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More Than Meets the Eye at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

posted on March 17th, 2011 by Kent Phillips, Photographer, Walt Disney World

Sorcerer Mickey Icon at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

One of the things I’ve discovered in my near infrared photo travels through the parks at Walt Disney World is that I really love the drama of direct sunlight in this style of photography. I tried shooting a few things one morning when it was overcast and found the results flat and lifeless. This was partly because of the lack of contrast in the scene and partly because the shots didn’t have the dramatic, near-black tones that come from a nice, blue sky.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios has proven the most challenging to photograph because a lot of what I love in the look of near infrared photography is the drama of the surreal tones rendered in foliage. And unlike Magic Kingdom and Epcot, my first two locations, the greenery at Disney’s Hollywood Studios is a bit more subtle.

Shooting down Hollywood Boulevard toward the Sorcerer Mickey Icon was kind of a no-brainer, though I was surprised at how the 122-foot tall hat almost looks like part of a miniature set. Some of that may be due to the fact that the photo was shot about 30 seconds before the park opened and the streets were still eerily empty.

Gertie at Disney’s Hollywood Studios

After I had that angle covered off, however, I found myself walking in ever-widening circles around the icon to find another point of view, and that’s when I saw Gertie, who looms above Gertie’s Ice Cream of Extinction on Echo Lake (I didn’t know the lake had a name). Gertie was the main character in Winsor McCay’s 1914 silent film, “Gertie the Dinosaur,” which was originally created to be used as part of his vaudeville routine.

Okay, that’s it for today. I’m off to get some ice cream.

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Filed: Disney's Hollywood Studios, Walt Disney World Resort



Jeff from OH on March 17th, 2011 at 12:10 pm

I Love the sorcerer hat picture! It looks like snow on the palm trees.


Crystal from VA on March 17th, 2011 at 3:55 pm

Gertie looks like FL’s Loch Ness Monster. I love it!


Sharon from TX on March 17th, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Both pictures are great but I really love the Gertie picture!


Barbara from MI on March 17th, 2011 at 5:07 pm

As much as I love the sorcerer’s hat, I hate the fact that it is blocking the biggest and best hidden Mickey in all of the Disney parks.

I love the light hitting the trees behind Gertie.


Jason on March 17th, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Can you please remove the hat? It is blocking the great view of the Chinese Theater.


Harrison on March 17th, 2011 at 5:18 pm

These photos and the other infrared photos are just absolutely amazing!! Thank you for taking these!


Andrew from GA on March 17th, 2011 at 5:51 pm

There’s a big hat obstructing that great shot of the Chinese Theatre.


Jeff from OH on March 17th, 2011 at 6:16 pm

Here we go again, the blocking of the Chinese Theater.

STOP – the pictures are not about that topic!


Elaine from FL on March 17th, 2011 at 6:47 pm

I love the Sorcer’s hat photo. Maybe you should do the same at the Magic Kingdom.


James on March 17th, 2011 at 6:48 pm

Hey Kent are you using film or a converted digital camera


ryan from FL on March 17th, 2011 at 11:23 pm

I’ve always loved that view of the Chinese Theatre.
How you can’t see it at all, except for that tiny part at the top.


Jeff from OH on March 19th, 2011 at 9:11 am

Always loved the view of the hat, much more American and identify with Disney soooooo much more.