New Camera? Sounds like a perfect excuse... (Sept 2011) (Completed...Rushed the end)

Discussion in 'Completed Trip Reports' started by Cafeen, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. Cafeen

    Cafeen DIS Veteran

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    I walked halfway around the world for this?


    Previously, on "New Camera?"

    We had headed to Epcot in the morning and rode Soarin'. I had a "blue square" break, and we headed off to do the not so much of a Journey into stuff that doesn't really have anything to do with Imagination. We then began to walk toward the World Showcase.

    Sometime between 10:00 and 11:00am... I think?


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    We headed off to the right. Having already been to the left (well, I had, Mom, not so much) it only made sense. Well, that plus our lunch reservations were at Morocco...

    We stopped outside of the UK for a little while. There was some entertainer or presenter or something, and of course.... nope. No "of course" I didn't take a picture of her, and now, I completely forgot what she was talking about. I did get some of the UK though!

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    We eventually moved on beyond the UK (so it must be 11ish by now) and over into France. It was France. We took a couple pictures and I was still playing with the UWA lens. I noticed that Mom usually took a picture when I did, which I found amusing. Unfortunately, this attention to detail was soon forgotten, or I would have messed with her some :p. (Note: this installment is picture light, so I can toss in a smiley or two)

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    Eventually, we made it to Morocco. This was Mom's favorite pavilion in the "old days" and I can see why. It's beautiful. The only problem that I can see with it, is that I'm always here between noon and 5 or 6pm... not the best time of day for artsy-fartsy photos of the buildings and such. The light doesn't work right and all that. If you wish to debate this point... do it over on the raging debate on the photography board and not here! This is my TR, so what I say goes! Or something...

    Ahem... we got to the restaurant early. I think we beat the CMs in. It was empty. I took some photos, most of which were crap. It's also horribly pink in there.

    The lunch itself was alright. I had the soup, lamb shank, and Marrakesh Delight for my meal. I've come to the conclusion that I do not like lamb nearly as much as I had thought. Mom had something light as well, but I couldn't tell you what if you asked.

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    As you can see, it's truly, horribly, pink inside the restaurant. You can imagine what I had to do to get the pictures looking almost natural. I moved a slider or two on Lightroom. It was hard work....

    So, lunch was diappointing to say the least. It wasn't "bad." It just wasn't to my liking or taste. This will be a "Do Not Return" place in the future, but again, mostly due to palette rather than bad food. Our server was also quite disinterested, which is a shame as there were only 3 parties in the restaurant at the time. You'd think he would have been a bit more interested and have a bit more time with us. Oh well, we showed our "appreciation" by leaving the standard 15 instead of my normal 20-25. Not that he'd know what my normal is to know if I got out cheaper than normal... but oh well.

    After lunch, it was almost time for the tour! So we walked halfway across the world again (does this mean we walked all the way around the world?) and over to The Land. This tour will make up for the not-so-wonderful lunch. But, you'll all have to wait to hear about it until next time!
     
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  3. GraceMonica

    GraceMonica DIS Veteran

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    I haven't been to Morocco in the WS in years. I think the last time was back in 2007. Somehow, my family always skips over it! I don't know if I'm missing anything there though. I'll have to go back and check it out! :goodvibes

    I usually just go to Mexico, Germany, Norway and Japan! I'm planning on doing A LOT of exploring my next trip though, with my fancy camera! (Nikon D60, that's as fancy as I'm going to get at the moment!)
     
  4. Cafeen

    Cafeen DIS Veteran

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    In looking over my trips for the past 3 years, I really haven't delved much into the WS at all. I know I toured Japan and China pretty hardcore either last year or the year before, and spent some extra time in Canada last year... but that's really it. I'm going to have to really focus on them for this upcoming trip...

    The D60 is a nice camera, plenty nice enough for now :). Most of photography is the person BEHIND the camera rather than the gear anyway. At least, that's what I tell myself when I look at the pricey bodies and lenses and other accessories!
     
  5. Cafeen

    Cafeen DIS Veteran

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    Behind the Seeds

    We arrived at the Land around 1:30ish... I think. We were a little early for the tour, but it worked out. We got our name stickers and waited in the area by the bathrooms. Even though I had just eaten, the break was welcoming. Yes, I am THAT lazy.

    Soon enough, our little tour was underway. The entire tour was 4 people (well, 5 if you count Gina, the guide). Mom and I, and then a younger couple. Of course, when asked "So, why did you decide to do the tour?", most people respond with "I'm interested in gardening, or food, or plants, or whatever". Me... "I've been here a lot and wanted something different". Yup, I really don't care about gardening or plants all that much, other than taking pictures of them. About the only thing I can grow myself is mold when I forget to throw the bread away.

    So, anyway, Gina starts taking us through the tour of the facilities, and she's talking about disease and pest control and all that. To be honest, I don't really remember many details, other than they use ladybugs to keep many of the pests off of the plants. We then walked through the greenhouses, which was really fascinating. Having ridden the ride so many times, it was a bit strange to see it go by. We learned a bit about hydroponics and visited the tomato tree and the giant pumpkins.

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    4 in a row! Score!

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    After visiting the first greenhouse, we were brought to the fish area of the ride. Here we saw the baby alligators (let's not think what they were destined for, 'kay?) and fed the tilapia.

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    After that, we were brought to another greenhouse to see more stuff. Here we let our ladybugs go (well, technically, we were just told to let them go in any of the greenhouses, so really, here I decided to let mine go) and tasted some fresh cucumber. It tasted like fresh cucumber... which is very good. I really like cucumbers, but not zucchini so much. There was this one time, I thought the zucchini was a cucumber and took a bite... mistake. Almost as bad as the time I thought the Sweet & Low (my grandparents lived off of that stuff...) was powdered sugar. This was before I learned the glories of "Reading the Package!" Then there's the time I thought the coconut (I hate coconut) was shredded cheese... man I'm bad at this stuff.

    Ahem, so yup, we had some cucumber. It was tasty. We talked about some of the herbs in that section, and I scored points by knowing stuff. Unfortunately, the points were non-redeemable, so it didn't get me anything other than a smile from Gina (which, to be honest, wasn't such a bad thing (I'd insert a smiley face here, but my picture limit is capped at 25, and I've already had to cut out 3 from the selection for this post... sorry).

    After that bit, we headed out. We passed another tour on the way out, this one was a little busier, with about 20 people to it. I liked our 4 person tour better (well, partly because I was in it...).

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    Would you believe, that we just hit a new record... FIVE acceptable pics in a row! *Cheers from the audience*​

    After the tour, I believe we hit up Soarin' again before calling it a morning and heading back to CSR for a break.

    A Mexican Dinner

    Back at CSR, I went to the desk again. Somehow they STILL hadn't fixed my issue with the room charges. I had received a call the night before even though they said that I wouldn't. This time, I spoke with some guy who said he was a manager. He typed away on his computer and said "Everything looks fine..." I asked if he was sure and he assured me it was. I questioned why I had gotten the phone call the night before, and he said he had no clue...

    Yeah... go guy.

    So, we headed off for dinner at Hacienda de San Angel (after our rest). I had gone here in 2010 about a week after it opened and really liked it. Well, liked it as much as I could after dining on DxDDP for the week, having a headache, and not being hungry in the least. It deserved another shot!

    So, we got to the restaurant at sometime for our 7:00pm reservation (I'm guessing around 6:45, but my camera time-stamped the photo I took (well, I took a couple) while waiting at 5:05... so I'm assuming that's 7:05 since I set the clock on it in March, in Central time zone... guess it's not smart enough to adjust on its own! What good is it!

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    Erm, so yeah, we waited a bit, nothing excessive as we were sitting down by 7:15pm. I made a repeat of last year's order and got the Queso Fundido, Arrachea steak, and a classic Margarita. For dessert, I had their empanadas and boy was that the right choice. Those things were delicious! One of my favorite desserts of this year.

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    After this whole room charging debacle... this was mandatory... I should have taken some to go though...
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    Now, the food here was absolutely amazing as I had hoped for. The service, it too was amazing... amazingly slow. We had felt left out a bit as our server had paid constant attention to a couple larger parties near us (a group of 8 or so, and a party of 6 or so) and barely even refilled our drinks. Now, I get that a larger table demands more attention, but a good server won't sacrifice a table of 2's basic needs (e.g. refills) to hang out and chat with a larger table. Alas, it was what it was... this year will be better (at least, I'm going to tell myself that). We skipped out on Illuminations as it was already getting late by the time we left (my dessert photo was taken at 8:23pm, and I remember there was quite a lag time between dessert and the check) and headed back to my room. When I got there, there was YET ANOTHER MESSAGE ON MY PHONE from the front desk telling me that I was over my limit and needed to take care of it immediately.

    Yes. 3rd message. Yes, I've gotten this "taken care of" twice already. Yes, my room was in a horribly crappy location that I paid extra for and that would take me ~10 minutes just to walk to the front desk. Yes, I immediately walked to the front desk, in a huff.

    When I got there, I immediately asked for a manager (rather than telling the same story for the 5th and 6th time) and Miriam asked if she could help (she was/is a manager there). I told her, and the girl at the counter (it was a slow night) the story and she was aghast. She worked with her computer and, once again, said it all looked clear and there may be some lag time between the time it gets cleared out and the time the data goes to the call center to yell at the guests who need to pay their bills. She was sweet, and hopefully she understood my "I'll believe it when I see it" attitude (of which I did make sure to let her know that I was frustrated with the whole thing, and it wasn't her, individual fault!)

    With that taken care of for the time being, I made the trek back up to the 4th floor of Casitas 2 and went to bed.
     
  6. Cafeen

    Cafeen DIS Veteran

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    Chapter 5

    Morning with the Animals

    Day 5 dawned bright and early. Well, as early as it normally dawns. I'm not that sure what time that was, as I was still asleep. At some point, I woke up though (which is pretty obvious, because if I never did, I wouldn't be writing this... albeit, 9 months later...)

    So yup, it was morning on Monday. Mom's last day of the trip and our Animal Kingdom day. We had a Tusker House ADR for 10.. ish? I'm not entirely sure, as one of my hard drives in my computer seems to be on the fritz. Of course, that's the one where I stored my 2011 Disney trip stuff. From the timestamp on the photo (8:01am... plus 1 hour for timezone, plus 1 hour for DST...) it seems about right. In other words, we had some time. It was to be a "lazy" morning.

    We headed out to the park in Mom's Honda Insight at about 9am. Yup, nice and lazy... and were soon arriving at Animal Kingdom, it was an EMH morning though, so we can claim we showed up fashionably late. Our first stop, the Safari. It was about 9:34am when I took the first picture here. Ok, it was EXACTLY 9:34:10am when I took the first picture... at least, the first one you see. There may have been other pictures before it, the world will never know (unless they look at my full 2011 Disney photo collection, which has roughly 1658 pictures that you won't see here).

    We began our 3 week trek through Africa, and I (of course) tossed on the nice big 55-250mm lens. This was an absolute great thing to have here. Although, finding the animals in the bumpy vehicle while looking through a long tube did prove a challenge. I figured out quickly to zoom out, find the target, THEN zoom in! Was a little slower, but better than me bouncing all around the thing for 20 minutes trying to find it. Especially since the entire ride is about 20 minutes long.

    Now, I know what you're saying... "SHUT UP ALREADY!"

    Fine then. You don't have to be so rude!

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    This, originally, was one of my 5 star shared pictures that I absolutely loved. Then my brother pointed out it was a little blurry around the eye. Then I noticed it and couldn't fix it without doing a horrible job. It's now a 3 star /sadface.
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    In fact. No photos from that trek would make my own personal 5-star status. Granted, I'm a bit willy nilly about how I rate them. I'm sure some 3-4 stars are better than some 5s to other people. But, since they don't have access to my computer, they can't punch in the numbers in Lightroom to do it. So there!

    Thankfully, the 3 week safari was cut a bit short, as we had our Tusker House ADR at 10am that same morning. We proceeded off of the truck, and over to the restaurant. Good thing they are close together... of course, if they weren't, our plans would have changed anyway.

    We got our picture taken with Donald and then waited. And Waited... and waited. Somehow, the 2nd picture was only 25 minutes later, but I swear we waited ~45. I think that time runs slower at Disney or something. Probably a way for them to sell more T-Shirts.

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    We waited some more and got food and stuff. Daisy started our section, and then it was time for a parade... and then a break. We were there 45 minutes (not counting the 25/45minute wait time) so far and not a single character had reached us. We were both done with our food, so we decided to call it a meal. Yup, we visited with 0 characters (other than Donald) here. I'm not even sure if Mom bought the picture this time since we used our own cameras too (well, my camera, plus my old camera which had now become Mom's new camera).

    After breakfast, we did something that I don't have pictures of, because the next one is almost 2 hours later. Even in my "crappy, throw these away" file, there is nothing between here. I'm assuming we did something, that wasn't the safari (since I would have taken pictures there).

    At any rate, eventually, we walked the Maharajah trail and I took 4 pictures. (Well, really a few more, but you don't get to see those). We then visited the Monkees....erm..no wait... they were just the monkies afterward. You know, the ones by Kali, that we were visiting when I gave Emily her stuffed monkey back in 2009.

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    Since we were in Asia, and I was to meet Kathy and Mark over by Dinosaur! in the not too distant future (insert me texting with Kathy to set up a meeting in the aforementioned 2 hour blank period), we decided to scale a mountain.

    However, that will have to wait until next time.

    I'm also realizing that I may have met up with Kathy and Mark during that 2 hour blank period. I know they were hungry for lunch when we met with them, and since this first photo starts at ~12:30pm, it fits. But I don't remember walking all that way to Dinosaur, then back up to the trail, then back over to EE...

    I also don't remember what I had for lunch yesterday. (Ok, I do, I skipped lunch and ate dinner instead, but it sounds better the original way)

    As a special note, for fans of the Dark Tower series. This installment ALSO has 19 photos...again.

    Well, until now.
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    (Yes, that's 6 in a row)​

    We took a ride to see a yeti. We twisted around the base of the mountain and then started to climb.

    Will we encounter the yeti? Will he eat us? Will he be disco dancing? Will the train not stop and we fall off the tracks at the end of the climb?

    You're going to have to wait. (I may have split these photos up like this to fit the rest of EE and Nemo into a single installment. Just maybe)
     
  7. Cafeen

    Cafeen DIS Veteran

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    A Mysterious Guest
    We had reached the mountain pass, but oh no, what did we see ahead of us? The tracks have been demolished by ... something.

    We better get out of here!
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    All of these were taken using my Sigma 8-16mm lens. I simply set the aperture in Av most (aperture-priority) to something that would give decent depth of field, and fired away. There were far more throw away shots than good ones, but the good ones came out pretty darn good. That kid in front of me helped that one picture by holding his hands up. It helps show the fun of the ride rather than the boring girl on my BTMRR shots. Thanks kid!

    And out of there we did get. Now, I'm putting this next piece into this point, although I'm not 100% sure of the order. This piece may have come before we climbed up Everest. If it did, then I'm sorry, I'll take notes next time!

    After Everest (or maybe before, see the note about this line if you missed it by skimming), we headed to Dinosaur! No, it's not that exciting that we headed to that attraction, it's just called Dinosaur! The exclamation point is there in the name. I guess so everyone has to yell it if they're calling it by the right name. You can ask a CM "How do I get to dinosaur?" and you'll get a blank stare... but ask them "How do I get to Dinosaur!?" and you'll get directions. Or something like that.

    At any rate, during sometime this morning, I had started texting with Kathy (aka Katmark). Her and Mark were in the park that day as well (which, we both knew well ahead of time) and we planned on meeting up for a couple minutes. So, we planned on meeting up at Dinosaur! (Ok, this does get the exclamation, as it's exciting, right?)

    We headed on over there, and I stood in the gift shop for awhile waiting for them to come out. 15-20 minutes passed and I didn't see them. I started walking out as I needed to walk around, and poof, there they were at the benches after the ride. I think I underestimated their sneakiness (+1 internet point for the reference) and they got by me!

    So, I met up with Kathy and Mark in person. This would be the first of 3 different (well, 4 really, 5 if you count the person who I can't remember, we'll just call it 3 groups) people that I met from these boards on this trip. Obviously, they were both super nice and looked like they did in the pictures (it's amazing how that works huh). We had a nice chat for a few minutes, and they scooted off to lunch. I feel like I'm repeating myself here, not sure if I wrote this already above where it may have actually taken place... hmm.

    At any rate, we headed on over to Finding Nemo afterward (or after Everest... see the first paragraph if you're skimming!) as the show was about to start soon(ish).

    I had never seen this show, in all my 2 previous trips to AK (there were ~11 previous trips, but only 2 of them had AK). It was amazing. We got decent seats in the first "level" of the theater, a little off center to the right. I pulled out my big boy lens and went to town. You'll see how greatly I improved since the HoP debacle!

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    At the end of the show, bubbles came down for whatever reason. I thought they'd make a need abstract... they turned out OK, but not really what I had pictured in my head (no pun intended!)
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    All of the above were shot with my 55-250mm lens. I learned from Hall of Presidents and metered for the stage rather than the big black area around it, leading to mostly proper exposure. Of course, some fixing was done in post processing, but really, much less than you'd expect. Most of them are also cropped in a bit tighter than I could get with the lens.

    After Nemo, I have no idea what we did. I'm such a good trip reporter. I believe we went and actually RODE Dinosaur! at this point in time, before heading out for dinner at Boma. We may have done other stuff, since there's about 2 hours between Nemo and food porn. Who knows. (Though, I think we squeezed ITTaB in here too.)
     
  8. Cafeen

    Cafeen DIS Veteran

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    Boma, it's what's for dinner

    So, after we finished up at Animal Kingdom, we headed out to the car for dinner at Boma. Our ADR was for 5:20pm, so I assume we got there early. I don't have any pictures, so I don't know. But I'm just going to say we did. We also drove to AK that day to make heading to dinner, then Mom heading home, a bit easier.

    We checked in and then ate at Boma, it was delicious as always. I had a bunch of different stuff, and I'm not even going to try and pretend I remember it all!

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    It was all very tasty.

    After dinner, it was time to say goodbye to Mom and time to start my solo adventures. At this point, I should also point out that Mom had a cold shortly before she came... this probably should have been mentioned much earlier in this report, oh well. So anyway, we said our goodbyes, as I was coming down with the sniffles. I do remember commenting to her on this at some point, and she said there was no way I could have caught her cold, since she was "over it" before she came down... yeah, we'll see about that.

    So, goodbyes to Mom all taken care of, and the skies opening up, I hung around AKL for a little while and took some pictures. The savannas weren't anything special in the rain though.

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    Not long after, I went outside and caught a cab back to CSR, figuring that with the rain, I'd be in for the rest of the night. I took some room pictures for Kathy and the CSR thread, utilizing my UWA lens to capture as much as I could.

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    I then rested up for a bit, watching TV or some such.
     
  9. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    Just wanted to let you know that I'm still around and reading/looking. Just haven't had a chance to post much. I'm a little afraid that you're going to come back and say that you got a full-blown cold from your mother. :sick:
     
  10. Cafeen

    Cafeen DIS Veteran

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    Hey Lisa, thanks for popping in. I read up on your TR (but skipped the 19 1/2 pages banter) and hope all is going as well as it can. I do have to say that Hunter has changed a TON since the first TR of your I read (I think it was the tooth one). Well, except the cheese pizza thing :p.

    As far as any extra gifts Mom gave me... you're going to have to stay tuned ;).
     
  11. mickeystoontown

    mickeystoontown DIS Veteran

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    Hunter has grown up quite a bit hasn't he? I'm now looking up to him because he's so tall. I don't see the pizza eater changing his food choices any time soon.
     
  12. Cafeen

    Cafeen DIS Veteran

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    A Hollywood Night


    So, I had headed back to the resort for the night... but I was quickly bored and not sleepy at all. I decided to go ahead and do DHS PM EMH, so off to the bus I went. I debated grabbing the full tripod on the way out, but decided against it at the last minute.

    I arrived at the park at sometime after EMH had started, and moved down Sunset Boulevard first. I took a "few" pictures along the way.

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    I did have my tabletop tripod, so I managed some HDR along the way as well. The cloudiness in these shots are people. I could have reduced them a bit via more brackets, but decided not to.

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    These are by no means excellent, but they are pretty nice.

    I continued down the street and checked out the area in front of RnRC. I took a few breaks along the way as well.

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    I then hopped on ToT for a nighttime ride. ToT is my favorite ride at DHS, not that I have a lot to choose from, but it's always amazing. Looking out over the park at night is also a very great thing.

    I then headed slowly back to Hollywood Boulevard, snapping more pictures along the way, many of which became HDR versions (and several of these are "reclaimed" from before, since I learned how to use Photomatrix a bit more).

    Not HDR
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    HDR (4) - I like how this turned out, it's a bit more "cartoony" that my other HDRs, but it works as a bit of an abstract.
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    Speaking of abstract. I started playing with some zooming while taking longer exposures.
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    To accomplish this effect, I simply twisted my zoom on my lens as the shutter was open. Where I had stopped, you can see the image a bit more clear than where it was moving.

    And eventually, I was back to the initial Blue Square along Sunset Boulevard across from the Villans Shop.

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    For this photo, I actually combined two in a pseudoHDR set. This sign has two different lighting things, so I had a single picture of each. I applied a gradient in Lightroom to the top half of one of them, and the bottom half (at an angle, and really, not quite half) of the other one. I then used my Photomatrix HDR tools to combine the exposures. The result is retty nifty, if not fancy.
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    After this break, I decided to head on up to the Chinese Theater.
     
  13. Cafeen

    Cafeen DIS Veteran

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    A Hollywood Night

    Continuing from before, I was walking up toward the Chinese Theater, the real icon of the park. The Hat is not an icon. It's ugly, blocks the view, and is used for a freakin' pin store. It's an abomination. It must go.

    I don't like the hat.

    So, anyway, as I headed up to the theater, I heard music. I figured I'd sit and watch for a little bit as Mulch, Sweat, and Shears were playing. They were actually pretty good.
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    Eventually, I finally made it to the theater to take some HDR pics. I set up on the stairs leading to the ugly hat with my mini tripod and UWA lens. All of these are 3 part HDR
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    All 3 of these were shot via 3 exposure HDR and processed in Photomatrix Pro, which I picked up after the trip after seeing what it did to these photos. (I had a trial version previously and didn't really like how earlier photos turned out).

    I hung around for a bit longer, but started to feel a bit icky, so I headed back "home" through the shops.

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    And then headed back to CSR for the evening. Again. :p
     
  14. Cafeen

    Cafeen DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    4,852
    Chapter 6

    A Bit of a Late Start

    So, I woke up on my first full day of true freedom bright and early. Or did I?

    To be honest, I don't remember what time I got up. I know my feet were killing me and my head was a bit cloudy. I'd go ahead and put it around 9am, otherwise I sound like even more of a lazy butt than I already am.

    So, 9am rolled around and I was up and awake. I made the trek down to the Plaza elevators on the 4th floor for my morning ritual. (Smoke, not that other morning ritual that some people have... you know... coffee. Don't know what you all were thinking). I hobbled on back to the room and just kinda vegged out. At least I was awake!

    So, some time later in the morning arrives and I'm getting ready for the day. Today is Epcot with San Angel Inn, California Grill, and MNSSHP!

    I arrived over at Epcot around 11ish, and went straight to Mexico. I checked in for my meal around 11:15 (ADR was for 11:30) and was good to go. I did have to wait about 15 minutes or so, but that's fine. I found a bench and just chilled.

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    Soon enough, I was called to my table. It was rather amusing as there were about 12 of us in the entire restaurant. Slow times, low demand venue, and first seating of the day rules.

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    I, of course, picked up another Margarita (right now, this TR and my PTR are having the same general theme...) I then proceeded with the food...

    The Classic Margarita
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    Um, Tacos de Filete I believe
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    Carne Asada a la Tampiqueña (maybe?)
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    Not entirely sure what this was, maybe the Flan?
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    Everything was tasty as always, especially that unknown dessert (and the drink!) Service was so-so, not bad, not great, so pretty much normal. I paid off my bill and was quickly on my way. I did stop to take another picture first.

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    I headed on over to my normal break spot between the main bridge from FW to WS and the Odyssey restaurant area. I then proceeded to walk the plaza and down toward Canada. I took more than a couple of pictures along the way...
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    By this time, I was over in Canada and I had learned to use my 55-250mm lens to take flower shots. Nothing really exciting or different happened at this point, but I am out of room to post pictures.

    Now, for a cliffhanger...

    hmm...

    How about? Do I continue meandering through WS taking flower pictures? Or do I take a picture of something you can't see in your backyard? You'll have to tune in next time to find out!

    You may have noticed a burgeoning trend here as well, and that is merchandise pictures. I think I gave away some of the answer though with that statement... hm.
     
  15. Cafeen

    Cafeen DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    4,852
    Just dropping a quick post to let you all (all what, 3 of you?) know that I'm still here and such. This has been a busy week between work and the dining boards (new 2013 dining plan prices came out) so I've not had much of a chance to update.

    Of course, I could be updating now instead of writing this note, especially considering I know up to where I will be doing it. Especially since the update after this one should prove to be quite nice with the pictures. (The next one is too, but I'm almost at California Grill, so you may be able to guess what's coming up!)

    But, I don't feel like it right now!

    Instead, I'm going to drop a photo of something completely not Disney related, but I really like a lot.

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    (Edited: Oh hey look, I actually did update!)
     
  16. Cafeen

    Cafeen DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    4,852
    Hanging at Epcot

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    These, and the ones on the previous post were taken with my 55-250mm lens, mostly at 250mm with a wide aperture. I'm getting a handle on macro(ish) photography by this point.​

    I continued on past Canada and then the UK and ended u at the International Gateway, where I hung out in my Blue Square for a bit. My head was still cloudy and my feet were still hurting and it was hot. I'd be miserable if I weren't at Disney!

    But, since I was at Disney, I was happy.

    So, what did I do at the IG other than smoke? Not much. I took a couple pictures of a couple lizards.

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    Now, some of my early memories of Florida and Disney as well are the little lizards that are everywhere. I think that's why I've developed an obsession for them lately. As such, whenever I see one, my camera pops out all by itself.

    After watching the lizards, I managed to get back up and headed into the store at the IG. I walked through this store and then into one of the WS Traders stores too. I don't know which picture is from which, so here's both stores.
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    For this picture, I played with it a bit in Lightroom and used the brush to desaturate the areas around the ornament. I like how it turned out. It's not the best use of selective coloring, but it works.

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    And then I headed toward the golf ball.
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    And hopped inside. I know I mention this EVERY SINGLE TIME that I go on this ride, but for some strange reason, Spaceship Earth is one of my favorite rides at Epcot (in fact, it IS my favorite since they gutted Journey into Imagination and outright removed Horizons!). I think it's because it was one of the first Epcot rides I went on. It was before The Living Seas was opened, before Soarin' and Test Track, even before Horizons. Well before Norway and Morocco. It was pretty early on in Epcot's history. It's also one of the earliest memories I have that I can date. Mainly because I specifically remember us taking the monorail around Epcot before it was opened. We saw them building Spaceship Earth, mainly we saw them as they were applying the exterior tiles. I can still picture the sphere with tiles about halfway up, with the black rubber membrane showing on the upper half. This means that this was likely sometime in 1981 or early 82, making me 2 or 3 years old.

    So, yup, Spaceship Earth holds sometime special for me. It also makes me wonder how I can remember that with such detail, but can't remember what I was supposed to do yesterday.

    This was my 2nd attempt at photographing the ride. I turned off my LCD screen, turned off the auto-review, and turned off the beeps (in fact, the camera is still on silent from this trip). Tossed on my 50mm f/1.8 and went to town.

    Well, "went to town" is a bit liberal. I didn't take all that many shots here, but got a few that are a little better than my first attempt.

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    So, what did I do after SSE? It had been at least 20 minutes since my last Blue Square break, so I needed another for sure! While over there, a little blue alien was hanging out with no one else around.

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    And that's like, the 2nd or 3rd picture of me for this trip. See, I really was there and didn't just Google these photos!​

    Eventually, I finished with my habit and headed on over to "see the fishies". One of these days, I'm going to sit in this queue line for a longer period of time and do some real photographic work, but since it's never busy, it makes it tough for me to do it!

    I did snap a couple. Really like how the lighting works in here.
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    And, you'll have to wait until I feel like posting again to know what happened next.
     
  17. rndmr2

    rndmr2 DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    May 3, 2009
    Messages:
    1,855
    I was behind a few updates but I am caught up now.

    DH and I did the Behind the Seeds tour a couple years ago and really liked it, it was pretty interesting.

    I really like the close up flower pics, the ones with the bees are cool too, even though I hate bees (more like afraid of getting stung, LOL)

    I really want to try one of the TS places in Mexico for our next trip, which one do you prefer?
     
  18. Cafeen

    Cafeen DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    4,852
    Yay for being caught up, granted, I haven't been moving quickly lately, so I'm sure it wasn't difficult. Of course, maybe I'm just moving slowly for the convenience of my readers to be able to go away for a few days and come back without missing anything...hmm...

    Ahem.

    The Behind the Seeds tour is pretty neat. I'm not really into gardening, or plants, or anything like that, but I found it interesting just the same.

    I have many more flower pics over the rest of the trip. It's one reason that I want to go for F&G... but then I realize that I can do the same at Mobile Botanical Gardens up here in Mobile...for FAR less money (in fact, I did just that a few months ago)

    As far as the Mexico places, it's really tough for me to choose, so I don't :p. I've gone to both in 2010 and 2011 and planning on doing it again this year. So, I may not be the best person to ask :p. I'd give San Angel an edge over Hacienda for the atmosphere, but I like them both a lot even though they aren't really that similar. It comes down to a menu thing and I'd suggest taking a look at the two menus and deciding on that. (Or just do what I do, and go to both (and in 2010, it was both on the same day!))
     
  19. Cafeen

    Cafeen DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    4,852
    High Above the Seven Seas Lagoon


    *Fade In*
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    It was a road to get here, sitting roughly 15 floors above the Seven Seas Lagoon eating dinner. It seemed like only a few hours ago I wasn't here yet and was moving through The Living Seas queue line...
    *Dissolve*

    So, we last left off with some pictures of The Living Seas queue. Now, I know it's "The Living Seas with Nemo and Friends", but that's too long. Since "Nemo" is over at AK (aka "Finding Nemo: The Musical") and this pavilion has an older name, we're going to use the older name. It may also be because I still call the Innoventions buildings "Communicore East/West". The the TTA the "Wedway Peoplemover" and "Space Mountain" well, "Space Mountain".

    So, yep, I went on the Fining Nemo ride. As I approached my Clammobile with camera in hand, I was reminded that flash photography was not allowed. I smiled and said, "I wouldn't think of it."

    That doesn't mean that non-flash photography is outlawed though, which is good, otherwise I'd be in Mickey Jail. After the ride, I browsed around the tanks for a little bit and eventually exited through the gift shop (which, for some reason, is a movie about street art that keeps popping up on my Netflix Instant Queue (erm.. is there such thing as an "Instant Queue"....)

    So, yup, I know you're waiting for pictures, so here they are! Only one out of several pictures I took during the ride came out decent enough to share...
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    And, continuing on my merchandise shooting...
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    On my way out, I hung for a few minutes with some birds
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    No, not those birds...
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    I then started heading out of Epcot for the evening, it was getting a little close to my ADR at California Grill! Keep in mind, close is a relative term, but my head was still all cloudy and such, and things seemed to be getting worse.

    Along the way
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    So, I hopped on the Monorail, and then hopped on the other monorail and was there. At the Contemporary. I have ALWAYS wanted to stay here (and, in fact, for next fall's trip, if it happens and if it's not going to matter for my family that I stay where they are not, and I snag a room discount, I'm considering splurging for a park view here.) Unfortunately, it was still early, like 45 minutes before my ADR early. I just kinda hung around for awhile before I could check in, dozed off, meandered around, etc. Picked up some Advil Cold, Halls Defense drops, and hand sanitizer (um, Chrome, "sanitizer" is a word, I'm pretty sure...), and a drink. Popped the Advil and kept waiting.

    Around 5:15, I checked in and was led up the exclusive elevator. I took a seat in the lounge next to the window and ordered a Sprite. Yup, I know. A Sprite. At the lounge. I can hear the snickers from here, and I could from my table too...

    I managed to snap a couple pictures from where I was seated.
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    (My UWA lens was on at the time.)

    Soon enough I was seated next to another window. This one had a bit of a better view...
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    So, as I reflected how I ended up in this location, it was time to eat. I ordered some sort of flatbread for my appetizer, the Oak-Fired filet for my entree, and the banana napoleon for dessert. I ate every single bit of everything, except the asparagus with the filet. I may have had some leftover flatbread too, I don't know. It was a chore to put it all away though, as I had little appetite at this time, but it was way too good to leave on the plate.

    Food Porn...
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    After I finished eating, I managed to make my way out to the observation deck. Did I manage to stay on the deck? Or did I fall off? You'll have to tune in next time to find out.
     
  20. MAD4EEYORE

    MAD4EEYORE DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2010
    Messages:
    586
    HI!!! :wave2: I'm here and all caught up! Sorry I have been missing but with no trip planned I was bummed to be on the Dis. :sad: Great pictures! I especially love the last set with the purple flowers. I'm looking into a new camera set up. I have a SLR but don't want to fool around with film. I could just get a new body but it's would cost the same as a new set up. I do LOVE my 70-300 zoom. Decisions! Decisions! I never really learned how to use them in manual mode though. :confused3 I was thinking of taking classes at the college just for something else to do. I just know my DD will go nuts with all my picture taking. She hates it!

    I see you are headed to the world again! :thumbsup2 You will be there on some of the date I'll be there. Are you going to do a PTR for that trip too? I'd love to hear all that you have planned.


    Oh and I'd love to see you finish this up one day!
     
  21. Cafeen

    Cafeen DIS Veteran

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Messages:
    4,852
    Hey there! No worries about being missing, it's not like this TR moves very fast. Although, I better move it along some to keep it out of the depths of the "Completed" Trip Reports forum again! I'll be leaving in about 6 weeks (6 weeks and half a day or so), so I better get a move on, this thing's been running off and on for almost 10 months! (and by almost, I mean over /gasp)

    I do have the outline of the trip written up, so if worse comes to worse, I toss that up and link to my gallery :p.

    As far as the camera stuff goes, if you have interest in it, I'd say go for it. Digital makes experimentation so much easier (and cheaper!) than film. Perfect time to start using manual! However, with that said, I actually rarely go full manual. Due to my subject matter that doesn't really move much, I typically shoot in aperture priority mode, so I just set the aperture for whatever I want (typically either shallow or wide depth of field) and let the camera do the rest. I'll adjust up the ISO a bit if needed. While I CAN shoot full manual if I want (using the in-camera metering :p), it's too much of a hassle for the bulk of anything that I feel like shooting.

    If cost isn't much of a factor (it's ALWAYS a factor with camera equipment, just the degrees of it change :p), then I'd say go for the new setup. The T3i and T4i from Canon are both reportedly VERY good (and the T4i has a nice new image processing thingy to make it even better). I'm a couple generations back with my T1i, but it's still a very strong piece of equipment. The other brands (Nikon, Sony, etc) are also all putting out great gear right now (yes, I know, I included Nikon in there, I'm a bad Canon-man).

    I do have another slow moving PTR (and, constantly changing it seems) running for this upcoming trip. You can see it in my signature next to the line about learning not to photograph fireworks from behind trees, or you can click this link to get there :)

    I have also picked up a couple new pieces of equipment for this upcoming trip. The Sigma 30mm f/1.4, which should help my low light shots out quite a bit (I also learned how to open up the expanded ISO range of my camera heh) and just today, I ordered the Canon 430EX II speedlite, which should add some pop to my night people shots (and some fill for shots that you don't see here). It won't help me on rides though ;). (I picked that one up specifically because it has an LED AF assist, the strobe on the on camera flash was horrible the one time I tried to use it during the Boo To You parade last year).

    At any rate, thanks for stopping by, and I promise that I'll get working on this thing at a bit of a quicker rate...

    just not tonight as it's bedtime!
     

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