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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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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!

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.

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.

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 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!

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.
__________________________________ _____________________

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!

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.

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).

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.

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.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

September 30, 2012

Where in the World #249

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 Birthday, Karen Ramirez! May you have a magical year!
Smiley from millan.net

James And Kathy Berry, you're at Walt Disney World the week before me! We'll have to wave as we pass each other!

Mike and Susan Hill asked what's the largest number of correct numbers we've ever had. OOOO good question! We actually set a new record last week: 555! So it's a good thing you asked or I wouldn't have noticed!

Heather Young and Lauree Little, thank you so much for the lovely messages!

I can't get over the number of people who are on Disney vacations and stopped to check out "Where in the World"! Of course, you had to tease me about being in places like the Italy Pavilion (Rob & April Vanderpool), just got there & looking forward to a whole Disney trip (Caroline Burmester) and enjoying Magic Kingdom (Les Stewart). Then there's Danielle Ciotti Harsley in Bermuda!

And while you were all playing around the World for last week's Challenge, Annie Snodgrass is there now for this week. Have a great trip, Annie! Are you going to get Oswald the Lucky Rabbit ears? I bet you are!

Here was the September 23rd challenge:
 Where in the World #248

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

Penny Urell, put on your rain poncho because we are staring up at Chickapin Hill before someone else plunges down Splash Mountain into (say it for us, Matt Holley and Herb Miller) Pleeeeeease, Brer Fox, roast me if you have ta. But please don't throw me in that briar patch! Just where you can get really wet, right Taylor K? Which is nice if you want to cool off, as Janet Thorn pointed out or, on the flip side, get colder on a chilly day. Sadly true, right Paul Moore?

And thumbs up to our Disneyland brethren, Nicole Fink and Craig, especially Nicole who has never been to Walt Disney World and still knew exactly what this was. :)

Do you guys deliberately sing in your answers, Players? Because you know the song gets stuck in my head and I have to break out with it? Is that what you did, Patti Mccaffrey & Steve Knapp? The Patterson Family? Patrick Broaddus? Hmm? Jason & Melinda Lenz? Because here we go! Everybody, sing!

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, Zip-a-dee-ay!
My oh my, what a wonderful day!
Welcoming back Brer Rabbit today.
We always knew that he'd get away!

He's had enough of movin' on now.
It's where he's born and bred in.
The briar patch is where he's headin'.

Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, Zip-a-dee-ay!
Wonderful feeling, wonderful day!

By the way, the singing chickens on the riverboat? One of my favorite things in all the World. Just so you know.

Rob Jacob, I want to ride with you and your daughter. She's got connections!

Jennifer Rowell was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Jennifer and to all the readers who got the answer right: Evanna Huda, Virginia Pierce, Chris Masse, Linda Scrivano, Davidw, Tanya Hinnes, Mary Beth Tarbet, Mike Walter, Larissa Huda, Ed Elder, Barbara Ajak , Nicole Amidon, Sharon Pierce, Mike O'brien, Jenny Brennan, Linda College, Bruce Jones, Curtis Bille, Cynthia Hitchcock, Chris And Alison, Tinkerbell W, Deb Ragno, Mackenzie D., Kerry A, Chris Kelly, Veronica Peterson, Maggie Klotz, Scott Mitchell, Hunter Armstrong, Laurie Walker, Louise Barton, Ken Maikowski, Emily Jabas, Paul Dickson, Emily Hudson, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Bill And Jack Foley, Kelly Zanauskas, Christie, Maryann Eckenrode - Courtney Crow, Team Hill, Michelle Mcspadden, Vicki Edwards, Kristi Strembicki, Leach Family, James And Kathy Berry, Annette Nuenke, Steve Narel, Dave Wang, John Hout, The Moore Family, Kameo Crea, The Omeara Family, Wendy Barney, Griffin Harpel, Hannah Couture, Becky Norman, Pam Lorenz, Double Family, Betsy Silvestri, Carolyn Como, Angie Young, Carol Bolger, Janine Pelfrey, Allison Fourney, Jen Richardson, Colette S, Eileen Wiederspan, Amy Schweizer, Anne Marie Cronin, Sam Magri, Bob Rowan, Colette S, Anne Marie Cronin, Kerry-lynn Mcgregor, Crystal King, Allie Foster, Gabriella And Matthieu, Heather Devito, Mindy Adams, Dawn Lamothe, Melissa Skinner, Josh Weiss, The Kahle Family , Gordon Cavalero, Karen Ramirez, Kandis Dawkins, Chloe & Karen Boosey, Erin, Jason & Melinda Lenz, Shannon Milair, Chris Hanna, Tricia Petty, Mary Virginia Clause, Hannah M, Jane Pope, Dave Gross, Candice Grimes, Lois Lynch, John Menjes, Matthew Peterson, Marissa F, Brent Lollar, David Blevins, Claire Gregory, Melissa Such, Alicia Gillmer, Lisa Rhinehart , Heather Young, Kevin Jones, Trisha Malinky, Debbie Desimone, Jessica Iglesias, Jennifer Walker, Trina Noggle, Tamara Michaelson, Kathy Morris, Kathy Miller, Linda Shatzer-miller, Kely Deleon, Paul Moore, Marsha Waidelich, Sandy Weiss, Kathy Huckabee, Kenny, Kathy Huckabee, Brian Barbieri, Ronnie Schreyer, Mary Emich, Brian Gallant, Carla Nale, Steve Cummings, Susan Karberg, Karen Stevens, Taylor K, The Kertes Family, Amanda Sage, James Schmidt, Tracy King, Kim Howe, Chris Linscott, Meredith Rule, Trisha Johnson, Vicki Maciag, Catherine Anderson, Maureen Handy, Danielle Ford, Sharynne Smith, Katerina Purdy, Kelsi, Juli W, Dee Dee Kenney, James Dezern, Marcie Moss, Rebekah Anguish, Mike M., Pamela Bainter, Kerri Coggins, Patti Gumiela, Gary Cruise, Chris Horne, Janet F, Bonnie C, Brendan Abel, Jamie K, Bruce Hinterleitner, Angel Diven, Janet Thorn, Connor Neal, Nancy Jordan, Stacy Wilson, Ken Daube, Gerald Skanes, Lindsay Coram, Steve Smith, Keirsten Sangster, Gallagher Family, Janet Fishman, Pam Vanaustin, Stephanie, Ed Suscreba, Millie Tenreiro, Lauree Little, Jeffrey Martin, Nicole Fink, Kathy O, Michelle Boewe, Antoinette Leblanc, Kelly Cummings, Kara Cummings, Linda Kasych, Paul Knott, Penny Gibson, Kris Nixon, Stephanie Farneth, Beth Mcmeekin, Erin Hammer, Rob Blundin, Teri & Kelly Michalski, Herb Miller, Jason Hocker, Kent Martin, Chris Rowlands, Chris Connors, Stephanie Newell, Courtney Payne, Julie Wickware, Megan Krainski, Clinton Dickinson, Kim Mobley, Phil Vickers, Allyson & Ben Sodrosky, Scott Precise, Lori Rienhardt, Kelly Mager, Leigh Ridgell, Lisa Zitek, Christina Trigiani, Nathalie Periard, David B., Kim Skanes, The Malesky Family, Chrysty Summers, Diane Curfman, Jennifer Snook, Brian Miller, Jennifer Richey, Stephanie Mcnamee, Mike Mondoux, Stuart Hale, Kellie Conway, Tom Hermes, Tom Koval, Caryn Schill, Penny Urell, Craig, Jan Fee, Nathalie Periard, Lauri Phillips, Hobbes And Snorky, Jim Finley, Betsy Dross, Dan Matheke, Lisa Kuebler, Tom Donnelly , Christopher Barnes, Karen Adamakis, Stacy Aghalarov, Brian Haas, Jennifer Chartier, Al Sandal, Regina Allen, Jeff & Cheryl Simmons, Debbie Kichline, Marshall Stevens, Josh Dean, Jodi Cook, Bob Henriksen, Kyler Scott, Wendy T Faler, Ashley Hill, Staci Plunkett, Kris Blamphin, Sandy Kanigowski, Dave Kanigowski, Misty Mehelic, Sharon Dale, Kerry Mccaffrey, Susan Doucette, Tom Buck, Madison Hovan, Hillary Waldroop, Mary Thatcher, The Palmer Family, Wendy Snelgrove, Tara Weaver, Jaime Thomson, Lorine Landon, Teresa Plunkett, Marjie Phillips, Robert Anderson, Chloe Mayhew, Jennifer Townsend, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Patti Mccaffrey, Bill Demaio, Pam Tees, Bill Demaio, Josh Carney, Jennifer Greene, Andy Hickey, Brenda, Doug Olson Family, Jeremy Hardy, Regina Seaner, Bryan Kruse, Jennifer Bourg, Joshua Swainston, Katie Bray, Toni Smith, Lisa Edens, Daniel Meagher, Wayne Chadourne, Bill Cudney , Jonathan Ward, Kevin Scott, Jean Conner, Billie Jean Albolino, Mike Haven, Becky Fields, Emily Henderson, Jennifer Pulver, The Strukel Family, Lindsay Kasawski, Carla C, Ivanna Strokyaof, Andy Raffel, Laura V, Clay Anthony, Shelley Diederich, Jim Ell, Gaylene, Russ Morgan, Natalie Soares, Derek Carty, Andrew Mulino, Kathy Askew, Matt Holley, Bob Patterson, Cameron Lange, Ken Clark, Wade A. Williams, Dallas Hamilton, Dana G, Brian Grabowski, Mary Kay Samluk, Donna Boyd, Paula Massarelli, Kevin, Andrew Pettit, Stefanie Stewartz, Jessica Folan, Jennifer Harmon, Meghann Zanotta, Kerrie Hogan, Tricia Noble, Elyssa H., Krista Spears, Paul Ignudo, Jr, Erin Loring, Dan Johnston, Diane Hunt, Bonnie Tulenko, Alison Rosenberger, Anna Keene, Amy Young, Kelly Smith, Kate Fischer, Heather Hynes, Melodye Berry, Zachary Ott, Will Gates, Monica Owens, Timothy Hutchinson, Andy Schumacher, Mary Greger, Rick R., Diane Batista, Davida, Tim Looman, Fred Shakeshaft, Noah And Daniel Schweizer, Lindsey Nozal, Shelly Borella, Emily Watson, Brian Nale, Karen Martin, Maryann Romagnano, Carrie Rampy, Jeremy Reichelt, Chris Bauman, Sara Holloway, Emily Dagney, David And Melissa Lizewski, Nancy, Steve Knapp, Karen Smith, Annie Snodgrass, Robert Bostic, Stephanie Linares, Doug Andrews, William Sharp, Michelle Wilinski, Matthew Jadro, Jaclyn Kelch, Debbie Hicks, Debbie Cody, The Patterson Family, Jen Cox, Adam, Mike Hitzel, Elaine Tomko-deluca, Jim Thompson, Jeff Finger, Vera Williams, Robbyn Anglin, Ken Rhinehart, Leigh Mertz, Kristyn Scibienski, Alissa, Patricia Ovesny, Mickey Mouse , Scott Sangston, Jim Logue, Rebecca Keenan, Wendy Mowery, Erin Connell, Matt Ciccone, John Foggo, Patty Carty, Stephanie Hardhouse, Stephanie Dollar, Mike Haeberle, Schuyler Stewart, Patty Rochford, Theresa Rucando, Mary Graves, Heidi Goodhue, Carri Marotto, Kirsten Miller, Allison Esker, Eva Mayhew, Colleen Murphy, Jennifer Mccurry, Andrew Swiatowicz , Jenifer Moyer, Jared Orth, Gregg Mcglasson, Erica Zielewski, Allison Caputa, Walter N. Clark, Kendra K., Blake Schmidt, Les Stewart, Linda Grau, Bonnie Jenkins, Ron Harper, Ariana Stowe, Morgan M., Linda Mac, Mark Proper, Lou Baker, Nathaniel Clements, Chuck Everson, Kathy Rosenwinkel, Joy Ousterout, Brandi Schiller, Angela Fennell, Earl Wilcher, Sonya A., Vanessa Stjohn, Kelly Feeko, Jillian Domings, Sarah Haas, Payton Dross, Kristen Carde, Chuck Everson, Vicki Vaught, Greg Berg, John And Tracey Roerty, Kellie Seberson, Stefan Owens, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Nicole Shuler, Kelly Rose Barnes, Vickie Scioneaux, Kate Flanagan, Evald Olson, Sharon Leitgeb, Ellen Stevenson, Dawn Bach, Vanessa Gordon, Maureen Hanlon, Jackie Graebel, Liz Moreau, Tommy Montgomery, Jennifer Bogdan, Joseph Zafia, Bill Sherwood, Leah Althiser, Vickie Smialkowski, Deanna Thomas, Tyra Trueblood, Jackie Klafeta, Heather C, Jeff Kays, Trish Babler, Thomas Higbee, Kristen Mccoy, Anastasia Macneil, Emily Harper, Roye Ann Morris, Mickey Eckert, Ed Bene, The Hicks Family, Patrick Broaddus, Diane Ramos, Eric Enli, Maryann Daly, Rob & April - Team Vanderpool, Peggy Saeger, Carolyn Duff, Barclay Bakkum, John Pasqueralli, Stephanie Horning, Lauren Thomas , Liv D., Chrissy D, Kelly Montgomery, Luis Rodriguez, Katherine Gast, Julie And Kody Rider, Elaine Kleinhenz, Bob Burge, Jenny Nijak, Michael Nanney, Robert P. Flaherty, Melissa Littman, Tom Armstrong, Lana Hauth, Bonnie Bradford, Jay Bradford, Chris Stockton, Alan Mize, Andrew Weed, George Mundy Jr, Mike Kaczanowski, Caroline Burmester, Agnes Ciotti, Rebecca Baker, Amy S Kleinfieldt, Rob Jacob, Tracy Discher, and Jessica Reed. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #249: Where in the world is this?

Here it is! The last Challenge for September! Can you believe it?
 Where in the World #249

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, October 4th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

August 31, 2012

Signs of the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I was looking for signs I had photographed in the Magic Kingdom using a metadata search of my Disney photo library. From the photos displayed in the search I selected these to share with you.

My favorite counter service restaurant in the Magic Kingdom is found in Liberty Square. Columbia Harbour House has a varied menu and the most relaxing dining area in the park. If it is open, try the upstairs dining area for interesting views of Frontierland, Liberty Square and Fantasyland.

Sign in the Columbia Harbour House in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Sign in the Columbia Harbour House Restaurant.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/160s, f/6.3, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 70mm focal length.

Looking for extra cash to pay for your Walt Disney World vacation? Then keep your eye out for these men on the Wanted Posters hanging in the Frontierland Train Station.

Wanted signs at the Frontierland Train Station in the Magic Kingdom, Orlando, Florida.
Wanted signs at the Frontierland Train Station.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 6400, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

There are many unique clocks in the Magic Kingdom. None more unique than the clock on the Video Arcade building next to Space Mountain in Tomorrowland.

Video Arcade sign and clock next to Tomorrowland's Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom, Orlando, Florida.
Video Arcade sign and clock next to Tomorrowland's Space Mountain.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV 0, 210mm focal length.

Many a guest who got blisters on their feet or parents with babies needing changing were relieved to find this sign pointing their way to the First Aid and Baby Care Center in the Magic Kingdom. They will take good care of you there.

First Aid and Baby Care sign near the Crystal Palace restaurant in the Magic Kingdom, Orlando, Florida.
First Aid and Baby Care sign near the Crystal Palace restaurant.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/500s, f/11, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 180mm focal length.

The new Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom game is headquartered in the Fire House on Main Street USA. I may have to give this game a try on my next trip.

Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom sign at the entrance to the Fire House on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Orlando, Florida.
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom sign at the entrance to the Fire House on Main Street USA.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/3.5, ISO 2000, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

I try to document objects such as signs, carts, statues and attractions at Walt Disney World during my visits as you never know when a future refurbishment might remove or replace them. Have you found any unique signs at Walt Disney World?

June 12, 2011

Where in the World #181

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

Well, lookee, lookee! My friend Carol Jayne has joined us and so has my big sister Terry! No, you can't ask her for embarrassing stories about me. ;)

Thank you, Ashley Macilquham, for your great note! I'm glad you're enjoying Where in the World each week. And Jen & Ansley? I love Walt Disney World too. :)

This was Challenge #180:
 Where in the World #180

And here's the answer:


Copyright © 2010 Erin Blackwell Canon SD890 IS, 28mm, 1/60s shutter, f/5.6, 320 ISO, 180 dpi

This sweet dog watches fish jump out of the water next to Beacon Joe on the Rivers of America. You can see him from a couple of spots in the Magic Kingdom, but I took the picture from the Liberty Belle Riverboat. This pup holds a special spot in my heart. You used to hear the riverboat captain talk about Beacon Joe "and his dog, Rufus". That was the name of my childhood dog, so from the time I was a little kid to today, I take a picture of this cutie in honor of my own Rufus. You can read Jack Spense's blog post titled Liberty Belle Riverboat - Part 2 for more information and pictures!

FYI: Fun fact: Beacon Joe and "Rufus" are in a number of Disney parks including Tokyo Disney!

Pollyanna Buff was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Pollyanna Buff and all other readers who got the answer right: Scott Otis, Daniel Record, Denise Cayz , Brian Skinner, Jennifer Tremley, Mary Beth Tarbet, Sharon Pierce, Jared Orth, Craig, Ed Hogan, Erin Hammer, Dee Dee Kenney, Larissa Huda, Deb Ragno, Anastasia Macneil, Robin Fitts, Jacquelyn Law, Alan Law, Misty Mehelic, Todd Ritter, Kirsty Butler, Kim Meyer, Kevin Hayman, Gretchen Barnes, Evanna Huda, Kerrie Hogan, Karen Schlumpf, Tim Johansen, Blake Schmidt, Nathalie Doiron, Jon Cohen, Brian Yesutis, Matt Degrandis, Susie Howard, Darlene Harmon, Vanessa Gordon, Maureen Handy, Vicki Edwards, Bonnie Smith, Mike M., Ken Fischler, Heather Hynes, Anthony Lipinski, Scott Lau, Karen Hotchkiss, Leslie Stewart, Elaine Johnson, Mike Venere, Kelly Smith, Dale Knight, Jamie K, Jennifer Romano, Carol Jayne, Lori Netti, Megan Krainski, Maryann Eckenrode, Matt Cofone, Mark Cullison, Brian Gallant, Patti Deluca, Jen & Ansley, Harry Wilson, Tom & Susan Linder, Debbie Poole, Thomas Higbee, Tracey Mayfield, Kristine Gallatin, Clay Anthony, Becky Durst, Carrie Kenney, Dan Diehm, Kerry Mccaffrey, Paula From Il, Danielle Ciotti, and Linda Mac. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
__________________________________________________________________________

Challenge #181: Where in the world is this?

Now then, where is Donald in this picture?

 Where in the World #181

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, June 9th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post. Remember to be specific with your answer - just naming a park will not get you into the drawing.

See you next week, Worlders!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

June 7, 2011

Disney Pic of the Week: Tom Sawyer Island

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Tom Sawyer Island is full of childhood fantasies. Tunnels, trails, bridges with surprises, an abandoned mine, frontier fort and a rustic mill. Each of these areas have a sign written by Tom Sawyer like the one below about Harper's Mill which can be seen from the shore of Frontierland. This week Barrie and Lisa will share their views of Tom Sawyer Island as our Disney Pic of Week.

Harper's Mill sign on Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Harper's Mill sign on Tom Sawyer Island.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 18mm focal length

For more on Tom Sawyer's Island, check out these AllEars Blogs: The Old Mill and Walk Around Tom Sawyer's Island.

March 11, 2011

Waiting to Ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

It is late in the day at the Magic Kingdom and the family wants to go on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The standby line is 45 minutes and you agree it is worth the time. Because, you know you will be around the back of the queue which overlooks the ride just as the Sun lights up the mountain like it does in the real American Southwest.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad thrill ride at sunset in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Fire on the Mountain as the setting Sun lights up the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/100s, f/5, ISO 200, EV 0, 50mm focal length.

You still have time as the line is moving slowly to notice something you have not seen before. The train popping up over a ridge where for a split second, you only see the engine.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad engine appearing over a ridge in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad engine pops over a ridge.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 500, EV 0, 190mm focal length.

As you move deeper in the queue and away from the overlook, you hear a couple of young guests excitingly talking as they watch screaming guests riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Everything lined up including framing the train between iron rods.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad being watched from the queue in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Watching Big Thunder Mountain Railroad from the queue.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/8, ISO 1100, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

Long queue times can be very fruitful at a Disney themepark if you keep your eyes open for photo opportunities. Go back and notice the ISO settings for each photo. As the light got dimmer, the camera automatically adjusted the ISO to compensate.

July 30, 2010

Big Al Sings

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I give myself self-assignments all the time. On my last trip to Walt Disney World, I wanted to get better photos of the Country Bear Jamboree show than I have in the past. Unfortunately, Lisa had not yet published her excellent guide on how to use a Point and Shoot camera to best photograph the Country Bears.

Armed with my knowledge of other stage shows I had successfully photographed like Beauty and the Beast and the American Idol Experience, I set my camera's file quality to RAW so I could adjust the white balance later in post-processing and used spot metering so the amount of darkness surrounding the bears would not throw off the exposure.

I had another bag of tricks up my sleeve, I now knew how to clean up digital noise in my images with Noise Ninja. This allowed me with confidence to set my camera's ISO to its highest setting of 1600. Even with a high ISO setting, my best shutter speed was 1/25th of a second. Remember, when using such slow shutters with live or animated shows, wait for a time in the performance, the actor or bear, in this case, stops for a second or two. Which is what I did for Big Al, my favorite Country Bear.

Big Al croons out a song during the Country Bear Jamboree in the Magic Kingdom's Frontierland, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Big Al crons out a song during the Country Bear Jamboree.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/25s, f/5.6, ISO 1600, EV +1.0, 105mm focal length, Noise Ninja

Did you know Big Al is voiced by Tex Ritter? Some good trivia for ya this week.

March 23, 2010

Disney Pic of the Week: Splash Mountain

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

A calm Splash Mountain just after sunset in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A calm Splash Mountain just after sunset.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/4s, f/5.6, ISO 1600, EV +0.3, 18mm focal length

Splash Mountain usually has lots of activity from water splashing guests and riders to screams as people slide down the 52 1/2 foot drop. I noticed a quiet time between guest drops just after sunset and thought it would make an excellent Disney Pic of Week for Splash Mountain.

Look for Barrie's and Lisa's screams...er, photos on Thursday and Saturday.

November 12, 2009

Country Bears Jamboree - Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Country bear paintings hanging in Frontierland's Grizzly Hall in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Country Bear portraits hanging in Grizzly Hall.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/4, 250 ISO, +0.3 EV, 28mm focal length

When visting Frontierland in the Magic Kingdom, I make it a point to stop by and see the Country Bear Jamboree. The first major attraction to premier at Walt Disney World before later debuting at Disnelyand and Toyko Disneyland. While waiting for the show to start in Grizzly Hall, I took this photo of Henry, the Five Bear Rugs and Wendell paintings for my Disney Pic of the Week on Frontierland.

September 10, 2009

Raft Pilot

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Cast Member Anthony pilots a raft from Tom Sawyer Island back to the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Cast Member Anthony pilots a raft from Tom Sawyer Island back to the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/500s, f/8, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 18mm Focal Length

There's only one way to get over to Tom Sawyer Island which is by free floating motorized rafts piloted by Cast Members trained to handle the tricky watercraft. On my last trip, Cast Member Andy was the very capable pilot who took me back to the Magic Kingdom dock and is my Disney Pic of the Week on Cast Members.

July 17, 2009

Tom Sawyer Island - Part 2

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Entrance sign to Fort Langhorn on Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Entrance sign to Fort Langhorn on Tom Sawyer Island.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 200, 0 EV, 18mm Focal length, Tripod

Continuing on with our tour of Tom Sawyer Island, this week we'll explore the Fort Langhorn island. Fort Langhorn is a re-creation of a frontier fort found around the time of Mark Twain (aka Samuel Clemens). It used to be called Fort Sam Clemens. The name was changed in 1996 after the release of the Disney movie Tom and Huck, which featured a Fort Langhorn.

Rifle in one of Fort Langhorn's blockhouses on Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Rifle in one of Fort Langhorn's blockhouses.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/80s, f/3.5, ISO 200, 0 EV, 18mm Focal length, Tripod

Each corner of Fort Langhorn has blockhouse with rifles at the ready to protect it from opposing forces. If you press the trigger of any of the rifles, you'll hear a gunshot sound. One of those little details Disney is famous for.

Unique view of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad from one of Fort Langhorn's blockhouses on Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Unique view of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad from Fort Langhorn.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 200, -0.3 EV, 40mm Focal length, Tripod

I'm always looking for a way to use framing in my photography and the rifle locations in the blockhouses gives you lots of ways to practice framing and views of the Magic Kingdom you can't get anywhere else.



Fort Langhorn's stables on Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.

Fort Langhorn's stables on Tom Sawyer Island.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/10s, f/3.5, ISO 1250, -0.3 EV, 18mm Focal length, Tripod

Fort Langhorn's stables are filled with details. The horse's tails swish away flys, chickens cluck, and blacksmith tools are at the ready.

Sign outside the entrance to the Mystery Mine in Fort Langhorn on Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Sign outside the entrance to the Mystery Mine in Fort Langhorn.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/4, ISO 200, -0.3 EV, 18mm Focal length, Tripod

The Mystery Mine is another one of those dark and enclosed places you may want to avoid. For those of use who don't, there be treasures to be found. I bet even Snow White's dwarf friends would be impressed.

Gems found in the Mystery Mind on Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Gems found in the Mystery Mind.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/10s, f/3.5, ISO 1600, -0.3 EV, 18mm Focal length, Tripod

This concludes our tour of Tom Sawyer Island. Next time you're visiting the Magic Kingdom, take the time to hop a raft over and enjoy "a fun place to run and explore and blow off steam". Or, if you are like me, to find new things to photograph at Disney!

July 10, 2009

Tom Sawyer Island - Part I

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Tom Sawyer Island (or TSI for short) is billed as a giant-sized playground geared to youngsters. I would like to add it's a wonderful place for photographers. Many interesting and challenging subjects await you to capture, lots of activities for the kids and unique views of Frontierland and Liberty Square.

Tom Sawyer Island is actually two islands separated by a bridge which holds it's own surprise for those walking over it. The map below shows all the trails and activities to explore.

Map of Tom Sawyer Island greets guests arriving to explore it's secrets in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Map of Tom Sawyer Island greets guests arriving to explore it's secrets.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/125s, f/8, 200 ISO, EV 0, 18mm Focal length, Flash used

In this week's Picture This! photo blog, I am going to show you Harper's Mill island. Harper's Mill is a very interesting structure with links to Walt Disney Animation and it's musical heritage. (Thanks to Jack Spence for uncovering these!)

Sign for Harper's Mill on Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Sign for Harper's Mill on Tom Sawyer Island.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, 200 ISO, EV -0.3, 18mm Focal length

Are you scared of dark, enclosed places? Then you might want to skip going into Injun Joe's Cave though Tom Sawyer tells you he has not been seen lately. For those of you brave enough, there are lots to find from fossils to a lava lighted face. A steady hand is needed when photographing in the cave.

A lighted face in Injun Joe's Cave on Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A lighted face found in Injun Joe's Cave.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/4s, f/3.5, 1600 ISO, EV -0.0, 18mm Focal length

Having survived Injun Joe's Cave, you come out on the other side of the island. Going right leads you to the barrel bridge which is great fun when open. I was not so lucky as the bridge was closed for repairs so I headed up the hill where I passed this brook running down to the Rivers of America which surrounds Tom Sawyer Island. When photographing moving water, you either want to freeze it like a crashing wave onto rocks or blur it's movement with a slow shutter speed like for a waterfall.

A brook on Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A Brook on Tom Sawyer Island using a slow shutter speed.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/15s, f/5.6, 200 ISO, EV -0.3, 18mm Focal length

Moving on, I came upon Aunt Polly's counter service location. Disney only runs Aunt Polly's during the busiest times of the year and was closed when I was there. There are snacks and drinks via machines, lots of picnic tables to relax on and even some rocking chairs to nap in.

Taking a nap at Aunt Polly's on Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Nap time at Aunt Polly's on Tom Sawyer Island.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/20, 200 ISO, EV -0.3, 44mm Focal length

From Aunt Polly's you can view Liberty Square's Haunted Mansion in all it's spooky glory. Being in such a peaceful place away from the crowds, I was able to enjoy the many details of the Haunted Mansion and it's theming from the covered queue to the bat shaped wind vanes (doubling as lighting rods) on the roof.

The Haunted Mansion from Aunt Polly's on Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Haunted Mansion from Aunt Polly's.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/20, 200 ISO, EV -0.3, 18mm Focal length

Leaving Aunt Polly's I came upon some unfinished work of Tom Sawyer's. A lovely sentiment but I doubt the owner of the fence was none to thrilled with Tom's work.

Tom and Huck's unfinished work on Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Some unfinished work by Tom and Huck.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/250s, f/8, 200 ISO, EV -0.3, 18mm Focal length

This concludes our tour of the first of two islands which make up Tom Sawyer Island. Next week, we'll explore a frontier fort, a mine and another unique view of the Magic Kingdom.

February 20, 2009

Panning for Gold

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The technique of panning to convey a sense of motion is one that takes practice. Instead of worrying about depth of field as you would for a landscape or a portrait, slow shutter speeds and steady hands are what is needed to get a good panned photo. For unlike most photography, panning means you move your camera instead of keeping it still. Walt Disney World is full of opportunities for panning images. Rides, running children, shows, parades, moving parts of attractions, transportation vehicles and most anything which moves in and around the parks and resorts.


The diagram shown here gives the setup for taking a panning photo. In the diagram, the subject is moving from left to right. The subject could be moving in the other direction or up or down. As long as you can follow it evenly throughout the time it takes to capture the image. How fast and how close the moving subject is will determine the shutter speed to use. I start at 1/60th of a second for people sporting events. For auto racing events, I use 1/125 which often freezes the cars but shows movement in the wheels. For your son or daughter on a bicycle, 1/30 or slower may be in order. I've even experimented at 1/15, 1/8 and as low as 1/4 of a second.

The slower the shutter speed, the more pronounced the sense of movement and the harder it will be to keep your camera steady. Using an image stabilized (IS) lens can help. Most of today's IS lenses detect a panning motion. Nikon's version of IS called vibration reduction or VR for short, is what was used in the example photos for this article.

You still need to do the following to give yourself the best possible panning results. Plant your feet, tuck your arms into your body, hold the camera firmly and rotate the top half of your body as you track your subject. You want to pan as fast as the subject moves keeping it in the same position in your viewfinder as much as possible. Press the shutter down as you continue your motion and follow through even after the shutter has closed. You can use continuous shooting modes if you have time for more than one exposure.

Watching the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad trains from the observation area, I put my panning skills to the test. Of the many photos I took, this was the best one. Be prepared for a low percentage of images you'll find acceptable when trying this technique. Panning at places with lots of opportunities, like a themepark ride, will give you a better chance of getting a few good panned photos.

A runaway train on Big Thunder Mountain in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Panning for Gold on Big Thunder Mountain.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/50s, f/22, ISO 200, -0.6 EV, 95mm Focal length

Next I went over to the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway. Can you tell how fast this car is going? Tomorrowland Indy cars can only reach a maximum speed of 7.5 mph. If this photo looks familiar I used it for the Disney Pic of the Week on Motion a couple of weeks back.

An Indy Car at speed in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Panning shows how fast 7.5 miles per hour can look.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/20s, f/18, ISO 200, 0 EV, 95mm Focal length

Panning is a worthwhile technique to learn. All you need is to find a place to practice. A local park where people like to roller blade or bicycle is ideal. I went to a local drag strip and, after a couple of visits, became very comfortable with panning the cars going down the quarter mile strip of asphalt. You'll have to take a lot of photos to get a few great panning ones but the results are often stunning and grab a viewer's attention right away.

Next week I'll be at Walt Disney World and will be taking a break from blogging. If you have any questions regarding photography at Walt Disney World, leave a comment and I'll try and cover some of them when I get back. Aloha!

NOTE: Comments have now been activated for the Picture This! blog. The comments will appear at the bottom of our posts and Barrie, Lisa and myself would like to encourage you to ask questions and leave comments by clicking the link below each post. Thank you and we hope this will further increase your enjoyment of the AllEars.net Picture This! blog. The Comment link to use is the one on the far right with a number in parenthesis.

January 9, 2009

Wide World of Disney

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

A wide angle lens for a digital SLR camera is usually considered a lens of focal length 24mm lens or less (for full frame SLR it's about 1.5 times more or 35mm). Wide angle lenses can take in a wider field of view then normal, telephoto or telephoto zoom lenses. On my last trip to Walt Disney World, I brought an Ultra Wide Angle zoom lens made by Tokina with a range of 11 to 16mm. This lens comes in Nikon and Canon flavors and work only on digital camera bodies. These lenses are a lot of fun to use and give new ways to photograph familiar subjects.

The best way to get the most ouf of a wide angle lens is to put something of interest in the foreground, middle area and background so a viewer's eye can be lead into the photo. In this photo I took from the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad queue (you can see the roof in the upper left hand corner) at 11mm in the Magic Kingdom, the rock shelf is in the foreground, the train and mountain is in the middle area and the trees and sky is in the background.

A train returns from it's wild ride on Big Thunder Mountain in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
A train returns from it's wild ride on Big Thunder Mountain.
Nikon D70/Tokina 11-16, 1/400s, f/10, 200 ISO, +0.3 EV, 11mm Focal length

Ultra wide angle lenses are great for sweeping landscapes. I know at Walt Disney World there's not a lot of places for landscapes in the parks. I found the resorts and waterways a better choice. I took this of the Grand Floridian while riding the resort monorail (you can see the monorail's windows being reflected in the sky) for a kind of photo you normally do not see of a Disney resort.

The Grand Floridian from the resort monorail on the way to the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
The Grand Floridian from the resort monorail on the way to the Magic Kingdom .
Nikon D70/Tokina 11-16, 1/125s, f/11, 200 ISO, +0.3 EV, 11mm Focal length

Again, notice the three elements used. The water in the foreground, the Grand Floridian resort in the middle area with the clouds and sky in the background. Also notice the location of the horizon in the bottom third of the photo to give emphasis to the sky.

I know you hear a lot about how third party lenses (lenses not made by a camera manufacturer like Nikon or Canon) are not as good. However, I have used two Tokina wide angle lenses (and own the 11-16mm) and have no reservations about recommending them to you.

Spaceship Earth in Epcot at 11mm, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.

April 25, 2008

Put Your Photos in the Past

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Once in awhile I'll take a picture that calls out for something different. In the case of the photo below when I first looked at it on my computer monitor, I thought it could have been taken back in the time of the American Old West in the mid-1800's. Those photos are in tones of browns, yellows and whites and referred to as sepia which lots of photo software and online editors can create. If you don't know if your favorite editor has a way to transform your photos into a sepia tone, check out it's manual or search through it's help files.

Click for Larger Image. Copyright © Scott Thomas Photography 2008

Frontierland Rail Road Station in Color. Copyright © Scott Thomas Photography 2008
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/125s, f/11, 200 ISO, -1.0 EV, 18mm Focal Length

Now, if it wasn't for the fact that Frontierland never existed in the real American Old West and ignoring the modern sign in the lower left, the transformation into a sepia toned photo makes it look like it was taken back in the 1800's. This is a great way to take a simple portrait or landscape and bring it into the past. You can see a larger version of either photo just by clicking on them.

Click for Larger Image. Copyright © Scott Thomas Photography 2008

Frontierland Rail Road Station in Sepia. Copyright © Scott Thomas Photography 2008

April 18, 2008

Photographic Innoventions: Wonderful World of Black & White

I love color. When I was young and my favorite afternoon cartoon program said they would be showing them in color I was excited. When I tuned in the next day it was still in black and white! I complained to my mother who carefully explained we didn't have a color television yet. A couple of years later I finally got to see not only cartoons but Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color on Sunday nights in full, living color. Yes, I definitely like color.

Even in my photography, I have always preferred color over black and white. With the advent of the digital darkroom, however, I have started to explore other interpretations of my photographs. There are all kinds of ways to alter your digital images and one of the most popular is rending them from color to black and white.

Harper's Mill can be seen from the walk way between Frontierland and Liberty Square. You can also see it when taking a cruise on a Riverboat. Disney Imagineers are known for their attention to detail and Harper's Mill is one of those park additions which add to the ambiance of Tom Sawyer Island. I took this in the mid-day sun so it has very bright highlights and deep shadows. This is often referred to as a high contrast image. A perfect candidate for a black and white conversion.

Click for Larger Image. Copyright © Scott Thomas Photography 2008

Harper's Mill on Tom Sawyer's Island in Color. Copyright © Scott Thomas Photography 2008
Nikon D70/80-200D, 1/250s, f/6.3, 200 ISO, +0.3 EV, 80mm Focal Length

Most photo software and online editors have a way to turn your color images to black and white. Check your editor's manual or help files on how to do this. Editors vary in the amount of control you have from none to total control of the contrast and amount of the conversion. Below is a simple Black and White rending using Picnik.com, my favorite online photo editor. You can see a larger version of either photo just by clicking on them.

Click for Larger Image. Copyright © Scott Thomas Photography 2008

Harper's Mill in Black & White. Copyright © Scott Thomas Photography 2008

Also, check out Jack Spence's Blog on The Old Mill which explains some of the background information about the building.

March 7, 2008

Photographic Innoventions: In the Moment

Joe McNally is a photographer to be admired. He's been published all over the world and in such publications as National Geographic, Time, and Sports Illustrated to name a few. In over 30 years as a pro photographer, Joe McNally has been faced with capturing photographs in some of the most bizarre places on Earth (and New York City) and under some strange circumstances and still managed to come away with publishable work. What would you give to sit down with Joe and learn at the feet of one of the masters? Luckily for us, Joe has given us such an opportunity, with some encouragement from his friends, his book, The Moment It Clicks, came out to resounding reviews and sold out of it's first printing within days. It's now in a second printing and I'm sure many more will follow.

I recommend this book if you are past the beginning stage in your photography comfort zone. He does assume you have an understanding of photography. Anything beyond that he explains in footnotes or in the "How to Get this Shot" sidebars. The real charm of this book is in all the "nuggets". These nuggets are short bits of knowledge and photographic common sense he has garnered during his career of working with clients, photo editors, models and other photographers. You would spend hundreds of dollars to see Joe in a workshop give some of these nuggets. For less than $40 you have them, examples of some of the best journalistic photos he ever produced and how he did them to reference anytime you want.

If you are thinking of becoming a professional photographer in any field. This is a must read in my opinion. Someday I hope to meet Joe and thank him for this book. While it is inspirational, I enjoyed it for the mental and physical perspiration which went into each of the photos he presents and for passing on his knowledge in a straight forward and personable manner.

Now, in Joe McNally style, here's a self-assignment I gave myself on my last Walt Disney World trip. Pictured below are my two daughters and a friend riding Big Thunder Mountain. My daughters are both in college and I don't know how many more times they'll want to spend with Dad on vacation. I wanted to capture a moment of joy. One I can look back on and recall the spirit of what the Disney parks mean to me. It doesn't matter they were hamming it up. The fact that they did is a testament to Walt Disney, himself. This is one of those moments it clicked for me.


The Joy of Disney. © Scott Thomas Photography 2008
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/320s, f/9, 200 ISO, 18mm Focal Length
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About Frontierland

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

Fantasyland is the previous category.

Liberty Square is the next category.

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