Sheep Says Baaaaa

Flatbooks Special for the month!

During the month of April we are going to run a 20% off Sale in April for everything on Flatbooks.com. The coupon code APRILEBOOKS is valid through April 30th.

Daily Photo – Sheep Says Baaaaa

I know I sound like a total tourist, but I still like watching sheep. Maybe because I’ve lived here less than a year, but they are still fun for me to watch. They kind of move around like lily pads on a pond, in kind of a random way. Every now and then they line up and run to one area or another, but it’s mostly random drifting. And it’s fun for me to catch the random drifting and try to compose something interesting. As more and more sheep enter the frame, it cranks up the degree of difficulty, like Olympic diving!

Sheep Says Baaaaa

Sheep Says Baaaaa

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJanuary 17, 2013 at 7:36am
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length175.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Moeraki Boulders at Uber Sunrise

Selective HDR

Well, long term, HARDCORE readers already know this about me and my technique. But I suppose you have come to realize that HDR merely “informs” the final work. That is, HDR comes into play almost everywhere, but I adjust one part of the photo to 0% and maybe another to 100%. And there is lots of variation in between as the eye moves around the photo. For example, I really like how the sun and that whole bit is “blown out” below. If I did normal HDR, then nothing would be blown out. Hey, sometimes I like it… I’m unpredictable, like a woman.

Daily Photo – Moeraki Boulders at Uber Sunrise

These Moeraki boulders are awesome in the morning! If you are going to visit this place, I suggest you get online and check a few things:

1) Check the tides. Make sure there will be low tide in the morning.
2) Check the sun position and time for the year.

If you get those two things planned out, then you can go and spend the night there in Moeraki. You don’t want to go through all the trouble of getting into position if the conditions are wrong.

Moeraki Boulders

Moeraki Boulders at Uber Sunrise

Photo Information

  • Date TakenNovember 27, 2012 at 10:00pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture22
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

Another Bridge in Melbourne

iPhone Cases in the Wild!

Do you have an iPhone and looking for a snazzy case? We put together a bunch of different cases for you to enjoy and sport around! Just pop on over to the iPhone Case section of the store and have a gander! :)

Daily Photo – Another Bridge in Melbourne

I like these cities that get all fancy with their bridges. Melbourne certainly does! Each bridge tries to out-do the next. There’s no common theme and its sort of a mish-mash of styles, to say the least. I think that not everyone likes this, but I do. I don’t mind all the variety, especially from the perspective of photography.

It’s kind of the same way with the buildings and other decorative elements around downtown Melbourne. There are so many styles, most of which are one flavor of “modern” or “contemporary”. I enjoy mixing and matching different elements into compositions, but it is not easy. There is a challenging aspect to it that I don’t get in many other cities.

Bridge in Melbourne

Another Bridge in Melbourne

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJanuary 11, 2013 at 2:32pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Big Live Show Today! Last Day for Special Discount!

Join me in Tokyo at the Google HQ! (Free Event)

On Friday April 12 at 4 PM – 7 PM, come to my tech talk or to the meet up afterwards! Want to join me? Fill out this Google Form if you’d like to come, and I’ll see you there!

The Google offices are located at 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo. The building is called Roppongi Hills Mori Tower and the Google reception is on the 26th floor.

Thanks again – Live Show Today!

Thanks again for those of you that purchased the new video series Landscape and Travel Photography: New Zealand! You’ll get to watch the big show today. I’m super-excited! If you have any questions about how to watch or whatever, be sure to contact support@stuckincustoms.com. Luke will help you out!

You still have a chance to get it at the discounted price today before the live event.

Today’s photo below is one of the shots that I show how to post-process in the video. I hope you all are enjoying it! :)

Daily Photo – Morning Reflections of Bowen Falls

We had a great still morning in Milford Sound! I think, in retrospect, that it was very very risky taking everyone down there. The weather could have been horrible the whole time and there would be no shots! But, we got lucky and everything was beyond awesome.

We walked out onto a peninsula of rocks and the most interesting scene was kind of “straight ahead” out between the mighty peaks through the fjord into the ocean. But, there were other good angles too, like this one off to the right of this beautiful waterfall. I took well over 1,000 photos over that few days, and many of them came this morning!

Milford Sound Bowen Falls

Morning Reflections of Bowen Falls

Photo Information

  • Date TakenFebruary 9, 2013 at 10:24pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/20
  • Aperture8
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2

A Weaving Path Through the Wetlands

Preparing for the Private Live Show on the 9th

For those of you that are participating in the live event in a few days (that bought the thing I mentioned yesterday on the blog), we have some surprises in store! Joining me are Karen Hutton, Scott Kublin, Lorenzo Montezemolo, Clayton Morris, and Bel Jones! They all joined me in New Zealand for the filming of this event, and they’ll share some of the things they learned as well; another perspective, if you will. I’ll have them share some of their own photos so you can see how they chose to process some of the same things in a slightly different way — it should be very educational and interesting!

Helping me out as always in the live hangout are Dave Veffer, Curtis Simmons, and Luke Lakatosh — it will be a fun get together! :)

Daily Photo – A Weaving Path Through the Wetlands

I’ve revisited this path in Glenorchy a few times now. You’ll see this in the new New Zealand video that is available now, by the way. I took a ton of different photos while there, but this one did not look so great in color. It was curious to me because there was something about the photo that I liked… but it looked so dull in color. And then I realized it was the shape and the contrast that was most interesting! So I decided to emphasize that with the black and white treatment using Silver Efex Pro.

path Glenorchy

A Weaving Path Through the Wetlands

Photo Information

  • Date TakenFebruary 7, 2013 at 12:22pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1.6
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2

The Lone Cypress Tree

Re-processing

I know I’ve said time and time again I don’t re-process old photos. Well, that’s not exactly true. Maybe 5/10,000 photos I will reprocess, and this is one of them below.

I used the Dramatic Chipmunk preset from my Lightroom Presets (available in the Get Awesome Stuff link at the very very top). But I changed the preset a little to take out more grain and do a bit more noise-reduction. I’ve been re-doing some of the presets and making new ones. I was going to send out a little bonus package for free to all existing customers as thanks! :)

Daily Photo – The Lone Cypress Tree

This is kind of a famous tree, I think. Well, I guess it’s famous if you’ve heard of it, otherwise it’s completely unknown. It’s one of those things you find out is famous, and then every time you see it, you think, “Oh that is the famous tree.”

It’s kind of like when you play trivia games with annoying people. You know the ones. Every now and then, a question comes up that is INCREDIBLY TRIVIAL and some annoying person will guffaw, “Oh My God, that is sooooo easy!” Of course it is easy if they happen to know this incredibly small piece of arcane information! Either you know it, or you don’t.

Cypress Tree Highway 1

The Lone Cypress Tree

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture16
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length42.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Today is the Day – Download Day for the New Videos!

Download Now Available!

All of you that participated in the pre-sale event are now able to download your video! We’ll keep the $79 Special Pricing for the Landscape and Travel Photography Tutorial until the Live Video event on the 9th. So, you’ll have a few more days to get this special deal… as a special thanks to those of you that come to the blog so often! :)

Today’s photo below was taken during the event!

And here’s the little promo video in case you haven’t seen it.

Daily Photo – The Endless Fields of Queenstown

On the final night, we all started walking around these fields together to take photos. The sunset wouldn’t quit! It just kept going and going… like a painting that changed every few minutes. And a few steps this way and that way would completely change the color situation on the bottom half of the photo. Honestly, there were not many bad combinations!

If you get the full video above, you’ll hear me talk more about this shot, and you’ll also get to see full post-processing of seven different photos. I hope you love it! :) I’m sure you will!

Fields of Queenstown

The Endless Fields of Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date TakenFebruary 10, 2013 at 11:23am
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture16
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

Waterfalls on the way to Milford Sound

Milford Sound Lodge

At the end of this scene, you end up at the Milford Sound Lodge. I’ve stayed there about 6 or 7 times now! You can get a few different types of accommodations… from hardcore backpacker to something with a bit more space. The prices are very reasonable, and you’re right in the middle of the action for the next morning for those sunrise photos!

Daily Photo – Waterfalls on the way to Milford Sound

There is a good question that will never be answered: Is the drive to Milford Sound equal to the epicness of Milford Sound itself? No one knows!! I can’t figure it out. But, one random element that comes into the equation is the rain. When it is raining (or a recent rain), there are over 100 waterfalls that decorate the steep valley.

It’s kind of hard to shoot waterfalls in the rain. Actually, it’s really hard. I usually amp up my ISO and drop my F-stop very low to make sure I get a quick picture before the rain settles on my lens.

Waterfalls in Milford Sound

Waterfalls on the way to Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date TakenOctober 27, 2012 at 4:43am
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length82.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Frogs in the Paris Opera

Amazing Small World Story about Flatbooks.com

Justin Balog wrote an amazing little story on his blog.

Justin is one of the authors over at Flatbooks.com and he was randomly down in Belize. A local named Marvin walked up to him and they started talking about cameras. Marvin then actually mentioned the book that Justin had written! It is a small world!

And, as a bonus, Justin also wrote a story “Why Flatbooks Will Make The World A Better Place” !!

Daily Photo – Frogs in the Paris Opera

Can someone explain this to me? I cannot figure it out. Maybe they are just being quirky.

I took this with a fisheye lens inside the Paris opera. I can’t imagine what the internal bureaucracy is like within the Paris Opera for various art displays inside. And I can’t figure out how this one got through. But maybe there is a major art meme that I missed that includes well-dressed amphibians.

Frogs in the Paris Opera

Frogs in the Paris Opera

Photo Information

  • Date TakenNovember 9, 2012 at 3:39pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/4
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Towering Medieval Hotel

Fun Show Last Night!

Last night’s show was a lot of fun. Be sure to check out Kate Russell from the BBC, Thomas Hawk, Brian Matiash, Don the Snowflake guy, Ollie Dale, and Gino Barassa… and Dave Veffer as always! We do the show every Monday night at 7 PM PT, 10 PM ET !

If you come here to the website just before the show, you’ll see the embedded player up and ready to run… and you can see last night’s show in the post below this one! You’ll even see a sneak preview of a documentary that I am in from Ollie called “Virtually Famous”.

Daily Photo – The Towering Medieval Hotel

I’m sure Europeans find this kind of architecture to be quaint and banal, but I rather like it. In fact, I’d say it’s just about one of my favorites! Whenever I see old buildings in this style, it makes me a little bit happy.

This one was in the village of Mont Saint Michel. It was one of very few hotels that are tightly woven into the old medieval walled complex. I didn’t go inside, but it felt like it was right out of Skyrim!

Tall Medieval Hotel

The Towering Medieval Hotel

Photo Information

  • Date TakenNovember 12, 2012 at 8:48pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2

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