Be Our Guest

Nighttime at Disney’s Magic Kingdom is truly a magical experience. As a photographer walking around a theme park in the middle of the night, I was on a mission. I had envisioned this scene before so I knew how I wanted to shoot it.

This shot was taken minutes before the shot in this post – Liberty Belle – about 13 minutes to be exact. It’s the entryway to the Be Our Guest Restaurant. With the gates closed and no people in sight, I knew it was time to get this picture. I really liked the way the lights were “spilling” onto the walls and the ground before me. Interesting shadows, textures, and details stood out in this scene and I knew that I wanted to capture them. The purple glow from other lights illuminating the trees seemed to add an air of mystery.

For more information about this restaurant, please click here: Be Our Guest Restaurant.

If you would like to view more pictures on my blog from Disney, just click here.

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Please consider leaving a comment as I always enjoy hearing from my visitors! 😀

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Be Our Guest

The Boardwalk

On a recent trip to Disney, I spent the day walking around taking in the magic. I explored some of the resorts and slowly made my way to the boardwalk area. After walking around there for a little bit, I sat down to a quick meal and a little relaxation.

It was getting close to sunset time so I started looking for something interesting to shoot. I noticed a sliver of sunlight peeking through the clouds. I found a spot that I liked and noticed the way the light was hitting the buildings. Since the lights were also turned on, it made for a nicely lit scene.

For the last half of the day the sky had pretty much been gray so I wasn’t expecting spectacular sunset colors. I moved around a little bit looking for different compositions and just enjoyed the way everything was looking. All of a sudden the clouds started breaking up and the most beautiful display of color and light that I had ever witnessed was appearing before my eyes. I started getting really excited! I had a very surreal feeling come over me. It was like standing in a dream. I was mesmerized by what I was seeing.

I kid you not when I say the light was changing every 30 seconds. This was one of the most awesome things I have ever seen. And just when you think it’s over it changes again. I took a lot of shots this day, but this one really stood out to me. I will never forget Sunday January 13th, 2013.

If you would like to view more pictures on my blog from Disney, just click here.

Please click on the image below to view full-screen.

The Boardwalk

I hope you enjoyed today’s post. Please consider leaving a comment as I always enjoy hearing from my visitors! 😀

Sunset on the Serengeti

No not the African plains but Florida! Busch Gardens theme park in Tampa to be exact. Photo opportunities abound when you pay a visit here. There is a variety of animals to see and learn about. This image features three of their stars: a Reticulated Giraffe and two Marabou Storks. This was a perfect day for taking pictures as it rained off and on all day. The clouds would come and go opening up briefly to let the sunlight in. I was walking around taking pictures of the birds when I spotted this lone giraffe. He kept getting closer to me and I had the hopes of getting a close-up shot. He stopped at a comfortable distance from me and stayed where he was. With him keeping a close watch on me, I setup the shot to include the two storks with the giraffe in the background. I got four shots before he turned and ran away. The color in the sky and the giraffe staring right at me was my favorite shot.

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I hope you enjoyed today’s post and I encourage you to join the conversation by writing your thoughts below as I truly like to hear from all of my visitors! 🙂

Sunflower Dreams

This past Sunday I went to a sunflower maze in a small town nearby. Armed with my tripod and camera, I set out to hopefully capture some beautiful pictures. The vision in my head was one of those shots where there is an infinite field of short sunflowers, the sun is low in the sky, and there are big, fluffy clouds. Well that didn’t happen. Most of the flowers I encountered were 8 to 12 feet tall. The sun was still relatively high in the sky. And clouds? Nada! But I am always optimistic about making pictures in any condition.

The maze itself was 5 acres in size. I spent roughly 3 hours walking through it, intentionally going the wrong way just to see what I could find. As this was the last day of the maze being open, a lot of the flowers were past their prime. But most of them were still blooming out nicely. I walked along stopping every so often to take a picture. I was nearing the end of the maze when I saw this flower. The sun was lighting it up from behind and the glow was amazing. I moved around looking for the right angle to capture it. When I found the right spot, I set my tripod up and shot. I looked on the camera screen and thought – no that’s not it. I turned the camera just a little bit and just as I pressed the shutter, the wind blew slightly, moving the other flowers and leaves around. I checked the screen and I was ecstatic. This was the shot I was looking for. The sun flares glowing across the frame in a diagonal line. The bright spot of sun in the upper right. The light cast on the back of the flower. All of these contributed to a shot that only required me to be in the right place at the right time.

I didn’t do very much post processing on this shot. A little bit of sharpening, contrast, and clarity were all that I needed to do in Lightroom.

To enjoy a larger view, please click on the image below!

I hope you enjoyed today’s post and I encourage you to join the conversation by writing your thoughts below as I truly like to hear from all of my visitors! 🙂

Silence Is Golden

When you live in Florida I think it’s mandatory to take pictures of boats and sunsets 🙂 But seriously they just fit like a great pair of shoes. I live just up the street from the beach and the marina. It’s a great place to go just to unwind from a long day even if you don’t take a camera. There wasn’t a lot of clouds but there was enough that it looked like it might be a decent sunset. So I ventured down to the beach to see what I could capture. The water was calm and peaceful as the sun was dipping down and creating this beautiful golden backdrop. I got lost  in the silence and for a little bit it felt like I was the only person on Earth. The reflection of the boats was calming as this scene unfolded before my eyes.