JanJ & KenJ's first stay at BWI live trip report!!

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Magic Mirror's picture
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Ken You said you use a smaller camera too....what type is that one.

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Magic Mirror wrote:
Ken You said you use a smaller camera too....what type is that one.

Hi Magic. The camera is a Panasonic GH3 and it's about the size and shape of a small DSLR like a Canon Rebel. I shoot everything RAW and then post process the photos in Apple Aperture. The camera also takes extremely good video too.


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Thanks Ken awesome

Do you have any back cameras you take also?

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Magic Mirror wrote:
Thanks Ken awesome

Do you have any back cameras you take also?

Back camera? Do you mean a backup camera?

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Yes! I tried to edit but my Nook would not cooperate biggrin

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Haha! I have the same problem with the iPad too! biggrin

Well, I did bring a small pocket camera (Sony TX-5) but I didn't end up using it this time. That camera is great because not only does it fit in a pocket, it's also waterproof and I've used it to take underwater video in the Caribbean.

And of course, I always have my iPhone with me. But, I generally don't like the quality of smart phone photos so I only use it in a pinch.

I like taking photos without a flash so a camera with a somewhat larger sensor is better. A full frame camera is the ultimate for low light performance, but they're also quite bulky. I find the GH3 to be a good compromise between sensor size and physical size.

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Haha. Now I need a lesson in how to use Aperture...I have it....and my pictures look NOTHING like yours!!! laugh

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Eeyore wrote:
Haha. Now I need a lesson in how to use Aperture...I have it....and my pictures look NOTHING like yours!!! laugh

Aperture is a great app for photo processing. It took me a little while to get the hang of it, but it has a lot of features. The other popular one is Adobe Lightroom, but I've never used it myself.

I started shooting RAW photos instead of JPEG a few months ago. I've found that this in combination with Aperture gives the ability to make many adjustments. As you can tell from my photos, I like to increase color saturation and contrast a bit. I find it gives a nice punchy look to the picture. It's not everyone's cup of tea though. biggrin

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KenJ wrote:
Eeyore wrote:
Haha. Now I need a lesson in how to use Aperture...I have it....and my pictures look NOTHING like yours!!! laugh

Aperture is a great app for photo processing. It took me a little while to get the hang of it, but it has a lot of features. The other popular one is Adobe Lightroom, but I've never used it myself.

I started shooting RAW photos instead of JPEG a few months ago. I've found that this in combination with Aperture gives the ability to make many adjustments. As you can tell from my photos, I like to increase color saturation and contrast a bit. I find it gives a nice punchy look to the picture. It's not everyone's cup of tea though. biggrin

Yea. I don't even know what raw means... laugh and I have a fancy Nikon camera....that obviously I don't know how to use.

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Eeyore wrote:

Yea. I don't even know what raw means... laugh and I have a fancy Nikon camera....that obviously I don't know how to use.

Eeyore, RAW files are just another format that you can set your camera to output. Think of a RAW file as an unprocessed photo. Essentially, it is a direct output of all the data the sensor gathered during the capture of the photo.

You can also think of it in the context of the old film days. A RAW file is like a photo negative. You can't really use the negative on its own as it must be processed into a finished photo. This is where Aperture or Lightroom come in.

When set to JPEG output, the camera processes the RAW file internally (it develops the negative for you) and stores the image on the memory card as a JPEG. In this process, it throws a lot of data away. This allows for smaller file sizes and also you can use the JPEG image right away (like post it on a forum or email it to someone etc.).

When set to RAW output, the camera stores the actual RAW image without any processing onto the memory card (the undeveloped negative) You then must process the file in something like Aperture or Lightroom in order to then export it as a JPEG image. But, because the RAW file retains all data collected by the sensor, you have much more control over editing/processing the image later. You can change things like exposure, contrast, saturation etc. with better results compared to processing a JPEG. Processing RAW files takes a bit longer, but the end result is usually a higher quality photo that looks better than a straight out of the camera JPEG.

Actually, was just thinking that it might be fun to start a thread in the Photo forum where we can discuss stuff like this for anyone interested. Photography is a fun hobby for me and although I'm fairly knowledgeable, I'm still learning myself.

What model of Nikon camera do you have?

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And all this time I thought RAW meant uncooked!! rolling laugh No wonder I take lousy pictures. Seriously thanks for the mini photo lesson. Between you and Zz and hazgry I could probably learn something about photography.
I have an Olympus E-520 and it stays on "auto" all the time. waiting

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Yes, please feel free to start a thread ~ ! You're summary of RAW is the best I've heard yet that I can understand. You gave me an "a-ha" moment -Thank you! awesome awesome awesome

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Extremely good explanation of RAW Ken, even I understood that! Yeah, like VL, my cameras pretty much stay on auto too, I have a Nikon D40X & an Olympus SP-810UZ. I tried RAW when I first got my Nikon, but never worked with it enough to figure it out, heck I can barely get my trip reports done, speaking of which.................

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KenJ wrote:
Eeyore wrote:

Yea. I don't even know what raw means... laugh and I have a fancy Nikon camera....that obviously I don't know how to use.

Eeyore, RAW files are just another format that you can set your camera to output. Think of a RAW file as an unprocessed photo. Essentially, it is a direct output of all the data the sensor gathered during the capture of the photo.

You can also think of it in the context of the old film days. A RAW file is like a photo negative. You can't really use the negative on its own as it must be processed into a finished photo. This is where Aperture or Lightroom come in.

When set to JPEG output, the camera processes the RAW file internally (it develops the negative for you) and stores the image on the memory card as a JPEG. In this process, it throws a lot of data away. This allows for smaller file sizes and also you can use the JPEG image right away (like post it on a forum or email it to someone etc.).

When set to RAW output, the camera stores the actual RAW image without any processing onto the memory card (the undeveloped negative) You then must process the file in something like Aperture or Lightroom in order to then export it as a JPEG image. But, because the RAW file retains all data collected by the sensor, you have much more control over editing/processing the image later. You can change things like exposure, contrast, saturation etc. with better results compared to processing a JPEG. Processing RAW files takes a bit longer, but the end result is usually a higher quality photo that looks better than a straight out of the camera JPEG.

Actually, was just thinking that it might be fun to start a thread in the Photo forum where we can discuss stuff like this for anyone interested. Photography is a fun hobby for me and although I'm fairly knowledgeable, I'm still learning myself.

What model of Nikon camera do you have?

Thanks Ken! I have a D5100 with a 55 mm lens and a brand new wide angle lens my hubby got me Christmas. I will have to get my camera bag out tomorrow. I also posted on the other thread so I will go back there to continue this conversation. lol

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Eeyore wrote:

Thanks Ken! I have a D5100 with a 55 mm lens and a brand new wide angle lens my hubby got me Christmas. I will have to get my camera bag out tomorrow. I also posted on the other thread so I will go back there to continue this conversation. lol

That's a great camera you have there. Very capable system. awesome

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I really enjoyed your trip report, Ken and Jan! I LOVED seeing all the pictures, especially the ones that showed off the low crowd levels! You definitely confirmed my decision on what week to take my hubby and sisters next year!

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Jan and Ken, loved the trip report. The pictures really made me feel like I was there. And, happy belated Anniversary!

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Allie wrote:
I really enjoyed your trip report, Ken and Jan! I LOVED seeing all the pictures, especially the ones that showed off the low crowd levels! You definitely confirmed my decision on what week to take my hubby and sisters next year!

Thanks Allie! You'll definitely love the lower crowd levels for sure. Just be prepared for hot and humid! biggrin

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JanMcG wrote:
Jan and Ken, loved the trip report. The pictures really made me feel like I was there. And, happy belated Anniversary!

Thanks Jan! And welcome to the forum by the way! awesome

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So, now that we're back at home and I posted most of our photos from our trip, I figured I'd make a post of some of my thoughts of our trip.

This trip was my 5th to Disney World. My first trip was just 3 year ago, in May 2010. So, I guess you could say that I've joined the party late! When I was 7 years old, my grandparents took me to Disneyland in California. I must admit that I don't really remember too much about that park. Jan has been to WDW more than I from before I met her.

Anyway, our recent trip was probably the best one I've had yet. I can't fully explain exactly why I like going to Disney World so much, but I think it has a lot to do with the feeling that you're in a "Happy Bubble". I often refer to WDW as "the bubble" for this reason.

It's one of the few places you can go where you feel like you're away from home, but at a place that is as familiar as home. There are no street people begging for money, no sirens, no cars honking, no dogs barking, and you feel completely safe walking around even at night. It's like a big happy city with many places to go and things to do. The fact that everyone there is on vacation is a big contributing factor IMO.

This was our first stay at a deluxe resort, the Boardwalk Inn. We had previously stayed at the moderates, Caribbean Beach and Port Orleans Riverside.

I was a bit apprehensive staying at a deluxe to be honest. It was almost $1,000 more to stay at the Boardwalk compared to POR. However, after staying at the Boardwalk, I completely changed my mind and all apprehension was gone. I loved it!

As you know, we got an upgraded room just for the asking which was awesome. But even if we hadn't, I would have been happy. We both found that being in an actual hotel environment was for us.

The biggest advantage that I thought was worth the extra $$$ was being able to walk to both Epcot and Hollywood Studios. This was HUGE for us. We quite often would just decide to head over to World Showcase for a drink or something to eat. World Showcase was in our backyard and it felt great!

Then there was the crowd levels, or lack thereof! We had never visited The World in September before. We found the crowds to be almost non-existent at times. We literally walked onto most rides with 5 or 10 minute wait times. It was unreal. This is certainly a great time to go if low crowds are a priority.

But, the weather. HOT and HUMID. I knew this before going of course, but it was more than I had anticipated. So humid that I was sweating constantly, even when just standing still. We'd come back to our resort at the end of the day and my shirt was literally stuck to my back. I think that I prefer to visit when it's just a little bit cooler. I'm thinking October would probably be nice to try sometime.

When it came to food, we had some great experiences. All of the places we ate at had great food and we enjoyed it very much. My only gripe is that most of the restaurants at Disney World are extremely LOUD. Not because of the number of people, but because of the open concept design with very little sound dampening. I've developed Tinnitus in my ears and there were times where I was really not enjoying being in the restaurants as I am extra sensitive to this now. I prefer quieter places to eat which are hard to find at WDW.

We visited all 4 parks while we were there. Neither of us are much into water parks so we never have gone to either of those. The only place we didn't get to this time was Downtown Disney. The bus service from the Boardwalk to Downtown Disney is as bad as I had read about. We waited over half an hour and watched bus after bus come by for all other destination except that one. We just gave up and went somewhere else.

We didn't get to participate in the Magic Band or FastPass+ thing. Maybe on our next trip. But, I'm still confused about the FP+. I mean, is it really necessary to have a dedicated FP+ entrance for Spaceship Earth? Really??? Why this attraction is part of FP+ is puzzling. I would have thought it better it Disney would have targeted the attractions that actually have long standby times.

We were thinking of joining DVC but I still can't get myself to commit to it. I'm not sure that I like the idea of having to book our vacations so far out in advance and then having to deal with waiting lists etc. It seems that when you book into a regular room, there is just no hassle that way. We're still thinking about it, but it's just so hard to figure out if we'd like it.

Well, this post has gone on long enough I guess. We had a great time and are looking forward to the next one! Thanks for reading!

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A few more thoughts...

We figured out our must eat places - Tokyo Dining, The Flying Fish, Kona Cafe (breakfast and lunch) and Yak & Yeti (California Grill as well, but it was still closed). Also, our must eat treats - Mickey ice cream sandwich, Dole Whip (just tried that this past trip), chocolate croissant from the bakery and Ken's favourite - caramel apples from the Big Top Circus at MK.

We definitely loved the deluxe resort environment and loved being so close to Epcot and DHS - being able to walk to get to the parks was a huge plus. We only ended up taking a bus to AK and we came back to the resort a couple of times on the bus from MK. Other than that, we walked, took the Friendship boat or took the monorail.

The heat was at times unbelievable, but I quite enjoyed it at times as I hate the cold. Also, the crowds were the lowest we have ever seen. We normally go to the World at the end of January, which is also supposed to be low crowds, but that time is still busier than September. As Ken mentioned, we will probably still plan to go WDW in the fall, but will probably make it a little later in the month, or even early October. This way, we can partake in F&W and MNSSHP. wink

Thanks for reading and all your comments - till next trip! mickey

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I actually miss this sound.

Friendship Boat Video

PS. Does this forum support embedding Vimeo videos? I just switched to Vimeo from YouTube due to better HD quality.

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I feel your pain Ken. I love the sounds when we stay at the Poly. You hear the boats as well as the train from the Magic Kingdom. On our last stay at the Poly, I cold also hear some of the ride sounds and music coming from the Magic Kingdom very early in the morning before anything else had started up.

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I'm glad you guys enjoyed the Boardwalk! My DB and I want to do an actual vacation at Boardwalk. Back in June he went home for a couple days and we stayed at the Boardwalk for one night so he could use the ME. It was a very nice night besides us being put in the annex.

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I love the Friendship Boats.

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Here ya go Ken, and anyone else that stays at the Boardwalk. Just pretend to be looking out you window.

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Early October is a great time to go! It sound like your crowd levels were slightly lower the ours, but wait times were still really decent when we were there and the weather was perfect!

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mrhub wrote:
Here ya go Ken, and anyone else that stays at the Boardwalk. Just pretend to be looking out you window.

Nice! Is that your live web cam?

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Allie wrote:
Early October is a great time to go! It sound like your crowd levels were slightly lower the ours, but wait times were still really decent when we were there and the weather was perfect!

Good to hear Allie! I enjoyed our September trip, but it was just SO hot and humid every day. We went last year in November and really enjoyed our trip. It was great to see the Christmas decorations too. The Osborne light display is something that has to be seen in person. It amazes me that they can have so many lights all choreographed to music. Then again, I'm amazed at all of the Disney light shows!