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  1. Way back in April I teased that I had purchased a set of photos of the park from 1974. (Random Photo Thread) A lot of the photos are the “same old, same old”…it’s amusing to me that I have seen several different sets of photos that people have taken at the park over the years and it seems like you can count on quite a few people taking the same exact shots. (I wish I could run across someone who liked to take more pictures of the rides back then! ) Anyway, as I was scanning these photos and looking at them I kept thinking to myself just how much the park has changed. (duh) I was also just as amazed of how many of the things that existed all those years ago are still there. This got me thinking…what would these photos look like today if I were standing in the same spot as the person who took them 37 years ago. (Light bulb goes off in head!) I decided to see if I could recreate each of the photos that I had. I could tell that MOST of them would be easy…especially whenever I could use the Eiffel Tower in the background as a point of reference. There were 3 photos that I knew would be impossible for me to recreate…these were taken from The Lion Country Safari monorail. I shared those in TombraiderTy’s (excellent) “Lion Country Safari Spotlight” thread. Due to the fact that EVERYTHING has changed in some of the photos, it became a challenge to figure out exactly where the original photographer would have been standing. (Especially in the Lion Country Safari shots.) To figure this out I poured through old park photos that I have saved up over the years to try and pinpoint each location. As I stated, the Lion Country ones were the toughest…here is how I went about figuring out where to stand to take the new photo: If, after looking at the original photo there was no current visible landmark I would figure out from an old aerial photo of that area where the person was standing when they took the photo….then I would find an exact aerial of the photo of that area today. (Once again, it’s amazing how so many people take the same exact shots year after year.) I would then size match the 2 photos, then layer them, and then make the current photo almost invisible and mark where the person would have been standing and in what direction the camera would have been aimed. After making the top layer visible again I would then be able to see a current landmark to go by. Here is an example of my work in progress: After I had done all of my research, “all” I had to do was take the new photos when I went to the park. In order to do this I came armed with both the copies of my 1974 photos and also my “work” photos of where to stand to get the same shot. In the past I remember a park employee posting on here that security is watching guests a lot more than they think they are. If that truly is the case I would say that the park’s security was not on their toes the day I was taking these photos! I KNOW I had to have looked suspicious while I was completing my mission. I would stop in front of something, start looking at my photos, every now and then holding one up to make sure I was getting everything I needed in the shot. I would then take several shots at varying angles just in case. THEN, since I didn’t want to have to remember if I had or hadn’t taken a certain picture I would walk over to the nearest trash can and throw away any of the photos connected with the one that I had just taken. Tell me this whole scenario wouldn’t have seemed suspicious! I am very proud of how well some of these photos turned out…as you will see some of them are almost an exact match. There are 31 photos in the series. I would say that with the exception of maybe 1 or 2 I really am within’ 3 feet of where the original photo was taken. There is room for error on some of the shots…even though I could pinpoint where to stand…in some of the photos where there was no remaining landmark from 1974 I had to make my “best guess” on the direction of the photo…where even tilting the camera a few inches gives you a different photo altogether. (I will point out the couple of times when this came up.) I PLAN on posting one comparison shot set a day. (Not counting weekends.) BUT, there are 2 conditions! #1. If you feel that I have made an error by all means point it out. (Even though I THINK I have done my homework I do not for one second feel that I am infallible.) BUT if you do think/know that I have made a mistake…PLEASE point it out in a NICE way. And #2, which is a BIG condition! (And some may say selfish.) When I started this project I was excited about sharing these with this community…I must admit that that excitement level has dropped CONSIDERABLY since then…so much that I was REALLY close to bypassing posting them here and just sharing these photos directly to a select few. The reason I say this is because SO many of the viewer’s remind me of that old line from Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”…”Here we are now, entertain us”. Many members seem to have lost what made this site so special “back in the day”…courtesy to their fellow members. Over the last year I have seen a disgusting lack of consideration for the posters who have went to a lot of effort to put together either special features or trip reports. These posters spent quite a bit of time putting these together for our benefit and what do they usually get out of it, almost nothing. (I long ago gave up making trip reports.) Here are screen-grabs from the latest trip reports: Look at the difference between the views and the replies! Those numbers just scream inconsiderate…or lazy…take your pick. If a member has the time to punch on a topic, that member should also have enough time to post a simple “Thanks”…or at the VERY least hit the “Like” button to show that the author’s effort was appreciated. SO, here’s where I stand…after spending a nice sum of money to purchase these original photos, then spending time scanning them, digging up old research photos, using a few hours of my (limited) time at the park to take the new shots…and finally putting this whole thing together…J.D. (that’s me) is NOT playing the “Here we are now, entertain us” game. For all of the above reasons I feel like I should be able to rate a little consideration and know that my efforts were not in vain. I DEMAND interaction…and here is how it will work. I will keep posting a new set of photos each day as long as I get a certain amount of either comments OR “Likes” each day. (And just like the park won’t disclose the maximum amount of Fast Lane passes it will sell…I won’t say what my minimum is…but it’s not much.) I am NOT asking for, nor do I want any condescending “Oh this is just the greatest thing ever…” type comments. I am simply looking for a little proof that someone is out there enjoying my work…or else why do I need to bother to keep posting them? I would be happiest to see a little interaction with comments about how someone feels about the changes in the park…but I will settle for a simple click of the Like button. So…will all that said and done…here are today’s shots: 1974 I STILL miss the tunnel walkway…it is one of the few things that I can still remember from my first trip to the park way back in the 70’s. 2011 I thought it was amazing how many structures had survived after all these years. As I looked at each set of photos I would sit back and think…where would I rather be standing…back in 1974 or 2011. With this set of pictures it was pretty easy. 1974 wins easily, to me the area looks serene…and a more consistent theme throughout the area. I HOPE that everyone enjoys the (hopefully) upcoming photos…and just like the Son of Beast posts…I am going to beat this horse one last time: P.S. Looking at a lot of these photos as a "fade in, fade out" type of slide show was (in my opinion) neat...some of the photos are so close you can see key structures change before your eyes. I TRIED to come up with a way also throw on a slide show version but I couldn't figure that out...so if someone else knows how feel free. EDIT: Hendrick was nice enough to slideshow these photos for me/us! Thanks!!!
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