Orlando, Florida – Cinderella’s Castle (HDR)

School is out in the US…and maybe throughout the world…so time for summer vacation!  If you have kids…maybe you are heading to Orlando?  Disney is a must visit!!  I went a few weeks ago and took a walk around Cinderella’s castle looking for a cool angle and grabbed this shot!   This is the backside of the castle..still lots of people!   It was ok as I had my lens facing upward!    Is that Peter Pan in the top window?  Nah…he doesn’t come out until the “Dreams’ Firework show.   I’d like to have a full day here to shoot during off season…I bet there are tons of shots here!  I was only in for the fireworks.

Some info from the web:    Cinderella’s Castle is also surrounded by a moat, which contains approximately 3.37 million gallons (12.76 megaliters) of water; however, unlike the drawbridge at Sleeping Beauty Castle in Disneyland, Cinderella Castle can not raise its drawbridge. There are a total of 27 towers on the castle, each numbered 1-29– tower numbers 13 and 17 were deleted before construction when it was realized that they could not really be seen from anywhere in the park, due mainly to the other Fantasyland buildings. The tower with the clock in front is 10, the tallest is 20. 23 is the other golden-roofed tower.

Originally, a suite was built for the Disney family and executives, but since Roy Disney died shortly after the park opened, it remained unfinished, and eventually was turned into an office. There are three elevators inside the castle. One is for guest use and goes between the lobby of Cinderella’s Royal table, and the second floor where the restaurant is. The second is for restaurant staff use, and is located in tower 2 to the left of the drawbridge. It has landings in the Utilidors, the mezzanine level in a break room, and on the second floor in the kitchen. The third elevator is in tower 20, and services the Utilidors, the breezeway, the kitchen of Cinderella’s Royal Table, and the Cinderella Castle Suite. The suite is about 30 feet below the level where the cable is attached to tower 20. Access to the cable is by ladder. Since January 2007 the suite has been used as a prize for the Disney Dreams Giveaway at the Walt Disney World Resort during the Year Of A Million Dreams Celebration.

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 20.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/22
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS5, Photomatix, Viveza

Orlando, Florida – The Gold Golf Ball (HDR)

From a few weeks back at EPCOT…this is Mothership Earth in HDR with a little Color Efex Pro added.  I’ll admit I love this sphere…this day I took almost every angle possible afternoon and night.  The triangular structures on the sphere create a cool 3-D effect.  The light reflects wonderfully all over…any time of day!  Nice design Disney!!   Kudos!!

Info from the web:  The appearance of being a monolithic sphere is an architectural goal that was achieved through a structural trick. Spaceship Earth’s is in fact two structural domes. Six legs are supported on pile groups that are driven up to 160 feet into Central Florida’s soft earth. Those legs support a steel box-shaped ring at the sphere’s perimeter, at about 30 degrees south latitude in earth-terms. The upper structural dome sits on this ring. A grid of trusses inside the ring supports the two helical structures of the ride and show system. Below the ring, a second dome is hung from the bottom, completing the spherical shape. The ring and trusses form a table-like structure which separates the upper dome from the lower. Supported by and about three feet off of the structural domes is a cladding sphere to which the shiny Alucobond panels and drainage system are mounted. The cladding was designed so that when it rains, no water pours off the sides onto the ground. (All water is “absorbed” through one inch gaps in the facets and is collected in a gutter system – and finally channeled into the World Showcase Lagoon.)

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6 VR
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 56.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/22
  • Gear:  Tripod, Cable  Release
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Color Efex Pro

Orlando, FL – Disney World (HDR)

Disney World is an amazing place! What adult or kid does not want to go at any time?  Maybe not in the sweltering summer…but when its spring or fall…tough to beat!  Everyone knows the Icon – Cinderella’s Castle.  Here it is in HDR.  All we need is some Disney characters to pop into the photo.   It is expensive to attend…so if you are visiting Orlando for a few days…park passes work well.   If you have real little ones…check out Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary  Resort.  Here you can have a breakfast buffet with Mickey and many of the characters from Disney.  Reservations needed!

Here is some info from the web: Cinderella Castle was completed in July 1971, after about 18 months of construction, and reaches to a height of 189 feet (57.6 meters) tall — more than twice the size of Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. An optical trick known as forced perspective makes the Castle appear even larger than it actually is. As it becomes taller, its proportions get smaller. For example, using this method, the top spire of the Castle is actually close to half of the size it “appears.” Major elements of the Castle were scaled and angled to give the illusion of distance and height, a method frequently used in Disney theme parks around the world.

Cinderella Castle was inspired by a variety of several real and fictional French palaces; Fontainebleau, Versailles, and the chateaux of Chenonceau, Chambord and Chaumont. It was also inspired by the Alcazar in Segovia, Spain. The chief designer of the Castle, Disney Legend Herbert Ryman, also referenced the original design for the castle in the film Cinderella and his own well-known creation—Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland in California

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4.0
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 22.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/22
  • Gear:  Tripod, Cable  Release
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza

Happy 1 Year Anniversary PLACES 2 EXPLORE!

One year ago today Places 2 Explore was created!   Amazing how time flies when you are having fun!   I started the blog not knowing where it will lead and now at the 1 year point, it has been amazing!  Thanks to all the steady readers or even to the one person that just visited only once!   Without you, this blog would be a bump on a log.

I truly love this blog and hope you do as well?  I keep pushing the limits of my photography by improving daily and trying different styles and methods.   In the past year my HDR skills have been growing!   I added IR photography into my portfolio and love what it can offer!   So what lies ahead for year 2?  More of everything!!!!  I’ll add more sports, portraits, macro, HDR’s and IR shots!  Just about anything I can shoot.   My home studio is in the works (halfway done!)…I’d love to try product photos as well!

Sales of my photos have been going crazy recently!  Any cool photo placement will be noted here!   Don’t forget, I am here to help…any questions you may have send em my way!  I hopefully can help or give you advice!

So here are some stats from year 1:

Total views: 274,000  (WOW!!  Just amazes me…thanks you again!!!!)

Top 5 Viewed Photos:  1) Times Square (HDR)  2) Golden Gate Bridge (HDR)  3) Tamps, FL (HDR)  4) Las Vegas NYNY Hotel (HDR)  5) Golden Gate Park – Japanese Tea Garden (HDR)

Comments: 420 (always great to with you!!)

Posts: 351 Total

Categories: 241

Top Searched Key Words:  HDR, Times Square, Eiffel Tower, Paris, Big Ben

Thanks again!!!!   ..and now the winner of the Las Vegas New York NY Hotel Mousepad is: AMBER DEBYAH!!!   Congrats Amber!!!!!!

As for the shot above…I’ll post the details next week with another cool firework shot…it is from Disney World in Orlando.

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4
  • Setting: Manual  Mode
  • Focal Length: 15.0mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Exposure: 6 seconds
  • Aperture:  f/11
  • Gear:  Tripod, Cable release
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Viveza

Orlando, Florida – When You Wish Upon an HDR!

If you are in Orlando how can you not visit Disney World??  I was in for the Daytona 500 and had a free night.  My goal was to photograph fireworks during the Dreams show at the Magic Kingdom.   I had never photographed fireworks…so I set up camp early in the perfect spot waiting for darkness.  The sunset had just passed (although it was not too sunny) and the blue hour arrived!   I timed my shots as Cinderella’s Castle turned  different colors.    I got off about 4-6 shots of the castle in various colors before it became too dark.    Here is a shot with the castle pink.  I added a little star trail to give it that Disney effect.  Easy to do…its in your brush pallette if you use Adobe Photoshop.  I just did a few sizes.    Not bad to start the night!    Then I awaited the fireworks show…..pics coming soon!!!!

Here is some info from the web:  Cinderella Castle is the iconic fairy-tale fortress that serves as the gateway to Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom theme park. It is not only one of the central icons of Walt Disney World Resort, but its romantic beauty has also come to represent all of the Walt Disney Company. The castle is located in the heart of Magic Kingdom theme park—just above the central hub of the Park. Many Guests catch their first glimpse of the castle from Main Street, U.S.A. When you first see the soaring spires, ornate turrets and shimmering moat, you know you’ve left the world of today and entered a magical new land full of fun and fantasy.

While it may be initially startling to see a medieval castle rising 190 feet into the sky at the end of a street right out of classic small-town America, the dream-like magic of the contrasting images captures the promise of the enchanted adventures awaiting you. Step inside Cinderella Castle, and it’s like you’re walking into a fairy tale come true. The castle is as beautiful inside as it is on the outside. Inspect an amazingly detailed mosaic mural—including tiles made of real 14-karat gold—and enjoy vignettes from the 1950 Disney animated classic, Cinderella. The mural contains one million pieces of glass in approximately 500 different colors.

Have a magical day!!!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • amera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 12-24 f/4
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 22.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/22
  • Gear:  Tripod, Cable release
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Color Efex Pro, Viveza