Wild Tokyo Streets and Project Loon from Google

On This Week in Tech talking about Google X Loon Balloons, Sony NEX-7, etc

I joined from Christchurch a few days ago to talk with Leo and the gang about what happened behind the scenes at the Google launch of Project Loon in New Zealand. Here’s the full article on StuckInCustoms.com about the Google Internet Balloon launch.

Daily Photo – Wild Tokyo Streets

Here’s the wild Tokyo streets not far from Roppongi. It turns out this tiny little spot is safe to stand in. I think. Well, it probably wasn’t, but those little lines gave me some sense of safety. Either way, I took all the shots and got out of here quickly!

You can see Don Quixote there on the left. It’s a very popular store in Tokyo and they have everything! They have t-shirts, shaving cream, kid toys, and adult toys. Those last two categories are quite different.

Tokyo Streets

Wild Tokyo Streets

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time2
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

1000 Photos, 36 keepers

1000 Photos, 36 keepers

This is a 30 min preview of the 4+ hour post-processing landscape tutorial from New Zealand. We recently had people came from all over the world to spend four days taking photos. We recorded the whole thing… watch this to see what happened! :) You can get all 4+ hours at http://store.stuckincustoms.com/tutorials

Daily Photo – Waterways in the Hills

Here’s another photo from the beautiful course at The Hills here in New Zealand. They decided to make these beautiful waterways that weave in and out of the course. They are great for photography too because they always flow very slowly, so there is a nice clean reflection. Whenever I (rarely) get a clean reflection off water, I always feel like a lucky guy!

The Hills, New Zealand

Waterways in the Hills

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

The Mighty Trees at Glen Oaks Big Sur

Stuck On Earth in Big Sur

I was able to use Stuck On Earth to find a lot of great places in Big Sur! By the way, don’t forget that you can now get it for iPad AND Android. We are glad that so many people are enjoying it! Anyway, don’t forget that one cool feature that lets you download all the photos in a given area and add them to a new trip. This came in handy here… I just kind of vacuumed up all the good spots into a “Big Sur Trip” with a single click!

Daily Photo – The Mighty Trees at Glen Oaks Big Sur

Here’s another photo from that amazing place I stayed in Big Sur. It’s called the Glen Oaks, so be sure to take a look at this place when planning a trip to the area!

It’s fun to take photos of these huge trees. The difficult thing is getting a sense of scale. So it’s good to use things in the photo like humans or houses to give everything a sense of perspective. This trick also works with caves or anything that is impressively huge in real life.

The Mighty Trees at Glen Oaks Big Sur

The Mighty Trees at Glen Oaks Big Sur

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture3.2
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Entering the Air and Space Museum

Don’t forget about Flatbooks!

Jump over to Flatbooks.com and see some of the latest offerings there! I think you’ll find something you like! :)

Daily Photo – Entering the Air and Space Museum

This was the last shot I got with my tripod at the museum before it was so rudely removed from my person by the security staff. I still get angry about this… I don’t think I’ll ever get used to it. I think I get most angry because it is so illogical. Also, I get angry because a lot of this nonsense comes from lawyers, who are busy protecting themselves from other lawyers. People like me get caught up in their little war of lawsuits…

Entering the Air and Space Museum

Entering the Air and Space Museum

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Seedy Part of Tokyo

Correcting the Fisheye Lens

I took this photo with the fisheye (see my Nikon 16mm Fisheye Review) and then did the lens correction in post. What do you think? I’m pretty happy with it. I can see it’s a little wobbly in a few places, but not too bad. One problem I do notice at 100% is there is some chromatic aberration (purple and green outlines) in the corners, but that goes away as you get more to the middle. A little CA does not bother me too much, but I know it drives some people absolutely batty.

Speaking of CA…

I noticed lately that I have a lot of chromatic aberration in my glasses! When I look at bright areas in the corners of my glasses, I can definitely see it. I found this kind of mesmerizing for a while… I do it a lot now… I think it is just scientifically interesting how it prisms out the purple and green. Maybe this is why I don’t mind a little CA in the final shot… since I actually SEE it in real life with my glasses! Or maybe I am just making a lazy excuse… I can’t decide… both probably!

Daily Photo – The Seedy Part of Tokyo

Well, it’s not that seedy. I mean, it’s not dangerous. Maybe if you stay till the wee hours of the morning things might get crazy, but I don’t think so. Despite all the houses of ill-repute, there were still a ton of people walking around… all types, all ages, and everything in between.

Tokyo Downtown Crazy

The Seedy Part of Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/13
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Birds on the Spherical Boulders

If you didn’t know…

If you didn’t know the geological process that forms these strange round boulders on the beach, what would you guess? I can see how the first explorers here thought they might have been some kind of alien eggs!

Daily Photo – Birds on the Spherical Boulders

After the sun had gotten higher up in the air, I left “sunrise shooting mode” and entered “find interesting shapes mode.” I had on my 14-24 lens, which means I had to get super-close to these birds. Birds are hard to take photos of, I think. So I had to be very slow, like a cat, on my approach to these boulders. I barely got off a shot before the freaked out and flew away!

Birds on the Spherical Boulders

Birds on the Spherical Boulders

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture11
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

The Shuttle in Repose

Processing Photos Out-of-Order

Many of you know that I process photos in random order. Chronological order seems as arbitrary as any other order, so I just go with random! So, I happened to recently process two photos from the new Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. So, here is one of the shuttle below, and you’ll see another from the museum in the next few days.

Daily Photo – The Shuttle in Repose

This was a hard shot to process — I’ll be honest! Some people got to watch this during one of our live event last month. That was exciting and scary because I had never worked on this one before. I let the audience vote on which one to process, and this one was the choice!

It was particularly hard because of all the shots were handheld. One thing I noted is that if the long exposures are blurred — then you really need to forget about bringing that one into Photomatix. It will just mess up the whole process!

The Shuttle in Repose

The Shuttle in Repose

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture6.7
  • ISO9000
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Cirque du Soliel in Downtown Disney

Camera Police

I don’t understand why the Cirque du Soliel people are so militant about not letting you take photos. I really don’t get what the big deal is. I assume they are worried that someone will steal their ideas? I understand no flashes, but a good camera doesn’t need a flash to take a photo. Maybe they are trying to force people to enjoy it without using cameras? Or maybe if everyone does it, they will hold up cameras over their heads and block everyone? I don’t know… but it is quite annoying!

Daily Photo – Cirque du Soliel in Downtown Disney

Here’s the awesome tent they built just for Cirque du Soliel. I’ve always liked this architecture design. It looks both temporary and permanent.

This was my son’s very first Cirque du Soliel and he loved it. Yes, he was a little freaked out by parts of it, but I think everyone is! :)

Cirque du Soliel in Downtown Disney

Cirque du Soliel in Downtown Disney

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/20
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Lava in the streets of Tokyo

The original Photoshop

I saw this great article on Petapixel about the super-duper-orignal Photoshop!

Daily Photo – Lava in the streets of Tokyo

I had a few people look at this photo and tell me that it looks like lava is flowing down the streets. I never thought of that, but now that I see it, I can’t un-see it! If only we could see Mt. Fuji in the distance, then I could photoshop in a little bit of a volcanic eruption to make the whole effect complete!

Lava in the streets of Tokyo

Lava in the streets of Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture4.2
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length45.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Out in the Woods

From the Photomatix Presets

You may remember this shot from the sample on Trey’s Photomatix Presets. It turned out to be a perfect candidate because of the crazy amount of dynamic light. This is just about as dynamic as it gets — shooting into a very bright sun with dark, shadowy trees in the foreground.

Daily Photo – Out in the Woods

This is one of my favorite photos of an outhouse that I’ve ever taken. I’ve only taken one, by the way.

Actually, when I think about it being an outhouse, it makes it feel not so beautiful. So I just think of it like a little maintenance shed or a meditation chamber. Yes, that’s better, some sort of Scientologist meditation chamber where they measure their midichlorians.

Outhouse in the woods

Out in the Woods

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length20.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

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