I take a LOT of photos on every visit to Walt Disney World and have literally thousands of them loaded on to my computer. That being said, I am neither a professional nor a particularly talented photographer. I just shoot what I like. This group of tips will focus primarily on photography and some of the things that will make taking photos both easier and hopefully satisfying to you, the photographer. By the way, I’ve made ALL of the mistakes I refer to here:
- Before You Go: Be familiar with your equipment. One of the most frustrating things you can do is buy a new camera, flash, or other piece of equipment just before you head for Walt Disney World and not take the time to play with it. This leaves you trying to figure out how to use your stuff in a hectic environment and may cause you to lose that special shot. The time you spend with your new equipment before the vacation will reap rewards while you are in the parks.
- Travel Light: Have you seen the folks carrying the huge cameras with the giant lenses, the large gadget bags and their tripods around the parks? That used to be me!! My philosophy has changed, I carry a medium size 12mp digital camera with a 24x zoom (PLENTY!!), a flash but only if we are going to be in the parks late for some night shots, and a shooter’s stick. If you are not familiar with a shooter’s stick, they are very rugged (they will support a rifle) lightweight plastic monopod type instruments that have a standard camera screw mount. The biggest advantage is that they are much taller than a standard monopod. I am about 6′ 1″ tall and can shoot photos at eye level rather than bending over. They weigh just a few ounces rather than a couple of pounds like a standard monopod and are available at Wal~Mart for right at $10 in Sporting Goods. I carry miscellaneous photo stuff too which I’ll cover below.
- Don’t Get Caught Short: I think almost everyone is fairly confident that they carry enough memory media with them to cover their vacation. I recommend that you carry multiple memory cards just in case one of them stops functioning. This is one of those things that rarely happens but does on occasion so be prepared. If you are familiar with digital cameras you already know that they are BATTERY HOGS!!! I use rechargeables and spare AA’s for backup. If you rely on rechargeables alone make sure that your charger has a refresh mode that keeps them functioning at full capacity for the life of the battery. For backup I always carry Energizer Ultimate Lithium batteries, they are simply the best and longest lasting. Love the Pink Bunny!!
- Those Important Non Park Shots: O.K. call me paranoid, but I take photos of things that most folks don’t. I take shots of our Key To The World (KTTW) cards, any ticket media that is not on the KTTW such as an Annual Pass, Tables In Wonderland card, and each and every Photopass card that we pick up during the visit. It’s a lot simpler to either replace these items or order your Photopass CD if you should happen to lose one of them. Take pictures of both sides of the card so you won’t have to try and figure out which is which. If you are attending any hard ticket events you should take photos of those tickets also including Dinner Shows.
- Don’t Try To Be An Artist: If you try to make every shot a work of art you will likely spend a lot of time not taking photos. Shoot what you like and take lots of shots, you can always delete the ones you don’t want to save. The magic that you can get in candids is sometimes priceless. Sure, go for some artsy shots too but don’t go crazy, leave that to the pros. Remember to back up on CD’s before you clear your cards.
That’s a lot of stuff, trust me I’ve not done what I suggest you do and done what I suggest you not do so this is the voice of experience. I really hope some of these things help you out. As always, enjoy your visit to Walt Disney World!!
- Disney World Tips and Tricks: GoGo Squeez – A Park Must Have! (chipandco.com)
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