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House of Blues at Downtown Disney

I’d like to extend my thanks to all the people who read, commented, and also blogged about my experience with Disney Security.  It’s nice to know there’s a community of people out there who understand and oppose senseless harassment in the name of security.

I honestly haven’t taken the time to review most of my images from that night.  The incident sort of left a bad taste.  Many of my shots were rather typical images that you see on Flickr and elsewhere of the front of House of Blues, or the HOB water tower in front.

This is an image that I took after walking around back to look for different angles.  It was shortly after I took this shot that Don and his other guards approached and surrounded me.

To be honest, I’m usually not a fan of Black & White images with a little bit of color showing.  I didn’t even expect to make this one Black & White.  I spent a lot of time working on that stone arch-way to enhance some of the colors in it.  There are all of these cool little gold and jade stones inside and I worked over each of them to make them stand out.  Then I screwed up the whole thing with the Black & White.

It’s probably some representation of how I felt about the night’s end.  It started off as a really nice evening and ended up with a creepy feeling.  I suppose that, at some level, I wanted to make this place look creepy, because that’s how I left it.

Note to terrorists:  Please do not use this photograph to plot any destruction at the House of Blues in Downtown Disney, because then Don will blame me for it.

About William

Author, Photographer and IT Manager. I have a fondness for chocolate. I also own Suburbia Press and Aperture vs Lightroom. Follow me on Twitter at @wbeem.


  1. Anonymous Bystander says:

    William, the way you were handled was completely unnecessary and an insult to all photographers. It was also characteristic of rent-a-cop mall like security who wants to flex their authority.

    However, you did say that they thought you were with the media and were concerned about that. What you haven’t shared with everyone else is that you are also a contributor to the Orlando Sentinel. The Orlando Sentinel has had a very love-hate relationship with Disney World over the years. And, for hobby or for work, you are affiliated with the media that security was concerned about.

    You also said there were 4 visits by security prior to Don appearing. I’m wondering how long it takes you to take an HDR capture.

    Again, I think the way you were treated was ridiculous. I’m just saying it’s probably not 100% Disney’s fault (Maybe 90%).

    • I am a contributer to the Sanford Community Blog for the Orlando Sentinel, though I’m somewhat tardy with any recent updates there. Clearly, I was not in Sanford. My contributions to the blog are unpaid and I am not an employee or contractor of the Orlando Sentinel. I didn’t mention it because there was no relationship between the two.

      I was there before sunset and stayed after, planning on having dinner at House of Blues. How long does it take to capture an HDR image? Not long, if you only want one shot and then are ready to move along. However, that’s not what I had in mind.

      I like to watch the light at sunset and take images at different intervals. Generally, I’ve found the best light shows up after the sun goes down. Overall, I planned for about an hour of my time to shoot pictures as the light changed, occasionally moving from one angle to another. I was careful to avoid putting my tripod in the main path. Let’s face it, a Saturday night crowd at Downtown Disney would’ve knocked me or my gear over. I had no desire to be obtrusive or to lose expensive equipment. I stayed near walls or other structures so I would be out of the path of others.

  2. I’m not so fond of the B&W with a dash of color genre, but I understand your frame of mind.

    I’m adding your blog to my blogroll, if you don’t mind.

    I’m a local (Sanford area).

  3. Thanks for sharing your experience. I live down the street from Disneyland and your little episode with Don & his pals discourages me from doing any serious photography there. This reeks. However, I do love your note to terrorists at the bottom of this post. Hilarious.


  1. […] but I guess hobbyists have always been entitled to do such things.  He has also since provided a follow-up featuring one of the troublesome photos that he apparently wasn’t asked to […]

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