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  1. #346

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by NetteNutt View Post
    Dude seriously do you sleep at all!

    I know that putting this stuff together for the post every day takes time and then you have your business to run and you still make time to go the parks. I can't even begin to imagine how you do it all. All I do is sit at my boring desk job all day drive home and help the kids with their homework and I'm exhausted by 5:30....

    You might be Superman in disguise.... or Batman he has better toys.
    Thank you for the kind words. No, I don't get very much sleep. I'm usually at work till around midnight, then working on this till around 2 or 3 and get to bed between 3 and 4. Fortunately I am the boss and can't get fired for strolling into work at 10:30 every day.

    What frustrates me the most is that I don't have more time to devote to this column. There is so much more that I want to do with it, such as making my own videos for the post processing techniques that I feel like I am short changing all of you.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  2. #347

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    09-10-10
    Today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” is titled Explore Hidden Trails.

    When most people go to Disneyland they are usually focused on things like riding rides, seeing parades or trying to do as much as they can in a single day. Fortunately, my wife and I are Annual Passholders and have the opportunity to visit the parks at least once a month. Because we visit so frequently, seeing all the shows or riding all the rides isn’t a priority for us. We can afford to take a more leisurely pace and just enjoy the day as it comes our way.

    I am also one of those overly curios people that is always wondering, "What is around that corner? What is behind that wall? Is there something over there that I haven’t seen before?" It seems like I am always on a quest to find something new and undiscovered, or at least a different vantage point for taking pictures. During some of these misadventures I have been able to find some interesting things to photograph. Most of them aren’t the most amazing photos in the world but they are different than most other people’s pictures.

    This is why I am doing today’s post on exploring those hidden trails and showing you some of what I see.

    If you walk all the way around the back of Fowler’s Harbor, you can get a slightly different view of Splash Mountain. It’s not the most beautiful picture of Splash Mountain you’ll ever see but by having the bushes in the foreground you get a greater sense of distance and a picture that most people haven’t seen before.


    After you walk the path behind Fowler’s Harbor, you end up heading into Critter Country and inevitably at the bathrooms below the Hungry Bear. If you go past all the tables, there is a little walkway that dead ends but it does offer a nice place to sit and take pictures of the Mark Twain as it paddles past.




    Tom Sawyer’s Island is covered with little trails and most of them are pretty heavily traveled but if you go all the way to the back of the island and behind Fort Wilderness, there is a little graveyard that provided me a with a photo that I just love and spent several weeks in the honored position as my wallpaper.


    While journeying through Pirate’s Lair there is a spot where you can turn a big crank and a skeleton will rise up out of the water. It’s pretty difficult to get a picture of unless you have a couple of "volunteers" willing to run in circles for a few minutes but fortunately my wife was willing to break a sweat so I could get this picture.


    If you’re willing to climb a few flights of stairs, you can get some great shots of Grizzly Peak from the Rangers tower in Redwood Creek.


    While you are in the Grizzly Peak area, take a moment and follow the pathway behind the ride and go under the trestle. There isn’t really a whole lot to see while directly under the trestle, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take an interesting photograph.




    Also in DCA is a little gem that most people, including myself never see. I’ve been in the Animation Academy at least 50 times and it wasn’t until my last visit that I discovered the Sorcerers Workshop, Beast’s Library and Ursula’s Grotto. I’ve always been so engrossed by the big animation screens and Toy Story Zoetrope that I never noticed the pathway heading down there before. The Sorcerers Workshop has some beautiful light fixtures and Ursula’s Grotto has an amazing ceiling that I can’t wait to go back and photograph some more when I have more time to dedicate to it.










    So the next time you visit Disneyland, take the road less traveled and see where it takes you.

    Happy Snapping
    © Michael Greening 2010
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  3. #348

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    If I didn't know you I'd say you went off pinching my pictures again! Those pictures are really close to the ones I took in The Sorcerers Workshop.

    And I completely agree. Go places that people don't tread. You'll probably find two things: There won't be any people, and you can get unique views of the park. I got this awesome picture of the figurehead of the Sailing Ship columbia by walking by the same path that Michael is talking about:


    The Sailing Ship Columbia in Storage by MistrWebmastr, on Flickr

  4. #349

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by MistrWebmastr View Post
    If I didn't know you I'd say you went off pinching my pictures again! Those pictures are really close to the ones I took in The Sorcerers Workshop.

    And I completely agree. Go places that people don't tread. You'll probably find two things: There won't be any people, and you can get unique views of the park. I got this awesome picture of the figurehead of the Sailing Ship columbia by walking by the same path that Michael is talking about:


    The Sailing Ship Columbia in Storage by MistrWebmastr, on Flickr
    I just went into your trip report and saw the ones of Beast's Library and Ursula's Grotto. I don't know why I hadn't seen them before. As I feared, yours are better.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  5. #350

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    I hadn't remembered mine were landscape. If they were portrait I was going to post them. But because people are probably wondering, here's the pictures I'm talking about:


    Beauty & The Beast Library In The Sorcerer's Workshop by MistrWebmastr, on Flickr


    Ursula's Grotto In The Sorcerer's Worshop by MistrWebmastr, on Flickr

    I wouldn't say mine are any better than yours, they're just different. It gives you an idea of framing. I think Beast's library looks better in landscape since it's not as wide, but your Ursula's Grotto picture in portrait blocked out most of the bland black walls mine has.

    Ninja Edit: it also helps that the Beast's Library was FAR less crowded when I was there than when you were

  6. #351

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    9-11-10
    Today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” is called DROP THAT CAMERA!

    Those of you who have been reading these posts for a while know that I am incessantly harping on the fact that you should get lower to photograph things. Well, today we are going to get as low as we possibly can. We are going to put the camera on the ground and see what things look like from a bug’s point of view.

    By placing the camera on the ground, you get a slightly distorted and exaggerated foreground which can be effective in making the object in the distance seem farther away and almost unreachable. To me, it seems to work best in situations where you have some type of ground texture like decking, a sandy beach or grassy field and something in the distance that draws the eye towards it.

    In this shot of Paradise Park, I took advantage of the planks on the deck and the lines of the railings to lead the eye down the walkway. You will notice how the walkway seems really wide at the bottom of the picture. That is the exaggerated foreground I was talking about.


    While I was waiting for the Flag Retreat Ceremony I loved the look of the brick and the curving line in the concrete so I set the camera on the ground and took this shot. Since there wasn't a very long distance in the photograph, I cropped it very wide and left the ground going over half way up the horizon to give greater emphasis to the ground itself.


    When I was at Disneyland a few weeks ago, I hung out after closing and in my usual fashion was one of the last people in the park. As I worked my way towards the exit, I thought the trolley tracks made great leading lines so I put the camera on the ground between them and put the camera strap under the lens to prop up the camera just a touch. I used the Auto Exposure Bracketing to take 3 shots and make an HDR image out of it.

    When I saw that the HDR image was a bit blown out and not as natural looking as I wanted, I took the HDR image and the single normal exposure image and did a Photomerge Exposure in Photoshop Elements to give it a richer more natural look. Also notice how the trolley tracks go part way up the sides of the image, making them seem really wide, then almost disappearing at the end.


    The technique of merging an HDR image with one of the normal images will be a post of it's own that I will be covering in the near future.

    I hope these shots from a bug's eye view give you some inspiration to put the camera down and make some interesting shots of your own.

    Happy Snapping
    © Michael Greening 2010
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  7. #352

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Another great post!

    I must say, I love how putting your camera on the ground makes walkways great frames for your photos! The Paradise Pier one is absolutely beautiful!

  8. #353

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by MistrWebmastr View Post
    Another great post!

    I must say, I love how putting your camera on the ground makes walkways great frames for your photos! The Paradise Pier one is absolutely beautiful!
    Why thank you. I'm looking forward to trying some more of it next week.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  9. #354

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    9-12-10
    Today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” is going to be somewhat epic in scope because today we take a look at PANORAMAS.

    A Panoramic photograph can be a great way to show a very large expanse of landscape in one picture. If done well they can be very impressive, especially when it is of something like the Grand Canyon or the New York City skyline. Since this column is about Disneyland, we will keep our focus there.

    A Panoramic Photo can be done with a Point & Shoot or a DSLR, it doesn’t matter which. I actually found it to be a little easier with my Point & Shoot because I could use the LCD screen which made overlapping the consecutive pictures easier to see.

    You do need a program such as Photoshop Elements or some other editing program that will perform the Panoramic Stitching. I used Photoshop Elements and was surprised at how easy it was to do. All you do is open the program, click “New” then “Photomerge Panorama” and a window opens with a “Browse” button asking you to select the photos you want to stitch together. You simply click on all the pictures that make up the panorama and the program does the rest. Then you just crop it as desired and make any other adjustments to it you like.



    Here are a few tips for taking panoramic photos.
    • Use a tripod if you can. There are also Panorama Heads that attach to tripods that spin 360 degrees and are specifically made for this. They are pretty expensive however and personally, I would spend that money on a new lens long before I spent it on a panorama head.
    • Take the pictures Vertically instead of Horizontally. It gives a more balanced shape to the picture and gives the computer program making the panorama more information to work with.
    • Turn off the Auto White Balance and select something like Sunny or Cloudy. The Auto White Balance sometimes has problems with the changing values of light from the different directions and you end up with different colored skies in part of the picture.
    • Take the pictures so you overlap about 25-30% of each edge. It makes it easier for the program to find solid stitching points.
    • Take your time and really think about each consecutive shot so you don’t mess one of them up. If one shot is off, the entire panorama doesn’t work.
    I shot these panoramas from the top of the stairs of the Main St. Train Station. I did not use a tripod and did each of them by hand.

    This one I shot horizontally and made it about a 270 degree view. In my opinion, it is far too wide and narrow. The actual image is about 54 inches wide and 7 inches high.


    I tried to shoot the same thing vertically but didn’t leave enough of an overlap on the last picture so the program wouldn’t attach it and I’m missing the far right edge.


    This one is also shot horizontally but isn’t so wide that it is uncomfortable to look at.


    This is the same expanse of space but shot vertically, and as you can see it is a much nicer photograph to view.


    I shot this one using my Point & Shoot camera with the Auto White Balance on. You can see that the sky in the middle of the image is a different color than the edges, thus ruining the picture.


    The problem with shooting the pictures by hand and without a tripod is if each picture isn’t at the same height, when the program stitches them together, the images will line up, but you have to crop from the top and bottom, thus losing height in the image.
    Here’s an example of it after stitching together but before cropping. You can see that not keeping each picture at exactly the same height makes you lose a lot of the image when you crop it.


    When I go to Disneyland next week, I have some ideas for a 360 degree panorama that I want to try out. Hopefully I can make them work.

    So if very, very wide views are something that interest you, don’t be afraid to try a Panoramic Photo. It really is easier than you think.

    Happy Snapping
    © Michael Greening 2010
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  10. #355

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    some of the things you pointed out make a lot of sense with the panoramic pictures, but I have given up on them because it is really distracting when I end up with the same person located all throughout the shot, but maybe I will try again with a place without a lot of people... keep up the great work and I wish you luck with 360 panoramic shots next week

    btw the other day my computer froze on the beginning of "drop that camera", I was left pondering for several minutes if you really wanted for us to literally drop our cameras
    Last edited by canhasal; 09-12-2010 at 07:35 PM. Reason: I can't spell correctly
    Hey look, I have a flickr!!!
    I just started so all constructive criticism is appreciated
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  11. #356

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by btw the other day my computer froze on the beginning of "drop that camera", I was left pondering for several minutes if you really wanted for us to literally [U
    drop[/U] our cameras
    That's really funny!
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  12. #357

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    On the day before the walls went up around the DCA Hubcap, I did a 360' pano (more like a 375') in the middle of the hub area. I've done these before, and your advise is absolutely spot on. I would also add that it is *very* important to have your camera level when on the tripod.

    I try to put my camera on manual everything, but sometimes the time of day doesn't allow me to do that. I find it's best to do it when there's diffused light so the contrast between the brightest area and the dimmest areas are within the limits of the camera.

    This last Wednesday, the weather was overcast - perfect for a pano! So here's to the hub:

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  13. #358

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by RocketTom View Post
    On the day before the walls went up around the DCA Hubcap, I did a 360' pano (more like a 375') in the middle of the hub area. I've done these before, and your advise is absolutely spot on. I would also add that it is *very* important to have your camera level when on the tripod.

    I try to put my camera on manual everything, but sometimes the time of day doesn't allow me to do that. I find it's best to do it when there's diffused light so the contrast between the brightest area and the dimmest areas are within the limits of the camera.

    This last Wednesday, the weather was overcast - perfect for a pano! So here's to the hub:

    That is AWESOME! Definitely one of the best panoramas I've seen.
    My hope is to do a HDR 360 panorama around the Partners Statue at night and the same thing around the flag pole at night. It will probably take about 45 pictures each and at least 4 hours of processing to HDR each section then stitch them all together. Should be fun!
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  14. #359

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Seriously. That 375 pano is so cool to look at full sized. Great shot(s).

  15. #360

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Your "bugs eye view" post is awesome. Frankly, I just never even thought of putting the camera on the ground. But what a cool effect! Thanks!


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