Hanging Out At The Hall of Presidents at Disney World

If you know me personally then you know that I have always enjoyed looking at how our Presidents became what they are today. It is really cool to sit in the Hall of Presidents and listen to some of them talk about our country. They do a great job of making these Presidents look real enough from where you are sitting. It will be interesting to see what happens to this exhibit over the course of the next few years.

A Presidential Pano

One thing about the Hall of Presidents at Disney is just how wide that it is. It is impossible to get it all in one picture without including too much of the nonsense around the stage. One way to get rid of that problem is by making a panoramic image. I stitched together five shots of the Presidents to make this one image. I think that I did a quick job of it in the moment and some of the Presidents are a little fuzzy, but some of them are a little fuzzy in real life so maybe that is not so bad.


Having Fun In China at Epcot

While walking around Epcot you run into random shows that are pretty great. Here is one example of that. While walking through China we stumbled across this great show where two dancer act as one dragon. It was great to watch, and really was impressive. Both dancers were very good at what they did, and they showed great athleticism as well. These are the little things that Disney does that makes the trips there so special.

Finding Hidden Gems

This was a photo that I passed over for some reason during the initial edit. It did have some distracting elements on either side of it, and I used to be married to the 4×6 ratio. Maybe that was the problem. Two years later it is hard to remember why you passed over an initial photo. With sports photos I am very harsh on what I keep and store for years and years. My vacation photos for some reason don’t face that kind of scrutiny. Maybe that is because it is much easier to find the good sports photos. You look for the peak moment or a moment of some kind. The rest are gone. On vacation it seems like you are always choosing from very similar moments. Luckily I don’t always trash everything that I don’t initially find so something like this can live to see another day.

Visiting Japan Without A Passport

It is hard to believe that it has been nearly two years since our last trip to Disney. Disney is a great place for the kids, but I love it too. Places like Epcot give me endless photo opportunities. Granted you don’t have all day to make photos. I am usually holding a place in line for a Princess while the kids are doing something else. During that time though you are stuck in one place for a long time, and you can find things to photograph.

Discovering Views While You Walk

Sometimes you have a long time to set up a shot at Disney, and other times you do not. Here we were walking after dinner one night when I came upon this scene. I saw it while in the group, and quickly broke off to make this photo. I saw this composition while walking by, and it was the best one. You have some ugly elements in the foreground that you would not want in your photo so you are pretty much locked into what I have here. It is an interesting look though. Most of my Disney photos are made this way. The progress of the family is stopped while I make a photo. Another great time to make a photo is during one of the many bathrooms breaks you find yourself in the middle of with kids. My wife would take them to the bathroom while I made a few photos. If you look at my Disney photos and a map of the bathrooms you would be surprised at the correlation.

Waiting For The Monorail

When we go to Disney there usually are not many moments for me to make some photos aside from a quick grab and go. Even with that I can still have some fun making photos on a trip. The photo above was one of those moments where I made the decision to hang out for a second while the family moved ahead. With two small kids my wife will not get too far ahead of me, and I can wait for the moment that I am looking for. Here I decided to that this was a cool scene, and it would be worth my time to wait for the monorail. As it turned out I did not have to wait long, and I was back with the family in no time. I was able to make an image that I had in my mind though which is important as well.

Coming Back To Make A Photo

In sports photography you rarely get a second chance to make a photo. When the moment passes you can’t ask for a redo. Here I saw a moment earlier in the trip from a little further away, and I could not make the image. With that in mind I made sure to be in the right place the next time that I was in the area. It feels good when you get a second chance to make an image. This is one of my favorite storytelling images from the trip.

A Very Fake Grauman’s Chinese Theatre at Hollywood Studios in Florida

The ‘Great Movie Ride’ is a fun way to spend some time at Disney if you are a movie buff. I have a post dedicated to the ride here that you can look up if you are interested right here. The ride takes place inside of this very fake replica of the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre. That helps get you into the big movie spirit right off the bat. Many great movies premiered at the actually theatre in Hollywood. This replica has many of the features that make the actual theatre look so spectacular. It was worth a minute or two to make a picture of it.

The Return of Summer

As the school year winds down the summer will soon begin. That means that more family trips are on tap. When traveling with two kids photography is not the primary objective. Part of what I try and do on a trip is to find time to make some photos while everyone else is resting. That usually means that I am always tired on vacation, but when will I ever see this stuff again? This summer we have a couple of trips planned already that should be very fun. I am sure that you will hear all about them when they happen through this blog.

Taking the Great Jungle Cruise at Disney

One of the highlights of our last trip to Disney early on was the jungle cruise. The bad humor is just my kind of humor. If you have ever been next to me on the sidelines than you know that I was doing dad humor before it was a thing. That is exactly what you can expect on the cruise. It was also a fun exercise to try and make the fake animals and settings look real. One of my favorites from the cruise was this photo of an elephant busting through the brush. At some point I would love to head to Africa for a real safari. Until that day comes I will just have to settle for the wonderful world of Disney.

Planning the Next Trip

We have been tossing around the idea of heading back to Disney lately. I think that it would have already happened if not for some other fun trips coming up in the future. Disney is another thing altogether though with the amount of planning that you have to do way ahead of time to make it all go smooth. I do have a lot of fun making photos at Disney though. That is only secondary to the fun that the kids have as they walk around there. It really is a special place.

The Week In Photos

Last week was a weird week. The first three days were very heavy with sports, and then as the week went on the focus shifted to more quiet family moments. I was still making stuff every day, but not the kind of stuff that I share on the weekly post. This coming week will again be very heavy as I have three days of golf with a baseball game thrown in during the first three days of the week. From there the rest of the week is up in the air. You can see some of my favorite photos from the past week here on my Exposure page.

Touring the World at Epcot

At this point in my life I don’t have the following as some photographers do to get out and travel to many countries. I just mainly photograph the things around me. When I get a chance to at least pretend on some small scale that I am traveling the world it is very exciting. One place to have some fun is Epcot where in just a few short hours you can see replicas of many of the great structures of the world. This version of the ‘Temple of Heaven’ is a just beautiful, and it makes me want to see the real thing in person someday.

Beautiful on the Inside and Out

Just like the real thing this temple is beautiful inside and out. This photo has appeared on the blog in the past as a photo of the day, but I thought that I would include it again here. I love the intricacies of the inside of this temple. As the kids were waiting in line to get their passports stamped I made this image. If you have to wait in line you might as well have a great view. Continue reading “The Disney Temple of Heaven”

Having More Fun in Germany at Epcot

One of the best places to have fun at Epcot is Germany. It is a great place, and we spent some time there during our trip last year. We took two trips in the same year, but Disney is big enough that it didn’t seem like we were seeing the same things over and over. On our first night in Epcot we had a reservation for Biergarten. Of course with a reservation we showed up a few minutes before the time, and then we were put into a line. I normally hate these types of situations, but at Disney it is a chance to explore a bit. I actually made this photo coming back from exploring. Looking up I knew that the blue sky would look great. I originally thought this was a great candidate for an HDR image, but as I was editing it I changed my mind. The details really don’t matter here. I like it more that you are left with a curiosity about what it is.

Evolving Your Art

This was a photo that I would never had made early on in my photography. I would have let the camera meter the scene at first, and of course that would have been something that would not have been up to me. Later I would have done a terrible HDR to this scene with little to no contrast in the scene. Now I have gotten to a place where it is fun to play with light. I try and use it as much as possible to show something different than I saw earlier in the day. This is a shot that you can only get once a day in the park. Why not use the light that you are given?

Visiting the World Through Epcot

I have only left the country once in my life, and that was a quick trip to Canada when I was so young I barely remember anything about the trip. My two biggest memories are playing Mad Libs, and getting a deformed cup that said “I got smashed in Canada.” One great thing about visiting Epcot is that you can visit many countries in one day. Looking through travel photos after the trip I find myself saying things like “I’ve been there” only to realize that I saw the copy at Disney and not the real thing. It is neat to get the chance to explore a bit while just traveling to Florida. With that said I would love to see many of the copied items in person.

Waiting in Line

I made the photo above while waiting in line. The girls were getting henna tattoos, and in order to get to see Aladdin and Jasmine someone had to wait in line. I spent over an hour with this as my view. In all reality this is not a bad view, but I am not a person that likes lines. When you see how much fun your kids have with the characters though a little line time never hurt anyone. In that line I was also able to take in this scene, and make a photo of it. Had I not been in line I probably would have been fascinated with the fake camel with the fez on its head, and just walked right by this scene.