer, Chris Bauman, Staci Plunkett , Ken Rhinehart, Karrie Duffey, Andy Schumacher, Alan Mize, Diane Ramos, Matt Holley, Mike Cerce, Emily Watson, Matt Ciccone, Larry Sprenkle, Mary Jo Gallion, Les Stewart, Paul Dickson, Vicki And Elizabeth Edwards, Zachary Falcone, Amanda Ober, Jessi, Kim Howe, Mike Hulse, Team Meeker, Kristin Dormuth, Ed Bene, Kimberly Watson, Agnes Ciotti, Kathie Goldberg, Tom Koval, Jackie Graebel, Theresa Rucando, Angel Diven, Wendy T Faler, Emily Dagney, Christine Dagney, Kerry Mccaffrey, Carla Leger, Carla Leger, Brooke Whitlatch, and Cheri Palmisano. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

Drumroll, Players, because we are announcing the May 2013 winner! Chris Masse, it's you! Congratulations! Deb Wills will be sending you a prize in the mail!
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #282 Where in the world is this?

We're staying in the parks, Players!
 Where in the World #282

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, June 6th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

May 26, 2013

Where in the World #281

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #281 Where in the world is this?

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

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

 Where in the World #281

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, May 30th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

May 17, 2013

Using a Super Zoom Lens at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 16, 2013

Cinderella Castle and the Red Balloon

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

A red Mickey Mouse balloon behind Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A red Mickey Mouse balloon behind Cinderella Castle.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/160s, f/6.3, ISO 200, EV -0.7, 11mm focal length, cropped.

Hard not to get a Disney balloon in a photo at the Magic Kingdom. As I was taking this wide angle photo behind Cinderella Castle, a father passed by with a red Mickey Mouse balloon tied to the stroller he was pushing. Thought it a fitting contribution to our Disney Pic of the Week on Balloons.

May 10, 2013

How to Create Travel Magazine Photos at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 7, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week: Clocks

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

It is surprising the number of clocks you can find at Walt Disney World. Even in this age of smart phones and smart watches, there always is a need to look up and find the time on a public clock. Even in the Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland, you will find an analog clock above the entrance to Space Mountain's Video Arcade. Strange it is not digital.

The Space Mountain Video Arcade clock in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Space Mountain Video Arcade Clock.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV 0, 210mm focal length.

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

April 23, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week: Mouse Ears

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Walt Disney World may no longer celebrate special anniversary years but they do like to sell special anniversary merchandise. Such was the case for Epcot's 30th Anniversary last year. Back in 2011, you could find lots of merchandise for the Magic Kingdom's 40th Anniversary which is where I found these Mickey Mouse Ears.

40th Anniversary Mouse Ears for sale in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
40th Anniversary Mouse Ears for sale in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/3.8, ISO 2200, EV 0, 34mm focal length.

Lisa be here on Thursday to share her Disney Pic of the Week on Mouse Ears.

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 4, 2013

Maurice's Table

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Table inside Maurice's Cottage in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Table inside Maurice's Cottage in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/40s, f/3.5, ISO 4000, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

In the new attraction Enchanted Tales with Belle, you walk through Maurice's Cottage. On a table in the kitchen, you will find the book Belle read in the animated feature, Beauty and the Beast, which is open to the page the goat took a bite out of. Next to the book are the plans to Maurice's wood cutting machine. Something to look for when visting our Disney Pic of the Week on the new New Fantasyland.

March 29, 2013

Including Guests in Walt Disney World Photography

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 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 17, 2013

Where in the World #272

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

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

Thank you, Players, for all the Happy Anniversary wishes! It made me look into the game's history and I found out we'll be celebrating Six Years in July! I'll have to think of something fun to go with it.

Meanwhile, Claire Gregory is going through post-Disney vacation blues. You know what that means... Here's your Disney bear to hug, Claire. From Millan.Net

On the other hand, Janet Thorn is in Disney right now. Have fun, Janet! It sounds like you are!

Nancy Ahlsen! From Millan.Net Hey, girl! How you doin'?

Several players said they didn't know Christopher Robin's bedroom was in the UK pavilion. Neither did I, Players. The reason is: it's fairly new. It opened last May. I was standing with a cast member talking about my Doctor Who t-shirt (yes, I'm that geeky) when my husband noticed it. I had forgotten the announcement and then tripped in my rush to take pictures. The attention to detail is AMAZING! If the silly ol' bear ever meant something to you or if you enjoy how Imagineering gives things wonderful detail, go take a look.

Here's last week's Challenge:
 Where in the World #271

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

It's the Indian Village in Magic Kingdom that you can see either from the Liberty Belle riverboat or the steam trains.

O'meara Family, you never have been on the riverboat? You got to go! You can such a great view of Frontierland, Big Thunder Mountain (you can great photos of the trains), Tom Sawyer's Island, and Liberty Square including unique views of the Haunted Mansion. You can even hear how Samuel Clemens came about his pen name Mark Twain. If you click on this link, you can read Jack Spence's wonderful article on the Liberty Belle. Personal note: Beacon Joe's dog used to be named Rufus. As my childhood dog had the same name, I would take pictures of him as a kid and still do to this day. In my mind, he is still Rufus.

Chris Masse was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Mike and all our winners this week! Andrew Carrieri, Daniel Meagher, Sharon Pierce, Rick And Michele Shea, Paul Dickson, Theresa Rucando, Chris Kelly, Susie Howard, The Perras Family, Erin Hammer, The Parker Family, Mary Beth Tarbet, Steve Jordan, Jen Cerce, The O'meara Family, Julie And Kody Riderj, Kerry And Ryan A., Tinkerbell Wells, The Schweizer Family, Shannon Savoia, Mickey Eckert, Kenny, Michael Soskil, Brian Yesutis, Shannon Milair, Janet Thorn, Debbie Desimone, Josh, Cheryl Chambers, Al Desimone, Jessica Iglesias , Rob And April - Team Vanderpool, Ken Clark, Lindsey Nozal, Rob Blundin, Laura, Mike Rotkiske, Lyle Stevens, Cindy Pink, Jennifer Snook, Joyce Shipman, Maureen Hanlon, Maryann Eckenrode, Traci Mills, Johansen Family, Jenny Brennan, Betsy, Claire Gregory, Deb Ragno, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Steve Morin, Scott Precise, Lynette Michalos, Vicki And William Edwards, Jim Sturniolo, Lee Anastasi, Dawn Miller, Gilly Rosenthol, Kelly Cummings, Kathy Morris, Nancy Ahlsen, Kevin Williams, Misty Mehelic, Stacey Diamond, Sandy Weiss, Jennifer Page, Christin Langtry, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Carla C, Kris Nixon, Liz Moreau, Chris & Maranda Nichols, K Beasley, Carla Nale, Doug Olson Family, Leach Family, Brian Fleming, Mary Thatcher, Susan Tadlock, James Steele, Amy Ferguson, Hulse Family, Katie Bray, Lisa Hallmark, Mackenzie D., Morgan M., Daniel Record, Team Hill, Megan Collins, Pam Vanaustin, Maggie Klotz, Kristi Forbush, Demetrios Makres, Jodi Cook, Louise Barton, Cynthia Hitchcock, Anne Beebe, The Malesky Family, Brian Miller, Chuck Sands, Lori Rienhardt, Kathy Miller, Sandie Albrecht, Blake Schmidt, Christine Dagney, Erin Dagney, John Nottell, Victor Masi, James Dezern, Pollyanna Buff, Bill Mckim, Dale Knight, Craig, Pam, Susan Higginbotham, Bridget Richard, Jen Eacret, Julie Wickwarejulie, Bryan Kruse, Paul Newman, Tracey Mayfield, Jared Orth, Hillary Waldroop, Larry Sprenkle, Jeremy Hardy, Bruce Jones, Kim Howe, Sara Colwell , Karen Ramirez, Evanna Huda, Vera Williams, Evald Olson, Randi Balch, Tricia Petty, Kelsi, John Sheridan, Amanda Campbell, Vanessa Stjohn, Brian Mcwithey, Screen Watson, John Menjes, Christina & Tasha Rotella, Megan Krainski, Larissa Huda, Jackie Purcell, Kathryn Perkins, Mitch Buska, Hobbes And Snorky, Cathy Connors, Robert Hildebrandt , Jennifer Shaw, Andrew Pettit, Alison Rosenberger, Nancy Mclaughlin, Heather Hynes, Shelly Borella, Kerrie Hogan, Paul Ignudo Jr, Gail States, Bonnie Tulenko, Marion Durham, Karrie Duffey, Anastasia Macneil, Deme Grabert, Sara Holloway, Jeremy Reichelt, Maryann Romagnano, Ken Rhinehart, Bob Henriksen, Wendy Snelgrove, Veronica Upwood, Steve Knapp, Karen Smith, Bob Hendrix, Morag Lemon, Ronald Delorey, Stephanie Dollar, Emily Hudson, Pecosace, The Kertes Family, Judy Simonsen, Nathalie Periard, Hoekzema Family, Luis Rodriguez, Darcel Margliotti, Diane Ramos, George Mundy Jr, Jason & Melinda Lenz, Chris Connors, Debbie Connors, C.j. Connors, Anna Keene, Josh Carney, Ron Harper, Elizabeth Edwards, Patrick Broaddus, Mike Haeberle, Elizabeth Johnston, Trina Noggle, Thomas Auckland, Vickie Scioneaux, Jane Johnson, Stephanie, Michael Bailey, Elaine Kleinhenz, John Bickers, Colin Sawyer, Joseph M. Zafia, Team Meeker, Dave Kanigowski, Sandra Kanigowski, Melissa Kirk, Jason Skow, Barclay Bakkum, Monica Owens, Mark Proper, Matt Holley, Wendy T Faler, Mandy Kromer, The Pinder Family, Linda Grau, Deb, Chuck Everson, Pete Aponick, Jackie Klafeta, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Agnes Ciotti, Peggy Saeger, Leigh Mertz, Penny, Amy Miller, Patti Mccaffrey, Wendy Barney, Melody O'donnell, Rebecca Keenan, Laura Debouchel, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Tracy Discher, and Nancy Cole. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #272: Where in the world is this?

OK, we're switching parks. I can take 7 people in my van. Can anyone else drive or are we going by bus?

 Where in the World #272

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Friday, March 21st, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

March 12, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week: Train Stations

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When I think of train stations at Walt Disney World, I think of the three staions in the Magic Kingdom found on Main Street USA, Frontierland and Fantasyland. Over the years, Lisa and I have shown you pictures of the trains but not the stations. All are unique and beautifully themeed for the part of the Magic Kingdom they reside in. For instance, the Frontierland Train Station has an old west rustic feel including the beautiful wood sign hanging above the entrance as you enter the station between Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad attractions.

Frontierland Train Station sign in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Frontierland Train Station Sign.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 200, EV 0, 623mm focal length.

Lisa be here on Thursday with her Disney Pic of the Week on Train Stations.

February 26, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week: Yellow

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Yellow is a bright and happy color. Just as Belle was when she wore it in the animated movie, Beauty and the Beast. Belle and her dress sure made this young princess bright and happy.

Belle in her Yellow Gown meets a young guest at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Belle in her Yellow Gown meets a young guest.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/4.5, ISO 200, EV 0, 52mm focal length, bounced flash.

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

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 10, 2013

Where in the World #267

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!

Susie Howard is celebrating her birthday in Disney! Happy Birthday, Susie!

AND!

Melodye Berry is there celebrating her anniversary!

So From Millan.Net to Susie! And From Millan.Net to Melodye!

Ken Rhinehart is also in Disney! Bon Voyage, Ken! Wave, Players! Wave!
footballer
Not that kind of wave!

And From Millan.Net to Chris Kelly who had to leave Disney to face 2 feet of snow at home.

Remember I teased about this being the challenge?
 Where in the World #267

Well, Paul Moore got it. Paul.... that is amazing.jawdrop

 Where in the World #267

It's the pathway between pavilions in the World Showcase in Epcot. I actually took the photo because rain drops formed a Hidden Mickey. See it?

Paul: bravo! clapping

Here was the challenge last week:
 Where in the World #266

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

It's Captain Hook's ship in the mural of Peter Pan's Flight in Magic Kingdom!

Steve Jordan: big thumbs up on the very thorough answer! "That is an image of Captain Hook's pirate ship (Port Side view from astern, roughly 225 degrees relative), as seen on the Peter Pan's Flight ride at the Magic Kingdom." Way to go, Player!

It's one of my favorite rides too, Curtis Bille, and I would hate to lose it! Flying over London! In fact, when Cheri Palmisano sang "You can fly! You can fly! You can fly!", I had to go on youtube and watch a ride video.

Clay Anthony was talking about how they make the car lights as you pass over London: if you don't want to know, bypass this spoiler! It's little dabs of glow in the dark paint on a bicycle chain! :)

Debbie Desimone was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Debbie and all our winners this week! Annie Snodgrass, Theresa Rucando, Erin Dagney, Ed Elder, Christine Dagney, Chris Masse, Scott Cullen, Belicia Cullen, Olivia , Emily Hudson, Andrew Carrieri, Virginia Pierce, Larissa Huda, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Heather Young, Leach Family, Linda College, Kim Hubert, Megan Collins, Tricia Petty, Valerie, Susie Katz , Trinity Phannenhour, Kathy Morris, Mackenzie D., Lynette Michalos, Chris Horne, Hayley Valk, Amber Henry, Spencer, Craig Livingston, Tim Johansen, Tara Soucie, Mike Bidwell, Mary Beth Tarbrt, The Olszak Family, Amy Baxter, Megan E., Megan Krainski, Shannon Savoia, Double Family, Steve Jordan, Callie Wilson, Fran Achorn, Misty Mehelic, Crystal King, Sharon Dale, Elizabeth Poyner, Sharon Dale, Curtis Bille, Wendy, Tammy, Barbara Porterfield, Cynthia Hitchcock, Ruth Woodhouse, Kye Layton, Jodi Cook, Nicole Shuler, Vera Williams, The Kahle Family, Katie Bray, Becky Norman, Team Hill, Laura Fallon, Amanda, Dave Freemyer, Carrie Kwiat, Denise Castiglione, Keith Shinabarger, Ken Clark, Shelley Eggert, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Eileen Wiederspan, Crystal Gelinas, Courtney Payne, James Schmidt, Paul Knott, Mary Brennan, The Parker Family, Nichole Donofrio, Carla C, Cindy Pink, Lisa Hallmark, The Strukel Family, Kelsi, Eleanor Voutsinas, Karen Ramirez, Karen Adamakis, Sophia , Derek Carty, Lori Rienhardt, Trisha Johnson, Hobbes And Snorky, Elisa Steccato, Tina And Thomas Gay, Tom Koval, Paul Moore, Kris Nixon, Jennifer Curiel, Amber Slifer, Craig, Patty Carty, Candy Yancey, Kristi Strembicki, Colleen Wesolowski, Melissa Such, Betsy Silvestri, Candice Grimes, Vanessa Suarez , Addison Welp, Audra Miller, Kevin Miller, Claire Gregory, Mike O'brien, Jason And Melinda Lenz, Mickey Eckert, Jeff Thomas, Suzanne C Denham, Jessica Iglesias, Bill Cudney, Deb Ragno, Nathan York , Jennifer Rupert, Jenny Stoneburner, Brendan Abel, Hoekzema Family, Gina L Falzone, Chris And Alison, Wendy T Faler, Pam Vanaustin, Susie Howard, The Malesky Family, Dee Dee Kenney, Sarah Calvario, Vanessa St.john, Ann, Scott Precise, Ken Maikowski, Kelly Cummings, Kelly Cummings, Jessica Stephens, Lauren Pinder, Morgan M. , Maggie Klotz, Cathy Connors, Rebecca Keenan, Barbara, Cheryl Chambers, Melissa Roberts, Caryn Schill, Elizabeth, Paul Dickson, Anita Jodouin, Evald Olson, Melanie Dunlap, Lois Lynch, Clay Anthony, Anjanette Tournillon, Blake Schmidt, Robert Hildebrandt, Elizabeth Johnston, Ken Rhinehart, Jessica Folan, Steve Knapp, Monica Owens, Josh Carney, Christina Trigiani, Kate Fischer, Karrie Duffey, Anastasia Macneil, Matt Holley, Carri Marotto, John Nottell, Mary Greger, Ashley P. , Tricia Noble, Deme Grabert, Shannon Benton, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Mel O'donnell, Shelly Borella, Erin Hammer, Jennifer Cravener, Jennifer Bourg, Tracy Discher, Kelly R., Cheri Palmisano, Jeremy Reichelt, Ben Frihauf, Scott Sangston, Mike Pennington, Jacquelyn Law, Mitchell Holmes, Michelle Brown, Chloe Mayhew, Nikki, Susan Higginbotham, Liz Moreau, Doug Olson Family, Randi Balch, Shannon Williams, Alison Rosenberger, Amanda Campbell, Hillary Waldroop, Gallagher Family, Jennifer Snook, Sara Holloway, Stacy Hines, Jullie Pudem, Patrick Broaddus, Team Meeker, Jan Rosato, Ron Harper, Eric Enli, Dee Riccio, Josh Weiss, Ashley Hill, The Kertes Family, Kate Flanagan, Heidi Sell, Elaine Kleinhenz, Walter N. Clark, Denise Mcconaghy, Agnes Ciotti, Michael Bailey, David Ballard, Barb Welshhans, Karen Hotchkiss, Les Stewart, Lynn Torre, Vanessa Gordon, Barclay Bakkum, Chris, John Menjes, Mark Proper, Emily Harper, Megan W, Randy, Patti Mccaffrey, Chris Kelly, Lindsay Kasawski, Vicky Jacobs, Michael And Kelly Barnes, Chris Hills, Dave Carriere, Ashley, Margie Larmon, George Mundy Jr, Heidi Goodhue, Ilona Kane, Christy Schor, and Mark Franklin. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #267: Where in the world is this?

Park tickets ready? Here we go!
 Where in the World #267

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

January 25, 2013

Details of the Magic Kingdom's Liberty Square

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

When I was working on last week's article about the Liberty Bell in the Magic Kingdom, I got to thinking about the backstage tour I took a few years ago. The Keys to the Magic tour guide pointed out a couple of historic details Disney Imagineers had added to Liberty Square.

The first one is the rifle in the window. The guide said the musket told others the man of the house was home from the war in Revolutionary times. I found another explanation which said men would place thier rifle in the window to indicate they were home and ready to answer the call to arms. Thus the term Minutemen as they could be ready in minutes.

Rifle in a window of a building in Liberty Square at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Rifle in a window of a building in Liberty Square.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 40mm focal length.

Below you see a plaque with four arms clasped at the wrist. The plaque was a fire marker of the Philadelphia Contributionship for the Insurance of Houses from Loss of Fire. Benjamin Franklin was one of its founders. These fire markers were required for policy holders to affix them to the front of their houses, much like those home security companies do with decals today.

Four hands fire mark on a building in the Magic Kingdom's Liberty Square, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Four hands fire mark on a building in Liberty Square.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 130mm focal length.

Disney is known for its attention to details and the Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom is no exception.

January 18, 2013

LIberty Bell at Night in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

A replica of the famous Liberty Bell was specially cast from the original mold for Walt Disney World and placed in Liberty Square in 1989. Surrounding the Liberty Bell are the flags of the original thirteen colonies. For more fascinating information, visit Jack Spence's Liberty Square Odds & Ends article

Liberty Bell location in the Magic Kingdom's Liberty Square, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Liberty Bell location in Liberty Square.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 8s, f/11, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 16mm focal length, tripod.

During the day, it is hard to get photos of the Liberty Bell unless you get in close and low like Barrie (remember her?) did here: National Treasure: Liberty Bell.

Using a wide angle lens and tripod during Extra Magic Hours at the Magic Kingdom one night, I was able to photograph the Liberty Bell from various angles.

Liberty Bell informational plaque in the Magic Kingdom's Liberty Square, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Liberty Bell informational plaque.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 10s, f/16, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 16mm focal length, tripod.

The wide angle lens allowed me to include the beautiful Hall of Presidents attraction in the background. The small aperture of f/16 created the starlight effects in the lights.

Liberty Bell and the Hall of Presidents in the Magic Kingdom's Liberty Square, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Liberty Bell and the Hall of Presidents in Liberty Square.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 15s, f/16, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 16mm focal length, tripod.

The Liberty Bell is a rather large and easy to find Liberty Square detail. Do you know of other details found in this Magic Kingdom Land?

January 6, 2013

Where in the World #262

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!

Vera Williams, Jim Finley, and Cheri Palmisano, and to everyone who send me such wonderful messages, thank you!

Rob & April Vanderpool, I know you are enjoying Walt Disney World! And so is Maggie Klotz for the first time in over a decade! Enjoy the magic!
From Millan.Net

Jeremy Mccaffrey has the flu this week and couldn't play like he usually does. Get well soon, Jeremy!

My family is having a Disney trip free year too, Jason & Melinda Lenz. Sniffle!
From Millan.Net

Here was the challenge last week:
 Where in the World #261

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

Let me quote from One Man's Dream:
"We know it was really all started by a man, a man with a dream, and a mouse."

The Partners Statue at the end of Main Street, in the center of the hub in front of Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom: it honors the man himself, the one who his brother called the World's Storyteller and how lucky we are to have him: Walter Elias Disney. And his buddy, his partner in magic, the one who Roy O. Disney said was the closest anyone could get to having Walt alive again, the friend Walt always called The Mouse, Oswald's little brother: Mickey Mouse.

I'm so glad so many of you agreed this was a good choice to close 2012 on a magical note.
I'm not going to even to clown around. Let's just enjoy it, the way the movie ends in One Man's Dream (I always choke up):

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you

If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do

I hope your 2013 sees your dreams coming true, Players.

And Tami H. and John Bickers, you got it right. :)

Chris Connors was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Chris and all our winners this week! Robert Hildbebrandt, Cherie Schroeder, Sarah Weiss, Linda Turner, Charis Barron, Kathy Morris, Jay Fuentes, Valerie Alban, Orlaith Ferguson, Liz Moreau, Shannon Wittmaier, Andrew Weed, Jennifer Vega, Carl Kanefsky, Cindy Rey, Kathy Morris, Jeff Brice, Lin Carvell, Deme Grabert, John W. Sharpe, Nancy Miller, Nadine Anderson, Kevin Scott, Janet Fishman, Bob Patterson, Jeff Connors, Roni Dorf-wilcox, Kristen Funk, Sharon Lucia, Ken Rhinehart, Jason Skow, Sherry Tarantino, April Haddock, Dawn Simpson, Amber Penske, Melissa Such, Leslie Pennington, Betty Mercier, Christine Glynn, Lauren Svec, Addison Welp, Amber Cangelosi, Jennifer Rowell, Bridgette Gallagher, Kerri Kobylka, Erin, Krystal Pound, M Goldschmied, Deb Gallo, Jessica Folan, Virginia Pierce, Gregg Eldred, Tinkerbell Wells, James Steele, Linda, Susan Rollins, Hillary Waldroop, David Ross, Kris Nixon, Theresa Rucando, Kathy Miller, Amy Powers, Jen Lombardi, Wayne Chadourne, Cathy Connors, Mark Niebojeski, Tara Noles, Jennifer Snapp, Stefanie Vandiver, Kimberly Pearsall, Vera Williams, Jennifer Snook, Deanna, Karen Wheatley, Sharon Pierce, Eric Enli, Jimmie Jones, Eric Woodfork, Thomas Mangano, Curtis Bille, Fran Achorn, Thomas Mangano, Nicole Klein, Rob & April - Team Vanderpool, Chris Horne, Chris Bauman, Keirsten Sangster, Julia Buchter, Belicia Cullen, Bruce Jones, Michelle Boewe, Scott Cullen, Kelli Gordon, Chris Masse, Jason Hocker, Jeff Blank, Mark Watson, Pam, Marilyn Garfinkel, Amy Schweizer, David Tarbet, Kristin Olmedo, Melesia Love, Jenny Brennan, Maureen Handy, Tim Jeltes, Candice Grimes, Bill Demaio, Tom Koval, Wayne Wyatt, Annette Nuenke, Amy Poole, Jim Finley, Josh Dean, Linda College, Judy, Wendy Hupp, Betsy Silvestri, Pat Cassidy, John Menjes, Jodi Civill, Angie Young, Janet Thorn, Cindy Derosa, Larry Drum, Doug Olson Family, Pollyanna Buff, Greg, Jim Riddle, Matt Holley, Chris & Maranda Nichols, Mark Culwell, Kelly Zanauskas, Brad Kinsey, Carri Marotto, Alan Mize, Cyndi Burns, Deb Falvo, Cindy Hicks, Andrew Carrieri, Jill Haarman, Eric Holmes, The Moore Family, Ed Elder, Emily Hudson, Hobbes And Snorky, Philippe Ouellet, Janna Jewett, The Strukel Family, Karen Schlumpf, Lizanne Fisk, Dee Dee Kenney, Melody O'donnell, Debbie Lanza, Brian Yesutis, Lisa Bohannon, Parker Family, Anastasia Macneil, Antoinette Leblanc, Lisa Bohannon, Mary Beth Tarbet, Katie Bray, Rob Jacob, Jeremy Reichelt, Billie Jean Albolino, Phil Badcock, Evanna Huda, Erin Hammer, Melodye Berry, Chloe Mayhew, Kim Mobley, Alicia, Tami H., Stephanie Linares, Colette S, Ken Maikowski, Demetrios Makres, Claire Gregory, Mary Thatcher, Nicole Shuler, Karen Ramirez, Brian Gallant, Lori Rienhardt, Shelley Diederich, Caren Bauernfeind, Emily Dagney, Chris Dagney, Erin Dagney, Sherry Trapp, Debbie Desimone, Al Desimone, Scott Greenbaum, Monica Owens, Staci Plunkett, Jim Logue, Patti Mccaffrey, Alison Rosenberger, Jonathan Thomas, Jamie K, Kameo Crea, Emily Watson, Nathalie Periard, Robert Dean Bostic, Bonnie Tulenko, Becky Norman, Clinton Dickinson, Al Desimone, Lisa St. Peter, John Nottell, Team Hill, Jim Dewalt, Rachel Hoover, Wendy Snelgrove, Thomas Farquharson, Bryan Kruse, Brent Baker, Mickey Mouse, Lynette Michalos, Kelly Cummings, Susie Howard, Tracy Discher, Mckenna Creese, K Beasley, Dave Wang, Steve Jordan, Cameron Lange, Pamela Manseau, Emma Ramsey, Christina R, Beth Mcmeekin, Maryann Eckenrode, Trina Noggle, Les Whitten, Kelly Mccleary, Jenny Stoneburner, Josh Weiss, Kristi Strembicki, Meredith Rule, Bob Henriksen, Pam Lorenz, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Sarah Calvario, Candy Dadswell, Joanna, Bill Cudney, Lynne Simpson, Rob Blundin, Sharon Dale, Wendy Mowery, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Maureen Hanlon, Ainsley Poe, Nancy Mclaughlin, Bob, Maggie Klotz, Dawn Bach, Carol Gamill, Cindy Pink, Sara Holloway, Michael Malampy, Andrew Swiatowicz, Sharon Powell, Misty Mehelic, Todd Swavely, Kris Blamphin, Deb Ragno, Dave Kanigowski, Sandy Kanigowski, Cynthia Hitchcock, Chris Kelly, Rebecca Keenan, Jason & Melinda Lenz, Jimmy Beaupre, Wendy T Faler, Diane Curfman, Craig, Kathryn Willer, Vicki Vaught, Kelsi, Lynn, Jessica Iglesias, Jared Meeker, Carolyn Como, Susan Higginbotham, Carla C, Jonathan Ward, Larry Sprenkle, Jennifer Rupert, George Mundy Jr, Patty Newton, Hayley Valk, Jennifer Mccurry, Karen Kristoff, Kelly, Tricia Petty, Heather Young, Jodi Cook, The O'meara Family, Doug Reichl, Kim Walker, Jack, Bill, and Ryan Foley, Katie Bamford, Ron Harper, Bruce Hinterleitner, Pam Vanaustin, Cary Burke, Brian Richmond, Mike M., Mike Haeberle, Stefan Owens, Al Ganter, Vanessa St.john, Kerry A., Kristen Mccoy, Mike Cerce, Ronald Delorey, Cassnadra Newton, Kerry Mccaffrey, Maryann Romagnano, Mickey Eckert, Jen Tremley, Jennifer Bourg, Megan Krainski, Paul Knott, Evald Olson, Duskin Henard, Heather Pedulla, Nilda Stuff, Karen Smith, Veronica Peterson, Brendan Abel, Chris Connors, C.j. Connors, Debbie Connors, Olszak Family, Double Family, Joseph M. Zafia, Vicki And Elizabeth Edwards, Barclay Bakkum, Melissa Kirk, John Paul, Heidi Goodhue, Vickie Scioneaux, Maryann Daly, Les Stewart, Juli Case, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Kim May, Jo Ann Bailey, Ronnie Schreyer, Margi Larmon, Elaine Kleinhenz, Jackie Graebel, Jennifer Bogdan, Lisa De Paiva, John Bickers, Kye Layton, Jennifer Murchison, Elyssa H., Peggy Saeger, Tara Bradford, Jane Johnson, Walter N. Clark, Lindsay Kasawski, Kathryn Perkins, Vanessa Medlock, Kerr Coggins, Jared Orth, Sandy O'daniel, Felice Ciccione, Jennifer Carson, Andrea Kruszewski, Rita Henderson, Brian Grabowski, Donna Langdon, Chip Vermette, Zachary Ott, Kelly Mager, Eileen Miller, Mark Proper, Andrew Pettit, Jennifer Harmon, Bob Hendrix, Wendy Barney, Ashley P., Patrick Broaddus, Anita Jodouin, Timothy Hutchinson, Emily Harper, Dan Diehm, Deb Wolfe, Annie Snodgrass, Karrie Duffey, Diane Furtado, Gallagher Family, Kara Cummings, Heather Hynes, Jullie Pudem, John Foggo, Diane Ramos, Trish Babler, Gail States, The Patterson Family, Mary Greger, Cheri Palmisano, Angie Messer, Karen Nelson, Leach Family, Gabriella Rizzo, Lisa Zitek, Pecosace, Kirsten Miller, Harry Wilson, Terri Thornton, Derek Carty, Lynn, Diane Tredore, Dan Mangini, Paul Ignudo Jr., Wayne Witherspoon, Jackie Klafeta, Dave Carriere, Stacy Guarracino, Chuck Everson, Christy Schor, Andy Schumacher, Linda Grau, Mitchell Holmes, Shannon Wright, Brian Mcwithey, Wendy Palmquist, Kathie Goldberg, Orange Bird, Anjanette Tournillon, Lorine Landon, Emily Esker, Elizabeth Goodman, Hulse Family, Jeannine, Michael Nanney, Ashley Hill, Steven Dearment, and Shannon Williams. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

And now: the last monthly drawing for 2012! The winner is: Stephanie Dollar! Congratulations, Stephanie! You will be receiving your prize from Deb Wills soon!
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #262: Where in the world is this?
This is a little harder, but when you see the full picture, I'm hoping you'll agree it's a good one to start 2013.

We are still in the parks.
 Where in the World #262

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, January 10th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

December 30, 2012

Where in the World #261

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!

To all of you, Players!
From Millan.Net
May this be a wonderfully magical year for everyone!

Noah And Amy Schweizer are in Walt Disney World! Everyone wave!
From Millan.Net

Thank you, Judy Simonsen, for your wonderful note!

Claire Gregory, a million DVC points for Christmas would be AMAZING wouldn't it?! I wouldn't leave Disney until 2014!

Here was the challenge last week:
 Where in the World #260

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

I actually thought this would be tough for you. Silly ol' me!

It's the sign for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh! Actually, it's the original sign with one like it hanging off of Pooh's tree house.

All of you know that this ride replaced the Mr. Toad attraction and has tributes to it inside. If you love Disney park trivia, then here's another fun tribute: inside Pooh's house and over the door is a picture of the Nautilus sub, since the tree house stood over the old 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea attraction when it was part of the old Pooh's Playful Spot.

Mickey Eckert, I would be with your family in the little kids line!

Chris Masse was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Chris and to all the readers who got the answer right: Kris Nixon, Krystal Pound, Dawn Bach, Betsy, Eric States, Jason Skow, Brian Miller, Jessica Iglesias, Jared Orth, Chuck Everson, Clinton Dickinson, Shannon Milair, Jessica Folan, Jenny Brennan, Vera Williams, Betsy Bates, Frank Pierce, Tj Mahan, Paul Moore, Glenn Plohasz, Robert Hildebrandt, Robert Hildebrandt, Jennifer Hyland, Heather O'toole, Paul Scimeca, Evanna Huda, Sharynne Smith, Larissa Huda, Pollyanna Buff, Mary Dunnett, John Menjes, Sanford Fuller, Sarah White, Kelly Zanauskas, Charis Barron, Candice Grimes, Brenda, Maureen Handy, Steve Jordan, Bruce Jones, Tina Santacroce, Angie Young, Mike Mondoux, Tricia Noble, Stacey Vandyke, Rob & April - Team Vanderpool, Tracy Davis, Sarah Mccoy, Paul Dickson, Chloe Mayhew, Dave Freemyer, Agnes Ciotti, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Maria Senn, Claire Gregory, Tinkerbell Wells, Taylor K, Deb Gallo, Sarah Calvario, Griffin Connors, Jackie Igoe, Vanessa Stjohn, Kelly Sandidge, Jennifer Rowell, Dan And Elizabeth Johnston, Jenny Stoneburner, Emily Watson, Debbie Chitester, Jeremy Reichelt, Tyler West, Sandy Chang, Danielle Sauthoff, Jessica Ma'ilo , John Nottell, Meredith Rule, The Strukel Family, Lisa Bohannon, Noah And Amy Schweizer, Jim Vandenberghe, Katie Bamford, Laurie Walker, Christopher Barnes, Chris & Maranda Nichols, Rob Jacob, Jeff & Cheryl Simmons, Brian Gallant, Sharon Pierce, Christina R, Theresa Rucando, Jennifer Decker, Andrew Carrieri, Karen Ramirez, Jim Dewalt, Sharon Dale, Doug Olson Family, Amy P, Tanya Hinnes, Hayley Valk, Hayley Valk, Jason & Melinda Lenz, Mark Franklin, Lindsey Nozal, D, Bill Granger, Lee Anastasi, Pam Vanaustin, Mary Beth Tarbet, Judy Simonsen, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Patti Mccaffrey, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Janna Jewett , Kaitlyn, Palmer Family , Wendy T Faler, Team Hill, Emily Canale, Anastasia Macneil, The Kertes Family, Hoekzema Family, Katie Bray, Chris Kelly, Carla C, Emily Hudson, Nathalie Periard, Kristi Strembicki, Maryann Romagnano, Daniel Schweizer, Clay Anthony, Ainsley Poe, Katvan, Mike Malampy, Maggie Klotz, Craig, Al Desimone, Debbie Desimone, Kevin Scott, Vanessa Gordon, Elaine Kleinhenz, The Patterson Family, Henry Schoenstein, Matt Cofone, Mickey Eckert, Heather Young, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Paul Knott, Derek Carty, Jen Tremley, Daniel Record, Megan Krainski, Bruce Hinterleitner, Antoinette Leblanc, Candy Sandal, Al Sandal, Hillary Waldroop, The Parker Family, Jo Ann Bailey, Deb Ragno, Jackie Graebel, Trina Noggle, Jane Johnson, Walter N. Clark, Trish Babler, Lindsay Kasawski, Lindsay Kasawski, Emma Ramsey, Diane Ramos, Wendy Barney, William Sharp, Stephanie Linares, Jonathan Thomas, Lauren Thomas, Bill Cudney , Dale Knight, Kerry A., Eileen Miller, Kerrie Hogan, Eric Holmes, Kerry Mccaffrey, Rita Henderson, K Beasley, Christine Dagney, Erin Dagney, Heather Pedulla, Elaine Tomko-deluca, Annie Snodgrass, Megan W, Kathryn Perkins, Patty Carty, Gena Yates, Shelly Borella, Dave Fullerton, Margie Larmon, Tom Higbee, Lisa Zitek, Sandy Ednie, Ken Rhinehart, Stacy Guarracino, Carri Marotto, Pattie Boy, Emily Harper, Mary M, Heidi Goodhue, Katy Robinson, and Barclay Bakkum. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
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Challenge #261: Where in the world is this?

I wanted some special, something magical for our last challenge of 2012. I know some will say it's too easy and it is but when you think Disney and magic...
Well, this IS the definition of Disney Magic:
 Where in the World #261

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

December 21, 2012

Wishes Christmas Card from the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Wishes Christmas Card from the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Wishes Christmas Card from the Magic Kingdom.

A scanned image of my family's Christmas card for this year. My friend and Disney contract photographer, Bob Desmond, who was kind enough to take on the challenge when I first proposed a photo of my family during the production of Wishes, the nightly fireworks show in the Magic Kingdom. Not only did we have to secure the location Bob had scouted out for us a couple of hours ahead of time, Bob and I had to keep people from crowding in too close. Many of you know how hard that is to do. Bob came prepared with a tripod, remote release, camera, flash, knowledge of the show, a wide angle lens to be able to work in close quarters and still get my family, Cinderella Castle and the fireworks in one frame and patience to handle the crowd and his subjects, us.

For our part, we had to smile for the initial flash which exposed us correctly and stand still during the 15 to 20 second shutter time needed to capture the fireworks going off behind us. Let me tell you, it was hard not to turn around and enjoy the show like the hundreds of people surrounding us. In fact, just to the right and left of us where kids and adults leaning and sitting on the fence.

I can not leave you with the poorly scanned card image above. Here is Bob's final photo which he sent to me. It will be treasured by my wife and I for years to come.

Wishes family portrait in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Wishes family portrait in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D7000/Nikon 10-20mm, 20.4s, f/16, ISO 100, EV 0, 10mm focal length, tripod, front sync flash.

As the card says...Merry Christmas! I will not have a Friday post next week but Lisa and I will have a special Disney Pic of the Week for you. I will return in the New Year with more photographic fun and tips from the Disney themeparks and resorts.

December 18, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week: Dancing

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Disney themeparks have lots of live shows every day. I am willing to bet all them feature two things: singing and dancing. This week, Lisa and I will be focusing on the Dancing aspect of the shows.

Below is a photo from the Main Street Trolley Parade of the performers dancing behind the horse drawn trolley.

Performers sing and dance during the Trolley Parade down Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Performers sing and dance during the Trolley Parade down Main Street USA.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/11, ISO 200, EV 0, 55mm focal length.

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

December 9, 2012

Where in the World #258

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!

Hold the phone, Players! Barrie Brewer, as I mentioned a couple weeks ago, started this weekly challenge to point out details in the Walt Disney World resort. I've also said that I would do horribly at this game if I didn't have the "teacher's book" with the answers in it, per se. This is a perfect example: Bill McKim was the first winner for the Jungle Cruise sign Field and Spice sign challenge. Bill McKim is the name of the man in the Test Track film: "Hi, everybody. Welcome to the Test Track. My name is Bill McKim, I'm up here in the control center and in just a couple of minutes you're gonna be out there on that track." Wow! Kudos to Karen Smith for noticing that! I am whatever is beyond impressed! OK, Bill, is that your real name or where you trying to see if anyone would notice? Either way, thumbs up on the name!

Belated Happy Birthday to Kerry Mccaffrey! I hope you had a great time at your celebration!

From Millan.Net

Time to wave Bon Voyage to Kara Cummings and Kelly Cummings! We know you'll have a wonderful time! Enjoy the magic! Take me with you!
From Millan.Net

On the other hand, Mary Beth Tarbet has the post-magic blues. Time for one of these?
From Millan.Net

Here was the challenge last week:
 Where in the World #257

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

This fishing trophy hung above Mickey's mantle in his house in the erstwhile Mickey's ToonTown Country Fair in the Magic Kingdom. As you can tell, I was visiting Mickey at Christmastime for this picture!
Like the majority of you said in your answers, I love that we are getting new things in Fantasyland, but I wish they had incorporated it with ToonTown. "It all started with a mouse", so instead of his house being gone, I'd like to have seen ToonTown expanded with these new elements blended to it. Maybe move it over to the Studios with the full details that Disneyland has. And an Epic Mickey state-of-the-art ride with Mickey and his brother Oswald saving the day!

Jeremy Mccaffrey was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Jeremy and to all the readers who got the answer right: Craig, Jenny Brennan, Patti Mccaffrey, Diane Curfman, Jen Cerce, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Alicia Henderson, Mary Beth Tarbet, Jim Riddle, Evanna Huda, Laurie Walker, Larissa Huda, Ken Clark, Brian Gallant, Bill Mckim, Sharon Pierce, Janet Thorn, Paul Knott, Jennifer Richmond, Janice, Kara Cummings, Candy Dadswell, Christina R, Evelyn Vertefeuille, Scott Cullen, Misty Mehelic, Belicia Cullen, Kerri Coggins, Kelly Cummings, Stephanie Newell, Megan W, Rob Blundin, Doug Olson Family, Walter N. Clark, Clay Anthony, Paul Dickson, Vera Williams, Chris, Amanda & Maranda Nichols, Rita Henderson, Hoekzema Family, Dallas Hamilton, Cameron Lange, Tricia Noble, Lisa Zitek, Monica Owens, Joann Albrecht, Sharon Dale, Les Stewart, Lauren Blundin, Shirley Garcowski, Claire Gregory, Joseph M. Zafia, Kerry Mccaffrey, Ainsley Poe, Josh Weiss, Vicki And Elizabeth Edwards, Emily Hudson, and Evald Olson. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #258: Where in the world is this?

Staying in the parks!
 Where in the World #258

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

December 2, 2012

Where in the World #257

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: I totally get what you're saying! One day - just one time - I want to brave the crowds and be in Disney on Christmas. Christmas and Disney magic: together... Wow. Now, you're talking about a couple days after which is a bit better, but yes, still VERY crowded.

So here's the advice I've been given by friends who have done this - Christmas week to New Year's. If you want to do Magic Kingdom, you have to get in early because they close the park by lunch time. Be prepared for shoulder to shoulder; find a spot like the outside seating at Cosmic Ray's, wait for a table, and always keep someone there if you want to see the fireworks. Take turns going off. Or go in, see the lights, and leave. But remember: other parks will be better.

Epcot is so large, you will have a bit more space and the tree, Candelight Processional, and countries are gorgeous. Great musical group by the fountain too. Studios and Animal Kingdom will also be less crowded; Studios has the Osbourne Lights!! Get some coco, be prepared for crowds, and just take your sweet time to absorb it all. Animal Kingdom has unique Christmas magic, but it will close earlier. If you do go into parks, do the lesser liked attractions and be prepared not to do a lot. Jump on a train, go see a show, sit on a bench and drink in the beauty.

Also remember: Downtown Disney has wonderful Christmas celebrations: singing, dancing, lights... then take a boat ride to Port Orleans, enjoy the view from the water. It's serene and beautiful. Speaking of resorts, remember the Disney resorts have amazing Christmas displays. Spend a day doing nothing but enjoying them. Jump on the monorail and hit the Contemporary with its Small World theme and huge wreath (don't forget you can see Wishes from there); see the Gingerbread House in the Grand Floridian. Then go over to the Boardwalk with its gingerbread shop, and walk around to Yacht and Beach with the carousel and miniature train exhibit.

At night, go over to Fort Wilderness and see the incredible decorations all around the sites near Pioneer Hall. Tell Hilda with the castle & monorail set, and the inflatable Mickey outdoor movie screen that Erin Blackwell says Hello. ;) If you do park out a spot because of crowds, leaving one there while the other person goes explore for awhile, why not make it fun?

Get little gifts of this special trip while out exploring: a pin of a favorite place, a character pen, a postcard, a little Mickey ring, an antenna topper that also is great on a Christmas tree, a Mickey Ice Cream air freshener for the car.... then before the fireworks/parade/Choir processional or whatever you are waiting to see, under the Christmas lights when you meet again at your spot, exchange your little gifts. Because it's all about Magic: the magic of Christmas, of Disney, and you.

AllEars.net has a lot of links to all the special holiday places around Walt Disney World, and also check out our Tips section for help from your fellow travelers. Have a wonderful trip!

From Millan.Net
Here was the challenge last week:  Where in the World #256

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

The Field & Co. Ivory and Spice Dealers sign in the Jungle Cruise queue. I'm amazed how many people not only recognized this (I wouldn't have), but remembered exactly what this sign says!

Bill Mckim was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Bill and to all the readers who got the answer right: Jonathan Ward, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Hoekzema Family, Larissa Huda, Team Hill, Betsy Silvestri, Chris Malek, Scott Greenbaum, Dave Wang, Peter M Calanrese, Emily Hudson, Lee Anastasi, Vera Williams, Chris Kelly, Evanna Huda, Paul Dickson, Beth Mcmeekin, Jared Orth, Ken Maikowski, Leach Family, Kenny, Julie And Kody Rider, Cheryl Costello, Hobbes And Snorky, Deb Ragno, Craig, Kristi Strembicki, Kerri Coggins, Jerry Weldon, Hillary Waldroop, Curtis Bille, Josh Carney, Billie Jean Albolino, Andrew Pettit, Alison Rosenberger, Anastasia Macneil, Pecosace, Janet Thorn, Amanda Campbell, Les Stewart, Anthony Lipinski, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Patti Mccaffrey, Maryann Daly, Barclay Bakkum, Walter N. Clark, Christ Nichols, Kerry Mccaffrey, George Mundy Jr, Elizabeth Johnston, Shelly Borella, Tom Higbee, Agnes Ciotti, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, and Julia Miranda. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

In fact, it's time for the November drawing! And the winner is: Jennifer Harmon! Congratulations, Jennifer!! You win the AllEars prize!
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #257: Where in the world is this?

Hint for this week: this attraction is no longer open.

 Where in the World #257

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, December 6th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

See you next week, Players!
Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

November 25, 2012

Where in the World #256

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

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

We've had so many Players on Disney trips lately, so that means we have a lot going through the post-vacation blues. Like Claire Gregory, right? So I brought this Disney bear for anyone who needs a hug.

From Millan.Net

We will give each person their privacy for those who need to keep up their tough gritty exteriors, but whose inner child needs a Disney bear hug.

While we're going through the blues, I hope you get to go to Walt Disney World someday, Judy Simonsen, and everyone else who has never had the chance. Every person should get to be surrounded by magic!

Here was the challenge last week:
 Where in the World #255

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

For the first time, everyone got this right! It's a horse on Prince Charming Regal Carrousel in the Magic Kingdom. This particular horse is Cinderella's favorite according to Cinderella herself during meet and greets at the castle, publicity photos taken and posted by Disney, and original guides. Lately, some are now denying it to which I maturely say From Millan.Net.

The carousel has another special meaning for me. When Walt Disney looked for a location for Disney World, my home state of New Jersey was one of his first choices. Our cold winters made him decide against building here, but he did find something that would come to his new Magic Kingdom: this carousel!

Of course, Walt's people extensively renovated it, completely redoing some of the horses and replacing some with new ones so they had the Cinderella scenes and details such as this gold ribbon. But its heart is still the carousel Walt discovered here at my home as he envisioned creating Disney World.

Patti Mccaffrey, I hope you don't mind that I reworded your correct answer. :)

Staci Plunkett was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Billie and to all the readers who got the answer right: Mike Haeberle, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Larissa Huda, The Strukel Family, Bruce Jones, Carol Gamill, Ed Elder, Tim Johansen, Sharon Pierce, Tinkerbell Wells, Lee Anastasi, Jessica Gruhlke, Jennifer Rowell, The Kahlefamily, Hoekzema Family, Dee Dee Kenney, Rob Blundin, Erin Dagney, Christine Dagney, The O'meara Family, Chris Kelly, Jason &Melinda Lenz, Maggie Klotz, Sharon Dale, Evanna Huda, Clare S, Chris Masse, Maryann Eckenrode, Deb Ragno, Craig Livingston, Scott Cullen, Julie And Kody Rider, Hillary Waldroop, Matt Holley, Kathryn Perkins, Erin Hammer, Kye Layton, Claire Gregory, Julie Wickware, Mickey Eckert, Judy Koslowski, Chris And Alison, Nathalie Periard, The Moore Family, Rob &April - Team Vanderpool, Lorine Landon, Jen Cerce, Nicole Amidon, Hunter Armstrong, Kellie Harpel, Vicki Edwards, Kim Mobley, Carla Nale, Josh Weiss, Janet Thorn, Jessica Iglesias, Katie Bray, Kara Cummings, Tommy Montgomery, Kris Nixon, Vera Williams, Luis Rodriguez, Jacquelyn Law, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Annette Nuenke, Ed Suscreba, Curtis Bille, Becky Norman, Brian Gallant, Elizabeth Edwards, Carla C, Lindsey Nozal, Megan Krainski, Emily Watson, Trina Noggle, Danielle Murgia, Double Family, in Magic Kindom, Maureen Handy, Michael Joel Gainey, Marie Seilus, Les Stewart, Lori Rienhardt, Paul Knott, Paul Knott, Betsy Silvestri, Andrew Swiatowicz , Sandy Kanigowski, Team Hill, Mary Thatcher, Billie Jean Albolino, Sandie Albrecht, Dave Kanigowski, Tom Koval, Paul Dickson, Laura, Collette Beuther, Stefanie Vandiver, Colette S, Chris Malek, Tiffany Gibb, Steve Smith, Susan Higginbotham, Deborah Hulsey, Phil Vickers, Kerrie Hogan, Hobbes And Snorky, Emma Poprock, Amy Schweizer, Stephanie Newell, Adam Mcfarland, Erin Loring, Kerri Coggins, Suzanne C Denham, Patti Mccaffrey, Linda Scrivano, Theresa Rucando, Wendy Barney, Christina, Tracie Harris, Ronnie Schreyer, Pollyanna Buff, Amanda Campbell, Cathy Connors, Catherine Crawford, Vanessa Gordon, Amanda Perkins, Vicki Vaught, Dawn Bach, Brian Sheets, Lucille Baro, Megan W, Kelly Cummings, Madison Hovan, Penny Urell, Kerry Mccaffrey, Gallagher Family, Julia Miranda, Rich Esker, Brenda, Kathie Goldberg, Debra Kuklinski, Elaine Tomko-deluca, Karen Schlumpf, Monica Hatch, The Emich Family, Caryn Schill, Mackenzie D., William Edwards, Jennifer Rupert, Nan Lewis, Kyler Scott, Courtney Payne, Laurie W, Emily Hudson, Carolyn Como, Russ Morgan, Josh Carney, Jenny Brennan, Diane Curfman, Emma Ramsey, Jeff And Cheryl Simmons, Karen Drum, Andy Hickey, Doug Olson Family, Brian Sherwin, Kelsi B, Clay Anthony, Agnes Ciotti, Rebecca Smith, Rob Jacob, James &Maranda Nichols, Hulse Family, Melodye Berry, Nigel Mcquire (wales Uk)., Heather Young, Jodi Cook, Angie Young, Vickie Smialkowski, A Gray, Wendy Crober, Cheryl Costello, Michele Mongeon, Melesia Love, Louise Barton, Cameron Lange, Erika Loboda, Andrea Kruszewski, Clinton Dickinson, Mike Haven, Ken Rhinehart, Chloe Mayhew, Sherry Trapp, Andrew Pettit, Anne Hainsworth, Elizabeth Scarborough, Rebecca Keenan, Chris Bauman, Morgan M. , Kelly Smith, Ashley Hill, Jeremy Reichelt, Paul Ignudo, Jr., Alison Rosenberger, Tricia Noble, Kate Fischer, Heather Hynes, Karrie Duffey, Terry Fleming, Derek Carty, Debbie Hicis, The Michalski Girls, Patrick Broaddus, Stephanie Linares, Melissa Littman, Andy Schumacher, Maryann Romagnano, Mary Jo Gallion, Sara Holloway, Wendy T Faler, Jullie Pudem, Diane Ramos, Kelly Zanauskas, Anastasia Macneil, Jeffrey Beauchamp, Steve Knapp, Margie Larmon, Alan Mize, Ashley Wilson, Dale Knight, Angela And David Blevins, Gerald Skanes, Kameo Crea, Eric Holmes, John Pasqueralli, Linda Mac, Jim Thompson, Nathaniel Clements, Carri Marotto, Virginia Pierce, Scrooge Mcduck, Matt Ciccone, Teresa Plunkett, George Mundy Jr, Annie Snodgrass, Chuck Sands, Mike Pennington, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Ainsley Poe, Ronald Delorey, Antoinette Leblanc, Shannon Murray, Heidi Goodhue, Lisa Zitek, Jan Rosato , Nicole Shuler, Greg Gallo, David B., Olivia D, Tiffany W. , The Kertes Family, Kristen Gordon, Heather Pedulla, Cynthia Hitchcock, Erin Connell, Karen Ramirez, Mike M., Michelle Boewe, Mark Proper, Mark Franklin, The Parker Family, Ashley P., Wayne Witherspoon, Shannon Benton, Kristi Strembicki, Regina Allen, Dan Mangini, Nancy Ahlsen, Nancy Ahlsen, Jared Meeker, Josh Dean, Karen Smith, Elizabeth Johnston, Karen Hotchkiss, Vickie Scioneaux, Linda Grau, Jackie Graebel, Gregory Zalesak , Stefan Owens , Mitchell Holmes, Laney, Margaret West, Jo Ann Bailey, David Ballard, Ruth Cookson, Jim Finley, Jane Johnson, Tom Higbee, Robert P. Flaherty, Sheri, Joseph M. Zafia, Terry Berringer, Laura Labadie, Angela Sommer, Les Whitten, Maryann Daly, Nichole Weller, Nancy, Eva Mayhew, Barclay Bakkum, Monica Owens, Sandra Shaw, Tom Mathews, Shirley Garcowski, Emily Harper, Judy Simonsen, Peggy Saeger, Janet Mcclain, Stacy Guarracino, Wendy Snelgrove, Wendy Mowery, Jeff Finger, Melissa Kirk, Nancy Tatro, Walter N. Clark, Pamela Baker, Matt Cofone, Chris Barnes, Tracey Mcgann, Brian Miller, Lynn Lofton, Jeremy Hardy, Christy Schor, Roye Ann Morris, Bob Burge, Cindy Jett, Barb Welshhans, Shannon Wright, and Patti Deluca. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #256: Where in the world is this?

I think this week is tougher, but only you can judge for yourselves, Players, as we stay in the parks for this:
 Where in the World #256

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, November 29th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

November 23, 2012

Color Composition at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 1, 2012

Halloween Lighting for the Haunted Mansion

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Haunted Mansion lighting during Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Haunted Mansion lighting during Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/30s, f/11, ISO 500, EV 0, 16mm focal length.

During Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party, many areas of the Magic Kingdom get enhanced atmospheric (aka fog) and lighting. The Haunted Mansion is the perfect attraction for this and is my Disney Pic of the Week for the Haunted Mansion.

October 26, 2012

More Halloween Fun in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

It is that time when I can get out photos from past Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Parties I have attended the last two years. Remember last year when the Cadaver Dans paid us a visit and those great special effects at the Haunted Mansion? Here are a few more photos to share with you.

A collage of Halloween fun during a Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Halloween fun during a Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.

From top left going clockwise; The Headless Horseman leads off the Boo To You Parade, Ghost of Lady Renata in front of the Haunted Mansion, HalloWishes grand finale behind Cinderella Castle and a zombie marching in the parade on Main Street USA.

October 23, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week: Halloween

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Magic Kingdom turns into a Halloween lovers dream each year at this time. Pumpkins, scarecrows, maize and corn stalks line Main Street USA. Many evenings here are reserved for fun and trickery at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Parties with a parade not to be missed if you are visiting the resort.

Walt Disney World goes all out including changing the statues around the Partners statue with holiday themed replacements. Donald Duck changes into his Musketeer costume and is surrounded by complimentary colored flowers.

Musketeer Donald statuette in the Magic Kingdom for Halloween, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Musketeer Donald statuette in the Magic Kingdom for Halloween.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/160s, f/16, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 16mm focal length.

Lisa will be here on Thursday with her Disney Pic of the Week photos of Halloween in the Disney parks.

October 14, 2012

Where in the World #251

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!

Patti Mccaffrey, it's Thanksgiving in Canada already?! This year is flying by, I can't believe it. I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving and the same to all our Players in Canada!

Smiley from millan.net

While we're talking about wishing people things: Chris Kelly is headed for her Walt Disney World trip! Bon Voyage from all your fellow Players, Chris! We are living vicariously through you! Rob and April Vanderpool are probably stowing away in your luggage; just add airholes and they'll be fine!

Team Hill and the Hoekzema Family: so you found my Flickr stream! Glad you liked it. :) I can't believe I didn't think of people finding those pictures... not the sharpest tool in the shed. ;) Did you see my dogs? They're headed for the next Disney trip too!

James and Kathy Berry, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, thanks for the happy 20th wishes! You are having big anniversaries this year too; I know it's a cliché, but it ends up being so true, doesn't it? Where did that time go?!

Amanda Campbell, you were going to take your 3 month old daughter on her first Disney trip and now you're not.... what did she do? Order a Princess dinner on your credit card? Kids, huh?! The things they get into!

Here was the October 7th challenge:
 Where in the World #250

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

Chloe Mayhew, you gave the technical answer. I hope you don't mind if I share it: "The sign above the ticket taker thingy :) at the Magic Kingdom. You can see this when you are exiting the Magic Kingdom." I know: ticket taker thingy. Someone has been studying the Imagineering guides! :)

It's a sad sign, isn't it? Even when I'm in the beginning of my trip, I get a little hitch when I see it! And if it's the end of the trip...!

How about that big sign on World Drive as you're leaving that says "See You Real Soon!' That's a heartbreaker! I always act with great maturity whenever I see it as we leave:

Smiley from millan.net

I don't wanna go! Please! Go back! No, the street signs aren't purple anymore! They're green! GREEN! The magic is fading!

Kids, do not behave this way. :)

Jodi Cook was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Jodi and to all the readers who got the answer right: Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Alan Mize, Emily Esker, Larissa Huda, Evanna Huda, Scott Cullen, Belicia Cullen,