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  1. #451

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    10-2-10
    For today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” we are going to peer into the darkness and take a look at Shadows.

    Shadows not only help to reveal texture and details in a photograph, but they can also aid in composition. When the sun is low in the sky, be it either morning or evening, you can use the shadows created by an object as a leading line or as a way to show some detail that might be lost in the bright light. They can also be used to add interest to what might be an otherwise boring subject. Shadows also lend themselves to a more interesting and dramatic black and white photo.

    Here are a few examples of shadows across the Disneyland Resort and the post processing techniques I chose to intensify the contrast between light and dark in my photos.

    For this picture of the boardwalk at Paradise Park, I set the camera on the deck in the middle of the railing's shadow, so the shadow itself created the look of a sidewalk to lead my eye down the deck.


    Here is the original photograph.


    I opened it in Photoscape and converted it to Black and White. Then I clicked on the Bright, Color tab. In the drop down menu I clicked on Deepen and then Low. This darkened the blacks a little bit and made the black and white in the photo a little bit richer. Lastly I clicked on the Filter tab, went to Vignette and selected #2 to add a touch of darkness to the corners.


    Then, just to see how it would look, I clicked on the Filter Tab and selected Fake Tilt Shift. In that window, I chose Normal Mode and decreased the Blur by 20%, increased the Contrast by 10% and moved the crosshairs down to the lower part of the frame so the shadow in the foreground would be in focus and the rest of the image out of focus. I was pleasantly surprised at how it gave the shadow in the foreground so much more impact.


    Shortly after taking the pictures on the boardwalk, I strolled over to the Silly Symphony Swings to take some pictures of it. As I was waiting to board the swings I was taking pictures of people swinging by and then I noticed their shadows on the ground and thought it made for an interesting picture.


    Later that afternoon I was over in Pacific Wharf and saw the shadows on the deck of the bridge created by the late afternoon sun. I used the railing as the leading line to draw the eye through the image.


    I opened it in Photoscape, Cropped it a touch, converted it to Black and White and added the Vignette #2 to it, just as I did for the picture of the boardwalk.


    For this picture I really wanted to exaggerate the Black and various shades of grey, so I clicked on the Bright, Color tab and went to Deepen and clicked on High. Notice how much more impact the shadows have now.


    While going through the queue at Big Thunder, I was struck by the shadows of the railroad tracks on the side of the queue.


    Because of the old west theme of the area, I converted it to Sepia instead of Black and White then in the Bright, Color drop down menu, I went to Contrast Enhancement and clicked on High. Then in the same Bright, Color menu I went to Darken and clicked on Low.


    Then just to really give it a unique feel, I clicked on the Filter tab, went to Film Effect and in that drop down menu I chose Cross Process – Middle.


    As I was walking by the River Belle Terrace, I noticed the lovely shadow created by the railing on the brick walkway. The railing shadow draws your eye towards the door. This one just worked better in color than it did in Black & White or Sepia.



    I hope this little peek into the shadows has inspired you to see shadows in a whole new light.

    Post processing was done in Photoscape

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


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  2. #452

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    10-4-10
    Today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” is a first of its kind for me. Today I thought instead of telling you how I edited a photo, I would show you. I write a lot about the photo editing program Photoscape, so today is my first screen capture video giving you a brief beginner’s lesson on how to edit a photograph in Photoscape.

    Please understand that this is my first attempt at making a video of this kind, so it’s a bit rough. With any luck they will get better as I go along. My hope is to make more of them showing different photo editing techniques in Photoscape, Photoshop Elements, Photomatix and Adobe Camera Raw.

    So please bear with me and enjoy, (I recommend watching it full screen)
    YouTube - Disneyland Photo Tip #1 Photoscape.wmv

    Questions and comments are welcome!

    Happy Snapping
    © Michael Greening 2010


    I almost forgot to mention that I will be at Disneyland tomorrow and Wednesday, so Regions Beyond will be filling in for me on Tuesday. I'm still hoping that Mistr Webmastr will be able to fill in for me on Wednesday.

    If any of you are going to be at Disneyland on Tuesday or Wednesday, please let me know. I would love to meet you and I still need people to pose for pictures for me.
    Last edited by Hot Sauce 1; 10-04-2010 at 11:30 AM.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  3. #453

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Great Pic
    Last edited by DCAfanatic; 10-04-2010 at 11:19 AM. Reason: k

  4. #454

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Love the MSUSA loop in the background.

  5. #455

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    As mentioned, sadly HotSauce1 cannot post today, so I agreed to fill in with a little filler mini-lesson

    As per usual with me, we are going to talk more about a concept or strategy for thinking about the way and where you take photos, as opposed to camera settings or technical touchups (both very admirable subjects though they are).

    Like it or not, a good amount of your Disneyland day is spent waiting. Waiting for food, or entertainment, or most commonly, in a queue line for an attraction. Knowing this, designers have ensured most have some level of detail and eye appeal (which of course reached the upper level of design with such queues as Temple of the Forbidden Eye and Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin).

    The queue can serve a storytelling function, either by setting up trivial details to place you in the reality of the attraction/world you are entering, or to heighten anticipation and sense of drama or menace for the coming attraction (or in the best cases, a mixture of both).

    Since you spend a lot of time in certain queues no matter what, why not take photos or try out angles? There is usually something to look at, and even if not always a thrilling or dynamic photo, I have found a lot of these can remind me very strongly of being in the park, just the small kind of routine scenes, every bit as much as the distinctive or showy details. Some examples of both types:























    Thank you all for looking, and hope this post has given you some fresh ideas or concepts for shooting next time you are in the parks! Keep well, and happy shooting! Tomorrow's post shall be supplied by MistrWebmaster I believe.
    when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

  6. #456

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Thank you for the good tips today, Regions.

    I think most of us take photos in the park to capture the happpiness and excitement so that we can relive it later. Also, photographing great queues like POTC and Indy give us something to do while waiting. Every notice how time goes so much faster when you're occupied with photography or a great conversation?

    And Mike, you did a great job on that video. Most people don't know where to start with an editing program. I vote you make it a series.

  7. #457

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    As Michael is still in Disneyland doing his stuff, he asked me to cover for him today for the Picture of the Day. I’m posting so early as I’m going to have a busy day of catching up to do from being out the past couple days from the flu.

    Today we’ll be talking about tips & tricks to Darkride Photography.

    Darkride photography is something that is pretty common in Disneyland & is something that is the source of much pain for people with the rise of point & shoot cameras which people don’t know how to turn off the auto flash. I’m not going to lie, Getting good darkride pictures in anything but Pooh or Monster’s Inc are going to be difficult because they’re both dark & move quickly. At a later date Michael will probably talk about how to do pictures with P&S cameras, but I’ll cover from a point of view of a DSLR.


    Banjo Player Inside Pirates Of The Carribean Ride @ Disneyland by MistrWebmastr, on Flickr
    17mm @ f/2.8, 1/10 sec, ISO 12,800

    The pictures I’m going to present are a combination of 5 things:
    • Fast Glass (I used an F/2.8 lens)
    • Fairly wide glass (The longer the focal length, the less light in the lens usually)
    • Manual Focus
    • RAW Mode
    • High ISO



    Captians Quarters In Pirates Of The Carribean Ride @ Disneyland by MistrWebmastr, on Flickr
    26mm @ f/2.8, 1/50 sec, ISO 12,800

    Your glass is important as it allows the maximum amount of light in. While this has a negative effect on DoF, for the most part the scenes you’re trying to photograph won’t be impacted too much. The manual focus is a necessity as you won’t have time for your camera to figure out auto-focus as you’re going toward, or more likely past, something. While the auto-focus struggles you pass the shot you wanted. For manual focus, I eyeball it but I usually set it before the ride between 3-5 feet away, depending on the ride. Better lenses have guides on them to assist with this.


    Scenes Inside Pirates Of The Carribean Ride @ Disneyland by MistrWebmastr, on Flickr
    50mm @ f/2.8, 1/30 sec, ISO 12,800

    I always shoot in RAW mode, but it’s increasingly important with darkride photography as it’ll capture more detail in the highlights & shadows. High ISO also helps the sensor capture more ambient light at the cost of greater noise. With the release of Lightroom 3, this problem has gone down drastically.


    Scenes Inside Pirates Of The Carribean Ride @ Disneyland by MistrWebmastr, on Flickr
    50mm @ f/2.8, 1/30 sec, ISO 12,800

    I do want to note that I am still experimenting with doing darkride photography. These Pirates pictures are OK but not great because I threw my camera into High ISO mode for kicks since it’s so dark it would be the only way that I could get half decent pictures. I was thoroughly expecting to toss them due to noise but Lightroom 3 surprised me with the noise reduction. Now I have to figure out how to remove the noise but preserve the details.


    The Jail Scene From Pirates Of The Carribean Ride @ Disneyland by MistrWebmastr, on Flickr
    33mm @ f/2.8, 1/25 sec, ISO 12,800

    I wanted to give you guys an great example of what RAW & Noise Reduction can do for you. This is an image of the caretaker in the Haunted Mansion, in its original out of the camera version, the picture with all the detail I could get out of the RAW file, and then the final with noise reduction applied. The settings for this picture were: 17mm @ f/2.8, 1/30 sec, ISO 3,200.



    Pirates & Haunted Mansion might be one of the hardest rides to take pictures on, but the newer Darkrides like Pooh & Monsters would be a good place to start experimenting with due to the brightness of the paint in the black-lights:


    Pooh riding a Baloon by MistrWebmastr, on Flickr
    38mm @ f/2.8, 1/30 sec, ISO 3,200


    Sulley, Mike, & Boo by MistrWebmastr, on Flickr
    29mm @ f/2.8, 1/25 sec, ISO 3,200

    Hopefully this proves helpful, and good luck with Darkride photography! If you find any good tips, be sure you let us know!
    Last edited by MistrWebmastr; 10-05-2010 at 11:20 PM. Reason: List formatting issues

  8. #458

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    10-7-10
    Today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” is going to discuss the composition of photos and using what is known as the Rule of 3rds.

    Balance in composition can be the key to creating a photograph that is pleasing to look at and hopefully this little lesson on composition can help. You will have to excuse the somewhat necessary math and history lesson first though.

    Throughout history, there is a symmetry that has been applied to art and architecture known as the Divine Proportion or Golden Measure. It is a naturally occurring mathematical proportion that for whatever reason is the most pleasing to the human eye. The actual proportion is 1.618 to 1.382. Even though it had been in use for centuries in buildings like the Parthenon and the Pyramids, this formula was formally explored and calculated by the 14th century Italian Mathematician, Fibonacci and is known as the “Fibonacci Sequence”. He discovered it by studying the breeding habits of rabbits over the course of a year.

    Basically it goes like this. 1+1=2, 1+2=3, 2+3=5, 3+5=8, 5+8=13, 8+13=21, 13+21=34, 21+34=55, 34+55=89 and so on and so on. Other than the first few numbers, no matter how far you go, the proportion between the numbers is always going to be 1.618 to 1.382. This formula is found all throughout nature in things like sunflowers that have a row of 55 seeds going one direction and the next ring has 89 seeds going the other direction. Disney made a wonderful cartoon about the Golden Measure titled Donald in Mathemagic Land. (one of my favorites as a kid because I am mathematically inclined.) And just to show what a math geek I can be, I actually have a book about it called “The Fabulous Fibonacci”.

    Anyway, back to the point of this post and how to use it in photography. If you apply a 9 window grid to your photographs, the goal is to place the object in the photo on one of the 4 intersection points of the grid. If it is a person, you would want to place one of the eyes on an intersection point. If shooting landscapes, you would place the horizon line or a water line on one of the horizontal lines for a pleasing composition to the picture. A tree or a tall building would be placed along one of the vertical lines.

    Here are a bunch of examples where I put a grid on the picture so you can see where the intersection points or the horizontal lines fall within the composition of the photo. On most Point & Shoot cameras, there is a feature where you can place this grid on your LCD screen so it will aid in composing your shots. I use it on my Point & Shoot and it really does help, at least until it becomes second nature and you do it without even thinking.













    Here I used the lower horizontal line as the line for the faces of the characters.


    In this shot of the Nemo Lagoon, I positioned the water line along the lower horizontal line.


    I know this post will seem like I am reiterating basic knowledge to most of you, but for those of you who are just beginning your photographic odyssey, I hope this helps.

    Since virtually all rules in photography are meant to be broken, tomorrow we will discuss a compositional technique that throws the Rule of 3rds right out the window.

    P.S. THANK YOU!!! very much to Regions Beyond and Mistr Webmastr for filling in for me the past few days while I was at Disneyland taking pictures. Unfortunately the rain hindered most of the shots I wanted to take, but I did manage to get a few good ones.


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


    Flickr page: www.flickr.com/ringoffirehotsauce
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  9. #459

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    I really enjoy and appreciate your tips Hot Sauce 1! I dont have a DSLR camera myself. I have a (what I consider ancient) 4mp Kodak DX7440. I say ancient because most cameraphones today have a higher resolution then my 4mp camera but my goal is to eventually get a DSLR camera because although the camera doesnt make great pictures the camera does provide you with a better tool to take great shots.

    Just one question. Were you by any chance taking a picture of the Partners Statue yesterday around 10 or 11am? The rain stopped and I was walking thru there when I saw someone who looked like you. I was hoping that they would have the stuffed Mickey figure that you have had with you a couple times but it wasnt on the backpack. LOL I would have actually stopped and said hi but I wasnt sure if it was you and your wife or not

  10. #460

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Open_at_the_close View Post
    I really enjoy and appreciate your tips Hot Sauce 1! I dont have a DSLR camera myself. I have a (what I consider ancient) 4mp Kodak DX7440. I say ancient because most cameraphones today have a higher resolution then my 4mp camera but my goal is to eventually get a DSLR camera because although the camera doesnt make great pictures the camera does provide you with a better tool to take great shots.

    Just one question. Were you by any chance taking a picture of the Partners Statue yesterday around 10 or 11am? The rain stopped and I was walking thru there when I saw someone who looked like you. I was hoping that they would have the stuffed Mickey figure that you have had with you a couple times but it wasnt on the backpack. LOL I would have actually stopped and said hi but I wasnt sure if it was you and your wife or not
    That might very well have been me. I didn't get into the park till about 11:45, and I was around the partners statue taking pictures of the fake pumpkins and statue. I beat the heck out of Plush Mickey the day before, so I gave him the day off yesterday. I was wearing a white overshirt with old Disneyland artwork all over it and my new camera bag on my back.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  11. #461

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    LOL I'm pretty sure it was you then. Glad to be able to see ya next time for sure I'll stop and say hi

  12. #462

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    I too am a Fibonacci fan and have the same book you do Are you in a math-related proffession?

    Nice post Hot Sauce!

  13. #463

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Nice post. I'll have to try and use the grid next time. Guess I need the basics!

    "I DIG A.D.D."

  14. #464

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Gamedog View Post
    I too am a Fibonacci fan and have the same book you do Are you in a math-related proffession?

    Nice post Hot Sauce!
    Actually, I own a food manufacturing company specializing in Hot Sauces, BBQ Sauces and such. It's nowhere near the math profession, but takes a lot more mathematics than people would think. Most recipes have a pretty universal mathematical equation to them. IE: 3 parts this, 2 parts that, 1 part this....

    I just like playing with numbers for fun, although I can't do algebra or trig to save my life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chanfan View Post
    Nice post. I'll have to try and use the grid next time. Guess I need the basics!
    If you are using a Point & Shoot, check your manual and see if it will let you put the grid on your LCD screen. If so, it will always show up on the screen (not in the pictures) and really is helpful, not only in the Rule of 3rds, but for keeping pictures straight as well.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  15. #465

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    So that's what that grid is for! I've used it occasionally (and unknowingly properly too!) but I never knew it's full purpose. Now I do!


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