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MouseStation 231 - Tim Devine of TheMagicInPixels.com

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We've put together a new listener survey to help us learn more about you and what you like most about this podcast. This one is much more targeted than the old Podtrac survey. Please take a few minutes to fill it out and let us know what you think.

 

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Thanks to our sponsor

Today's show is sponsored by Advantage Vacation Homes, a great vacation home rental company that gives you a place to stay with lots more space than a regular hotel room for a lot less money.

If you're going to be needing more than one or two hotel rooms, there's a good chance that you can save a bunch of money by renting a vacation home instead.

For more information on what a vacation home is and what to expect when renting one, check out our interview of Fred Zorayq from Advantage Vacation Homes in Episode 219!

Major podcast announcement

Because of the combined pressures of making this show while trying to hold down our day jobs, have personal lives and get at least a couple of hours of sleep each night, we've had to cut back on the number of shows that we do. We had been hoping to wait for the complete results of our new listener feedback survey that we just set live a few weeks ago, but a couple of developments made it necessary for us to cut back before the complete results are in. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't fill the survey out anyway, since we still want to make sure that our remaining shows will best address your needs.

Starting this week we're going to go to two shows a week, on Tuesday and Thursday. We're planning to do the Collected Short Subjects on Tuesday and the weekly feature on Thursday. Listener Feedback will appear in a shortened form at the end of each show, and may occasionally be an entire feature show. The MousePlanetWatch News, unfortunately, will be a casualty of this cutback.

We know that you liked the four shows each week. We liked them, too. Unfortunately, we won't be able to continue to produce them, at least not for the immediate future. Please let us know what you think of this change by sending us email or by calling the toll-free feedback line at 1-866-939-2278.

Featured Interview: Tim Devine of TheMagicInPixels.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.

Mark and Tim talked camera stuff for a while, comparing various models and makes. They also discussed the difference between aperture priority and shutter priority for automatic metering in the camera, talking about when you might want to use each.

What do you think? Let us know by sending us an email or calling our toll-free feedback line (1-866-939-2278)!

Listener Feedback

Jennifer Weber wrote in to say that she supports our decision to cut back in order to have time for something of a personal life, and it might even help her to keep up with the show more easily.

Wesley Wright had been hoping that we'd have even more news, so he was disappointed that we were dropping the news. He doesn't have the time to read the Park Updates on the site, and would rather be able to listen in the car.

Saundra was disappointed that the two shows that we're cutting are her two favorites.

Matt from Gilbert called in to say that he was disappointed to hear that we were cutting back on the news, as he considered us to be "the NPR for Disney." He hopes that we will continue to have news content.

We're seeing a lot of support for the news in the listener feedback survey so we're considering finding a way to keep the news content in some way, shape or form. Fill out the survey and let us know where you stand!

Wrapping up

We've put together a new listener survey to help us learn more about you and what you like most about this podcast. This one is much more targeted than the old Podtrac survey. Please take a few minutes to fill it out and let us know what you think.

 

Don't forget to go to the iTunes podcast directory and give us a good rating for the combined feed!

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Thanks to our audio engineer and sound editor Steven Ng.

Thank you for listening!

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The MouseStation crew (@MouseStation) currently consists of Mark Goldhaber (@MPMark) and Mike Demopoulos (@MPMike).