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…

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Heading back to Tokyo

Strange worlds!

This will be a strange turn-around for me. I’ll be spending a lot of time in the deserts of Morocco, away from civilization, and then I’ll be going straight into Tokyo here. I’m super-excited about the transition, actually. To me, Morocco and Japan are two true parallel universes that have not become generic in any way yet… so it will be a bit of a portal-between-worlds.

Daily Photo – Heading back to Tokyo

Here's a scene from the fun photowalk we did in Tokyo last time I was there. A bunch of girls in costume showed up and started playing with my Google Glass. They made the funniest faces of shock and surprise when they put them on. In this shot, you can see Vic Gundotra in the background taking his own photos of the festivities!

Heading back to Tokyo

Heading back to Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date TakenOctober 2, 2013 at 8:18pm
  • CameraNEX-6
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO1250
  • Focal Length56.0 mm
  • FlashAuto, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Inside the Green Dragon in Hobbiton

Organize Your Photos!

Today’s photo may remind you of the opening, rather hot scene from the “Organize Your Photos!” promo! Here it is again in case you missed it.

Daily Photo – Inside the Green Dragon in Hobbiton

Here is a rather amazing place on the Hobbiton Movie Set — inside the Green Dragon after night has fallen. There is a roaring fire, and I mean absolutely roaring! You may remember this fire as being the thing behind me in the intro to the “Organize Your Photos!” tutorial. Man, that thing was so hot behind me, it almost melted me and that dang cat. Of course, Pickles just sat there, taking it all in stride!

Inside the Green Dragon in Hobbiton

Inside the Green Dragon in Hobbiton

Photo Information

  • Date TakenOctober 19, 2013 at 5:07am
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.5
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length11.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Peter Giordano from The Arcanum

The Arcanum Critique Session

And here is the critique session we did as a fun event for The Arcanum! It was a great group of people that did the critiques and participated. We had Varina Patel, Rick Sammon, and Dave Cross. It was all hosted by Peter Giordano, who you can also see in today’s daily photo!

Daily Photo – Peter Giordano from The Arcanum

Here's Peter the Great, here in New Zealand from a few days ago. Pete is the CEO of The Arcanum, and he ends up spending a lot of time out here in New Zealand with me and the team doing all the creative work and planning! We also had a recent workshop while out here, and he joined us for the whole thing. I took this photo of him one morning. That crazy lens flare you see is because of the Leica f/1.4 50mm lens on the Sony A7r. I love that effect! It takes a little practice to get yourself in the right relation to the sun, but it's easy to nail the shot using the manual focus.

Peter Giordano from The Arcanum

Photo Information

  • Date TakenFebruary 7, 2014 at 8:09am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

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The Church at Lake Tekapo, and the African Photo Adventure is Sold Out

Update on Pricing and Availability

Cost: $20,000. Sold Out in 24 hours!

We just made an update to the page to the African Photo Adventure page with all the news. We only mentioned this in one place (to all of the amazing Newsletter Subscribers!), and then the team was overloaded. I’m sorry to all those that could not grab a slot — but we will have more in the future! We’ll hit many exotic places around the planet, and at various price points. This year we are only doing three: Two here in NZ and one in Africa. But next year should finish planning out here pretty soon. Just stay tuned to that newsletter for the latest!

Daily Photo – The Church at Lake Tekapo

Speaking of photo adventures, on the night after the most recent New Zealand Adventure ended, some of us came up here to take a photo of the church under the stars. Now, I have shot this before, but I wanted to come back and improve upon it! This photo was taken with a Sony A7r and the Leica 24mm f/1.4. I found this camera much easier to focus and put into the exact mode I wanted and needed.

We had to wait until about 1 AM or so to get this shot because the moon was causing a lot of light chaos. But, after that, it was on! It was such a beautiful night. Even better, right after this, Stu, Pete, and I laid out our sleeping bags and just drifted off to sleep.

The Church at Lake Tekapo

The Church at Lake Tekapo

Photo Information

  • Date TakenFebruary 9, 2014 at 1:56am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time20
  • Aperture
  • ISO500
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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