The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland: Going Against the Crowd

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In July of 2008, after seeing so many great pictures in various forums’ “picture of the day” threads and upon some comments about the camera’s quality on SlickDeals, I purchased my first DSLR, a Nikon D40.  Much like Winnie the Pooh’s infatuation with honey, I have since become enamored with all things “Disney photography” related.  While running on the treadmill, I’ll come up with ideas for photographing the Dumbo attraction from a new angle.  In the middle of dinner conversations with my wife, I’ll blurt out something I saw in a caption or comment on Flickr that day.  I think I single-handedly make some eBay camera stores viable (although I don’t know how, given that many accessories only cost $.99 shipped from Hong Kong!). Heck, we even took a trip to Walt Disney World for the purpose of meeting up with some of the elite Disney photographers and shooting with them.  At this point, it’s not just a hobby, it’s a way of life.

Along with this great interest comes a great desire to keep things fresh.  I strive for unique composition, angles, and effects in my photos.  Most of the time, I can accomplish this on the fly, seeing something and quickly coming up with (what I think) is an interesting shot.  However, sometimes, those random ideas pop into my head when I’m on the treadmill, watching TV, or performing some other menial task.  I jot these ideas down on a list and take it with on the trip.

I write these ideas down since I’d most certainly forget about them between the time of the idea and the time of the trip, but most of the time, I also forget about looking at the list while we’re there.  Above is one such idea that I didn’t forget.  I don’t remember the circumstances under which it came to me, but it initially didn’t include the Unofficial Guide.  After giving it some thought, we decided while standing in place might look cool, some sort of prop would improve the shot, and supply a reason as to why we’d be standing in place instead of…well, running against the crowd towards Space Mountain!

Admittedly, holding the Unofficial Guide in this shot is a bit of a contradiction.  I mean, the book’s central tenant is practically ‘thou shall not stand in place, confused, when an efficient TouringPlan could be utilized.’  Yet, in the picture, we’re standing in place while others bustle around us.  To be fair, though, the other people are all leaving the park, and we’re not, so we have that going for us.  Plus, we’re using the Unofficial Guide, which will save us hours, so although it might take a few minutes to read a TouringPlan therein, we’ll have the eventual advantage.   Really though, I don’t think all this analysis and dissection is necessary.  This isn’t high art, so I think “looking cool” is sufficient for this photo.  Hope you enjoy it!

Have you ever used the Unofficial Guide as a prop in one of your Disney photos?  I’d love to see them–post a link in the comments!

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Posted on September 5, 2010

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