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

Windmill over still lake

Adding more behind-the-scenes videos

I’m recording more and more of these lately. The problem isn’t actually the recording — that bit is easy — the problem is the editing and uploading. That one takes me a bit… I’ve got a lead on a few possible interns here in the Queenstown area to help me out… once I get that bit, I can release even more! :)

Daily Photo – Windmill over still lake

When does a pond become a lake? Maybe this is a pond. Or maybe a pond is a subset of a lake. I do not know for sure. I could look it up, but I find it more fun to speculate about it.

Anyhoo, this serene scene is just another on the back nine of The Hills country club in Arrowtown. If you’re into golf, then this place is a must-visit! Or, if you’re just into photography, then it’s also a must-visit!

Windmill over still lake The Hills golf course

Windmill over still lake

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length22.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2

The Cinematic Country

Thanks Balog!

Justin Balog posted a nice review of the Lightroom 4 presets — thanks for that Justin! Glad you are enjoying them.

I’m about to send out a FREE bonus pack to everyone that already bought those things… just a little nice thing… I created some new ones and thought you might enjoy them too. You can pick them up inside the Stuck In Customs store.

New HDR Tools? Or still Photomatix?

Yes, I’m still using Photomatix as my main tool! I updated the HDR Tutorial recently — you can see all the new screenshots in there.

Daily Photo – The Cinematic Country

When you drive to Aoraki Village, it can take many more hours than necessary if you like to take photos. There are literally one million places to jump out and get photos of roads and the mountain! So awesome!

Here’s a little hint if you take this road. If you walk off to the right and jump the fence, there are many little streams that are also very beautiful. No one ever walks over there… I don’t know why. Don’t let the fence stop you. No one is over there! :)

Mount Cook Road

The Cinematic Country

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length21.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Night of the Aurora

Huge PhotoWalk in San Francisco Tonight!

Hope to see you there! See the event info here! :) We’ll be giving away Google Glass, so good luck to all of you attending.

New part of the HDR Tutorial – mini-masking tutorial

If you have seen the new and improved HDR Tutorial, then you may see this new video below on page 3! This describes how to do masking, which is a very common question for people that are getting started in Photoshop.

Daily Photo – The Night of the Aurora

I think these happen a lot down here in New Zealand! I’m hardly an expert though… I’m very last-minute about all these things and only know about them once they start happening. Some people are real aurora experts and track them like storms. There are websites, apps, and all sorts of things. I gotta get my act together so I can plan for these events better.

I was having so much fun with the landscape orientation… but then I decided to go vertical for a few shots, and I am glad I did!

When I show people these photos without any explanation, they never ever ask me what that yellow-green light is in the lower part. I don’t know if they just assume it is the aurora, or maybe they think it is light from a city, or maybe they think I added it in post. I just don’t know… but I do like to see people’s reactions, especially when they are confused. I don’t know why I enjoy confusing people with these sorts of photos, but it is just kinda fun. I think it is fun because I am also confused by how this kind of light can even be possible!

The Night of the Aurora

The Night of the Aurora

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time30
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Robots in the Streets of Tokyo!

Did you get your monthly HardWare Magazine?

No? Well, me neither. I’m not sure who subscribes. I think it is an Asian magazine. Singapore? Anyway, they interviewed me, and they now have the (honor?) of having the article with the BIGGEST PHOTO OF ME EVER! haha it’s so crazy… I was shocked when someone sent me a PDF!

Actually, when I saw this giant spread, I thought that “Hardware Magazine” might be some kind of a Singaporean gay magazine.

skitch

Daily Photo – Robots in the Streets of Tokyo!

Someone gave me a hot tip to go see this cool robot area of Tokyo! There’s a place called the Robot Restaurant, and it’s one of the craziest places I have ever been!

It’s basically like Medieval Times, but with robots and girls in bikinis.

Outside the Robot Restaurant, they have all these awesome-looking robots with iPads on their chests. There are people inside, which is kind of a disappointment, but also kind of a relief. Either way, they are pretty awesome!

Robot Restaurant Tokyo

Robots in the Streets of Tokyo!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture1.4
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length50.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Ancient Mount Fuji Village

My Friend Antonis Karalis

Recently appeared on Greek TV to talk about Google Glass and he mentioned me in a very nice way. Antonis composes a lot of the music I use in my videos, so be sure to look for his work on one of the sites below! :)

iTunes: http://goo.gl/LYY7j
Google Play: http://goo.gl/mtW23
Amazon MP3: http://goo.gl/SvsJq

Missed this behind the scenes video?

Last week I posted a behind-the-scenes of this shot. You can find that video right here on the blog!

Daily Photo – Ancient Mount Fuji Village

Here I am in that little village of Saiko. I don’t know if it is always relatively empty or just this one day, but hardly anyone was around. I did see this one older gentleman sauntering around, and he happened to saunter right into the frame! A lucky grab! :)

This “look” for this photo is a bit experimental, but I kind of like it. To achieve it (this is Photoshop-heavy-jargon I’m afraid!), you can duplicate the layer then do some extreme sharpening and a black and white conversion using something like Silver Efex Pro (there is a review here on the site). After that, you can change the blend mode to Hard Light… it makes an interesting effect!

Mount Fuji

Ancient Mount Fuji Village

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length32.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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