Monday, January 30, 2017

It's a Small World After All

The Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed

Some fun facts:
  1. When Walt Disney first conceived the ride, it was called "Children of the World".
  2. It's a Small World originally premiered at the 1964 World's Fair.
  3. It was then called "It's a Small World - A salute to UNICEF and all the world's children."
  4. After its debut at the 1964 World's Fair, the original Small World ride move to Disneyland where it opened in 1966.
  5. The "It's a Small World" song plays 1200 times in a 16-hour operating day.
This shot was taken at aperture f/8.0, 1/320 sec shutter speed, ISO 100 at 45mm focal length.

Have fun capturing the magic of Disney.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Disneyland Railroad

You don't often get to see the other side of the tracks, but until Star Wars Land is complete, you can.

Head over to New Orleans Square Railroad Station in Disneyland.  There you will see one of the locomotives and rail cars on display.  You can also blow a train whistle that is mocked up toward the read or the train (you can see some people in the back right of this photo.

This is another HDR image with the normal exposure se to f/8.0, 1/60 sec shutter speed, ISO 100 at 26mm focal length.

Have fun capturing the magic of Disney.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Tomorrowland - Disneyland

"Tomorrow is a heck of a thing to keep up with" - Walt Disney

When Disneyland opened on July 17, 1955, Walt dedicated Tomorrowland with these words: "A vista into a world of wondrous ideas, signifying man's achievements... a step into the future, with predictions of constructive things to come.  Tomorrow offers new frontiers in science, adventure, and ideals.  The Atomic Age, the challenge of outer space, and the hope for a peaceful and unified world."

This image is an HDR 3hree bracket image with the normal exposure set to aperture f/8.0, 1/60 sec shutter speed, ISO 100 and a 35mm focal length (1.5x crop).

Have fun capturing the magic of Disney.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Disneyland Railroad

The Disneyland Railroad has been closed while Star Wars Land is being built.  The Railroad will reopen during Summer 2017.

Even though the trains aren't running, you can still enjoy the railroad by visiting the trains at the main Street station as well as New Orleans Square station.  At the latter, you can cross the track to explore the other side of the station that is not normally accessible when the trains are in operation.  This is a picture of the New Orleans Square station.

This is an HDR image with the normal exposure set to aperture f/8.0, 1/25 sec shutter speed, ISO 100, at 32mm focal length.

Have fun capturing the magic of Disney.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Disney Cruise Line - Fantasy

The ship’s horn on the Disney Fantasy is able to play the first musical line of “When You Wish Upon a Star” as well as the second line of the song (“makes no difference who you are”) plus, several measures of “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me),” “It’s a Small World,” “Be Our Guest,” “Hi Diddle Dee Dee (An Actor’s Life for Me)” and “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.”  

I actually took this picture with an iPhone 4S.  Everything was on "auto" but I did do some post-processing with Lightroom to bump up the colors.

Have fun capturing the magic of Disney.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Disney Cruise Line - Fantasy

We were fortunate enough to sail on the Disney Fantasy during her inaugural year in 2012.  Like her sister ship, the Disney Dream, the Fantasy blends an Art Nouveau theme with modern technological advancements - the new Animator's Palate is one of my favorite of those technology advancements.

The character Dumbo and Timothy on the stern weigh over 2,300 pounds.  Dumbo is just more than 8 feet long with an ear span of seven feet.  Timothy is 2' 6" tall on Dumbo's hat and is holding a paintbrush that is 3' 10" long.  Dumbo was sculpted from large foam blocks by Walt Disney Imagineers in California.  The sculpted pieces were then shipped to Florida where Disney craftsmen and artists created him in fiberglass and painted over a frame of marine grade stainless steel.  The duo was installed in Papenburg, Germany.

Have fun capturing the magic of Disney.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Wild Africa Trek - Animal Kingdom

A fantastic way to get an even more immersive experience at Disney's Animal Kingdom is to do the Wild Africa Trek.  This 3-hour tour takes you through the Safi River Valley where you walk along a grassland path, cross a rope bridge and ride in a rugged safari vehicle over an open savanna.

Along the way, you'll get up-close to many animals such as crocodiles, giraffe, rhino's and more with plenty of time to stop and take pictures.  The guides also take lots of pictures of you and your family as well.  After a good hike then you stop for lunch overlooking the savanna.

Overall, I would highly recommend this experience.

For the top picture, this was an HDR image with the normal exposure set to aperture f/8.0, 1/100 sec shutter speed. ISO 100 and a 37mm focal length.  

The image of the giraffe is also an HDR image with the normal exposure set to aperture f/8.0, 1/100 sec shutter speed, ISO400, and 120mm focal length.

For both these images, I did merging and tone mapping in Lightroom.

Have fun capturing the magic of Disney.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Can you really see the Tower of Terror from Epcot

Fun Fact - Yes, you can really see the Tower of Terror from Epcot.  If you stand just about anywhere between the Mexico Pavilion and Disney Traders, and look toward Morocco, you'll be able to see the Tower of Terror in the behind the Morocco Pavilion.  

Disney Imagineers knew this when they built Tower of Terror so they added Minarets to the Tower of Terror to make it blend into the background as if it was intended to be part of the scenery.  No other Tower of Terror building has these Minarets.

To get this shot, I had to yes my longest zoom which is a 200m focal length (1.5x crop).  I used an f/8.0 aperture to get good clarity throughout the shot, ISO100 for minimal noise, and 1/250 sec shutter speed.

Have fun capturing the magic of Disney.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Disney Cruise Line - London at Blue Hour

Blue Hour?  I've been taking pictures for a long time, and I learned something new during the Summer of 2015.  

The last stop on our Disney Cruise that started in Copenhagen, ended in the port of Dover.  From there we spent a few nights in London.  As part of my stay in London, I decided that I had to get the requisite shots of Big Ben and Parliament and I thought I wanted some type of sunset shot because they are just more interesting.

While you’ve most likely heard of the golden hours – that time right after sunrise or before sunset where the outdoors turn into a golden paradise.

Close to sunset, I get my gear and head over to the bridge to scout out the composition I want.  I finally find this location on the bridge.  I see this other photographer there, turns out to be a guy from France, and I asked him how orange the sky gets at sunset.  Maybe because I am color blind, but all my life, I associate sunsets with orange, and once I get a picture of the sunset and the sun goes below the horizon, I always pack up and walk away.  
He gets this odd look on his face and says, "no it doesn't turn orange, it turns blue".  That was a little hard for me to process, I figured what the hell.  He further explained that for about 15 minutes after the sun goes down is when it gets blue.  This conversation was at about 9:30pm and you can see on Big Ben that I got this shot at 10pm.

Later I looked up Blue Hour on the Internet and found this description:

"The blue hour is the period of twilight each morning and evening when the sun is a significant distance below the horizon and the residual, indirect sunlight takes on a predominantly blue hue.  It lasts about 35-40 minutes."

Thank you anonymous French photographer for teaching me something new and letting me know to stick around long enough to get this shot.

The technical aspect of this shot was fairly simple.  This was another HDR shot with the normal exposure set to f/4.5, 1/20 sec, ISO 3200 at a 33mm focal length.  I later merged the three bracketed images in Lightroom and did tone mapping and other post processing.

Have fun capturing the magic of Disney. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Disney Cruise Line - Copenhagen

Trying to give Disney Cruise Line some love.  My only problem is that I don't have a ton of particularly interesting pictures of the ships, but I do have some destination pictures.  I know most people want to see park pictures, but from time to time I'd like to post some destination shots as well.

The is a shot of Nyhavn in Copenhagen, Denmark.  We were fortunate enough to visit Copenhagen twice, both times on Disney Cruises.  The most recent is the Summer of 2015 as the embarkation port for a trip that took us to Norway, Iceland, Scotland and Dover.  DCL has three cruises that depart from Copenhagen in 2017.  If you are fortunate enough to sail on one of those, stop by Nyhavn.  It's a beautiful location with lots of restaurants and a rich history including being the home of Hans Christian Andersen, author of "The Little Mermaid".

I actually have a couple "versions" of this scene.  One is a long exposure which I did to get a more silky smooth look to the water giving a more clear reflection.  For the shot above, I wanted to capture the contrast between some of the darker areas of the scene as well as the lighter areas in the sky.  For this I chose to do a 3 bracket HDR shot.

The normal exposure was set to aperture f/11 to get good focus throughout the image from front to back.  I shoot at ISO 100 whenever I can to minimise noise.  The camera set the shutter speed to 1/60 second for the proper exposure and adjusted the shutter speed for the two other exposures.  I also used a 28mm focal length (1.5x crop).  This is taken from a bridge between the two sides of Nyhavn.

Have fun capturing the magic of Disney.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Reverse Waterfall - Journey Into Imagination, Epcot

I love the reverse waterfall that sits on the perimeter of the Journey Into Imagination attraction.  I love it even more at night where it's lit up.

For this shot I wanted to give the waterfall that "misty" look so knew this meant a long exposure.  As such a tripod is a must.  I set my camera for shutter priority and set the shutter speed to 2 seconds.  I also set the ISO to 100 and the aperture at f/8.0.

Have fun capturing the magic of Disney.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Victoria Gardens, Canada Epcot

Victoria Gardens in the Canada Pavilion in the World Showcase at Epcot is inspired by the Butchart Gardens of British Columbia.  To me, it's one of the most beautiful spots on the World Showcase.

This is an HDR image with the normal exposure set to aperture f/2.5, 1/60 ser shutter speed, ISO 125 at 35mm focal length.

Have fun capturing the magic of Disney.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Tiki Gods in HDR

You can't visit Adventureland in the Magic Kingdom and not see the Tiki Gods.  I love that beat they play as you walk by.

During the day, this is a somewhat hard shot to get if your intent is to get something without people or strollers.  If you try to get a crowd free shot in the day, a wide angle lens can help.  If you there are no strollers, then a wide angle can help you get close where people walk behind you instead of in front of you between you and the Tiki Gods.

For this shot I took another HDR bracket with the normal exposure at f/4.0, 1/320 sec shutter speed, ISO 100 and a 12mm focal length.

Have fun capturing the magic of Disney.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Flo's V8 Cafe in HDR

HDR images - Some people love them, some people hate them.  For those that hate them, the frequently cited reason is the garish over processing.  I took an HDR image of Flo's V8 Cafe and just decided to play around with that garish look just for fun.  I expect like the population norm, some will like this, some with hate it.

To achieve this image, the normal exposure was set to aperture f/4.5, ISO 100, 1/60 sec shutter speed with a 39mm focal length (1.5x crop).  

After capturing the three brackets, I merged then in HDR Efex Pro 2 and used the "Vignette" preset.  I then tweaked the contrast, whites, blacks, etc. in Lightroom.

Have fun capturing the magic of Disney.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Aulani at Night

Aulani is a magical place and like everything Disney it gets even more magical at night.  

In this shot, I wanted to create a starburst effect from the lights which means a small aperture.  For this shot I set the aperture to f/11.  As with most night shots, especially one with an aperture this small, a tripod is necessary.  Since I had a tripod I know the long shutter speed would not be a problem so to reduce noise, I set the ISO to 100.  Given two of the three legs of the exposure triangle were set, then I dialed the shutter speed to get the right exposure.  That turned out to be 30 seconds.

Have fun capturing the magic of Disney.