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December 20, 2016

Disney Pic of the Week: Favorite Holiday Entertainment

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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.

June 3, 2016

Motion Photography in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

January 22, 2016

Photographing While Riding at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

December 11, 2015

Celebrating 20 Years of All Ears

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May 8, 2015

What's My Aperture

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

March 17, 2015

Disney Pic of the Week: Tomorrowland

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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


August 15, 2014

Recording Details in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

July 11, 2014

Riding Tomorrowland's Astro Orbiter in the Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

April 6, 2014

Where in the World #326

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In fact, it's time for the monthly drawing! And the winner is:
Vickie Scioneaux! Congratulations, Vickie! You'll be getting a prize from Deb Wills!
__________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #326 Where in the world is this?

Different park, Players!
 Where in the World #326

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

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

December 29, 2013

Where in the World #312

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

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

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

From Millan.Net

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carol Gamill, you start us off:

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

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

Challenge #312 Where in the world is this?

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

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

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

May 26, 2013

Where in the World #281

Where in the World by Erin Blackwell

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

By this time next week, I will be in Walt Disney World, Players! So time to wish me Bon Voyage!
wave
Wow, thanks for the enthusiasm!

I'll tell Mickey Mouse you said hello! Plus I will of course see you here next week. And have the Disney bear ready for my post vacation blues. Who had the Disney bear last; they will have to spare him. I'm looking at you, Claire Gregory.

It looks like I'm sharing Disney with Hunter Armstrong who is also leaving for a vacation! See you around the parks, Hunter!
From Millan.Net

And welcome home, Susan and Mike Hill! I'm glad you had so much fun tracking down Where in the World clues!

Mickey Eckert, thank you for still loving me and the game despite the impossible clue. Hugs! hug
Sorry, too much?

Here's Challenge #279:
 Where in the World #279

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

The DCV outpost globe in Discovery Island in Disney's Animal Kingdom where you turn for Camp Minnie-Mickey.

Steve And Ruby Jordan, great answer. :) I found a boo-boo Disney bear to make your digital photo paper cuts feel a little better:
From Millan.Net

Bob Lanks was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Bob! A few people were close in their answers and congratulations to them too! Vera Williams, Team Hill, Diane Ramos, Emily Hudson, and Colette Stanton. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

Here's Challenge #280:
Where in the World #280

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

The sign welcoming you to Rockettower Plaza in Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom!

Plenty of people like Pam Vanaustin, Diane Ramos, & Steve And Ruby Jordan's daughter love this ride as much as my husband, especially the call "Paging Mr. Morrow... Mr. Tom Morrow!" Been there, love it, got my husband the t-shirt!

Jerry Turner was the first to send in the correct answer! Congratulations to Jerry and all our winners this week! Sairey, Ally, Colette Stanton, Colette Stanton, Gabriella, Terry And Matthieu, Johansen Family, Judi Copley, Hunter Armstrong, Mike Mondoux, Linda College, K Beasley, Becky Norman, Ken Clark, Kathy Davies, Lorine Landon, Kelly Cummings, Louise, Tina Santacroce, Mike Walter, Andrea Weedmark , Duskin Henard, Maggie Klotz, Emily Hudson, Dave Kanigowski, Sandy Kanigowski, Leigh Mertz, Chris Bauman, Sara Alaimo, Alan Mize, Belicia Cullen, Melissa Littman, Maryann Romagnano, Carol Ney, Rob Hildebrandt , Mary Beth Tarbet, Linda Ranatza, Pam Vanaustin, Robert Hildebrandt, Scott Cullen, Vera Williams, Steve And Ruby Jordan, Team Hill, John Menjes, Rachel Taylor, George Mundy Jr, Theresa Rucando, Steve And Ruby Jordan, Tom Higbee, Diane Ramos, Chuck Sands, Mickey Eckert, and Emily Hudson. Each of you are entered in this month's winners' drawing.

_____________________________________________________ _____________________

Challenge #281 Where in the world is this?

We're still in the parks with a less impossible clue!

And remember, you can't just give the park name.

 Where in the World #281

Do you know? Do you have a guess? Please send in your answer, before the end of the day on Thursday, May 30th, by clicking on the blue box below. Please do not post answers using the Feedback Form link at the bottom of this post.

See you next week, Players!

Click Here to Submit Your Answer
_______________________________________________________________________

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

May 17, 2013

Using a Super Zoom Lens at Walt Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

I am a big fan of using Super Zoom lenses on digital SLR cameras. When I travel to places like Walt Disney World, I do not want to be carrying a lot of heavy equipment. A Super Zoom lens lets me go with a small pouch which holds an extra battery, memory cards, lens cleaning cloth, flash and one extra lens, usually the 50mm f/1.8.

I have used Nikon's Super Zoom lenses on both a DX (cropped camera) and FX (full framed camera). They are the Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S VR DX Zoom and Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S VR II FX Zoom Lenses. Canon has their 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 EF-S IS Zoom Lens. Sigma and Tamron each have an 18-250mm zoom lens. All are image stablized and very versatile.

Super Zoom lenses are full of compromises. They have variable apertures and are not very fast nor are they extremely wide or long. I find they work perfectly in a place like a Disney themepark, festivals, or fairs. The following photos were all taken with a Nikon D700 FX camera and the 28-300VR lens.

For this photo of a tricycle parked near Kali River Rapids entrance in Disney's Animal Kingdom, I got in close and low using the widest focal length of the lens.

A tricycle parked near Kali River Rapids entrance in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
A tricycle parked near Kali River Rapids entrance.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 25mm focal length.

Along the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail, the gorrilas, at their closest, are still far away and the reach of a super zoom lens comes in very handy.

Bachelor Gorilla on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Bachelor Gorilla on the Pangani Forest Exploration Trail.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/250s, f/5.6, ISO 160, EV 0, 300mm focal length.

The Image Stablizaton (Vibration Reduction for Nikon's) in the Super Zoom lenses work even while doing motion photography like panning at the Tomorrowland Speedway in the Magic Kingdom.

Guests speeding around the Tomorrowland Speedway in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Guests speeding around the Tomorrowland Speedway in the Magic Kingdom.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/15s, f/29, ISO 200, EV 0, 85mm focal length.

The verstality of the wide range of focal lengths helps to photograph scenes like this one. Space Mountain was being lighted by a late day Sun with rain clouds behind it. I really liked being able to crop in and create this composition with the spires of the ride bright lighted in front of a dark, gloomy background.

Space Mountain with rain clouds in the Magic Kingdom's Torrowland, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Spires of Space Mountain in Torrowland.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/100s, f/16, ISO 200, EV 0, 105mm focal length.

Let me repeat, Super Zooms give you a lot of compostional freedom. I envisioned this photo of the Red Hero car from Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show in Disney's Hollywood Studios knowing I was going to be seating in the VIP section of the grandstands during the show. The wide end let me get the car's reflection, the camera truck and the set behind all in the frame. Using a fast shutter speed let me freeze all the action at the right time.

Red Hero car during the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show in Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Red Hero car jumping during the Lights, Motors, Action Extreme Stunt Show.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/1000s, f/5, ISO 200, EV 0, 28mm focal length.

A slight zoom on the lens from 28mm to 40mm eliminated some foreground clutter and brought the broom in closer as I photographed the Sorcerer Mickey Mouse topiary in front of Disney's Hollywood Studios' entrance.

Sorcerer Mickey Mouse topiary in front of the entrance to Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
Sorcerer Mickey Mouse topiary in front of the entrance to Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, f/16, ISO 1100, EV 0, 40mm focal length, HDR Image.

Are Super Zooms the perfect travel lens? Maybe not perfect but the closest thing I have used to one.

May 7, 2013

Disney Pic of the Week: Clocks

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

It is surprising the number of clocks you can find at Walt Disney World. Even in this age of smart phones and smart watches, there always is a need to look up and find the time on a public clock. Even in the Magic Kingdom's Tomorrowland, you will find an analog clock above the entrance to Space Mountain's Video Arcade. Strange it is not digital.

The Space Mountain Video Arcade clock in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida
The Space Mountain Video Arcade Clock.
Nikon D700/28-300VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 200, EV 0, 210mm focal length.

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

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?

August 26, 2011

FX Disney World

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

In keeping with our theme of creative processing this week, I want to share with you an app I was made aware of a few weeks ago. If you own an Apple computer, iPhone, iTouch or iPad/2. You might enjoy getting FX Photo Studio to quickly add one or more special effects to your photos.

The interface is very easy. Once you import your photo, you can select, preview and adjust one of almost two hundred special effect filters to apply to your photo. Here are a few of my favorite Walt Disney World photos after selecting a FX (movie shorthand for special effects) filter from the app.

I keep going back to this photo of Space Mountain. As much as I like the original, it is fun to see it differently using creative filters and textures.

Neon Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando Florida.
Neon FX filtered Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom.

Spaceship Earth in Epcot's Future World is based on our planet but what if it was something from another galaxy?

Alien Skin Spaceship Earth in Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando Florida.
Alien Skinned FX Spaceship Earth in Epcot.

Using FX Photo Studio is very easy. After launching the application on a MacIntosh computer, you can import photos from iPhoto, Aperture 3 or LightRoom libraries. On an iPhone, iTouch or iPad, it can import from any photo album. I imported this photo of the Tree of Life in Disney's Animal Kingdom from my Aperture 3 album of what I consider my best photos.

Tree of Life in Disney's Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Tree of Life in Disney's Animal Kingdom before adding an FX filter.

Here is the Tree of Life photo being compared with the special effect called Lindale (selected below in the strip of effects). Once you select an effect, you are given one or more sliders to adjust the effect to your liking.

Screen shot of FX Photo Studio.
Screen shot of FX Photo Studio with the Tree of Life photo.

After I adjusted the effect from 100% to 80% I saved the image back to my computer.

Tree of Life after the Lindale special effect filter added.
Tree of Life after the Lindale special effect filter was added.

See how easy that was to do? FX Photo Studio costs $9.99 from the Mac App store. The iPhone and iTouch versions cost $1.99 and the iPad version costs $2.99 from iTunes.

April 15, 2011

Aging Space Mountain Magic Kingdom

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Recently, I came across one of my favorite photos of Space Mountain taken way back in December of 2006. One of the reasons for my fondness is the hint of autumn colors in the trees. Something not often seen in Florida.

Space Mountain photo taken from the monorail, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Space Mountain from the monorail.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/160s, f/6.3, ISO 200, EV +0.7, 50mm focal length

I thought it would be fun to see if I could age this photograph. Make it look like an old weathered photo which would make people do a double-take as the futuristic design of Space Mountain certainly does not look old.

I loaded the photo in Picnik.com, my favorite online photo editor. I first used the 1960's effect to give it the faded colors I remember so well from seeing old color photos my parents had taken during the late 1960's. Next I applied a texture to give it a roughed up look. Like the photo had been folded and mishandled over the years. Lastly, I applied a dark vignette around the edges.

Digitally aged Space Mountain photo taken from the monorail, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Digitally aged Space Mountain photo taken from the monorail
via Picnik.com online photo editor.

Many editors allow you to manipulate photos in this manner. Some with more advanced ways than I used. I've seen some with frames which make the prints look frayed or cut.

October 9, 2009

In Camera Cropping

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Many times I have taken a photo which looked good in the viewfinder but, when reviewing it in the camera's LCD display, not so much. It happens when I am not careful and forget to look around the edges before pressing the shutter release. In the photo below I was intent on Space Mountain before me and missed all the foliage and tree limbs intruding. Now, I could just crop this photo in software. However, cropping too much loses image resolution and can make a photo grainy when viewing a smaller, cropped version.

Wide view of Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
Wide view of Space Mountain.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/320s, f/9, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 29mm Focal Length

In this case, I decided to use the power of the zoom lens and "crop in camera" by zooming in from 29mm to 75mm. I, also, took two images. One in a landscape orientation and, the one below, in a portrait orientation.

In camera cropped view of Space Mountain in the Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida.
In camera cropped view of Space Mountain.
Nikon D70/18-200VR, 1/60s, f/16, ISO 200, EV +0.3, 75mm Focal Length

By doing the crop in the camera, it saves me time later at the computer. The image is cleaner and has your camera's full resolution for printing or displaying electronically.

February 20, 2009

Panning for Gold

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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About Tomorrowland

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

Main Street USA is the previous category.

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