Two Events in Queenstown Today – Google Science Fair Worldwide, and a local talk!

Watch online for the Google Science Fair, Live from Wakatipu High School in Queenstown

Well, “today” is confusing in New Zealand. It’s May 8 in NZ and May 7 in the US + Europe, and, well, + everywhere.

First is the Google Science Fair, which you can see below.

Second is with NZIPP this evening. Check this post to find the local time.

The Google Science Fair – Live Today

Here is the embedded video from Wakatipu High School in Queenstown. This was a really fun event for the Google Science Fair!

Daily Photo – Queenstown from the Air

I’m happy to be back home in Queenstown!

It’s strange to me to come “home” to the kind of place I used to go on vacation. I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to it. There is a very nice feeling when the airplane approaches this place. If you ever have a chance to fly in here, then you will know what I mean.

Airplane pilots have to go through some kind of special training or planning before an approach here. They have to spiral down and get between the mountains. I don’t know much about it, obviously. But I do know there is a very nice pilot on Air New Zealand that is a frequent reader of the blog! He came up and said hello to me when I was on his plane one day. Hi Captain! :)

Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown from the Air

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length19.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

New HDR Tutorial – Free Web Version with New Videos

Fully re-vamped HDR Tutorial!

I removed and rebuilt the HDR Tutorial from the ground up! Now it is tighter, more focused, and has all my latest techniques. Those of you that purchased the latest HDR and Post-Processing Tutorial on Video from New Zealand will see a consistency between the online free version and the paid version. They got out of sync there because my technique evolves pretty fast!

Some B-roll from the video below

I’m sure many of you have seen this video below already — but you might notice during the video that you can see some of the scenes that brought today’s photo to life! :)

Daily Photo – The Ghostly Spirits in Milford Sound

We had a lucky morning in Milford Sound! In retrospect, it was really dumb to bring so many people to Milford when the weather could have been horrible! But man, we really lucked out! I would say there is good weather there (shootable weather) only 50% of the time.

There are many favorite little things about this photo. One of them is that little greenish island out into the bay… that has a good feeling to it, I think.

Milford Sound, New Zealand

The Ghostly Spirits in Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture10
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length17.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Behind the Scenes in Japan

New Video – Behind the Scenes in Japan

Here’s one I just edited together from my trip last week! It shows what happened while I was taking a few different photos around Mount Fuji. The video has a bunch of different tips and tricks, shows how I set up my camera, how I change lenses, how I struggle with putting on the lens hood, and lots of other goodies. Enjoy! :)

Daily Photo – Approaching Mount Fuji from the Old Village

What a perfect place this is!

I’ve been to Japan many times, but I never had the chance to visit Mt. Fuji! This time, Tom and I made a point to do it, and this was one of our fist stops. You can see much more about it in the video above!

Approaching Mount Fuji from the Old Village Saiko

Approaching Mount Fuji from the Old Village

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture10
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length32.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Google Science Fair !

Gather the kids and join me online soon!

I’ll be broadcasting live on YouTube for the Google Science Fair! You can watch online on the Event Page Here. This is a free educational event, aimed especially at kids. It’s all about science and photography.

It’s on May 7 (May 8 in some parts of the world) – check The Event Page for your local time. I’ll be joined by schoolkids from all around the world. It should be great fun!

Here is info from the event:

The Science of Photography

Digital photography offers amazing flexibility to capture and modify images. But how does the science of photography actually work? What are the basic principles of light, and how do they affect how photographers shoot? How do different cameras and lenses capture images differently? And how do software tools change the way those images are ultimately viewed?

Come to this Hangout On Air with Trey Ratcliff, the world-class photographer whose work is displayed at StuckInCustoms.com. He will be interviewed by well-known blogger, technology analyst, and amateur photographer Robert Scoble, as well as by Google Student Ambassadors. Here’s your chance to learn about the science behind those amazing images.

Tuesday, May 7, 2:00PM PT / 4:00PM CT / 5:00PM ET / 2200 GMT / 2300 CE / 900 NZDT (8 May)

Daily Photo – Close Encounters over Big Sur

I went out to take photos of the shooting stars in Big Sur last week, but I only saw a few. I took a few shots of the night skies, but I think the most interesting one was this. It reminded me of that opening scene from Close Encounters! This is what it looks like in the middle of a long exposure when a car comes up over a hill towards you…

The Shooting Stars

Close Encounters over Big Sur

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time25
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO2000
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

View from the Google Offices in Downtown Tokyo

Do you know about Stocksy?

Here is our friend Kate Russell talking about Stocksy, a new stock agency that now reps a selection of my photos. You can read more about it too on Kate’s new venture “Working The Cloud”!

Daily Photo – View from the Google Offices in Downtown Tokyo

It was a great event at Google that day and night! After my tech talk, we stayed up in their skyscraper till dark, drinking and eating and taking photos. Luckily, the office windows aim in directly the right direction out of the Roppongi Towers.

The windows were all crowded with photographers, and it was a great time. Between shots, I got the chance to talk to a lot of enthusiastic Japanese photographers. I even set up a future-photo-date with the great Takahiro-san… and he would take me to one of his secret bridge locations in Tokyo! That photo will be coming up soon…

Google Offices Tokyo Japan

View from the Google Offices in Downtown Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/80
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Lonely Chair

Reminder on The Stuck in Customs Community on Google+

Last week I mentioned the Private Clubhouse that people can access when they purchase one of the tutorial products. But, also, there is a public Stuck In Customs community where you are welcome to join, share your photos, and see a bunch of other work from fellow community members! It is a fun way to get to know more people from around here!

Daily Photo – The Lonely Chair

This is a nice little object here, yes? I think it’s hard to find things that stand by themselves in the middle of an area that is normally cluttered.

The chair was found in one of the many decrepit and ghostly rooms inside that chateau I mentioned a few days ago. I tried to squeeze my way into every possible room, but some were too full of junk to get around. This one was well lit and ideal!

The Lonely Chair

The Lonely Chair

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length21.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-3

Moonrise Kingdom and new story from the BBC

Did you miss the latest newsletter?

I hope not! It’s always free and we promise to never spam you! We send out one a month (or so!). Anyway, here’s a link to the April newsletter and be sure to sign up at StuckInCustoms.com/news if you have not already! :)

Our Austin PhotoWalk on the BBC

You’ll see a short interview with me in the middle of the first bit from the Austin Photowalk. You may see a lot of other familiar faces in here too! Thanks to LJ Rich from the BBC for putting together this piece – that was fun!

Daily Photo – Moonrise Kingdom

This is one of my favorite new pieces from this year! I just shot it a few days ago.

It was shot waaaay after the sun went down in Big Sur, California. This is a crazy waterfall that pours off onto the beach. You can’t see it from the road, and it requires a short walk. I found it thanks to Stuck On Earth, although I am sure other locals have known about this semi-secret place forever! You can go here too… it’s not terribly difficult. It’s called “McWay Falls” and it’s beautiful any time of the day.

Also, btw, I’d like to thank those of you that have been ordering more prints recently — I am honored! :) You can always click just below the photo to check sizes and prices to find something to fit your budget. Thanks again!

McKay Falls in Big Sur

Moonrise Kingdom

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time25
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length70.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Snow over the Creek

Snow in HDR

This is a common question I get. Basically, I think it is a bad idea to HDR the snow and ice part. It just looks dirty. You want it looking nice and pristine, and the HDR will add a little too much texture and grit for me. This seems to happen to an alarming degree with human skin and snow (and a few other things). Anyway, using layers and masking in Photoshop is an easy way to slice-n-dice your way out of that problem!

Daily Photo – Snow over the Creek

There is a place called Pyramid Lake just past Glenorchy that is perfectly wonderful in the winter as long as you have the traction. This shot is from the end of last winter when I caught a little bit of snow. You’ll notice I don’t have a ton of snowy shots from NZ yet, but I think I’ll get a lot more this winter. I’m really looking forward to some good snowfalls, in fact! I’m sure if you’re in the northern hemisphere that you are sick of the cold and ready for the warm… but I really am looking forward to the change!

Snow over the Creek

Snow over the Creek

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture22
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length32.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

Another Road Through an Endless Valley

Steam Games

I’ve been playing Left 4 Dead 2 a lot with my son. It’s good times. I’m playing Borderlands 2 on the XBox with Ethan, but it’s splitscreen and kinda crazy (but fun in co-op). But I was thinking of also getting it on Steam to play single player a bit. Other good games I’ve been playing are FTL and Civ 5 – always winners… You guys and gals playing anything lately?

Daily Photo – Another Road Through an Endless Valley

I rode down this one with Karen Hutton, Scott Kublin, and Curtis Simmons. Every five minutes they wanted to get out of the car and take a photo. I know the feeling! You see, I already have done this hundreds and hundreds of times… now I only get out on new roads or of the clouds/light is just different “enough”. It doesn’t take much, because there is a lot of variation. And, as most of you know, I’m not one to take a bunch of photos in the middle of a blue sunny day. But, on this day I was!

Road to Mount Cook

Another Road Through an Endless Valley

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

Kayaks Along Lake Wakatipu

Your Irrational Fear?

Do you share my strange fear below? Do you have an equally strange one of your own you just can’t shake? Hehe… strange question, I know… I was just wondering if I was alone in this… !

Daily Photo – Kayaks Along Lake Wakatipu

I’ve never taken a kayak out onto that lake. I’m not much of a kayaker, but also, I’m not a big fan of deep bodies of water. Actually, I will just go all the way from “not a big fan” to “outright afraid”. You never know what kind of nonsense is happening underneath you, you know? I don’t like swimming to being in a little boat on top of deep water. I don’t mind being in a big, sea-worthy boat. That’s fine. But swimming and being in a little boat… that’s not for me. This is strange, because I know it’s irrational. And I don’t really have any other irrational fears… but I can’t figure out a way to get around this one (nor do I see the need to do so, which is probably part of the problem itself).

Kayaks along Lake Wakatipu

Kayaks Along Lake Wakatipu

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture8
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

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