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April 14, 2017

Photographic Patience at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 31, 2017

Going Rogue on Main Street USA

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

Do you see one you like?

February 3, 2017

Photographing Disney Statues in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Is that not better?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 13, 2017

Getting in Close at Casey's Corner

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 9, 2016

Photographing the Christmas Parade in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 28, 2016

Mickey Mouse Pumpkin Heads in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 7, 2016

Partners and the Crane at the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

September 27, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: People Watching

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

September 2, 2016

Goodbye to the Main Street Electrical Parade at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

August 5, 2016

Finding the Best Light at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

July 29, 2016

Be Prepared for Disney Photography

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 15, 2016

Adding People to Your Walt Disney World Photographs

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 8, 2016

A Dapper Dan Close Up on Main Street USA

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

Remember...closer means better.

June 7, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Snack

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

Tomorrow, Deb will share a another snack.

May 31, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Memorial Day

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

February 2, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Close Up

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

Here are few ways to get close up:

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

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

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

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

Deb will be here tomorrow with her Close Up.

December 22, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Christmas

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

Deb will be here tomorrow for her Disney Christmas photo.

August 28, 2015

Tinker Bell on Parade in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

July 14, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Benches

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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


June 16, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Cast Costumes Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

March 13, 2015

Super Zoom Lens at the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 3, 2015

Pic of the Week: Main Street USA

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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


February 27, 2015

A Day in the Life at the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don't you love their uniforms?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 5, 2014

Meeting Talking Mickey Mouse at the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 21, 2014

Shopping Around Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

November 14, 2014

Main Street Electrical Parade Over Time

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

November 4, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Fire

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

October 31, 2014

Scarecrows of Town Square

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

October 7, 2014

Disney Pic of the Week: Main Street USA

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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!

June 29, 2014

Where in the World #338

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

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

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

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

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

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

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

Challenge #338 Where in the world is this?

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

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

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

June 27, 2014

Photographing Festival of Fantasy Parade - Part 2

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 20, 2014

Photographing Festival of Fantasy Parade - Part 1

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

June 6, 2014

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

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 5, 2014

Where in the World #313

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Challenge #313 Where in the world is this?

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

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

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

December 20, 2013

Snowflakes on Main Street USA

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

December 13, 2013

Main Street Railroad Station White Balance Problem Solved

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photographing Christmas Lights at Disney

Photographing Christmas Lights at Disney II

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

October 13, 2013

Where in the World #301

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

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

Happy Thanksgiving - Jour de l'Action de grâce to all the Canadian Players! I hope this year has given you a lot to be thankful for and you have even more in the upcoming year!
From Millan.Net

We also have Eid-al-Adha this week. My best wishes to everyone who is celebrating!

Cynthia Hitchcock, we totally understand the post-Disney vacation crying. From Millan.Net

Patty Carty, are you still there in the World? Or does Cynthia need to make room on the blues bench? I'll get the Disney bear, just in case. (And thank you for your lovely note!)

On the flip side, The Schweizer Family and Kerri Coggins are now in the World! Have a wonderful time! If you see Deb Wills, tell her what a good job I'm doing!

Just kidding, Deb. From Millan.Net

Happy 300th to you too, Tricia Petty, The Fosbenders, and Claire Gregory! Thank you! I can't believe you guys noticed. :) When I typed 300 last week, it made me wonder how long it's been since I started with WitW. So I looked it up:

February 13, 2011 with challenge #164! That's when Barrie introduced me to everyone. Can you believe it? If you look at my first challenges, I was much more... succinct. :) Which reminds me of when I took a Disney character quiz during "December to Remember" celebrations. It said I was quiet. The team said they never saw someone get it so wrong. LOL

Thank you also to The Young Family for their wonderful note! How's the UK?
From Millan.Net

From last week: Challenge #300:
 Where in the World #300

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

Engine Co. 71, the fire station at Town Square in the Magic Kingdom. I used to love going here to see all the patches and badges from firehouses from everywhere. Now Engine Co. 71 gathers people to play the Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom card game.

Like John Bickers said, " I am always excited when I see it to my left, and tired when it moves to my right."

Jennifer Harmon, I read that many of those patches and badges from here went to Reedy Creek Fire and Rescue Department so maybe your husband's is there? An old report said they used to give tours of the station. They have a website and a Facebook page, so maybe you can contact them through it and ask. They also have an online store where you can get shirts, although they don't have the ones that said "Protecting the Magic" anymore. I love that phrase!) You can also find fire dept. patches for Disneyland, the actual Walt Disney Studios, and Reedy Creek on ebay. Just search for Disney fire department. So maybe you can get one of each and put them on a jacket for your husband? Something unique and the holidays are coming up.

To your husband, Chris Kelly, Chief Meeker, Mary Beth Tarbet's uncle, Kelly Smith's father-in-law and all the others serving in Fire and Rescue, thank you!

Tom Buck, I can't imagine the days when you went into Disneyland and Walt was there in his apartment above the fire house. Just seeing the lamp in the window gets to me now. Walt's apartment was going to be in Cinderella Castle in Disney World; in fact, one of his windows is above the Plaza and looks to the castle. My favorite story on why it's there is because Roy wanted his brother to have the best view in the park.
From Millan.Net

Dave Carriere, my dogs have so many things from the old store here and the others in Walt Disney World!

This has been a long one, Players, but I hope you found at least some of it interesting and fun!
And now!

Kristi Strembicki was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Kristi and all our winners this week! Phyllis, Jennifer Rowell, Bruce Jones, Betsy Silvestri, Dee Dee Kenney, Stefanie Vandiver, Donna Kennedy, Karen Steinbach, Christa Ryan, Cathy Campbell, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Jack Lynch, Jeanne Miller, Kris Nixon, Stephen Nesteriak, Ed Krol, Kay Egan, Tara , Tabitha Davidson, Tami Howerton , Paul Podkanowicz, Ken Jackson, Mike Geary, Chris Nichols, Melissa Such, Pat Schwier, Melissa Rymer, Sarah Lagasse, Tommy Montgomery, Sean Eggleston, Elizabeth White, Ed Suscreba, Art Hutchinson, Kaye Buchter, Janet T Thorn, Theresa Rucando, Christopher Treece, Krista Serpi, Team Hill, Kathy Morris, Valerie Saliceti, Donald Beck, Vera Williams, Donna Frank, Scott Vesterfelt, Tim Jeltes, The Emich Family, Jen Tremley, Kilby Kipping, John Mahoney, Ryan Mccorristin, Scott Cullen, Theresa Lucotti, Belicia Cullen, Jim Finley, Dave Freemyer, Sharyn Bluestein, Trisha Johnson, Mike O'brien, Katharine Marshall, Karen Williamson, Sisk Family, Chris Kelly, Josette Gabel, Linda Ranatza, Tammi Trout, Carol Ney, Jeff Bush, Bill Mcdonald, Rob And April - Team Vanderpool, Christine Mckay, Kerrie Hogan, Mary Mizell, Scott Precise, Jonathan Ward, Brian Miller, Ericka Zwettler, Joe Timko , Ed Hogan, Calvin Phillips, Lynette Michalos, Elaine Kleinhenz, Mary Beth Tarbet, Uchtman Family, Danielle Mahoney , Angie Young, Megan Krainski, Terri Vicknair, Marge Crowther, Paul Moore, Jeanna Covert, Deb Ragno, Craig, Sheryl Hicks, Cindy Carrigan, Liz Moreau, Karen Schlumpf, Jason Hocker, Karen Adamakis, Darrin Mclellan, Josh Weiss, Sandy Zeringue, Tricia Petty, Kye Layton, Tisdale Family, Robert Hildebrandt, Michelle Boewe, Chris Schrider, Schweizer Family , Paul Knott, Claire Gregory, Lori Arnold, Roger Vollmer, Maureen Handy, Cindy Pink, Jodi Cook, Kerryann, Dawn Bach, The Kahle Family , Anjanette Tournillon, Susie Howard, Carolyn Como, Sarah Strouse, Brendan Abel, Jennifer Galloway, The Kertes Family , The Fosbender's, Andy Hickey, Dawn Simpson, Patty Carty, Kristen Thumser, John Bickers, Francis Lachance, Morgan M., Mike Mondoux, Elizabeth Johnston, Marguerite Garofalo, Carolyn And Andrew Poirier, Daniel Record, Carla C, Cavin Michaud, The Young Family, England, Margaret Erath, Bonnie Chojnicki, The Gunnels Gang, Rosanna Bowser, The O'meara Family, Lee Anastasi, Erin Dagney, Christine Dagney, Paul Dickson, Pam Bryant, The Parker Family (w/out Nikki's Help), Fishman Family, Rob Blundin, Vicki Edwards And William Edwards, Karen Smith, Lynn Behr, Zach Szymko, Robert Wescovich, Lynnette Feltner, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Rachel Resciniti, Larry Sprenkle, Kerry A., Amy Filliben, Kerm Popek, Andrea Kruszewski, Vera Dercole, Double Family, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Penny, Michelle Brown, Emily Hudson, Sarah Orman, Doug Olson Family, Tom Buck, Diane Curfman, Maria Beaumont, John Menjes, Maryann Romagnano, Jd Conti, Hunter Armstrong, Jeremy Hardy, Lori Pahl, Kerri Coggins, Kathryn Perkins, Sarah Calvario, Krostyn Scibienski, Terry Blair, Brian Gallant, Bob Patterson, Dallas Hamilton, Leigh Mertz, Wayne Witherspoo, Jennifer Harmon, Rebecca Keenan, Ken Rhinehart, Alison Rosenberger, Jennifer Snook, Shelly Borella, Dee Riccio, Wayne Beck, Patrick Broaddus, Timothy Hutchinson, Karrie Duffey, Anastasia Macneil, Michelle Kuijer, Jennifer Walker, Jullie Pudem Scanlon, Terry Fleming, Lindsey Schlauderaff, Paul Resnick, Al Sandal, Craig Lordan, Karen Bellamy, Team Meeker, Jennifer Mercier, Kelly Smith, Scott Sangston, Brian Mcwithey, Gail States, Melody O'donnell, Kristi Jack, Ashley Hill, Mark Benton, Bonnie, Tracy Discher, Katie Bray, Susan Higginbotham, Luis Rodriguez, Chris Thomas, Carla Leger, Kelly R., Les Stewart, Elizabeth Scarborough, Kristen Mccoy, Wayne Chadourne, George Mundy Jr, Nathalie Periard, Dave Carriere, Carri Marotto, Dana, Heather Pedulla, Sara Holloway, Joseph M. Zafia, Robert P. Flaherty, Vickie Scioneaux, Melissa Littman, Ellen, Maryann Daly, Curtis Bille, Dick Smith, Dave Kanigowski, Amor Family, Sandy Kanigowski, Fred Shakeshaft, Mike Walter, Vicki Britt, Myra Mann, Team Bonnie Sue, Gallagher Family, Shirley Garcowski, Tom Higbee, Patti Mccaffrey, Kim Wolfe, Peggy Saeger, Chris Joyce, Jo Ann Bailey, Al Desimone, Debbie Desimone, Christy Schor, Agnes Ciotti, Jane Johnson, Nancy Crossman, Nathaniel Clements, Emily Harper, Heidi Goodhue, Susan Higginbotham, and Julia Wickware. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #301 Where in the world is this?

We are going outside the parks this week, Players!
 Where in the World #301

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, October 17th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

September 15, 2013

Where in the World #297

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

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

Mickey Eckert, I tried to find the same video you mentioned, but only found the official one. Very pretty though!

Challenge #296:
 Where in the World #296

And here's the answer:
Where in the World Photo Fun
Copyright © 2011 Erin Blackwell

Andy Hickey, you're right!

Welcome to "Dream Along With Mickey" in font of Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom! Mickey and Minnie are ready for the grand finale where they rise to great pinnacles!

I took this picture in December, so you can see the Castle Dream Lights on the walls although they blend in rather well.

Chris Masse were the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Chris and all our winners this week! The Kahle Family, Hillary Waldroop, Paul Dickson, Janet T Thorn, Kristi Strembicki, Mary Beth Tarbet, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Virginia Pierce, Carol Gamill, Kerri Coggins, Carol Ney, Linda Ranatza, Theresa Rucando, Maryann Eckenrode, Jason &Melinda Lenz, Andrew Carrieri, Carla C, Dee Dee Kenney, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Patty Carty, Mary Thatcher, Trina Noggle, Mickey Eckert, Kye Layton, Derek Carty, Kenny, The Parker Family, Tiffany Gibb, Team Hill, Deb Ragno, Vicki Britt, Karen Schlumpf, Wendy Barney, Dawn Bach, Kerry A., Kris Nixon, Carolyn Como, Chris Kelly, Dan And Elizabeth Johnston, Sarah Calvario, Donna Frank, Louise Barton, Pam Tees, Sharon Pierce, Double Family, Linda Scrivano, Alan Mize, Andrea Kruszewski, Tom Koval, Betsy Silvestri, Rob Blundin, Jeremy Hardy, Jennifer Rowell, Sharon Dale, Morgan M., Cheryl Chambers, Hobbes And Snorky, Nathalie Periard, Erin Hammer, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Lee Anastasi, Penny, Pollyanna Buff, Larry Sprenkle, Diane Curfman, Schweizer Family, Jim Finley, Elizabeth And Vicki Edwards, Kristan Bertelmann, Robert Wescovich, Stefan Owens, Cynthia Hitchcock, Christina, Chris Nichols, Mikemalampy, Vanessa Gordon, Sara, Les Stewart, Maryann Romagnano, Cathy Connors, Jeff Blank, Pam Vanaustin, Chris Connors, Russ Morgan, Jason Skow, Bob Patterson, Duskin Henard, Wayne Chadiurne, Diane Ramos, Tricia Noble, Bonnie Tulenko, Jeremy Reichelt, Shelly Borella, Matt Holley, Melody O'donnell, Karrie Duffey, Wayne Witherspoon, Anastasia Macneil, Peter Boguszewski, Terry Fleming, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Brian Yesutis, Nancy Cole, George Mundy Jr, Karen Costa, Karen Smith, Michael Gunnels, Stephen Knapp, Stephanie Linares, Fran Rendulic, Carri Marotto, Patti Mccaffrey, Karen Bellamy, Sarah Thomas, Wendy T Faler, The Kertes Family, Kim Paulakos, Tim Johansen, Susan Higginbotham, Lori Rienhardt, Lorie &Jim Sonnen, Heidi Goodhue, Olivia, Craig Lordan, Jennifer Harmon, Josh Carney, Angela, Vera Williamss, The Scimeca Family, Amanda Campbell, Tom Buck, Amy Scott, Liz Moreau, Patti Deluca, Elaine Kleinhenz, Jackie Graebel, Taryn Dewald, Claire Gregory, Alicia Littleton, Jennifer Bogdan, Joseph M. Zafia, Katie Bray, Stephanie Dollar, Ken Rhinehart, Josh Weiss, Gail States, Jo Ann Bailey, Vicki Yarnell, Agnes Ciotti, Emily Watson, Christy Schor, Stacy Guarracino, Andy Hickey, Lisa Cash, Sandy Kanigowski, Dave Kanigowski, and Evald Olson. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
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Challenge #297 Where in the world is this?

Keep the park passes handy because we're not leaving them.
 Where in the World #297

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, September 19th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer

_______________________________________________________________________


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

August 30, 2013

Anchoring Your Disney Photographs

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

In Disney parks, anchor points could be anything.

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

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

June 9, 2013

Where in the World #283

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

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

As you read this, Players, I am home from my Disney vacation. (lip trembling). Someone Disney bear me.
From Millan.Net
Although, Claire Gregory, I did do everything you said. :)

On the other hand, there's apparently a Where in the World Photo Fun convention that I didn't know about because Duskin Henard, Chloe Mayhew, Penny Urell, and Karen Smith are all in the World! Have wonderful trips!

Sophia and John Bickers, thank you so much for your wonderful notes!

Here's Challenge #282:
Where in the World #282

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

Elaine & Aj Deluca would like to say, this is "the unbelievably, totally awesomely wicked, statue of AJ's favorite pals Chip & Dale in the Hub of the Magic Kingdom". :) A lot of people listed these little guys as their favorite hub statue while other people are visiting others!

Dulcie Hayes was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Dulcie and all our winners this week! Daniel Record, Deedee Kenney, Michelle Raimist, Cheryl Akers, Karen Drum, Denise Cayz, Kevin Miller, Chris Nichols, Audra Miller, Kris Nixon, Jim Dewalt, Jessica Longdon, Anne, Kenny, Julie Canaday, Ed Elder, Theresa Rucando, Paul Gera, David, Belicia Cullen, Russ Morgan, Scott Cullen, Tinkerbell Wells, Amanda Campbell, Johnny Kay, Hoekzema Family, Anne Marie Cronin, Pam Vanaustin, Cheryl Chambersl, The Fromm Family, Tiffany Gibb, John Sheridan, Ed, Stephanie Clark, Wendy T Faler, Kathy Wicks, Deme Grabert, Lori Thomas, Suzanna Tweddle, Kristina Mcdonald, Steve And Ruby Jordan, Ken Daube, Ellen Sullivan, Marcus Davies , Mike Walter, Jennifer Lovell, Zach Szymko, Roger Vollmer, Will Belmonte, Jenni Miller, Mary Beth Tarbet, Sharon Pierce, Colette Stanton , Jenny Brennan, Kristi Strembicki, Chris Masse, Julie Wickware, Becky Norman, Jennifer Harmon, Andrew Carrieri, Mary Thatcher , Theresa Lucotti, Susie Johnson, Ed Hogan, Laurie Walker, Betsy Silvestri, Maryann Eckenrode, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, James Dezern, Matthew Brisbin, Jared Orth, Clinton Dickinson, Kathy Morris, Elaine & Aj Deluca, The O'meara Family, Deb Ragno, Dawn Bach, Paul Moore, Emily Hudson, Team Hill, Craig Lordan, Jillian Domings, Kye Layton, Jason Hocker, Patti Miller, Staci Plunkett, Patti Gumiela, Brian Miller, Double Family, Lynette Michalos, Laura V., Sharon Dale, Rebecca Smith, Curtis Bille, Virginia Pierce, Lee Anastasi, Jennifer Bourg, Angie Young, Lorine Landon, Rachel Rimorin, Megan Krainski, Mary Jo Gallion, Vicki And Elizabeth Edwards, Karen Stevens, Mike Malampy, Craig, Christine Kahle, Maureen Hanlon, Billie Jean Albolino, Paul Knott, Craig Livingston, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Emma Poprock, The Kahle Family, James Steele, Cheryl Costello, Patty Carty, Cynthia Hitchcock, Kelly Cummings , Sandie Albrecht, Joe Calomeni, Vera Williams, Jim Riddle, Millie Tenreiro, Caryn Schill, Melanie Dunlap, John Bickers, Jeremy Hardy, Sharon Powell, Donna Currier, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Hobbes And Snorky, Susan Thompson, Trina Noggle, Karen Schlumpf, Kristen Mccoy, Erin Hammer, Alan Mize, The Moore Family, Susie Howard, Pollyanna Buff, Dan Mangini, Kristyn Scibienski, Linda Scrivano, Brian Mcwithey, Maggie Klotz, Sophia, Kyler Scott, Ellie Argaluza, Morgan M., Gerald Skanes, Trisha Johnson, Maureen Handy, The Klein Family, Alison Rosenberger, Duskin Henard, Herb Miller, Mike Rotkiske, Judy Simonsen, Leach Family, Ashley P. , Chris Kelly, Tom Koval, Claire Gregory, Mike Gunnels, Lindsey Schlaud, Matt Petty, Stefan Owens, Kerri Coggins, Angela Fennell, Larry Sprenkle, Rob Blundin, Heather Pedulla, Tricia Petty, Ed Suscreba, Janet Thorn, Nick Bentz, Nick And Steph, Louise, The Patterson Family, Jennifer Rupert, Brenda, Paul Dickson, Jennifer Greene, Chris, Gretchen, And Katie Barnes, Mike Haeberle, Blake Schmidt, Patti Mccaffrey, Diane Curfman, Clay Anthony, Chloe Mayhew, The Kertes Family, Carolyn Como, Jackie Purcell, Karla Callen, Lynn Goshert, Orange Bird, Doug Olson Family, Christina & Natalie Rotella, The Foley Family, Kelly Smith, Brian Gallant, Richard Costall, Les Stewart, Melesia Love, Andrew Bailey, Jessica Folan, Karen Aguiar, Kerrie Hogan, George Mundy Jr, Josh Carney, John Menjes, Kate Fischer, Michelle Roth-smoot, Stephanie Dollar, Jeff Brashear, Steven Rose, Jennifer Snook, Matt Holley, Diane Ramos, Randy Thomas, Shelly Borella, Mary Virginia Clause, Anastasia Macneil, Joy Ousterout, Mary Greger, Tim Johansen, Linda Ranatza, Carol Ney, Christopher Hall, Carri Marotto, Andy Schumacher, Carla C, Zachary Falcone, Maryann Romagnano, Jullie Pudem, Nancy Johansen, Peter Boguszewski, The Holmes Family, Mike Cerce, Will Gates, Stephanie Linares, Melodye, Diane Furtado, Matt Ciccone, Lorie, Karen Bellamy, Penny Urell, Brian Yesutis, Vicki Vaught, Jim Thompson, Annie Snodgrass, Cris Sefransky, Sara Alaimo, Nathan York, Karen Smith, Reagan Herman, John P, Scott Greenbaum, Mike Venere, Team Bonnie Sue, Chuck Sands, Ashley Hill, Agnes Ciotti, Evald Olson, Mike Hulse, Mickey Eckert, The Hicks Family, Terry Berringer, Robert Hildebrandt, Donna Hawkins , Laney, Elizabeth Scarborough, Davida, Jim Riley, Carla Leger, Vincent Maltese, Brooke Whitlatch, Cheri Palmisano, Melissa Kirk, Nathaniel Clements, Angel Diven, Brendan Abel, Tom Buck , Sandy, Kim Howe, Patti Deluca, Vanessa Gordon, Kim Howe, Pecosace, Jane Johnson, Joseph M. Zafia, Team Meeker, Diane Batista, Olivia , Christine, Kathryn Hughes, Paul Ignudo Jr, Jeremy Reichelt, Christy Gattis, John Pasqueralli, Kerry Mccaffrey, Kathie Goldberg, Peggy Saeger, Theresa Maradei, John Paul Carnell, Vicki Britt, Jean Ehlert, Paul Latella, Stacy Guarracino, Emily Harper, Margie Larmon, Edward Haja, Tom Higbee, Heidi Goodhue, Elizabeth And Dan Johnston, Jeremy Mccaffrey, and Karen Kristoff. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
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Challenge #283 Where in the world is this?

Still in the parks! Don't let the fact that this picture was taken at night throw you off when you're guessing.

 Where in the World #283

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

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

April 23, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week: Mouse Ears

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Walt Disney World may no longer celebrate special anniversary years but they do like to sell special anniversary merchandise. Such was the case for Epcot's 30th Anniversary last year. Back in 2011, you could find lots of merchandise for the Magic Kingdom's 40th Anniversary which is where I found these Mickey Mouse Ears.

40th Anniversary Mouse Ears for sale in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
40th Anniversary Mouse Ears for sale in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/3.8, ISO 2200, EV 0, 34mm focal length.

Lisa be here on Thursday to share her Disney Pic of the Week on Mouse Ears.

February 26, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week: Yellow

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Yellow is a bright and happy color. Just as Belle was when she wore it in the animated movie, Beauty and the Beast. Belle and her dress sure made this young princess bright and happy.

Belle in her Yellow Gown meets a young guest at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Belle in her Yellow Gown meets a young guest.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/4.5, ISO 200, EV 0, 52mm focal length, bounced flash.

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

January 6, 2013

Where in the World #262

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

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

Vera Williams, Jim Finley, and Cheri Palmisano, and to everyone who send me such wonderful messages, thank you!

Rob & April Vanderpool, I know you are enjoying Walt Disney World! And so is Maggie Klotz for the first time in over a decade! Enjoy the magic!
From Millan.Net

Jeremy Mccaffrey has the flu this week and couldn't play like he usually does. Get well soon, Jeremy!

My family is having a Disney trip free year too, Jason & Melinda Lenz. Sniffle!
From Millan.Net

Here was the challenge last week:
 Where in the World #261

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

Let me quote from One Man's Dream:
"We know it was really all started by a man, a man with a dream, and a mouse."

The Partners Statue at the end of Main Street, in the center of the hub in front of Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom: it honors the man himself, the one who his brother called the World's Storyteller and how lucky we are to have him: Walter Elias Disney. And his buddy, his partner in magic, the one who Roy O. Disney said was the closest anyone could get to having Walt alive again, the friend Walt always called The Mouse, Oswald's little brother: Mickey Mouse.

I'm so glad so many of you agreed this was a good choice to close 2012 on a magical note.
I'm not going to even to clown around. Let's just enjoy it, the way the movie ends in One Man's Dream (I always choke up):

When you wish upon a star
Makes no difference who you are
Anything your heart desires
Will come to you

If your heart is in your dream
No request is too extreme
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do

I hope your 2013 sees your dreams coming true, Players.

And Tami H. and John Bickers, you got it right. :)

Chris Connors was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Chris and all our winners this week! Robert Hildbebrandt, Cherie Schroeder, Sarah Weiss, Linda Turner, Charis Barron, Kathy Morris, Jay Fuentes, Valerie Alban, Orlaith Ferguson, Liz Moreau, Shannon Wittmaier, Andrew Weed, Jennifer Vega, Carl Kanefsky, Cindy Rey, Kathy Morris, Jeff Brice, Lin Carvell, Deme Grabert, John W. Sharpe, Nancy Miller, Nadine Anderson, Kevin Scott, Janet Fishman, Bob Patterson, Jeff Connors, Roni Dorf-wilcox, Kristen Funk, Sharon Lucia, Ken Rhinehart, Jason Skow, Sherry Tarantino, April Haddock, Dawn Simpson, Amber Penske, Melissa Such, Leslie Pennington, Betty Mercier, Christine Glynn, Lauren Svec, Addison Welp, Amber Cangelosi, Jennifer Rowell, Bridgette Gallagher, Kerri Kobylka, Erin, Krystal Pound, M Goldschmied, Deb Gallo, Jessica Folan, Virginia Pierce, Gregg Eldred, Tinkerbell Wells, James Steele, Linda, Susan Rollins, Hillary Waldroop, David Ross, Kris Nixon, Theresa Rucando, Kathy Miller, Amy Powers, Jen Lombardi, Wayne Chadourne, Cathy Connors, Mark Niebojeski, Tara Noles, Jennifer Snapp, Stefanie Vandiver, Kimberly Pearsall, Vera Williams, Jennifer Snook, Deanna, Karen Wheatley, Sharon Pierce, Eric Enli, Jimmie Jones, Eric Woodfork, Thomas Mangano, Curtis Bille, Fran Achorn, Thomas Mangano, Nicole Klein, Rob & April - Team Vanderpool, Chris Horne, Chris Bauman, Keirsten Sangster, Julia Buchter, Belicia Cullen, Bruce Jones, Michelle Boewe, Scott Cullen, Kelli Gordon, Chris Masse, Jason Hocker, Jeff Blank, Mark Watson, Pam, Marilyn Garfinkel, Amy Schweizer, David Tarbet, Kristin Olmedo, Melesia Love, Jenny Brennan, Maureen Handy, Tim Jeltes, Candice Grimes, Bill Demaio, Tom Koval, Wayne Wyatt, Annette Nuenke, Amy Poole, Jim Finley, Josh Dean, Linda College, Judy, Wendy Hupp, Betsy Silvestri, Pat Cassidy, John Menjes, Jodi Civill, Angie Young, Janet Thorn, Cindy Derosa, Larry Drum, Doug Olson Family, Pollyanna Buff, Greg, Jim Riddle, Matt Holley, Chris & Maranda Nichols, Mark Culwell, Kelly Zanauskas, Brad Kinsey, Carri Marotto, Alan Mize, Cyndi Burns, Deb Falvo, Cindy Hicks, Andrew Carrieri, Jill Haarman, Eric Holmes, The Moore Family, Ed Elder, Emily Hudson, Hobbes And Snorky, Philippe Ouellet, Janna Jewett, The Strukel Family, Karen Schlumpf, Lizanne Fisk, Dee Dee Kenney, Melody O'donnell, Debbie Lanza, Brian Yesutis, Lisa Bohannon, Parker Family, Anastasia Macneil, Antoinette Leblanc, Lisa Bohannon, Mary Beth Tarbet, Katie Bray, Rob Jacob, Jeremy Reichelt, Billie Jean Albolino, Phil Badcock, Evanna Huda, Erin Hammer, Melodye Berry, Chloe Mayhew, Kim Mobley, Alicia, Tami H., Stephanie Linares, Colette S, Ken Maikowski, Demetrios Makres, Claire Gregory, Mary Thatcher, Nicole Shuler, Karen Ramirez, Brian Gallant, Lori Rienhardt, Shelley Diederich, Caren Bauernfeind, Emily Dagney, Chris Dagney, Erin Dagney, Sherry Trapp, Debbie Desimone, Al Desimone, Scott Greenbaum, Monica Owens, Staci Plunkett, Jim Logue, Patti Mccaffrey, Alison Rosenberger, Jonathan Thomas, Jamie K, Kameo Crea, Emily Watson, Nathalie Periard, Robert Dean Bostic, Bonnie Tulenko, Becky Norman, Clinton Dickinson, Al Desimone, Lisa St. Peter, John Nottell, Team Hill, Jim Dewalt, Rachel Hoover, Wendy Snelgrove, Thomas Farquharson, Bryan Kruse, Brent Baker, Mickey Mouse, Lynette Michalos, Kelly Cummings, Susie Howard, Tracy Discher, Mckenna Creese, K Beasley, Dave Wang, Steve Jordan, Cameron Lange, Pamela Manseau, Emma Ramsey, Christina R, Beth Mcmeekin, Maryann Eckenrode, Trina Noggle, Les Whitten, Kelly Mccleary, Jenny Stoneburner, Josh Weiss, Kristi Strembicki, Meredith Rule, Bob Henriksen, Pam Lorenz, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Sarah Calvario, Candy Dadswell, Joanna, Bill Cudney, Lynne Simpson, Rob Blundin, Sharon Dale, Wendy Mowery, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Maureen Hanlon, Ainsley Poe, Nancy Mclaughlin, Bob, Maggie Klotz, Dawn Bach, Carol Gamill, Cindy Pink, Sara Holloway, Michael Malampy, Andrew Swiatowicz, Sharon Powell, Misty Mehelic, Todd Swavely, Kris Blamphin, Deb Ragno, Dave Kanigowski, Sandy Kanigowski, Cynthia Hitchcock, Chris Kelly, Rebecca Keenan, Jason & Melinda Lenz, Jimmy Beaupre, Wendy T Faler, Diane Curfman, Craig, Kathryn Willer, Vicki Vaught, Kelsi, Lynn, Jessica Iglesias, Jared Meeker, Carolyn Como, Susan Higginbotham, Carla C, Jonathan Ward, Larry Sprenkle, Jennifer Rupert, George Mundy Jr, Patty Newton, Hayley Valk, Jennifer Mccurry, Karen Kristoff, Kelly, Tricia Petty, Heather Young, Jodi Cook, The O'meara Family, Doug Reichl, Kim Walker, Jack, Bill, and Ryan Foley, Katie Bamford, Ron Harper, Bruce Hinterleitner, Pam Vanaustin, Cary Burke, Brian Richmond, Mike M., Mike Haeberle, Stefan Owens, Al Ganter, Vanessa St.john, Kerry A., Kristen Mccoy, Mike Cerce, Ronald Delorey, Cassnadra Newton, Kerry Mccaffrey, Maryann Romagnano, Mickey Eckert, Jen Tremley, Jennifer Bourg, Megan Krainski, Paul Knott, Evald Olson, Duskin Henard, Heather Pedulla, Nilda Stuff, Karen Smith, Veronica Peterson, Brendan Abel, Chris Connors, C.j. Connors, Debbie Connors, Olszak Family, Double Family, Joseph M. Zafia, Vicki And Elizabeth Edwards, Barclay Bakkum, Melissa Kirk, John Paul, Heidi Goodhue, Vickie Scioneaux, Maryann Daly, Les Stewart, Juli Case, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Kim May, Jo Ann Bailey, Ronnie Schreyer, Margi Larmon, Elaine Kleinhenz, Jackie Graebel, Jennifer Bogdan, Lisa De Paiva, John Bickers, Kye Layton, Jennifer Murchison, Elyssa H., Peggy Saeger, Tara Bradford, Jane Johnson, Walter N. Clark, Lindsay Kasawski, Kathryn Perkins, Vanessa Medlock, Kerr Coggins, Jared Orth, Sandy O'daniel, Felice Ciccione, Jennifer Carson, Andrea Kruszewski, Rita Henderson, Brian Grabowski, Donna Langdon, Chip Vermette, Zachary Ott, Kelly Mager, Eileen Miller, Mark Proper, Andrew Pettit, Jennifer Harmon, Bob Hendrix, Wendy Barney, Ashley P., Patrick Broaddus, Anita Jodouin, Timothy Hutchinson, Emily Harper, Dan Diehm, Deb Wolfe, Annie Snodgrass, Karrie Duffey, Diane Furtado, Gallagher Family, Kara Cummings, Heather Hynes, Jullie Pudem, John Foggo, Diane Ramos, Trish Babler, Gail States, The Patterson Family, Mary Greger, Cheri Palmisano, Angie Messer, Karen Nelson, Leach Family, Gabriella Rizzo, Lisa Zitek, Pecosace, Kirsten Miller, Harry Wilson, Terri Thornton, Derek Carty, Lynn, Diane Tredore, Dan Mangini, Paul Ignudo Jr., Wayne Witherspoon, Jackie Klafeta, Dave Carriere, Stacy Guarracino, Chuck Everson, Christy Schor, Andy Schumacher, Linda Grau, Mitchell Holmes, Shannon Wright, Brian Mcwithey, Wendy Palmquist, Kathie Goldberg, Orange Bird, Anjanette Tournillon, Lorine Landon, Emily Esker, Elizabeth Goodman, Hulse Family, Jeannine, Michael Nanney, Ashley Hill, Steven Dearment, and Shannon Williams. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

And now: the last monthly drawing for 2012! The winner is: Stephanie Dollar! Congratulations, Stephanie! You will be receiving your prize from Deb Wills soon!
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Challenge #262: Where in the world is this?
This is a little harder, but when you see the full picture, I'm hoping you'll agree it's a good one to start 2013.

We are still in the parks.
 Where in the World #262

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, January 10th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

December 18, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week: Dancing

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Disney themeparks have lots of live shows every day. I am willing to bet all them feature two things: singing and dancing. This week, Lisa and I will be focusing on the Dancing aspect of the shows.

Below is a photo from the Main Street Trolley Parade of the performers dancing behind the horse drawn trolley.

Performers sing and dance during the Trolley Parade down Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Performers sing and dance during the Trolley Parade down Main Street USA.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/11, ISO 200, EV 0, 55mm focal length.

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

November 23, 2012

Color Composition at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

There are many rules of composition in photography, like the Rule of Thirds, symmetry, golden triangle and others. One thing that is often overlooked is using color in composition. Color can be used to lead the viewer's eye to the subject, create a response in the viewer or even frame an image. When studying this subject, I found I relied mostly on my subjects position or their relationship to other elements in the viewfinder. The following photos I did take with color being the primary photographic element.

Besides his humor, Cool Hand Luke stood out in front of Disney's Boardwalk Resort with his brightly colored costume which contrasted with the natural tones of the resort's buildings and wooded boardwalk. To further enhance his appearance, I placed him in the right third of the frame where your eyes are lead to first before exploring the rest of the scene.

Cool Hand Luke Juggling Show entertaining guests on The Boardwalk, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Cool Hand Luke Juggling Show entertaining guests on The Boardwalk.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/11, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length, fill flash.

The blue twilight sky makes for a beautiful backdrop for the brightly lighted and colorful Characters in Flight tethered balloon ride at Downtown Disney. Here I balance the balloon with the horizon in the lower third of the frame.

Characters in Flight tethered balloon ride at Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Characters in Flight tethered balloon ride at Downtown Disney.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/30s, f/3.5, ISO 3200, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length.

A yellow Taveta Golden Weaver (Ploceus castaneiceps) bird on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom posed nicely for me against the natural background. The contrast of the yellow bird pops right out at you.

Taveta Golden Weaver bird on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Taveta Golden Weaver bird on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/80s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV +0.3, 300mm focal length.

Going to finish up with a couple holiday photos now that Thanksgiving here in the United States has passed and the shopping season is in full swing today.

The slivery-blue Cinderella Castle in holiday Dream Lights from the Ticket and Transportation Center near the Ferry dock reflects in the Seven Seas Lagoon on a December evening. Reflections in water and other surfaces help to draw one's eyes to the main subject.

Cinderella Castle in holiday Dream Lights from the Ticket and Transportation Center, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Cinderella Castle in holiday Dream Lights from the Ticket and Transportation Center.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 3s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 300mm focal length, tripod.

The Toy Soldier statues around the Main Street USA Christmas Tree in the Magic Kingdom can be made the colorful subject by using a wide open aperture to create the dreamy bokeh (out of focus background) of the lights on the tree behind them.

Toy Soldier figure in front of the Main Street USA Christmas tree at the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Toy Soldier figure in front of the Main Street USA Christmas Tree.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/40s, f/5.6, ISO 3200, EV -0.6, 116mm focal length, polarizer filter.

This month on my personal photo blog, I ran an assignment about Color Composition where you can find more reference articles and links to people who participated.

October 26, 2012

More Halloween Fun in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

It is that time when I can get out photos from past Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Parties I have attended the last two years. Remember last year when the Cadaver Dans paid us a visit and those great special effects at the Haunted Mansion? Here are a few more photos to share with you.

A collage of Halloween fun during a Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Halloween fun during a Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party.

From top left going clockwise; The Headless Horseman leads off the Boo To You Parade, Ghost of Lady Renata in front of the Haunted Mansion, HalloWishes grand finale behind Cinderella Castle and a zombie marching in the parade on Main Street USA.

October 23, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week: Halloween

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Magic Kingdom turns into a Halloween lovers dream each year at this time. Pumpkins, scarecrows, maize and corn stalks line Main Street USA. Many evenings here are reserved for fun and trickery at Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Parties with a parade not to be missed if you are visiting the resort.

Walt Disney World goes all out including changing the statues around the Partners statue with holiday themed replacements. Donald Duck changes into his Musketeer costume and is surrounded by complimentary colored flowers.

Musketeer Donald statuette in the Magic Kingdom for Halloween, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Musketeer Donald statuette in the Magic Kingdom for Halloween.
Nikon D700/Tokina 11-16mm, 1/160s, f/16, ISO 200, EV -0.3, 16mm focal length.

Lisa will be here on Thursday with her Disney Pic of the Week photos of Halloween in the Disney parks.

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?

May 25, 2012

Magic Kingdom Flag Retreat Ceremony

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I took the time last October to watch the Flag Retreat ceremony which takes place each day at the Town Square flag pole in the Magic Kingdom. It is a beautiful and hushed ceremony. On this day, there was no music but just the sound of the security guards lowering the flag, folding it and presenting it to the Veteran of the Day. They then all parade to the Railroad Station through a path lined with Cast Members and to the applause of watching guests.

Veteran of the Day and Disney Security pay homage as the flag is lowered during the Flag Retreat ceremony in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Veteran of the Day and Disney Security pay homage as the flag is lowered during the Flag Retreat ceremony in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 62mm focal length.

If you would like to witness the Flag Retreat ceremony, be at the Town Square flagpole about 4:45pm. The ceremony starts promptly at 5:00pm.

To my fellow Americans, have a safe Memorial Day weekend and give thanks to those who did not return from fighting for our freedoms.

May 15, 2012

Disney Pic of the Week: Main Street USA

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I often tell people until I walk up Main Street USA, I have not arrived at Walt Disney World. The sights, sounds and smells are like walking into the past to the time of Walt Disney's imagined everyday Main Street. As we all know, Walt had quite the imagination so his Main Street is full of lively characters and entertainers. Not to mention colorful ones like the Dapper Dans Barbershop Quartet who come out to sing to guests everyday. Make sure you grab an entertainment guide upon entering the Magic Kingdom so you do not miss them.

Dapper Dans singing on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Dapper Dans singing on Main Street USA.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/8, ISO 200, EV 0, 34mm focal length.

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

April 22, 2012

Where in the World #226

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

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

We have another Birthday celebration, Players! Happy Birthday (on the 19th) to Patti Mccaffrey! May you have nothing but pixie dust and happy thoughts this year!
Hold on: we have ANOTHER Birthday shout out! Happy Birthday (on the 21st) to Danielle Ciotti Harsley! May the Blue Fairy herself make your wishes come true!

That's it, Players. Come on, we can't let this special occasion go by without a group sing-a-long!

Smiley from millan.net

AND we have a new Player! Everybody, all together now, with a big friendly hello:

Hello and Welcome, Vicki Britt! We hope you love it here at Where in the World Photo Fun!

Smiley from millan.net

(Good job, everyone! Way to jump in with that Disney spirit!)

By the way, Vicki: it's not like this every week - birthday singing, welcome wagons. I just don't want you to be disappointed next week if it's... you know... quieter since we don't sing all the time. We're not "Glee". :-)

OK! It's time to look at our Challenges!

The Bonus Challenge maybe wasn't really TOUGH, but at least it was fun!

 Where in the World Toughie

And here's its answer:

Copyright © 2011 Erin Blackwell Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS, 4mm, 1/20s shutter, f2.7, ISO 800

Look at me, Players! I'm inside a cluster of Disney Balloons! I was walking down Main Street in the Magic Kingdom and had to stoop to pick up something. When I stood up, I was inside the balloons! It's a magical world!

I worded the answer differently, Brian Mcwithey, but yours was funnier!

Those light-up balloons are calling us, Mackenzie D.... hear them? You know, we could get one and then, when we can't take it on the plane home, give it to someone who looks like they need Disney spirit. What do you think?

Lots of people got this one right! So I'm giving you full credit and you'll get an additional entry in the monthly drawing . :)

Here are the Balloon winners:
Congratulations to Diane Ramos, Daniel Record, Kerri Coggins, Double Family, Teresa Plunkett, Mary Beth Tarbet, Elizabeth And Vicki Edwards, Josh Weiss, Courtney Payne, Deme Grabert, Amy Weber, Renee, Ellen Sullivan, Diane Curfman, James And Kathy Berry, Sharon Dale, Chris Kelly, Jennifer Chartier, Jim Thompson, Doug Olson, Megan Krainski, Patti Mccaffrey, Eva O., Erin Connell, Kerry Mccaffrey, Audra Miller, Kevin Miller, Brian Mcwithey, Michelle Goodwin, Jeff Holt, Les Stewart, Christopher Hall, Frank Pierce, Patrick B., Carri Marotto, Dan Owens, Al Desimone, Debbie Desimone, Mackenzie D., Shelly Borella, Jen Tremley, Heidi Goodhue, Sandra Shaw, Jennifer Rowell, Mickey Eckert, Christine, Mike Pennington, Barclay Bakkum, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Sandra Edwards, Tina Santillo, Agnes Ciotti, Monica Owens, Margie Larmon, Emily Hudson, Stefan Owens, Pecosace, Rob And April - Team Vanderpool, and Kathryn Willer!

Here was the main Challenge:
 Where in the World #225

And here's the answer:

Copyright © 2011 Erin Blackwell Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS, 11mm, 1/20s shutter, f5, ISO 1600

It's a Disneyland Viewmaster Disk in the Toy Story Mania queue in Disney's Hollywood Studios! Ah, Vewmasters.... Good times, noodle salad. (Who knows what movie that quote is from?)

But I don't have to tell you, do I, James and Kathy Berry? Not with your son's Mickey Viewmaster in the attic. Or you, Christopher Hall, with your 4 year old son getting that load of old WDW and Disneyland viewmaster reels from Grandma? Or Vicki Britt, you remember what it was like when we had Disney Viewfinders, and Melissa Kirk, you who have this Disneyland disk at home! I'm just going to sit over here and sigh with envy...

Don Whiteman was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Don and to all the readers who got the answer right: Ed Elder, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Larissa Huda, Daniel Record, Matt Holley, Rob Blundin, Emily Hudson, Laure Proutt, Kerri Coggins, Chris Masse, Carla C., Jack Foley, Stacey Hutchinson, Jack Foley, Lindsay Clayton, Double Family, Brenda Double, Louise Barton, Theresa Rucando, Cara Richards, Amy Rupp, Mary Beth Tarbet, Dale Knight, Linda Scrivano, Kelly Montgomery, Michael U., Deb Ragno and Son!, Maureen Handy, Josh Weiss, Craig, The Strukel Family, Courtney Payne, Kellie Harpel, Kerry, Mandi Mae, Amy Weber, Patrick Sklenar, Michael Gainey, Sam Fritz, Donna Currier, Misty Mehelic, Mike Walter, Renee, Jamie K, Beth Mcmeekin, Maggie Klotz, Ellen Sullivan, Jason And Melinda Lenz, Belicia Cullen, Team Hill, Scott Cullen, Diane Curfman, Amy Young, Carolyn Como, Paul Dickson, Mike Mondoux, James And Kathy Berry, Lori Rienhardt, Sharon Dale, Herb Miller, The Moore Family, Jennifer Chartier, Doug Olson, Dawn Bach, Megan Krainski, Christopher Barnes, Kenny, Anastasia Macneil, Halo Barker, Patti Mccaffrey, Eva O., Erin Connell, Emma Ramsey, Kerry Mccaffrey, Audra Miller, Kevin Miller, Brian Miller, Karen, Matt Carrera, Nigel Mcquire (wales In The Uk), Rich Kacprowicz, Rick R., Dan Johnston, The Patterson Family, Jeff Holt, Tom Hermes, Les Stewart, Christopher Hall, Mike Cerce, Frank Pierce, Kelly Smith, Patrick B., Sara Holloway, Karen Hotchkiss, Kristen Carde, Alison Rosenberger, Scott Sangston, Vicki Britt, Dan Owens, Al Desimone, Debbie Desimone, Mackenzie D., Alan Mize, Shelly Borella, Hillary Waldroop, Jen Tremley, Karen Smith, Hobbes And Snorky, Sandra Shaw, Brian Haas, Chris Ashby, Elyssa H., Jennifer Rowell, Chris Forner, Christine, Mike Pennington, John Pasqueralli, David Ballard, Paul Knott, Roye Ann Morris, James Hickey, Melissa Littman, Jeremy Mccaffrey, April Ramey, Tina Santillo, Allyson Sodrosky, Gary Bracknell, Agnes Ciotti, Jodi H, Allie Reckendorf, Paul Zerba, Melissa Kirk, Pecosace, Rob And April - Team Vanderpool, Kathryn Willer, Allyson Sodrosky, and Susan & Tom Linder. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #226: Where in the world is this?

So, the toughies were really just mediums. So, let's see what I can find to challenge you, hopefully. Is this a tough one? What if I don't say where we are, parks or outside?

 Where in the World #226

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, April 26th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post. Remember to be specific with your answer - just naming a park will not get you into the drawing.

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

April 15, 2012

Where in the World #225

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!

Birthday shout out, Players! Happy Birthday (on the 16th) to Agnes Ciotti! Smiley from millan.net I hope you have a magical year!

Christi Ison, what a fantastic note! THANK YOU!

Rob And April Vanderpool, I am having a string of magical milliseconds right now! Just one of those times when I'm feeling it, you know? Happy sigh!

Kyle Kenney, one of the best answers ever! And completely accurate. ;-)

Sophia Clifton, please remember me when you become a Disney merchandise designer! I buy LOTS of merchandise and I can say I knew you when you were just planning your goals! ;-)

Hey, Lynn Brooks and Cindy and Daughters Stinsons, what time is the 3:00 parade? The Hoekzema Family need to know for when they're in Disney in less than a month. LOL! That's still a great joke, isn't it, Jamie K? (I have a cast pin with this joke on it. ;)

Mary Tackett, I can't believe the high school teams' lousy priorities! A game before going to Walt Disney World: my goodness! What are they teaching kids nowadays! :-)

Here was last week's Challenge:
 Where in the World #224

And here's the answer:

Copyright © 2011 Erin Blackwell Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS, 12mm, 1/40s shutter, f5, ISO 800

Maureen Handy, in answer to your question:, yes. :) Because:

Hide your puppies - it's Cruella De Vil! (By the way, I found at least four different spellings, but this is the official Disney one!) She's in the Disney's Dreams Come True Parade in the Magic Kingdom! Barrie Brewer took this photo and if you click on the above picture, you'll see it in full glory on her photography site!

That leads into something funny. Several of you pointed out that Barrie posted this exact same picture in January 2011. It's the second time I repeated one of her photos, so.... Remember last week where I explained the process for posting Where in the World each week? Well, this is the part where I laugh at myself for being a dork. Smiley from millan.net

Um, I mean, this is where I point out that I DELIBERATELY did both of these as a tribute to Where in the World Photo Fun founder, AllEars Trading Cards creator, and former team mate Barrie Brewer. That's my story and I'm sticking with it. ;-)

So what have we learned, Players? That yours truly doesn't know what pictures were in the game during the Barrie years. You gotta love me. LOL!

Barrie gave me several villains, including other favorites of mine, and I picked Cruella because she's in full blown De Vil mode there, isn't she? And without aide of a mask! I know I'm checking to make sure my dogs are okay!

Quick story: On the animated movie's 40th anniversary, a local radio station interviewed Betty Lou Gerson, the actress who played Cruella De Vil. She sounded like the sweetest aunt you can imagine, so the interviewer asked could she do Cruella's voice and she very nicely said, of course. Then she suddenly transformed into De Vil mode and ranted, "JASPER! HORACE!" and everyone went crazy with excitement! Including me. :)

Susan Hill thanks me for putting Cruella's song in her head. It wasn't in mine until Paul Dickson and Kerri Coggins started singing it, so like Kerri said: all together now!

Cruella De Vil!
Cruella De Vil!
If she doesn't scare you,
No evil thing will.
To see her is to
Take a sudden chill!
Cruella, Cruella De Vil!


Virginia Pierce was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Virginia and to all the readers who got the answer right: Chris Kelly, Emily Hudson, Lauren Thomas, Jen Snapp, Ed Elder, Sharon Pierce, Brian Haas, Emily Hudson, The Strukel Family, Larissa Huda, The Kahle Family, Matt Holley, Vera Williams, Leigh Mertz, Chris Masse, Kathryn Perkins, Paul Dickson, Mary Beth Tarbet, Team Hill, Linda Scrivano, Mike Haven, Pollyanna Buff, Claressa Nisley, Maggie Klotz, Maggie Klotz, Mike Walter, Evanna Huda, Monica Hatch, Heidi Demello, Sharon Dale, Carol Gamill, Karen Tuso, Dawn Bach, Kris Nixon, Karen Duchnowski, Scott Cullen, Mary Virginia Clause, Erin Hammer, Lynn Brooks, Tom Hermes, Belicia Cullen, Eileen Whitmore, Angela And David Blevins, Dylan Weidner, Maureen Hanlon, Jill Johnson, Double Family, Katie Duncan, Linda College, Jen Cerce, Dale Knight, Bruce Jones, Andrew Loft, K.l. Beasley, Melanie Kolacy, Sharon Lee, Melany Hodges, Bruce Hinterleitner, Stephanie Hardhouse, Ken Maikowski, Steve Knapp, Jonah Rigby, Laura Valk, Audra Miller, James And Kathy Berry , Kevin Miller, Rob Blundin, Lauren Proutt, Patti Mccaffrey, Derek Carty, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Dayshel Harwood, Jeffrey Dunne, Ellen Sullivan, Paul Knott, Jennifer Rupert, Maureen Handy, Erica Cruz, Tiffany Gibb, Jennifer Harmon, Jenn Goad, Julie And Kody Rider, Donna Currier, Kerry Mccaffrey, Patty Carty, The Parker Family, April Ramey, Sarah Munkres, Vanessa St.john, Daniel Record, Chloe Mayhew, Sophia Clifton, Jeremy Hardy, Rebekah Schultz, Ken Hughs, Maryann Eckenrode, Kameo Crea, Noah Schweizer, Courtney Payne, Vicki , Elizabeth, William And Thomas Edwards, Kerry A, Khris Kozlov, Julie Wickware, Betsy Silvestri, Jodi Cook, Dan Johnston, Claire Gregory, Claire, Clint Curfman, Crystal King, Michelle Thompson, Krista Livingston, Angie Young, Jamie K, Erin Connell, Shaun Leake, Susie Howard, Steve Smith, Michael Mclucas And Jackie Mclucas, Christine H., Cynthia Heise, Megan Krainski, Liliana Rivera, Dan Owens, Lori, Kathryn Willer, Millie Tenreiro, Brendan Abel, Michelle Goodwin, Kenny, Erin Loring, Dennis Loring, Erika Loboda, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Susan Higginbotham, Harrison Grasso, Sandra Shaw, Leach Family, Brian Mcwithey, Hoekzema Family, Katie Bray, Craig, Luis Rodriguez, Kerri Coggins, Karen Ramayrez, Diane Ramos, Craig, Brian Grabowski, Mike Gillardi, Ken, Paula Massarelli, Jay, Christopher Hall, Kristen Carde, Jeremy Reichelt, Elyssa H., Elizabeth Scarborough, Jeff Holt, Kristen Mccoy, Anastasia Macneil, Tim Johansen, Nicole Duddy, Monica Owens, Phil Vickers, Jerry Weldon, Chris Bauman, Vincent Maltese, Mary Tackett, Shelly Borella, Matt And Danielle Murgia, Paul Moore, Matt Ciccone, Lori Rienhardt, Trish Babler, Dan Owens, Matthew Jadro, Nathalie Periard, Becky Norman, Kelly Taylor, Jen Tremley, Jane Bradley, The Patterson Family, The Zanauskas Family, Rina, Al Desimone, The Hicks Family, Jodi Johnson, Dwayne Fontenot, Carri Marotto, Kelly Smith, Andrea Kruszewski, Kathleen, Dee Dee Kenney, Morgan M., Kristyn Scibienski, Suzanne Denham, Kelsi B, Heidi Goodhue, Kerrie Hogan, Gabriella &Matthieu, Misty Mehelic, Caryn Schill, Amanda Kenney, Kyle Kenney, Walter N. Clark, Doug Olson, Clinton Dickinson, Les Stewart, George Mundy Jr, Rebecca Keenan, Michael Phillips, Alan Mize, Ken Rhinehart, Margie, Vicki Britt, Jayme Michel, Kay Moss, Jason Skow, Karen Bellamy, Hillary Waldroop, Sara Holloway, Karen Smith, Teresa Plunkett, Sharon Lightfoot, Sharon Lightfoot, Sheila Saey, David Ballard, Joseph M Zafia, Allison Caputa, Sharon Leitgeb, Mickey Eckert, Deb Ragno, Laurie Malesky, Bob Burge, Mike O'brien, Jason Geberdt, Dayna Guay, Barclay Bakkum, Paula Chapman, Sonya A, The Kertes Family, Donna Hood, Nicole Shuler, Cindy Stinson, Rob And April - Team Vanderpool, Shannon Thomas, Laura Morrison, Vickie Scioneaux, Christi Ison, Annie Snodgrass, Shirley Garcowski, Josh Weiss, Mark Franklin, Abbey Hendrix, Christopher Barnes, Kelli Sangston, Laura Morrison, Debbie Buckhannon, Erin Dagney, and Christine Dagney. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
_____________________________________________________ _____________________
Challenge #225: Where in the world is this?

A few players have been bragging about how easy the last few weeks have been. I won't mention any names, in case you end up holding it against them, but one person's initials are Patti Mccaffrey. :-D So just for them, we're having another double challenge!

Like the previous Grass and Seagull Challenges, we have a real toughie first - where in the World are these balloons?
 Where in the World Toughie

Here is the regular Challenge, which still has a higher difficulty level (or, at least, I think so):
 Where in the World #225

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, April 19th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post. Remember to be specific with your answer - just naming a park will not get you into the drawing.

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

March 7, 2012

Ragtime Mirror on Main Street USA

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Even a veteran of many trips to Walt Disney World can turn a corner and enjoy a new experience. It happened to me in the Magic Kingdom when I came around Casey's Corner and found Jim the Ragtime Pianist just sitting down in front of his piano. The piano mirror allows Jim to play and still interact with guests.

For photographers, a mirror or any other reflective surface opens the door to creative opportunities. Jim was curious about my camera and I answered his questions while I photographed him from different angles.

Jim the Ragtime Pianist at Casey's Corner in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Jim the Ragtime Pianist asking Scott a question while playing at Casey's Corner.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/60s, f/8, ISO 450, EV +0.3.

Moving to the other side of Jim, colorful balloons, tables and even guests surround him as he tickles the ivories on this piano filling the area with the lively beat of Ragtime tunes.

Jim the Ragtime Pianist at Casey's Corner in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Filling the mirror with colorful colors surrounding Jim the Ragtime Pianist.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/60s, f/8, ISO 400, EV +0.3.

When walking around be on the lookout for reflective surfaces like mirrors, counters and water in all its forms.

January 8, 2012

Where in the World #211

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

Barb Parra, I can't believe it! So good to hear from you! Disneyland was too long ago, wasn't it? I miss it. I'm glad you like Eeyore's mouse ears! They even made Eeyore smile. :)

Happy Anniversary, Beth Mcmeekin! I hope you and your husband have a wonderful trip, and to your kids: get them Celebration buttons!

Claire Gregory will be in Walt Disney World for the One Extra Disney Day celebration! I'm playing the sweepstakes, so maybe I'll be there too. :)

Danielle Ciotti Harsley, James And Kathy Berry, Tiffany Gibb, Jason And Melinda Lenz, Les Stewart, and Ashley Pizzino thanks to each of you for such wonderful notes!

Patti Mccaffrey, don't you lecture me about getting back to reality after holiday magic; you're packing to leave for Disney in a couple weeks! Dull old reality, my foot. :-)

Luis Rodriguez, thanks for your note on my Spanish message last week (and on Walt!). I asked a friend to translate what I wanted to say, and meant to go back to put in the tilde. I sadly don't remember much of my high school Spanish class; my teacher told me then I should keep up with it in college, but I was a foolish young thing that rejected the idea of extra classes. I have regretted it ever since; if I had listened to hear, I could talk with my friend Maria in Spain in her own language. So this is a lesson to the younger generation of World players: don't miss out on the chance to learn! Especially something fun like another language. It's a small world, after all. (I studied sign language too and should have stayed with those lessons. I can still remember how to say turtle. :)

Steve Jordan, AllEars might be doing something in March, especially since the Flower and Garden Festival. We're always there at some point. :) Keep an eye on our Team Appearances page.

Melissa Kirk, I know what you mean. I'm missing the World too. Come over here and we'll sigh together. Sigh smiley from millan.net

Here was last week's Challenge:
 Where in the World #210

And here's the answer:
AllEars Where in the World

Copyright © 2011 Erin Blackwell Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS, 22mm, 1/200s shutter, f/5.9, ISO 640

Before I give the answer: Gabriella, I need your son to come closer. Matthieu, you were right! Which means your mom was wrong: now be a good sport about winning. ;)

What a wonderful sight! One of Walt's windows! This window is above the Plaza Restaurant and faces the castle. It reads, "Walter E. Disney, Graduate School of Design & Master Planning". I've been told a number of reasons why this window was put in this location. 1) The Main Street windows serve as "movie credits" and Roy O. is in the spot of producer while Walt's is in the director's spot. 2) By putting Walt above the Plaza Ice Cream Parlor, his spirit got all the latest news by "getting the scoop" from below. ;) 3) my favorite and the one that makes the most sense to me: Roy picked this spot so his baby brother had the best view in the park. This view:

Cinderella Castle, photo by Barrie Brewer


Because, as Clay Anthony said, it's the ONLY window that is not facing the street but is pointing towards the Castle.

Like Caroline Burmester said, it's a great start to a new year. And as she also said, here's to her boyfriend Shaun who got her the answer! You're not alone, Shaun. Mike Hill gave credit to his wife Susan for getting the answer. So kudos to the partners!

We saw his first window in Challenge #189, the window at the train station. He has a "pseudo-window" on Main Street which was Challenge #177.

Wendy Barney, this means you're fully right so you get an Extra Honorable mention! :)

Like Brian Gallant said, don't forget to look up as you walk around a Disney park. You'll be amazed at what you learn. And Mickey Eckert as reminds us, remember to listen at the Main Street windows (and those at Dawa Bar at Tusker House); you'll hear some of the inhabitants going about their lives!

Louise Barton was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Louise and to all the readers who got the answer right: Chris Masse, Liz Driscoll, Paul Dickson, Peter Strukel, Mary Beth Tarbet, Bill Mckim, Linda Scrivano, Seth Penwell, Robin Fitts, Dylan Weidner, Brian Miller, Beth Mcmeekin, Wendy Barney, Nick Smathers, Larissa Huda, Evanna Huda, Diane Furtado, Frances Phebus, Sharon Pierce, Karen Ramirez, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, James And Kathy Berry, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Betsy Silvestri, Sharon Dale, Tiffany Gibb, Clay Anthony, Claire Gregory, Chloe C, Annette Nuenke, Tim Johansen, Jamie K, Pollyanna Buff, Jonah Rigby, Susan Higginbotham, Steve Jordan, Dawn Burns, Linda College, Tom Buck, M'shel Bowen, Jason &Melinda Lenz, Brian Gallant, Julie Wickware, Gabriella And Matthieu, Dan Johnston, Mickey Eckert, Katie Bray, Mike Haeberle, Shannon Milair, Jennifer Harmon, Dale Knight, Matt Degrandis, Mary Greger, Blevins Family, Angela And David, Mike Hill but REALLY Susan Hill - LOL!, Caryn Schill, Patti Mccaffrey, Kerry Mccaffrey, Elisa Dillon, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Diane Ramos, Kerry A., Scott Otis, Kerrie Hogan, Kathryn Chinetti, Rob Blundin, Cara Richards, Jeremy Reichelt, Jennifer Tremley, Kate Fischer, Carri Marotto, Stephanie Linares, Elyssa H., Jerry Weldon, William Sharp, Danny Wags, Joann Albrecht, Donna Young, Mario Grasso Iii, Luis Rodriguez, Christopher Hall, Tom Higbee, Rebecca Keenan, Kristen Carde, The Hicks Family, Kristin Dormuth, Les Stewart, Shelly Borella, Melissa Kirk, Tricia Petty, Hillary Waldroop, Vicki Edwards, Ashley Pizzino, Caroline Burmester with BIG help from Shaun - ;), and Dana Schirnhofer. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
__________________________________________________________________________

Challenge #211: Where in the world is this?

Moving on to a different park this week. Hmm, where would find this?

 Where in the World #211

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, January 12th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post. Remember to be specific with your answer - just naming a park will not get you into the drawing.

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

January 1, 2012

Where in the World #210

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

You probably can guess what I am going to say first. To Lucas, Lauren And Ana Marlett, Jamee Smith, Claire Gregory - the official Where in the World agent, seeker of Troll names!, Diane Furtado, Lily-pierre Couet, Ashley P., Kerry A, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Pam Tees, Christopher Hall, Patti, Kerry, and Jeremy Mccaffrey, Caroline Burmester, and all of you, my friends and the Players of Where in the World:

Smiley from millan.net

If you haven't seen it already or if you want to see it again (because it's that good), here is the holiday video from the AllEars Team who could be at December to Remember. That includes me! I'm the one in the red (Club 33 - that's right, I had to say it!) polo shirt in the beginning: Laura Gilbreath and I called it the Brady Bunch pose, which makes me Jan and makes Steve Barrett Cindy. I pointed that out to him. :)

The AllEars 2011 Holiday Video

Kelly, thanks for my wonderful holiday note from Mexico! Deseo que Los Tres Reyes darte todo lo que quieres esta Navidad en seis dias y Prospero Ano Nuevo!

The Patterson Family is in Disney World right now: I hope they remembered to tell Mickey I miss him. :) Wendy Barney, I know you are leaving soon; enjoy because like you said, it goes too fast! The same to you, Patti and Kerry Mccaffrey! Feel bad for me: I won't be going back until December at best. (I would say "Woe is me", but I know a lot of you are saying I haven't been there in years! :) )

Congratulations to Kyler S. who is moving to the Town of the Mouse in one month! Just like Deb Wills: a new Floridian!

Colleen and Monica Hatch (and your daughter, Monica), thank YOU for the great note!

Jeremy Mccaffrey, I am so glad you are here playing Where in the World and sending me notes!

And Shannon Thomas, you made it. : )

Here was last week's Challenge:
 Where in the World #209

And here's the answer:


Copyright © 2011 Erin Blackwell Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS, 4mm, 1/20s shutter, f/2.7, ISO 800

Say hello to Eeyore at the Crystal Palace in the Magic Kingdom! Yep, we were there for the breakfast buffet. :) He is holding a little Eeyore that belongs to my friend Carol Jayne. Later in the trip, I found a pair of mouse ears for him. Wanna see?

Little Eeyore with mouse ears

Charlie Scheer, I bet Eeyore says hello back to you. :) In fact, R Engel, could you ask Eeyore that when you have breakfast there this week? In case he forgets (because it could easily happen in the excitement - the parade, seeing the Castle out the windows), could you ask, Chris Kelly, in a couple weeks? Thanks!

Oh! And could you bring me back a Mickey Waffle, cheesy hash browns, and apple crisp? Because Jamee Smith, Clay Anthony, and Kelly Mager put me in the mood for them and where can I get them here? (I should have asked Santa for a Mickey Waffle maker.) Karen Smith just mentioned the cheese danish; could you bring me one of those too? If I could go right now, Jeremy Reichelt, you'd find me in the kids' buffet station! And we're not the only ones; they have good stuff there!

Yes, Ed Elder, I did take it this year when we were just there! At the breakfast buffet, Caroline Burmester. ;)

Mike Timmer wins a breakfast of thistles for the best Eeyore impression! "Looks like Eeyore at the Crystal Palace. Not that anyone would notice." HA!

Jennifer Harmon says she's not sure about going to Crystal Palace. Well, Jennifer, you can ask Brenda, The Peabody Family, Jamee Smith, Susie Howard, Betsy Silvestri, Kim Meyer, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Becky Norman, Mary Jo Gallion, Angela Johnson, Lorraine Burmester, plus Danielle Quatrella, Lily-pierre Couet, Kelli Sangston, Clint Curfman, and Carol J (who also named Eeyore as their favorite character too), who listed Crystal Palace as a favorite spot. Carol Gamill even was there for Christmas morning in 2007! Like Danielle Sauthoff said, the architecture is beautiful and I love going there before the park opens: it means Main Street and the Castle all for you with hardly anyone there! Great time for pictures! And you can see the Castle from the restaurant as a great view.

Jared Orth points out that it is "right next to a parent's idea of heaven, (the baby changing and nursing center)." LOL!!

Plus, they sang Happy Birthday to Agnes Ciotti and gave her an autographed photo, so they can't be bad. Right? : )

Amy Schweizer, I felt bad when you said how much you missed your favorite dish at the Crystal Palace dinner buffet. So, to help ease the pain, I got you this - spaghetti and meatballs:

I hope that helps. :)

And Alan Mize rocks the entire month of December! Booyah!

The Kahle Family was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to The Kahles and to all the readers who got the answer right: Ed Elder, Jamie K, Frances Phebus, Christine Holzman, Barbara Ajak, Larissa Huda, Evanna Huda, Louise Barton, Lee Anastasi, Mike O'brien, Angie Young, Michael Haeberle, Dylan Weidner, Ken Maikowski, Brenda, Abigail Grasso, Kevin Miller, Audra Miller, Danielle Ford, David Tarbet, Mike Malampy, Laurie Walker, Michael Malampy, Lucas, Lauren And Ana Marlett, Tom Buck, Danielle Quatrella, Paul Knott, Kelly M., Doug Reichl, Peter Strukel, Ed Suscreba, Beth Mcmeekin, Jorge Caso, James Greene, Rebecca Keenan, Tim Jeltes, Ken Jackson, Maumy Wams, Chloe Mayhew, Bridgette Gallagher, Janet Thorn, Andrea Kruszewski, The Peabody Family, Lauren Sullivan, Jamee Smith, Sharon Pierce, Charlie Scheer, Dawn Bach, Paul Dickson, The O'meara Family, Claire Gregory, Jimi Mac, Freya Schmidt, Craig, Lorine Landon, Dawn Burns, Maryann Eckenrode, Jeffrey Dunne, Karen Robertson , Cindy Dore, Hoekzema Family, Brianne, Julie Wickware, Chris Masse, Christine Twomey , Roxanne Kliebert, R Engel, Jonathan Ward, Chris Kelly, Kyler S., Caryn Schill, Diane Furtado, Shannon Milair, Penny Urell, Sam Fritz, Michelle Sunde, Brian Miller, Megan Krainski, Kaitlyn,teresa, Carla C, Isabel Johansen, Katie Bray, Robin Fitts, Donna Hood, Clay Anthony, Wayne Chadourne, Troy Parker, Chris Masse, Lily-pierre Couet, Stephanie Hardhouse, K.l. Beasley, Tracy Henkel, Bonnie Jenkins, Scott Otis, H, Karen Ramirez, Debra Kuklinski, Kathryn Perkins, Ronni, Eric Streebel, Sarah Smee , Mike Haven, Matt Holley, Stephanie Newell, Brian Sheets, Jodi Cook, Colleen, Debra H, Dan Johnston, Linda College, Kris Nixon, Linda Allen, Diana Fitzgerald, Leigh Mertz, Pat Morin, Dee Dee Kenney, Susie Howard, Ashley P., Sharon Dale, Mary, Ken, Diane Ramos, Al Desimone, Kye Layton, Heather Young, Heidi Goodhue, Linda Johnson, Steve Knapp, Monica Hatch, Debbie Desimone, Susie Howard, Cara Richards, Chris And Alison, Stefanie Vandiver, Karen Hughes, Kelly Mager, Jennifer Harmon, Tom Donnelly, Betsy Silvestri, Annette Nuenke, Christopher Bourassa, Kim Meyer, Shaun Leake, Emily Hudson, Kerry A, Anastasia Macneil, Scott Greenbaum, Rob Blundin, Josh Weiss, Nicole Shuler, Maureen Handy, Dayna Guay, Matthew Jadro, Mike Walter, Michelle Thompson, Erica Sipich, Walter Fletcher, The Hicks Family, Becky Hosinger, Wendy T Faler, Carol Gamill, Evelyn Wilson, Mike Hill, Lisa Laskowski, Diane Tredore, Bob Hendrix, Michelle Wilinski, Lynn Lofton, Derek Brown , Spencer Hart, Ansley, Gretchen Barnes, Kerry Fox, Jen Cerce, Paul Zerba, Jennifer Horst, Lori Rienhardt, Kim Mobley, Derek Carty, Danielle Sauthoff, Amanda Campbell, Kurt Knappman, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Sue Trefry, Linda Scrivano, Melody O'donnell, Trina, Johan Rigby, Jason Skow, Schuyler Stewart, Adrienne Clark-bogle, Susan Higginbotham, Vanessa Gordon, Pam Tees, Becky Norman, Kelli Sangston, Kenny, Diane Jones, Jared Orth, Stephanie Canales, Clint Curfman, Jennifer Rupert, Jennifer Mccurry, Sarah Holodick, Kirsten Stark, Tommy Montgomery, Mary Jane Keeble, Susan Stanley, Kristyn Scibienski, Kathy Love, Russ Morgan, Maja Kodani, Karen Schlumpf, George Mundy Jr, Cameron Lange, Brian Grabowski, Len Beebe, Dan Hawkins, Marcy, Christopher Hall, Melissa Degroat, Jullie Pudem, Melesia Love, Mike M., Matt And Danielle Murgia, Kate Fischer, Chris Bauman, Mark Franklin, Bob Henriksen, Allison Daubert, Hillary Waldroop, Doug Olson, Herb Miller, Liz Huffman, Amy Schweizer, Sharon Lee, Amy Schweizer, Kathleen Rosenwinkel, Ashley Elizabeth, Charles Wright, Dave Wang, Bill Moquin, Mark Cullison, Monica Butler, Phil Thach, Jim Riley, Tracy Discher, Mildred Popp, Alison Rosenberger, Stephanie Linares, Dwayne Fontenot, Andrew Weed, John Arena Jr, Mike Uffman, Theresa Rucando, Melanie Dunlap, Brian Yesutis, Suzanne Kennedy, Rob Speed, Wendy Barney, Adam Grun, Jeff Finger, Patty Newton, Jennifer Mercier, Patti Mccaffrey, Jennifer Bourg, David U, Karen Smith, Deb Ragno, Terry, Carri Marotto, Elyssa H, Jessica Gruhlke, Amy Miller, Mike Cerce, Erin Hammer, Susan Doucette, Les Whitten, Sharon Leitgeb, Joanne, Lori Locke, Joseph M Zafia, Robert Anderson, Nancy Watkinson, Sheila Saey, Maureen Hanlon, Jennifer Newman, Suzanne Denham, Angela And David Blevins, Maryann Daly, John Sheridan, Sandy Miller, Carolyn Guigliano, James And Kathy Berry, Bruce Jones, Donna Hood, Patti Deluca, Paula L. Kertes, Heather Hynes, Tom Higbee, Christy Schor, John Leach, Amanda Perkins, Lisa Cash, Melissa Littman, Kerry Mccaffrey, Stacy Patterson, Adam Solomon, Christine Dagney, Jane Johnson, Anne Verville, Carol Coker, Roye Ann Morris, Walter N. Clark, Liz Moreau, Robert P. Flaherty, Julie Johnson, The Patterson Family, Elaine Tomko-deluca, Debbie Poole, Tom Koval, Patti Higgins, Anne Hainsworth, Karen Hotchkiss, Les Stewart, Kathryn Hughes, Sheryl Monnier, Caroline Burmester, Mary Jo Gallion, Kristen Carde, Rosanne Mangiaracino, Becky Fields, Angela Johnson, Lorraine Burmester, Melissa Kirk, Lisa Forsythe-kane, Jeremy Reichelt, Tom & Susan Linder, Tricia Petty, Kara Costello, Timothy Hutchinson, Robert Mccoy, Erin Loring, Zachary Goodwin, Jamie Poynton, Jennifer Tremley, Bill Gallagher, Alan Mize, Bambi Eckelbarger, Tammy Helvey, Bill Mckim, Mike Timmer, Tracy Cegielski, Peg Fliegel, Janet Romeo, Kellie Harpel, Jeremy Mccaffrey, Michael Pyle, Vicki Edwards, Lori Netti, Virginia Pierce, Brittany &Jesse Siminitz, Becky Terjung, Amber Slifer, Lindsay Clayton, Kevin Geiger, Bill Monahan, Denise C Steil, Jean Ehlert, Carol J, Jodi Johnson, Kelley H, Sherri Pell, Tina Santillo, Sandra Ednie, Kevin Morgan, Paula Massarelli, Victoria Finnegan, Karen Adamakis, Chris B, Shannon Murray, Agnes Ciotti, Chris Haid, Gerard Eovaldi, Chuck Sands, Andy Hickey, Shannon Thomas, and Cathy Schill. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

We have one more thing to do in 2011: announce the December winner!

That honor goes to: Diana Fitzgerald, you wrap up the year by being the final AllEars® Where in the World monthly winner of 2011!!!
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Challenge #210: Where in the world is this?

It's the first Challenge of the new year! So of course, it has to be special. I bring you one of my favorite things from a Walt Disney World theme park!

 Where in the World #210

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, January 5th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post. Remember to be specific with your answer - just naming a park will not get you into the drawing.

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

December 9, 2011

Deb and Me at the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Deb Wills and Scott Thomas in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Deb Wills and Scott Thomas in the Magic Kingdom.
Photo by Bob Desmond.

Being an early Internet user back in the 1990's and a Disney fan, I found Deb's website soon after it launched. It was and continues to be invaluable in getting up to date news about Walt Disney World and a source of great ideas and tips to enjoy the parks to their fullest. I later learned about her successful battle with breast cancer and all the work she does in raising funds in support of cancer research and people in their own cancer fight.

In 2000, I launched my PS Calculator website and Deb contacted me to do an interview and later got to meet her at Epcot (click here to read the interview and see my first meeting with Deb). This lead to a long term relationship wherein AllEars.net hosts a version of my priority seating tools and information.

After I started sharing my Walt Disney World photography online, Deb asked me to join Barrie (and later Lisa) in writing a weekly article for AllEars.net's new blog central about photography. Thus, I became an official team member of AllEars.net and have been enjoying sharing photography information geared towards us, fans of Walt Disney World, for the last three and a half years. In fact, it was at a photowalk I hosted in January on Main Street USA where Deb and I had our photo (see above) taken by freelance Disney photographer, Bob Desmond, in front of Cinderella Castle. Ten years later and we both look great...right?

Today, I am at Walt Disney World and will be joining Deb, other AllEars.net team members and many fans and friends of Deb and her website in celebration of 15 years of AllEars.net. Maybe I will see you there. If not, you can be sure I will be sharing the special adventures Deb has planned for everyone with you here.

October 27, 2011

Halloween Main Street Station in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Magic Kingdom's Main Street Train Station decorated for Halloween, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Main Street Station decorated for Halloween.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/100s, f/16, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 35mm focal length

The Main Street Station of the Walt Disney World Railroad gets into the Halloween spirit and is my Disney Pic of the Week on Train Stations.

September 16, 2011

A Collage of Dapper Dans on Main Street USA

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Dapper Dans on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
The Dapper Dans riding up and singing on Main Street USA.
Collage produced from Apple's Aperture 3 Software.

In the past I have used Picnik.com to create collages. It is a process were I must first export photos from Aperture 3 to a JPEG file and then upload them into Picnik.com. Picnik.com has preset collage templates which you have some control over. For what I wanted to do with the set of photos of the Dapper Dans I took back in January for an AllEars.net meet, Picnik was not the answer.

In looking for a better way to create this collage, I found a youTube video by Photographer Pete Thorne explaining how to use Aperture 3 and its book function to create multiple photo images. It took me less than five minutes after viewing the video to create the collage you see above. I had a lot of control over the size and placement of each photo. I could add text in hundreds of stylized fonts and place it over, above or next to photos or use an export plug-in to create bordering effects.

This is not an ad for Aperture 3 but you might want to look at the features of the photo editing software you do own. You might be surprised at what it can do. I know I was.

September 10, 2011

Meeting Pinocchio in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Pinocchio meeting a young guest in front of City Hall in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Pinocchio meeting a young guest in front of City Hall.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/160s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 200mm focal length

Pinocchio is our Disney Pic of the Week theme. I had to dig back a few years to find this photo of a young guest greeting Pinocchio in the Magic Kingdom. When a movie or a character is not your favorite, you do not take the time to photograph them. This is something I need to change as I know lots of people love this movie and its characters as well as others I may not be a fan of.

August 14, 2011

Where in the World #190

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

I am leaving for Disneyland on Tuesday! YAY!! So if you are there for the AllEars® meets next week, I hope you will say hello!

Hi, Barrie! Wait until you see the answer to last week's challenge!

Michelle Thomspon, I am so jealous! What a fantastic experience that had to be, the family for the opening ceremony at the Magic Kingdom! That must be a wonderful picture!

Mike Venere, have a wonderful time! And Caroline Burmester, your track record just improved! ;)

This was Challenge #189:
 Where in the World #189

And here's the answer:


Copyright © 2006 Erin Blackwell Canon Powershot SD890 IS, 63mm, 1/350s shutter, f/5, ISO 350

Walt Disney's first window at the Main Street Train Station in the Magic Kingdom, facing the lagoon, the only window to face outside the park. It's at this location for a few reasons: for his love of trains, to reflect how his spirit is still keeping the dreams on track, and so Walt's spirit can see his guests coming into the park. I get a happy little sigh inside whenever I think of that.

Greg Papa, this means you get an "I told you so". ;)

Michael Gainey was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Louise and to all the readers who got the answer right: Ed Suscreba, Belicia Cullen, Scot Cullen, Linda Mac, Todd, Mary Beth Tarbet, Sharon Pierce, Mike Haeberle, Chris Masse, Kris Nixon, Lee Anastasi, Megan, Michele Mongeon, Ed Elder, Tracy Henkel, Debbie Desimone, Al Desimone, Rich Esker, Diana Fitzgerald, Brendan Abel, Evanna Huda, Matt Holley, Larissa Huda, Scott Otis, Jennifer Tremley, Colin Buchanan, Michelle Thomspon, Dale Knight , Kye Layton, Maureen Handy, Steve Dolan, Dave Wang, Linda Scrivano, Angie Young, The Moore Family, James Berry, Kathy Berry, Louise Barton, Christopher Barnes, Beth Mcmeekin, Rob Blundin, Mark D, Julie Wickware, Jen Cerce, Deb Ragno, Sharon Dale, Antoinette Leblanc, Evelyn Wilson, Anastasia Macneil, Betsy Silvestri, Pam Tees, Christine And Melissa, Stephanie Visco, Derek Carty, Jamie K, Sam Fritz, Sarah Holodick, Jason And Melinda Lenz, Linda Kasych, Amy, Stephanie Newell, Jeff Rigby, Ed Hogan, Carla C., Carla C., Patti Mccaffrey, Amanda Perkins, Kierry Mccaffrey, Ashley Pizzino, Emma Poprock, Nick Bentz, Dawn Bach, Abigail Grasso, Luis Rodriguez, Nicole Alley, Theresa Maradei, Michael Pyle, Jonathan Ward, Kristen Mccoy, Brian Skinner, Mike M., Isabelle Boivin, Jodi Cook, Wade A. Williams, Emma Marrow, Brian Grabowski, Wendy Faler, Jeremy Reichelt, Brian Miller, Bruce Jones, Dan Mangini, Michael Mclucas, Gina Boebel, Chris Bauman, Paul Ignudo, Jr., Diane Ramos, Alison Rosenberger, Leslie Stewart, Karrie Duffey, Deedee Kenney, Bill Mckim, Kyler S., Mark Cullison, Wayne Chadourne, Nicole Dudy, Heidi Summers, Danielle Ciotti Harsley, Amanda Campbell, Elizabeth Scarborough, Matt And Danielle Murgia, Cara Richards, Jeannine Reid, Jim Thompson, Josh Mckinnon, Herb Miller, Steve Knapp, Rebecca Keenan, Kelly Zanauskas, Danielle F., Caroline Williams, Jarett Rutsky, Caroline Burmester, Captain Marissa "sparrow" D'ambrosio, Mike Hill, Greg Papa, Nina Pietrobono, Heidi Goodhue, Craig, Wendy Snelgrove, Brenda Strohmeyer, Greg Strohmeyer, Cathy Schill, Jamie Difatt, Ken Fischler, Paula B, Nathaniel Clements, Chris Kelly, Patti Deluca, Heather Pedulla, Tom & Susan Linder, Rebecca Smith, Ruth Cookson, Annette Nuenke, Russ Morgan, Shirley Garcowski, Amy Miller, Dawn Buras, Jerry Weldon, George Mundy Jr, Amber Slifer, Steven And Kate Bowling, Barclay Bakkum, Lin Siddon , Robert Anderson, Vicki And Elizabeth Edwards, Tracy Borde, and Susan Higginbotham. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
__________________________________________________________________________

Challenge #190: Where in the world is this?

Are you ready for this week's challenge?
 Where in the World #190

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

August 4, 2011

Caterpillar in the Main Street Electrical Parade in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Caterpillar in the Main Street Electrical Parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Caterpillar in the Main Street Electrical Parade.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/30s, f/5, ISO 1600, EV +0.3, 82mm Focal Length.

The Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland photographed last year when Lisa joined me for the Main Street Electrical Parade in the Magic Kingdom is my Disney Pic of Week on Night Time Parades.

July 22, 2011

Trim Around the Edges at the Barber Shop in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

In the past I have talked about watching your backgrounds. This week is about looking at the edges of the frame that you see looking through your viewfinder.

Before and after comparison of the Main Street USA Barber Shop, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Before and after comparison of the Main Street USA Barber Shop.

The photo on the left has two distractions along the edges. Arrows #1 are pointing out shadows on the right side and Arrow #2 shows a partial door on the left which I find distracting. The best way to "fix" this photo is before the shutter is pressed by moving in closer. In this case, I cropped them out using photo editing software producing the photo on the right. That photo features the real subjects; the barber's pole and entrance to the barber shop.

Become aware of the edges and you will be happier with your photos.

June 23, 2011

Disney & Co. Main Street USA Gift Shop

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Designer purses in the Disney & Co. Gift Shop on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Designer purses in the Disney & Co. Gift Shop on Main Street USA.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/60s, f/3.5, ISO 2800, EV 0, 28mm Focal Length.

My daughters love designer purses. When I saw these purses by Donney and Bourke on display in the Disney & Co. gift shop on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, I had to take a photo. They also make for a colorful Disney Pic of the Week on Gifts Shops.

May 28, 2011

Mr. Incredible in the Move it, Shake It, Celebrate It Street Party

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Mr. Incredible in the Move it, Shake It, Celebrate It Street Party parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mr. Incredible in the Move it, Shake It, Celebrate It Street Party parade.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/200s, f/6.3, ISO 200, EV +0.7, 135mm Focal Length.

I grew up reading comic books and my favorites were the super heros Superman, Batman and the Fantastic Four. When Disney/Pixar released the animated feature, The Incredibles, I was in the theater the day it opened. So, naturally, for this Disney Pic of the Week on Heros, I selected Mr. Incredible as mine.

May 22, 2011

Where in the World #178

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

Congratulations to Danielle Ciotti on getting married! Hi to Linda Mac and thank you to Greg Papa for the wonderful note!

For Maryann and Courtney Crowe, I have this quote: "There's a great big beautiful tomorrow, Shining at the end of every day. There's a great big beautiful tomorrow, And tomorrow is just a dream away." Did that help? LOL!

And to Amanda Wright: I want to be an Imagineer when I grow up too. Now I just have to grow up. If you do so before me, let me know because I want to do "Dine with an Imagineer" with you. (And if you could pass on my resume to WDI, that would be great too.) :)

This was Challenge #177:
 Where in the World #177

And here's the answer:


Copyright © 2009 Erin Blackwell Canon PhotoShot A720 IS, 6mm, 1/60s shutter, f/2.8, ISO 320 (Auto Mode)

It's the Magic Kingdom Casting Agency door on Main Street in the Magic Kingdom. I love that it has this great Walt Disney quote on it, honoring the people who bring us the magic: the Cast Members.

Steven Bowling was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Steve and all other readers who got the answer right: Katie Bowling, Ed Elder, Mary Beth Tarbet, Sharon Pierce, Julie Wickware, Jaime Thomson, Belicia Cullen, Scott Cullen, Bill Mckim, Dee Dee Kenney, Sharon Dale, Deb Ragno, Lee Anastasi, Dylan Weidner, Chloe Brooke, Sammi Jo , Chloe Albucker, Derek Carty, Mario Grasso, Bridgette Gallagher, Irene Kleintop, Paul Dickson, James Berry, Kathy Berry, Double Family, Gretchen Barnes, Jim Thompaon, Maureen Handy, Theresa Rucando, Elizabeth Macgregor, Danielle Ciotti, Agnes Ciotti, Patti Mccaffrey, Chris Kelly, Amy Kleinfieldt, Amanda Perkins, Carrie Kenney, Linda Mac, Jon Cohen, Brian Miller, Emily Wingerter, Christie Condit, Ken, Betsy Silvestri, Leslie Stewart, Rob Blundin, Bonnie Smith, Caroline Dupre, Greg Papa, Dan Owens, Patti Deluca, Brandy Bocchino, Larissa Huda, Harry Wilson, Robert P. Flaherty, Nathaniel Clements, Jon Solomonson, Teresa Mcclain, Kyler Scott, Theresa Maradei, Marcie Soderlund, Ansley, and Dawn Bach. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.
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Challenge #178: Where in the world is this?

OOO, here's one of my favorite details:
 Where in the World #178

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, May 26th, 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!

April 3, 2011

Where in the World #171

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

Hi, Cathy Kelly! Hi, Claire Gregory! And to my good friends the Hoekzema Family, the WDW Vacation Club Van billboard is at the intersection of Osceola Pkwy and World Drive.

Now, this week's contest!

This was Challenge #170:
 Where in the World #170

And here's the answer:
Minnie sitting with Roy O. Disney in their statue, Sharing the Magic

Copyright © 2010 Erin Blackwell Canon PhotoShot SD890 IS, 7mm, 1/13s shutter, f/3.2, ISO 80 (Auto Mode)

It's Minnie sitting with Roy O. Disney in their statue, "Sharing the Magic". I love this statue and I'm a big fan of Roy's. If you'd like, you can read the article I wrote on him for the AllEars newsletter. And! Scott Thomas, one of the photographers here on the blog, has a wonderful shot of Roy and Minnie in the AllEars desktop section!

Lee Anastasi was the first to send in the correct answer for the challenge! Congratulations to Theresa and all the other readers who got the answer right: John Dupre, Brendan Abel, Caroline Dupre, Brian Yesutis, Bruce Jones, Jennifer Harmon, Dale Knight, Kathy Berry, Kye Layton, James Berry, Sharon Pierce, Paul Dickson, Sharon Blickensderfer, Matt Holley, Larry Gandy, Paul Knott, Curtis Bille, Dawn Bach, Ed Aleszczyk, Karen Schlumpf, Kameo Crea, Bob Hendrix, Karen Dresser-smith, Brian Miller, Mary Beth Tarbet, Kyler Scott, Allison Burgess, Sharon Dale, Shelly Borella, Christopher Barnes, Kathryn Barnes., Wendy Faler, Chris Kelly, Ashley Deitchler, Monica Hatch, Larissa Huda, Bryan Timko, Betsy Silvestri, Danielle Ciotti, Amanda Campbell, Double Family, Kelly Kobiela, Deb Ragno, Sarah Holodick, Clay Anthony, Karrie Duffey, Christopher Hall, Teresa Cole, Mike Venere, Dan Owens, Kelly Zanauskas, Darren Mosher, Hailey Gill, Michelle Kanger, Erin Savoie, Mike Haeberle, Claire Gregory, Millie Tenreiro, Rob Blundin, Greg Strohmeyer, Brenda Strohmeyer, The Perras Family, Christina Cella, Hoekzema Family, Ciarra Bertelmann, Sara, Vicki Edwards, Heidi Goodhue, Patti Mccaffrey, Steven Bowling, Kate Bowling, Nathaniel Clements, and Kristen Mccoy. Each of you are entered in the March winners' drawing.

Which leads us to announcing the March winner! This month's big winner is Bryan Gibson! Congratulations, Bryan, you are the lucky recipient of a fabulous Disney book and some really cool AllEars swag!
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Challenge #171: Where in the world is this?

I promised March would go out like a lamb, and I don't think I quite lived up to that promise. So, I'm calling on a personal friend of mine, if I might be so bold to say that; someone who definitely knows all about starting off with the roar of angry lion and developing the sweet, lamb side of their personality. Who am I holding hands with? (By the way, I'm the one wearing the Walt watch. You have to guess who has the other hand.)

 Where in the World #171

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, April 7th, 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.
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!

February 12, 2011

Music of the Main Street Philharmonic

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Main Street Philharmonic Band drummer in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Main Street Philharmonic Band drummer in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/50s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 135mm focal length.

On my last visit to the Magic Kingdom, I enjoyed a concert by the Main Street Philharmonic Band featuring music from Disney movies. The musicians were very outgoing as you can tell by the drummer I highlighted in the photo above and makes for my Disney Pic of the Week about Music.

February 11, 2011

Main Street USA Street Photography Meet

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I hosted the Main Street USA Street Photography Meet in the Magic Kingdom for AllEars.net back on January 22, 2011. The purpose of the meet was to get to know some AllEars.net readers, enjoy photographing the entertainment presented on Main Street USA and to introduce the concept of using flash to make better photographs in the middle of the day.

I convened the meet around 11:30am on a cool but typical bright sunny Florida day. After introducing myself and passing out some of the great AllEars.net gifts (aka swag) to everyone who came (see group photo below), I gave a run down of all the wonderful entertainment photo opportunities and about using balanced fill flash to cut down on the harsh shadows present. See Tip #2 from Lisa's Photography Tips.

Then I asked my friend and Disney photographer extraordinaire, Bob Desmond, if he would take the group photo. This was our first lesson of the day. Instead of taking the photo in the very un-photogenic area the group was standing in, Bob took us over to Main Street and posed us in front of Cinderella Castle. He kneeled down to minimize the number of guests which would be in the photo. Thank you again, Bob!

AllEars.net Main Street USA Street Photography.
AllEars.net Main Street USA Street Photography Meet.

Back row from left: Deb Koma of AllEars.net, Gillian Kilment (Dave's wife), an AllEars fan, Anne Heriot (Matt's Mum), Katie (Matt's sister), Scott Thomas, Matt. Front row from left: Dave Kilment, Scott Smith and Deb Wills from AllEars.net.

It was great to see Deb Koma and Deb Wills of AllEars.net join us for the beginning of the meet. It was a busy day for them and I very much appreciate them taking the time to stop by and meet everyone. I would like to point out Anne Heriot, an avid reader of AllEars.net, whose family was visiting from Australia. Her son, Matt, joined us all day with his new digital SLR camera and got some pointers from all of us veteran Disney fan photographers.

Then it was time to start the photography. One of the shows I have never seen and wanted to photograph was the Main Street Trolley Parade. This show is presented only a few times a week. It is a lively show with brightly colored costumes and fun songs fitting the time of Main Street USA. The Trolley Song is the highlight of the show (seen below). If you see the horse drawn Trolley coming down Main Street USA, stop for a bit and enjoy the show.

Main Street Trolley Parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Clang, clang, clang goes the Trolley!
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/11, ISO 200, EV 0, 250mm Focal Length, Balanced Fill Flash at -1 Power

Later on we meet and talked with this lovely women fighting for the right for women to vote. She told us once women could vote, she would be the first Lady Mayor of Main Street USA. We would encounter a few of the other Main Street performers throughout the day. By using fill flash, I was able to show the suffragette's eyes and smile which were in heavy shadow from her hat and parasol. Setting my flash to -1 power kept her from being washed out from too much flash and giving her a nice glow.

A suffragette on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
A suffragette on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/11, ISO 200, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length, Balanced Fill Flash at -1 Power

During the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade, I photographed Cinderella waving and nodding to all the guests lined up along Main Street USA to see her and all the other Disney characters going by. I used my flash at full power here as I had to use my zoom lens' full 300mm reach to photograph her.

Princess Cinderella nods to guests during the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Princess Cinderella nods to guests during the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/11, ISO 200, EV 0, 300mm focal length, Balanced Fill Flash at Full Power

We finished the meet by taking in a concert by the Dapper Dans in their solid colored suits. After which, Bob again photographed the group of photographers. I think we look great even if we are a bit dull looking compared to the Dans!

A note here, Dapper Dans are now miked when they do these performances. It is much easier to hear and enjoy their singing and corny jokes! They told us this was new as of a few weeks ago.

The Dapper Dans pose with the AllEar.net gang on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
The Dapper Dans pose with the AllEar.net gang on Main Street USA.

Back row: The Dapper Dans. Front row from left: Scott Thomas, Matt, Scott Smith, Dave and Gillian Kilment.

In closing, I had a great time. Judging from the feedback I have received, I would like to host another photography meet this December (hopefully with Barrie and/or Lisa) when AllEars.net celebrates its 15th Anniversary at Walt Disney World.


January 22, 2011

Boo-To-You Jafar

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Jafar, the villain from Aladdin, in the Boo-To-You parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Jafar, the villain from Aladdin, in the Boo-To-You parade in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/250s, f/2.8, ISO 1600, EV +1.0, rear-sync flash at -1.0

Jafar, the villain in the animated movie Aladdin, giving me his best disdainful look from the Boo-To-You parade during Mickey's Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. The creepy Jafar makes for my Disney Pic of the Week about Villains.

December 10, 2010

Photographing the Main Street Electrical Parade

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Main Street Electrical Parade title float with Mickey Mouse in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Main Street Electrical Parade title float with Mickey Mouse.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/30s, f/3.5, ISO 1600, EV +0.3, 28mm focal length, rear-sync flash

The last time I had an opportunity to photograph the Main Street Electrical parade (MSEP, for short) in the Magic Kingdom, I was using a film camera. I did all right but I was guessing a lot. Without an LCD screen to show me how the photos would look like, I ended up with very few good ones after I got the prints back from the lab. Wow, those were back in the old days, eh? About 10 years ago.

The MSEP has thousands of bright, colored lights against a black night sky. Sound familiar? The parade poses some of the same challenges as photographing Christmas light displays. Except a parade moves and there are characters on the floats which may or may not have lights on them.

The evening I saw MSEP there were two performances. I decided to use two different approaches. Using my trusty Nifty-Fifty (50mm f/1.8) lens with the rear-sync flash technique to fill in the float and characters during the first parade, I got some very good photos. I photographed these two photos by waiting for the parade or float to stop for a few seconds. The smaller floats, like the Bumble Bee, move from one side of the street to the other and often stop in front of guests.

Main Street Electrical Parade Bumble Bee float in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Main Street Electrical Parade Bumble Bee.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/30s, f/2.8, ISO 640, EV +0.3, rear-sync flash

In the case of Mr. Smee, the whole parade had halted for about 30 seconds and I took a few photos of him rapidly.

Mr. Smee rowing in the Main Street Electrical Parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mr. Smee rowing in the Main Street Electrical Parade.
Nikon D700/50mm, 1/30s, f/2.8, ISO 560, EV +0.3, rear-sync flash

For the second parade, I was joined by Picture This! photoblogger, Lisa, who had a different approach for photographing MSEP. Before we get to her photos, here is how I photographed the second parade: I used a zoom lens with a variable aperture, set the ISO to 1600, shutter speed to 1/30th of a second, rear-sync flash and aperture wide open (but changed with the zoom's focal length). Yes, I was using Manual mode. This time, Instead of waiting for a stoppage in the action, I slowly panned the camera with the floats.

The location Lisa suggested had the parade coming almost directly at us. Giving us a lot of time with each float. Dopey was very comical in this mine cart full of colorful and precious gems.

Main Street Electrical Parade with Dopey in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Main Street Electrical Parade with Dopey.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/30s, f/5.3, ISO 1600, EV +0.3, 105mm focal length, rear-sync flash

This is for Lisa, Pete's Dragon, Elliot, steaming up the joint with his breath.

Pete's Dragon, Elliot, during the Main Street Electrical Parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Pete's Dragon, Elliot, in the Main Street Electrical Parade.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/30s, f/5.3, ISO 1600, EV +0.3, 105mm focal length, rear-sync flash

I took lots and lots of photos. Many did not come out but I came away with a lot more keepers than I ever did in the old film days!

Lisa photographed the parade using a tripod for her Canon EOS 30D SLR camera with 17-40mm IS USM lens. While I leaned on a nearby lamppost, Lisa enjoyed the ease of having her equipment locked down to eliminate shake. She did however enjoy photographing movement like this crazy snail. The guests frozen are in contrast to the "fast" snail.

Crazy snail float in the Main Street Electrical Parade, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Crazy snail float in the Main Street Electrical Parade.
Canon 30D/17-40mm, 1/15s, f/4, ISO 800, EV 0, 30mm focal length, rear-sync flash

This butterfly on a mushroom was taken without flash. It works because there is a lot of light sources which fill in the float's structure.

Mushroom with butterfly in the Main Street Electrical Parade, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Mushroom with butterfly in the Main Street Electrical Parade.
Canon 30D/17-40mm, 1/80s, f/4, ISO 800, EV 0, 20mm focal length

November 4, 2010

Main Street USA Balloons

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Balloons reflect Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Balloons reflect Main Street USA where they are sold by the hundreds.
Nikon D7o0/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 2500, EV +0.3, 100mm focal length

As Barrie mentioned, balloons, especially those found at Walt Disney World, are special. As I walked around the Magic Kingdom this week (boy, that's neat to say!), I saw the buildings of Main Street USA reflected back on the surface of these popular Mickey Mouse balloons as the Sun was setting. Making for a sunny Disney Pic of the Week about Balloons.

July 27, 2010

Disney Pic of the Week: Art

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Main Street Gallery features beautiful artwork based on Disney films and themeparks. Some of the works done by such artists as Thomas Kinkade go for a lot of money. Happily, you'll find less expensive posters and prints if you fall in love with one of the originals. Below the Thomas Kinkade painting Pinocchio Wishes Upon A Star greets guests as they enter the gallery on Main Street USA.

Main Street Gallery on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Main Street Gallery shop on Main Street USA.
Nikon D70/Tokina 11-16, 1/4s, f/2.8, ISO 200, EV 0, 16mm Focal Length

Barrie and Lisa will show you more Disney art on Thursday and Saturday with their Disney Pic of the Week on Art.

June 25, 2010

How Many Balloons...

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The last time we talked I was talking about a blurred balloon. That lead me to ask the question of how many balloons are sold at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. I asked the All Ears team, they didn't know. I asked Lou Mongello, author of Walt Disney World Trivia Books, Volumes One and Two, and he didn't know. I even asked Thomas Smith who runs The Disney Parks Blog who thought he had seen the numbers but never got back to me.

Maybe I should ask one of the Balloon vendors on Main Street USA.

A Main Street USA Balloon vendor, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
How many balloons are sold in the Magic Kingdom? Maybe she knows.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 200, EV +0.7, 18mm focal length

I walked over to her after she was done selling the young guest his balloon and asked. She looked through the sea of balloon strings, I waited hopefully for an answer and she told she didn't know either.

A Cast Member on Main Street USA selling balloons, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Does anyone know how many balloons are sold in the Magic Kingdom?
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/250s, f/8, ISO 200, EV +0.7, 105mm focal length

I did find out how to fill a Mickey Mouse balloon...Park Balloons: There's a Skill To This Inflated Fun.


June 5, 2010

Aladdin

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Aladdin waving to guests during a parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Aladdin waving to guests during a parade in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 450, EV +0.7, 200mm focal length

This one is for my fellow photoblogger, Lisa, who's a big fan of all Princes.

March 13, 2010

Princess Ariel

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Princess Ariel waving to guests during the Make A Dream Come True parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Princess Ariel waving to guests during the Make A Dream Come True Parade.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/5.3, ISO 450, EV +0.7, 95mm Focal Length, Fill Flash

Many people don't think of Ariel as a Disney Princess but she is and makes for a beautiful Disney Pic of Week on Princesses.


March 5, 2010

Cloudy Sky

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Cloudy days at Walt Disney World can be a disappointment. I mean, we go there for the Florida sunshine, right? On my last trip, I was lucky enough to get a few cloudy days. Lucky? Yes, lucky. For when the sun is above a large cloud bank overhead, it creates a huge softbox. A softbox is used by photographers to put their flashes in and it spreads out and "softens" the light of the flash. Cloudy days do the same thing. They spread out and soften the bright light from the Sun. Shadows are not as dark and colors brighten. This kind of outdoor light is good for making photos of your family and friends. They won't squint and the dark shadows under their eyes and noses go away.

I do have a caution for you. Like any softbox in a studio. Try and keep it out of your viewfinder as the contrast will cause overexposed areas or blowouts. Aim your camera down or across but not up at the sky. Let me demonstrate with a couple of examples.

The first one is Jessie from Toy Story II in the Magic Kingdom's Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Parade. It was a very cloudy day and the colors in this parade was popping. Jessie glowed in her red hat, hair and green eyes. I zoomed in to remove the sky above..

Jessie waving during the Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Parade in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Jessie waving during the Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Parade.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/200s, f/8, ISO 200, EV +1.0, 165mm focal length

Later in the day, I watched the afternoon Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade, which has tall floats to deal with. I needed to get some princess and prince photos even with the bright cloudy sky. To counter the sky, I tried to eliminate it as best I could with backgrounds and cropping (the photo below has a lot of sky cropped out) in the photos. I used fill flash to help balance the light coming from the sky to photograph the proud Prince Eric with Princess Ariel from The Little Mermaid in one of the tall floats.

Proud Prince Eric with Princess Ariel in the Magic Kingdom's Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Prince Eric with Princess Ariel in the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/5.6, ISO 1250, EV +0.7, 200mm focal length, fill flash at -1 power

A little fun bonus for you. Can you spot what is wrong with Eric? Leave a comment!

For more information about how to take advantage of a cloudy day for photography, here are a couple of excellent links on the subject:

It's Cloudy - Don't Put that Camera Away

The Softbox in the Sky

October 6, 2009

Disney Pic of the Week: Main Street USA Windows

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Last December, I took my first tour at Walt Disney World called KEYS TO THE KINGDOM and learned about the history of the Walt Disney Company and the Magic Kingdom. Though I was aware of the windows on Main Street USA, I never actually took the time to read many of them. On this tour, the guide pointed out several and, when this Disney Pic of the Week on Main Street USA Windows rolled around, I knew which one I would be featuring.

Card Walker, a Disney Legend, was the man who would often have to figure out ways to get the Disney brothers, Roy and Walt, to sit down and talk. In that respect he was a Practicioner of Psychiatry and a Justice of the Peace within the Disney Company just as his window says.

Disney legend Card Walker's window on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Disney legend Card Walker's window on Main Street USA.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/80s, f/8, 200 ISO, +0.3 EV, 200mm Focal Length

Barrie and Lisa will be presenting their favorite Main Street USA windows on Thursday and Saturday.

August 15, 2009

Blue Castle

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Cinderella Castle in blue as darkness falls over the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Cinderella Castle in blue as darkness falls over the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/50s, f/5.6, 1600 ISO, -0.6 EV, 130mm Focal Length

The Main Street WDW Railroad station gives a unique prespective of Cinderella Castle. Waiting until after the sun set, I captured Cinderella Castle in the Blue Fairy's favorite color for my Disney Pic of the Week for the Castle.

June 12, 2009

Capturing an Empty Disney Park

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Walt Disney World hosts millions of visitors each year. There are always people about even during a slow period. Yet, you can take photographs without people in them. One way is to get low and shoot at an angle to eliminate people around you or find a way to elevate yourself over people's heads. Another way is to find scenes where people can not get to like the photo of the ceremonial canoe I found in Disney's Animal Kingdom near the Yeti Shrine.

Ceremonial Canoe in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.

Ceremonial Canoe near the Yeti Shrine.
Nikon D70/18-200VR 1/400s, f/16, 200 ISO, +0.3 EV, 150mm Focal length

I am a lightweight when it comes to getting truly empty photos of a Walt Disney World park. Let me introduce you to a true heavyweight, Tom Bricker (aka WDWFigment) has perfected empty Disney park photography. What he does is stay late at one of the parks...say, the Magic Kingdom until all the guests have left. He has seen the second Kiss Goodnight more times than I've been to Orlando (did you know there was a second one? Have you ever seen the first one?). Long after most guests are sleeping back at their resorts, Tom is getting photos only a paid Disney photographer normally gets a chance to shoot. Here are a couple of his favorites from the Magic Kingdom.

An empty Main Street USA during the Christmas holiday season in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
An empty Main Street USA during the Christmas holiday season by Tom Bricker.
Nikon D40, 5s, f/20, 200 ISO, +0.6 EV, 26mm Focal length

Tom talked about this photo, "Although the rain dampened the mood on portions of the (Mickey's Very Merry) Christmas Party, it sure did make for some pretty after hours shots (my first with "rain reflections"!)."

In this very unique photograph of the castle below, Tom explains why it is often overlooked. "Most people stop in awe when they first see the Castle on the other side of Main Street, USA. By the time they walk through the Castle to Fantasyland, a little of the amazement has worn off, and they are scurrying off to get in line at their favorite attractions. However, the back of the Castle shouldn't be overlooked. With its nuances and beautiful architecture, it is unique and awe-inspiring in its own right."

Cinderella Castle from Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Cinderella Castle from Fantasyland by Tom Bricker.
Nikon D40, 1.3s, f/3.8, 200 ISO, +0.6 EV, 22mm Focal length

Tom uses a tripod to obtain these fantastic photos. He freely admits breakfast is something he seldom eats when visiting Walt Disney World. So, are you up to the challenge of photographing an empty Disney park?

I would like to thank, Tom, for letting me share some of his wonderful Walt Disney World photography!

May 22, 2009

Low Angle

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The vast majority of photos you see and take are done at adult eye levels of around 5 to 6 feet. You look at your photos and compare them to others and there's not much difference. How can you make your photos standout from the millions of photos taken at Walt Disney World every year? One way is to shoot from different angles. Another is to use your knees. Yep, those joints in your legs do bend. Some people's better than others.

To demostrate, I'm going to use statues of the Disney brothers found in the Magic Kingdom. The first one is Roy Disney sitting on a bench with Minnie Mouse at the head of Main Street, USA. (NOTE: During the Christmas season, you can find Roy and Minnie over by Town Hall.) I bent down, knees cracking and framed this photo vertically to include Roy, Minnie and the Main Street shops, Confectionery and The Chapeau, to the right of the statue. Using an aperture of f/20, I got maximum depth of field so everything is in sharp focus from front to back.


Minnie Mouse shares a park bench with Roy Disney in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.

Minnie Mouse shares a park bench with Roy Disney in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/20, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 18mm focal length



Moving on down Main Street, USA to the Hub area in front of Cinderella Castle, the Partner's statue depicts Walt Disney holding Mickey Mouse's hand. This area is often congested with people sitting, taking pictures (there's always a PhotoPass Photographer stationed here) and walking around the statue. It's hard to get a good clean shot unless you are in the Magic Kingdom either very early in the morning or very late at night. On this day, I was neither so to eliminate as many fellow guests as I could from my composition, I got in close and low. Using the zoom lens, I found the 24mm focal length cleaned up the edges of most everyone.


FPartner's Statue in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.

Partner's Statue in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/100s, f/16, ISO 200, EV +1.0, 24mm focal length



Next time you are in a creative bind, try lowing yourself and looking around. I think you'll find it opens up a whole new perspective to your photography. Back to my knee exercises.

January 17, 2009

Those Colorful Dapper Dans

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Dapper Dans barbershop quartet entertain guests along Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Dapper Dans barbershop quartet entertain guests along Main Street USA.
Nikon D70/Tokina 11-16, 1/40s, f/13, 200 ISO, +1.0 EV, 11mm Focal Length

If you are walking down Main Street USA, keep an ear out for the Dapper Dans Barbershop Quartet. Performing since Walt Disney World's opening in 1971, you'll find them sometimes dressed all the same or, as I photographed them, in their very colorful candy-striped attire and singing turn of the 19th century songs. Hope you enjoyed my Disney Pic of the Week for Musicians/Singers.

November 14, 2008

Photographing Christmas Lights at Disney

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Ready for Christmas yet? Shopping all done? Gifts wrapped? Yeah, me neither. Here is something you can start doing at Walt Disney World today. Taking pictures of the fabulous Christmas decorations in the themeparks and resorts. With more coming by the end of November with the Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights at Disney's Hollywood Studios, Christmas parades and special events held all through the holiday season.

Planet Hollywood restaurant sign in Downtown Disney, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
How best to capture the millions of lights Disney Imagineers use is our topic for today and I have a some tips for you. Let's start with something people often overlook as it gets dark so early in November and December. Take photos of lighting displays during the magic hour after sunset when the sky and lights become balanced. Though it's not a Christmas display, the photo of the Planet Hollywood sign demonstrates what I am talking about here. I used AWB (Automatic White Balance) here while others will say to switch to a Tungsten or Incandescent white balance for best results. A tripod would be useful but I get good results shooting down to a quarter second (1/4s) with image stabilized lenses. The key is to wait for the sky and lights to come together. Keep taking shots until you start to see the results you are looking for. The provided link will go into more detail.

Now you are saying to yourself, who has time to wait for the light at Disney besides it's mostly full night when you are there. The lights are so pretty, there's got to be a way to photograph them. Well, you are right. Below is a technique you can use called "Dragging the Shutter". This technique is used a lot in wedding photography to allow for room lighting to be seen instead of stark dark backgrounds in large banquet halls.

Christmas Donald Duck Topiary in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Nikon D70/18-70D, 1/30s, f/4.5, ISO 400, +0.6 EV, 46mm Focal length

On camera and external flash are normally synced at shutter speeds between 1/60 and 1/250 of a second. When you use a flash and purposely use shutter speeds below the normal flash sync speed, it allows more time for ambient light to be captured by the camera's sensor. This gives a more pleasing and natural look to the photograph as you see on the right hand photo of the Donald Duck topiary I took at Epcot during Mousefest 2006. Both photos were taken the same way except for the use of flash. This can also be called Slow Sync in your camera manuals.

Using flash for photos of large areas is not practical. For best results, we have to use long shutter speeds (of less than 1/60th of a second), high ISO speeds of 800 or greater and find a way to stabilize our cameras. In the photo of Main Street USA, I was able to do all three.

Magic Kingdom's Main Street USA all decked out for Christmas, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Magic Kingdom's Main Street USA all decked out for Christmas.
Nikon D70/18-70D, 1/20s, f/4.2, ISO 1600, +0.3 EV, 35mm Focal length

As you can see, I am using a very high ISO of 1600 (my camera's highest available), a shutter speed of 1/20 of a second and I stabilized the camera by leaning against a garbage can and using my elbows to form a human tripod. I took several images to make sure I had a few which would come out sharp. If I had a real tripod, I could have used even slower shutter speeds and smaller apertures but I'll leave that discussion for another time.

By using these tips both at Disney or at home, your Christmas light photography will make your friends and family envious of your talents. Click this link for more tips on capturing the spirit of Christmas photographically. That's my gift to all of you!

August 23, 2008

The Plaza Restaurant - Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

The Plaza Restaurant on Main Street USA in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
People checking in for their dining reservation at The Plaza Restaurant on Main Street USA.
Nikon D70/18-70G, 1/160s, f/6.3, 200 ISO, +0.3 EV, 18mm Focal Length

Do you think Main Street USA ends at Casey's Corner and the Plaza Ice Cream Palor? It actually extends around both corners to include the Crystal Palace and Plaza Restaurants. The photo above of the Plaza Restaurant is my selection for this week's Disney Pic of the Week theme on Main Street USA. My two daughters rate this restaurant a 10 out of 10 and has the best grilled sandwiches at Walt Disney World. Honest, that's what they've told me.

August 7, 2008

Meals with Character

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Snuggling up with Eeyore in the Magic Kingdom's Crystal Palace restaurant, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Snuggling up with Eeyore in the Magic Kingdom's Crystal Palace restaurant.
Nikon Coolpix 995, 1/30s, f/2.8, 100 ISO, 0 EV

The best and easiest way to meet and greet characters at Walt Disney World is to attend a Character Meal. There the characters come to you as you sit at your table. The characters will interact with each person at the table and you can get very memorable photos of you and your family. Click the link for a complete list of character meals, locations and which characters are featured. In the photo I choose for this week's Disney Pic of the Week theme on Characters, I wanted to show character meals are not just for little ones as my two teenage daughters snuggled up to Eeyore in the Magic Kingdom's Crystal Palace restaurant a few years ago.

July 22, 2008

Disney Pic of the Week: Main Street RR Station Office

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

What sets a Disney themepark apart from the all the others is the attention to detail. Some details are little and some large. Some go unnoticed until pointed out or stumbled upon. The latter is what happened to me a couple of years ago. Thus I introduce you to this week's Disney Pic of the Week theme: Theming Detail.

Main St. Railroad Station at the Main Street USA Station in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Main St. Railroad Station at the Main Street USA Station platform.
Nikon D70/18-70G, 1/8s, f/4.5, 1600 ISO, 0 EV, 52mm focal length

I was on the platform where the Walt Disney World RailRoad trains take on and disburse guests. I had my back to Main St. Railroad Office as I was concentrating on taking pictures down Main Street USA. I turned around and there it was. An authentic turn of the 20th Century office for a railroad. Like all of Main Street, the attention to detail right down to the sepia photos and conductor cap makes you feel like time hasn't passed at all. The next time you are waiting for a parade or fireworks show on this platform, turn around like I did. You will find other items in this office to discover.

Lisa and Barrie will be along later this week to share their theming detail photos.

December 14, 2007

Photographic Innoventions: Hats Off to More Disney Props


Last month I did an entry on Props at Walt Disney World and asked people to send in their favorites. By far the most popular ones where all the different and fun hats you find in shops throughout the resort. As an example, my daughter is trying on a very patriotic hat in The Chapeau, a hat shop on Magic Kingdom's Main Street. This shop can monogram almost any hat and, of course, Mickey Ears for you while you wait. Hats found in World Showcase are a big hit with our Photo Blog readers from French Berets, Sombreros in Mexico, Coolie hats in China to Homburg style hats in Germany. The little outdoor shop at Rafiki's Planet Watch in Disney's Animal Kingdom has all kinds of safari hats. My daughter just had to model one for me.




Safari hat. © Scott Thomas Photography 2007
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/4.5, 200 ISO, -0.3 EV, 40mm focal length

Other popular suggestions for props was RC Car from Toy Story at the All Star Movies resort, the larger than life Troll in Norway's Puffin's Roost shop, a Cinderella statue at the Marketplace in Downtown Disney similar to Buzz Lightyear I mentioned in the first Disney Prop entry and the Mickey sculpture at the Contemporary resort with Mickey ears perfect to sit kids in.

Would like to continue this topic so if you have a favorite Walt Disney World prop, I'd like to hear about it! Just leave a Comment using the link below.

December 7, 2007

Photographic Innoventions: Telephoto Compression

A camera lens which has a focal length over 100mm is considered a telephoto lens. This includes the popular zoom lenses which go over 100mm. Just like a telescope, the longer the focal length, the smaller angle of view is seen through the camera's viewfinder. This has the effect of compressing objects at different distances in the field of view. Depending on the camera's depth of field or aperture setting, the objects can all be in sharp focus or just a selected object.

In the picture below of Christmas decorations down Magic Kingdom's Mainstreet USA, I compressed the wreaths, garland and Cinderella's Castle into a pleasing composition. The aperture set at f/8 kept all three subjects in focus and without the reference of buildings on either side, it's hard to tell how much distance is between them. Incidently, I took this from the Walt Disney World Railroad platform which overlooks Mainstreet USA. It's a great photographer's roost for parades, fireworks and for getting over the heads of our fellow quests.

Click for Larger Image. Copyright © Scott Thomas Photography 2007
Mainstreet Christmas Decorations. © Scott Thomas Photography 2007
Nikon D70/80-200D, 1/800s, f/8, 400 ISO, +0.3 EV, 116mm Focal Length

I promised myself I would not brood over the fact that my two blog-mates are both enjoying Mousefest at Walt Disney World today. I did attend Mousefest in 2006 so, as I looked through those photos, I found this interesting subject to talk about. I know Barrie and Lisa will be bringing us all back some great photos to share. You gals stay out of trouble, ya hear?

Further Reading: For those interested in attending future Mousefests, here's the link to the offical website: Mousefest.org

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About Main Street USA

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

Liberty Square is the previous category.

Tomorrowland is the next category.

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