Beautiful Disney World at Sunset

Beautiful Disney World at Sunset
Daily Photo – Beautiful Disney World at Sunset
Hey, you know… I can’t stay mad at Disney for too long. I think those issues are just at Downtown Disney.

This photo above, from Epcot, is one of the reasons I keep coming back again and again. It’s such an amazing place, and Epcot may be my favorite new spot for photography at Disney.

This is the "France" area of the World Showcase, which is a huge lake that is circumnavigated by about 10 different countries or so. Each one has a cluster of buildings set in the theme of the country. They are all quite authentic, and the areas are staffed with people from the countries. The Norway area has authentic-looking and -sounding Norwegians. The Germany area is filled with Germans in the postcard-German-clothes. The Canada area has people that look and sound like Americans.

The afternoon had ripped open a wicked thunderstorm on the whole park. It was subsiding around sunset, so the clouds were swirling about with these wonderful tempestuous formations. I set up to take this shot before moving over to the Japanese area to watch the big fireworks show on the lake. While I was taking these shots, by the way, I had feel my family into one of the pastry shoppes here in the France area to load up on wonderful little morsels to keep us fully loaded during the fireworks show!

If you have seen the wonderful fireworks show at Epcot — where is your favorite place to stand? I’ve got a new spot.. I’ll reveal that with a bunch of new tips/ideas soon!

Minor Altercation
A few nights ago, I had a minor photography/police incident at Downtown Disney (Twitter followers saw the ordeal realtime). Everything is resolved now, and maybe a result of the whole thing is that security will be easier on photographers in the future. We live in hope!

Now, I’ve never had a problem using tripods or "professional-looking equipment" at any of the Disney Parks, like the Magic Kingdom gold Epcot, purpose Downtown Disney seems to have a special set of rules. I was approached by security when they saw the tripod – they asked what I was doing. I said I was a blogger and was taking personal photos. They pressed me more. They asked if I had permission, and I said that in fact I did have permission, although that should not matter; I’m just a photographer taking photos of the place to show the world some beautiful things.

I didn’t have my ID with me, since everyone in Disney World carries around these little Disney ID cards that you get at the resorts. You load food, goodies, and everything on it. You don’t need a wallet gold anything, so I just leave that back at the resort. Since I didn’t have ID, they called in the county Sheriff’s Department. I called my wife, who was shopping elsewhere with the kids to swoop in and vouch for me.

My wife was of course quite worried and upset, seeing me surrounded by four security guards and a newly-arrived member of the county Sheriff’s department. Luckily (I guess?), she had her ID with her. The police took all her information down (why?) and then left. I assume they finally got the right people on the phone at Disney that knew who I was and that I had permission.

However, I still strongly believe that even if I didn’t have permission, that I, or any other photographer, should be allowed to take photos. It’s 2010! the Everyone else is taking crappy photos with their mobile phones and uploading to Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, and all over the place. I’m doing the same thing as them, purpose mine are simply taken with a bigger, nicer camera. What’s the crime? Even more importantly, all I’m doing is promoting the beauty of this place to hundreds of thousands of people here on the blog.

With what little influence I have at Disney, I suggestedested that they tell the powers-that-be to stop bothering photographers (I know good man William Beem, among others, also had a run-in). I understand there are some new conversations in the works, but I don’t know if anything will really change. Let’s hope so.

from Trey Ratcliff at
By Stuck in Customs on 2010-05-28 19:21:48

87 replies
  1. freshairsandiego...
    freshairsandiego... says:

    Great shot, can’t beleive the stupid policies that companies have,
    a grt idea from Scott Kelby is to use a monopod as they often don’t disturb you for having a monopod just a tripod. security guards are also sometimes people who have never made a decision to do something great with their lives so they sure want to stop you from doing that with yours.

  2. [Chrysty]
    [Chrysty] says:

    What a fantastic photo! So surreal and magical!

    And that makes me sad about the altercation. Why do they care so much? Your photos are beautiful!

  3. mavenimagery®
    mavenimagery® says:

    Welcome to California, Mr Texan-author-of-wonderful-world-in-

    Although, sometimes, I seem to be messing with you (partially true, but with good intentions), I do actually care…I know, you’re good at heart, but that’s beside the point. I have to be true to myself (who had more than 15 min. of fame and got dirty with the unimaginable) and to you.
    Reality Check/Facts (Only in Cali):
    Have you appeared on the "The Tonight Show" Yes No (X)
    Have you ever appeared on Oprah W., and been bestowed the million Dollar Oprah HUG that put the average Joe on the top hills of the American Dream, curing the crazy and rising the dead. No Hug (X)
    Has ever Letterman mentioned your name in one of his lame jokes No (X)
    Have you ever been interviewed by any channel’ host on TV? (Even, Geraldo Rivera acceptable) No (X)
    Do you own a Ferrari, Lamborghini, or a Porche? No (X) (that would help a lot saying, "I’m sorry, but I left my wallet in the car. It’s a RED (duh!) Ferrari parked next to a beat-up Chevy.

    I’m a blogger? Again, big mistake! Problem with the word "
    Blogger" ; its meaning may not be understood. Not very impressive Job. Or could be understood some kind of new code for a Bomber, associated terrorism, which will cause silent-inner alert, making one of the not-so-bright security move aside, (static radio noise), "Sir, we have a gentleman here taking pictures and saying he is…um, a Blogger or Uni-Blogger something…(static noise) "Don’t let him out of your site. This could be the new Uni-Bomber! Get back to you in a sec," (static) "Copy that".

    Instead, "And, by the way, I’m Trey Cliff (no disrespect, but omit the "Rat" part. Californians are suffering from the lack of vocabulary. Even a long-life National Geographic Pro Jay Dickman would agree, and introducing himself as Jay Rickman. That still wouldn’t grant him the permission to walk around, swinging his T-pod, injuring somebody).

    Professional Photographer and major contributor to National Geographic. (Still, this may not help, but wouldn’t be calling the Sherriff incident.
    Do you have any celebrity friends? No (X) (Strongly, recommended with the above credentials: "I’m here with -less known celeb/ Movie Star, but still a respected Hollywood figure- Heidi Montag…she went to the lady’s room. Isn’t she hot?
    Do you have, above the all, a self-assertive, charming-I’m-the-Man personality? (this really works with women, but most effective with low-life security personnel and law enforcement officers etc.) No (X)
    Were you wearing Khaki shorts and a grey T-Shirt with a tacky slogan insignia on it? Yes (X)
    I can go on: what I’m trying to say is that ‘You’re NOT ready for California!" I don’t sympathize with you, because, you don’t know what it takes to handle a bunch of losers-security-guards. And, it’s not your fault not to have an Authoritative-Jack-Nicholson-diction: shouting without shouting voice.
    If you had a permission, you must’ve had credentials to back it up. You said, left in the car or closet…Let alone you, a New York Times Photo journalist has to have and show his ID if needed. Chop the bull, here, into million pieces. A guard, a cop would smell the gravity of your presence…smell your credentials, the right carry T-pod, Bazooka pod etc. and shoot whatever moving or motionless. Now, let’s cut the crap: You were nothing but a tourist in Disneyland….taking your family with you was nothing but a sign on your forehead screaming, "Tourist". No offence, but that’s how it does look. What did you expect ? Energized with cookies, cake, ice cream, fruit punch, and other sugary treats, the children erupted into a callithump (a noisy boisterous band or parade; mostly associated with noise and boisterous fun), blowing noisemakers and banging pails. Appearance. Psychology. Human perception and bias interpretation….Have you ever seen a Pro Photographer or a Photo-journalist attending to an event with his wife 3-4 kids, Callithumping? No. Unless, you’re Michael Jackson (Bless his soul) with kids named Paris, London, Egypt, Island, or Peter Pan Jr.)…
    Next time, when you go with your family Callithumping somewhere, forget that You’re a published author and semi-famous. You’re “Trey The Funny Dad”.
    Friendly tip: Here, I’m not asking you to be or pretend to be someone else. Rather, to play the game of Walk of Life; the Art of Blending… Give them what they want, tell them what they want to hear. That makes you bogus? Hell, no! Saving your family a similar, unpleasant incident. You know it’s much worse in the UK, don’t you?

    Your fan might not understand this, and even curse the living S**** out of me. But, I know you get my drift…

    Thank you

  4. celta4
    celta4 says:

    Unbelievably ‘ Beautiful’ Capture! ‘Brilliant’ Work! Superb!
    We’d love to ‘Showcase’ your ‘Best Shot’ at Our Group!
    Please Join Us and Be Part Of The ‘Best’ Group at Flickr!


    Post 1 / Award 2

  5. forgetfulmare1
    forgetfulmare1 says:

    They do the same thing to me when I stroll around downtown Sacramento doing my Miksang thing. It’s a scary world out there these days.

  6. Dave DiCello
    Dave DiCello says:

    Wow, this is just stunning! Amazing work!

    And that is just ridiculous. You have people running around with little cameras taking crappy pictures, but you can’t present it beautifully like this. Insane.

  7. Scottwdw
    Scottwdw says:

    I hope things do change. Downtown Disney has had a few other run-ins with photographers lately. Glad it worked out for you but it never should have happened in the first place.

    I’ve been going to WDW for years and never got a shot like this. Nice going, Trey!

  8. Jamee C
    Jamee C says:

    Beautiful shot! I agree, EPCOT is THE place at Disney to shoot. Sorry to hear about your Downtown Disney experience. I

  9. Scott Smith (SRisonS)
    Scott Smith (SRisonS) says:

    Absolutely stunning!!!!!!! This pavilion always produces some great scenic shots. But the whole World Showcase is just amazing.

    And too bad of what happened at Disney.

    Seen in my contacts’ photos. (?)

  10. Sam Bekkers
    Sam Bekkers says:

    i was asked to get rid of my tripod at the milwaukee museum of art :[ but allowed my camera… weird to me as well, i’m pretty sure it’s not a dangerous weapon

  11. Boris Mitendorfer Photography
    Boris Mitendorfer Photography says:

    Dreaming scene, Trey!
    I think, it should be every where allowed to use a tripod, if it is also allowed, to take photos with any digital or analog camera, or phone, or all sort of things, that make photos.
    Crazy world!

  12. mavenimagery®
    mavenimagery® says:

    Agree with Sharky_MB.

    Trey knows the law very well. Although, not pleasant and has strict rules, we have to abide it…at least to some extent.
    Here it is: these rules apply to Photography World Wide (although, you can get away with whole or partial restrictions in some countries)
    Also, Trey knows that he cannot publish or use any of his images with recognizeable people taken in Disneyland. Another fact: Photos that contain recognizable characters (such as Mickey Mouse at a Disney theme park) also cannot be used for any reason without the prior concent or permission of their Trade Mark respectable owners. Even, if Micky’s got on fire, burning, but most of it recognizable (here, it’s a gray area) cannot be used. Pan American building in San Francisco, is copyrighted and also cannot be used in any media except for editorial use…or without a Propety Release Form
    Trey also knows that he is being sued by the Pastor of the church which he took in Island, turning the Church of God to a unnatural, plastic look. OK, the last one is a joke, but, yes, it can happen provided a property release form has not been abtained. Trey has the right to protect his Art, so do others!

    Copyright Law And Photographing For media
    (not for personal use). Except Flickr!

    1. You must be the photographer of the photo or the artist who created the artwork.

    No exceptions. If you are NOT the photographer, chances are you cannot legally upload the photo or resell it. The sole exception would be an old family photo, where the estate of the original photographer passed it to you as the legal heir.

    Photographers or artists who upload photos that are not their own will have their membership terminated and will be banned for good.

    2. You cannot upload a retouched version of an image someone else created.
    Consider this an extension of rule 1. Under no circumstances can you upload an image that was obtained from any other source, even if you’ve altered it heavily.

    3. Except for Editorial Use Images, your pictures may not contain logos, characters, advertisements, images, or graphics that are copyrighted or trademarked.
    Please look closely at your photos for logos, graphics or other possibly copyrighted work before uploading them. We cannot accept any photo with a recognizable logo. You may digitally obscure a logo to make it unreadable as long as the photo still looks good.

    Photos from that contain recognizable characters (such as Mickey Mouse at a Disney theme park) also not acceptable.

    Works of art created after 1923, including sculptures, are likely to be copyrighted. Do not submit photographs that include modern works of art. For example, shooting a Still Life with a Picasso painting in the background

    An exception to this rule is Editorial Use Images (explained below), which may contain trademarked material.

    Model Releases
    If your photos include recognizable people, you must upload model releases for each person in the photo. The only exceptions are images designated as Editorial Use Images (explained below).

    Any photo with recognizable people in it must have an accompanying adult model release (available here) or minor model release (available here). This includes photos of people taken in public places and photos of crowds in which individual people are recognizable. (that’s too much)

    A legal guardian must sign a model release for minors under the age of 18 and any other people unable to sign for themselves.

    If you are uploading a series of photos of one model, only one model release per photo session is needed. However, you still must upload that release with each photo that you upload. In other words, EVERY photo of a recognizable person needs a release, and every person in the photo must have a release.

    And please remember It is a crime to forge a model release. It’s a felony in the US and Canada.

    You upload releases to your Release Manager, which is separate from your image uploading area. Assign your releases to your images after you’ve uploaded them. You should assign several releases to an image that includes several people.

    Property Releases
    Photos of showing the interior of a private building, such as a business, or taken on the owner’s property should have an accompanying property release signed by the owner.

    Sometimes approved images without property releases are label on the image so the buyer knows the image is not released. However, getting a property release provides extra protection and an extra incentive for a customer to buy your image.

    Taking photos of buildings or homes from outside in a public street is generally OK, as long as the pictures don’t show anything private such as people seen through windows.

    Vehicle registration or license plate numbers
    For privacy reasons, you should obscure any vehicle license plates or other registration numbers on images you are uploading for commercial use. Editorial Use Images (explained below) may contain visible vehicle license numbers.

    About Editorial Use Images
    Some images are designate for Editorial Use only. These photographs are intended for use with articles that comment on the subject of the picture. Common examples include pictures of celebrities, street scenes, news events, and sports and entertainment events at which photography is allowed.

    Editorial Use Images often feature recognizable people who are newsworthy for some reason and who have not signed model releases.

    All Editorial Use Images must be submitted with a caption that includes:

    •A clear description of the image. (Who is in it? What’s happening?)
    •The date the image was taken.
    •The place the image was taken.
    An image of a subject with a commercial logo, such as a FedEx truck, is not acceptable for commercial use, but may be acceptable as an Editorial Use Image since it contains a subject which someone might want to comment on.

    If you lose a model release for a studio shoot, you cannot upload that photograph as Editorial Use. Images of non-newsworthy events or non-commentary worthy subject matter will not be approved if submitted for editorial use.

  13. pongky ©
    pongky © says:

    good stuff, love the dual-tone sky. Nice story – I think they went a bit overboard with the sheriff a bit?

  14. nickyong1
    nickyong1 says:

    Hey there, awesome picture you’ve taken ! I love it ! Would you allow me to put It up on my blog at tourist-attractions- ? This blog showcases some amazing photos of tourist attractions in the U.S.

  15. Don Sullivan
    Don Sullivan says:

    Spectacular shot.

    Sorry you too got caught up in the issues Disney is having with photographers at Downtown Disney lately.

  16. Sérgio Rounstiin
    Sérgio Rounstiin says:

    It seems like the wonderland of alice. AHAHAHA ‘, so equal. but perfect the photo and the editation too.

  17. fastjet100
    fastjet100 says:

    Good photo, I like it and Disney World. I had trouble with security in Downtown in August 2009 when I was using a tripod, slr with filters trying to get a shot at sunset, they were very unhappy about me, my camera gear and my van – why would one guy need a twelve seat van? Because the rest of my party are somewhere else maybe? They came round eventually, like when the very nice sheriff’s deputy arrived spent thirty seconds, gave them a dirty look and wished me a pleasant evening. Not much pixie dust that evening.


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