Monday, December 31, 2012

Now's the Time to Say Good-bye

September 30, 2007 was a Sunday. It was the day that I began this blog titled The Disney Obsession. Back then I really didn't know what the blog was to be or what it was to become. It was not my intention to write the "go to" or "must read" blog. Granted, I liked it when the readership grew and I could see that people were stopping by. But really, the blog began simply as a way for me to share my love for Disney with someone besides my wife and family.

Looking back over the years, there were times when I was posting regularly and then times when posting was laborious. A seemingly endless string of other things kept me from ever getting into a rhythm. And knowing that there were others who were putting up great content on a regular basis, well, it became easier to step back from writing. What I did find though was that Disney was a photographers paradise. I loved taking photographs in the parks; especially after the sun went down. So, if I made any contribution to the accumulated library of the fan community, perhaps it was a few nice photographs.  

Now, it has been a little over five years. I have posted 518 entries; some long, some no more than a photograph. This is my 519th entry and it will be my last one. I shutter The Disney Obsession happy to have started it and hoping I may have made a slight contribution. But if we are being honest, I close it having a few regrets. 

I wish that I had finished my posts on IllumiNations. Not the Reflections of Earth version, but the one prior to that. The “Classical IllumiNations” as I like to think of it. I wish that I had been more diligent with exploring things to write about and then actually writing them. There is a notebook here in my office with ideas that were never fleshed out; Post-It notes and scribblings on scrap pieces of paper that will not find a voice. I once began a series on The Women in My Life. It started with Mary Poppins and I was going to write about the other "Disney women" in my life; Tinker Bell, Ariel and Belle and then sharing about the most important woman in my life, my heartbeat, my wife Gerrie. I wish I had finished that. I wish I had made more of an effort to be engaged in the broader community; made a few more trips at the “right” time or visited with the “right” people. I wish I had worked a little harder at finding that “niche”; that something that defined the blog. But do I have regrets for having composed this chapter of my life - none whatsoever. The greater regret would have been to have never started. 

The Disney Obsession was the catalyst for a few truly wonderful friendships. I feel that without the blog I would not have met Ryan Wilson, George Taylor and Glenn Whelan. The Disney community is vast and I have had the chance to meet a number of wonderful people, but these were my friends in the beginning and are friends to this day. Time and distance keep us from visiting that often, but it doesn’t diminish the friendship and appreciation I have for these gentlemen and will continue to have.

It has also opened up the opportunity for great friendships closer to home. The friendships I have with a few incredible people here at home, I know, came about because I took a chance, started a blog and stepped out into a broader community. We may have come together because of a common interest in Disney, but our friendships have grown far beyond that common interest. 

Though The Disney Obsession is putting up it’s “Going Out of Business” sign, it doesn’t mean that I have stopped writing. This past year I began a new blog called Sharing the Good Times. It is a somewhat more personal; sort of a “life and times of...” blog. There I reflect on art, literature, music and life. Since Disney is still a part of my life I am sure something Disneyesque will appear from time to time. I am sure some photographs will crop up. Sharing the Good Times may not be for everyone, but I welcome everyone to stop by and take a look. I hope you will! Perhaps you’ll find something interesting or thought-provoking. 

A little earlier I mentioned not “finding that niche”. Come to think of it, maybe I did.  

I don’t recall the exact way it was said, but a good friend once told me that The Disney Obsession was written from the heart. That it showed emotion and compassion. That, I suppose, was the greatest compliment ever paid to what I tried to do here.

For everyone who has ever visited The Disney Obsession or took the time to comment on something that I shared, be it an article or a photograph, thank you. Knowing that someone has taken a moment and shared a bit of their time with me is the reward. For you, those who visited and extended your friendship and kindness, please allow me to close by offering this for you:

          “May the Lord bless you and keep you.
          May the Lord make His face to shine upon you,
          and be gracious to you.
          May the Lord lift us His countenance upon you,
          and give you peace.”

I wish to remain, your friend,

~ Greg

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Casey Jr. - A Study in Perspective

I skipped school this past Monday. Instead of being in my place at Watkins College of Art, Design and Film, I was hundreds of miles away in Walt Disney World. But, this didn't mean I wasn't thinking about my class. I was. The assignment for that evening would be to do a perspective study and have ten shots ready for presentation tomorrow. So I spent some of my time in the World working on the assignment. 

The perspective assignment was intended to look at a single subject. We were first to take an establishing shot, or the tourist shot as my instructor calls it, then "shot the heck out of it." By that he meant for us to look at the various elements of the subject, the angles, the light, and so forth.

Since this was my first visit since the opening of the Storybook Circus, I thought I would pay a visit there and see what I could find. What I found was Casey Jr's Splash and Soak. I was immediately drawn to the water shooting out of the smoke funnel and took if form there. I turn my assignment in tomorrow, but thought I'd share it with you here.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012


     "When you imagine, time becomes timeless.
       When you imagine how things could be.
       Fantasy dances through all that you feel,
       And the dreams that you dream become real."

    ~ Share A Dream Come True Parade
        Walt Disney World (2001-2006)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Big Thunder - Again

Some months ago I posted a photo of Big Thunder Mountain Rail Road. The photograph was taken from Tom Sawyer Island and was HDR processed. Later, I decided to convert the photograph to gray scale and use an infrared process. Here is the result.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Something On A Sunday

We're talking a walk through Central Park on a Saturday here on Something On A Sunday.

Monday, June 18, 2012

It has been a long time...

Thought I may stop in and post a photograph. It is actually becoming a favorite of mine.
I have a few friends, for whom, this is their favorite attraction in the Magic Kingdom. For them, I say, enjoy.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Another Land

My wife and I just returned from a ten-day adventure which included a few days in a theme park I knew about but had never visited. What a visit! Over the next few weeks or so I'll try to share some of my thoughts and comparisons between Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Both are unique in their own right.

Being a person who has always visited the east coast parks, I can some up my experience in the west coast parks with one word, "Wow!"
One note for this post, when we walked into Town Square, we went to first to City Hall only to discover that the "Lilly Belle" was not at the park. Moving on, we made our way to the Fire Station. I paused and looked up to see the light burning in Walt's apartment. My emotions caught up with me at that moment and the full force of knowing this is Walt's park hit me. After working to pull myself together enough to talk, I said to Gerrie, "Honey, we could spend all day in this park and not do anything but walk around and it would be still be a great day!"

Still, we did visit a few attractions!

More to follow...

Saturday, April 7, 2012


So it comes down to this. What was once a place where I thought I'd write about Disney, has become a place that I usually populate with my photographic efforts. I am okay with that.
And who knows, I may write something from time to time.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Disney World After Dark: France... again

I believe this is the fourth photograph I have posted of the France Pavilion after dark. I make no apologies, it is one of my favorite places to be in Walt Disney World. 

Saturday, March 24, 2012

From Across the Lagoon

Whenever I travel to the Magic Kingdom from the Ticket and Transportation Center, more often than not I'll take the ferry. From the decks you can casually enjoy views of the Polynesian and Grand Floridian Resort to the west. To the north, you get views like this.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Something Else To Read

I do not do a lot of self-promotion. I do occasionally add something on Twitter that a new blog post has gone up, but I seem to forget to do that more often than not. But, I am going to indulge in a bit of promotion here by asking you to visit my other blog. It is called Sharing The Good Times and can be found

Sharing The Good Times has nothing at all to do with Disney, though a thought of Disney may come up from time to time. The new blog is a place where I will write about art, dreams, film, literature, music, stories, travel, writing and most importantly, life. Currently I am sharing the spiritual journey that led my wife and I to live and work in England. The new blog is more personal than The Disney Obsession.

I said at one point that I suppose I was writing a new blog for my children and grandchildren; something of a memoir. In fact, the title is a phrase my grandchildren and I say to each other whenever we get together. I expect the readership to be small. I don't know many people who want to read the ramblings of a fifty-something writing about his life. But, since you've read some of the things I have written here, I wanted to invite to take a look at the new blog. Who knows, you may find something of interest there.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Disney World After Dark: Castle at Twilight

If someone were to ask me how many photographs I have taken of Cinderella Castle, I would have to answer honestly and say I do not know. Over the years and through hundreds of photographs, I am still drawn to its mystery and enchantment. True, a lot of my shots are of the same angle, but I take them anyway hoping that I may find something that I have not seen before. Of all the park icons, it is my favorite and will keep me coming back year after year and photograph after photograph.

This photograph was taken nearing twilight in February 2012.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Disney World After Dark: Imagination Fountain

I may have posted a similar photograph through the years. If so, forgive me. I didn't take the time to go back and look. But, if you'll indulge me, this is very likely one my favorite scenes to photograph at night.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Might I Recommend...

... reading the Main Street Gazette's post, Do As Dreamers Do. It is a roundtable discussion answering the question, "What is your favorite nighttime spectacular, past or present, in Walt Disney World?" It is a good read.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Disney World After Dark: Innoventions Plaza

If you have followed this blog for any this blog for any length of time you know how I enjoy taking photographs in the World after dark. It becomes a different world in different light and I feel it takes on a different character as well. It is more, mysterious.

Though it will be hard to tell, this is a High Dynamic Range processed photograph. It is rendered from a single photograph taken with a Nikon D40, then processed through Adobe Photoshop produce copies with varying exposures that were then rendered in Photomatix Pro.

As for the timing, there are two great times to take photographs in the Plaza. One is during IllumiNations. If you can draw yourself away from the nighttime spectacular, you'll find that the Plaza is virtually empty as most everyone is at, you guessed it, IllumiNations. Another time is to linger during your exit from the park. This works best when you watch IllumiNations on the far side of World Showcase. You're a whole park away from the front entrance. Again, take your time.

Oh, and have a tripod with you. The above photograph was taken in Aperture mode with a lens opening of f/10 and an ISO of 200. This was a 10 second exposure. 

So, if you're patient, you can come away with some really nice shots.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Something On A Sunday

Gulf Shores, Alabama  12.29.11
I am committed to continuing to post things here from time to time. True my focus has been shifted to other aspects of life and to other projects, but the space will still be a place where I wish to share.

My wife and I recently returned from a few days at the beach in Gulf Shores. It has been the vacation destination of my family for many years; between 25 and 30 I suppose. It is long been a place where I could go and drop a bag in the corner and reside on the balcony watching the surf. I would simply ask someone to, "Please tap me on the shoulder when we're going home." Otherwise, I was content to do nothing but look out at the water and enjoy the steady rolling and the calming sounds of the waves.

It had been three years since I was last in Gulf Shores and I missed it. It didn't matter that it was not the summer, or that you had to wear a jacket at times. I was back in a familiar haunt and came home refreshed and relaxed having had time to reflect on the days ahead.

With this being my first post of the new year, let me close by wishing you a fulfilling new year. I hope there is something new you wish to do, something exciting you wish to accomplish. All the best!

More to follow...