I have a strange new nightly activity! When I am sitting down watching Netflix with my wife, I have my laptop on my lap and am making Plotagraphs! I often make something I think is kinda cool, and then I show her excitedly. She usually finds 3-4 flaws in it and I get quite deflated.
The Mosque, Moving
And here’s one that turned out pretty good, the incredible mosque in Abu Dhabi!
Those of you that came to our workshops in Denver and Sydney have seen this new technique in person! It’s kind of strange, I must say. I really like the effect, though. Anyway, sometimes even with using sweet Aurora HDR, I still choose to leave a bit of noise in the sky. Then I bring it into Photoshop. There is a filter called “Oil Painting” — if you play with the sliders in there enough, you can get a smooth “swirling” of the noise, which feels quite alive and painterly to me. Try it! 🙂
Daily Photo – Revisiting Jogjakarta in Indonesia
Here's a photo that I haven't looked at processing for years and years. My other theory is that sometimes it's okay to wait a very long time to process your photos because, over the years, you'll learn many new techniques that weren't otherwise available to you. This is a pretty good example of that! 🙂
You all know we partnered up with Peak Design again on the latest Kickstarter project (which is still the #1 current Kickstarter, by the way!) — well now we have a new “Deep Dive” video for the Tote. We kind of designed it for the Ladies in the House, but really anyone can use it! 🙂
Daily Photo – Sunset on Virgin Gorda
How much do I love the Carribean? I want to go back there and spend more time… I took this on a very fun family trip to Virgin Gorda where every night saw amazing sunsets and every day started with incredible sunrises. Plus, I know my wife likes it better where it is warm rather than cold Queenstown! 🙂
Today’s the day I arrive at Burning Man! To see pics from the last six years, see my Burning Man Portfolio here.
What’s in Trey’s bag – Burning Man Edition
Which bags do I use in which situation? Here’s a quick video I made! Thanks again to the amazing team at Peak Design for making me so extra-bag-happy! 🙂 More on the Kickstarter over here
Daily Photo – Central Park, Made with Aurora HDR 2017
I've been making HUNDREDS of photos, testing out the new software and getting everything ready for the new release. This looks pretty good, eh? I went back and got some of my still unprocessed frames from over 5 years ago when I was in Central Park. It's great fun to “drudge” up these old memories and re-process them with new software!
Here’s a really cool video! These are all the aerial highlights from our Tour Across the USA last year, set to the music of Shpongle (a head-trippy band I discovered at Burning Man one year!). Enjoy! 🙂
Daily Photo – Bel doing yoga in Venice
There's one big difference between Bel and me, even though we both like yoga. One of us will do it nearly nude out in the cold rain and one of us won't.
Here’re some really beautiful photos of what sand looks like when you get really really close! Follow this link!
Daily Photo – The Soft Sands of Namibia
It's hard to believe that the myriad of colors above, en masse, results in this. I wonder why the resulting color is often light yellow/tan. I suppose, putting on my color-mixing hat, that when you mix together a lot of red/green/blue and clear/shiny/white that you end up with this color. When you mix all those paints together you get black, and when you mix all that light together you get white.
But sand has properties of both paint and light because it both absorbs, reflects, and refracts light. So, then, my color-mixing-hat says sand should be somewhere between black and white, so a gray. But sand isn't gray… then, peering deep into the hat, it makes sense that there are not many Blue crystals, since that's the least common rock color, giving the Red and Green a higher relative count, whose reflective light mixes into a Yellow color. And then mixing a Yellow with Grey results in the typical “sand” color.
The new X1D looks ridiculously awesome! The only trouble is I can’t get my hands on one as they are in very short supply. The other bad thing is that there are only two lenses… both prime. The 45mm and the 90mm. I really need something a bit wider, so I hope they announce something cool at PhotoKina!
Daily Photo – Purple Feathers
This one was taken with the Hasselblad 100mm prime lens. It's the perfect lens for this kind of photo. That bokeh is so smooth, eh? Yeah, I had a great time with this lens, out there, hunting subject after subject. When you have a dedicated lens like that on there, it really limits your shooting options, which, counterintuitively, is a freeing! I was able to lurk around and find the most interesting subjects for a fun few hours of portrait work.
This is the only city where I got in my 10,000 steps for three weeks in a row. It also helped me to walk off all that Italian food! 🙂
Daily Photo – Night Bridge in Venice
This is the underside of the controversial Calatrava bridge in Venice. It's beautiful to photograph even though it's perilous to walk on it! The locals say that people are always slipping and falling over the railing. I don't really see how you could fall over the railing, as it seemed pretty high to me. I certainly see how you can slip in the rain on the glass… but you'd have to “leap” a bit upwards to get over the rail, which seems unlikely in a slipping situation! Well, what do I know?
Here’s the other bag that we launched alongside the geniuses at Peak Design. It’s the most inexpensive bag, and maybe the handiest if you’re not carrying a lot of stuff! I use this bag when I’m going out on minor photo missions… love it! See more on the Kickstarter page!
10 points to the first person to find Curtis in this photo! 🙂
Daily Photo – A Curtis for Scale
Here's an amazing new area up in Earnslaw Burn where I had never been before. The only way to get up here is via helicopter. It looked strange from the air and even stranger after we landed. That's a glacier up there on the left. Want to know how big this is? See if you can find Curtis standing in the photo.
Two days in a row, two mosques in a row! This is in Muscat. I spent the day here with my family, but at night I went back alone with my driver to really explore this place. What I found most interesting, other than how beautiful it was, was how there was no security at all. Or, there was none as far as I could see. Maybe there were infrared cameras or something and a huge underground bunker of guys ready to jump out if I did something strange… But luckily that never happened! I was on my best mosquey behavior! 🙂
A: First, I export the GIF at about 750 pixels across. That seems to be just about right for Facebook. Then, go to Giphy.com and upload it there. Then go to the Advanced tab and get the URL for the GIF. Paste that into Facebook.
Q: How do you get the Plotagraph on Instagram?
You have to take the video and get it on your mobile device where you have Instagram. Inside Plotagraph Pro, I currently export an MP4 with a loop of 20. This results in a video file that is 40-70 seconds long and loops the ~3 second animation multiple times. Make sense? Then, I download that then use Airplay to get the video to my iPad and then upload that with Instagram.
Q: How do you get the GIF on Twitter?
Oh that’s an easy one. You can upload the GIF right to Twitter like a JPG… no issues!
Q: How do you say “GIF” out loud when talking to other humans?
Hard G. The G in GIF is short for Graphics, which is a hard G, unlike, say, Giraffe or Gacking off to webcam jirls.
Q: Any other Social Media sharing tips?
Yes! Funny you should ask!
1) I’ve learned that Plotagraphs look “different” when smallish on Facebook/Insta/Twitter versus full-screen on your computer. Because they are smaller, the more subtle animations you create may not even be noticeable. So, to combat that, I go to the animation settings and speed up the animation (by dropping the default “3” to “2” or lower) so that it looks silly-fast full screen. But, when seen smaller, it looks good.
2) Export the social media GIF at 25 FPS. It looks the same and makes the file size smaller.
3) Hashtag #Plotagraph to help other plotagraphers discover you!
4) When I post on my WordPress blog at StuckInCustoms.com (example page), I upload a GIF that us under 15MB right into WP. I’ve found that hosting the GIF other places doesn’t really work.
Daily Photo – Sunset at the Mosque
I rarely stay in one location for so long, but I might not ever get back to Abu Dhabi and I knew the mosque there was the big hit. I must have stayed here for well over six hours. I certainly wasn't going to leave before sunset! 🙂
We’ve got some crazy footage I haven’t edited together yet… but we were with Hef in the chopper and chasing the icebreaker. All of the sudden, a whale jumped/breached hardcore out of the water right in front of us and almost hit the helicopter! Can you imagine? Holy cow it freaked us out!
Daily Photo – The Icebreaker
See these strange patterns in the sea ice just off the mainland of Antarctica? This was a big moment down there because it's when the first ship arrived after a loooooong winter. This pattern was made because the icebreaker went in and made a circle so that other ships coming in could turn around and make a loop. It was fun watching the ships come in because it took many many days… and we could see the ship get a little bigger every day.
And here’s our video from when we visited Thanjavur. I got in trouble for flying a drone here, but you didn’t hear that from me.
Daily Photo – Resting under a tree in India
Thanjavur, India, is another new place I had never been before. We went there via train, and I think it's probably one of the best ways to get around the country if you want to see a lot of things. Dealing with airports is a huge pain, always, but especially so in India. Just getting to the airport, security, travel, waiting, more car transport, checking in, unpacking… that's a whole day right there! If you stay on a train, you can leave all your stuff there and just take quick car rides around to see locations.
Have you seen this new series on Netflix? If not, I recommend it! It’s based in 1983 and is sort of a fantastical show that reminds me a lot of Twin Peaks. It’s not as quirky and surreal as that, but it has many of the same elements. Anyway, yet another great Netflix show!
Daily Photo – A Massive Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Bali
There are two Ritz-Carlton hotels in Bali and I was lucky enough to stay in both. If you're gonna spend a week there, I also recommend trying both! This one is from “Phulay Bay,” which is one of their reserve properties. This massive structure you see here is where the “lobby” is. It's all open air, as the weather is always warm and temperate. I can't imagine how long this must have taken to build. I met the architect one day at tea and he probably got sick of me gushing over not only the overall design but also all the little details.
Here’s the “Home Family Video” from the day we went out on the boat in Krabi!
Daily Photo – Boat Adventures in Thailand
I'm not really a big boat guy. Well, I like being on a boat and cruising around at slow speeds, but I'm not a fan of going across choppy seas at high speeds. That sound of the boat smashing into waves is very unsettling, I think. Maybe I can stand it for 30 mins or so if we're on the way someplace cool, like in this photo! Our concierge at the Ritz-Carlton Phulay Bay set us up for the boat, so we left Krabi to head out to some of the smaller islands and ended up here. It was so pretty that it was definitely worth that 30 minutes of chop.
Quote from Mark Zaglas, “The week is more than a photography workshop or location tour – it’s an experience. An experience that both challenges and delights the senses – all of them. Not an easy thing to do and a touch unexpected. My sincere appreciation for an amazing week from door to door and sunrise to sunset.”
There was always something kind of “other-worldly” about Antarctica. It reminded me of Burning Man in a way. So many strange characters and things happening all the time. It was a true parallel universe!
Daily Photo – Sailing across Antarctica
Of all things, I was off about an hour's snowmobile ride from the base in Antarctica camping out. The New Zealand base (Scott Base) puts out a series of flags to mark “roads” across the ice. After building our little camp, I went on a mini Photo Walk to explore the starkness. Out of nowhere, i saw this random Kiwi with a huge sail in the air while wearing skis. He went whizzing by almost too fast for a photo!
Pre-orders begin on Sep 15th with full release two weeks after that.
What’s New? Over 20 new features… I’ve been playing with all of them and it’s pretty freakin’ awesome! 🙂
– Tone mapping rebuilt from the ground up and starts from a very realistic result and of course can be pushed to more extreme realms
– Batch processing! 🙂
– Polarize filter
– All new presets included
– Radial Masking tool
– And a bunch more stuff our partners over at Macphun won’t let me say yet… secrets secrets! Well, I guess I can tell you the new UI is really incredible too.
Pricing? Current owners of Aurora HDR Pro can upgrade for $49. First timers can get it for $89.
Live video from the top
When the sun started to come up, we launched another live Facebook video from up here. There is a small event in this video that involves falling.
Daily Photo – The Remarkables Ski Fields Just Before Sunrise
One morning we headed up to the top of the Remarkables here in Queenstown for a fun morning of photography. We rode on a ski cat (is that what they are called – you know the grooming machine?) to the top of some runs and then ran around and took photos. We also froze our asses off… good thing we had on lots of layers and good gloves! Oh, btw, I found a great glove company called “The Heat Company” — best gloves I've ever found.
I made a much better version of the Plotagraph Tutorial. This one shows full end-to-end and has more samples. I also talk a bit about the price as well as how to share on various social media.
Daily Photo – The Dunedin Sunrise Plotagraph
Remember, this was made out of a single JPG – how cool! I made this animation be a bit faster than most to add to the drama. But, of course, you can choose whatever speed you like. Actually, this one has two different speeds for the sky and the water (the water is barely moving).
I’ve had a blast designing and building these bags with Peak Design. Here’s a new update from the team:
Two million dollars! We hit that milestone on Sunday afternoon and we couldn’t be more stoked. Over the past week the campaign has really picked up some steam…we’re now seeing nearly three times as many new backers every day as we did 2 weeks ago. You guys must be telling your friends or something. Absolutely incredible. Thank you, backers, for your continued support and sharing.
Sit down with Peak Design founder Peter Dering and head designer Art Viger as they take you through an up-close, personal, dare we say sensual journey in and around the Everyday Backpack:
On a personal note, I want you to notice how smooth Art Viger’s skin is in this video. It’s incredible. Smooth Dolphin in the Water!
Daily Photo – White Church from Above
When we were on Waiheke Island, we took a fun Heletranz chopper ride over to visit the Man o' War winery. This is the cute little church we saw upon landing. After we landed, we got out the quadcopter and then started seeing everything again from the air!
I’ve been thinking about planning another one of these… maybe this time for more of an animal safari. I’m thinking about 2017 some time… Really looking forward to going back! This time, I may bring the kiddos – I think they would really love it.
Daily Photo – Rene on the Tarmac
Here's one of the first photos I got after our merry traveling band of artists got to Namibia. I think it was something like seven plane flights to finally get here. Everyone was itching to take photos, and I got started a little early here on the runway. This is the closest Rene will ever get to being a runway model.
We made two videos from the quadcopter while in Sydney. We launched one from a yacht, of all things! Here’s video #2 that ends with the great David Maxwell doing a backflip into the shark-ridden Sydney Harbour!
Daily Photo – A Pyramid at Vivid Sydney
I only was able to spend a few days here, but I really want to go back! I enjoyed my night shooting tremendously. It reminded me a lot of a city-based Burning Man except without all the Burning Man people around (which I actually prefer!). I mean, nothing wrong with the Aussies — they seem great, but they act suspicious at random hugs.
I’m patiently waiting for my friends at Hasselblad to send me one for a play! At the same time, I’m interested in trying out the Phase One. It’s gonna be an interesting year of toys! In the meantime, though, I’m perfectly happy with my Sony! 🙂
Daily Photo – Evening in Venice
I feel like I've used that title before, but that's okay. It just sounds kind of romantic, eh? This is when I was shooting with the medium format Hasselblad. Do you see how it has this kind of nice “effect” — I still can't quite put words around it, but maybe you know what I mean.
If you don’t have that Tutorial yet, I highly recommend it! 🙂
Daily Photo – Walking through the Hills
I'm a big fan of using textures in my photos. I should do it more! I'm rarely disappointed and something interesting often comes out of the process. I took this photo on a moody day at The Hills golf course not too far from where I live.
This video from Beijing ended up being one of my most viewed videos!
Daily Photo – Ming's Tomb
I spent a day here several hours north of the city at Ming's Tomb. Everything lies along the “Central Axis” in Beijing. That is, if you walk in a straight line out of Ming's Tomb, you'll end up going through the entrance to the Forbidden City. Actually, these tombs are a series of tombs, all oriented along the same axis — you can get a sense of this in the video above.
Try clicking the “Glenorchy” link above to see all the shots from this amazing place. It’s only an hour from Queenstown and I recommend a visit!
Daily Photo – A dreamy day in Glenorchy
I've been to this amazing pathway a few times and each time it's quite magical. This is from my most recent trip down there with my friend Mark. He's been great because things have been so busy lately, I haven't had a chance to get out and shoot so much! This is a shame… lots of things pulling my time in different directions, so it's been great to have a day of shooting out with Mark!
When you travel to strange places, I always advise to go ahead and do the touristy things but then see if you can do anything special to hang out with the locals. It’s not always easy to figure out how to do this and takes a bit of legwork! …but always worth it.
Daily Photo – In the Bedouin Village
When we were in Oman and went out to explore the desert, there was a really interesting stop at a Bedouin's home. I wasn't sure what to expect, but I was invited in and sat down on some carpets. The whole home was open to the air in a way, adorned with many small decorative carpets and pillows along the tented walls. After I sat down, the man of the home offered me some extremely strong coffee, then his whole family with kids sat around me. I pulled out my iPad and shared photos from around the world. The kids loved it and we all laughed together even though we didn't speak the same language.
We took the family out for a camel ride in the desert in Qatar because, well, why not! The funniest thing was that Ethan's camel was really grumpy and would just make ridiculous noises the whole time. This pleased his sisters to no end!
This isn’t a movie. It’s not a “cinemagraph” — it’s something completely new made from a single photograph. If you want to get this software now, click over to the Plotagraph Pro. Yeah, a Plotagraph — a new word, a new tech, a new everything! And no, it’s not a cinemagraph — all you need is a single JPG and no additional image or video files.
I’ve been secretly testing it with the creator of Plotagraph for a while (not by surprise, his last name is Plota), and it’s been an absolute blast! So far, I have made about a dozen of them, and they all come out really cool. It’s a brand new tech and I’ve never seen anything like it. Anyway, now it is available to all… you’ll really enjoy yourself and be shocked at the results.
This is a great way to breathe new life into any photo you’ve ever taken. It works great in so many conditions… clouds, moving water, grasses, hair, flowers, water, fire, etc. When you look at the new portfolio above, you’ll see how fun it is. Note that because these are all multi-framed, it may take a moment or two for the whole thing to load before you see it flow smoothly.
Easy to use
This is a good example of a JPG I uploaded. You can see how I masked out most of the tree and ground and added animation vectors to the sky. This one is very simple in that I have everything going in the same direction. As you can imagine, you don’t always have to make it this simple and you can have animations go in many directions and different speeds in various bits of the picture.
Here’s a bit more complex of an example with many vectors. This one may look a bit more complex because I turned on the “Mesh” layer that shows all the triangles and interconnectedness. I’m working on some tutorials now to talk more about how it works!
Works on any computer/OS
It’s completely web-based software, so it doesn’t matter if you are Mac / Windows / Linux, whatever. It’s also extremely fast because everything is happening on remote blazing servers.
Here’s the way it works. You upload any photo then you use the online software to define the areas that you want to keep static and the parts you want to move. After that, you use cool directional arrows to describe where and how you want the motion to flow. There’s also options to set the speed, smoothness, and more. You can get a live preview in the web browser and then export it as an GIF, MOV, or MP4. Easy as pie and supa fun!
During launch month here, Troy told me they are taking $50 off the normal price, so it’s a good time to swoop in.
Quick Tutorial Video
Many people have been asking about the UI and process for making these, so I made a quick video for you!
Two More Examples
This is a more subtle use of the technique. If you look closely at the traffic, you’ll see it moving a little bit too for a nice subtle touch!
Here’s one of my favorite photos from Paris, brought to a new kind of animated life!
I had a blast working with the team at Peak Design on this project! Here’s one of three new quick videos that show off our new bags on Kickstarter at http://pkdsn.com/trey — Here’s some fun facts we just got. This is the most funded active Kickstarter project. These are not only the most funded bags in Kickstarter history but the most funded photo gear ever! Thanks again to all the backers for making this such a huge success – you guys rock!
Check out our new Sling video! I know it appears the guy using this bag is engaged in semi-illegal activities, but just note you can use this bag for completely legal purposes. See more at http://pkdsn.com/trey
Here’s a nice quote from Peta Pixel:
– “So how popular is the Everyday line of bags? Well, in the first day of being on Kickstarter, the new campaign has already blown past the $500,000 campaign goal and is rapidly approaching the $1 million mark, meaning it’s doing even better than the wildly popular initial campaign.”
and here’s another nice one from The Manual:
– “We have to hand it to the team at Peak Design. They know the Devil is in the details. From careful consideration of space and storage, to materials, to the craftsmanship of the straps and closures, every aspect of their products are on point. As Peak Design says themselves, ‘This ain’t just a camera bag’ “
and one more from Popular Photography:
– “We love camera bags, but it’s not often you see one generate genuine excitement outside the photography nerd set. The Peak Design Everyday Messenger bag was a runaway hit, however, and now the company is using Kickstarter to expand the line with a Backpack, Tote, and Sling bag option.”
That was a great workshop we had in Denver – thanks again everyone. We’re working on getting all the Screen Recordings ready for you now! 🙂
Daily Photo – Moody Canals at Night
Here's one of those bridges that I would cross almost every night when walking back and forth from St. Mark's Square to Accademia. Many bridges, like this one, have restaurants nearby so there's often a nice little cluster of activity around each one.
I notice most of the time when I go out to take photos, it’s not a hotel-room 72 degrees F! So I am either bundling up or preparing for a sweat-lodge. There’s no in between… like here in Bali, for example, I just prepared for a whole day of sweating. It’s good to bring an extra towel, as Douglas Adams warned us.
Daily Photo – Fields from Above
My whole life I've seen photos of rice fields and always wanted to see them in this terraced formation. I did see a few in China, but they were not even impressive enough for a photo. They were a bit dull, and not terraced, you know? But then I got to Bali and was able to see many of them… just as amazing as I have imagined. I understand the ones in the Philipines are even better, so I hope to see those some day too.