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  1. #391

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Choc View Post
    Hi, I'm a long-time lurker of this thread. I love reading all the photo tips because I'm always trying to take good photos, even though I don't have a DSLR (I only have a handheld digital one) so I can't use half the tricks. XP

    Even so, on my last trip to the parks I used a few of your tips like the Child's Eye Perspective and going up really close (I forgot the names you gave them!) as well as doing "Hang all Out" tip before you actually posted it. I ended up going on a photo rampage! Especially with the child's perspective shots, which came out well, and though a few looked the same as when I was on regular height level, it was much easier to capture those shots as I got lower. I'll be using a lot more of these tips from now on, thanks a lot!
    That's AWESOME! Please post some of the pictures. I would love to see them!!!
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  2. #392

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    I really like that you offered to share those precious moments with the parents. Kudos!

  3. #393

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by niklj View Post
    I really like that you offered to share those precious moments with the parents. Kudos!
    Since I'm usually walking around with a tripod and big camera bag, I end up taking pictures of a lot of people. I have to keep a stack of my business cards with me so people can e-mail me to get the pictures. I actually enjoy doing it for people, especially night time shots if they don't have a very good camera.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  4. #394

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    9-21-10
    Today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” is about the use of Props.

    When taking pictures at Disneyland or anywhere else for that matter, there are many times when using a prop can come in very handy.

    If you are trying to photograph people, especially children, who don’t like having their picture taken, a prop such as their favorite toy or stuffed animal can quickly put them at ease and give them something to focus their attention on or even hide behind.

    On my last few trips to Disneyland I’ve been using a Mickey Plush Doll as a prop for a whole bunch of pictures. (You’ll be seeing lots of plush Mickey in the next few days)

    My wife is usually opposed to having her picture taken so by letting her hide behind Mickey, she was ok with it and it made for a very sweet picture.

    I’ve been trying to work on an upcoming post about photographing people in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle and have been having a difficult time getting people to pose for me. My friend Billy has no problem being in front of the camera and usually does his best to make sure he is in the frame, even when you don’t want him to be. However his wife Stacee is the opposite. The best way to get her to relax and be comfortable in the picture was to have them pose with Mickey. It gave her something to play with and she was much more relaxed when the picture was taken.


    You can also use a prop such as Plush Mickey just for fun photos like this one at the Shooting Exposition. I had my wife Diane take this one of me with Mickey right after I took the picture of the father and son in yesterday’s post. Since I don’t have a son to do it with, I figured Mickey was a suitable replacement.


    Diane and I were at the Minnie & Friends Character Breakfast at Plaza Inn the other day and as expected, the characters spend most of their time at tables with small children, as they should. They did come to our table and spend some lovely time with us but when we pulled out Mickey, they had something to play with and it made for some really fun photos.


    I really wanted to see what Minnie would do with Mickey, so I just had to keep eating and eating the outstanding Carrot Bread waiting for her to come by our table. It was worth the wait, not only because of the Carrot Bread but the picture too. (To get Minnie's attention, Diane waved Mickey's hands at her and she immediately came running over.)


    (On a side note; the lighting in the Plaza Inn is very difficult lighting and completely fools the Auto White Balance on your camera. If you do partake in a Character Breakfast or any meal in Plaza Inn and want to take pictures, set your White Balance to TUNGSTEN. It is the closest color temperature to the lights in that restaurant.) We will discuss White Balance in greater detail in another post.

    I hope this little chat about Props helps you find a way to put difficult subjects at ease and capture some magic of your own.

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


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  5. #395

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Thought about your tip the other day (Filling the frame) when I went to the Pixar 25th anniversary exhibit...heres some results! THANKS!

    http://micechat.com/forums/other-the...nd-museum.html

  6. #396

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    wish I was closer to the parks so I could help you out with pictures...sounds like fun! keep up the great work!

  7. #397

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by kajiholic View Post
    Thought about your tip the other day (Filling the frame) when I went to the Pixar 25th anniversary exhibit...heres some results! THANKS!

    http://micechat.com/forums/other-the...nd-museum.html
    Those are great. Thanks for sharing them.
    It's interesting that the model of Mike has a goatee but the didn't use it in the movie.
    NICE CAMERAS By the way!
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  8. #398

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    9-22-10
    Today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” is going to visit Picture Spots.

    If you are going to Disneyland and want to capture the iconic pictures of the park as well as your loved ones, there are several “Picture Spots” located throughout. Disney selected these locations because they are not only picturesque in their own right but make great backgrounds for family pictures. They can be really helpful if you are short on time and want some great photos.

    There are two types of Picture Spots. Some of them are marked with signs and are on the Disneyland Maps, others are simply "Implied" spots that are obvious picture taking locations.

    Since I couldn’t get anyone to pose for me, Plush Mickey will once again be our model.

    First up is the Floral Mickey in front of the Train Station at the entrance to the park. (Plush Mickey was so enthralled with the floral of him that he wouldn't turn around and face the camera) "Oh the Vanity!"




    Next we have the Rivers of America with the Mark Twain in the background.




    The Sword in the Stone in Fantasyland is meant to be taken from two different points of view. (I only had a picture of one of the signs but they are on both sides of it.)






    This one is on the pathway from Pixie Hollow towards the Matterhorn.




    (This would have been the classic Partners Statue shot but there was a long line of people waiting to take their picture there so I had to take it from a different angle and Plush Mickey was so busy looking at Walt that he wouldn't turn around.)




    Here's Big Thunder Mountain on the pathway to Fantasyland.




    Even Toontown has some Picture Spots.




    Those were the marked picture spots.

    Here is a look at some of the “Implied” picture spots.

    Here's the classic shot in front of the Castle. (Plush Mickey was so excited to get into Fantasyland that I could barely get him to hold still and he wouldn't turn and pose.)

















    DCA also has some picture spots but this is the only one I got that day. There is also one in Flik's Fun Fair. (Plush Mickey was tired and didn't want to pose for this one.)




    This one, taken in front of the waterfall at Grizzly Peak shows that you don’t have to be facing the camera to make a great picture.


    There are lots of other implied picture spots in the parks. If you keep an eye out for the Photopass Photographers, they are located at each of the prime locations and will gladly take your picture with your camera.

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


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  9. #399

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    "There are lots of other implied picture spots in the parks. If you keep an eye out for the Photopass Photographers, they are located at each of the prime locations and will gladly take your picture with your camera."

    This is a great tip! I had no idea you could ask them to shoot with your camera.
    - Bobd

  10. #400

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobd20011 View Post
    "There are lots of other implied picture spots in the parks. If you keep an eye out for the Photopass Photographers, they are located at each of the prime locations and will gladly take your picture with your camera."

    This is a great tip! I had no idea you could ask them to shoot with your camera.
    You can actually ask any castmember, regardless of their job to take your picture. All of them are happy to do it. I just find it easier to ask the photopass photographers because they have more experience with cameras. They will most likely take your picture with their camera as well and give you the card to purchase the photo, which I take and thank them for.

    A few years ago on my trip to Disney World and then Disneyland the day after, (yes, we went from Disney World to Disneyland the next day) I used the Photopass photographers and purchased the CD with over 300 photos on it as well as the photo book and DVD and was very happy with the entire experience. It was even nicer because I used the same card from Disney World in Disneyland and got the pictures from both parks on the same CD for one price.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  11. #401

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    9-23-10
    For today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” I thought we would go into the post processing side and discuss a technique for creating richer, more realistic looking HDR photos. For lack of a better or more official term, I call it the HDR MERGE. (Note: This can be done with a Point & Shoot or DSLR camera because it is all done with jpeg images)

    I’ve been seeing more and more HDR photos lately and the more I see, the less real they look. In my opinion, an HDR photograph is supposed to look like what your eye actually saw and the camera (no matter how good) didn't have the ability to capture. The reason HDR processing exists is to enhance and bring out the details of a photograph that the camera couldn't get with one exposure.

    There are only a few people "that I know of" who do HDR very well (WDW Figment, Matt Pasant, Cory Disbrow), and I definitely don’t count myself among them. The “Tone Mapping” part of processing HDR images requires an experienced touch and I haven’t quite mastered it yet. I’m getting better but still have a long way to go before I can consider myself in their league. However, I did find an article on processing HDR photos that takes it one step further and gives nicer, more natural looking results with just a few extra steps.

    Last week, I hung out after park closing so I could photograph the entry to DCA before it is gone forever. Even though I had taken very similar photos back in February, I wanted to do it again with the World of Color finish on the CALIFORNIA letters, and hopefully do a better job of processing them than I did back then.

    I took the following 3 pictures using my monopod and the Auto Exposure Bracketing like you normally would for any HDR image.






    I opened PHOTOMATIX, clicked on “GENERATE HDR IMAGE” and selected those 3 pictures. I made the HDR image then “Tone Mapped” it to the best of my ability, which isn’t saying much. I was pretty happy with the result but it still didn’t look as natural as I wanted it to.


    Then I opened PHOTOSHOP ELEMENTS and opened the HDR Image and the single normal exposure photograph. With both images in the project bin, I highlighted them both and clicked on New – Photomerge Exposure and merged the two images together. This created a richer more natural looking photograph but it still had little specs of light in the sky and a construction crane between the two trees to the left of the Golden Gate Bridge. I used the “Spot Healing Brush Tool” to remove the imperfections in the sky and then the “Clone Stamp Tool” to remove the crane. Here is that result.


    I still thought the sky was just a little bit light and wanted to darken it up a touch. I opened up the image in PHOTOSCAPE and clicked on Filter – Graduated Tint, and applied a 10% tint over the sky to richen the blacks. All told, this probably took me about 45 minutes to do, but of that 45 minutes at least 25 of it was waiting for my overtaxed and underpowered computer to do its work. Here is the final result.



    I took several photos of the DCA entrance that night from different view points and processed them all the same way. Since I didn’t have a wide angle lens like WDW Figment used for the gorgeous picture he recently posted, I did a 3 shot Panorama of the entrance for a wider view than my kit lens would normally allow. Processing that image was a real chore because it created such an enormous file that it really taxed my computer and I kept getting “Not enough RAM” messages. Here are the rest of those photos in case you want to see. They do make lovely wallpapers for your desktop.










    I hope today’s post doesn’t scare people away from doing HDR photography. It is only meant to show a pretty simple way to give a more natural look to an HDR image and make you look like you are better at tone mapping and processing them than you might actually be. (as in my case)

    Programs used: Photomatix for generating the HDR image and tone mapping, Photoshop Elements for the Merge and clean up, Photoscape for the Graduated Tint.

    Happy Snapping
    © Michael Greening 2010

    Photographers Note: Out of the couple hundred HDR images I have processed, I’ve deleted at least 75% of them because they were so bad. In fact, I have only done 1 HDR image that I am extremely happy with that didn’t require the extra step of merging it again with the normal image. This is the only image that I consider to be in the league of the 3 afore mentioned photographers.
    Last edited by Hot Sauce 1; 11-05-2010 at 12:03 AM.
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  12. #402

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Yessss! The update I've been waiting for!!!! I really like your HDRs because they look real and fantastical at the same time, not the clown-vomity HDRs that I see sometimes.

  13. #403

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Stunning! The only way you can make the DCA 2001 entrance look good? Get Michael Greening to shoot it!

  14. #404

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by niklj View Post
    Yessss! The update I've been waiting for!!!! I really like your HDRs because they look real and fantastical at the same time, not the clown-vomity HDRs that I see sometimes.
    LOL!!!
    Believe me, I have dozens of clown vomity HDR's. I'm just using the good sense not to show them to anyone.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  15. #405

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by WDITrent View Post
    Stunning! The only way you can make the DCA 2001 entrance look good? Get Michael Greening to shoot it!
    Very kind of you to say. To be perfectly honest, I would like an opportunity to shoot it again because I see some mistakes that I made in those pictures and want to correct them. I fear that I will not have that opportunity though.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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