Friday, February 27, 2009

Geek-End Update, Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Confessions of a Shopaholic!

Foxxfur at Passport 2 Dreams has posted her compilation of (almost) every store at the Walt Disney World Village from 1975 to the present.

The Village is one of the few places at Walt Disney World to have seen monumental change and, unfortunately, not had consistent or reliable documentation. Foxxfur has spent a long time collecting ephemera about the Village and has tried to portray an accurate look at the Village.

Head on over to Passport and take a look at the list. Make sure to leave her some comments. Us bloggers love comments!
And don't forget to ask her which store still has wooden shingles!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


Just received another title: Hippo in a Tutu: Dancing in Disney Animation.
It looks like a fairly comprehensive examination of dancing in Disney animation with lots of artwork and photographs. Many of the images are being seen publicly for the first time.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009


Jeff B has another fantastic shot--this time it is from one of my favorite locations in all of Walt Disney World.

I have been amazed at the photos that Jeff B has on his Flickr account. Since I am an amateur photographer and none of my shots turn out this great, I wanted to pick his brain about taking photographs.

George: How do you look for great photo locations?

Jeff B: There is no shortage of photo opportunities at Walt Disney World. Many of the Imagineers were skilled as movie makers so the perfect shot is often right in front of your eyes as you walk on a path at a park or a resort. However, I will also look for shots from different angles and perspective and this allows you to find many of those Disney details which are not so obvious. Once I have found what I think is a good shot I will some times try the same shot closer and further away. A good source for inspiration are the souvenir pictorials, in particular the older ones, which have so many amazing photos.

George: What is your favorite place at WDW to take pictures?

Jeff B: EPCOT which I think is the most beautiful of the 4 parks. Spaceship Earth and the rest of the Future World Pavilions photograph really well. World Showcase is probably as detailed as any part of WDW plus there are so many different forms of architecture. Additionally, the Pavilions are larger and in a lot of cases you can walk around portions of their exterior to find a shot where the show buildings in let’s say the Magic Kingdom are more compact and only offer access to their front. I would put the resorts as second, as for the most part they are stunning and the Magic Kingdom third.

George: What equipment do you use?

Jeff B: Through 2006, I used a Nikon N-80 film SLR. Currently, I use a Canon EOS 5D DSLR. My primary lenses are a 24-70MM, 70-200MM and a 50MM/1.4. The 50/1.4 is a very fast lens which really helps for taking shots without a flash in dark rides. The RAW files from the camera are processed using Photoshop CS3. Two of my favorite programs / plug-ins to use in conjunction with CS3 are Topaz Adjust and Photomatrix.

George: Any advice for the rest of us Disney enthusiasts?

Jeff B: Yes - keep taking pictures. In the digital age, much to the ire of the Imagination Pavilion's sponsor, film is free. Become familiar with concepts such as shutter speed, aperture, exposure and composition. Try taking multiple shots of the same subject and make adjustments to these 4 items. In most cases you will find at least one of them to be a winner. Once back home, review your photos and their related EXIF data. See what worked and what didn’t. For compositions that are less than stellar make a list of what adjustments you would make for next time you get the opportunity to take the shot. Lastly, I think the use of a photo editing program is essential to, at a minimum, straighten, crop and adjust levels.

George: Is there a good time to capture photos at WDW?

Jeff B: My favorite time is around sunset as you get some really beautiful colors from the Florida sky. Early morning, particularly before the sun has fully come up, can offer a great opportunity at the resorts and the amount of people should be minimal. Days where the skies are blue with clouds offer mid-day opportunities as the clouds will help soften the sunlight. Night-time offers some amazing photo opportunities and I highly recommend a tripod to allow for the use of long shutter speeds and low ISO.

George: What is the best way to take pictures and eat a churro?

Jeff B: If you are traveling with children and have rented a stroller then the stroller roof makes a great place to balance the camera which leaves at least one hand free for the churro. If no stroller, then I highly recommend a tri-pod to mount the churro on. However, I would not recommend either of these techniques with a turkey leg.

Thanks, Jeff! Don't forget to stop by his Flickr account and leave him some Disney Geek love.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

But What's He thinking?

In 2006, Ollie Johnston, the last of Walt's famous "Nine Old Men," visited Pixar. Eager to show him our methods, animator's demonstrated Pixar's software, explaining how key poses and splines were created. Early in the demonstration, Ollie raised his hands. "Wait, wait, wait," he said, "What happens first?" Animators explained that they acted out or thumbnailed their scenes. Ollie shook his head. "Yes, but what happens first?" Animators looked at each other, and replied, "Well, we think about what the character is thinking and assign poses to express each thought." Ollie nodded his head, smiling, "That's what I wanted to hear."
--p. 62, Don Hahn. The Alchemy of Animation: Making an Animated Film in the Modern Age.
I ran across this great quote in Don Hahn's book. It sums up a lot of what the early animators had to discover for themselves and try to pass on to the future animators. The Alchemy of Animation presents a look at the animation industry--and what it takes to craft an animated film--while explaining how Disney has created some of the more memorable films.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Book Update!

I just received the paperback version of Designing Disney: Imagineering and the Art of Show by John Hench. It is the re-release of the 2003 hardback version that was published when Hench was still alive. I took a cursory read of it and it looks like it has not been updated with anything overtly significant.

If you don't own the hardback version, this is a fantastic addition to your collection.

You can read my review here.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tea for Three Way Back

This Wayback post is a three-for! We have three shots of the Teacups from the Mad Tea Party at the Magic Kingdom.

You can see the other Way Back posts here.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Walt Disney World Bibliography Update!

Head over and check it out! I would love to know if there are any titles I should add.
For those of you unsure what a bibliography is: a complete or selective list of books or materials about a specific subject.