Tuesday, July 12, 2011
I am extremely pleased to introduce to you today the Tours Departing Daily web site. Chances are that you already now this great web site which opened last year, but if you don't, let me tell you that you will be in heaven when you'll discover the hundred of gorgeous - and i really mean GORGEOUS - pictures that Kevin Crone, Michaela Hansen and Matthew Hansen are posting on Tours Departing Daily.
There is a lot of great photographers shooting each week great pictures of the Disneyland resort - and Andy Castro from Mice Age is one of my favorite - but the pictures posted on Tours Departing Daily are not only beautiful, they are also a totally different experience. First, all of them are HDR pictures and, as they explain on the site, "HDR stands for High Dynamic Range. Our eyes are capable of seeing a huge range of light and color, moving from bright sunlight to deep shade. A single picture is incapable of portraying such a range. HDR photography combines multiple shots so that the final product more closely resembles what we see in person and our experience of being there. After we've got our shots, we spend a lot of time editing them before posting them to the blog".
For sure they do spend a lot of time with picture editing. What fascinates me in Kevin Crone, Michaela Hansen and Matthew Hansen pictures is not only how they are perfectly framed or how the colors are unique - not to mention the amazing sharpness. No, what fascinates me is that these pictures shouldn't exist. I mean, take the Jungle Cruise picture below, the Main Street Christmas photo on the top or the Main Street Cinema facade above, it's normally impossible to get this lighting perfection on a single shot. You would have to come with tons of additional lighting to get it, simply because on a normal shot you would have the Jungle Cruise building with a good lighting but the jungle trees will be too dark, or in the shadow, etc... But here, thanks to HDR magic and their close-to-perfection editing work they succeed to deliver a picture which even transcend Disneyland's natural beauty.
Another good example is this other Main Street picture above which is, in my opinion, incredible. By the way, click on each picture include in this article to fully enjoy their beauty.
Even with an extremely low lighting, like this picture of the Haunted Mansion portrait gallery, they succeed to deliver not only a great shot but also a picture which is interesting, in the artistic meaning of the word.
You will also find on Tours Departing Daily fantastic pictures of Disney's California Adventure, whether it is this magical picture of King Triton's Carousel...
...or this other one of Grizzly River Run with its incredible lighting.
Make no mistake, Kevin Crone, Michaela Hansen and Matthew Hansen are true artists and another sign of this is that they don't put any logo or watermark on their pictures. They obviously know that readers will download their favorite pics, but their love for beauty is stronger than any commercial consideration and i don't doubt that, as true artists, they've understood that they're here to share their creations with the rest of the world.
As i'm sure that some of you are interested to learn more technical infos about "how they do these amazing pictures", here it is: Kevin Crone and Matthew Hansen are shooting with a Nikon D90 and Michaela Hansen with the new Nikon D7000 which, by the way, had excellent reviews when it was released recently. The Nikon D7000 is a 16M Pixels camera, and this explain the incredible sharpness of the pictures. The pictures are shot in auto exposure bracketing mode, i.e that the camera is shooting three different pictures, one with a normal exposure, one a bit under exposed and one a bit over exposed. Then they use a software called Photomatix specially created for HDR pictures which, according to Kevin, is doing a fantastic job. Of course, in addition to all this, there is Kevin, Michaela and Matthew genuine talent, their natural sense of framing or colors, etc... and all three are spending a lot of time on each picture until they consider that "this is it", it couldn't be better.
I like also their sense of "classical beauty". Take the picture below for instance. Some of you might think that it is may be too red, but in fact it's not. But it's the framing and how the lady cast-member appears in the picture which gives to this picture a wonderful and perfect "classical" feeling. Well done, Kevin!
All of the pics that you've seen above are night pictures so you may ask how they succeed with day light pictures. Well, they're doing great too. Have a look to the Tomorrowland pic below - enlarge the picture to see it better - and you'll see how great the composition of the picture is.
The HDR also helps to deliver amazing - almost surreal - pictures like this one of the Disneyland monorail and each time the result is really interesting.
So, you understand now why i strongly recommand you to jump right now to the Tours Departing Daily web site and to put it in your bookmarks. Believe me, soon you will be addict to their stunning pictures and will need your daily shoot of Disneyland beauty. Good news, that's exactly what Kevin, Michaela and Matthew deliver each day on Tours Departing Daily.
All pictures: copyright Tours Departing Daily