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  1. #886

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    2-14-11
    Today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” is Simplify, Simplify, Simplify! I thought it would be an appropriate one for Valentines Day because the subject I’m using as my example is some very lovely tulips.

    Just as a movie tells a story, so does a photograph. The only difference is that a movie has millions of photographs tied together to tell its story, whereas we as photographers only have one single frame to tell ours. To do this effectively we have to refine the story and the photograph down to its most important element, the sole reason we took the photo. Usually the most beautiful and dramatic photographs are those that have been simplified all the way down to one single subject that doesn’t have to compete for attention because it is perfect all by itself.

    Luckily for us, as I was thinking about this lesson, the Disneyland horticultural crew was kind enough to plant tulips throughout the park, which in my humble opinion are one of the most beautiful and perfect flowers on the planet. (Fun Fact: In the 17th century tulip bulbs were used as currency in Denmark and other parts of Europe.)

    We’ll start with this photo of the flower beds near the flag pole. It’s nice and pretty to look at but it doesn’t say very much.


    Now, we’ll get a little closer and refine it down to just a bed filled with tulips. It’s a pretty picture but lacks definition and purpose.


    Then, we’ll get even closer to just a few tulip plants to show what we are really looking at. However, it still doesn’t convey the real story of how beautiful tulips really are.


    So let’s get down on the ground and even closer to the subject for a lovely sunlit view of just a handful of blossoms. The sunlight shining through the petals is really pretty but it doesn’t make a statement.


    With this shot of just few tulips, there is a subtle, colorful hint of other flowers in the background telling the viewer that these were part of a flower bed filled with other flowers of different colors. We are getting closer to showing the viewer just how elegant and graceful a tulip really is.


    Now, I am going to simplify it all the way down to one single bulb. It shows the perfect symmetry of the petals and just how awesome Mother Nature is by creating such a single perfect flower. By showing only one bulb, you are telling the viewer that it is perfect the way it is and that it doesn’t need to be surrounded by anything else to be the most beautiful thing in the world. One single, yellow tulip tells a heck of a story.


    Happy Snapping
    © Michael Greening 2011
    For a complete directory and direct links to all of these posts, please click here: http://micechat.com/forums/disneyland-resort/140579-disneyland-photo-day-50.html#post1056358940
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  2. #887

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by WDWFigment View Post
    Lightroom is like ACR (Adobe Camera Raw) on steroids. I only used the Beta of LR, and I found it wasn't really for me based upon what it could do, versus what I needed. For me, ACR & Bridge (then Photoshop) are a better answer.

    I guess buying Photoshop CS5 depends upon whether you have someone with an @edu email address. If so, you can get it cheap. If not, eh...upgrade that camera or the lenses first. I'm far from a gear snob (half the photos I have from DLR were taken with my wife's D40--and I think they look halfway decent!), but nice lenses and a nice body trump post processing software any day of the week. Especially when you're doing pretty well with what you have processing-wise!
    Lightroom is basically ACR and Bridge combined into one app.

    Gear trumps processing to a certain extent. Sure from a pointNshoot to a DSLR is one thing, but I can process hdr images from my old canon 20D pictures of the park back in 2005 pretty close to my current 5D2.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hot Sauce 1 View Post
    And one day stepping up to a Canon 5D Mark II. My T1i is a great camera but doesn't have a great dynamic range or handle high ISO very well.
    Your dynamic range won't increase too much when going from the T1i to the 5D2 since they both use 14-bit images. It's only when you go from 12-bit to 14-bit where you really see a difference within canon bodies.

  3. #888

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Good stuff! Ill be waiting for the 5D M3 to be released. I really want a full frame sensor.
    "All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney

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  4. #889

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by orbitalpunk View Post
    Your dynamic range won't increase too much when going from the T1i to the 5D2 since they both use 14-bit images. It's only when you go from 12-bit to 14-bit where you really see a difference within canon bodies.
    How is the speed with the 5D2? I've heard it is pretty slow, or at least about the same speed as my T1i. I was shooting with Corsair 13 the other day who uses a 7D and he could fire off a bracket of 3 exposures in the time my camera took to shoot 1 frame. It was so fast he did most of his brackets handheld, something I can't do with mine.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drunken_Monk View Post
    Good stuff! Ill be waiting for the 5D M3 to be released. I really want a full frame sensor.
    I didn't know there was a 5D 3 in the works. Any idea when?
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  5. #890

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Great job on that last tutorial, Mike. I love how that last one came out! I took shots standing almost right next to you and mine didn't come out NEAR as well. Thanks for the great ideas for composition.

  6. #891

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    2-15-11
    Today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” showcases The Magic, The Memories & You show.

    For one of the first times in my short and inexperienced photography obsessed life, I decided to use a good deal of fore thought, planning and mathematical thinking in order to photograph the new projection show on It’s a Small World.

    I figured that since film is projected at 30 frames per second, if I matched the shutter speed at 1/30th to the projection rate, I would be able to get very crisp and clear pictures of the animation on the building. I also put some thought into how a camera works and what it is programmed to do. When the Metering Mode is set to Evaluative, it will try to evenly expose the entire image. I want it on Evaluative Mode because the show covers the entire surface of IASW and I want it evenly exposed across the width of the frame. However, I do not want it evenly exposed between the sky and the building, which is also what the camera is going to try to do. That means the key to successfully getting a dark sky, a fast sharp image of the animation with vivid color and without overexposing it means underexposing the picture. (Remember, if an image is underexposed and sharp, it can always be brightened up. If it is overexposed, that can’t be fixed and a blurry photo is always going to be blurry.)

    I chose a location across the promenade from IASW on the elevated areas so I could be above the crowd and picked a spot between lamp posts so they wouldn’t be in the frame. At first I set up my camera with the 18-55mm kit lens and set the aperture as large as I could at F/3.5. I took a few test shots but quickly found that I needed a larger aperture and faster speed than I was getting at F/3.5. I put on my 50mm F/1.4 lens, which meant I couldn’t get the entire building in the frame, but I did get most of it. I set the aperture at F/1.8 because that is a more common lens for people than the 1.4. I set the camera on Manual, set the shutter speed at 1/30 and the ISO on Auto because I didn’t know how bright the different scenes would be. It ended up being at 1600 for virtually every shot but my camera can handle an ISO of 1600 without too much noise. The exposure meter on the camera kept telling me that I was Underexposing the shots by a full 2 stops, which was too dark. I figured that I could probably get away with a speed of 1/20th and still get pretty sharp shots. By slowing it down that little bit, it was showing me that I was underexposing by around 1 stop. That is what I wanted it to be, so now it came down to waiting for the show and seeing if my theories were correct.

    As you will see by the following photos, I was right most of the time. I won’t lie and say that they were all perfect because I did get a few that were a little blurry during the fast moving scenes but overall they were more than acceptable. Here are some of the highlights from the show.














    The floating candle scene from Tangled is one of the true highlights of the show.


    The real highlight for me was seeing Walt give his opening day dedication speech.


    I was using a Monopod and remote shutter release but with a shutter speed of 1/20th that is plenty fast enough to go hand held. If using a Point & Shoot camera, TURN OFF THE FLASH, set it on Manual and set the exposure compensation down between 1 and 1 2/3rd stops. Stay pulled back as far as you can so the camera will use its largest aperture, usually F/2.8. You will have to take a few test shots and see where the exposure compensation needs to be for your specific camera.

    (I also have to let everyone know that I have started working on another writing project so I will only be able to do 3 posts per week. I am planning on alternating nights between these posts and the other project. Hopefully I will have new columns every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.)

    Happy Snapping
    © Michael Greening 2011
    For a complete directory and direct links to all of these posts, please click here: http://micechat.com/forums/disneyland-resort/140579-disneyland-photo-day-50.html#post1056358940
    Last edited by Hot Sauce 1; 02-16-2011 at 02:03 AM.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  7. #892

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Since I can only do the tutorials on Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, I thought it might be nice just to post one of my "Pretty" pictures on the other days. I generally post one of my favorite photos that has nothing to do with these tutorials on my Flickr account every day, So, on the off days I'll share them with you. I hope you like them.

    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  8. #893

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Great frame! I find it challenging capturing the RoA because there's so much junk that muddles up the photo.

  9. #894

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by SwinginOnAStar View Post
    Great frame! I find it challenging capturing the RoA because there's so much junk that muddles up the photo.
    There was a bunch of junk muddling up that one too. There was a big black tarp tied to the tree and covering a bunch of the bushes. There were also a bunch of lights and stuff in the bushes for what they were doing. I had to do a lot of fixing in it.

    The really interesting thing about the photo is that the Columbia is docked on Tom Sawyer Island. I didn't even know it could do that. They were loading it up with the supplies and characters for the Peter Pan scene in Fantasmic.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  10. #895

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    I can't tell where you did the touch ups. All I see is a clean shot. And I didn't know it could do that either! I was trying to figure out exactly where this was taken, I had only assumed it was while it was docked where it always sits prior to the show, just behind the boat ride queue.

  11. #896

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    2-18-11
    Today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” is a quick tip for Overcoming Obstacles.

    If you’ve ever been to Disneyland during the off season or the “season of refurb walls” as I like to call it. There will be many times that you want to photograph something but it will be obscured by blue walls. I was walking through Tomorrowland the other day and noticed blue walls everywhere. This can be a common problem for photographers at this time of year.

    When faced with these obstructions, you can just ignore them and take the picture as is or try to stand on a planter or trash can and shoot over it or you can take the opportunity to focus on details and see things differently.

    Here are some examples of what I mean. This is the view as I approached Space Mountain.


    First I tried going vertical and shooting right above the wall, just getting the Captain EO sign and a portion of Space Mountain.


    Then I just zoomed in much closer on a piece of Space Mountain because that part of the building is so unmistakably Space Mountain that it is all that is needed to show the viewer what Space Mountain is all about.


    When focusing on architectural details such as this, it also gives it a nice feel to shoot it in Black & White.


    This was the view looking at the thingamabob in the middle of Tomorrowland.


    For this one, I took just the top layer of it.


    I liked the way the sun was hitting it so I walked around to the other side and took a close up shot with the sun backlighting it.


    I also liked the way this worked as a Black & White.


    So, when blue walls aren’t what you want to photograph, look for the smaller details that show the essence of the subject and focus on those.

    Happy Snapping
    © Michael Greening 2011
    For a complete directory and direct links to all of these posts, please click here: http://micechat.com/forums/disneyland-resort/140579-disneyland-photo-day-50.html#post1056358940
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  12. #897

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Since today is a non tutorial day, here is the pretty picture it. I call it "Cat and Mouse"
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  13. #898

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    How...that picture looks positively 3D!

  14. #899

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by SwinginOnAStar View Post
    I can't tell where you did the touch ups. All I see is a clean shot. And I didn't know it could do that either! I was trying to figure out exactly where this was taken, I had only assumed it was while it was docked where it always sits prior to the show, just behind the boat ride queue.
    I took that from a real small upper patio dining area right across from the entrance to Big Thunder. It's on the back side of that little building that has the big Mark Twain sign on it. I never even knew people could go up there until Mac Daddy showed it to us. You can't see the Fantasmic stage from there but you do get some interesting shots of the Columbia, like the one above as well as some really cool views of it from behind as it heads into the viewing area. We were only after a few very specific photos, so it worked great for us but if you want to photograph Fantasmic it is definitely not the place to be.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  15. #900

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by niklj View Post
    How...that picture looks positively 3D!
    It wasn't too hard but it did take about 30 minutes to process. Maybe I'll do a tutorial showing how this was done, because there are definitely some tricks to pulling off that reflection.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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