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  1. #931

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    3-12-11
    Today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” Shines a Spot Light on Faces in Shadows.

    We all have wonderful photos of the performers in Disneyland. The problem with a large number of those photos is that the performer is looking downward, thus casting a shadow on their face.

    Here is a picture that I took on the Mice Chat Photo Meet on Sunday of an adorable little Princess looking up at a drummer and him looking down at her. On the surface, it’s a wonderful photo, except for the fact that his face is cast in a shadow. Well, here’s a quick and easy way to fix that.


    First I open the photo in Photoscape.


    Then in the Filter Menu, click on Region Out of Focus.


    That will bring up this window with all kinds of fun choices. For this photo we need to choose Brighten. Also make sure that the choice at the top of the page is set to Radial. This means it is a circular effect.


    Notice the small yellow crosshairs on the sign. That is the thing we move around to place the effect exactly where we want it to be applied.


    I moved the crosshairs right onto the drummers face and used the Level slider to adjust the amount of brightness to 58%. I also set the Size slider at 10% to adjust the size of the circle to fit only his face. You want to make sure you only get his face so he doesn’t have a halo around his head. I left the Feather at the standard 50%. Then just click OK.


    Here is the final result.


    Here are a few more Before & After examples of photos from the Tiana Mardi Gras Celebration that needed the same treatment.








    For this one, I did the same thing on the girl on the rights face, clicked OK, then opened the same menu up again and did it to the guy on the lefts face.




    I hope this little trick helps you shed some light on faces otherwise in the dark.

    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. #932

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    I love that last shot of Tiana's Mardi Gras Celebration. It should be a promo photo.

  3. #933

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Just caught up with about 2-3 months of your posts! Great, great stuff in here! Very informative, and very easy to read and understand.

    The tutorial on reflections with the more recent pics of WOC are oustanding!! Love it!


    Tours Departing Daily - Disneyland Resort Photography


  4. #934

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Wow, some really amazing shots! Very inspiring, thanks for sharing!
    “Laughter is timeless. Imagination has no age, and dreams are forever.” –Walt Disney


  5. #935

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by kpcrone View Post
    Just caught up with about 2-3 months of your posts! Great, great stuff in here! Very informative, and very easy to read and understand.

    The tutorial on reflections with the more recent pics of WOC are oustanding!! Love it!
    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelaHansen View Post
    Wow, some really amazing shots! Very inspiring, thanks for sharing!
    Coming from the two of you, that is a huge compliment. I have your site www.toursdepartingdaily.com bookmarked as one of my favorites and visit it every day. Your HDR work is amazing. Even though I go for more of a natural look on mine, I really, really love the style and feel you have on yours. I comment on them from time to time but don't have any of the appropriate accounts so they are done as anonymous. The last one looking down Coke Corner is fabulous, not only the processing but the composition and point of view.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  6. #936

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hot Sauce 1 View Post
    Coming from the two of you, that is a huge compliment. I have your site www.toursdepartingdaily.com bookmarked as one of my favorites and visit it every day. Your HDR work is amazing. Even though I go for more of a natural look on mine, I really, really love the style and feel you have on yours. I comment on them from time to time but don't have any of the appropriate accounts so they are done as anonymous. The last one looking down Coke Corner is fabulous, not only the processing but the composition and point of view.
    Wow, thank you! It's very encouraging to hear that you enjoy our work. I love your composition and there's really great stuff here. I've had a couple "a-ha!" moments thanks to the information you've provided and have a few "rejected" pictures that I will be attempting to salvage with some new found ideas. Will definitely be checking back. Thanks again!
    Last edited by MichaelaHansen; 03-12-2011 at 09:28 PM.
    “Laughter is timeless. Imagination has no age, and dreams are forever.” –Walt Disney


  7. #937

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    3-14-11
    Today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” exposes some tricks to getting better photos in low light situations by using Exposure Compensation.

    I’m still trying to fully grasp and consistently execute the concept of using Aperture Priority in conjunction with Exposure Compensation as my normal mode of photography. I have always used Aperture Priority as my normal shooting mode because aperture controls virtually everything necessary for getting a good picture. The size of the aperture not only controls how much light will pass through the lens, which in turn affects shutter speed and depth of field.

    I am quickly learning (at least with my Canon T1i), that when using a large aperture in bright daylight I end up with over exposed photos a lot more often than I would like. I’ve also learned that by keeping my exposure compensation turned down 1/3 stop on sunny days, that I get better exposed and sharper photos with less chance of purple fringing.

    When it comes to low light situations (without a flash) where a fast shutter speed is needed, you obviously need the largest aperture your lens will allow. When you combine a large aperture with a lowered Exposure Compensation you can get faster shutter speeds richer colors with less blown out highlights as well as a stronger contrast between light and dark areas. The perfect examples where this applies at Disneyland would be Dark Rides, Night Time Parades, World of Color and Electronica, which is what I will be using for this tutorial.

    My wife and I decided to spend some time photographing Electronica last week since I had only really seen it for about 10 minutes, several months ago. I also really wanted to see Laser Man and Flynn’s Arcade. I haven’t seen the movie, nor do I really care to but from a photographic standpoint, Electronica is really cool. I knew, from my previous visit, that the lighting is very dark, directed only where they want you to see it (spot lights) and the subjects (dancers) are moving very fast. All of this means you would need to set the camera to Spot Metering or Partial Spot Metering, the largest Aperture possible and a reasonably high ISO.

    On Aperture Priority Mode, I used my 50mm, F/1.4 lens with the aperture at 1.4, set the ISO to 800 and dropped the Exposure Compensation down 1 full stop. (Note: I wanted to get the background lights on Monsters Inc in the photo along with the dancers, so I left my metering mode on Evaluative) By using the Aperture Priority Mode, it let the camera set the shutter speed as it saw fit. The advantage of dropping the Exposure Compensation down 1 stop is that it tells the camera that it is ok to under expose the image, thus letting the camera choose a faster shutter speed than it normally would. I won’t lie and say that I didn’t get a bunch of blurry photos, but about 30% of them were what I wanted them to be. By watching the dancers and listening to the music, I would wait for a quick break in the music or a moment when the dancers would slow down for a second, then take the shot. Here are some of those photos.

    F/1.4, ISO 800, Shutter Speed 1/80.


    F/1.4, ISO 800, 1/100


    F/1.4, ISO 800, 1/125


    F/1.4, ISO 800, 1/200


    F/1.4, ISO 800, 1/80


    F/1.4, ISO 800, 1/250


    When it came time for Laser Man, I got to the stage area a bit late and it was PACKED. I was stuck off to the side, shooting between peoples heads, a pole and the edge of the stage. The stage area is very dark but the lasers are very bright and Laser Man moves pretty fast. For these, I set the Aperture to 2.0, ISO to 800, dropped the Exposure Compensation down -1 1/3 stop and got a shutter speed of 1/30. Also by having the exposure compensation down that far, it allows you to keep the lasers as actual beams of green light instead of blown out white ones. I did get quite a few blurry shots, but got an acceptable number of good ones as well. Here’s a few.










    After that I went into Flynn’s Arcade and played around with different apertures and exposure compensations. Here are the results.
    F/2.8, ISO 100, 1/200, exposure compensation -2/3.


    F/2.0, ISO 400, 1/1000, -1/3.


    Here’s a good example of the differences between using exposure compensation or not.
    F/2.0, ISO 400, 1/125, no exposure compensation.


    F/2.0, ISO 400, 1/250, -2/3 compensation. Notice how the shutter speed is twice as fast and that the color and detail in the neon is cleaner.


    Diane, using my old Point & Shoot took a few shots as well. She put it on Manual, set the ISO to 400 (to keep the noise as low as possible) and dropped the exposure compensation down -1 1/3 stop. That gave her a shutter speed of 1/80. By having the lens backed out all the way, the camera sets the aperture at F/2.8.


    She zoomed in on this a tiny bit, so the camera changed the aperture to F/3.2. She dropped the exposure compensation down to -1 2/3 and got a shutter speed of 1/400, which kept the neon pretty sharp and with good color.


    F/4.5, ISO 400, 1/10, -1 2/3.


    I know this might seem like a bit much and kind of confusing, but it does work and once you start using the exposure compensation function, you will see a higher percentage of sharper photographs. Even if your photos are a little underexposed, remember this; You can’t fix a blurry photo, nor can you recover over exposed areas in a photo, but you can always brighten up a sharp, underexposed photo.

    I should also make note that while I was photographing the dancers, I ran into a professional portrait & wedding photographer who was also taking pictures of them. He was using a Canon 5D Mark II ($2500), with a Canon 70-200 F/2.8 lens ($2,000) and an external flash unit. He was using the flash but had it turned down to 1/64th power. This worked really well because all the flash illuminated was the shiny striping on their outfits and gave him a little faster shutter speed but the rest of the photo looked like it was taken without a flash. We chatted for a while and compared photos. His were really good, as I would expect them to be, but he was also surprised at how good mine were for using the camera I had and not using a flash at all.

    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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  8. #938

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Nice work on this last post. I too have recently discovered the huge benefits that can be gained by dropping the exposure setting on the T1i. I think that this setting is a must for any high contrast situations (basically any bright daytime shots). When the exposure is not decreased, it is way to easy too blow the highlights in one of your color channels. This is particularly important when you have your saturation increased to +2 or even +4.

    I really wish I had realized this prior to my last Disneyland trip. In fact, I realized the importance of this tip when I was reviewing my last set of trip photos. Hopefully, I will get a trip report up soon.

    Thanks for the great lessons!
    - Bobd

  9. #939

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobd20011 View Post
    Nice work on this last post. I too have recently discovered the huge benefits that can be gained by dropping the exposure setting on the T1i. I think that this setting is a must for any high contrast situations (basically any bright daytime shots). When the exposure is not decreased, it is way to easy too blow the highlights in one of your color channels. This is particularly important when you have your saturation increased to +2 or even +4.

    I really wish I had realized this prior to my last Disneyland trip. In fact, I realized the importance of this tip when I was reviewing my last set of trip photos. Hopefully, I will get a trip report up soon.

    Thanks for the great lessons!
    Thanks for the comment. I hadn't even thought about how it affects my saturation because I have mine at +2 and bright colored lights are almost always blown out and white. I too wish I had realized this a long time ago. So many photos would never have seen the recycle bin.
    Last edited by Hot Sauce 1; 03-15-2011 at 09:48 AM.
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  10. #940

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Here's the "Pretty" for the day. This is one of the same photos I used for the tutorial on the different focal lengths, taken with the 8-16mm wide angle lens. I did this as a HDR, then merged it with the single normal exposure image in Photoshop Elements. I also did a little final tweaking of colors in Photoscape.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  11. #941

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    3-16-11
    Today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” pays a visit to DCA’s Hyperion Theater for a very special showing of Aladdin. During our last Mice Chat Photo Meet we met up with Disney Photographer Bob Desmond who used his Disney Clout to get all 20 of us the entire front row for the 6:20 show. I’ve seen Aladdin several times but never from that close up. What a treat!

    Under normal circumstances, sitting much farther back than the front row, I would set my camera on Manual, the ISO to 1600, Metering Mode to Spot Metering because the performers are in spot lights, Exposure Compensation to -1, use my 55-250mm Zoom Lens and set the Aperture to as large as my lens would allow, being F/3.5 so I could get the fastest shutter speed possible.

    Since we were in the front row and much closer to the stage and all that bright light, I used my normal 18-55 kit lens, set the camera to Manual, ISO to 1600, Metering Mode to Partial Spot Metering (so I could also get wider shots than just close ups on the performers), Aperture to F/3.5, but left the Exposure Compensation at 0. (I should have dropped it to -2/3 or -1) Had I not been that close to the light, I would not have been as successful as I was. I still had quite a few shots that had blown highlights or were blurry because the shutter speed wasn’t fast enough. A lower exposure compensation would have eliminated most of those bad shots.

    I had about a hundred photos to go through so I made a pact with myself that I wouldn’t spend more than 2 minutes per picture in post processing. I only used the Digital Photo Professional software that came with my camera for these and did a little noise reduction, and some minor adjustments to lighting, shadows, highlights, contrast and sharpening.

    The biggest failure I had (thankfully, fixable by shooting in RAW) was that I left my Saturation at my normal setting which is +2. In every photo I edited, I had to put the Saturation back down to 0.
    Here are some of the shots from the show.






























    Even though I got a lot of really good shots that I’m very happy with, I hope you can all learn from the mistakes I made and do even better for yourself.

    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. #942

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Here's the pretty shot for the day. The interesting thing about it is that it is a color photo. The lights in the World of Color show were completely white and the silhouettes of the people were black, thus making it look black & white. Enjoy!
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  13. #943

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Wow, shot in color, only colors present are black and white. Very cool capture! Was looking at the Aladdin pictures. Just wondering, is it me, or has the Genie had one to many twinkies if you know what I'm saying? lol


    Tours Departing Daily - Disneyland Resort Photography


  14. #944

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    Quote Originally Posted by kpcrone View Post
    Wow, shot in color, only colors present are black and white. Very cool capture! Was looking at the Aladdin pictures. Just wondering, is it me, or has the Genie had one to many twinkies if you know what I'm saying? lol
    Too much Baklava...

    Funny thing about the Aladdin shots is I just found out that the person who plays Aladdin in those shots saw the post and liked the photos. He wants to see more of them from everyone.
    Life is far too short for bland food!


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  15. #945

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    Re: The Disneyland Photo of the Day...

    3-18-11
    Today’s “Disneyland Photo Tip of the Day” is about Leaving Room for Creativity.
    Most photographers will say that you should do everything you can in camera and if you do that right, there is no need for post processing. In general, this is true. However, when it comes to framing your shot, it is also a good idea to leave some extra room around the edges for creative expression later. When you are taking the picture, your mind is on several things and you never know what ideas might come to you later, when you are viewing the picture in the computer. You might want to use it as a post card, or a wall paper on your computer or a magazine cover. The simple fact is, you just don’t know. For that reason it makes sense to give yourself a little space to play with.

    Here are some examples of photos that I took at the Jedi Training Academy during the last Mice Chat Photo Meet.

    This is how I would normally frame this image of Darth Vader by zooming in this close to him.


    Instead of framing it tight to his body like I usually would, I saw him raise his fist and it reminded me of the line from Empire Strikes Back “I am your father” so I brought it back a little bit and gave myself some room to play with.


    I really wanted to get a shot of Darth Maul’s face with Darth Vader’s face right behind it for a “Two Faces of Evil” kind of frame. I got a few that were pretty close to what I was after but my depth of field is a little shallow. From a compositional standpoint, the original photos are framed well and work for what I wanted. However once I got them in the computer and was able to look at them with a fresh viewpoint and different state of mind, I could play with them and find some interesting ways to crop them giving a more dramatic impact.




    I also converted some to black and white for an interesting feel on Darth Maul.












    Had I not left some room around the edges, I wouldn't have been able to see the photos in different ways and come up with creative things to do with them.

    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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