Orlando, FL – Disney World (HDR)

Disney HDR_Talke
We are deep into winter and who wouldn’t want to take a trip to FLA right now! Stay warm…it is almost spring!

Peter Talke Photography Settings:
Camera: Nikon D300
Lens: Nikon 12-14 f/4.0
Setting: Aperture Mode
Focal Length: 22.0 mm
ISO: 200
Exposure: HDR 5 Exposures (+2 to -2)
Aperture: f/22
Gear: Tripod
Post Process: Adobe CS6, HDR Efex Pro, OnOne Software Photo Tools 2.6

Orlando, FL – Epcot (HDR)

Epcot HDR 06SW_Talke
From the lovely Epcot in Orlando, Florida…here is Spaceship Earth in HDR. If you ever wanted to learn more about this structure…here are some details from the web…

Geometrically, Spaceship Earth is a derivative of a pentakis dodecahedron. It is a Class 2 Frequency 16 Icosahedron, with each of the 60 isosceles triangle faces divided into 16 smaller triangles (with a bit of fudging to make it rounder). Each of those 960 flat panels is sub-divided into four triangles, each of which is divided into three isosceles triangles to form each point. In theory, there are 11,520 total isosceles triangles forming 3840 points. In reality, some of those triangles are partially or fully nonexistent due to supports and doors; there are actually only 11,324 silvered facets, with 954 partial or full flat triangular panels.

The appearance of being a monolithic sphere is an architectural goal that was achieved through a structural trick. Spaceship Earth 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 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 collected through one-inch gaps in the facets into a gutter system, and finally channeled into the World Showcase Lagoon.

Orlando, FL – Disney World (HDR)

Disney-World-HDR_Talke
Been a while since we lived in Florida. I miss heading down to Disney World every few months. We now have Disneyland here in SoCal…I think Disney World is a bit better. But SoCal has CA Adventure! I guess I should be happy either way…many people love to vacation in both spots…I have had both within 30 mins of my house. Hope you are enjoying your summer….only a few weeks left!!

Anaheim, CA – California Adventure – Cars Land (HDR)


My first visit to DisneyLand and California Adventure was this weekend! I went with my girls and we had a blast. Our first stop was CA Adventure to see the new attraction…. Cars Land! I loved both movies and visiting Radiator Springs would be classic! They did such an incredible job. Our first stop was the Radiator Springs Racers. Its the top attraction in Cars Land. 6 people per car and you take a track around Radiator Springs and even race another car. I’ll admit it was fun! The only tough part was that we arrived at the park a little after 10 AM. It took 2 hours of waiting in line to get to the racers! Whew!! Its new…so that was to be expected! Afterwards we stopped in a few stores…Sarge’s Surplus, Ramone’s House of Body Art, Radiator Springs Curios and had lunch at Flo’s Cafe! It was great to see they do not sell hamburgers and hot dogs there…healthier meal choices…I had steak and potatoes. Delicious! But of course…not cheap! (Its Disney). There are a couple other rides in Cars Land. We just walked around an enjoyed the sights. Also you can pose for a picture with either Lightning McQueen or Mater by the Cozy Lane Motel. They are life size and real. Kinda cool! Cars Land is def fun…we will go back often…we purchased a season pass and look for more pics someday soon!!!

Orlando, Florida – Cypress Gardens (Infrared)


From the quiet Cypress Gardens located in Orlando a shot from one of the botanical gardens. I have not been in FLA for a bit and have heard that Legoland has taken over the property of Cypress Gardens and has kept some of the gardens in place? When I went a few years back there was only a few people visiting the park and it was nice to have had a chance to see it!

Here is some history from the web: Cypress Gardens was one of Central Florida’s original tourist attractions, opening in 1936. This makes it a contemporary of Gatorland, another popular attraction that predates the arrival of the Disney Empire, having opened in 1949.

The original attraction at Cypress Gardens was the namesake botanical gardens, including a sprawling banyan tree. Over time, other attractions were added, like strolling Southern Belles in period costumes and a water ski show on adjacent Lake Eloise. Water skiing often overshadowed the gardens as a point of interest, and many world records in the sport were broken at Cypress Gardens over the years.

Cypress Gardens became a popular spot for filming movies and television specials in the 1950s and 1960s, with Esther Williams starting in several of them. Johnny Carson also appeared in a special at the park, and it was visiting by such celebrities as Elvis Presley.

The arrival of the Disney theme parks hurt Cypress Gardens, which is located about an hour away from Downtown Orlando, in a more far-flung spot called Winter Haven. It changed hands several times, starting in the 1980s, and attempted to reinvent itself as more of a traditional theme park, with roller coasters and other rides, eventually adding a small water park as well.

Competition increase as other Orlando theme parks like SeaWorld Orlando, Universal Studios Florida, and Islands of Adventure kept people from leaving the immediate Orlando area. The struggling theme park, now rechristened as Cypress Gardens Adventure Park, suffered a further blow when three hurricanes struck the region in 2004.

There were sporadic park closures over the year, culminating in a final closure in September, 2009.

Orlando, FL – Epcot (HDR)

The photo above is of Mothership Earth at Epcot.  Quite a great subject for photography.  Anything spherical using a fisheye lens can lead to a fun shot.  Tough to deny using this lens in such a situation.  I was about 1 foot away from the middle beam ahead and pointed my tripod upwards to get this effect.   Kinda looks like a transformer or maybe something from Logan’s Run (I may be dating myself).   I think you can photograph this big golf ball for hours.  Yeah, you can take the generic shots, but the fun is to grab something different.  Thanks fisheye lens!

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D300
  • Lens: Nikon 10.5 Fisheye f/2.8
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 10.5 mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  HDR 5 exposures (+2 to -2)
  • Aperture:  f/22
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Photomatix, Viveza

Orlando, FL – Epcot (Infrared)

From my visit to Epcot….it is hard to pass up taking Infrared shots of the characters in hedge/flower form!   Mickey and Minnie are looking a bit different today!  Farming a few odd looking crops. Epcot was amazingly a great spot for taking IR shots.    Thanks to sunny warm Florida!

I got to thinking…what does EPCOT mean…so here is some info from the web:   The name Epcot derives from the acronym EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow), a utopian city of the future planned by Walt Disney. Disney’s original vision of EPCOT was for a model community, home to twenty thousand residents, which would be a test bed for city planning and organization. This vision was not realized. Disney was not able to obtain funding and permission to start work on his Florida property until he agreed to build the Magic Kingdom first. Disney died before the Magic Kingdom opened and the Walt Disney Company decided that it did not want to be in the business of running a city.

The theme park originally was known as EPCOT Center to reflect the fact that the park was built to embody the ideals and values of EPCOT the city. The park consists of two sections—Future World and World Showcase—laid out in an hourglass shape. Both sections are patterned after the types of exhibits found at world expositions. In its early years, Epcot was often called a “permanent World’s Fair.”

The total cost of the park is estimated at $1.4 billion and taking three years to build (at the time the largest construction project on Earth) Covering an area of 300 acres (120 ha), it is more than twice the size of The Magic Kingdom. The parking lot serving the park is 141 acres (57 ha) (including bus area) and can accommodate 11,211 vehicles (grass areas hold additional 500+ vehicles).

Talke Photography Settings:

  • Camera:  Nikon D70S (Converted to Infrared)
  • Infrared Conversion:  D70S modified by LifePixel
  • Lens: Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6
  • Setting: Aperture  Mode
  • Focal Length: 26.0mm
  • ISO: 200
  • Exposure:  1/50 sec
  • Aperture:  f/25
  • Gear:  Tripod
  • Post Process: Adobe CS4, Viveza, Silver Efex Pro