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Old 12-02-2012, 03:22 PM   #1
MolonLabe
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Just back from a week at WDW with my T4i and doing PP+...

I did a PP+ pre order before I got my T4i and decided to keep it for the rides, meal photos and so I wouldn't be handing my camera back and forth to various PP people so I could get in some pictures and because last time they got some great angles I didn't when my girls were meeting characters. Then I had a G11.

Wow, either PP picture quality has really gone down the crapper in the past 18 months or my eye has become a lot more discerning.

I'm glad I did it, the meal photos were all good (we did around a dozen meals that utilized the PP+) and obviously a weeks worth of ride photos were nice too but my T4i blew away pretty much every single photo the PP people took.

I had several say to me "Want me to take one with your camera too?" and I declined virtually every time... why? right? Now I know, lol.

For example, even my hand held shots in front of the Castle at night using a slow shutter speed beat their tripod mounted shots.

Wild. In any case, I did get some great different angles and Jedi training, I could never have got some of the shots they did, simply because of the inability to move around like they have.

I'm glad I did it this trip, but there would have to be one heck of a sale to ever do it again. Then again, with all the printed photos I came home with, even printing from costco, I brought home probably $75 or so worth.

I'm looking forward to sharing some pics in the near future. I've just got home and I've got to get into PP and get it done before I start on mine.

I shot about 7,500 images over 7 days.

Here is one jpeg SOOC-

From my balcony on the 11th floor of the Contemporary using a Canon 55-250 on tripod. With the except of my self photos in front of the castle one morning, it's the only time I used the tripod. I either did handheld or trash cans and railings for the slow shutter speed stuff.


Looking forward to getting into lightroom and checking out the RAW files and seeing what I can do.

Candid shot with my remote shutter release making an appearance, again SOOC, lol-

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Old 12-02-2012, 03:37 PM   #2
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It's probably more that your idea of what makes a good photograph is evolving. I had photopass pictures taken in 2010. I didn't buy any because they were all so far below what I shoot that I couldn't see paying for them.
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Old 12-02-2012, 04:29 PM   #3
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Yeah, it's probably not their equipment (they should be shooting with top-of-the-line cameras), but just their photography skills/style. Also, all photopass photographers are different. There's a wide range of skill and experience, and it's really just luck of the draw.

I have yet to get the PP+ package because there usually aren't that many pictures that I actually like, and we haven't been for an extended amount of time recently. I was actually quite surprised with a few photopass photographers on our last trip, and I ended up buying more prints than normal.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:16 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleMissMagic View Post
Yeah, it's probably not their equipment (they should be shooting with top-of-the-line cameras), but just their photography skills/style. Also, all photopass photographers are different. There's a wide range of skill and experience, and it's really just luck of the draw.
I'm a canon guy, so I didn't really pay attention to what nikons they were using.

I can say the direct flash or tiny box diffuser they use make for some terrible lighting.

I'll have to go back and look again at the photos from 18 months ago, maybe I just have a more discerning eye now but over all I was pretty please with PP last time. This time, not so much.
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Old 12-02-2012, 05:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleMissMagic View Post
Yeah, it's probably not their equipment (they should be shooting with top-of-the-line cameras), but just their photography skills/style. Also, all photopass photographers are different. There's a wide range of skill and experience, and it's really just luck of the draw.

I have yet to get the PP+ package because there usually aren't that many pictures that I actually like, and we haven't been for an extended amount of time recently. I was actually quite surprised with a few photopass photographers on our last trip, and I ended up buying more prints than normal.
They shoot with Nikon D90's - same as the camera I use. I pre purchase Photopass because they get the photos that I don't, since I am the one with the camera. Also, they shoot on full auto and at night they use the night preset mode. It took me a week there this year to figure out that every time they took my camera, they flicked it onto auto, despite the fact that I had taken a minute to get the settings the way I thought they should be prior to approaching them. I found out that you actually have to ask them to use the camera as set, not in auto. My problem was that I would usually have adjusted the ISO so when they flicked onto auto, the exposure was completely out! Whether they just did this because it was a familiar piece of equipment I don't know.

However, as LittleMissMagic pointed out, the photographers are all different, as are their levels of skill and although the majority of our photos were the standard, run of the mill shots, they were what I knew I was getting when I pre ordered so I was okay with that. That said, we also had numerous photos this year that were really different. One photographer at AK turned his camera on me while I was taking photos of my daughter with Mickey and took pictures of me taking photos. I had no idea these were on the card until I registered the card to my account when we got back. It was a nice surprise to have something different thrown into the mix
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:12 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2Tiggies View Post
They shoot with Nikon D90's - same as the camera I use. I pre purchase Photopass because they get the photos that I don't, since I am the one with the camera. Also, they shoot on full auto and at night they use the night preset mode. It took me a week there this year to figure out that every time they took my camera, they flicked it onto auto, despite the fact that I had taken a minute to get the settings the way I thought they should be prior to approaching them. I found out that you actually have to ask them to use the camera as set, not in auto. My problem was that I would usually have adjusted the ISO so when they flicked onto auto, the exposure was completely out! Whether they just did this because it was a familiar piece of equipment I don't know.

However, as LittleMissMagic pointed out, the photographers are all different, as are their levels of skill and although the majority of our photos were the standard, run of the mill shots, they were what I knew I was getting when I pre ordered so I was okay with that. That said, we also had numerous photos this year that were really different. One photographer at AK turned his camera on me while I was taking photos of my daughter with Mickey and took pictures of me taking photos. I had no idea these were on the card until I registered the card to my account when we got back. It was a nice surprise to have something different thrown into the mix
That is unusual that the PP photographer freelanced some shots. One night at the dessert party, I had the opportunity to have a long conversation with one of the photographers. He works part-time for WDW and is a full time wedding photographer. He stated they were not allowed to change the settings on the cameras and every shot was a set shot. He said many are hired with no prior photography experience and are taught just the basics. That may account for some of the bad experiences some of us have had with the quality of the images.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:14 PM   #7
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That said, we also had numerous photos this year that were really different. One photographer at AK turned his camera on me while I was taking photos of my daughter with Mickey and took pictures of me taking photos. I had no idea these were on the card until I registered the card to my account when we got back. It was a nice surprise to have something different thrown into the mix
I had one do that to me too last week. I thought it was a nice touch. Also had about a dozen different "magic" shots as well.

When I handed off my T4i (only did that a few times), they shot it as is. They didn't adjust anything but focal length. I did that for about 5 or 6 different ones.

Two different occasions the PP photographers camera went down just as we were walking up and they were in the corner fiddling with it. The shots we got with Christmas dressed up Pooh, for example, were all shot by the PP girl using my camera. I'll have to post some side by side shots when I get a chance from other ones once I get the PP CD back so I can do a fair apples to apples comparison.
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:25 PM   #8
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That is unusual that the PP photographer freelanced some shots. One night at the dessert party, I had the opportunity to have a long conversation with one of the photographers. He works part-time for WDW and is a full time wedding photographer. He stated they were not allowed to change the settings on the cameras and every shot was a set shot. He said many are hired with no prior photography experience and are taught just the basics. That may account for some of the bad experiences some of us have had with the quality of the images.
That's interesting. They didn't actually change my settings at all - but they did flick it over to green whenever I handed it over. A year ago I probably wouldn't have noticed, but because I back up my photos every night while there, I noticed Auto on the exif info on a couple of the photos one night and I shot primarily in manual or aperture priority. I was curious and went back to check and sure enough, barring very few, all the handovers to PP photographers showed up as being on full auto. I have never used full auto on this camera. One of the Photogrpahers at Epcot, when having a brief chat with her after a few photos one night, actually said to me that they use auto mode/night shot preset. Very probable however that if I had a different camera they would simply have taken it straight from my hand and used it as set

I just remembered at one of the MNSSHP's in September we had some pics taken with the Mad Hatter and Alice and the photographer who used my camera kept frowning at the LCD and when he handed it back, he said "Sorry, none of them are any good". I noticed it was in auto after the flash popped up when I half pressed the shutter a few minutes later. I certainly hadn't had it in that mode and had a speedlight mounted on it as it was well after dark. It doesn't really matter - but it makes a difference if you know to ask/tell them what you want for the future - which I do now
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Old 12-02-2012, 06:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gianna'sPapa View Post
That is unusual that the PP photographer freelanced some shots. One night at the dessert party, I had the opportunity to have a long conversation with one of the photographers. He works part-time for WDW and is a full time wedding photographer. He stated they were not allowed to change the settings on the cameras and every shot was a set shot. He said many are hired with no prior photography experience and are taught just the basics. That may account for some of the bad experiences some of us have had with the quality of the images.
This is in line with what I know about setups like this. Six Flags here does it the same way as do many chain portrait studios. They tell you the settings and the setup. They want everything uniform so there are no surprises. It really is fast food photography.
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Old 12-02-2012, 09:23 PM   #10
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It's probably more that your idea of what makes a good photograph is evolving. .
Agree 110% on this. I know this is a photo board for all ages and skill levels, but many (not this post) times people post up pictures and my first thought is don't you have anything better than that to share.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:02 PM   #11
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Agree 110% on this. I know this is a photo board for all ages and skill levels, but many (not this post) times people post up pictures and my first thought is don't you have anything better than that to share.
That's a cruel thing to say. Everyone starts somewhere. What someone is excited about today, they may look back at a few years from now and say, "Eww, what was I thinking?" I doubt your first few years of photography is on the same level as what you're producing today. And even if they are experienced photographers, everyone's style is different. Some people really like filters, others like HDR, and some people just aren't into post-processing. That doesn't mean that their work isn't worth sharing. The point of this board is to encourage others and share advice and ideas - not to tear people down because their idea of a great photograph isn't the same as yours.
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Old 12-02-2012, 10:44 PM   #12
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Agree 110% on this. I know this is a photo board for all ages and skill levels, but many (not this post) times people post up pictures and my first thought is don't you have anything better than that to share.
I've thought that once or twice too, even back when I loved virtually every picture I took from my G11...

but...
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Everyone starts somewhere. What someone is excited about today, they may look back at a few years from now and say, "Eww, what was I thinking?" I doubt your first few years of photography is on the same level as what you're producing today. And even if they are experienced photographers, everyone's style is different. Some people really like filters, others like HDR, and some people just aren't into post-processing.
I know I look back on some stuff I took from 18 months ago with the G11 I loved back then and now I cringe.

I am much harder on myself than others. I'm sure some of the pics I'm loving form this trip I'll think are crappy in a few months. It's an evolving hobby, like any of them, the more you do it, the 'better' you get... or in the case of photography, it starts become much more subjective once you get the basic exposures down. It's like golf where your 8 under for 18 holes is a clear and cut better game than the 8 over par you shot last year.

In any case, I love seeing the shots even if they are 'rough'.

For myself, I haven't learned post processing yet. Everything I have done is strait out of the camera, except for some cropping I would do with windows paint.. yes, MS paint.

I bought LR4 just before the trip and did my first real RAW shooting on this trip, with the hopes that once I learn post processing I can clean up some shots I messed up.

Out of the 7,500 I took, I know I messed up a lot. I started the trip trying to shot a lot in Av or Tv and I quickly realized, that wasn't working. By day 2 I was shooting almost 100% in M.

I can't tell you how many times I'd go from inside out or ot to in and have a black or white LCD screen staring at me after a shot, lol.

I'm still learning to crawl right now when it comes to DSLR photography... I'm just shocked at how my very basic, entry level skills have trumped "professionals"... although the "fast food photography" reference helps to put it into perspective. I never really thought about it like that before.

Right now I'm pretty happy with this shot from MVMCP of main street I did hand held. Again the jpeg copy SOOC:


I'm hoping I can get into the RAW file later on make it look nicer once I learn how to do it properly.

Prior to the trip I was focusing on how to capture the images, I figured I had all the time in the world to learn post once I got home.
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Old 12-03-2012, 01:16 PM   #13
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was not trying to be cruel. Just agreeing with the statement that everyones skill and eye grows.

I know when i look at some shots from 12 years ago I have taken, i got much less "keepers" then, versus what i get now. Just because i find myself setting up each shot exactly how i want it, versus "spray and praying" (take 100 shots hoping to get 1 good one)

To the OP original comment. Te disney photographers have a set of "canned" shots. Which are pretty good, but they can't deviate or get extra creative like you can with your own gear.
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:07 PM   #14
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This is INSANE. Half of the PP pics from Christmas time Eyore are completely out of focus.

I am guessing once I get full size copies the rest are going to be bad too.

Look at this!
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Old 12-07-2012, 07:26 PM   #15
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This is INSANE. Half of the PP pics from Christmas time Eyore are completely out of focus.

I am guessing once I get full size copies the rest are going to be bad too.

Look at this!
Are these photos still on the PP website? What I mean is, are you still viewing them on your account, not on the CD/digital download? If so, this is normal. They put very low res photos up on the Photopass site. I'm guessing that they have had issues with folk copying them and not ordering the CD. It would help those who don't know this if they put a little notice up, because if I'm sure many folk who don't pre purchase take one look and decide not to bother! The actual images on CD are pretty good in terms of res. If they were out of focus however (and many of our night time shots are) there's not much you can do about it, even with the full res images. Looking at the one you posted, I think you're ok if this is straight off the site though. Nicest way I can put it is that those images you have to work with when adding borders look like they were taken with a 2mp camera phone!
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