The edge of Hong Kong from Above

Drones or Quadcopters

I’m afraid the word “drone” is now in the popular vernacular, even though I think most quad pilots wished everyone referred to them as “quadcopters.” I think the “drone” word gets confusing because that’s what the military uses in a weaponized manner. But then again, “quadcopter” doesn’t always make sense either because some of them have 6 rotors! Anyway… a semantics issue… I don’t lose a lot of sleep over it… just noticing. These things are about to be everywhere based on sales.

Daily Photo – The edge of Hong Kong from Above

It's hard to believe the water is this color on the edge of Hong Kong, isn't it? It's not always that color, but I happen to be right by the ferry terminal, and so many boats come and go that it churns up a bunch of small bubbles that make everything seem a bit more Caribbean! After I took this photo straight down with the quad, I aimed it up and got a big panorama of the city. I'll share that one soon too!

The edge of Hong Kong from Above

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraFC350
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/50
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO137
  • Focal Length3.6 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

A Fun Family Day at Lake Wanaka

Yesterday’s and Today’s Image

I don’t know if you noticed yesterday’s and today’s image or not, but I’ve been doing something a little different with sharpness passes and filters. More and more I’m using MacPhun Intensify and Tonality — definitely some of my favorite filters!

Lightroom Presets

Today’s photo was made with one of the presets from the January 2015 Pack of the Lightroom Presets. I’m glad people are enjoying them so much. It’s very fun for me to experiment a LOT more and create 10 fresh ones per month. It’s a bit of a challenge to always try new looks and experiment, but I am glad you are all experimenting with me! :)

Daily Photo – A Fun Family Day at Lake Wanaka

Isn't this a wonderfully strange photo?!?

We went with our friends Mark and Sonia down to the beach in Wanaka to spend the day recently. It was so sunny and awesome to spend the day with everyone. I know it's opposite-land down here, our summer is the Northern hemisphere's winter, so seeing recent off-season photos can be confusing!

A Fun Family Day at Lake Wanaka

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7M2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

7 Dials in London

Fun Contest – your color for a camera strap?

I use this strap! What color for you?

Calibrating the DJI Inspire

I’ve noticed I’ve had to calibrate it a few times, but it has not been much of a problem. I guess it’s good that it refuses to fly until it is calibrated! Right before I did this, I had to do a rather long automated calibration that took 10 minutes. It’s the first time I had to do that… but it gave me a chance to have a coffee and pastry on the street corner while waiting! :)

Daily Photo – 7 Dials in London

I love getting these kinds of photos with the quadcopter. Looking straight down never seems to get old. Maybe it's because I've always wanted to fly and be like a bird… free like a bird! I get a very weak sense of it with this quadcopter, but it is still pretty awesome. This is a very cool area of London called Seven Dials where seven roads come together, and it seemed to cry out for a photo like this!

7 Dials in London

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraFC350
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/270
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length3.6 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramUnknown (58655)
  • Exposure Bias-0.656

Curtis in the Townships of Johannesburg

More Behind-the-Scenes videos coming up

We took quite a bit of video while here to do some new behind-the-scenes stuff. Be sure to subscribe to my Youtube Channel to see when this stuff is made available! :)

Funny Internet Comments

I end up getting some crazy comments on social media… I should share more of the crazy stuff – here’s one!

We are enjoying the always beautiful photos landscape taken by your trip
By the way
Wonder if this photo is a joke?
Japanese history is very old
And it’s complicated
I is not a emperor worship philosopher
The people of about half of the Japanese I think not a kit pleasant mood to look at this photo
It you are big up google +
Do not you have misunderstood something?
And if not problem deep meaningless jokes
Statue of Liberty is or has fallen in New York
George Washington image it would be a joke like or have fallen
The Tour of the assassination movie of North Korea’s authoritarian
The reply of cyber attacks in the same manner as terrorist supporting countries against terrorist supporting countries of cyber attack
It’s a time when it is done at the top level of the human world
And allowed to cringe (w)
Also I’m looking forward to beautiful photos

Daily Photo – Curtis in the Townships of Johannesburg

For a short time, we took a true adventure into the townships in Soweto. For those of you that don't know, this was the heart of apartheid, where they put all the black people in Johannesburg. It's been a long time since then, but these are still full and teaming with people. There's no electricity, no running water, no internet, no, well, nothing! But the kids were so happy and full of life while we walked around. So was everyone, really! Here's a photo of my friend Curtis sharing his photos with some children here.

Curtis in the Townships of Johannesburg

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7S
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Frederick Van Johnson

What’s in Trey’s Bag?

Here’s a video that we made soon after I took this photo below. You can see more (and updated stuff!) on my Camera Equipment page! :)

Daily Photo – Frederick Van Johnson

Here's my friend Fred. We were walking through the Queenstown Gardens here in New Zealand when I took this photo. It's shot with a Leica 50mm at f/1.4 on a Sony A7r. We started talking about camera gear so much that I almost forgot to take any photos! We had a great time together this week… this was just one of them! :)

Frederick Van Johnson

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Wow! Antarctica!

An Amazing Trip

I’m just now getting back to reality, but I wanted to share some quick pictures and thoughts!

It all started with me being a bit nervous. Antarctica! Jeez… I felt like I was both unprepared and unworthy. But I kind of swallowed all that down and boarded a US military plane in Christchurch – a CL-130. That “L” means it has skis on the bottom for landing on the sea ice. That’s the first photo I have below… my view during the 10 hour flight to land towards the middle of Antarctica near Ross Island.

My home base there was to be New Zealand’s Scott Base, which is just an incredible place with a great team. This is an odd way to go, as 98% of people that visit Antarctica go on a ship, which usually leave from the tip of South America. The idea that I had a base on land for the whole time was really awesome, and it was from Scott Base that we launched for several unique locations all over the continent.

Daily Photo – Approaching the Glacier

And not too long after I landed, I went to camp out on the mainland of Antarctica in the Dry Valleys, where countless glaciers spill into the old land. One day, I did a hike away from camp across the wild bits and came up to the face of the Howard Glacier here. I was able to walk right up and touch it. It absolutely towered over me, silent and white and great.

I have a ton more photos and stories to share… I'll be sure to share them all here on the blog soon!

Approaching the Glacier

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture11
  • ISO64
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Soweto from Above

District 9

I watched this movie again recently right before visiting this area of South Africa. I had forgotten what a good movie that is… I had forgotten what a good actor Sharlto Copley was in that movie… just amazing. And it certainly over-scared me to visit this region! But all that turned out to be unfounded…

Daily Photo – Soweto from Above

Even though I thought this would be scariest part of Johannesburg, it turned out to be my favorite. It was great to be there with all the people in the township. It was all smiles, photos, and wonderful feelings. The kids were especially great. They loved watching the quadcopter and thought it was so exciting. I wish I got to spend more time there, but excited to go back another time and take more photos and spend more time with the kids.

Soweto from Above

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraHero3-Black Edition
  • Camera MakeGoPro
  • Exposure Time1/380
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length2.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Exploring Tokyo Tower

City Shooting Tip

The default compositional style when shooting cities from up high is to do the basic wide-angle landscape orientation. But I’ve been trying more and more to remember to go into portrait mode and zoom in a bit. Like this photo below, for example, was taken in this orientation at at 70mm.

Daily Photo – Exploring Tokyo Tower

The first time I saw this tower in Tokyo I did not like it. I thought it felt a little ugly, or maybe like a cheap version of the Eiffel Tower, but it has really grown on me. Especially at night. I really like the look of its starkness and warm shape against the blueness of the rest of the city.

Exploring Tokyo Tower

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time3
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length70.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

A Quiver Tree Stands Alone

Portrait Orientation and Composition

There is a rule that is sometimes okay to break that you should not put the subject in the middle of your composition. Well, when you switch into Portrait-orientation, all those rules go right out the window! You’re fully allowed to plop things (like the tree below!) right plum in the middle of the frame.

Daily Photo – A Quiver Tree Stands Alone

These trees are unlike any other tree I've ever seen! They are spread all around many desert-y areas of Namibia, and they are often quite spread out from one another. Each one has a totally unique shape, and you'll never see one that will be mistaken for another one. I've never seen individual trees that can look so unalike their neighbors… I'll post more of these in coming weeks and you'll see what I mean!

A Quiver Tree Stands Alone

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/5
  • Aperture8
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length17.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

The Behind-the-Scenes with Air New Zealand Video hits tomorrow!

The New Show Starts in 3 Days!

Come Find Out More and Support the Show! You can get in on the fun for just 1 penny! Any little bit is awesome! :) And if you put in $1, you’ll get to see the show a week early! The Premiere episode is going to be Monday, Nov 17 at 6 PM PT, 9 PM ET. See you soon!

The Behind-the-Scenes with Air New Zealand Video hits tomorrow!

Curtis tells me that tomorrow (Friday), we are releasing a special Behind-The-Scenes video with Air New Zealand. I spent a few days here at the Hobbiton Movie Set and we recorded the whole thing… it’s a really cool video and you can see how I set up all the shots, worked with the models, selected my composition, and helped to lay out the scenes.

Update: Released!

Here’s the video. If you wanna see the full 40-minute loooong version, just go sign up here StuckInCustoms.com/Hobbit (it’s free, and merged into our normal monthly newsletter).

Bilbo's Hobbit Hole in Bag End

Hobbiton in the Morning

Inside The Hobbit Hole Of Bilbo Baggins

Exploring the Hobbit Holes

The Clouds Of Hobbiton

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