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Old 11-07-2013, 06:33 PM   #76
Luvchefmic
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Lots of wildlife and beautiful sunset/sunrise over the water behind the 50's building at POP I'll have to show you my shots from there someday
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Old 11-07-2013, 06:38 PM   #77
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Great update!
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Old 11-07-2013, 08:18 PM   #78
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Lots of wildlife and beautiful sunset/sunrise over the water behind the 50's building at POP I'll have to show you my shots from there someday
Definitely! I have yet to have set foot on POP and I'm sure will be on our list of potential resorts for our trip in 2015!

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Great update!
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Old 11-07-2013, 09:35 PM   #79
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Street Scenes from Hollywood Studios

Even though the conference I was attending was taking place at the Orange County Convention Center, they had contracted with Disney Meetings and Conventions for accommodations at Beach Club at a greatly discounted rate. They also arranged a private event at Hollywood Studios on Saturday October 26th. If you were wondering why DHS closed so early that evening at 6pm, there you have it.

After attending some of the conference sessions I drove to my resort hotel and checked in. Looking at the clock I realized I could squeeze out a couple of precious park time at DHS before my dinner ADR at bluezoo and the private event. An extra 1.5 hours can do wonders at DHS!

As I moved between the handful of attractions I found myself walking at a speed that I was completely unfamiliar with at Disney. I think most of you call it “leisurely paced.” I called it “Feels awkwardly slow but I like it!” speed. You know what one of the benefits are walking at such a pace? Objects and scenes that would have been a mere blur in the corner of my eye at my normal Disney walking speed were coming into focus. So I thought I would bring together these “street scenes” I took while walking between attractions at DHS into this single update!

As I was walking by Star Tours Tatooine Traders and looking up at the building I daydreamed about just how awesome it would be if DHS expanded and built “Star Wars Land” The late afternoon sun helped even more since the lighting made it feel like I was on the desert alien planet…..even if I saw only one sun instead of two (queue Luke’s theme music: waah-waaaaaah-waaaaaaah-wah-wah-waaaaah).


IMG_7963 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr


IMG_7965 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

I’m constantly amazed at the sheer number of snack stands in the parks at Disney. Here’s a new one I discovered along Echo Lake called “Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner.”


IMG_7988 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

I bought a Coke Zero from them to commemorate the occasion and sat at one of the tables. As I gulped down the pure refreshment that is Coke Zero while looking across the lake I wondered out loud “What else have I been missing?” which was quickly replaced by “Oooooh! Gertie!”

This other snack stand doesn’t even appear on the map and was closed this particular day. Or maybe it doesn’t appear on the map BECAUSE it is closed. It’s located right across from the entrance to Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular. The design of the stand is such that it gives the impression of snacks and drinks being served out of the back of a military supply truck. The front of the truck spills into a median. That is where I found this. I would like to think that Disney was going for this look all along but I’m going to give mother nature the credit.


IMG_7990 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

I took this picture as I was walking back towards the Swan/Dolphin resort for my dinner at bluezoo. Decided that the line at the dock was way too long so I took the walking path. I can never resist a photo op with my favorite haunted hotel.


IMG_8156 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

Later that evening I returned to DHS for the private event. I was very excited about it. Even though the conference draws close to 10,000 attendees and exhibitors, I figured it would still feel a lot less crowded than an average day at DHS. The nerd in me actually pulled up attendance figures for DHS from the previous year and divided it up by 365 which led to an average daily attendance number somewhere in the 22000 range. So that’s half of the average crowd level for the whole year!

Of course, what I didn’t account for was that every registered attendee could register family members at $10 each which usually means access to conference amenities such as gaining access to the convention center or signing up for certain tours. Well this year it meant spending 3.5 hours at DHS so you can imagine how many people would be interested in this.

I quickly realized that this party would be just a tad more crowded than I had anticipated when I showed up at the gates 45 minutes before the event was supposed to begin only to find about 500 people already in line. I was worried that my plans of minimal standby waits were going to be foiled just by the number of people who showed early for this “rope drop” but then was quickly reassured from the comments I was overhearing from the people in front and behind me in the line that I would be okay. Comments like “What exactly is Toy Story Mania? Is it a ride?”

You know I’m going to end up taking some pictures if I’m standing in one spot for more than 5 seconds. I had 45 minutes so I spent the time taking pictures of the same scenery mainly the entrance of DHS.


IMG_8190 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr


IMG_8192 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

There were multiple stages with DJs set up throughout DHS including one at the Sorcerer's Hat/


IMG_8195 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr


IMG_8323 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

I think I counted a total of 4. Usually there would also be a table serving drinks right near by the stage as well as some tables that you normally see at cocktail parties where people could set their drinks or snacks down and mingle and be social. But seriously, who comes to a theme park (even for a conference event) to camp out at a table in the middle of the street when Tower of Terror is beckoning so nearby. Forget professional networking! That can wait for another time!

There were a good number of people dancing it up in front of the DJs. Lots of kids but a good number of adults as well thanks to some liquid courage.
Here’s one of my favorite pictures from the evening. That little girl was having a BLAST dancing and the DJ was feeding off her energy too.


IMG_8321 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

Another DJ was set up in front of RnR and this one had a lot more adults joining in on the dance madness.


IMG_8309 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr


IMG_8311 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

I’ve always had trouble in past trips of finding the photo angle that felt right for the RnRc limo displayed out front. This time I was exiting the ride and saw this angle. I think this is my favorite look of the limo so far.


IMG_8316 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

I was also very excited to see that Chewy and Vader were out for meet and greets which I thought was awesome. Not that I got over my self consciousness and shyness to get in line. But still enjoyed watching them quite a bit.


IMG_8298 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

Almost everything was open for business for the private event. This included three sessions of Jedi Training for the little ones, two showings of Indiana Jones (they usually don’t do this at night, right?), and one showing of Fantasmic. I didn’t see Fantasmic this time but I did take advantage of those 30 minutes by going on RnRC which had zero people in queue during that time.

At 11pm the event was officially over and the CMs were waving us out with their magically lit batons. But I wasn’t done yet. I wanted to try a couple of tripod night time shots of Sunset Blvd and Hollywood Blvd. After all I lugged around my tripod attached to my backpack all night! I had hoped to have stowed the tripod away in the lockers once I entered the park since I wasn’t planning on using it until the end of the evening. Unfortunately, the locker rentals were not available for the event I had to carry it around all night strapped to the side of my backpack. This pretty much became the norm for all of my evening tourings. So if you ever wonder whether you’ll be able to carry on your backpack on the rides, just remember that if I was able to ride RnRc and ToT with my gigantic backpack that had a tripod sticking out on its side, pretty much any backpack can fit. Although I’ll admit I was extremely nervous about the tripod when I was on RnRc. My active imagination kept conjuring up images of the tripod flying off and decapitating someone behind me on the coaster! So naturally instead of holding on to the handles of the coaster I had one hand on the top of the tripod.


IMG_8347-2 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

While I was taking shots of this scene of Sunset Blvd, a CM unintentionally scared the crap out of me when he unbeknownst to me snuck behind me to watch me set up the camera. When I turned around, there he was. He was just curious to what settings I was using on my camera for the shot. Another photography enthusiast I guess. We talked shop for a little bit.


IMG_8344 by DaveinFallsChurch, on Flickr

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Old 11-07-2013, 10:37 PM   #80
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Joining in! I love your pictures! The picture of the fireworks over the tangled bathrooms is so beautiful! And I completely agree with you about the music in the Finding Nemo show. It just falls flat. With better music that show would be amazing.
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Old 11-08-2013, 02:00 AM   #81
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During the show I couldn’t help notice the little girl who looked to be about 2 years old sitting with her family in the row in front of me. During the more emotionally heavy portions of the show, you know when everyone thinks Nemo died, she got so upset that she just started crying and sobbing. Her dad tried his best to comfort her but it was just too much for her. That reminded me of our DD who when we first took her to see this show when she was two did the exact same thing. To this day, our DD who is 7 continues to get very emotional with certain scenes. I remember when I took her to see Wreck It Ralph a couple of years ago in the theater, she started sobbing uncontrollably when Venellope appeared to be on the brink of being left behind in a video game that was crashing around her. I love how DD can react and be so emotionally invested in theater (which is why I signed her up for some theater class this fall) and watching the family in front made me think of her.
I absolutely just LOVE that about Disney. A lot of people think that Disney fans just love the warm fuzzies - pixie dust, happily ever after, etc. But there's so much depth and real feelings that really tug the heart strings no matter what your age. I will never, ever forget the first movie I cried at was the Lion King when Mufasa dies. Heart-wrenching. That was when I was 4. And my own son cried inconsolably during the very beginning of Toy Story 3 when he thinks Woody has gone over the cliff. I love it!

I also must tell you I love your pictures, as I'm sure every comment on here is saying! I will always have a soft spot in my heart for photography. I took classes in high school and fell in love. The sharpness and exposure can add so much, but it also takes an eye for the composition of the shot. I think you have it! I dream of the day I can get back into it...but we're just a young little family on a single income and with all the trips we want to take it, it's not in the cards right now. I am trying to make it a priority, because let's be real...the pictures are what matters, they illustrate the memories! I was slightly (okay, more than slightly) disappointed because I DID research on an affordable point and shoot, and honestly, the camera takes INCREDIBLE pictures for a point and shoot in good lighting. However, after getting the camera and using it and then scouring the internet to make sure there wasn't SOMETHING I was missing, I discovered there was NO WAY to force the flash on. There is literally only "auto" and "force off". So frustrating. And from my post-camera-purchase internet research, it seems as if the last model of this had the flash come up every single time you turned the camera on and people didn't like that so they got rid of it. SILLY. How hard it is to have 3 options - on, auto, off? I don't know how I missed that in my pre-purchase research but live and learn! (Sorry about the rant. I was hoping you wouldn't mind since you enjoy photography!)

SO YOU ARE THE CULPRIT FOR WHY MY FAVORITE PARK CLOSED SO EARLY ON MY LAST NIGHT!!! HA, kidding. Luckily, I got everything I needed done that day and spent the rest of the night frolicking through the Magic Kingdom, so no hard feelings, sir. Love your night time shots of the park though...so beautiful there!
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Old 11-08-2013, 04:20 AM   #82
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Well a ready room during a busy time is always a good thing! The YC rooms are just so gorgeous. I've always had Boardwalk at the top of my list but YC is sneaking up fast!
Wow. Dave, I fully expected beautiful photos from you but that one of the YC at sunset is incredibly stunning. Frame that!
I can only imagine how awesome it would be to walk to Epcot. Some day!

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Old 11-08-2013, 06:48 AM   #83
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Isn't it amazing what you see when you slow down a bit. Like you, I always kept a "get to the next attraction" pace. Solo, I was able to "smell the roses" so to speak, and what a difference. Everyone should try it.

Gertie is treasure not to be missed.

Wow, that is pretty cool that everything was basically running including Fantasmic. I never would have guessed that for a private party.
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:21 AM   #84
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I thought I replied to your last update.... Hmmm guess I didn't... Sometimes I feel like Dory - by the time I'm at the other end of the tank I forget what .... Ooooo look something shiny! ..... What was I talking about?

I really enjoy the pictures of the lighthouse and beach! Feels like being at the shore more than being at Disney! I love the light of sunsets (and sunrises!) So warm and soft.... Also nice room! The YC looks like a beautiful resort!

I love the perspective of the Hollywood Studios photos! So great, and I'm still amazed at how empty it was when you took the ToT shot with the tables!
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:43 AM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinFallsChurch View Post
An extra 1.5 hours can do wonders at DHS!


Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinFallsChurch View Post
Here’s a new one I discovered along Echo Lake called “Min and Bill’s Dockside Diner.”

I bought a Coke Zero from them to commemorate the occasion and sat at one of the tables. As I gulped down the pure refreshment that is Coke Zero while looking across the lake I wondered out loud “What else have I been missing?” which was quickly replaced by “Oooooh! Gertie!”
Wow... you really did need this opportunity to just slow down and take it all in. You must have always had the blinders on when walking around Echo Lake.

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Originally Posted by DaveinFallsChurch View Post
I took this picture as I was walking back towards the Swan/Dolphin resort for my dinner at bluezoo. Decided that the line at the dock was way too long so I took the walking path. I can never resist a photo op with my favorite haunted hotel.
And you definitely got photographic evidence that the line at the dock was insane.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinFallsChurch View Post
The nerd in me actually pulled up attendance figures for DHS from the previous year and divided it up by 365 which led to an average daily attendance number somewhere in the 22000 range. So that’s half of the average crowd level for the whole year!


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Originally Posted by DaveinFallsChurch View Post
Comments like “What exactly is Toy Story Mania? Is it a ride?”
This is the point where you find someone near you and start talking, loudly, about how awesome the Great Movie Ride and Backlot Tour are. That'll keep them busy for a while...

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Originally Posted by DaveinFallsChurch View Post
Another DJ was set up in front of RnR and this one had a lot more adults joining in on the dance madness.
No... just... no...

There is no reason to have a DJ here. The Usual Aerosmith soundtrack should be the only music played here. If anything just turn the volume up. This is wrong.

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Originally Posted by DaveinFallsChurch View Post
This time I was exiting the ride and saw this angle. I think this is my favorite look of the limo so far.
Nicely done!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinFallsChurch View Post
I didn’t see Fantasmic this time but I did take advantage of those 30 minutes by going on RnRC which had zero people in queue during that time.
I know where I'd be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinFallsChurch View Post
At 11pm the event was officially over and the CMs were waving us out with their magically lit batons.
In DHS, shouldn't they be referred to as light sabers?

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaveinFallsChurch View Post
While I was taking shots of this scene of Sunset Blvd, a CM unintentionally scared the crap out of me when he unbeknownst to me snuck behind me to watch me set up the camera
Please tell me it was a ToT CM... :rollyes1.



Great pictures of DHS, Dave! I know you had to have taken more than 2 of the Star Wars area though.
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Old 11-08-2013, 04:48 PM   #86
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Originally Posted by RatherBeInAK View Post
Joining in! I love your pictures! The picture of the fireworks over the tangled bathrooms is so beautiful! And I completely agree with you about the music in the Finding Nemo show. It just falls flat. With better music that show would be amazing.
Welcome!! Great to have you on board!

I've had a lot of time to stare at the various fireworks pictures I've gotten during this trip and I'm with you that the Tangled Wishes picture is emerging as my favorite one as well. Love your DIS name by the way!

Quote:
Originally Posted by princess_momma View Post
I also must tell you I love your pictures, as I'm sure every comment on here is saying! I will always have a soft spot in my heart for photography. I took classes in high school and fell in love. The sharpness and exposure can add so much, but it also takes an eye for the composition of the shot. I think you have it! I dream of the day I can get back into it...but we're just a young little family on a single income and with all the trips we want to take it, it's not in the cards right now. I am trying to make it a priority, because let's be real...the pictures are what matters, they illustrate the memories! I was slightly (okay, more than slightly) disappointed because I DID research on an affordable point and shoot, and honestly, the camera takes INCREDIBLE pictures for a point and shoot in good lighting. However, after getting the camera and using it and then scouring the internet to make sure there wasn't SOMETHING I was missing, I discovered there was NO WAY to force the flash on. There is literally only "auto" and "force off". So frustrating. And from my post-camera-purchase internet research, it seems as if the last model of this had the flash come up every single time you turned the camera on and people didn't like that so they got rid of it. SILLY. How hard it is to have 3 options - on, auto, off? I don't know how I missed that in my pre-purchase research but live and learn! (Sorry about the rant. I was hoping you wouldn't mind since you enjoy photography!)

SO YOU ARE THE CULPRIT FOR WHY MY FAVORITE PARK CLOSED SO EARLY ON MY LAST NIGHT!!! HA, kidding. Luckily, I got everything I needed done that day and spent the rest of the night frolicking through the Magic Kingdom, so no hard feelings, sir. Love your night time shots of the park though...so beautiful there!
Welcome and thank you for following! I hear ya about the point-and-shoots. Sometimes they can really try your patience especially if you have a very specific idea on how you want the settings to work. That's what happened with me when I finally ditched the point and shoot. I just met that threshold where I just needed some more control over the process.

Part of me did feel a little guilty that day especially on my way to DHS earlier during the final couple of regular park hours. I took the Friendship boat over from YC and as we were arriving at DHS dock the captain announced overhead reminding everyone that the park was closing early at 6pm. The two guys in front of me looked at each other and said "Whaaaaat?". Didn't think it was a good time for me to gloat and tell them that I still get to go tonight. Good to hear you got all of the stuff you wanted done at DHS!

Quote:
Originally Posted by teekathepony View Post
Well a ready room during a busy time is always a good thing! The YC rooms are just so gorgeous. I've always had Boardwalk at the top of my list but YC is sneaking up fast!
Wow. Dave, I fully expected beautiful photos from you but that one of the YC at sunset is incredibly stunning. Frame that!
I can only imagine how awesome it would be to walk to Epcot. Some day!
Thanks Wendy! I think your trip is imminent, isn't it? So excited for you! Hope you have a great time and I want to see lots of pictures!

Quote:
Originally Posted by DisneyKid4Life View Post
Isn't it amazing what you see when you slow down a bit. Like you, I always kept a "get to the next attraction" pace. Solo, I was able to "smell the roses" so to speak, and what a difference. Everyone should try it.

Gertie is treasure not to be missed.

Wow, that is pretty cool that everything was basically running including Fantasmic. I never would have guessed that for a private party.
Yeah, I was really surprised that they were doing THREE Jedi Training Sessions.

Speaking of slowing down I think this solo trip will help me also slow things down for my family for January! Having tasted the slower pace and liking it, not afraid to go at this new speed. It also helps that DW has basically resigned to the notion that I'm going to be planning these trips once a year. so I know if we miss something this time we can try to catch it next time!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SAT887 View Post
I thought I replied to your last update.... Hmmm guess I didn't... Sometimes I feel like Dory - by the time I'm at the other end of the tank I forget what .... Ooooo look something shiny! ..... What was I talking about?

I really enjoy the pictures of the lighthouse and beach! Feels like being at the shore more than being at Disney! I love the light of sunsets (and sunrises!) So warm and soft.... Also nice room! The YC looks like a beautiful resort!

I love the perspective of the Hollywood Studios photos! So great, and I'm still amazed at how empty it was when you took the ToT shot with the tables!
That picture of Sunset Blvd is a bit deceiving in that the park was not as empty as it appears in the photo. I used a very very long exposure. 20 seconds to be exact so all those stragglers trying to leave the park and walking down the street got essentially erased because of the long shutter time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
Wow... you really did need this opportunity to just slow down and take it all in. You must have always had the blinders on when walking around Echo Lake.
It's crazy what I never noticed. I didn't know there was a giant dinosaur in that lake until a few months ago when I was reading someone's TR and saw the picture. I said "Wait, where the heck is this???" My excuse is I don't think I ever walked around that lake because when we're at DHS we primarily walk back and forth between TSMM and ToT/RnR which completely bypasses Echo Lake!

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Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
And you definitely got photographic evidence that the line at the dock was insane.
Ok, I seriously didn't realize I caught the line on that image. But yeah, you can see how long that line was and it was going to be at least two boats before I would have got on.

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Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
There is no reason to have a DJ here. The Usual Aerosmith soundtrack should be the only music played here. If anything just turn the volume up. This is wrong.
Can't argue with that!

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Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
In DHS, shouldn't they be referred to as light sabers?


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Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
Please tell me it was a ToT CM... :rollyes1.
It was actually a janitorial CM. At first when I saw him standing behind me I thought he was going to try to get me to leave the park since it's closing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by afwdwfan View Post
Great pictures of DHS, Dave! I know you had to have taken more than 2 of the Star Wars area though.
I have a few more Star Wars pics from the Star Tours queue. Saving those for another update!
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:21 PM   #87
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Looks like a pretty good time even if it was a little more crowded than anticipated. Looks like they really went all out at the park of the conference attendees and their close extended family

That sucks on the lockers, carrying your gear around all night can be a pain. literally. At least for the shots you were able to get it was worth carrying around and holding onto for dear life on the rides.

You were able to get some great shots at the end of the night. Always awesome to be able to close the park out and get those shots with everything empty on the way out. It is not the same during the night when people tend to stop in one place for too long and show up in your shot. At the end of the night everyone is ready to leave the park and get home, keeps them moving.
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Old 11-08-2013, 06:40 PM   #88
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I love the photos of an empty Sunset Blvd and Hollywood Blvd. You never see that!!

Totally makes sense to have a DJ in front of RnRC - especially if they were playing Aerosmith!
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:41 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by DDuck4Life View Post
You were able to get some great shots at the end of the night. Always awesome to be able to close the park out and get those shots with everything empty on the way out. It is not the same during the night when people tend to stop in one place for too long and show up in your shot. At the end of the night everyone is ready to leave the park and get home, keeps them moving.
Every now and then though you see that one person who decides to come to a complete stop now only in the dead center of your frame but also a very well lit portion of the frame. I almost want to yell out KEEP MOVING but never do. Instead I scrap the shot and retake the 20 second exposure picture again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by emmysmommy View Post
I love the photos of an empty Sunset Blvd and Hollywood Blvd. You never see that!!

Totally makes sense to have a DJ in front of RnRC - especially if they were playing Aerosmith!
Thanks Brenda!

Honestly I can't remember what music the DJ was playing. I was having too much fun watching the tipsy adults dancing around.
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Old 11-09-2013, 09:02 AM   #90
DaveinFallsChurch
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Virginia
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Another weekend is here and the fall leaves are starting to fade away here in the Nation's Capitol. Kids are excited about the three day weekend and I'll have to come up with something to do with them on Monday when DW is working and I'm off. Feels like that time of year when we frequent the museums. Really enjoy the low crowds this time of year and ample free street parking along the National Mall.

I have my next and probably final "test run" for a family photo shoot. One of my colleagues at work saw the pictures I did with my previous two trial runs and asked if I could take photos of his family. We'll be heading out to the U.S. National Arboretum in NE DC which I scouted out the location yesterday. I'm a little nervous about this one because the weather already so chilly and they have young children. Also the leaves are starting to look more wintery than fall like but I think I found a nice alcove in this massive park that could work well.

Hopefully it will go well. I'll post the pictures from this session on my Facebook page to share with you. If I'm not "friends" with you yet on FB, please send me a PM and I can shoot you the link to my page.

Hope everyone has a great weekend. Hope to get another post for this TR by tomorrow evening!
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All We Want Is To Spend Halloween with Mickey! October 2014PTR
Don't Fear the Rain, We have the Ducky of Death! - Jan '14 Trip Report
Discovering A Whole New World of Disney - An October Photo Safari 2013: Trip Report /PTR
A Winter Escape to the Enchanted Forest - January 2013 Trip Report/PTR
A Solo Trip to Disneyland 28 years in the Making! A Trip Report for October 16 and 17th, 2012
Our First Magical Poly Vacation! April 14-21, 2012 - Trip Report/ Live Report/ PTR

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