Orlando

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.

Epcot’s Illuminations, Japan

Epcot Fireworks Illuminations

Epcot’s Illuminations fireworks display as seen from the Japan Pavilion at the World Showcase.  I was shooting very long exposures this night (30″+) and was only able to get a few images because of the duration.  I didn’t get a lot of images, but I do like what I captured.

It was also a fun shoot.  I locked up focus and composition an hour or so before the show, ate some sushi, chatted with some friends and waited for the fireworks to start.  I love the music that accompanies the show.

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.

The New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World

Disney’s new Fantasyland at Walt Disney World in Orlando will be fully open on December 6th featuring two new areas that will double the current size of Fantasyland: the Enchanted Forest and Storybook Circus.  Storybook Circus with the new Dumbo Ride and Barnstormer (a Goofy based coaster) is already open.   The Enchanted Forest will open next week.

The image above was taken just outside Beast’s Castle in the Enchanted Forest a few weeks ago.

Sitting Area

Sitting Area at Disney's Yacht and Beach Club

Another one from Disney’s Yacht and Beach Club.  I photographed this the same day I captured the corridor at the Yacht and Beach Club Convention Center.  I was drawn to the texture in the chairs and the symmetry.  Sometimes it’s the simple things that draw you in.

The Comerica Building, Downtown Orlando

Comerica Building - Downtown Orlando

 

Today’s photo is a 2 exposure RAW tonemapped with photomatix.  I did shoot 3 exposures, however, I felt I lost the drama in the sky by tonemapping using the 3 exposures.
While I got the drama in the sky, I also got a lot of noise which needed to be addressed in post.  I also got a little more haloing than I would have liked.

 

The haloing I fixed by taking the -2 exposure and opening up a layer mask then using a brush at about 15%.  That took care of that.

 

As for the noise, that was a bear, I ended up denoising a couple of times before using topaz to give it a little pop.

 

Finally, I finished it off with some sharpening.  I thought I was done, but the long blue strip that runs the length of the building was a bit oversaturated.  So, I quick masked that, took it to a group, dropped the saturation and used a levels adjustment to get it just right.

 

And, there it is.  Hope you enjoy it.

Abandoned Spaces

An abandoned Garage in Downtown Orlando, Florida. I was drawn to how the wall on the left connected to the ceiling and with the emptiness of the space.

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