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Monthly Archives: January 2012

It seems whereever we travel, we always find an array of critters to amuse and entertain. Now, central Florida doesn’t have any chipmunks (sad, yes) but they do have plenty of small lizards! You can’t go anywhere without seeing these little guys!

“Larry” (Brown Anole, Male, Anolis sagrei, Common Florida Reptile) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 100mm, F/5.8, 1/640s, ISO 100, Nik Color Efex Pro ‘Vignette’ Filter

They are full of personality but very skittish. Just when I would get close enough, they would scurry away, only to return moments later. Perhaps it is some sort of lizard game??

They particularly liked hanging around the pool ledge, basking in the hot sun. This female was certainly gettin’ her ‘tan on’ while making sure the other reptiles weren’t invading her territory.

“Lounge Lizard” (Brown Anole, Female, Anolis sagrei, Common Florida Reptile) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 34.3mm, F/4.5, 1/800s, ISO 100, Cropped and Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Vignette’ Filter applied

During our visit, we also saw many birds wandering about, most likely looking to make a nice meal out of the small lizards. 🙂

“Little Blue” (Little Blue Heron, Egretta caerulea) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 20.3mm, F/4.5, 1/200s, -0.7EV, ISO 100

Mostly, we saw white egrets, cormorants and ducks, so it was a nice change of pace to come across this colorful fellow. I wish it wasn’t just as we were leaving for the airport! Isn’t that the way it is with critters? When you have all the time in the world, none can be found but as soon as you are in a hurry or ill-prepared, boom! They appear out of nowhere, posing all nice.

Until next time, my friends. 🙂

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Our journey into the Magic Kingdom continues…

To avoid getting photographically bored (gasp!) when you’ve been fortunate enough to visit this park as often as we have, you learn to notice the details. There isn’t much the Imagineers can get past me these days. 😉

For example, while strolling down the sidewalk on Main Street, USA, I spotted a new addition embedded in the brickwork:

“Portal to Magic” (Portal Icon – Main Street USA, ‘Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom’ Interactive Adventure, Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 9.9mm, F/4, 1/400s, ISO 100

At the time, I had no idea what I was photographing was part of the latest interactive adventure called “Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom”. This large bronze medallion tells game-players where magical portals are located within the park. Hmmmm, interesting… we will have to play this the next time we are there.

“La Fountaine de Cindrillon” (Cinderella Statue, Cinderella Fountain, Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 17.3mm, F/4.5, 1/400s, ISO 100


 
 
 

Moving onward, we wanted to take a look at the progress being made over in the new expansion area that was formerly known as Toontown.

However, on our way there, Cinderella’s Fountain captured my eye and once again, I got down low and shot upwards so as to isolate the statue’s silhouette against the brilliant blue sky.
 
 
 
 
 
 
For reference, this is what the fountain looks like shot straight on from the front.

Cinderella Fountain

Now, you can’t photograph Cinderella and not think about Prince Charming. 🙂 Good thing his carrousel was close by and looking very colorful, washed in the Florida sunshine:

“Oh, So Charming” (Prince Charming Regal Carrousel, Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 6.6mm, F/4, 1/1000s, ISO 100

Behind the carrousel we could catch glimpses of the construction taking place beyond the familiar Disney wooden barriers. Off in the distance, the new Beast Castle rises out of the rocky hillside:

“Beast Castle” (Beast Castle Under Construction, Fantasyland Expansion, Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 69.2mm, F/5, 1/800s, ISO 100)

Many folks wonder why we keep returning to Disney time and time again, but for us, the answer is quite simple: “If they build it, we will come.” 🙂

That is exactly what we said when we escaped the snow for a few days and headed south to sunny Florida! 🙂

The weather couldn’t have been better and though it was difficult to pry ourselves away from the poolside lounge chairs, we did make it to the Magic Kingdom just as the ‘Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party’ was in full swing. Stopping for a few moments to join in the celebration, I saw the opportunity to snap some shots as the interactive stream of dancers, stilt walkers and character-filled floats rolled past us on Main Street, USA.

“Sebastian Rocks” (Sebastian, ‘Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party’, Magic Kingdom Park, Walt Disney World) Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 51.4mm, F/5, 1/800s, ISO 100)

Quickly scoping the situation, I thought the stunning blue sky would provide the perfect backdrop for the colorful caravan but achieving this angle with no distracting elements wasn’t going to be easy. So, while everyone else was ‘pumping up the party’, I positioned myself as low to the ground as I could get and aimed my lens upwards. 

I’d say Sebastian’s smiling mug was well worth the effort! 🙂

“Falling” (Ice Crystals on Window) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/4, 1/250s, -0.3EV, ISO 640, Nik Color Efex Pro ‘Bicolor 2’ Filter

What do you do when the outside temperature is 9 degrees F with a windchill factor of -4 degrees F? (Yikes, now that’s cold!)

Well, what I do (still dressed in my striped pajamas, I might add 😉 ) is start shooting the ice crystals that have formed on the window panes. 

The trick to successfully capturing that feeling of utter cold is to change your camera’s white balance setting to incandescent (this will add a blue hue to the entire image). In post, I pushed the frosty mood further with the addition of a cool-toned bi-color filter. 

Brrrrrr… if you need me, I’ll be tucked under the warm covers! 🙂

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