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Hogwarts Castle Photo Tour

Posted on Feb 23, 2017 by Tom Bricker  •  Photography  •  5 Comments

This post offers a photo tour of Hogwarts Castle at Universal Studios Japan, both inside and outside, to showcase this impressive feat of theme park design. This castle is home to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Universal Studios Hollywood, and Universal Studios Japan theme parks. All of the interior […]

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Universal Orlando Resort Trip Report

Posted on Dec 29, 2016 by Tom Bricker  •  Reports  •  10 Comments

After promising this months ago, my Universal Orlando Resort trip report is finally done. This trip report covers my first visit to Universal Studios Florida and Islands of Adventure since the Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade areas opened. Actually, my first visit in a long time. Not to date myself, but my last […]

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The Wizarding World of Butterbeer

Posted on Nov 23, 2015 by Tom Bricker  •  Dining  •  8 Comments

Even if you aren’t a Harry Potter or theme park fan, you’ve probably heard of Butterbeer. It is the iconic drink of the book series, and has become a pop culture hit as the delicious drink is sold exclusively in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter lands at Universal Studios Florida (Diagon Alley) & Islands […]

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Universal Orlando Summer Trip Report – Part 4

Posted on Jan 28, 2015 by Tom Bricker  •  Reports  •  29 Comments

This is the final installment of my Universal Orlando Resort trip report. You should read Part 1 – Part 2 – Part 3 before reading this installment. Since I think I’ve mostly covered all of the attractions worth covering in detail in previous installments, I’m going to make this installment solely my big picture recap […]

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Technique Tuesday: Blending Image Layers

Posted on Jan 20, 2015 by Tom Bricker  •  Photography  •  20 Comments

One of the big reasons I work in Photoshop and not Camera Raw or Lightroom exclusively is the ability to play with layers. In this ‘Technique Tuesday’ post, I’m going to explain how to use multiple layers and layer masks to combine the “best” elements of multiple photos. This post assumes a basic knowledge of […]

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Greetings from Sunny(?) Central Florida!

Posted on Jan 9, 2015 by Tom Bricker  •  Photography  •  10 Comments

Okay, so the sunny part isn’t quite right today. It’s actually overcast and in the 40s. Not your typical Florida weather. Anyway, I wanted to drop in quickly as I’m on my way to Universal Orlando Resort today to do some “research” (yeah, that’s it…) and wanted to see if there were any reader requests […]

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Universal Orlando Summer Trip Report – Part 2

Posted on Jan 5, 2015 by Tom Bricker  •  Reports  •  25 Comments

Picking up where Universal Orlando Trip Report – Part 1 left off, I’m back with more thoughts and photos (most of the Diagon Alley night shots are at the bottom of the post, so scroll down if you don’t care about my random notes). The Wizarding World of Harry Potter areas and attractions were my […]

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Universal Orlando Summer Trip Report – Part 1

Posted on Dec 29, 2014 by Tom Bricker  •  Reports  •  35 Comments

Universal Orlando had been on my list of places to visit since the original Wizarding World of Harry Potter opened several years ago. I had visited regularly as a child, and fondly remember attractions such as Kongfrontaton and Jaws. Since the original Potter-land opened, it’s been a series of “next times” and close misses, including […]

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Universal Orlando Resort Preview Center

Posted on Aug 28, 2014 by Tom Bricker  •  Photography  •  28 Comments

This weekend I said hello to an old friend. No, not the dragon perched atop Gringotts in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley in the photo above, but the Universal Orlando Resort theme parks, Islands of Adventure and Universal Studios Florida, which I had last experienced in my early high school years. On […]

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