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Old 05-11-2012, 10:55 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KatMark View Post
Welcome back; we've missed you.

Great update and wonderful photos of the Mansion and Hall of Presidents.

I may not see any further updates until the weekend (off to Dubuque, Iowa, tomorrow to see our son and future daughter-in-law.
Thanks Kathy! Have fun in Dubuque... if you CAN have fun in Iowa Congrats to Mark or Andy too! (Since I've been away, I figure I'll cover my bases and mention them both )

I'll have to redo the HoP ones this year. Now that I know where to stick my meter (technically, it IS where the sun don't shine...but the spotlight does shine there!) they'll hopefully come out far better. I've also learned that, since the stage is so bright, I won't have to stick on my low-light prime lens and can go with the telephoto that I'm far more comfortable with (as you'll see on a couple AK days later ).

Quote:
Originally Posted by sjs314 View Post
Love the shots from inside HM.
Thanks, they didn't come out nearly as well as I had hoped, and I haven't gone back to do those up again, but they'll work. This year, I hope to pick up a nice 24mm f/1.4 lens for my dark ride stuff (rental, there is no way that I'll be able to afford that one!) That should make them come out a bit better I've also just now (well, earlier today) had a camera setting pointed out to me so that I can raise the ISO (the sensor's sensitivity to light), which means I may be able to take some better (albeit, noisier) low-light photos even if I don't rent that lens.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mike the canuck View Post
nice pics! following along
Thanks Mike! I hope that I don't disappoint or disappear (again).

---
I'm still reprocessing last year's photos (I'm currently working on Day 5's pics now, though I did skip ahead and get some other sets done already too!), I only have 877 of 1234 (formerly of 1413) left to go through. I may get another sub-chapter up tomorrow, but I'm also going out to lunch with a couple buddies, so no promises!

(Edit: @ 7:20AM CST, I'm down to 790 or 1213 left to go! Only been working on these for a week now )
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Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)

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Old 05-12-2012, 05:20 PM   #62
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Chappter 2 - It's still a Magic Kingdom Morning? (pt 2)

It's still a Magic Kingdom Morning?
(continued...)

It's a world of laughter, a world of tears...

While we were in the tunnel after getting on the boat, I swapped over to the Nifty 50. Looking back on this, it probably wasn't a good idea to switch lenses in the dark. I wouldn't do it now, but I'm older and wiser! (As a note, in the introduction, you can add +1 to my age...)

Not much to explain here. You've all seen this stuff, now you can see it from me.


















After our little boat trip, Mom wanted to do Space Mountain, so we headed on over to Tomorrowland. On the way over there, I tossed on the UWA yet again and took some pictures that really show I had no clue how to use this lens! I also took a me break as Mom did Space Mtn. Unfortunately, I don't have much desire to ride this after it tore up my back last year. I may go on again if I can be guaranteed the front car, but the back of the back car really did me in...

I also spotted a couple wild chimpmunks while Mom was on SM







And then, afterwards we took a rid on one of my favorites. I'll let you guess.










And then back over toward Space Mtn for a potty break. While there, I pulled out the camera again and tossed on the 55-250mm lens. Ok, not while IN the bathroom, just while over in that general vicinity.









And then back to the UWA for a shot...

After that was taken care of, I believe we headed over to Stich's Great Escape. I know, I know, I can hear the groans from here. I actually enjoy this attraction! *GASP!* That's not saying that I love it or it's a favorite, but it's a cute little thing and I enjoy it. There, I said it. You all (I almost typed "Y'all"...I've been in the south too long) know my dirty little secret. I'm not ashamed of this fact though, just don't tell anyone please.

Ahem, after our trip through space with Experiment 626, we hit up the Monster's Inc. Laugh Factory, which is always quite funny.



It was pushing some time in the early afternoon at this point, and we decided to head on back to the resort to rest up for MNSSHP. I did stop and get something on the way out, but I'm out of picture room in this post so you're just going to have to wait! (Technically, I'm not, I got room for one more... but I'm not going to show it to you yet ) (That that smiley takes up the space for the last one, so I couldn't show you now if I wanted to.)

(Edit: As a note: 730 of 1196 now to go...)

(Edit: As another note: down to 596 of 1095 to go... I'm getting there...)

(Edit: As yet another note: down to 279 of 1072...)
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Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)

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Old 05-14-2012, 02:45 PM   #63
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Chapter 2 - A Midday Break then Back to the Magic

A Midday Break then Back to the Magic

So, we were walking down Main St. USA and my tummy was a little bit rumbly. We skipped lunch today because we had a big Tonga Toast breakfast, so I needed to eat something. There just happens to be a nice little shop along Main St that sells some tasty goodies. Something along these lines...





They were delicious! And Mom made fun of me for taking pictures of them in the room. She really should get used to it by now, as my camera was taking pictures of everything it could! (She got a banana, I did not take a picture of that.)

We rested back at the room for a little bit, I don't know how long since I don't know when we left MK anymore. Let's say that it was until about 4pm? That works for me.

After a quick nap (and the yummy eclair, in opposite order), we were heading back to the MK. We had ADRs at The Plaza for...um... some time around 5-5:30ish. I don't remember. I'm sure it's listed in my PTR and such, but I'm too lazy to look it up.

We got there a bit early and Mom went off to do some shopping. I hung around my blue square and snapped a few photos. Note how pretty blue the sky is...









I wonder if she's related to Donald?






I really waited quite awhile for our ADR, though I think I am now checked in at this point?

Eventually, we got checked in and called. It wasn't late or anything, I just think we were super early. I was all set on ordering a burger, with a salad for my entree and app (again, I get things backwards quite a bit) until the server mentioned a meatloaf special. I love me some meatloaf (and Mom makes it the best of course!) I had to try it. They also had a cheese and bacon soup for their soup of the day. My prearranged meal orders were already going out the window!

It almost looks as tasty as it was




I mentioned this once... while this meatloaf was VERY good... Mom's is better


It came with corn too, but the one picture of that I got has been removed so you don't get to see it

Now, remember that pretty blue sky? (Which may be slightly bluer in my pictures than it actually was...) It went away.


Yup, downpouring at around 6pm or so. Speaking of which, by this picture you can probably tell, but we got a really nice window seat with a view of the castle. Much nicer than the view of the wall I got last year! Mom also mentioned something that sticks in my head... She told me that, "If you look around, you'll notice that most of the men sit with their backs to the wall." I can't stop noticing this strange behavior even to this day (like it was SO long ago). Just a quirky little thing.

The rain eventually let up after its typical 30 minutes or so...

And I ordered a huge, way too much, seriously too rich, but all too gloriously yummy dessert.


And then, back to my table outside I went...





The sky was still pretty yucky, but at least it wasn't raining. We walked around the hub and then headed for... somewhere. The next picture (to start the next update) is in Adventureland. But I couldn't tell you if we rode anything at all. You'll just have to see...

And by "the next picture" above, I mean the next picture after these...









So, after the walk around the hub, we did something in Adventureland. I'll make sure to scour my throw away photos for clues before the next update!

(Since I'm not posting from home, I don't really have details of the photos in this update. I do know that I took a lot with the 8-16mm, and punched up the blue saturation in any of the pics with blue sky/reflections a touch)
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Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:48 PM   #64
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Chapter 2 - This is Halloween... This is Halloween

This is Halloween... This is Halloween


When we last left off, I was walking to Adventureland to do something. I should have taken notes, as I still have no clue what we did even after looking at my throwaway shots. I'm sure I hopped on a ride or two, but who knows now...

I did take a couple pics at least.

This was originally in the throwaway bin as well, the sky was a bit blown out and the building was a bit underexposed. I decided to change it up and reduce the exposure quite a bit and raise up the "black clipping" in Lightroom to make it a silhouette. This brought out the sky considerably better and made the overall composition a bit stronger.



After whatever our adventures were in Adventureland, we walked BACK through the hub and on over to Tomorrowland where I merely took pictures again. We may have hopped on a ride or two here as well, but once again, I can't remember much (really, I thought I had just sat outside of the plaza between dinner and Hallowishes, looking at my pictures, I see that wasn't the case). From there, we made the loop through Fantasyland and then back to The Plaza before the first parade. Most likely hopping on HM and/or something else as well.









Notice how you don't see a tree in these pictures? Yep...neither did I




It shows here, but I didn't think that it would be that big of a deal...

So, I hung out here for awhile as Mom went shopping. The first parade passed by, but I staked out my spot at a table as I had planned on watching it from LTT later in the night. During this whole time, I didn't go anywhere as I didn't want anyone ganking my spot. I was all setup with my tabletop tripod, prefocused on the castle, exposure "set", and remote shutter in hand.

Soon enough Hallowishes began and it was glorious, except for a minor issue with my previously staked out and camped location...








Yep, the darn tree was blocking half the show. I did move on over to watch it a bit off to the left of here, but the photos don't show that. Now, I do like how they came out, but they'd be a lot better without that tree. This year, I'll be photographing from the Train Station if I have my way!

After the parade, we meandered on over to LTT to watch the 2nd parade. We got a spot pretty much at the same point where I watched it in 2010 and it was a great little spot (next to the planter in front of LTT... I think there's a planter there, if not, it was somewhere on the right side of the stairs). The Headless Horseman rode by, and soon it was time for the real parade. The BEST parade Disney has to offer.


Wait...what? That's it? Yep. I started taking a picture of the first float (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Daisy) and then realize just how annoying my built-in flash was when trying to get an exposure. It strobes annoyingly... So I just stood there without taking any for a few minutes, and then I started to feel ill. Instead of standing there, feeling ill, I went and laid down on a bench on the patio of either LTT or Diamond Horseshoe or where ever there is a bench up there and watched from a distance. It was rather disappointing.

We decided to head out soon after the parade was over, but I did make a quick stop for a Dole Whip float. That seemed to settle my stomach a bit, and I now think I was simply dehydrated and/or overheated from sitting at the Plaza for an hour and a half without anything to drink.

We headed out back to the resort soon after.

(As 2 notes: I have only ~150 of 1051 left to reprocess, 70 of which are FoTLK, and have 62 others that I still haven't uploaded... Diablo 3 has been taking up my time this week )
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Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)
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Old 05-26-2012, 01:29 AM   #65
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Chapter 3 - Let's all go to the Movies!

Chapter 3

Let's all go to the Movies!


So, early morning came early on Saturday, and I was up with it. Even after the MNSSHP night! (Which, of course, we left a bit early from and I didn't do squat during...) I walked down to El Centro for something. I have no recollection as to what (other than my early morning "snack"). The only reason I know that I walked to El Centro, is this...


I suppose I went back to the room afterwards because I know we used Bus Stop 2...

We arrived at DHS sometime in the morning. We did not do the TSM run, so I'm thinking it was after RD. To be honest, it's nearly midnight and I'm tired and it's 9 months after the fact, so I'm going to make stuff up as I go along to fill in the holes!

We started off with a little shopping along the way down the main drag and I took pictures with my UWA lens. It looks like I'm starting to get the hang of that lens now... we can hope that trend continues (I know the answer, but I'm not telling!)



After our shopping excursion, of which we didn't buy anything as usual (I'm stupidly picky about the shirts I buy... I like plain. What can I say, I'm a boring individual which is why you're reading this TR! (If you're reading it and not just skimming the pictures...), we headed on over to the Great Movie Ride and I took a picture of the BAH (that's "Big Donkey Hat" for those not "in the know"). I hate this hat. I hate it with a passion. It's out of place, ugly, blocks the view of the beautiful front of GMR, and it houses a freakin' pin kiosk of all things.

Yuck

A poor picture for a crappy "icon". BTW, for those geeky enough to notice file names, you may notice that the past 3 pictures are in sequence. That's right! I took 3 acceptable pictures in a row! I know you're all proud of me. Don't worry, this trend will not continue.

Ahem. Back to the GMR, which was great. I THINK we skipped this last year. You can check my 2010 TR and let me know, k? (I know, I didn't mention there'd be homework...)

I plopped on my Nifty 50 for some shots, and took a whole bunch... of bad ones. A few did come out though, and after some work in Lightroom, they even made the "acceptable" list.






For all 3 of these shots, I cranked the ISO up to 3200 and shot various speeds and apertures. (The middle one was at 1/15s @ f/5.6... I really could have narrowed it down and shot it with a faster speed.. as it's a bit blurry... handheld with a non-IS lens at 1/15s? What what I thinking?

So, after GMR, I took a break outside of Sci-Fi Dine In. We dined here in 2010, but not in 2011. I had plopped the UWA back on, and while I was taking a break, I took a few shots. These needed work as they were a bit overexposed. When I say "these" I mean "this", as this is the only one that made it past the lightning round.
(Note: others were of similar quality, they were also of similar look, feel, subject, and what not. In other words, you don't need to see 3-4 of the same picture). I did start here (actually, in some of the earlier photos too) bumping up the blue saturation in Lightroom to make the sky pop a bit more.

After the break, we headed over to Star Tours. I was really excited for this as it was down last year and used to be my favorite ride at this park (not that I had a whole lot to choose from). With the UWA still firmly planted on the body, I snapped off a couple.




(There's another 2 in a row... can I go for 3 again?)

Star Tours was fun, I think. I don't remember it at all right now though. I do miss the old one, since I didn't get to do that before the new thing came along. But the new one was fun, just the same.

We then made our way over to ToT... slowly. I couldn't tell you if we had FPs or not. I'm assuming we did not, but we might have. I played with some photographs along the way...


(YES! Another 3 in a row!)






(And...another 3 in a row! Ok, I'll stop now until it's 4)

And through the arch we go. Which isn't ToT... I know we didn't to RnRC on this trip either... so I have no clue where we're going. I know for a fact we did ToT though. Just not sure when now. I promise that I might take notes this year if I think to. Or at least more pictures... which gives me an idea...

...BRB...

Nope, nothing in my throwaways either. I'll just say we did ToT here and go with it. You all won't know the difference anyway.






Yes, that's RnRC, we went outside there to check on FP and wait times. Really, why would I make that up? They weren't going to work for us, so we headed on over to Mama Melrose for our lunch ADRs.

We also had grabbed FPs for ToT at this point, since lunch was soon and the line was in the 30 minute range (which is super long in my opinion. I'm spoiled by September). Come to think of it, we rode SB then, because the line wasn't too long. I'm so good at this narration thing, you'd think I'd go back and edit, but meh, that takes too much work. It's so much easier just writing 3-4 sentences explaining that we didn't do this and we did do this, and then explaining why I didn't edit it... This also means we didn't really check FP times for RnRC, I suppose. But standby we did check, I think. Maybe. Who knows?

So, Mama Melrose for lunch... it was quite yummy. I had the Caesar Salad, NY Strip, and some Ice Cream looking stuff (I think it was gelato, but don't quote me on that). All of it VERY tasty. I have no clue what Mom had. Again, I promise to document that if I remember.










As mentioned, it was very tasty. I was quite surprised as MM does not get that great of a rap on the dining boards. I'm even planning on returning here this year! (Mostly for the F! package... since H&V is surely out and HBD is later in the week and probably a bit pricier than Mom wants to spend)

After Lunch...we'll have to discuss at a later date. Since it's 12:17AM as I'm writing this, it's going to be a pain to post (DISBoards doesn't like the hour between 12 and 1AM CST). That, and the next bit has several pictures and there is only room for 3. I'll give you a hint though... Zoom Zoom Zoom.
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Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)

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Old 05-26-2012, 10:47 PM   #66
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Great pics in your last couple of updates, I really want to go to one of the parties and MNSSHP is at the top of the list.

We really liked Mama Melrose when we went there in 2010, I don't see why it gets a bad rap either but I guess everyone has different experiences.

Can't wait to read more!
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Old 05-27-2012, 08:56 AM   #67
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Great pics in your last couple of updates, I really want to go to one of the parties and MNSSHP is at the top of the list.

We really liked Mama Melrose when we went there in 2010, I don't see why it gets a bad rap either but I guess everyone has different experiences.

Can't wait to read more!
Thanks! There's a lot in there that I wouldn't be sharing elsewhere (you know, places more concerned about technical and/or artsy stuff ), but this second pass has netted many more better ones. I am down to the last bit on it too! 33 photos to go, out of ~1000 now (1010 to be exact, for now ). I'm actually sitting here listening to the "Celebrate A Dream Come True" parade via www.d-cot.com, while editing the last of stretch of photos, which happen to be that parade

MM is good. I'd guess that it gets compared to Tutto, Via Napoli, and Il Mulino a bit, since it's in the same general area. It's not a very fair comparison though. Also, I know that many people go into Disney Dining with stupidly high expectations based on the price alone, instead of taking location and experience into account. But oh well, I'll eat here for sure and less of them means more availability for me!
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Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)
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Old 05-27-2012, 10:13 AM   #68
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I'm loving the pictures! I wish I had the patience to bring along my fancy camera. I did it a few years back and decided it was just too much of a pain. I often worried about it getting damaged so much I couldn't enjoy myself!

GREAT shots form GMR. Its my favorite ride, so I love seeing pictures of it!
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Old 05-28-2012, 12:32 AM   #69
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Originally Posted by GraceMonica View Post
I'm loving the pictures! I wish I had the patience to bring along my fancy camera. I did it a few years back and decided it was just too much of a pain. I often worried about it getting damaged so much I couldn't enjoy myself!

GREAT shots form GMR. Its my favorite ride, so I love seeing pictures of it!
Thanks!

I had the opposite problem in 2010, I had a little point & shoot at the time (Canon A10000IS (or something like that)) and it was great, I just hit the cap of what I could do with it and wasn't happy. I decided that I'd get a dSLR since I hit the functionality cap of that P&S and tote it around with me everywhere (literally, I bring my stuff to work every day, and the whole 9 yards ). It got me used to toting it around for Disney. Plus, I didn't want to repeat seeing a shot that I simply couldn't take.

I was happy with two of those 3 from GMR. Going to retry this year after 12 months more practice with the camera, so hoping that they'll be that much better. I did take ~20-30 shots in there though, so the outcome was far from ideal (it's just a trick to being a "good" photographer, don't show the bad photos )
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Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)
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Old 05-28-2012, 05:57 AM   #70
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Love the recent updates. The pictures are great. I had to laugh when you said you did not take a picture of your Mom's banana. Why? Because I took a picture of the one I bought the morning we had breakfast at the BW Bakery.

We have never eaten at The Plaza but considering it for our next trip. We ate at MM and that strip steak was quite good.

Sorry to hear you became ill during MNSSHP, I know how much you enjoy that.

We ended up changeing our trip from October to 1st week in March but I was able to get a good deal on flights so we are heading back November 28 to December 3 and I am beyond excited as it will be our first trip at Christmas time and the photographic prospects.
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Old 05-28-2012, 06:23 AM   #71
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Love the recent updates. The pictures are great. I had to laugh when you said you did not take a picture of your Mom's banana. Why? Because I took a picture of the one I bought the morning we had breakfast at the BW Bakery.

We have never eaten at The Plaza but considering it for our next trip. We ate at MM and that strip steak was quite good.

Sorry to hear you became ill during MNSSHP, I know how much you enjoy that.

We ended up changeing our trip from October to 1st week in March but I was able to get a good deal on flights so we are heading back November 28 to December 3 and I am beyond excited as it will be our first trip at Christmas time and the photographic prospects.
Thanks, I think I did a heck of a lot better on the pictures on this second run through, and there are some very good ones later on that originally were in the garbage (yay for "digital garbage" where it can come back without getting all dirty and smelly!)

I was tempted to take a picture of Mom's banana, but that was going a bit far. I had to restrain myself, my memory cards and laptop I brought along with me only have so much space .

I really like The Plaza. It's nothing fancy, but I get enough with the other restaurants I'm doing during my trips. It's good, solid, simple food. And relatively cheap too, which works for Mom's OOP expenses (one of these days, after she retries, she'll stay the whole week and do DxDDP with me...)

This MNSSHP was a bit of a letdown for me, for sure. Sitting all that time at the table, only to have a giant tree blocking my sight lines...and then dehydrating myself to miss my favorite parade . At least I'd get a second chance at them... or would I? (Duhn duhn duhnnnnnnnnn).

Christmas at Disney sounds fun, but seeing as I plan too late and then can barely get September out the door, it's a bit over my budget . I'm also less into Christmas than others, so it works out for me. I did shift my trip up by a week this year to avoid end of September crowds, somewhat related to F&W, but more related to Epcot's 30th, which seeing how much of a mess MK's 40th was, I wanted to avoid.

I DID end up going up north for Christmas, and got quite a few good shots from there (especially since I've learned how to use that Ultra-Wide lens now... sorta ). I may post a mini-update on that eventually. Suffice to say, when I woke up in Berlin, NH on Christmas Day and it was 7 below out... I remembered why I enjoy winter in Alabama .

I could have probably written up a whole new update in the time I posted this. But, it's 5am and I haven't gone to bed yet... luckily I have today off. (And, to be fair, I was busy processing and uploading some of my early shots here, as you can see if you look at the early updates, some of those will have my fancy black border on them.)

So, yup... see y'all tomorrow... or, um...later today!

Edit: I'm planning on writing the next couple of updates today (since they're both very picture heavy, it's going to take 2 posts to get them all in). However, I'm writing a tool for me to assist in posting the photos that link back to my gallery. Now, I could do this by hand and have them out in an hour or so, but I'm too lazy for that. Instead, I'll spend a few hours programming and craft something to help me .
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-- Allan (Smugmug / Flickr)
(Completely redid smuggy collections, See the Shared with Disboards gallery for broken images in posts.)

Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)

Last edited by Cafeen; 05-28-2012 at 01:49 PM.
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Old 05-28-2012, 05:00 PM   #72
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Chapter 3 - Zoom Zoom Zoom

Zoom Zoom Zoom
Warning: The next two installments will be VERY photo heavy. If you don't like photos in general, or you can only read and not see pictures, I'd suggest you skip most of them. For those of you who like photos but not my inane ramblings, these installments should really please you!

Previously on my TR...

We had gone to MM for lunch, I was all confused about why we went down to RnRC, and we were at DHS.

[Queue Title Credits]

So, after lunch, we headed on over to the Lights, Motor, Action! theater. I'm not entirely sure WHY we headed down there, but I guess it was just to walk lunch off. The show would be starting soon, and I felt it would be a great opportunity to play with my "big" lens (55-250mm). It was!

Now, I didn't get quite as good shots as I wanted (something I plan to remedy this year), but of the bunch, these are the top 19 (out of 97)...









Like below, this is one of two images in this series that I applied what I call (and what I think is actually called) Selective Coloring to. The process of which is basically the opposite of coloring, e.g. removing the color. I started by dropping out any color that wasn't red using the individual color sliders in Lightroom 4. For any bits that remained, I used a manual brush set to -100 Saturation and cleared them all out as well. I like the result, and while I wouldn't want to apply it to every picture, a smattering of it in the galleries works well.






















Similar to above, I went ahead and removed most of the color on this image. I pulled out all the non Reds, Yellows, and Oranges in Lightroom via individual color saturation. For the areas around the fire that did fall into one of those colors, I manually used a brush to completely desaturate the stuff. It was tedious, and you would not believe how much of a pain doing it on the flames was, but it works. It was also my first attempt at this sort of manual color selection (previously I had simply dropped the individual colors out to achieve my goals).







Phew, that was a lot...

After LMA, we headed on over to the Indiana Jones show... however, as I mentioned, that one won't fit here either.

(Edit: As a note, writing my little wizard thingy to pump out image code worked great. I just enter the "image number" (which is part of the filename really), hit a button, and out pops the code all ready to paste into a thread. I even made it so it correctly figures out which page you're on in the gallery and will put you back there, even though you never were there in the first place. I'm just that good!)
__________________
-- Allan (Smugmug / Flickr)
(Completely redid smuggy collections, See the Shared with Disboards gallery for broken images in posts.)

Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)

Last edited by Cafeen; 05-28-2012 at 05:15 PM.
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Old 05-28-2012, 05:41 PM   #73
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Chapter 3 - Dr. Jones/A "Small" Extra Charge

Dr. Jones
Warning: Like the previous installment, this installment will be VERY photo heavy. If you don't like photos in general, or you can only read and not see pictures, I'd suggest you skip it. For those of you who like photos but not my inane ramblings, this installment should really please you!

After the aforementioned LMA show, we headed on over to the Indiana Jones show. This was a favorite of mine when I was younger and I hadn't seen it for years. When we arrived, they were just getting underway and the theater was packed. We walked around for a minute looking for seats, when a CM approached and led us down into the empty VIP section. Score!

We were sitting only a few rows back, which was great for my camera! Again, here are the top 19 photos of the show (out of 74 this time). (Hm, 19 twice in a row... if anyone's read The Dark Tower series by Stephen King, they may find that a bit interesting...)

I didn't do anything real fancy with these in post processing. Just tweaked some of the settings and such. All shot with my 55-250mm lens as well.
































The show was good, but not quite as good as I remember it. I distinctly remember the plane in the end exploding as well. Now, since I'm stretching back ~22 years on that, I could very well be wrong, but I really think it used to blow up.

After the Indiana Jones show, we headed out of the park, stopping at ToT one last time either using FPs or riding Stand By... I honestly have no idea!

We headed back to the resort for our (well, my) usual rest for a couple hours. When we arrived in the room, I noticed my message light was blinking. I thought "strange..." So, I listened to the message (it turns out it was from the night before) and it was stating that I was over my credit limit and had to go down to the front desk to rectify it. I thought "What the .... heck? How could I be over the limit when I had charged 1 small meal, and a few tips (Jiko, Kona Breakfast, The Plaza, and Mama Melrose) to the room. No way in heck this was already hitting that $1500 mark!" So I stormed on down to the front desk to inquire (and because the Disney overlords told me to on the message).

A "Small" Extra Charge


It turns out that the system had gone down after I checked in, and some brilliant CM decided to rebook my ENTIRE VACATION and charge it to the room. Really. $2800 worth of room charges on the room because it was rebooked, at rack rate. (Strangely enough, my card had been working just fine though...) I had already paid ~$2500 for this vacation, there was no way in hell that I'd be paying another $2800 that I did not have, to stay at CSR.

Suffice to say, when I found this out, I was a bit upset.

I worked with the CM/Manager at the desk, and he reprinted my keys and said that it was all taken care of and I shouldn't be hearing from them again about it. I don't remember his name at all, though I suppose I should have written it down for later...

So, I headed back to the room and explained what happened. Mom was a bit annoyed, but soothing as moms are and we got ready to head out to dinner at Kona Cafe.

I had been looking forward to this ADR for awhile now, and I wasn't going to let something small like an extra $2800 charged to my room ruin it! So, we showed up, and waited... and waited...and waited... it was about 30 minutes or so, including showing up 15 minutes early, so it's not like it was horrible or anything. I was just impatient!

We finally get seated and our bread brought out... and it was amazing! I ordered the Pot Stickers, NY Strip, and Chocolate-Banana Creme Brulee. I know we also split a Kona Salad. I think Mom ordered pork or chicken or something, heck if I know. I also ordered a Kona Longboard beer. All of it was tasty as anything.









Now, why would I have taken a photo of the side of the bottle? Notice the "Brewed By" on the label here. Portsmouth, NH. About as far within the US as you can get from Hawaii... and about 30 minutes from where I grew up. Strange coincidence (and strange place to brew Hawaiian beer...)


MMmmmm.... that looks tasty. However, there was a "slight" downturn at the end of the meal. It was post dessert and we were waiting for our check, when Mom picked up the bread. What did she see underneath? A sizable (not huge) ugly bug. A bug of the type that I will not mention when talking about restaurants. Now, we're both sure it wasn't there when we started, as we had both been enjoying the bread. We figure it climbed up the pole next to the table and found a nice, dark, cozy spot under the loaf. She discreetly let our server know, who seemed pretty apathetic. He didn't even apologize. Suffice to say, my normal 25% dipped down a bit for that. Not that I was expecting much, but to act nonchalant about it and simply say "Well, do you want another loaf?", yeah, that's not cutting the mustard.

So, with that episode finished, we paid the bill and headed out. When I looked at my DxDDP receipt, I noticed something odd... I had 26 DxDDP credits remaining. You know, I get 3 per night, for 9 nights, and I've been to Cantina, Jiko, Kona (breakfast), The Plaza, Mama Melrose, and now Kona (dinner), so that totals 7 right there, I should have 20 left. Well, it appears as though when CSR "fixed" my resort stuff, my DxDDP got reset too. Interesting.

So, a disappointing end to an otherwise great dinner, and we headed back to CSR for the night. I had wanted to watch Wishes from the beach, but service was too slow for that.... and this would be a pretty common trend for the next few days.
__________________
-- Allan (Smugmug / Flickr)
(Completely redid smuggy collections, See the Shared with Disboards gallery for broken images in posts.)

Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)

Last edited by Cafeen; 05-30-2012 at 08:31 PM.
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Old 05-30-2012, 08:21 PM   #74
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Chapter 4 - The Future (World) is Now

Chapter 4

The Future (World) is Now

Once again, morning came when the sun came up. It has this amazing way of doing that. Whether I was up with it or not, I don't remember. I do know that we were up and out early enough for Rope Drop at Epcot though.

It looked like it would be a beautiful day, so I popped on my 18-55 and we headed to my favorite park. (Ok, all but DHS is my favorite, but that's beside the point).


Of course, like 89% of the other people, we headed up to Soarin' first. We hopped on for the ride (which is Mom's favorite) and then got FPs after. I also mentioned the Behind the Seeds tour that I wanted to do, and we went ahead and signed up for the 1:30pm (ish?) tour. Mom saved us some money with her Disney Visa, so that was good. The bill was a whopping $23 or so. Can't beat that for a tour at Disney!

After signing up, we headed on over to Living with the Land. Growing up, this was one of my favorite rides, and I must do it repeatedly each year now. I hate the boring barn video scenes, but the rest of the ride is always great (though, slightly less great with the canned narrator...)

Along the way, I took a few pictures. Mainly, because I knew that if I didn't, you'd all have my head.

Papaya Tree


Ti Plant


Dragonfruit Plant - I don't know if I mentioned this last year, or if I had even found that particular drink last year, but I've been (or was, I haven't had it for awhile now) obsessed with the Sobe Lifewater Dragonfruit and Acaci drink. It was so tasty. Hence, I made sure to take a picture of this plant.


Star Fruit tree


Some sort of flowers (doh, now I fail at knowing what I was taking pictures of! Granted, I cheated on the first couple or I never would have known them. The signs make this game easy).


Bananananananananas (Note: These are not the Bananas that Mom ate yesterday. I told you I didn't get a picture of hers. These are other ones.)


These next two were mainly for my Step-Mom. She LOVES sunflowers and has had a rough time lately with her health (she's a 2x cancer survivor). I knew they would brighten her day up. (And they did)




Pummelo


Peppers

After Living with the Land, I bet you can all figure out what I did right? I'll give you a hint...

Not enough? How about:

Yup, break time! This is one of my favorite "Blue Square" spots. It's on the path between The Land and The Imagination Pavilion. It's tucked away a little bit, shaded, and right near where the monorail passes in front of SSE. For all you others out there who enjoy your Blue Square breaks, this spot gets a thumbs up from me.

So, after my break, we headed on over to said Imagination Pavilion, and I tossed on the 50mm lens. I'm sure you know what's coming, so I'm going to make you wait for it by typing more words, especially about how the original was my ultimate favorite ride in ALL of the parks combined (of which, there were really only 2). The current one is...meh, but Eric Idle helps out a lot. Since I'm a sizable Monty Python fan, ... um... he helps out a lot. This could be worded better, but oh well.

So, the pictures you say? I didn't get any...

Or... maybe I did...

We'll see...

Gah, I can't hold it in that long.



I was going for something a little different here, trying to catch figment flying across this screen. I was half a second too late and this popped out. I'm kinda glad I was late as I REALLY like this image.










Overall, I did alright. My 50mm was a little tight to take pictures here though, I think I'm going to invest in that Sigma 30mm f/1.4 at some point (probably rent either it, or the Canon 24mm f/1.4L as I doubt I'll have the $500 to buy the Sigma before the trip).

After JiIwFETiNMoaJAoERAI (that's my shorthand way of saying "Journey into Imagination with Figment Even Though it's Not Much of a Journey Anymore or Even Really About Imagination"), we decided to head on up toward the World Showcase. During this time, I got one single picture...

Ok, I got more, but they won't fit into this thread and this makes a good stopping point for all 4 of my readers (or so).
__________________
-- Allan (Smugmug / Flickr)
(Completely redid smuggy collections, See the Shared with Disboards gallery for broken images in posts.)

Next Trip: NOT Solo... 10/17-10/27 @ Pop/CBR split. This time with Brother, Sister-in-Law, Nephew, and Mom (well, at least mostly not solo.)
TRs: Learning to NOT Photograph Fireworks Behind Trees (Sept 2012 PTR (no TR... yet?)
New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse for another Disney trip! (Sept 2011 PTR/TR)
Cafeen takes it slow in Sept... (Sept 2010) || Daddy for a week... - (Sept 2009)
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Old 05-30-2012, 10:50 PM   #75
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cafeen View Post

I absolutely LOVE this picture!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cafeen View Post
Not enough? How about:
I should start learning where these blue square spots are. My BF smokes, and I'm planning on taking him to WDW next year so its always good to be prepared!

....And now I have that imagination song stuck in my head
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