Disney when Not at Disney

Photographic Innoventions by Scott Thomas

Even when I travel to a non-Disney destination, I seem to find references to Disney or use lessons I learned when photographing at Disney properties. Then there is the kind of travel planned to include a Disney location. Which is what I did when I found out I would be spending a day in Boston, Massachusetts before flying to Seattle. Having recently seen the Disney produced movie, National Treasure, on cable TV, I wanted to visit and photograph the Old North Church. Does anyone know why? Leave your guesses in a Comment below.

The Old North Church is not the easiest building to photograph. As you can see it is in a cramped location with tall buildings surrounding it. I wanted to include people to show scale. For an old structure it still is 8 stories tall. It was probably one of the tallest ones back in 1775 when Paul Revere hung the lanterns.

Old North Church in Boston, Massachusetts

Old North Church in Boston, Massachusetts.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/5.6, ISO 100, EV +0.3, 24mm Focal Length.

Something I encourage all travel and Disney photographers to do is take location documentation. Signs, plaques, banners and any kind of information you may find close to where the photos are taken. These do a couple of things: reminds the photographer where the photos were taken and helps to caption the photos. Often, it could be days before I get to the photos and I may not remember important information.

Paul Revere plaque on the Old North Church in Boston, Massachusetts

Paul Revere plaque on the Old North Church in Boston, Massachusetts.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/4, ISO 100, EV +0.3, 120mm Focal Length.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Coincidentally, Adventures by Disney just released info on several “Short Escape vacations, including one to Boston, which is both full of history and related Disney references!)

Being a ferry ride away from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada while staying in Port Angeles, Washington, I could not resist a visit to The Butchart Gardens having photographed the Epcot Canada version for years.

People walk through the Sunken Garden in Butchart Gardens near Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

People walk through the Sunken Garden in Butchart Gardens near Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/16, ISO 1000, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length.

Something I learned to do at any Disney location is to look up when visiting a park, attraction, restaurant, resort or cruise ship. This is what I did when visiting the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit in Seattle, Washington. Had I not done so I would have missed this photo opportunity with the Space Needle next door to the exhibit.

Space Needle from the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit in Seattle, Washington

Space Needle from the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit in Seattle, Washington.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 100, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length.

Of course, there is the corollary which is to look down. Had I not done so I would have missed this little Olympic Chipmunk I encountered while hiking on the Hurricane Hill Trail in Olympic National Park near Port Angeles, Washington.

Olympic Chipmunk along the Hurricane Hill trail in Olympic National Park near Port Angeles, Washington

Olympic Chipmunk along the Hurricane Hill trail in Olympic National Park near Port Angeles, Washington.
Nikon D750/70-200VR, 1/1250s, f/2.8, ISO 100, EV 0, 200mm Focal Length, Cropped.

Who has not looked around and pointed excitedly at a Hidden Mickey found anywhere outside of a Disney park? I sure did when I came across one while walking the Spruce Burl Trail near Beach 1 in Olympic National Park. Not sure the Hidden Mickey Guy, Steve Barrett, would agree with me though.

Hidden Mickey on the Spruce Burl Trail at Beach 1 in Olympic National Park near Forks, Washington

Hidden Mickey on the Spruce Burl Trail at Beach 1 in Olympic National Park near Forks, Washington.
Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 2500, EV +0.3, 120mm Focal Length.

Next time you are anywhere but a Disney property, keep Disney in mind. You never know when you will be reminded of a Disney place, memory, film, character, etc.





Scott's "Photographic Innoventions" blog focuses on intermediate to advanced photography concepts and techniques relevant for Point and Shoot and Digital SLR cameras.

One Reply to “Disney when Not at Disney”

  1. I absolutely love that space needle photo! I am a huge fan of Chihuly & currently have one of wall calendars on my wall. I like taking pictures but am not a very good photographer however your tip about looking up is a good one. We went to the Detroit zoo about 10 years ago shortly after I’d upgraded from a point&click camera to a decent digital one and the best pics I got that day were looking up (a butterfly against the blue sky of the glass roof and a polar bear sitting on top of the underwater tunnel I was in).

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