One of the great things about walking around Paradise Pier is when riders go whizzing overhead on California Screamin’. It’s a driving force to the liveliness of the boardwalk area. Couple that with carnival games and flashing lights and you have yourself a day of amusement.
Sorry to not post the past couple of days. We were without internet. Can you imagine such a primitive thing?? I actually had this picture done Sunday morning and just didn’t have a way to transfer its bits and bytes into the wide web of the world. It was crazy how many times I found myself going for the computer only to realize it was pointless.
California Screamin’ Sunset
One of my favorite sunsets is a California Screamin’ sunset. Its placement in Disney California Adventure was really well thought out to have the Western horizon as its backdrop. There’s just something so California about looking into the array of colors above Paradise Pier to see the silhouette of arms lifted high from a roller coaster train. A second-hand thrill is not a bad alternative, especially if you’re too busy taking pictures to actually ride anything.
Maybe it’s weird, but I really like the California Screamin’ station. When I was a teenager I was really into roller coasters and used to go to Six Flags Magic Mountain a lot. The lack of theming there to me was a little depressing compared to Disneyland because Disneyland keeps you interested in the environment around you. Six Flags doesn’t really, so you stand in line with little shade and little to look at other than the chains marking the queue and concrete.
There’s a unique feeling when you finally get into the station and see the trains loading. Boredom and fatigue turn into excitement and anticipation as the promise of racing through wood or steel becomes real once more. The wait becomes worth it as you go from a low low to a high high in an instant.
As simple as the Screamin’ station is, it reminds me of those times and makes me feel that way again.
There’s something about being by the sea that promotes a sense of calm and well being. You’re not that far from the sea to begin with in Anaheim, but Paradise Pier manages to bring it a little closer. My favorite thing to do in this area of Disney California Adventure is stroll around admiring the billboard designs, sign painting and listening to an area loop that rivals Main Street in quality, if not familiarity. The classic sound and style emanating from this area make me want to throw on a striped one piece bathing suit and dip my toes in Paradise Bay. If only they offered them at this seaside souvenir shop.
Here’s another of my favorite shots of Mickey’s Fun Wheel reflecting on Paradise Bay before World of Color starts. It may, in fact, be my favorite with the color palette and the bit of sparkle on the right. Up next in this series will be a pop art style combination of the images I’ve shared so far. I’m not sure if the whole will be greater than the parts but I really enjoy trying new things and pushing myself. We’ll see how that goes.
After that, I’ll move on to another locale. Perhaps the Rivers of America over at Disneyland? With so many options and so much diversity, who knows! If I end up falling into the water amidst my excitement and efforts, I’m sure you’ll hear about it on the news — “Photographer takes a swim. Ducks make off with camera.”
I have to admit that I’m really enjoying this series. It’s different for me and sometimes, scratch that, often times you need to change things up so you don’t get stuck in habits. A fresh perspective is worth the effort because our habits have a way of gradually turning our passion perfunctory.
I don’t know if anyone has caught the direction I’m taking this but my grand idea with the various colors here is to create a pop art piece with them. I’ve spent a little time working on it and I think Andy Warhol would feel sufficiently imitated. That’s not really my goal, however. I’m more interested in creating a dynamic color palette that illustrates how different the same subject can be by variances in hue.
In the time I’ve spent working on these abstract images, I’ve taken to finding things in the shapes of light on the rippling water. It’s a lot like watching clouds except these shapes won’t change on you. Has anyone else done this or is it just me?
Late last night I posted on our Excursions Blog about some things to look for soon based largely on the great feedback we received through our survey. I also took a moment to rant about people stealing photos and not giving credit to photographers or other creatives for their work. I won’t rant again tonight but I do want to share a reminder about the correct use of our images. I feel somewhat at fault for how many times I’ve seen our images around the internet without credit because it’s not a topic we touch on very often. Undoubtedly, some good people have shared our pictures outside the scope of their intended use due to ignorance.
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Welcome to Part 2 in the series of water color pictures I’m doing. If you missed Part 1, head over there to find out about this series and learn what inspired me to do it.
This is another shot showcasing Mickey’s Fun Wheel from the bridge at the entrance to Paradise Pier (taken before World of Color). The Fun Wheel lights up in an array of colors at night creating quite a spectacle in the air and on the water. If you haven’t taken some time to enjoy it, you really should. One moment you might find yourself calmed by a blue glow and the next energized by a shift to a golden hue. Color plays such a role in setting mood. The psychology of it can be pretty fascinating.
Sorry for the late posts this weekend. It’s been a long one as we’ve been working to meet a deadline for a project we have going. We’ll be back to posting much earlier the rest of this week!
When I was 13, I made a discovery after my grandmother (who is an artist herself) and grandfather took me to a Van Gogh exhibit at LACMA. It was an extraordinary show. Many people are familiar with his work and most are familiar with his piece, Starry Night. As much as I enjoyed it, I found myself drawn more to some of his less popular paintings. In particular, one called Starry Night Over the Rhone, which depicts a starry night and the reflections of lights on the surface of the Rhone River.
As a boy, I didn’t think much of it. But as I became older, I wondered why my preference should differ from so many others. It’s a wonderful thing, of course, to have your own opinion but I usually find it beneficial to understand the origins and influences of mine. It can be a great help in seeking out the things you enjoy (and avoiding the things you don’t)!
The answer to my question was pretty simple. I love to watch light shimmer on rippling water. It’s one of my all time favorite things to do, whether it be at Disneyland or anywhere else. Van Gogh’s Starry Night Over the Rhone painting captured that feeling perfectly for me in a way that previously seemed impossible to express.
Since taking up photography, that feeling is something that I have wanted to capture and convey myself and, until recently, has been nothing more than a mental note in the back of my mind. The other night I decided enough was enough and decided to spend some time working toward my goal. One of the best places I’ve found to watch the dance of light and water is Paradise Bay with the reflection of Mickey’s Fun Wheel.
Michaela and I stood on the bridge that enters Paradise Pier for an hour as I took shot after shot, trying to capture as much as I could before World of Color started. I got more and more excited with each image (there’s quite an influx of satisfaction when you take time to address your longstanding goals). Needless to say, the picture below is pretty special to me and is the first in a series I’m going to do. Have you made any personal discoveries like that or tackled any longstanding goals that you’d like to share? I’d love to hear them in the comments below!