Saturday, August 25, 2012

The Castle's of Disney

First let me start off with apologizing for the delay (again).  I wanted to work through the Disney pictures as other are building up.  However, I had to get a new computer (and I still have not installed Photoshop yet, so all these pictures are directly out of the camera).  For this reason when you click on the image, you will be getting full size images (I have not cut them down at all).

When one thinks of Disney, the castle pops right into head.  The Magic Kingdom is known for there main castle (technically Cinderella's castle).  But a castle by any other name (maybe a giant hat or a golf ball looking thing).  Here are some interesting pictures on what might in some cases be termed loosely as castles.

Since our first Disney day was at the Animal Kingdom, lets show the Tree of Life (technically not a castle, but its my blog and I can be loose with the definitions if I want to).

So we have a hot Quin and Autumn (I have not said this yet, but we were in Florida during the major heat wave).  The tree of life is in the background.  It is one of the more interesting structures of Disney (well thought out) with all the animals together in the bark. Not the best picture of the tree (I think I have one from the past somewhere), but I wanted to include this park (and the weather did not cooperate as when we were closer to the tree later, it was raining quite hard).

The next Disney Park we visited was the Magic Kingdom.  This one is known for its castles (and it is adding more).

The theme of having people stand in front of the castle is prevalent (hey its a vacation and we need some of the "standard" pictures, and the castles are the best places for them).  The castle looks good during the day.

It also looks good at night.  This is just before the fireworks.  It required a very steady hand to hold the camera up over my head, steady enough for a dark shot in a crowd of people moving around. Came out pretty good.  I needed an ISO of 800 (which I try to avoid on the SX260), but I did not get much noise at all, and was able to hold still for 1/13 of a second (and a reasonable zoom).

I did say that they were adding castle's and here is one of them.  This is Beasts castle.  It is quite far back behind a wall (in an area under construction).  I had to use almost all of the 20x zoom to get this picture.  It looks interesting (looks almost like a toy).  I wonder how it will be setup when it is open.

So next we were off to EPCOT.  There are multiple buildings that might be able to be called castles in the different areas of the world, but I will just stick with the globe at the beginning.  My best pictures of this came at night.

So I was being funny in this picture.  The princess (see she is wearing a tiara) wanted a picture with the globe.  I figured I would set it up around her head.  I had to use flash, but with a slower shutter speed (to get the dark areas).  She and I did a good job of holding still.  I can't say that for everyone else as they all look like ghosts of themselves (I like this one).  I did take another after showing this one off (guess my sense of humor was not appreciated).  However, that one is not as interesting.

Our last Disney park was Disney Movie Studios.  If I stick with my theme of the main icon of the park being a castle, we will get a wizards hat.  Note, I obviously did not take this picture (was my turn to join the group in the foreground).  Not much special about this one except to say that it is nice that Disney hands out those little cards (we used the same through all the parks).  Hand the card to the photographer, and when you are done, with your vacation, log into the site, and you can see all your pictures.  It is a bit pricey, but a nice alternative to have everyone in many shots.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Florida Animal Pictures

Well, just got back from doing the Florida tour with the family.  So, I did not get a chance to edit while I was out, but I have lots of pictures from the parks (and other).  So, I am armed with lots of material, lets see if I can get a few updates out there in a more timely manner.

I had to pick some way to group the pictures.  I could have done by day, but decided to go with subject (lets see if that is still a good idea after a few updates).  I will start out with animals. Figured it seemed fair.  On a cautionary note, not one of these pictures has had any photo shopping.  I normally at least touch the sharpness (and to down the resolution a bit so looking at them would be faster), but my computer died (yeah lots of things working against my update) and I have not installed any software on the new one yet.  So these are right off the card.

So what do you think about when you think Florida.  Well one thing is killer whales working to make people in the first few rows wet.  The little guy had never seen one of these shows (so we had to get him here).  I chose an action shot, as they are a bit harder to get (the SX260 does have a little delay, though not much).  They do not have any called Shamu anymore, but its ok the ones they had were fine.

The seals did a spoof on the other shows (yes this is really a walrus).  Didn't any of these kids pay attention during the day, everyone else knew what was coming (and it was not just a photo op with the Walrus).  This was probably the funnest show (the seals really have some fun, in fact as they can not get the crowd as wet as a whale, one seal comes out carrying a hose - this works for him).  That and the Walrus did a really good wiggle wiggle wiggle in the Party Rock Anthem.

Still in Sea World, here is a Seal in its normal habitat (a pool, not a stage).  This one did not look too interested (people were allowed to buy fish and feed them, but this one was just enjoying the sun).

Well enough of SeaWorld, obviously, if you are thinking animals and Florida, Disney's Animal Kingdom comes to mind.  This guy seems quite happy there (give him a head of lettuce, and he will just hang out and let people take pictures of him).  There were quite a few of them together.  It was interesting, almost like they were trained, they all picked up there food, and walked over to a nice area for better pictures.

Well, the little guys favorite animal is the elephant, so good we got to see one on the safari.  There was also a little one following this one around.  I have separate pictures of the two together (but those pictures were screaming out for a little modification).  Animal Kingdom is nice as the animals do appear to be in more natural settings.

Well, good for me I guess.  I always like the Rhinoceros, and lo and behold here one is.  Probably could have cleaned up a little better for the picture, but I'll take it.  They had both White and Black Rhinos, but I really did not see a color difference (probably because they are not named for the color).

Even EPCOT gets in on the animals with there Manatee.  It is also eating lettuce (Disney must go through lots of lettuce).  There were two in the tank that you could watch from above or below.  This was the favorite of my oldest (who did not make the trip).

Though this one looks a little weird, I decided to use this giraffe (the wife's favorite animal and no we will not find the middle ones favorite animal, so she loses).  You do not get a picture of a giraffe looking right at you too often, so it is a little different.  This was taken at Silver Springs (I also got a Giraffe in the Animal Kingdom).  Not sure why it was looking at me.

This was also taken at Silver Springs, and is one of the main attractions there.  They have not one, but two albino alligators.  They claim that they do not do well outside, and that they do have to put sunblock on them (I wonder who gets that job).  These were inside (through glass hence the noise).

Ok, so this is cheating as we are no longer in Florida, but at South of the Border (at there reptile exhibit).  Apparently nobody piles on the gators like South of the Border.  I thought it was cool just to see so many in one little area.

Ok, so maybe not technically an animal, but definitely a creature many a man has hoped to run into while out boating.  This was taken in Weeki Wachee.  The Mermaid is also having a snack here (but she gets an apple, not lettuce).  They have 2 shows, one the little mermaid (ok, so not too original) and the other a history show where they do some interesting feats.  You can see a turtle swimming over her hand (many a turtle out in the spring).