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  1. #646

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mac Daddy View Post
    That's a very, very good observation, Hot Sauce. It never really occured to me that the reason most of my castle shots are blown out in the middle is due to the way that it is lighted. I'm sure the lighting guys are just trying to make sure that the castle is visible from the other end of main street, but that middle section really does pop out quite a bit more than the rest of the castle. Even when you tweak it after the fact in photoshop, often times the damage is already done and it's impossible to keep the detail after bringing down the highlights. If someone wanted to take the time, you could take multiple exposures and blend the castle, but that's an awful lot of tweaking for someone who just wants a clean shot of the castle.


    We should also point out that we are talking about the standard lighting of the castle. When they light the castle for the fireworks, often times you can get much greater detail toward the middle of the castle as it is lit much more evenly...

    Absolutely true. During the fireworks, the lighting is really even other than a few brief moments.

    DUDE! That Fireworks shot... Freaking AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  2. #647

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by ThrndkSpcl View Post
    I see some shallow DoF shots in our future! I really appreciate what you're doing with this thread HotSauce. I think it has helped a lot of people. Thank you!
    Thank you very much. That is kind of you to say. I think it has helped me more than anyone though.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  3. #648

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    11-10-10
    For today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” I will show and discuss a little technique and compositional ideas for photographing the Christmas decorations in New Orleans Square. I thought it was only fitting to show them today since I mentioned in yesterdays post that I was taking pictures of them.

    New Orleans Square is a beautiful but somewhat difficult area to photograph during the day because the buildings are two stories high and the passageways between them is very narrow, meaning that there is only a certain amount of time during the day when you have sunlight actually filling the area.

    When I was there on Sunday, it was midday and was very overcast. This can be a hindrance or an advantage depending upon what you want to photograph. On overcast days, colors become muted and you lose contrast between light and dark areas. If you are going for a softer look to your photos, that can be great. If you want vibrant colors and lots of shadow, it can be a pain.

    You enter the area and are amazed at all the decorations hanging between the buildings. Our natural instinct is to take a picture of the whole thing because it’s how we first see it. I took this first photo as an example of a bad shot of the decorations in New Orleans Square. By trying to capture all the decorations, it is just a mess and nothing stands out, not to mention the horrible purple fringing in it because of the bright grayish light of the overcast day. Also by putting the main decoration in the center of the frame, it becomes a pretty boring photo of such a vibrant and exciting area.


    By using a zoom lens and zooming in on just small portions of the decorations, you can capture an image that is more interesting to look at, has better color and better captures the spirit and emotion of the decorations. For most of them I kept the Rule of 3rds in mind and tried to put main subject of the photo, such as the masks in one of the convergence points of the 9 space grid. Since the decorations themselves are not symmetrical objects I also took all the photos at an angle to make the shots more interesting. For most of these photos, the only post processing I did on them was to increase the highlights and darken the shadows a little bit to help overcome the flat lighting of the overcast day.






















    Here's an example of one that is symmetrical and shows the entire decoration. As you can see, it just isn't as interesting as the other photos.


    I didn’t have a chance to shoot any of these at night on this past trip but I will when I go back next week. I will have some tips on shooting the decorations at night after that trip. (there are some really helpful tips for that upcoming post)

    Happy Snapping
    © Michael Greening 2010
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  4. #649

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Nice job showing what you can do on a day when the sky isn't perfect. I see lots of HDR opportunities there.
    Died in 1720 ya know...

    Checkout all my Disneyland photos
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/5198394...7625048447449/

  5. #650

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiki View Post
    Nice job showing what you can do on a day when the sky isn't perfect. I see lots of HDR opportunities there.
    I was so busy dodging people that it never even occured to me to do some HDR in there. Duh!

    We will DEFINITELY have to do some HDR in there after closing on the 17th. I love doing night HDR.

    I can just picture it with a really small aperture so the lights are all twinkely.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  6. #651

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by mac daddy View Post


    daaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnng!!
    You can never run out of imagination. The more you use, the more you gain.

  7. #652

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hot Sauce 1 View Post
    Absolutely true. During the fireworks, the lighting is really even other than a few brief moments.

    DUDE! That Fireworks shot... Freaking AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by orbitalpunk View Post
    daaaaaaaaaannnnnnnnng!!

    Thanks Hot Sauce and OP!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hot Sauce 1 View Post
    I was so busy dodging people that it never even occured to me to do some HDR in there. Duh!

    We will DEFINITELY have to do some HDR in there after closing on the 17th. I love doing night HDR.

    I can just picture it with a really small aperture so the lights are all twinkely.

    I totally am with you on this, Hot Sauce. I'm making a list of things to brainstorm at the meet, and getting better night shots of the holiday decor is near the top. (BTW, NICE job on the NOS Holdiay shots. Those are beautiful!)

    Specifically, I've got this image in my head of a long view of main street with the white LED lights on the garlands and the white tree lit up at the end. (Before it snows, etc.) Anyone have any ideas on where to shoot this from? Maybe the hub back looking back towards the tree? I tried to do something like this last year but could never get it to work. I haven't seen anything like that on flickr yet either. Something like THIS view but filled with people and with white LED lights on the garlands going all the way back to the tree:


    [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtsacprof/4188143486/]

    Or....maybe shooting back the other way so you get the white LED lights on the garlands and the hub AND the castle...


    [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtsacprof/4195431202/]

    It just looks so freaking amazing every year, but I can't decide where to shoot it from or how to set it up so that everything just sparkles white. I'll definitely need to shoot with a smaller aperture this year in order to get those lights to twinkle.

    And all of this is assuming that those light up Disney balloons aren't in the way like they are just about every night....

    Who's bringing the BB guns?

  8. #653

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Mac Daddy View Post
    Thanks Hot Sauce and OP!




    I totally am with you on this, Hot Sauce. I'm making a list of things to brainstorm at the meet, and getting better night shots of the holiday decor is near the top. (BTW, NICE job on the NOS Holdiay shots. Those are beautiful!)

    Specifically, I've got this image in my head of a long view of main street with the white LED lights on the garlands and the white tree lit up at the end. (Before it snows, etc.) Anyone have any ideas on where to shoot this from? Maybe the hub back looking back towards the tree? I tried to do something like this last year but could never get it to work. I haven't seen anything like that on flickr yet either. Something like THIS view but filled with people and with white LED lights on the garlands going all the way back to the tree:


    [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtsacprof/4188143486/]

    Or....maybe shooting back the other way so you get the white LED lights on the garlands and the hub AND the castle...


    [url=http://www.flickr.com/photos/mtsacprof/4195431202/]

    It just looks so freaking amazing every year, but I can't decide where to shoot it from or how to set it up so that everything just sparkles white. I'll definitely need to shoot with a smaller aperture this year in order to get those lights to twinkle.

    And all of this is assuming that those light up Disney balloons aren't in the way like they are just about every night....

    Who's bringing the BB guns?
    A lit cigarette works pretty well on popping balloons. You just throw it up on top of them and it works its way down popping as it goes. I don't smoke though.

    Those are gorgeous. I can only imagine how cool the one with the tree would be if it was raining and the street was wet. That would make some amazing reflections.

    Definitely a small aperture and doing an HDR Merge with it. We can shoot those on our way out Wednesday night. That's a given! If it is after closing and no people are left, there won't be any balloons in the way. Use whatever widest angle lens you have. I'll either use my kit lens or the new one (assuming it gets here in time) Even though it's a 50mm 1.4, it has better glass than my kit lens so I wonder how it will perform at a F/22 or smaller. (we'll have to see)

    In the Meet Thread, Tiki and I have been discussing a tentative schedule of what we want to do on each day and how we should approach it. Hop over there and chime in on it. http://micechat.com/forums/meets-eve...o-meet-10.html
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  9. #654

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    I really like some of the masks they have put up in NOS. I think I have seen the red one. Great work.

  10. #655

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    I love the little tips you give throughout here! Really going to help me when I go down next Saturday! Can't wait to make a Trip Report!

  11. #656

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Raindown View Post
    I really like some of the masks they have put up in NOS. I think I have seen the red one. Great work.
    THANK YOU!

    Quote Originally Posted by DisneyRicky View Post
    I love the little tips you give throughout here! Really going to help me when I go down next Saturday! Can't wait to make a Trip Report!
    Thank you as well. Definitely do a trip report. I would love to see the pictures. If you use any of the techniques that I prattle on about, please mention which ones. I would love to see what actually works for people.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  12. #657

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    i think its time for everybody to go to bed now.

  13. #658

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    11-11-10
    Today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” is another in the continuing series on Portrait Photography at Disneyland.

    As I’ve shown in previous posts, Disneyland has all kinds of marked and unmarked Photo Spots that are picturesque locations for taking pictures of your family. However, those are all located in direct sunlight and a simple portrait shot of just one person can be a little more difficult. The lighting needs to be softer and more complimentary to the person’s skin tone and the background shouldn’t be the focus of the picture, or even in focus for that matter.

    As I am getting more knowledgeable and comfortable with my camera, I am trying to take more (and better) pictures of people, from close up portraits to groups. I’ve been reading a lot of articles about taking portrait shots and all of them have said that having a persons hand or hands near their face makes for a nice portrait. There are several poses, such as one hand on the face or the hands in the hair and so on. One that I saw showed a person with their face resting on both of their hands and I immediately thought about how I could apply that pose to a location in Disneyland.

    The first place that came to mind was the Wishing Well in Snow White’s Grotto. I dragged my friends over there last Sunday so I could take pictures of them with their hands on the side of the wishing well, looking down into the well as if they just made a wish. It was late in the afternoon and the light was on over the wishing well giving a beautiful soft light over it. There was still enough daylight so I didn’t want to use a flash and lose that really nice color. Lucky for me, there was a couple there with their darling daughter and they asked me if I could take their picture in front of the waterfall. I happily obliged them and then asked if they would let me photograph their daughter for a few minutes and they were kind enough to let me. Their daughter (whose name I cannot remember for the life of me) was a wonderful sport and a lovely model.

    I wanted the waterfall and the characters in the background so I had her take that side of the wishing well and showed her how to place her arms and pose. I set the camera to Aperture Priority and picked the largest aperture my kit lens would allow at F/3.5 so the background we be as out of focus as possible. I know it would make the aperture smaller as I zoomed in, but that was ok. I set the ISO to auto, knowing it would be somewhat high and that I would need to do a little noise reduction later but that would be fine because it would soften her skin in the process. I leaned down on the other side of the well, resting the camera on the ledge and zoomed in as far as I could without being too close and trying to keep a nice composition to the photo.

    Here are the results. I don’t know if I captured her true personality or not, but in my opinion, what I captured was a very sweet young girl with a very old soul.
    Aperture F/5, ISO 1600, 40mm, Speed 1/50


    Aperture F/4.5, ISO 1600, 37mm, 1/30


    Once I finished taking her pictures I made my friend take the same pose. The beauty of posing someone with their head on their hands is it can hide extra weight under the chin if the person is of a larger size.
    Aperture F/4.5, ISO 1600, 30mm, 1/40


    Then I had him close his eyes so it looked like he just made a wish and was praying for it to come true.
    Aperture F/5, ISO 1600, 41mm, 1/40


    Aperture F/5, ISO 1600, 41mm, 1/30. I had him lay his hands flat and then put him a little more on the edge of the frame for a slightly different look.

    I have more ideas for portraits in this location as well as other locations around the park that I plan on shooting in the future. I will share those locations and techniques with you when I get the opportunities and models to shoot them.

    Happy Snapping
    © Michael Greening 2010
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  14. #659

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    11-12-10
    For today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” we pay a visit to Tigger and see the perfect way for a family with small children to get a good picture with the characters.

    I was in line to take pictures of Pooh & Tigger on Sunday with my friend Billy and I noticed a mother with two small daughters interacting with Tigger while the Grandmother was taking pictures. In the back of my mind I immediately got frustrated because the mom got down to the kids level, so did Tigger but the Grandmother taking the pictures stood completely upright to take them. (Argh, I hate that) Like I’ve said in previous posts, whenever you photograph children, you should get down to their level so they are proportionately correct and looking straight into the camera, not up at it.

    I decided to kneel down and take some pictures of the family myself and offer to e-mail them to her. What unfolded in front of my lens was a mother who was absolutely fantastic at engaging both of her daughters with the character and keeping them all enjoying themselves so the pictures came out great and the kids had a great time as well. This set of photos show exactly how a parent can make the photos happen, how to keep the kids paying attention to what is going on and to let the kids have a good time so you are bound to get a great picture.

    These photos are in the order that I took them, so we will go through them shot by shot.

    Here the mom is speaking to the youngest daughter and getting her autograph book ready for Tigger to sign it. The mom is down at the kids level, which brought Tigger down to that level as well. (A perfect tactic to make the character come down to the children. If the parent stands upright, so will the character.)


    While Tigger is signing the youngest girl’s book, she is watching Tigger, so the mom starts getting the older daughter excited and paying attention to her.


    Once Tigger signed the girl’s book, the mom is acting excited with her daughter, while the older one gets her paper ready.


    Once the autographs were out of the way, it was time for the group photo. Notice that the mom has her arm around the kids and Tigger and still keeping the youngest girl in close and paying attention.


    And, the final result. As you can see, it’s the mom who is showing so much excitement that the kids can’t help but be excited, thus making a much better picture. She was even fun for me to watch and so was everyone else in line.


    I was paying attention to every other parent taking pictures of their kids with the characters and not one did anything to engage the child with the character, nor did any of them bend down to take the picture. I took photos of several kids posing with the characters in that line and every single child, no matter how old had either a bored, mad or scared look on their face.

    So if you have small children, take heed of this mom. She had it down pat and I have no doubt, those kids with cherish those memories.

    On a side note, I've mentioned in the past that I use a custom setting on my camera that has the Saturation moved up 2 notches and the Sharpness up 1. When photographing Tigger, his costume is so vibrant that you have to take the Saturation back down 1 notch or he is so orange and bright that it hurts your eyes.

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


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  15. #660

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hot Sauce 1 View Post

    So if you have small children, take heed of this mom. She had it down pat and I have no doubt, those kids with cherish those memories.

    This is so true. I have vivid memories of when we took our young kids to get a shot with Tigger and Winnie the Pooh, and my son (then age 3) was just not going to interact with the giant bear, tiger or donkey. He just would NOT let go of my wife. We also have some lovely video of him screaming in terror as two over-sized chipmunks dropped by during a dinner at the hotel to cheer him up.




    He was a very traumatized little tyke. He's a freshman in high school now and it's hard to believe that fuzzy disney characters ever made him hysterical.
    Last edited by Mac Daddy; 11-12-2010 at 08:16 PM.


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