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Old 02-19-2013, 05:16 PM   #1
Iloveeliot
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How do you capture the magic?

We will be going on our 2nd trip this October. I like to take photos but I'm not at all what I'd call a photographer. We brought a point and shoot on our trip and took a ton of pictures but I kind of didn't feel I really "captured the magic". For this trip I want to take fewer posed photos and more shots of rides, signs, details, candids, etc. I have a DSLR but I can't use it well, I need a lens other than the only one I have which is a portrait lens which I can't afford with what this trip will cost, and I don't know that I want to lug it around.. I think I'd feel the magic more if I could get a shallow depth of field but with just a point and shoot any tips for making my photos feel more magical?? Am I making sense at all? What gives your photos that magic, or Disney feel?
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Old 02-19-2013, 05:37 PM   #2
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First... there are no "portrait lenses". A focal length one person loves for portraits another may not like. It's all subjective. Second... why do you think you need a new lens? What is it your current lens doesn't do for you? There may be workarounds or solutions to your problems with it that could help you get more out of it.

As far as capturing the magic... vacation is about family for us, and that's what I shoot at WDW. I get very few shots without my kids in them. I don't do the signs, the fireworks, the rides, etc.. much. I may have a handful of those types of images when I get home. I know a lot of people love shooting them and I've seen some wonderful work on this board like that, but it's not what I want to get when I'm there. What gives my vacation images magic for me is the memories tied to them. But that's me, and I am glad others like to shoot all the other stuff. If I want to see Wishes photos or what the inside of a ride looks like I like knowing I can get on the Dis and find a thread.

Point and shoots and shallow depth of field. That can be tough. A lot depends on the particular point and shoot.
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Old 02-19-2013, 06:37 PM   #3
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I am just the opposite of Danielle. I cannot get my family to pose for anything. All the family pictures are candids. The DW photographs landscapes, still objects and very little action shots. I work off shot lists all the time so going to WDW with one works for me. I usually pick a theme or two ensuring that I get what I want by going off the list. Our last trip was a dark ride trip and the one before that was signs and looking up. Then I just shoot what is interesting for me. Last time I hadn't been in Country Bear Jamboree in a long time, so I shot that. I wanted to shoot the water coming over the front of the boat on Splash Mountain, but I only got to go on it at night, so that didn't work out. Mulch, Sweat and Shears was doing multiple appearances on the stage in front of the Sorcerer's Hat, so I thought it would be cool to photograph their concert. It was just a fun thing to do while attempting different angles and working with/against the stage lighting. I keep my plan as flexible as possible.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:01 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gianna'sPapa
I am just the opposite of Danielle. I cannot get my family to pose for anything. All the family pictures are candids. The DW photographs landscapes, still objects and very little action shots. I work off shot lists all the time so going to WDW with one works for me. I usually pick a theme or two ensuring that I get what I want by going off the list. Our last trip was a dark ride trip and the one before that was signs and looking up. Then I just shoot what is interesting for me. Last time I hadn't been in Country Bear Jamboree in a long time, so I shot that. I wanted to shoot the water coming over the front of the boat on Splash Mountain, but I only got to go on it at night, so that didn't work out. Mulch, Sweat and Shears was doing multiple appearances on the stage in front of the Sorcerer's Hat, so I thought it would be cool to photograph their concert. It was just a fun thing to do while attempting different angles and working with/against the stage lighting. I keep my plan as flexible as possible.
Can you post some of your shot lists? I'd love to use them as a pseudo-guide for my text trip.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:18 AM   #5
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Can you post some of your shot lists? I'd love to use them as a pseudo-guide for my text trip.
I copied this over from an Excel spreadsheet, but it will give you an idea of what it looked like. I gave myself little reminders of equipment usage. The 30 is my Sigma 30 f1.4 lens as are the other numbers 70-200 and 100-300 are my other lenses that I may want to use or try. Obiviously this was formatted better in Excel.

Wishes Fireworks f8-11, 2-3" tripod, ND Filter 60"?
Tinkerbell 100-300
Memories
Night Parade 30
Day Parade
Crystal Palace
Merry-Go-Round-movement .5 second
Zoom shot from train station to castle
Peter Pan 30
Haunted Mansion 30

Epcot
Entrance Day/Night tripod
Illuminations f8-11, 2-3" tripod & ND
Night buildings long exposure tripod
Test Track


Disney Hollywood Studios
Entrance Day/Night tripod
Sorcerer Hat night long exposure tripod
Lights, Motor, Action 70-200 and 100-300
Osborne Lights Tripod
Indiana Jones 70-200 and 100-300
Fantasmic

Animal Kingdom
Entrance Day/Night tripod
Safari 70-200
Lion King
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:00 AM   #6
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Mix it up. Some of my best Disney shots are when the family had no idea a camera was on them. Something about non-posed emotion just makes a shot for me.

But i am also always on the lookout for trash cans, lightpost, anything i can set my camera on and do a self timer family shot.
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:23 AM   #7
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Focus on the family. You will never be at Disney with your child this age again. Disney will always be there. You can find opportunities later to focus on creative shots. But you won't get a second chance at Disney through the eyes of your child at this age.

Subscribe to the photo of the day shots here on this board. You will eventually find some photographers who inspire you. Check out their work posted on Flickr or other sharing sites. Jot down ideas of shots you want to capture.

It's a hard balance to strike getting the photography/family balance just right. Err on the side of family, but try to find a few moments to be creative as well.

My biggest tip for capturing the magic? It's not complicated. Just be READY. Know your camera. Have it charged. Have extra batteries. Have extra memory cards. And have the camera in your hands at all times. You won't get all the shots you want, but I bet you'll find some magic in there when you get home.
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:32 PM   #8
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I should add... I rarely do posed shots of my family. It's 99.9% candids. And I always end up with an inordinate amount of pictures of them eating. LOL
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Old 02-20-2013, 12:38 PM   #9
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I should add... I rarely do posed shots of my family. It's 99.9% candids. And I always end up with an inordinate amount of pictures of them eating. LOL
Meals is the ony time the family slows down and are all in the same place!
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Old 02-20-2013, 01:05 PM   #10
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When your with your family concentrate your photography on them. For the other shots try to find a few times to breakaway from the family. If your family goes back for an afternoon break, see if you can stay for an extra hour by yourself, or maybe skip a ride or two on the trip for some alone time. (that "alone time" comment is meant in an entirely clean way )

Over the last few weeks I've gone thru all the park photo threads and looked at photos others have taken. I've even pulled a few of them onto my desktop just so I can view them a few more times. You will also find that people have links to their Flickr streams which are also very useful. I don't know what others will think of this, but I will probably create an I photo album with some of those photos in it to use as a reference point (album on ipad. /iPhone) the purpose is not to try to duplicate others photos, but more as a reminder of things to keep an eye open too.

Also, some of what I consider my more "magical shots" are shots that others may not see the same way. They are those shots that take me back to that moment when they were shot, remind me how I felt or the people felt at that moment. If someone looks at that shot and wasn't there they don't know of feel that "magic"

Like others have said, you won't get all the shots you would like too, but the better your prepared the more you will get.
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Old 02-20-2013, 06:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iloveeliot View Post
We will be going on our 2nd trip this October. I like to take photos but I'm not at all what I'd call a photographer. We brought a point and shoot on our trip and took a ton of pictures but I kind of didn't feel I really "captured the magic". For this trip I want to take fewer posed photos and more shots of rides, signs, details, candids, etc. I have a DSLR but I can't use it well, I need a lens other than the only one I have which is a portrait lens which I can't afford with what this trip will cost, and I don't know that I want to lug it around.. I think I'd feel the magic more if I could get a shallow depth of field but with just a point and shoot any tips for making my photos feel more magical?? Am I making sense at all? What gives your photos that magic, or Disney feel?
Here's my advice.

http://suburbiapress.com/products-pa...book-download/
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Old 02-20-2013, 10:23 PM   #12
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Wow!! Great info, it was very helpful! Thanks for sharing!

"There's more to the story than the big event." Loved this, so very true. True for everyday life as well. I am trying to make a habit of getting out the camera, on at least a weekly basis, to take pictures of the kids. I have gotten so many great photos that I will love to look back on years from now.
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:54 PM   #13
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Wow!! Great info, it was very helpful! Thanks for sharing!

Thanks, I hope it's useful.
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:47 AM   #14
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Hey Will,

Very cool thanks for the link!

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Old 02-22-2013, 11:50 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Iloveeliot View Post
We will be going on our 2nd trip this October. I like to take photos but I'm not at all what I'd call a photographer. We brought a point and shoot on our trip and took a ton of pictures but I kind of didn't feel I really "captured the magic". For this trip I want to take fewer posed photos and more shots of rides, signs, details, candids, etc. I have a DSLR but I can't use it well, I need a lens other than the only one I have which is a portrait lens which I can't afford with what this trip will cost, and I don't know that I want to lug it around.. I think I'd feel the magic more if I could get a shallow depth of field but with just a point and shoot any tips for making my photos feel more magical?? Am I making sense at all? What gives your photos that magic, or Disney feel?
There is no single formula for "capturing the magic" as that very phrase means different things to different people.
But some basics -- Shallow depth of field can indeed lend a certain feeling to a picture --- But it practically requires a dSLR (or mirrorless) camera. It is very hard to achieve shallow depth of field with a compact.

-- Take lots and lots and lots of pictures. If you take 1,000 pictures -- And get 5 "magical" shots... Then those are the 5 shots you plaster on facebook, that you print and frame.

-- Sometimes it is helpful to use your camera to tell the story of your vacation. If you look at it as a story-telling device, it may help you capture the mood.

-- Don't be afraid of looking for alternative shots. Every has a shot of the castle. Everyone has posed shots with characters. Absolutely go for candids when you can see the joy in your kids faces. But also look for new and interesting angles for your scenic shots.

-- There are times for a wide angle, and there are times you want to get close to your subject. Unfortunately, many novice photographers go too wide, too often, and end up with a lot of dead space in the shot. There is a saying in photography, "dead center is dead." So take into account the entire frame when composing the shot, try to make sure the most interesting parts of the photograph are off-center, make sure you don't have a lot of dead space. This may mean zooming in with your lens, but it also often means zooming in with your feet. I think novice photographers too often take the position of wanting to "stand back" and are afraid of cropping anything important out of the shot. A close-up picture of your kids faces, with just making out the castle in the background, will probably look more magical than a shot where your kids are tiny dots, with a big castle behind them.
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