Visiting the Home of Mickey Mouse

I Told You to Watch Out

If you noticed the theme brewing, never fear…I am off to Hawaii again soon so that will capture my attention soon. This is a shot from the small, but wonderfully detailed world of Toontown in Disneyland. It’s almost like the set of Who Framed Roger Rabbit exploded all over with some of your favorite Disney Characters thrown in for good measure. Here I am visiting the Home of Mickey Mouse.

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Reflections of Tomorrowland

Love for the Mouse

I you have no love for “The Mouse” please excuse my next three post indulgence. It seems I am getting carried away by my Disneyland Adventure. I am always surprised at how much FUN I have visiting these parks. There is always too much to do when overseas, but I almost would love to see how things are different. I have been twice to Walt Disney World in Florida, but this was my first visit to Disneyland in California. The park is noticeably much smaller, but I’m not convinced that is a bad thing. If feels more intimate…more special somehow. Perhaps it’s the personal touches of Walt Disney himself that makes it so wonderful.

This view of the entrance to Tomorrowland was taken on my final night in the park. Check out my Gateway to Tomorrowland photo from the Magic Kingdom. I don’t suppose you can tell what my favorite “Land” is in the parks.

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Tiny Lighthouse on Lake Michigan

Where’s the Sunrise!

There is something to be said for trying. I took this photo the same day I took my Sunrise at Navy Pier photo one cold morning in Chicago. I had got up at 4am to take the train into the city to get this and it was clouds, clouds, clouds. I kept moving toward my destination…I was always headed for Navy Pier, and just as I reached the end of the pier, the sun finally broke though the clouds. I caught the whole thing for today’s photo. I sat and stared at what appeared to me to be a tiny lighthouse (it wasn’t really tiny) off in the distance. Despite the bitter Chicago cold, it was a good morning.

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Cinderella’s Castle

Disney Nostalgia

When I think back to Disney, I am always nostalgic. As a kid growing up, we were always “going to go” to Walt Disney World…we never did as a family. I went in High School on a band trip, which in retrospect at that age was probably the perfect way to see The Magic Kingdom. I didn’t go back to the Florida Wonderland until last year and had a surprisingly good time. Today’s photo is one of those photos that maybe I would have taken as a kid visiting The Magic Kingdom. Its a “vintage” feel for a modern digital camera photo. Note the wire where Tinkerbell makes her magical descent every evening to kick off the fireworks show!

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Gaudi Chimney’s and a Blue Sky in Barcelona

The Forms of Gaudi

I have been thinking about Barcelona recently. It’s such a beautiful city and everywhere you turn it seems there is an explosion of art. Random acts of beauty, more-so then you get with most European cities (which is generally quite a bit). Barcelona even takes the time to make it’s subway stations amazing. Obvious placement not withstanding, I often find the little thing the most delightful and it was very much so the case on the roof of Casa Milà, one of the many Antoni Gaudi masterpieces of architecture. These are some of his terracotta chimney designs, something that most designers would overlook, take on a life of their own against the blue Barcelona sky.

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  • Aperture: ƒ/8
  • Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II
  • Taken: 19 February, 2013
  • Focal length: 17mm
  • ISO: 100
  • Location: 41° 23.7203′ 0″ N 2° 9.718′ 0″ E
  • Shutter speed: 1/500s
  • Title: Gaudi Chimney's and a Blue Sky in Barcelona

Wild Flowers on the Shores of Oahu

Incredible Diversity

One of the things I absolutely love about Hawaii is its incredible diversity. It is a CRAZY melting pot of people from all over the world who seek paradise, but I am talking about the landscape. From rocky shores to sandy beaches (and every color imaginable), from forests to mountains, from tundra to big city speed, Hawaii seemingly has it ALL! On a hike to the western tip of Oahu and Ka’Ena Point where I found a cool/weird lighthouse beacon I noticed there wild flowers along the shore. They reminded me of the wild flowers that grow on the fields of Missouri, despite the roar of the Pacific Ocean in the background.

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Gateway to Tomorrowland

Tomorrowland

I visited Walt Disney World last year and of course The Magic Kingdom was my favorite part. I am pretty partial to Tomorrowland. I love the 1950-60′s version of what tomorrow should look like. Walt was in many ways a visionary, not only in the field of entertainment, but also in the way he constantly pushed. We are talking a trip out to Anaheim and will visit Disneyland during our short stay. That park, that started a new empire, was put together on a shoestring budget. The company practically went broke building the park, and it could only operate at the behest of corporate sponsors, but despite the risk and despite near calamity, Disney saw what others would not. He accomplished what only he could. He built his own future.

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Park Guell at the Entrance

A Beautiful Mind

To me, Barcelona is Gaudi. It’s an unfair characterization, but when you have a true artist in your city’s history, one so gifted at seeing what others miss, it’s impossible for me not to find comfort. Gaudi is everywhere, or rather it is perhaps that his style is so impactful, one viewing of a masterpiece and it seems all you have seen. Today’s photo was one of his great failures. That too is unfair. It failed during Gaudi’s time, when I visited it was one of the more popular places in Barcelona. Perhaps this is one of the great lessons for people working or even dabbling in the arts. Even the masters have their critics as it seems in Gaudi’s time no one wanted to live in the Mansions in Parc Güell. I can’t imagine, unless at the time the Park was so far from the city proper, but even then, what views!

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The Irish Hunger Memorial in New York City

Finding Memorials

I sometimes think I am drawn to odd places. When I travel these days, I usually like to do only a bare amount of research. I of course have to make it to the BIG sights, but I leave a huge portion of my adventures entirely to serendipity. This was the case with today’s photo location. We were staying in NYC down by Battery Park and within is a 1/2 acre site dedicated to the remembrance of the Great Irish Famine. Outside of Ireland, we know this as the Irish Potato Famine and OF COURSE there is a memorial in NYC dedicated to this tragedy of the mid-1800′s! This is actually a very cool site and Pamela and I stopped by during the day and night to see it’s different sides. This is a close-up of one of the outer walls of the structure. The whole memorial is something to see…if you happen to be milling around lower Manhattan.

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Dawn Over Haleakala Maui, Hawaii

Revisiting Previous Works

Photography for me, is about exploration, experimentation and finding that photo in my mind. It’s how I recall my life…as photos. Some of the more magical moments are often hard to express. What I see, and prehaps more importantly what I remember seeing is very different that what the camera sees. Saturation changes based on the exposure, for instance.

Our technology despite being marvelous, is a poor substitute for what nature can produce and what our brain can see and recall. I tend to not go back to images or scenes unless they are completely different, but today, I am making an exception. The last dawn over Haleakala photo I felt was too saturated and I used a variety of new techniques to product today’s version. Tell me what you think, which version do you like best and do you revisit photos to work on them again?

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