February 08, 2014

Walt Disney World Part III: EPCOT

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If you spent a couple days in a row at EPCOT you would likely think that you experienced most of what the park has to offer and "did everything there is to do there". But, when you went back a couple of months or a year later, you would soon realize you missed something. I think this is part of the magic EPCOT has to offer. The first time me and my partner went, we spent the entire day there and only got to "Mexico", the first country in the World Showcase before the park closed. It was only after during our second trip that we visited each of the eleven countries represented. The Imagineers at Disney did a wonderful job emulating each nation and the attention to detail is amazing. You could spend ALL DAY shooting here and still have the feeling that you overlooked something. And of course there is one of the most recognizable icons out there, Spaceship Earth, commonly referred to as the "giant golf ball at Disney" to photograph. Doing a google search would show you that the most common photo of Spaceship Earth is taken from the front at the entrance of EPCOT, but it is visible from a lot of different places in the park. Also, at night it lights up and becomes a very attractive subject.

But beware! Spaceship earth can easily become the only thing you focus on while in EPCOT because of its size and unique surface. Plus, you can see it from almost anywhere in the park so if you are like me you will want to photograph it this way and that. However, dont become so entranced by it that you begin to blindly fill your memory card. I am guilty of this, but after escaping it's grasp I realized the park has so much more to offer your camera's sensor.

China (see here for post processing tutorial)
The photos above were taken at different parts of the World Showcase, and do not even begin to scratch the surface of what there is to do and see there. Also the IllumiNations show is great. I did not bring a tripod or remote shutter release but it is my goal to get some really good firework photos at Disney one day. People/street photography is also golden here, but really it is at all the parks. One of my favorite tricks is to photograph the people my partner and I have conversations with... usually a cast member. We will engage them in conversation whether it be asking about where something is or for pin trading and then I will slip away and photograph them or just photograph them with my camera pointed upwards without them noticing. This works especially well with the Olympus body cap lens as it is inconspicuous and basically always in focus.

If you plan on visiting EPCOT for the first time, my advice is to try and dedicate at least a day and a half to the park. Also save a couple hundered dollars (more if you have kids) so that you can buy merchandise while at the World Showcase. Theres all sorts of cool stuff that comes directly from each of the countries for purchase including food, alcohol, souveneirs, and clothing =) I have heard of a challenge for adults where you consume an alcoholic beverage at each of the 11 countries and try to come out of it alive. Sounds fun, but I also saw a story on the news where a man got so white girl wasted at their annual food and wine fesitval that he punched out two cast members and ended up injured and in jail. So dont be that guy/gal. The rides at EPCOT are also fun, but more geared towards education and kids. Hope you enjoyed some of these photos! Thanks for dropping by!

Sam D.

Walt Disney World Series:

Part I: Introduction
Part II: Animal Kingdom
Part IV: Post Processing in China
Part V: Hollywood Studios

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