View 444: 50th Anniversary Cinderella Castle

To celebrate Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary, Cinderella Castle inside the Magic Kingdom got a makeover. Disney Imagineers added some pink blush and gold accents to go along with royal blue roofing tiles. She looked great!

50th Anniversary Cinderella Castle

50th Anniversary Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida on Sunday, September 20, 2020. Nikon D750/24-120VR, f/11, ISO 100, EV 0, 24mm Focal Length, HDR Image.

As you can see, it was a rather dreary day. I decided to take a High Dynamic Range of exposures from -2EV to +2EV in 1 stop intervals at an aperture of f/11. Using Skylum’s Aurora HDR software, I merged the photos together and choose a Vivid preset. Bringing the image back into Adobe’s Lightroom Classic, I cropped it a bit and followed my usual processing to come up with this image.

If you are interested in more information on a Walt Disney World vacation, contact my wife by clicking her email address below merrie@dreamsunlimitedtravel.com 

Walt Disney World Travel Consultant

She has been booking and planning Disney trips and cruises for satisfied travelers exclusively for over 20 years.

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View 443: River Cruise II

My Brother and Sister-In-Law invited family for a cruise on the Seneca River over the weekend. Turned out to be a perfect day for one. Warm but not hot with smooth waters.

River Cruise 01

Author’s family enjoying a boat cruise on the Seneca River heading towards the Onondaga Lake Inlet near Liverpool, New York. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/160s, f/8, ISO 100, EV +0.3, 24mm Focal Length.

We shared the waterway with several different watercraft from jet skis to kayaks.

River Cruise 02

Watercraft of the Seneca River from left to right: Jetski, Outboard Boat and Kayak. Photographed with a Nikon D500/80-400VR.

As you see by the caption above, I brought along the Nikon D500 dSLR camera with the Nikon 80-400mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S VR lens in the hopes of photographing river wildlife.

River Cruise 03

Bird life photographed on the Seneca River from left to right: Great Blue Heron, Double-crested Cormorant and Osprey using a Nikon D500/80-400VR.

These birds were not bothered as we slowly cruised by. More interested in their own concerns of survival.

You might be wondering why this post is named River Cruise II. Back in 2011, I shared another River Cruise on a slightly larger boat also on the Seneca River.

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View 442: Car Guys

Back in June, I shared photos and information about the weekly Cars & Coffee cruise in event I attend. This summer, it is the only event with people I have been able to enjoy. All of the annual summer and fall festivals in my area have been canceled including the New York State Fair.

Car Guys

Car guys talking over a 1956 Ford Fairlane Sunliner convertible during the Rt. 31 Cars & Coffee at Wegmans in Clay, New York on Saturday, August 22, 2020. Nikon D750/24-120VR, 1/125s, f/8, ISO 400, EV 0, 35mm Focal Length.

You can tell all the guys and gals who attend enjoy having a place to go to not only see some cool cars and trucks but to visit with friends and make new ones over a common hobby. As long as everyone follows the rules for health and safety, Cars & Coffee will continue until the end of September.

The hope is by next Spring, all of this mess will be behind us.

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View 441: Mammals of the Zoo

Last week I shared photos of birds. This week I feature some of the mammals at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York I photographed during my visit.

Snow Leopard

Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia) at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 1, 2020. Nikon D750/80-400VRII, 1/400s, f/5.6, ISO 1250, EV +0.3, 400mm Focal Length.

An adult Snow Leopard (Panthera uncia) prowling the enclosure. Snow Leopards are still very much endangered and zoo populations keep the species viable.

Asian Elephants

Young Asian elephants (Elephas maximus) cooling off in the water at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 1, 2020. Nikon D750/80-400VRII, 1/400s, f/5.6, ISO 180, EV +0.3, 400mm Focal Length.

The two youngest members of the Rosamond Gifford Zoo’s Asian Elephants were cooling off in the water.

Bactrian Camel

Bactrian Camel (Camelus bactrianus) at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 1, 2020. Nikon D750/80-400VRII, 1/400s, f/5.6, ISO 320, EV +0.3, 320mm Focal Length.

Bactrian Camel (Camelus bactrianus) is a large, even-toed ungulate native to the steppes of Central Asia. Mostly domesticated, Bactrian camels have a tolerance for cold, drought, and high altitudes, which enabled them to be used for travel in caravans on the Silk Road.

American Bison Calf

American Bison calf (Bison bison) photographed at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 1, 2020. Nikon D750/80-400VRII, 1/400s, f/5.6, ISO 160, EV +0.3, 370mm Focal Length.

An American Bison calf (Bison bison) heading towards a muddy wallow to cool off on a hot summer’s day at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo.

Except for the Snow Leopard exhibit, the other exhibits were large so I could not get in close for portraits and chose to get more environmental type photos.

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View 440: Bird Portraiture

After making an Advanced Reservation, I entered a very quiet Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York last weekend. None of the inside exhibits were open in the entrance building. There were signs indicating the one way direction around the outside Wildlife Trail.

I enjoyed taking portraits of some of the birds on exhibit using a Nikon D750 dSLR camera with a Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VRII lens. The long focal length allowed me to focus through the fencing and get up close portraits.

Barred Owl Portrait

Barred Owl (Strix varia) at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 1, 2020. Nikon D750/80-400VRII, 1/400s, f/5.6, ISO 2200, EV 0, 400mm Focal Length.

Barred Owls (Strix varia) are often called Hoot Owls for their distinctive call heard at night. As I got as close to this owl’s exhibit as I could, the owl rotated his head and looked right at me.

Kookaburra Portrait

Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 1, 2020. Nikon D750/80-400VRII, 1/400s, f/5.6, ISO 640, EV 0, 400mm Focal Length.

Laughing Kookaburra (Dacelo novaeguineae) lives in eastern Australia though you may be more familiar with the bird’s call from old Tarzan movies. Watch this video to learn about and hear the Laughing Kookaburra.

Blue Crane Portrait

Blue Crane (Grus paradisea) at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo in Syracuse, New York on Saturday, August 1, 2020. Nikon D750/80-400VRII, 1/400s, f/5.6, ISO 500, EV 0, 400mm Focal Length.

Blue cranes (Grus paradisea), also known as the Stanley crane and the paradise crane, is the national bird of South Africa. A tall and elegant bird with a bluish-gray plumage.

As in any portraiture, make sure you have sharp focus on the subject’s eyes with enough depth of field to separate it from the background.

With many public locations closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ones that are open need our support.

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