The French Quarter of Disney

 

Fake Book in China

I’m not sure – but I think this is a rogue copy of my book in China! :) I signed it anyway :)

Daily Photo – The French Quarter of Disney

Amazing Disneyworld! I am starting to switch my opinion about the best place to shoot in Disneyworld. I’m now thinking it is definitely Epcot. It used to be Animal Kingdom, which is still amazing.. but I find myself with more options and variety at Epcot, especially in the evening.

Here’s a great tip. If you stay at the resort, then go to Epcot on the “bonus hours” evening. Then get yourself way out at the opposite end of the park when it closes. You can then take your time and leave, taking photos all along the way. It’s pretty much absolutely deserted! The security guards did not seem to bother me either…

The French Quarter of DisneyAmazing Disneyworld! I am starting to switch my opinion about the best place to shoot in Disneyworld. I'm now thinking it is definitely Epcot. It used to be Animal Kingdom, which is still amazing.. but I find myself with more options and variety at Epcot, especially in the evening.Here's a great tip. If you stay at the resort, then go to Epcot on the "bonus hours" evening. Then get yourself way out at the opposite end of the park when it closes. You can then take your time and leave, taking photos all along the way. It's pretty much absolutely deserted! The security guards did not seem to bother me either...- Trey RatcliffRead the rest here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Late Night in Germanville

Thanks Gail and Louis and Gino and….

So, whenever I post a photo of Montana, I always know it will make Gail happy. So I like to see not only her comments, but all the other regulars… I also like how you all are getting to know one another. If you are on Google+ or Facebook, feel free to share your info so people can friend you in these other mediums as well!

Today’s photo has a bit of a German theme, so I know someone will be extra-happy… .or maybe William Beem because it’s from Disneyworld!

Daily Photo – Late Night in Germanville

This area of Epcot is one of the best for night photography. There was a little bit of light in the sky, so I had to make this shot as quickly as possible. I didn’t really have time to do a proper scouting, but this was such a nice situation, I made it happen as quickly as I could. I think my full-tripod-setup is under 25 seconds in these emergency situations.

Normally, I like to zen out and take my time. Others, like this, are the result of sheer, bloody panic.

Late Night in GermanvilleThis area of Epcot is one of the best for night photography. There was a little bit of light in the sky, so I had to make this shot as quickly as possible. I didn't really have time to do a proper scouting, but this was such a nice situation, I made it happen as quickly as I could. I think my full-tripod-setup is under 25 seconds in these emergency situations.Normally, I like to zen out and take my time. Others, like this, are the result of sheer, bloody panic.- Trey RatcliffRead the rest here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Haunting

Coming soon – Secret Fireworks Spot!

When I spent the day with Robert Scoble at Disney World, we were lucky enough to have a personalized tour from Keith Barrett. Keith showed me a secret spot to shoot the fireworks — very cool! I’m still working on that photo, but I will release as soon as I am done… it was a very challenging shot.

Daily Photo – The Haunting

And here is yet another from Disney!

So, I was sitting there in the Tower of Terror taking photos inside the first room into which the group is ushered. It’s the one where they show that Twilight Zone clip. Anyway, I just stayed in there as five groups came in and out, trying to get a photo. Eventually, the cast member asked me (in a nice way) what I was doing. I told her that I thought the room was awesome and I was capturing it for my blog. She seemed curious, so I whipped it out (my iPad).

She started going through my photos and was very excited. And then she told me to follow her, and she opened up the little gate that gave me full access to the lobby itself. I grabbed many photos, and here is one of them…

The HauntingAnd here is yet another from Disney!So, I was sitting there in the Tower of Terror taking photos inside the first room into which the group is ushered. It’s the one where they show that Twilight Zone clip. Anyway, I just stayed in there as five groups came in and out, trying to get a photo. Eventually, the cast member asked me (in a nice way) what I was doing. I told her that I thought the room was awesome and I was capturing it for my blog. She seemed curious, so I whipped it out (my iPad).She started going through my photos and was very excited. And then she told me to follow her, and she opened up the little gate that gave me full access to the lobby itself. I grabbed many photos, and here is one of them…- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Fireplace in the Tower of Terror

 

Lou Mongello

HDR Photo
Lou, waiting to get on the Toy Story ride with us…

While at Disneyworld, I ended up meeting Lou Mongello, a very interesting guy that is Disney’s biggest hardcore fanboy! Note that I say that with the ultimate respect, because he has built his love of something into quite an empire! Now he runs WDWRadio.com, has podcasts/apps, and more!

Robert Scoble interviewed Lou while we were there together. Watch, and you’ll see all kinds of tips! Thanks again Keith Barrett for setting everything up.

Disney Shots

We have a category system here on the site, so if you want to see all of them, check the “Disney Category” at the bottom of this post. Once you get to the bottom of the page, click “PREVIOUS” and you’ll get another pagefull…

HDR Photo
Keith grabbed this photo while I was setting up in the lobby area…

 

Daily Photo – The Fireplace in the Tower of Terror

I’ve always wanted to get “behind the velvet rope” and take proper photos of this area, and it finally happened!

This lobby was richly decorated to look like an old, classic Hollywood hotel that has been left alone to slowly deteriorate. Although this angle in particular does not show the decay, future ones will… Also, a future one will include the full story of how I got behind the velvet rope — you won’t believe it!

The Fireplace in the Tower of TerrorI've always wanted to get "behind the velvet rope" and take proper photos of this area, and it finally happened!  This lobby was richly decorated to look like an old, classic Hollywood hotel that has been left alone to slowly deteriorate. Although this angle in particular does not show the decay, future ones will... Also, a future one will include the full story of how I got behind the velvet rope -- you won't believe it!- Trey RatcliffRead the rest here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Journey of a Lifetime in Africa

Topaz Adjust Review and Problems

If you want to know more about how the photo below was made, and why it “pops” in that way, see my full Topaz Adjust Review.

So, I still use it from time to time to add some microcontrast to images, but I notice it is going super slow. Is anyone else having this problem? I have a pretty fast Mac Pro too… I just can’t figure it out. Also, I still have an old install of Topaz Adjust 3, which I tried out… but it crashes whenever I try to run it. What a pain!

Daily Photo – Journey of a Lifetime in Africa

I have never been to Africa, but it is very high on the list. Very very high. And I understand from many of my friends that it will get very deep into me, and I’ll want to go back many times. That’s okay… and I look forward to that feeling!

This photo below is taken in Disneyworld in the Animal Kingdom. The Imagineers run around and make everything look all Africa-ey and authentic… I don’t really know how authentic this is… but I certainly liked the feeling and style of this wall, so had to take a photo!

High Dynamic Range Photo

The Mystery of the Orient

All the DisneyWorld Photos

If you want to see all my them, click on the Disney World category. After you get to the bottom, click “Previous” to see another batch of 15 or so. I have a lot… and if you love Disney like me, maybe you’ll find a few in there you like.

Daily Photo – The Mystery of the Orient

The biggest mystery here, which you may have guessed by now, is that this is not in the orient at all. This is in the World Showcase area of Epcot. In some ways, I think, Epcot has the least exciting rides and attractions of the four Disney parks in Orlando. But what it lacks in rides, it makes up for in photo ops!

My best suggestion for photographers is the following. First, if you are staying in a Disney resort, then you get special “night hours” at different parks. Be there on the Epcot night, and make sure you are as far away from the exit as possible when the park closes. Then, you can take your time walking back to the entrance and take as many photos as you like! Everything is well lit, there is nobody around, and security doesn’t even seem to mind. No one rushes you out… it’s very relaxing and perfect. And, of course, the World Showcase has all sorts of cool buildings, architecture, and landscaping… countless opportunities for great compositions.

I took this photo right outside of a great Japanese restaurant. I forgot the name, but I had some pretty good sushi. I think this place and the California Grill have the best sushi at Disney, if you are into that sort of thing.

High Dynamic Range Photo

Balloons at Disney

Daily Photo – Balloons at Disney

I’ve been trying to capture a shot of balloons at Disney forever… it took a while before I found something with which I was happy!

Do you know these balloons cost $10?  TEN DOLLARS!  A ten dollar balloon…  but they do light up.  So that’s kinda cool.  What isn’t cool is that you have to buy one for every single kid in your retinue.

One other cool thing (kinda secret) is that if it ever goes flat or pops, you can bring it back to get a free one.  Technically, you could even bring it back the next year and still get a new one.  This might go against the spirit of the deal, but it is a ten dollar balloon for the love of Disney-god.

HDR Photo

To Another World

Music in your mind…

Do you all listen to music when out taking photos? Have you ever tried it? I love putting on my noise-canceling earphones and listening to all sorts of things when I am out taking photos… I never see anyone do this, so maybe I am alone in this practice?

Daily Photo – To Another World

There are no short days at Disney! They are all long escapades, filled with happiness, crying, sticky fingers, strollers hitting you in the achilles tendons, and scary people that should not really be allowed to the buffet area.

This was another one of those very long days. Sometimes, towards the end of the day, one of the only things on my mind is getting back home to collapse — especially after carrying around my tripod and D3X the whole day! But, on this particular exit from Epcot, everything lined up so nicely that I just could not help myself!

HDR Photo

The Lego Dragon

New Print Available!

The Adventure Tree, one of my favorite, warm photos, is now available as a limited edition print. This is a wonderful tree I found sticking out alone in a forest in Patagonia. I used a variety and mix of textures to give it a warm and timeless feel.

HDR Photo

Daily Photo – The Lego Dragon

There are these Lego stores popping up everywhere it seems. That’s okay with me… Who doesn’t like a good Lego set?

This one is just outside the Lego Store at Downtown Disney in Orlando. They have a few of those gigantic Lego beasts that were mysteriously built. Anyone that is sensible knows that it takes many hours to build something roughly the size of a human hand. So, these monstrosities must be either built by aliens or an army of industrious Germans that parachute in during the wee hours.

HDR Photo

The Tori Gate

Free London PhotoWalk!

Don’t forget! It will be a lot of fun… It will be at sunset on September 10th. Exact details to come soon.

My general plan is to get started about 30 minutes before sunset. We’ll get started and meander through an interesting and scenic route for about 90 minutes. My PhotoWalks are always laid back and fun. All levels are welcome, from beginner to advanced. I’ll stop several times along the way to set up, talk about my shot, answer questions, and the like. And then we’ll meander more until we find another cool spot. Of course, no one is required to listen — people can come and go as they please and seek their own scenic fortune!

After the event, we can all meet at a local pub or cafe and get drinks/snacks and hang out… that will be fun too. I look forward to meeting y’all!

Daily Photo – 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.

HDR Photo

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