A Grand Re-Entrance

You should recognize this photo. It's the basis for the not-really-that-subtle Photoshop job that composes the header and logo for this blog.  It's also, of course, the new entrance for Disney California Adventure.  Debuted last summer, this tribute to the old Pan Pacific Auditorium sets the tone for the reimagined entrance to DCA.  Much classier and more elegant (though perhaps less splashy) than the previous C A L I F O R N I A entrance, the new entrance gates take guests back to the days of 20's and 30's--the primary time period for the story of DCA 2.0--when Walt Disney was first starting to make his mark in Los Angeles.

The entrance to Disney California Adventure, well after the park has closed.
Speaking of making a mark... I wanted to call out and thank a few influential factors for the existence of this site.  Think of this as a #FollowFriday--in blog form!

Tours Departing Daily
If you follow both this blog and the folks over at TDD, then I think it's apparent how much of an inspiration Kevin, Matt, and Michaela have been.  In addition to being fine photographers--one of the few people who can do HDR photography exceptionally well--these folks are great people as well. And I'm very fortunate to be able to call them friends.  At the same time, their excellent photography has been a constant inspiration on me to push my own skillset and range.

Disney Tourist Blog
In my opinion, this is the place to find the finest Disney park photography there is.  You can always be sure to find stunningly clear and crisp photos that are usually better than those professionally shot.  At the same time, it's clear that Tom and Sarah Bricker enjoy what they do and have a lot of fun doing it--which is always important.  Disney is too happy of a place to take overly seriously.

And if there's a site that symbolizes "not taking it too seriously," it's Westcoaster.  Home to the silliest park updates on the interwebs, Jim Disney's domain is a foundation for those who believe amusement parks are just for that--amusement.  But there's a deeper appreciation lurking... without Jim's support and encouragement way back when, I would have never embraced my interest in photography, gotten myself a DSLR, and immersed myself into a hobby that I would get better and better at.  In a truer manner than most realize, without Westcoaster, this blog--or the way people know me as a photographer--would not exist today.

I should also mention Disneyland Live for their constant helpful coverage of the Happiest Place on Earth--along with some pretty snazzy photography of their own, as well as Stuck in Customs for their tutorial that finally showed me how to do HDR well--quite important in relation to this site at least.  They're great sites. You should check them out if you haven't already.

So thanks to the above for their roles in the formulation of all this--whether they know it or not--and thank you the readers and my friends for the support, encouragement, and enjoyment of this.  I do this blog for me, but really, I do it for you.


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