The World Wide Photowalk 2014 at Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom
Some things never change. Last year's walk had a plethora of animal butts. This year was no different. Most of the animals decided to turn their backs upon photographers last year, and they continued the same game this year.
There were other similarities to last year.
- My friend Kevin Graham once again lead the photowalk
- The Kilamanjaro Safari trucks bounced all over the road
- I took many blurry photos
- The animals that would have made a good photo were always on the other side of the truck, or the driver would stop with a bush between us and the animal
- The lighting conditions were mostly harsh sunlight and dappled light
Knowing that the photography conditions are challenging to get a great shot of an animal, I barely tried. In fact, I switched things up drastically this year. The long glass stayed home and I ventured out with my Nikon 24-70mm lens and my Nikon D800 body.
My entry for the photowalk last year was little more than a giraffe butt wading through some tall grass. That's how bad it was trying to get a decent shot of an animal. I just gave up. Maybe that's why one of the giraffe's took pity on me this year.
True to form, I saw a plethora of animal butts. Rhino butts. Zebra butts. Giraffe butts. Hippo butts. If you're into animal booty, then Animal Kingdom is the place to be.
Part of the fun of the World Wide Photowalk 2014 is comparing photos. Once we got off the safari trucks, several members of our group enthusiastically shouted out their captures. “I got a lion!” “I got a rhino!”
When it was my turn, I felt like Charlie Brown. I got a rock.
The next part of the photowalk lead us through the gorilla area. Enthusiastic and lively, they were not.
This goober did little more than roll over and scratch his belly. He apparently did something else just before he decided to lie down, but you can thank the Spot Healing Brush for cleaning up after him in this photo. Damn gorillas.
The Magic Well
Almost everyone seemed to concentrate on shooting the animals. No surprise, given the name of the place is Animal Kingdom. My thought was to spend less time on the animals and more time on the kingdom. The night before, I discussed the opportunities with Lee and she mentioned how much she loved shooting the details in this park. The place is alive with Disney theming and there are plenty of gems that add to the atmosphere.
One of the most popular details for photographers are the prayer flags decorating the walkways in the Asia part of Walt Disney World's Animal Kingdom.
Some are bright, some faded. The story goes that each flag is a prayer to preserve the animal from extinction. As the flag fades, the prayer becomes stronger. It's a cute story. Still, it wasn't quite the shot I wanted to use for my contest entry.
Instead, I found a spot that I liked and just waited for something to happen. It didn't take long and I found the scene that worked best for me – the magic well.