Watching a movie on the cruise

Your favorite Disney movies?

What are some of your favorite disney movies? I think one of them for sure has to be this one in the image below. I remember when I first saw the previews for it… I was so surprised that Disney was going to make a movie like this… and I was happy it turned out to be great.

Daily Photo – Watching a movie on the cruise

What a great place to watch a movie! This is on the Disney Alaska Cruise, and it did get a little cold around this time of night, which is probably why you don't see many people watching the movie. It was a bit lonely. But, of course, with a sunset like that, you know I am not watching the movie either!

Watching a movie on the cruise

Watching a movie on the cruise

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-6
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length17.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Inside the Cadillac Bar

Cruise Recommendations?

If you check my Disney Cruise category, you can clearly see that I like these! I was surprised, because I thought I would hate them… kids running around, noise, chaos, etc etc… but it wasn’t like that except for the occasional party-moments. But I really haven’t been on other cruises to speak of… maybe some of you have some suggestions or recommendations?

Daily Photo – Inside the Cadillac Bar

They put such an amazing amount of detail into all the little places on these Disney cruises. I don't know where they find interior decorators that can do all this crazy stuff, but then again, that whole world of interior decorating is a total mystery to me! Like, if someone came up to me and said, okay Trey, we want you to design an entire bar on the idea of a classic Cadillac. Man, I would have no idea what the heck to do or where to even start… that takes a very different kind of brain, I think!

Inside the Cadillac Bar

Inside the Cadillac Bar

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time10
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

My 7 Favorite Disney Photos

I wanted to share some of my favorite Disney photos with you, all in one place. Enjoy! :)

The Magic of Disney If you want to see how I made this (and how you can too!), visit my HDR Tutorial. I hope it gives you some new tricks!This was taken this evening at MGM Studios in Disney World before we went to go see the big fireworks show. The only problem with making your family and 6-year-old son (he is now 8) stand around while you set up your tripod and take a bunch of shots is that it gives them ample opportunity to see little toys they cannot live without.I took so long to nail this shot that we ended up buying two things that lit up in garish colors and made a lot of racket.This is a 5 exposure HDR shot at 100 ISO. Whenever there is anything like streaming lights, sun rays, search lights, and the like, the HDR process always makes them pop a bit.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Above: Mickey’s magical hat glows under and between the lights one evening.

Ancient China No it isn’t! This was shot at Disneyworld at Epcot center. Want to know a great Disney shooting trick? They won’t like me telling you this… but I’ll tell you anyway. The Disney people are very nice to me, but that won’t stop me from being totally honest with tricky advice!The advice is this. Stay at a resort (this gives you extra hours), and be sure to go to Epcot on their extra-hours night. While there, get the the point as far away from possible as the exit gate at close time. Then you can slowly take your time and work your way back. You’ll see no tourists or anyone! I saw this place almost totally alone… so cool!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Above: Epcot is full of beautiful places like this, where the lights change dramatically after the sun sets.

The Disney Fantasy Cruise ShipI am here on the maiden voyage of the Disney Fantasy.  It's an amazing ship (50% bigger than the other ships) and a great playground for photographers!  Forget the kids!  In fact, I almost did a few times… but they are having fun in all the kids' clubs…  Well… I have a ton to talk about and show… but busy busy busy with photos and not much internet!  Anyway, debate away on whether or not this is HDR…  Either I'm tricking you, I double-tricking you, or something unknowable... I look forward to coming back and seeing what you think!- Trey RatcliffRead the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Above: This is the main lobby inside Disney’s newest cruise ship.

Abandoned Chinese DisneyworldSo, outside of Beijing, to the north, is a huge abandoned Disneyland. It was partially built, and now just the husk of it just remains. While driving around, I could have sworn I saw the top of the spires of Cinderella's castle, so I tried to figure out a way to get in closer. After I finally got inside, well, it was as awesome as an abandoned, fake Disneyland sounds!The official name and location is the Wonderland Amusement Park Chenzhuang Village, Nankou Town, Changping district. 昌平区南口镇陈- Trey RatcliffRead more and see a video from this strange spot here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Above: This is a tricky one! It is from a fake-abandoned Disneyworld in China that has now been taken over by farmers.

The Tori Gate What a perfect post-storm dusk!  I was going photo-crazy.This is a replica of the exact same place I have been near Nikko, Japan.  The Nikko one is quite hard to shoot!  There are many things in the way, and setting up for the ideal shot is no easy matter.  Plus, when I was in Japan, the sky was not so great that evening.  It's the luck of the cards sometimes!But this evening in Disney World was ultra-perfect.  Epcot is the park that has all the little international areas.  Japan, Germany, France, etc etc.  It's all a little silly and fake -- but it's also very cool and scenic!  I don't know how it can be both... but it is.  Those Disney imagineers do an incredible job of making things look dreamy.  I do the best I can to capture the magic as I saw it.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Above: I set up here on the lake at Epcot to take fireworks photos.

Beautiful Disney World at Sunset Hey, you know... I can't stay mad at Disney for too long.  I think those issues are just at Downtown Disney.This photo below, from Epcot, is one of the reasons I keep coming back again and again.  It's such an amazing place, and Epcot may be my favorite new spot for photography at Disney.This is the "France" area of the World Showcase, which is a huge lake that is circumnavigated by about 10 different countries or so.  Each one has a cluster of buildings set in the theme of the country.  They are all quite authentic, and the areas are staffed with people from the countries.  The Norway area has authentic-looking and -sounding Norwegians.  The Germany area is filled with Germans in postcard-German-clothes.  The Canada area has people that look and sound like Americans.The afternoon had ripped open a wicked thunderstorm on the whole park.  It was subsiding around sunset, so the clouds were swirling about with these wonderful tempestuous formations.  I set up to take this shot before moving over to the Japanese area to watch the big fireworks show on the lake.  While I was taking these shots, by the way, I had sent my family into one of the pastry shoppes here in the France area to load up on wonderful little morsels to keep us fully loaded during the fireworks show!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Above: This is the French area of Epcot that had amazing skies swirling overhead one evening while the shrubbery swirled beneath.

Where the Princess Dwells at Night…I called for a little PhotoWalk at Disney! It was really really really fun - and getting this shot was tough! I think +William Beem +Gilmar Smith +Keith Barrett or perhaps +Ali Elhajj got a video of me trying to convince half a dozen Disney workers to "sweep water" in front of my camera, which was splayed on the ground. At first, one guy didn't want to do it because he might get in trouble... then the other acquiesced... and then, before they knew it, they were all being controlled like crystal farmers in Starcraft... we eventually got all the water in the right place!I had to go over and whip out my sweet Android phone to show them some photos from Google+ -- I found the one from Paris with the puddle - I said I needed a puddle about thiiiiis big … and eventually we got it all engineered out. They were all very helpful and nice… I convinced them all to come onto Google+ to see the final result -- so I hope they are here! Hi guys - Y muchas gracias!- Trey RatcliffRead the rest at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Above: And we’ll end with this one. Here is Cinderella’s castle just before deep night sets in…

The Orbital Sealounge

Whale Photos

We got to see a ton of whales on this cruise – probably at least 15 or so. I was kind of excited about getting a whale photo until I realized how hard it really is. Man, shooting whales has to be one of the hardest jobs in the world… I think all those great whale photos were made by somebody much more patient than me. Maybe this is why I like landscape photography more than animal photography. I don’t have that waiting-on-animals-patience that others seem to have. Maybe patience is the wrong word… maybe it’s discipline. Or some combination. Either way, objectively, I don’t think I have much of either when it comes to animals.

Daily Photo – The Orbital Sealounge

Here’s another handheld shot from the on board the Disney Cruise I just enjoyed with my family. I’ve never been out on so many shoots in a week without taking my tripod! It forced me to do even more testing of the Photomatix auto-align, and it continued to do an amazing job. Even though my three shots were horribly misaligned with the NEX-7, the final result still came out perfectly sharp.

The Orbital

The Orbital Sealounge

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-6
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/20
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Cadillac Bar

David Lynch Movies

I’ve been back into my David Lynch movies lately… what are your favorites? I actually watched all of Twin Peaks too. I wish he would make another TV series… I think the TV world needs him! :)

Daily Photo – The Cadillac Bar

This was one of the many bars on board the Disney Cruise. While this one was the coolest-looking, it was actually the most boring. I went in there one night to read and relax with Tina and something about the place just sucked all the energy out of us! There as a piano player and stuff… but man, this was the most low-key energy blackhole I’ve ever been in. And then, I thought, well, maybe I was just tired anyway. So I walked in there another night, and once again I felt a huge weight on me… I know that sounds like the strangest thing in the world.

The Cadillac Bar

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

The Mushrooms Grow

Anything I should add to my new SmugMug Review

I updated my SmugMug Review recently and am planning to go back for some updating. Anything I should add that you can think of?

Here is My New SmugMug site in case you haven’t seen it… I’m very happy with it! :)

Daily Photo – The Mushrooms Grow

I was having some fun with this shot.

The best time to shoot there on the Disney ship was early morning. Most everyone was asleep because most people stay out late. This gave me a great chance to take photos without a bunch of people in the shot. For all the interior shots, I used tripods. Even though the whole boat was moving, everything inside the boat was moving in a relative manner, so it worked out easily.

Mushrooms Grow

The Mushrooms Grow

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time5
  • Aperture9
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Mystery Glacier

Name the Glacier

Who’s the first to come up with the name of this glacier? In some ways, this is a very lame trick for you to tell me the name of the glacier because I forgot. I heard it while I was there, but now I’ve totally forgotten. But, when I hear it, I’ll know it’s the right one! I’ll check in soon (traveling today), to see who is right! :)

Daily Photo – Mystery Glacier

These sea lions were fighting for space on this buoy in the middle of the open sea in front of the glacier. They would jump out of the water and try to fight one another for the relaxing spot. Just under the water was a shelf of land that plummeted to the depths and provided a rich array of fish for the sea lions. It’s a handy place to hang out, and the buoy is an even handier place to take a mid-lunch nap!

Seals in Front of the Glacier

Mystery Glacier

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-6
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length168.0 mm
  • FlashAuto, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Walt Disney Theater on the Disney Wonder

What this looked like

Here’s what the photo below looked like when I shot it. I take these a lot with the Google Glass — I’ve also been working on a bunch of videos were are going to release for a secret new project! :)

Daily Photo – The Walt Disney Theater on the Disney Wonder

Here’s another new shot from the recent cruise up to Alaska. We went to this theater every night to see something different. The kids always had a good time and they put a ton of work into the shows. Maybe the kids’ favorite part was the snacks… I dunno… but I do know the snacks played no small role!

The Walt Disney Theater on the Disney Wonder

The Walt Disney Theater on the Disney Wonder

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time3.2
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Island in the Alaskan Fjord

And on YouKu

Did you know that there is a Chinese knock-off of YouTube called YouKu that is all the rage? I put up my Chinese video there too… you can see the nuttiness to the right. There’s NO TELLING what kind of crazy ads you’ll see before the video! Hehe

Daily Photo – Island in the Alaskan Fjord

When the ship was working its way through the fjords of Alaska, I was amazed at how many twists and turns there were! I was used the the fjords of New Zealand being fairly simple affairs. More or less straight shots. But these in Alaska are twisty beyond compare. Every time the ship made a big turn, I expected to be at the end, but it just opened up onto a new vista.

And even more strange, they had these wonderful islands scattered around the middle. I was not used to that either… but it looked so lovely.

If you look in the back, you can see a glacier… and in the foreground you can see the various bits of ice that have calved off…

Island in the fjord

Island in the Alaskan Fjord

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-6
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length55.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Sunset Bathes the Deck of Disney’s Wonder

Auto-Align Update for Photomatix

I have news! Well, news to me. Or, let’s say, news that is ever-evolving.

I used to not like the auto-align feature very much with Photomatix. I thought it didn’t do such a great job, but now it has made great strides and the algorithm continues to improve! This shot, for example, was handheld in pretty low light. Not only did Photomatix do a perfect job of aligning the -2, 0, and +2 exposures, but it also made everything perfectly sharp and lucid.

BTW, in case you are new to the site, here is my Photomatix Review.

I’ve been doing more and more auto-aligning lately with Photomatix, and it really feels like it has come a long way. So now, if I occasionally have to do handheld shots, I feel happy to all my trust in there.

Daily Photo – The Sunset Bathes the Deck of Disney’s Wonder

Right after dinner was the best time to hit the top decks for some photography. Most nights we had amazing sunsets, so I feel lucky for that.

See that little room to the left with the glass? That’s where I spent most of my days, relaxing, reading, drinking coffee, and working on photos!

Disney Wonder Deck

The Sunset Bathes the Deck of Disney’s Wonder

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-6
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/40
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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