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View Full Version : Almost a Year Away and Already Panicked?


CastleGazerMom
05-03-2011, 03:45 PM
We will be going to WDW April 2012. :earsboy: Although not our first trip, it will be my first trip with a REAL camera! I got my Canon Rebel almost two years ago and every since have been dreaming of the pictures I want to take in the most Magical Place on Earth!

So....why am I so panicked already about not getting great shots? I am an ok photographer, but still lots to learn. Most of my pictures right now are youth sports for my children. When thinking and stategizing my trip, I keep coming back to worrying about getting the best shots, remembering all the shots I want to take, projects that I want to do when I get back like framed shots for the rec room or photo art letters to spell our last name, etc. What if I get back and look at my pictures and I am dissapointed?

There are some amazing shots on this thread and I worry I won't have enough knowledge about lighting and ISO, Aperature, etc and have substandard pictures or miss something I should have taken. We only get to go about every 3 years.

Anyone have any advice on how to calm my nerves, prepare for my photo trip, or things I need to learn how to do before I go?

Any wisdom that will calm me down is GREATLY appreciated!:flower3:

ChiSoxKeith
05-03-2011, 04:20 PM
Spend the year practicing your craft and learning before you go....

Read lots of blogs like the one over at WDWPhotography dot com and these boards. This boards wdwfigment ( aka Tom Bricker) has a really nice article on Family Photography tips there (http://www.wdwphotography.com/10-rules-for-wdw-family-photography/).

Not sure where you are from but is taking a photography class at a local community college an option? Is there a place like Calumet Photo nearby so you could take a workshop or two?

I'm sure you will get some recommendations for some good reading in this thread too. Personally I like Scott Kelby's Digital Photography boxed set.

Then there's Photofocus dot com and podcasts like Mostly Photo and This Week in Photography.

Look at tons and tons of other people's pictures. You've got lots of choices here on this board and lots of flickr groups with nothing but WDW pics in them too.

I will caution you though that you need to manage your expectations too.

From the few people that I know on these boards, they didn't start shooting these great shots the first time they went to WDW, but got better and better with each trip. It's not like this 2012 is your only chance EVER to go to WDW. You can always go back - even if it's a couple of years away.

Oh, and if this is your kids first trip to WDW, make sure that you

A) enjoy their first visit.
B) think about prepaying for the photopass.

On the first trip to WDW, DD3 wanted no part of character meet and greets. Then when we were there for the second visit, she did want to do princess ones. I popped for the fastpass CD and I'm glad I did. While I think I actually got better shots at one of the fairies and a couple of the princesses - I also blew a lot of shots at a couple of the other ones. I would have been kicking myself if I didn't have the photopass pictures as a backup.

Oh, and don't try to have too big of a shot list. You'll never get it all done. Figure out the one or two projects you want to do and then go shoot for that while you are there.

I had grand visions of doing lots of different things last trip. We were staying at AKV and I wanted lots of animal pics. I wanted to get some fireworks shots. I wanted to do some work with my gorilla pod and a remote shutter release. I eventually boiled it down to two - I was going to get better in low light (working with a 50mm f1/4) and I was going to get some good shots of DD and do some kind of photobook. There just wasn't enough time to do everything - and to be honest, I doubt I could have been able to camp out with a tripod for fireworks shots anyway - and I probably won't until DD is older.

I'm having the same kind of anxiety myself. We are going to Aulani this fall, our first trip to Hawaii. One of my coworkers has been to Hawaii dozens of times and his cubicle is wallpapered with all of these amazing shots. Gorgeouse beaches, waterfalls, sunrises and sunsets.....you get the idea. I have to keep reminding myself that I know I'm going to go back to Hawaii eventually, this isn't a once in a lifetime trip - and that he took his photos across a dozen trips. He didn't get them all the first time there.

The only other bit of advice I can give is to bring LOTS of memory cards and make sure you get some shots with you in the picture too. While I was there, whenever I saw a family posing for a shot with either mom or dad behind the camera I would offer to take a shot for them. Maybe it was just karma but it seemed like we always seemed to get the offer in return so all of us are in more than just one picture from our most recent trip.

SrisonS
05-03-2011, 05:51 PM
The main thing is to just keep shooting. Try to become very comfortable with your camera in various conditions. Once that sort of becomes 2nd nature, then you can just focus on the more fun part of capturing all that you want; and maybe only worry about creative composition, and the like.

And to prepare yourself some, how about visiting a location near you that you are pretty unfamiliar with. And force yourself (not too much though) to walk away with some good shots. If you can handle the unknown well, you'll be a lot more likely to pull off some great shots at the somewhat familiar Disney.

mom2rtk
05-03-2011, 06:00 PM
What do you have dreams of shooting well on your trip? Character shots? Fireworks shots? Parade shots?

There are lots of suggestion in the "Welcome to the Photography Board" sticky here:

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2603154

Then pop back over here as you have questions.

There could be little things you need to add to your collection, like a tripod or remote shutter release.

Why don't you let us know what you have, so we can help you spend some more money....... errrrrrrr....... I mean so we can help you make sure you haven't missed anything! :thumbsup2

If you haven't read "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson, that's a great way to while away some of the hours until your trip!

Gianna'sPapa
05-03-2011, 06:05 PM
Take a deep breath and relax!! You have a year to practice. As others have said, try to put yourself in situations or places that simulate WDW. If you have an amusement park, Six Flags, etc, near you, go and practice shooting. Shoot both in the daytime and night. On the 4th of July find someplace to shoot fireworks. Practice as much as you can. I create a realistic shot list of things I want to re-shoot (we go every year and half) or a theme of things. In November, I want to try to shoot from a child's perspective, a lot of low looking up shots and of course night shots. I love night shots at WDW with a tripod. Just remember to have fun.

klmall
05-03-2011, 06:17 PM
I'm much like you in that I have had my first dSLR (a Canon XSi) for almost two years. Start reading other photography boards for lots of the kinds of things you are asking and good examples to learn from!

While I read this board everyday, as I grow I find myself learning from questions others ask on camera-specific boards like my current favorite (http://photography-on-the.net/forum/) and this one (http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/forum.asp?forum=1010).

Just moving from shooting in A to P and shooting in RAW will push in the right direction!

CastleGazerMom
05-04-2011, 09:17 AM
Ok, deep breath...whheewww!

Thank you for helping to calm me down! There is definitely great advice that I can take from some amazing photographers (snuck a peek at your own photos...wow! Fantastic!)

I appreciate all your wisdom and I am going to set a year long prep plan in motion so that I am less stressed next April!

I have a Canon Rebel XS with two Tamron lenses. I have a short one but I mostly use my telephoto (50 - 300) because I prefer to zoom in unnoticed on my subjects (i am a bit shy).

I have two photo projects so far:
1. I want to get some timeless architectual type photos that are worth framing that represent WDW without being the typical tourist shots

2. I want to get shots that have letter shapes (abstract) that I can spell our last name for framing

(of course, capturing my 10 year olds enjoyment via candids is always on my list)


Thank You again for all your support! You all have some amazing shots, I am going to strive to be like you instead of being overwhelmed by your talents! lol

klmall
05-04-2011, 10:03 AM
Ok, deep breath...whheewww!

Thank you for helping to calm me down! There is definitely great advice that I can take from some amazing photographers (snuck a peek at your own photos...wow! Fantastic!)

I appreciate all your wisdom and I am going to set a year long prep plan in motion so that I am less stressed next April!

I have a Canon Rebel XS with two Tamron lenses. I have a short one but I mostly use my telephoto (50 - 300) because I prefer to zoom in unnoticed on my subjects (i am a bit shy).

I have two photo projects so far:
1. I want to get some timeless architectual type photos that are worth framing that represent WDW without being the typical tourist shots

2. I want to get shots that have letter shapes (abstract) that I can spell our last name for framing

(of course, capturing my 10 year olds enjoyment via candids is always on my list)


Thank You again for all your support! You all have some amazing shots, I am going to strive to be like you instead of being overwhelmed by your talents! lol

Your projects sound so interesting! I absolutely love the second one!

You are definitely on the right path!