Journal

Photography, photoshop, and the philosophy of taking pictures by photographer Bill Wadman, co-host of On Taking Pictures.

No Real Camera & The World of Harry Potter / Disney

Sorry for the dearth of posts the past few days.  I took a bit of a long weekend to Orlando and decided to not bring a camera.  Sometimes not bringing a camera is a good thing. Indeed I find that there are times when I have to do it for sanity reasons.  Plus it's hard to go on rides with a big camera bag with you. Speaking of rides, this post is going to be not very photo related at all, but I wanted to give you my thoughts on what I had seen.

The World of Harry Potter Very well done.  Not terribly big, but the buildings and the shop windows were about as good as they could be.  Coming around the corner into the Potter area takes your breathe away for half a second.  They got it right.  And it was an unseasonably cold 50 degrees and cloudy when we got there so the snow on the roofs almost fit.  The main ride through the castle on broomsticks was a decent example of the 'put you on a motorized machine that's synced to a movie' type.  They get me a little queasy but I'm a wimp that way.  Butterbeer was tasty and reasonably priced at $3.25 a glass.  Cream soda and caramel is the best description I've got. I'm sure they'll sell it in bottles soon enough.  We also went on the dragon roller coaster, which was pretty scary.  Spun around so tight and so fast that really you just watched the horizon spin around you with 3 Gs pushing down on your chest.

Disney About my 5th trip to Disney World in my life and it's still pretty fun.  Luckily my friend Chris works for ESPN and so got all 4 of us in with Park Hopper passes.  Sweet.  Needless to say, Chris ate and drank on our dime that day.  Loved me some Thunder Mountain Railroad. In fact we came back into the park after dinner to ride it again. The 'Small World' ride is downright trippy, I can't believe they designed that for kids. We were the first people on the Haunted Mansion that day, we even had to knock on the door for them to know we were there.

Also went through Epcot and walked around the world.  Surprisingly accurate representations of England and France and Japan and the other places I've been in the world. A bit stereotyped perhaps, but better than nothing.  Quick tip, if you go on the Norway ride, run through the movie at the end without watching, you'll be happy you did. And the sweet and sour chicken at the cafe near Soaring was super tasty.

The Hollywood park was also super cool in places.  Some of our group went on the ride where they drop you in old broken elevators. Not me.  That said, the backlot stuff with the optical illusions of extended city streets and fake subway entrances was pretty great.  As was watching little kids fight Darth Vader with a lightsaber.

One thing I will say is that people shouldn't be allowed to bring cameras at all on these rides.  The guy in front of me on Pirates of the Caribbean spent the whole time snapping flash pictures above his head (none of which came out) with his screen on right in front of my face.  I'm a photographer and I know when you should and should not take pictures.  Enjoy the experience and stop ruining it for everyone else, idiot.

Other Stuff We also drove out to the Space Center, but there were not bus tours that day, so the main reason to go (Seeing the restored Saturn V hanging from the ceiling) was not in the cards.  Something of a waste of 3 hours driving out there and back, but what are you gonna do.

Throw in bowling, eating at chain restaurants, watching HP 7 part 1 and you have yourself a packed 3 days.  I didn't carry a real camera, so my 365.2011's were all done with my crappy Droid camera. If I knew how many lockers and stuff were around, maybe I would have carried a Leica for fun, but still, light changes make digital much more versatile in those situations. But that's ok, sometimes it's the experience that counts. Hope you all can forgive my frivolity.  Now, back to work.