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Unexpected Photo Stops.

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California Adventures. Anaheim California. July 2016.

I’ve traveled a lot which means I’ve been able to really play around with many kinds of locations as a photographer. I’ve loved the beach, piers, and parks, old cities and new and landmarks of all kinds with crowds and suddenly silent natural almost lost moments winding in and out of each other, but in the past weeks I’ve been lucky enough to carry my Nikon into a new kind of environment with very photographic intentions: theme parks.

I grew up in Southern California with a mother in the entertainment industry so I grew up in Disney parks, strolling Universal, with field trips to Knott’s Berry Farm just to name a few. Every one of these trips, however, has been for fun, to go out with friends and family, to get put of the valley, and to go on as many rides as humanly possible with as little wait time – I’m pretty masterful at moving through Disney parks now.

My family hit Disneyland, California Adventures, and Universal Studios these past two weeks and, with camera in hand, the experience was so different!

If you’ve been lucky enough to go to these theme parks, you’ll probably have noticed the detail that designers have gone through to immerse you in the worlds they present. Looking through a lens pulled me in farther.

I’m a detail photographer – I love getting into a moment or the tiny details and pulling them out into the spotlight and suddenly in this process, I’ve been able to build an even larger appreciation for these artists work.

At Disney, this was most apparent while riding Jungle Cruise and sitting down and watching a parade which I haven’t done at Disneyland for years. California has so many original characters running around – 20s singers and bands as well as the odd tricycle mail carrier.

Universal was yesterday and the expanse of that park – which is so different from Disney – was amazing to photograph. As pass holders, we were able to visit a presentation by Laika, the stop motion production company which did features like Coraline and the upcoming Kubo. This was amazing!

We toured displays on all 4 films this tiny company has produced which let us compare the technique growth from one to the next and, best of all, we got to get really close to puppets and sets used in the films – no glassy reflections here!

This tour is really exclusive and well worth the wait if you are at all a fan of the genre or the films.

The pictures will be going up in batches on my Flickr so keep your eyes open and, again, in terms of advice for photographing in public, look at my article specifically on that (it’s on travel but really applies!) here.

Let me know your favorite spots – especially unexpected places like theme parks – to photograph where you live and see you next week.

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