Florida

Fort Wilderness Lodge Christmas Tree

Disney Christmas

I headed off to the Magic Kingdom and Fort Wilderness lodge with the usual suspects of central florida photographers (you know who you are!) last week and captured this image in the Lodge’s lobby.

Disney always does a great job with the decorations in the resort lobbies.  The Grand Floridian, for example, has an amazing tree as well.  We had planned on heading there, but as with most photowalks, we spent most of our time photo-stopped and didn’t get very far!

Have a Magical Night!

Have a Magical Night

I photographed this last night at the Magic Kingdom and thought you all might enjoy it :)  Someone said there was some Super Bowl thing going on, but from what I heard about the score, you might as well have been playing minecraft (you might have been better off playing minecraft anyway ;))

By the way, you can checkout my photographing fireworks tutorial to read up on how to create images like these; fireworks can be intimidating at first, but can be one the most straight-forward subjects to shoot (once you get the hang of them).  You’ll need a couple of things (like a good tripod) and, if you can afford it, a remote trigger (I use an radio trigger, but just a simple wired one will do the trick).

I say all this then have to tell you that all I did yesterday was shoot handheld: camera, lens, that’s it.  While I normally do carry a tripod with me,  I wasn’t really planning on shooting the fireworks yesterday.  The plan was to be home pretty early, but time can run away from you when you’re having a bit of fun!

Have a magical night!

The Cathedral Church of St. Luke’s – Orlando

The Cathedral of St Luke's

Orlando is known for its theme parks and many distractions – not for Gothic Revival Churches modeled after the English Gothic style of the 14th century.  Nonetheless, that is precisely what you see here in the Cathedral Church of St. Luke of the Episcopal Diocese of Central Florida.

Designed by the architectural firm of Frohman, Robb, and Little, a firm whose work includes design contributions to the Washington National Cathedral, St. Luke’s is a rare architectural gem in downtown Orlando.

Construction the Cathedral began in the 1920’s with laying of the cornerstone in 1925.  While a portion of the building was completed before the Great Depression, which hit Florida in 1926, a temporary wall sealed the altar end.  This wall would not be removed until the building was fully completed as planned in 1987.

About the image
The photo is a composite of 5 images captured during a photowalk with the Orlando Digital Photography Group using a Canon 5DMKII, 24-105 F/4L, and an Induro tripod.   The images were merged in Photomatix with additional editing in Lightroom, Photoshop, and the Topaz suite.

Disney’s Fantasyland: Eric’s Castle

Disney's Fantasyland: Eric's Castle

The light isn’t always there and sometimes you just have to wait for it. This was one of those times where I just sat around with nothing to do for a while until the light was just right.

A cloud or two would have made this just perfect, but one can’t have everything I suppose.

From the new Fantasyland at Walt Disney World in Orlando.

Single handheld exposure edited in Lightroom and Photoshop.

Up Above Miami

Up Above Miami

 

This is Downtown Miami looking North from the Four Seasons Hotel.

At 789 feet, and comprised of 70 floors, the prestigious Four Seasons is the tallest building in Miami (and all of Florida for that matter). What you see here is the view from an in-construction penthouse on the 67th floor.

I drove about 3 hours for this shot and arrived just in time for the sunset (the ride took a bit longer than I anticipated).  The hotel interior is amazing and quite large; I ended up getting lost a couple of times before I finally made it to where I needed to be (there are multiple lobbies).  I was a little under the gun and worried I might lose the light, but fortunately it was a quick ride up to the penthouse after everything was squared away with security.  I remember seeing the view for the first time and thinking “this is going to be good.”  It was worth the drive as you can see here.  I shot for a couple of hours and have a few different looks of this scene as well as a westward looking view of the city I plan on posting in the future.

To give you an idea of what this hotel is like, I took a wrong turn on the way out of the parking and ended up in the valet section where I found a Maserati, Bentley and a Rolls Royce all parked next to one another!

Miami

Miami from Vizcayne

This is downtown Miami as seen from the Vizcayne Building – an exclusive luxury condominium building home to Miami’s elite (Dwayne Wade calls it home).

This was a tough shoot. Rain was pouring down that night, but I had worked out permission to be on top of the building and didn’t want to give up on the shot. So I waited and waited with an assistant (thank you Marcos Iturribeitia!) for breaks in the rain. We had gotten there an hour before sunset, so we had time to watch the weather.  The weather radar indicated that we should get some breaks.  So we waited.  My target was blue hour so we really had 1.5 hrs.  With nothing else to do, we just stood around a rooftop maintenance room cameras ready to go.

When the breaks came, we went out and setup (Marcos held an umbrella over the camera the entire time because the breaks came and went.) He also kept me from falling over the edge. The wall was maybe 2-3 feet high and it was slippery up there (not to mention I kept tripping over the rain drains.

Fun fun fun. I remember seeing the edge of the building whenever I closed my eyes that night. I got in late, slept a couple of hours then went out to shoot at the Deering Estate.

All’s well that ends well :)

Generation Gap

Generation Gap

Who says the generations can’t get together, have an outing and just get along?  I wish I could tell you more about the hot rod in front.  The owner wasn’t there and all I know is the grill says “International” on it.

Serenity

Serenity

Sunsets produced by tropical storms and hurricanes are paradoxically serene.  This sunset, photographed in Winter Garden just outside of Orlando, came as Tropical Storm Andrea made her way over to the Carolinas last week.

How it is was Made
This is a six-exposure HDR created with photomatix pro. The blended image was then processed through in photoshop with the original images for tonal adjustment and color correction.

Noise reduction was done with Topaz Denoise and minor touch up and cropping was done with Lightroom.

Canon 5DMKII Canon 17-40 F/4L at f/16 ISO 100.

China Epcot’s World Showcase

Located between the Germany and Norway Pavilions at Epcot’s World Showcase, the China Pavilion features a replica of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing.   Epcot’s replica is home to the 360° movie “Reflections of China”.  I love seeing this movie and all the images of China it contains but I don’t always get a chance to when I visit Epcot.

Outside of the frame on either side of the bridge are serene ponds that make for interesting photos themselves.  I’ll see about grabbing a shot of some of the lily pads next time I’m there during the day.

France: Epcot’s World Showcase

There’s no way to travel faster around the world than to take a walk through the World Showcase at Epcot.  There are eleven countries represented including France (which you see in the photo here).  There are rides, foods, and shows at the various countries to give visitors a “taste” each nation (especially if you’re there during the annual Food & Wine Festival as I was to take this photo).

I wasn’t fortunate to have clouds that night, but it was an exceptionally clear sunset which has its own charm.

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