Friday, September 30, 2016

Blue Skies, Smiling At Me....

But I Really Want Cloudy Skies

As the song goes, "Blue skies, smiling at me, nothing but blue skies do I see..."  But here's the thing, I'd rather have cloudy skies.  Not overcast mind you, just anything but totally clear blue or solid gray.

Cloudy skies add a sense of depth, dimension, and interest to a photograph.  I don't have a side-by-side comparison of the same picture with puffy clouds and then a plain blue sky, but if I did, I think you might agree the cloudy sky is more interesting.  Come on, Toy Story 1 can't be wrong!  And it's not just puffy white clouds.  Stormy gray clouds with the right light and contrast can look fantastic as well.  

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

It's Pronounced "BOH-kay"

That Out-of-Focus Blur in Your Photograph

Whether you pronounce it BOH-kay or BOH-ke, bokeh can be described as the aesthetic quality of out-of-focus blur in a photograph, and it comes from the Japanese word "boke" that describes blur or haze.

There are lots of debate on photography forums about the best way to apply bokeh, or which equipment renders the most creamy, silky, smooth, or whatever host of other words people want to use to describe the blur.  As with my other posts, I'm not here to argue how you want to express your creativity.  I'm just here to help you figure out where and how I got a shot at Disney.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

To HRD, or not HDR? That's Not The Question

It's a Matter of Style

HDR photography has been around for several years.  There are some views that HDR means over processed photos that don't look "real" or "natural".  I don't intend to write a technical blog and there are tons of articles out there about the more technical aspects of HDR and the pros and cons so I won't go into all that here.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Get Wide

Disney At Night

Sometimes you may want to get a shot of something and there just isn't enough room for you to backup far enough to get everything into your field of view.  This is where wide angle lenses come in.

I've always been intrigued by the horseless carriage outside the Haunted Mansion in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.  In the past, in order to get the entire carriage, I shot it pretty much straight on from the front, but then you can't see a lot of the carriage.  I thought this would be a great opportunity to try out my new wide angle lens.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Capturing Disney by Cell Phone

It's All About Composition and Light

Most of the pictures I take at Disney are with my Sony A6000 mirrorless camera with several different lenses.

This Spring I took a short trip to Walt Disney World and I didn't wanted to pack all my gear so I decided to see what I could do with my cell phone.  By the way, the cell phone I used was a Samsung Galaxy Note 3.  According to the specifications, the camera is a 13MP, 31mm (35mm equivalent) and f/2.2 maximum aperture.

The most important thing I realized on this trip was that all the photography basics still apply.  The two thing I had to consider differently using my cell phone camera was the relative small focal length which gives it a relatively wide field of view and even though the specs say f/2.2, I knew from experience that this camera did not do so well in low light situations despite the f/2.2 aperture speed. 


To me, composition is one of the basics and it plays a very big part in making a great picture.  If pictures are a little grainy, or even just a tad soft, the composition is what most people will see (unless they are what photographers call pixel peepers, which most casual photographers are probably not.)  Don't forget my tips on perspective when composing your pictures.

Given that many cell phone have a wide field of view, you may have to get much closer to get the composition you want.  I won't go into any specific tips on composition, there are plenty of great articles out there.

It's All About Perspective

Get Off Your Feet

Perspective could arguably be defined simply as a point of view.  One thing that makes photographs interesting is a different perspective.  Think about how many people either have a picture or look at Cinderella Castle from the perspective of standing or walking down Main Street.  I bet you can even imagine what this looks like in your own mind's eye as you read these words.  So that image you have in your mind is a pretty common perspective.  Not that we all don't love it, but it's kinda normal.

Here is a picture of the AT-AT Walker in front of Star Tours at Disney's Hollywood Studios.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Capturing the Magic of the Magic Kingdom

Disney at Night

The Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Park is certainly a magical place but even more so at night.  After dark, the lights add a special ambiance making it an even more magical experience.  In my "Disney At Night" articles, I'll share the locations, settings and techniques I use to capture the magic of Disney at night.

Thank you for visiting Capturing Disney

My goal is to try to help you capture your own Disney magic by sharing pictures that I have taken, along with the the location, my camera settings, and other tips that helped me to capture the magic of Disney.