MouseStation Podcast #231:
Featured Interview: Tim Devine of TheMagicInPixels.com
LINKS TO LISTEN TO THE EPISODE ON MOUSEPLANET.COM:
With Mike unable to get home to record due to car trouble, Mark interviewed Tim by himself.
Tim’s love of Disney started with a surprise trip to Walt Disney World when he was eight years old, and went back again when he was eleven, but didn’t go back for more than a day trip or two until he and his wife went back in 2003 and he just fell in love with the place.
He got his start in photography just a few years ago and did a lot of reading on the subject. He did so well right off the bat that he was able to get a paying job that allowed him to learn on the job. He does some freelance jobs now and then, but he largely focuses on his Disney photos.
Tim originally started out doing a photo blog, but with the encouragement of some Disney community leaders he started TheMagicInPixels.com, which has just had a makeover into an upgraded version 2.0. The site features photos for sale as well as photography tips and discussion forums.
Tim has been hosting MouseFest meets for the last couple of years, and he was overwhelmed by the turnout right off the bat. He did a Photo Tips 101 meet last year, and he’s going to repeat that again this year. He’s also done night-time photography tours, walking photo tours of animal trails at Disney’s Animal Kingdom and more. Mark missed the Photo Tips 101 meet last year due to getting stuck on Pirates of the Caribbean during Steve Barrett’s Hidden Mickeys meet.
Tim has hooked up with Tim Foster of GuideToTheMagic.com, Lou Mongello of DisneyWorldTrivia.com, Steve Barrett of HiddenMickeysGuide.com, Cara Goldsbury of the Luxury Guide to Walt Disney World and Beci Mahnken of Mouse Fan Travel to start up Celebrations Magazine.
Tim loves hearing from people who enjoy his work, and feels that it’s an honor and a privilege to be such a part of the Disney fan community. Mark and Tim shared stories of being recognized in the parks.
Mark asked Tim to give our listeners some tips. Tim’s first tip is to read the manual. While the manuals aren’t exciting reads, they do answer a lot of questions that you might have about “how do I do this?” Also remember to make sure that you’re still having a good time.
Tim usually takes his photos while his wife and son are back at the room either at nap time or bed time. Mark usually does his work on trips when his family is not available.
Mark mentioned that he likes to remind people that, if they don’t have a tripod with them, they can brace themselves against garbage cans, lampposts or other fixed objects to steady the camera for night-time shots. Tim is going to post an article to his site in the near future on that very topic, talking about “natural tripods” in general. For night-time photos, another tip that Tim has is to raise the ISO on the camera, which will increase noise but will make it easier to get a shot without having to hold it as steady.
Tim discussed the three-way relationship between ISO, shutter speed and aperture and how the three relate to each other when you start modifying them. In terms of aperture, the higher the F-stop the smaller the opening. Opening the aperture up will bring in more light to the camera but will decrease the depth of field. You really shouldn’t try to handhold the shot if the shutter speed is slower than the inverse of the focal length of the lens that you’re shooting. (If you’re shooting a 50 mm lens, you should stay at 1/60 of a second rather than going down to 1/30 of a second.
If you’ve got a point-and-shoot camera instead of a digital SLR with lots of settings, the first thing to remember is to turn off your flash. The flash isn’t good beyond about 10-15 feet, and when the camera uses the flash it increases the shutter speed and makes the exposure happen quicker. This will make it harder to get sufficient exposure of an object outside of the flash range. However, if you’re taking pictures during the day, use the flash to light the shadows in the photo. It won’t effect the rest of the picture, but the darker areas will lighten up.
Even with a point-and-shoot camera, you should still read the manual because it’ll still answer a lot of your questions.
For people with a few hundred dollars to spend on a new digital camera, Tim recommends the Canon EOS Digital Rebel line, because you can get started with something that’s easy to work with but you can grow with them and upgrade them with new lenses, etc. as you improve your skills and have more money available.