Disney

Ceiling of Prayer for Good Harvests

Stepping inside the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests at EPCOT Center’s China Pavilion, one cannot help but look up to marvel at the amazing composite of detail, beauty, color, geometry and craftsmanship that make up its ceiling. The building is a half-sized replica of the original, located at Beijing’s Temple of Heaven complex. It would certainly be deemed by Umberto Eco an exquisite example of “hyperreality*”.

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Nikon D800, ISO 1250, 24mm, f/4.5, 1/100 sec

*Travels in Hyperreality, by Umberto Eco — one of my favorite books and examinations of the human condition and our need to imitate and improve that which is inimitable.

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Making Magic with Enlight

This is a photo of Cinderella’s Castle at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, which I captured with my iPhone 6 Plus. I’ve been enjoying playing with Enlight’s photo editing app on my phone, so used it here to add the fairy lights and bursts of fall colored fireworks. You can find Enlight in your app store.

enlight1

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earl harris photography
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Cinderella’s Castle

I’m sharing a couple of iPhone 6 Plus photos I took of Cinderella’s Castle at Walt Disney World. I edited these using the new Enlight editing app, which I’m really enjoying learning to use.

So, for all you Disney fans out there, here’s the castle without a kerjillion people surrounding it!

Castle1.copyright2016earlharrisphotography

Cinderella’s Castle, Walt Disney World
Copyright 2016, earl harris photography, All rights reserved iPhone 6 Plus and Enlight editing app

Castle2.copyright2016earlharrisphotography

Cinderella’s Castle, Walt Disney World
Copyright 2016, earl harris photography, All rights reserved iPhone 6 Plus and Enlight editing app

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earl harris photography
Photographing people, places, pets and ponderings
throughout Central Florida.

France, in Florida

France Pavilion, Walt Disney World EPCOT. Captured with my iPhone 6+ and edited with Snapseed. The trick here is to go at park open (times vary; check the schedule), enter through the International Gateway and head straight to France, where the pastry shop opens for breakfast service before any of the other countries are open to the public. No crowds and far better photo opportunities.

img_2052“French Pavilion, EPCOT”

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earl harris photography
Photographing people, places, pets and ponderings
throughout Central Florida.

Reds, Whites and Blues

“The best way to forget ones self is to look at the world with attention and love.”
–Red Auerbach

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“Reds, Whites and Blues”, Fujifilm X-T1, ISO 250, f/11 at 1/250th sec., 21.6 mm

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earl harris photography
Photographing people, places, pets and ponderings
throughout Central Florida.

Knotty Balls (Homophone & Homonym)

“The English language is like London: proudly barbaric yet deeply civilised, too, common yet royal, vulgar yet processional, sacred yet profane. Each sentence we produce, whether we know it or not, is a mongrel mouthful of Chaucerian, Shakespearean, Miltonic, Johnsonian, Dickensian and American. Military, naval, legal, corporate, criminal, jazz, rap and ghetto discourses are mingled at every turn. The French language, like Paris, has attempted, through its Academy, to retain its purity, to fight the advancing tides of Franglais and international prefabrication. English, by comparison, is a shameless whore.”
― Stephen Fry, The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within

Disney fans: This photo was taken at Walt Disney World; do you know where these are?

copyright2016_EarlHarrisPhotography_Rope-and-Balls

“Knotty Balls”, Fujifilm X-T1, ISO 3200, f/7.1 at 1/125th sec., 83.3 mm

Happy Valentines Day!

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earl harris photography
Photographing people, places, pets and ponderings
throughout Central Florida.

It’s Magic!

Baudrillard’s 3rd Order of Hyperreality: There is a reversal between the real and the representation, such that the representation precedes the real, and in fact, produces it. What it produces is “hyperreality”. Baudrillard posits that this has become our dominant way of understanding and experiencing the world.

Living just outside the world’s most popular theme park destinations comes with a special portion of head-scratching hoopla. Many attempts to draw in the tourists that Disney and Universal has already drawn in don’t last more than a month or two. Others manufacture a successful gimmick that enables them to explode and build multiple locations. And sometimes those gimmicks are painful to look at: vibrant reminders that very few of the people surrounding me at any time know anything about the reality of this place where I live. People seldom come here to visit what’s real here: the beautiful cypress swamps or what little is left of “natural Florida”. People come to visit the compounds of hyperreality built by entertainment corporations and to experience having their hard-earned cash magically disappear from their pockets. If one should happen to come out with money still in pocket, one need only remember the obligation to purchase discount souvenirs to take home to those that didn’t merit the full-priced, higher-quality versions. You’ll find at your disposal numerous locations adept at the magic of tourist cash transference available to happily help out.

"Gift Shop", Nikon D800, ISO 1600, f/5.0 at 1/50sec., 28mm

“Gift Shop”, Nikon D800, ISO 1600, f/5.0 at 1/50sec., 28mm

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Lines and Cow

Drive just a few miles outside of Kissimmee and the sea of hotels, gift shops, questionable restaurants and theme park-related tourist traps disappear. These obstructions give way to Central Florida’s natural beauty, cypress swamps and pastures. This is by far the Florida I prefer. It is the Florida that surrounded me growing up, before “Disneyfication” completely turned the place upside down. In childhood, I often walked through the pastures and cypress swamps near our home with my friends. Those adventures revealed so many little marvels of nature; marvels that seemed to me then and still do now to be revelations of Divine planning and intent. It saddens me that my favorite childhood swamp is now a parking lot and apartment building. I suppose they live on, in a sense, having given life to the fascination I have today with observing and photographing the order from which our chaos is derived.

From a technical standpoint, today’s photo is about composition and using lines to draw and direct the viewer’s eye. I hope you like it.

"Lines and Cow", Nikon D800, ISO 400, f/22 at 1/125 sec., 116mm

“Lines and Cow”, Nikon D800, ISO 400, f/22 at 1/125 sec., 116mm
Click on the image for an enlarged view.

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #35

We moved back to Kissimmee last September after spending nearly 10 years in Salt Lake City. Driving out of our new Kissimmee neighborhood one day, I noticed an individual standing in his front yard. Although I only saw the back of his head, there was a twinge of recognition. I started paying attention as I would pass that house on my trips in and out of the neighborhood, in hopes of seeing him again and getting a look at his face. I saw him a couple more times, but in neither instance did I see his face. Still, I had  a growing sense of certainty that the man I was catching glimpses of had been a favorite coworker during the many years I spent working for Disney in Information Technology. I hadn’t seen nor heard from Tom since I left Disney 15 years ago.

Then finally, as I was heading out one afternoon to work on this project, I got a clear look at him. Pulling the car over to the curb, I got out and called his name. There was a brief look of puzzlement upon his face as he looked at me. That expression turned to disbelief as he spoke, turning my name into a question. It was a fun and somewhat comical reunion; one in which it never occurred to me to grab my camera from the car.

Recently, as I was returning from a downtown photo shoot, I again found Tom in his front yard. This time, he was hard at work on a house painting project I would never want any part of. Thinking it would be merciful to get him away from his miserable chore, I pulled the car over to the curb once again. I didn’t get out this time. Instead, I called him over to the car, raised my D800 and shot him.

“Tom”, Nikon D800, ISO 1250, f/16 at 1/320 sec., 85 mm

Wow. Tom’s the 35th “face” in the on-going Faces of Kissimmee series! Over the time I’ve been dedicating my blog posts to this project, I’ve shot a lot of other photos – some of which I’d like to start sharing. I typically capture 2 or 3 of these street portraits per outing, because there are many days I don’t get the opportunity to go downtown to take photographs. Thus, I’ve been thinking to intersperse the Faces of Kissimmee posts with some other photographs just to break things up a bit and return to more regularly-spaced posting intervals. So, if you are really enjoying following this series as much as I’m enjoying doing it, don’t fret. I’m not abandoning the series; if it were a doughnut, I’d just be adding sprinkles. And you can always filter and view all images in the series using the “Faces of Kissimmee” tag.

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #3

The Kissimmee train station is a fairly active place. The trains come and go with scheduled regularity. I like that I can clearly hear the whistles and rumbles that announce them from our home a few miles from downtown. Norris was waiting on a bench near the station. Her small suitcase told me she was a traveler; I wondered if she was coming or going. With Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and so many other tourist destinations nearby, one can look at anyone in Kissimmee and wonder pretty much the same thing.

Good journey, Norris. Or perhaps it should be, “Welcome home”.

Norris [Click image to expand or shrink its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/4.0 at 1/2500 sec, 85 mm

 “Norris” [Click image to expand or shrink its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/4.0 at 1/2500 sec, 85 mm

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