Going Back Home

Home Again, Home Again

At the Grand Floridian Resort at Walt Disney World

We just got back from another fun-filled Florida vacation. Not really a Disney vacation, although as you can see, we did do some Disney things. Disney hotels, Disney Springs, and even a visit to Disney’s Animal Kingdom were some of our activities, if you are wondering what types of Disney things we did.

The above photo was taken one evening as we were strolling around the Magic Kingdom Resorts at Walt Disney World. We had just walked from the Polynesian Village Resort to the Grand Floridian Resort. I had stopped to take a photo of Laura and Jaylin with the hotel as the background, and a cast member asked if we would like a photo of all three of us.

Would You Like a Photo?

I always appreciate it when someone asks that, and I often do hand my camera over to them. But you never know what you are going to get. Especially if you have a super-wide-angle fisheye lens on your camera. Most people don’t really know what to do with that.

The cast member reached up to the lens to try to zoom in, but I said, “Sorry, it doesn’t zoom.” I thought she might zoom in the old-fashioned way. You know, using your feet to move closer to your subject. But she did not. After she took the photo, she said, “It’s a little dark.” I replied, “No problem. I can make it work.” But I was not really sure I would like a photo of us from so far away or not.

Once we got home and I looked at the photo, I thought I could indeed make it work. I did a little bit of processing to it, and I am quite happy with how it turned out. We do not have many photos of all three of us together unless they are taken by me at arm’s length, so having one like this is pretty cool. Thank you, cast member, for your help! Sorry I did not get your name!

Back Home Again

You might think that the title of this post has to do with going back to Florida. Many people who don’t live in Florida call it “home,” often saying when they are going there again that they are going back home. But for me, as fun as Florida is, it is not home.

What makes someplace your home?

Home is more than just where you sleep. I have slept in a whole lot of places. A church building in Bangkok, Thailand. A few cruise ship cabins out at sea. A room in Montego Bay, Jamaica. A bus driving overnight from here to there. And too many hotel rooms across the country to count. Not to mention camps, retreat centers, a few campgrounds, and even some friends’ houses along the way. But none of those places are what I call home.

And home is not just where you keep your stuff, either. Otherwise, all of those self-storage places would be homes to a lot of people. Because a lot of people have a lot of stuff in those things.

So what makes a place more than just a place? What makes that place home? For me, it is where my family is. It is where we feel secure. It is where we belong. And yes, it is where we sleep and where our stuff is, too. 

Going places is fun. But being in those places makes me appreciate home, too. Yes, we do like it in Florida. And we have been there enough that it definitely feels familiar. But when it is all done, it is good to be back home, too. 

I am very thankful that we live in a place were we can travel freely, and where we can also enjoy the comforts of home when our travels end. That is a blessing.

Bible Verse

When Jesus saw large crowds around Him, He gave the order to go to the other side of the sea. A scribe approached Him and said, “Teacher, I will follow You wherever You go!” Jesus told him, “Foxes have dens and birds of the sky have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay His head.” - Matthew 8:18-20

About the Photo

I mentioned a good bit about the photo in the paragraphs above, so I won’t repeat all of that here. But I will say here that I used the original Raw file to create some different exposures to use as different layers. Most notably, the sky is from a darker exposure, while the people (that would be us) are from a lighter exposure. And I did brighten up the original photo as well, to make the Grand Floridian look a little brighter in the background.

I also cropped the photo to a 16:9 ratio, which is a little different from what I usually post. The fisheye lens picked up a lot of pavement in the foreground, so I basically cropped out the bottom third of the photo. The sky is much more interesting than the pavement is, after all.

If you are curious, here is a look at the original photo for comparison:

Going Back Home

Photo: A single Raw exposure, processed in Photoshop. Read more about photography tips, photo software, camera gear, and more at Steve’s Photography Tips.
Camera: Olympus OM-D E-M10
Lens: Rokinon 7.5mm f/3.5 Fisheye Lens
Date: June 11, 2018
Location: Grand Floridian Resort, Walt Disney World, Florida