Keyhole

Feeling creative on a trip to Williamsburg a year or two ago.

The Wren Building on the campus of William & Mary.

The Wren Building on the campus of William & Mary.

The Big Apple

Might be time for another road trip…

The Big Apple

I think cabin fever is getting the best of me.

 

Pit Stop

Any excuse to take the aerial camera out and fly it, right?  I saw these trees across the highway on the way down to Florida and said I thought it would make a cool image.  So we stopped on the way home.  I really missed out on some cool photography on our cross-country RV trip a couple of years ago.

Our first rest stop on the way home from Florida.

Our first rest stop on the way home from Florida.

Drink Lid

I think Snapple drinks have programmed everybody to look under the lids of their drinks to see what’s under there.  You know you do it.  I’m alway looking under the lid.

I think I got somebody else's drink.

I think I got somebody else’s drink.  This was not a Snapple, by the way.

Hidden Mickey

It’s a real thing.  At least as far as the public goes.  Disney has yet to officially acknowledge the Hidden Mickey phenomenon, although they do sell Hidden Mickey books in their gift shops.  hmmm….

Apparently it all started when EPCOT was being planned as more of an adult-targeted park including the sale of alcohol.  Since Disney characters and alcohol were taboo together it was established that none of the characters, especially Mickey, would ever be seen inside that park.  Well, the Imagineers took it as a challenge and started incorporating them into everything they could.  Voila!  Hidden Mickeys.

The general rule is that if it’s not associated with Disney then it’s not really an “official” Hidden Mickey.  It’s still fun though.

Not so hidden, but it makes for a great image. | Order a print of this image.

Not so hidden, but it makes for a great image. | Order a print of this image.

Griffith Park

The whole time I was here I kept thinking how cool it would be to fly the drone over it.

That's the Hollywood sign at the very top right of the image.

That’s the Hollywood sign at the very top right of the image.

Forward Thinking

“Times and conditions change so rapidly that we must keep our aim constantly focused on the future.”
Walt Disney


Even Walt Disney knew where TV & movies were headed. Even back in 1955!  Wink, wink.  Nudge, nudge. 😉

Even Walt Disney knew where TV & movies were headed.  Even back in 1955!  ;)

In Character

The employee (aka cast) culture at Disney Parks fascinates me – specifically the characters.  I seem to only remember the fully costumed characters when I was young and visiting Walt Disney World.  You never actually saw a real person.  But times, and culture, have changed.  Now there are real life people portraying the Disney characters in the park, which creates an entirely different dynamic for interaction.  I never used to hear the characters make any sounds (especially speech) at all.  Now you can have an entire conversation with them.  The added fascination for me is the fact that now the real-life characters need to work harder to remain in character.  They can no longer hide behind the comfort of being silent and not being seen and can simply use body language to remain in character.  It’s just fascinating – which probably explains why I have a degree in psychology.

btw – this photo is horrible, but Alice is the one who prompted this post and this is the our selfie with her (which is technically really a “groupie”).

So we asked Alice if she knew what a selfie was.  She responded "Why yes, a self-sufficient photograph."  Awesome.

So we asked Alice if she knew what a selfie was. She responded “Why yes, a self-sufficient photograph.” Awesome.

Fourteen

I’ve seen this back home in Winchester and I’ve seen lots of discussion threads because of it out here in CA.  Still can’t find a solid reason for it.  Why a 14 mph speed limit?

  1. It’s different and catches your attention
  2. 15 mph is too fast (and sounds too much like 50 when spoken with certain accents)
  3. 13 mph is too slow (and unlucky)
  4. 14 is a multiple of 7 so it’s twice as lucky
  5. 14 mph is the speed of a horse-driven carriage at a “furious” pace
  6. The trams travel at 15 mph so theoretically a car should never overtake a tram

And so on and so on and so on.  I tend to fall into the reason #1 group, but I like them all.

IMG_1653

The “World” Has Spoiled Me

There’s obviously a lot that’s different between the two parks.  After the location (obviously) the biggest difference is simply the size.  There’s just more real estate in Florida.  But after today’s adventures, the biggest difference for me now is the Disney experience.  You get more of it in Florida.  I’m not knocking the parks in California – don’t get me wrong.  I enjoyed my first day in Disneyland.  It’s fascinating to pick out the similarities and differences between all the rides.  For instance, in Florida it’s the Swiss Family Robinson Tree House.  In California it’s Tarzan’s Tree House.  Neat.  Anyway, where was I?  Oh yeah, right smack in the middle of Anaheim.  That’s the biggest difference for me – the fact that you’re navigating through a city as well as the parks in California.  The public transportation is Anaheim’s.  In Florida, you’re completely immersed in all things Disney (that is, of course, if you stay “on campus”).  The public transportation is Disney’s.  Walt Disney World has a sprawling 43 square miles (or 27,258 acres) of real estate whereas Disneyland operates on about 160 acres.  So you see, the “World” has spoiled me.

The nightly fireworks show at Disneyland Park.

The nightly fireworks show at Disneyland Park.

27 Hours

I get an extra 3 hours to post today.  Woohoo!  The downside is that I’ll only have 21 hours on Monday. Boohoo.  We were all dragging today after 5 hour flights and being up 18 hours we wanted to remain active to avoid going to sleep too early.  It was Laguna Beach or bust.  I’ve always seen the big waves in pictures or TV, but it was cool to see them in person.  We were also pretty distracted by the $15,000,000 homes up on the cliff.  Yep.  Six zeros and seven figures!

The view from the homes that don't overlook the Pacific Ocean.  The less expensive houses.  These houses are only worth $5,000,000.

The view from the homes that don’t overlook the Pacific Ocean. The less expensive houses. These houses are only worth $5,000,000.

The James

How appropriate was it that we’d take the Williamsburg back across the James?!

Not sure what it is about Williamsburg, but we really love it here.

Not sure what it is about Williamsburg, but we really love it.

DOG Street

I’m always concerned about what the reaction will be when I send my camera soaring into the air.  I was especially concerned while visiting WIlliamsburg this weekend.  I don’t know specifically why, but it just felt weird to me to be flying over Duke of Gloucester Street.  It just seems like such a proper place and I didn’t want to distract or disturb.  I ended up launching from the fields behind the Wren Building and flying to just over the Wren Building.  So, for all the Tribe alumni – enjoy.

Weekend Getaway

“A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in.”

Robert Orben


Travel

After 18 hours, 4 and 1/2 states and only three Red Bulls, the vacation really begins.  We chose to drive straight through and I’m kinda glad we did it that way.  It may not be so easy on the way home though.

My view for most of the day.  With an 18-hour day, this is about the extent of my shooting today.

My view for most of the day. With an 18-hour day, this is about the extent of my shooting today.

Winning

And that’s how you pack for a two-week vacation to the beach.

Notice how almost half the car is my photography equipment.

Notice how almost half the car is my photography equipment.

Travel

I took this picture yesterday and was just playing around.  Anybody who knows me knows that I usually have my cameras with me and I’m taking random shots of just about anything.  I may never use the image.  I may use it as a background.  I may use only part of the image.  Regardless of how I use it, it’s in the digital filing cabinet forever.  This image was never intended to be anything other than, well a test shot while I was just playing around with settings.  I started looking at it , though, and it just jumped out at me as some sort of car ad.  The big clear front windshield, the nice motion blur going down the road.  It’s a car ad, right?  At least that’s what it was screaming at me.  It’s funny how some final images started out as throw-aways.

It really demonstrates my “tip of the day” – DO NOT DELETE IMAGES IN CAMERA!  Stop fumbling around on vacation, or on the shoot, or at an event with the images you just shot trying to determine what’s good and what’s not.  There are really only two things I use my digital viewfinder for:  1) checking for correct exposure and 2) helping me compose a shot (my 60D with it’s articulating viewfinder helps tremendously with this one).  Well, make that three.  I also use it to access my camera’s menu system.

With memory cards as cheap as they are these days you’ll have plenty of room on the card.  Review your images when you get home.  While you’re at the event/game/party/wedding or whatever it is you’re shooting – Just shoot.

Sometimes a concept will just smack you right in the face.

Sometimes a concept will just smack you right in the face.

Alpendorf

Found another image from our trip to Austria.  On our last day, we took a hike up into Alpendorf and we were glad we did.  Just look at that view!  There are no words to describe it.

What a site for an awesome pool party.  That ski lift goes to the Alpendorf Ski area in Austria.

What a site for an awesome pool party. That ski lift goes to the Alpendorf Ski area in Austria.

Open Air Fruit Market

There’s just something about New York City that I love.  I’m not really sure what it is and it may just be a novelty because I don’t actually live there.  But I do enjoy it.  While I was there for a conference last Fall it was a mission of mine to make it to Grand Central Terminal.  And not because of anything else but to simply visit the Apple Store that’s housed inside.  I just think it’s cool that the Apple Store sits on the platform above the largest rail station in the world.  Very clever Apple.

The biggest of the 5 Apple stores in Manhattan wraps around the upper concourse of Grand Central Terminal. Order a print of this image.

The biggest of the 5 Apple stores in Manhattan wraps around the upper concourse of Grand Central Terminal.
Order a print of this image.