Stuck In Customs

My daily travel blog to inspire and get you motivated!

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Is this area dangerous?

London Photo Walk and Workshop!

I can’t wait to see you all for the very special Photo Walk (free) and day-long workshop (paid) coming up in London. This is gonna be a great one… this time, for the photo walk, we have a mobile speaker system and more so everyone can hear! ๐Ÿ™‚

Daily Photo – Is this area dangerous?

It occurred to me after walking around this part of London around midnight that it might not have been so safe! I had just gone to see a Very Unusual Stage Play, and then I decided to go out for a photo wander. I wandered all over the place after I had the Uber drop me off by the Tower of London. I criss-crossed the Thames a few times then finally ended up here… I really liked all the pathways above that seemed to go in every direction.

Is this area dangerous?

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-02-17 07:31:08
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length21.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Starting a Fire

Google Pixel

This is a great phone! I loved it so much that I bought my wife one… the camera is just incredible too. I’ve just set a little reminder to put together a Pixel-only gallery so you can see some of my favorite shots.

Daily Photo – Starting a Fire

While in Namibia, we visited this village and saw these gentlemen start a fire. I watched closely, as I always have this fear that I'm gonna end up alone in the wild and I'll need to know how to do this. Even though I watched every little detail, I'm still not sure I could repeat it. I think a better plan is just to take these guys with me.

Starting a Fire

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-09-27 02:00:30
  • CameraILCE-7S
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4000
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Over the wine fields of Waiheke Island

Awesome Heletranz

If you don’t want to take the ferry to Waiheke Island and instead arrive in style, I recommend Heletranz as an incredible way to see the island and travel about. They can set you up for a day-long experience that includes visiting wineries, crazy car rides, knife-throwing, gun-shooting (those last three via Boomrock), and more! Here’s a live show we did while there!

Daily Photo – Over the wine fields of Waiheke Island

I got up with the quadcopter as many times as I good while on the island… looking at these photos really makes me want to go back. It's just a short ferry ride from Auckland, and now I have some new friends that live there. If you're planning a month-long trip to New Zealand, be sure to spend a few days over here, touring the wineries and whatnot.

Over the wine fields of Waiheke Island

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-05-26 15:55:19
  • CameraFC330
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramUnknown (58655)
  • Exposure Bias+0.656

Behind the Scenes of Becoming an Artist

Becoming an Artist

What? You didn’t get this one yet? Be sure to grab it in our online store. You can buy and download right now! ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s our highest-quality production and I think you’ll love it. ๐Ÿ™‚

Daily Photo – Behind the Scenes of Becoming an Artist

For those of you that saw Episode 1 of Becoming an Artist, you'll remember I was in this dugout rowing around hippo-infested waters! After we were done with filming, I took a photo of our awesome camera gal Bel Jones here, relaxing with her hand in the water. It's handy to have both a camera person and a model all in the same person! ๐Ÿ™‚

Behind the Scenes of Becoming an Artist

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-10-02 00:48:02
  • CameraILCE-7S
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/6400
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Massive Huka Falls

Continued P4 Pro + Problems

I sent my list of complaints to DJI and they still haven’t responded. So, I’ll repost them here publicly… I’m still recommending the non-“Plus” version of this device. You can also see my DJI Phantom Review here on the site.

1) At least three times while up in the air and fairly far away, the Plus thought there were obstacles in front of it. There was nothing… it was in the middle of the bright open air. This mostly happened when I was trying to fly it back to me. The two workarounds I found were a) to do a 180 and back it home to trick the sensors and b) switch to ATTI mode to manually fly it back. Of course, ATTI (Manual) mode can be very scary if the quad is a far away dot and you can’t tell what direction you’re going. (It seemed to happen whether or not I calibrated the compass before each flight.)

2) On four occasions the UI disappeared and we were left with a slightly zoomed-in version.

3) On three occasions I would get it up and somewhere between 50 and 100 feet it would say “Maximum Altitude Reached.”

4) After booting up, it took a long time to get a good connection to the controller. The connection was often weak even though there was no EM interference anywhere (we were in the middle of nowhere on the South Island of New Zealand).

5) Every time I fly now after a few minutes it says “Unable to save video – video cache is full.” For a while, this messed with my head because it made me think my SD card was full. That’s what it sounds like, right? So I kept landing and putting in new SD cards. But now I think it means the controllers video cache was full. I don’t know what that means or why it happens. The cache should just be dumping all the time as new stuff comes in, right?

6) The video that appears on the screen is not super-smooth and does a major tear randomly every 5-15 seconds. By “tear” I mean it shows half a second of video from 2-3 seconds previously. It freaks me out because I don’t feel like I’m getting real time video – also it makes me think I’m not getting smooth video.

7) When broadcasting to Facebook Live (See My Facebook Live Videos!), there was no way to upload the HD version or save the video myself. These are both options avail on the non plus version.

8) When going live on Facebook, I cannot choose my “Fan Page” – only my personal page.

9) Last, a minor one… when making the description for FB Live, I only have like 80 characters and there is no way to copy/paste more than a single word.

10) …another minor one… didn’t notice it until the import but the default clock does not update automatically. All my pictures say they were taken in 1951, which is well-known for being one of the worst years for quadcopters.

Massive Huka Falls

This was one of my scariest quad flights ever! I was staying up at the Huka Lodge which is so far up that river you can just BARELY see it. See those little bits of white up there? One of this is probably me, pale white with fear. Something about taking the quad over a waterfall is terrifying. I started to lose transmission power too at this distance… I was getting lots of beeps and bloops in the controller which added to the stress even more! Anyway, I ended up with this pretty cool vertirama that turned out pretty good… I was just so happy to bring the bird home and land it.

Massive Huka Falls

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-05-24 12:04:42
  • CameraFC330
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramUnknown (58655)
  • Exposure Bias

Approaching Antarctica

Kit.com

We tried something new here with grouping together all the “goodies” I use either for photography or fun! Here’s our link to Kit.com – enjoy!

Daily Photo – Approaching Antarctica

Somehow I talked my way into the cockpit of the C-130 that was landing on the ice in Antarctica. It was my first time landing in a plane with skis on the bottom, so it was pretty exciting. I wasn't nervous… and these cool-headed US Military guys put my mind at ease! ๐Ÿ™‚

Approaching Antarctica

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-06 16:24:05
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Out of the Bush

Upcoming Workshops

Be sure to check out our Workshops page for some goodies coming up! This time we changed the time of year for the New Zealand workshop to mix things up a little bit! ๐Ÿ™‚

Daily Photo – Out of the Bush

We stayed and watched these lions for hours on end. They completely ignored us, except for this 1% of the time when I captured this photo. Going back through these photos makes me want to do a serious Africa trip again! I can't decide if I want to go alone or maybe make a workshop out of it. Maybe I'll do both, like last time… half the time with the workshop and the other half by myself. It's a pretty good system, actually, and many of the attendees did the same thing. As long as you're in Africa, why not spend an extra few days or week there to test out your newfound skills!

Out of the Bush

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-10-05 05:03:23
  • CameraILCE-6000
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture4
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length200.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Milky Waters of Aruba

New Camera Gear Stuff!

I made a few changes to my Camera Gear Recommendations. Here you go… I’ll cut and paste them here for you or follow the link to see more.

Sony a5100 Mirrorless Camera

Good Camera: Sony a5100

This Sony mirrorless camera is highly recommended if your budget is keeping you around the $500 level.

If budget is not a concern, I suggest you jump down to the โ€œBetterโ€ or โ€œBestโ€ or “HARDCORE” recommendations. However, if budget is your principal concern, then no worries; this Sony is the way to go! One great thing about it is that all the lenses that you get for this camera can also be used if and when you decide down the road to upgrade to the Sony a7Rii model below.

Better Camera: Sony a6300

Starting at below $999 for the body.

The A6300 is the latest evolution of the high end Sony APS-C models. It features, amongst other great features, enhanced autofocus speed and 4K movie recording. You can read my complete Sony a6000 review, it is the model the A6300 replaces and has many of the same specs. The a6000 series has a number of advantages over the lower-priced a5000 models. It has a built-in electronic viewfinder, more focal points, and faster continuous shooting (11 fps vs 6 fps).

Best Camera: Sony a7R II

Starting at just over $3198

A full-on Sony a7R Review is here on the site that is full of a ton of sample photos. The Mark 2 is faster, 42 Megapixel (instead of 36), and, most importantly, it has in-body stabilization. AWESOME. I used this camera ll the time before getting the Hasselblad X1D below. It’s a great camera and much more affordable than the Hasselblad. I absolutely love it even though I’m not using it any more. It has all the power of the giant DSLR systems at a fraction of the price and size. Its Full-Frame goodness combined with a small mirrorless form factor gives you everything you need. Plus, the camera smarts inside are absolutely insane. Check on the review there to see even more!

HARDCORE MODE: Hasselblad X1D

Starting at the low low bargain price of around $9,000.

What a beast! I don’t have a review up yet for this, as I want to use it for a few months. But I’ve used it long enough to know that I like the photo results better than the Sony A7r series of cameras. It’s medium format and mirrorless, which means it’s got a much bigger sensor than the Sony and is not that much bigger in size. 50 megapixels. Beautiful and Sleek. I have the 30mm, 45mm, and 90mm lenses and they are all outstanding! The only downsides I can see so far is it is a bit slow (like 2 frames per second) and the software is a tiny bit buggy. I think the latter will be fixed with firmware.

Link to my Spotify Playlists

If you click on this Spotify Playlist Link, you can see most of the songs I’ve added in the last year. It’s all over the place, really, but mostly Ambient/downtempo/electronica with a few wildcards thrown in. I listen to this stuff when editing photos to help “get me in the mood”!

Daily Photo – Milky Waters of Aruba

We were here in the middle of winter, and the water was still very nice. I can't imagine how nice it is in the summer! It was certainly better than being stuck in a cold place for the winter… don't get me wrong… you know I live in the mountains of New Zealand, so obviously I like wearing layers, a crackling fire, and hot cocoa, but a beach like this is a welcome respite!

Milky Waters of Aruba

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-18 00:53:12
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length26.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

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