HDR Photography (an introduction)

By Christopher Rainville
HDR photography, or High Dynamic Range photography, has become quite popular in recent time.  By definition, HDR photography is combining different exposure values to one finished photograph. To understand why we do HDR photography it’s important to know how your camera works and more importantly, how it compares to the human eye. Continue reading

Changing Faces in Photoshop, (getting the best shot from two)

When shooting the daytime parade at Walt Disney World it is best to set your camera to shoot multiple times with one shutter release.  The characters and the parade floats are always moving and by taking multiple shots at a time will increase your chances of getting one really good one.  What if you took several shots and still didn’t end up with a good picture of you favorite character? In this video I will take two photos of Belle taken during the daytime parade at the Magic Kingdom and combine them to make one good photo. This technique is quick and easy to do and designed to be used by a Photoshop beginner.
HDR version, direct link

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/48113675″>Quick and Easy Face Exchange in Photoshop</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/wdwphotoclub”>WDW Photo Club</a> on <a href=”http://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Walt Disney World’s Fantasyland Expansion “An Overview of the Construction Model”

by Christopher Rainville
On a recent trip to Walt Disney World I visited the Fantasyland expansion model located inside the attraction “Walt Disney, One Man’s Dream”. I have been doing my best to peer over the construction walls at the Magic Kingdom during the expansion but it’s difficult to get a feel has to how the land is laid out in relationship to current attractions. The Fantasyland model however, gives you a very good view of how the new section of Fantasyland connects to the existing part.

The model for the new Fantasyland expansion is located inside “Walt Disney, One Man’s Dream” at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

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Looking for an Inexpensive Photo Editor? Review of Snapseed for Desktop

By Christopher Rainville
Post processing is a very important step in digital photography. However, post processing editors like Photoshop, Lightroom and even Adobe’s less-expensive Photoshop version, Photoshop Elements, can be considered too expensive for a hobbyist photographer. Aside from the cost, their complexity can be overwhelming for a lot of users especially those just starting out. Snapseed from Nik Software offers a simple to use, and inexpensive entry-level post processing program for about 20 bucks and works on Mac and Windows machines.

The power behind this editor is Nik’s patented U Point® technology that allows users to pinpoint specific areas of the photograph to enhance or make adjustments without complicated selections or masking.  Nik Software makes powerful photo editing programs that are designed to simplify even the most complex enhancements and adjustments.  But I would consider the price of these products to be expensive for the average hobbyist.  Snapseed was a product originally developed for the mobile phone market but has recently been released as a desktop version. The software gives you basic post processing controls for enhancements and corrections yet delivers them in an easy-to-use workflow format. Continue reading

How To Get More Photos With Less People In Them, at Walt Disney World

by Christopher Rainville

One of the challenges of taking great photos of Walt Disney World’s resorts and theme parks is getting “clean” shots. The term clean refers to photographing only the intended subject without the clutter of people. Over the years I have always strived to get photos with little or no people in them. Here are a few tips to try to increase your chances of getting cleaner shots.

Patience: No matter what time of the year you go to Walt Disney World there is going to be a lot of people there. The first thing you have to remember is to have patience. Often times the difference between a shot with 100 people in it or no people in it is waiting a few minutes. If you take a look and notice, people often travel in groups or maybe a better way to describe it would be waves. Sometimes if you just stop and wait for your shot the wave of people will pass and you can then take the shot before the next wave of people walk in front of your subject. When the park is really crowded the waves of people are often too tight but if you are in a park and it is an average attendance day try to notice how small groups of people travel and take advantage of that by waiting for them to pass.

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Photoshop CS6, Whats New, Beta Review

There are a lot of new enhancements to Photoshop CS6. The first most notable change is the interface. The new screen looks more like Lightroom 4 then Photoshop with its darker background and light colored tool icons. If you prefer the lighter color of previous versions it can be changed.  There are a lot of changes in this version many of which are enhancements to the way certain items are selected and worked with. Many of these changes although superficial, make working with Photoshop much faster.  There are some items that have been moved to new locations for example users of Mini Bridge will now find it at the bottom of the screen and when opened, a Lightroom style filmstrip will be revealed. A lot of the changes are part of Adobe’s JDI initiative. The acronym JDI stands for “just do it” and stems from the Adobe Photoshop team surveying users and asking them what they would like Photoshop to “just do”. Some of these include, being able to make changes to multiple layers, an easier way to work with layers of text, and enhancements working with brush sizes. There are so many minor tweaks that it would be impractical to go through them all. Besides, most people want to know about the big juicy upgrades so let’s get started. Continue reading

First Phase of Fantasyland Opens

Walt Disney World guests were treated to a soft opening to the first phase of the Fantasyland expansion. Among all the construction walls, visitors could ride the new dueling Dumbo ride or the Barnstormer coaster which is a re-themed version of the old Wiseacre Farm ride. The new Fantasyland train station also opened for business and provided transportation along its regular route to Main St. Station.

Orlando Attractions Magazine posted a video on YouTube.  In the video you will see the cast members costumes, the dueling Dumbo ride, and the Barnstormer Coaster. There is also a walk-through of the new train station.