Hogwarts Castle at Universal Orlando

Interesting Clouds

Hogwarts Castle at Universal Orlando

Hogwarts Castle is home to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As you may know, it really isn’t a real school, but it was the fictional place in the Harry Potter books and movies.

But then I guess in a way it is a real place because I saw it and took a picture of it. But instead of having an actual school inside of it, it instead has a theme park ride inside of it, Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.

As you may have guessed, this is part of the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando, and this particular area is in the Islands of Adventure park. Slightly confusing when a major area spans across two different theme parks, isn’t it?

I enjoyed the ride inside the castle. It was actually one I had been looking forward to, having heard about it since before it even opened. Everyone had said the KUKA robocoaster ride system was pretty cool. They were right. It really does make you feel like you are flying along with Harry and his friends.

However, having just seen the movies once, and at that was only on the bus as we were on our way there, a little of the story of the ride was lost on me. I got all of the basics, however, so that did not detract any from the ride experience. But I was almost too busy enjoying the technology of the ride to worry about the story they were trying to tell me. But that’s what you get when an engineer goes to a theme park.

I thought the clouds were very fitting here because this look seems to be quite similar to how Hogwarts is usually pictured in the movies. Actually, it apparently had just rained quite hard while we were inside the castle riding the ride. A light rain was still falling once we got outside, but it was not enough to keep me from getting a photo with some cool clouds.

See more from our visit in the 2018 Band Trip to Universal Orlando archive.

Home Castles

The other day, we visited a house that was for sale. No, we are not looking to move. But we knew the real estate agent hosting the open house, so we thought we would drop by for a visit.

The house we visited was very different from ours. Which is a nice way of saying that most people would consider it to be a bit fancier than our house. This house had all the latest trends, which was nice. We enjoyed looking around and seeing everything, and then we went back to our slightly more ordinary home.

Back at our house, we did not find ourselves wishing that we had all of the things that the other house had. On the contrary, visiting that house made us even more thankful for the house that we do have and how it is. We are comfortable there, and we are happy there. Happiness comes and goes, so maybe it is better to say that we are content there. If you have comfort and contentment, then how much more do you really need?

Our house would by no means be considered the castle of the neighborhood. And that is just fine with us. Because we are not in a castle competition. Actually, we are not in any kind of competition. We are happy with our castle just the way it is.

When you start comparing yourself with others, you can very quickly lose that sense of contentment that you had only moments earlier. If you are trying to have the best of everything, that will only last until the next “best” thing comes along, and then you will never be satisfied.

Don’t spend all your time trying to be better than everyone else, or trying to have better things than everyone else. Improvement can be good, but competition can keep you from what is really important.

Contentment can be of greater value than the fanciest houses and the best material things in the world.

Bible Verse

But godliness with contentment is a great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these. - 1 Timothy 6:6-8

About the Photo

The biggest challenge for this photo was raindrops on the camera lens. As was mentioned earlier, a very light rain was still falling, so the challenge was to get the photo before the drops of rain showed up on the lens. Fortunately, that was accomplished without too much difficulty. If we had waited around much longer when the rain had started up again, it would have been a little more difficult.

Everything else was pretty much perfect. The clouds were great. The lighting on the castle was good. There was still enough light, even with the clouds, that a tripod was not necessary. So this one was easy to process, with just a few short steps required to make it look even better than before. Those are always nice.

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: April 7, 2018
Location: Universal Orlando, Orlando, Florida

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Burnsland is Steve Burns, with generous help from his lovely wife Laura. Steve is a husband, father, photographer, webmaster, writer, podcaster, artist, Christian. Steve enjoys sharing his photography, art, and stories through Burnsland.com, from the Burnsland World Headquarters in Tennessee.