Vertical Venice

June’s Lightroom Presets are Live!

Jump over to the Trey’s Lightroom Presets Page to see what’s happening this month! Remember, they are half price for you on day one of each new month!

Staying up Late

I’m considering staying up all night during our upcoming Venice Photography Adventure on the final night. I absolutely love staying out late and taking photos. It could be an absolute blast… we’ll see if we have the energy at that stage in the adventure, but I like the idea of it.

Night is often a great time to shoot there because all the streets clear out and it’s very dark and romantic… just don’t fall into any canals!

Daily Photo – Vertical Venice

One of the best times to take photos in Venice is in the early morning. The light plays with the buildings in surprising ways. Also, since most of the city is not a grid-pattern, you never know what you’ll see as you look down one canal or cross the next bridge. It’s like a fabulous Venice-randomizer! Here's one of my favorite angles from one of the morning walks…

Vertical Venice

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length85.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Leaving Saint Mark’s Square in Venice

Venice Carnival Photo Adventure February 4-10, 2016 – €15,000 Euros – Sold Out

See the Venice Carnival Photo Adventure page! This is a very special trip to perhaps the most romantic and beautiful cities in all the world, Venice. This sold out in 48 hours after we first announced it in our Newsletter, so be sure to sign up for that to hear about this stuff first!

Even though we’re sold out, you can Contact Curtis to jump on Standby List in case of cancellation.

A Secret Entrance in Venice

Not far from this exit I found a really cool old bookstore that reminded me of something from Diagon Alley in Harry Potter. It’s full of all sorts of crazy old books, some in fabulous shapes. There is a sign that is chained across the door that says, “Please Wait for Attendance,” but no one ever comes. There’s a secret button you can push in the upper left just outside that will grant you entrance. So cool! I went in there and got a few gifts to bring home.

A few recent photos from Venice to get you excited…

Daily Photo – Leaving Saint Mark’s Square in Venice

Venice has thousands of tiny alleys that twist this way and that, and before you know it, you end up in another square. This is the biggest square, Ca San Marco, and there are about 7 exits to this square (as with most). Here’s my favorite of them all… as evening falls, this way is the most beautifully lit for another adventure in getting lost on purpose!

Leaving Saint Mark’s Square in Venice

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time30
  • Aperture20
  • ISO64
  • Focal Length240.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach

Best Rooftop Bars in the World?

I was wondering if there was a good list somewhere. These typically tend to be the best places to take photos because most are open-air, which means you don’t have to shoot through a window. When I visit new cities, I’ve started looking these up more and more, rather than observation decks. Those are often too full of people and too brightly lit, which can cause very annoying reflections!

Daily Photo – Atop the Bar at the Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach

What an amazing place this is! Dubai can be unbearably hot for several months out of the year, so there are many rooftop bars where you can go cool off at night. I reckon this one atop the Four Seasons there is one of the best. On one side is a view of the sea and on the other is a view of downtown Dubai. I brought my laptop up here almost every night to work on photos while having drinks… so fun!

Atop the Bar at the Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture10
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length11.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Visiting the Japanese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Snapchat Article

Here’s a new article entitled 8 Travel Bloggers You Should be Following on Snapchat.

The Venice Biennale

This was my first time to visit and it was not at all what I expected. Honestly, I had no expectations at all, but I knew a bit about it. For those that don’t know, this is like the Olympics of the art world, or like the Grammys, Tonys, or Academy Awards. It happens every two years in Venice. Many countries have their own permanent buildings that sit dormant for most of the time except for these occasional grand exhibitions.

Daily Photo – Japanese Pavilion 2015 – Key in Hand

This was one of my favorite exhibitions at the Biennale this year. I’m into visually striking things that slightly confuse and massively inspire you.

This is the Japanese Pavilion at the Giardini and it was made by artist Chiharu Shiota. It features thousands of keys, all individually hung by red yarn, connecting boats across the room. Here’s more about the exhibition from the Curator, Hitoshi Nakano:

Chiharu Shiota: “The Key in the Hand”

Hitoshi Nakano Curator, Kanagawa Arts Foundation

Berlin-resident artist Chiharu Shiota creates large-scale installations by stretching yarn across the exhibition space, and produces works out of materials that are filled with memories and traces of everyday life such as dresses, beds, shoes, and suitcases. She is notable for her skilled approach to the large installation format, which has become a special feature of the biennale in recent years. But Shiota’s choice of materials and the spatial structure of her installations maintains a sense of preeminent beauty without losing any freshness or power, quietly permeating our minds and bodies. Shiota’s work, which transcends linguistic, cultural, and historical contexts as well as political and social circumstances, and deeply affects viewers from all over the world, has been presented and esteemed in approximately 200 exhibitions in Japan and other countries throughout the West, Middle East, Oceania, and Asia.

After being confronted with the deaths of several intimate friends and family in recent years, Shiota has converted these experiences into the lingua franca of pure and sublime art without averting her eyes from the reality that all human beings must face “life” and “death” but that each of us must do so individually. At times, Shiota’s work conveys a sense of the “darkness” that is inevitably contained in the “unknown world” associated with death and uncertainty. Even today, four years after the Great East Japan Earthquake, it is conceivable that viewers from various countries visiting a large international exhibition like the Venice Biennale will be overwhelmed by the “dark” parts of her work due to its associations with a country that has suffered deep physical and spiritual wounds. In Shiota’s work, however, there is a powerful “light” of hope and spiritual brightness that dwells deep within the darkness. This is a light that is inherent not only in the tremendous anxiety that plagues Japanese people but in the precarious state of things all over the world.

In this exhibition, Shiota will integrate the gallery, located on what is essentially the second floor, and the outdoor pilotis on the first floor of the Japanese Pavilion. Upon entering the gallery, viewers will find a space filled with red yarn. Attached to the end of each piece of yarn, suspended from the ceiling, will be a key. In our daily lives, keys protect valuable things like our houses, assets, and personal safety, and we use them while embracing them in the warmth of our hands. By coming into contact with people’s warmth on a daily basis, the keys accumulate countless, multilayered memories that dwell within us. Then at a certain point we entrust the keys, packed with memories, to others who we trust to look after the things that are important to us. In this work, Shiota will incorporate keys as a medium that conveys our true feelings. Moreover, she will place two boats on the floor beneath the yarn and the hanging keys. The boats symbolize two hands catching a rain of memories (i.e., countless keys) pouring down from the ceiling. While struggling and working with the hands, the two boats will move forward through a huge sea of memory as they collect individual memories. Along with a large box located outside among the pilotis that will be used to display a photograph of a child holding a key in the palms of her hands, four monitors will show videos of small children talking about memories from before and immediately after they were born. By listening to them recounting memories from the time of their birth and looking at keys containing an accumulation of memories, we will experience two different phases of memory in the spaces. Prompted by the exhibition, we will discover memories contained within us, some of which will unfold and stay with us, and help us to form links with other people.

I look forward to watching as The Key in the Hand, an installation that forges a link between a space made up of keys, yarn, and two boats, and photographs and videos of children, transcends national, cultural, linguistic, and political contexts, and emotionally arouses countless visitors from all over the world.

Japanese Pavilion 2015 – Key in Hand

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraDSC-RX100M3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture1.8
  • ISO500
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-1

Hendricks in the Four Seasons Dubai

Interview on Epic Mirrorless

I recently did an interview over at Epic Mirrorless all about my switch to mirrorless. Enjoy!

Daily Photo – Hendricks in the Four Seasons Dubai

This place made me the most epic gin & tonic ever! First, they only use Hendricks, and second, they infuse it with all sorts of things… they have all kinds of condensers, flames, tubes, hoses, and, well, it all looks like a huge chemistry experiment. It was quite an enjoyable night of taking photos, editing photos, and exploring G&Ts!

Hendricks in the Four Seasons Dubai

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time2
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Approaching the Burj Al Arab on the Beach

The Four Seasons in Dubai

I’m VERY excited to stay at the Four Seasons in Dubai. I’m not sure when I’m gonna have time to work on any photos, but I’ll do it as soon as I can… I’ve seen some amazing photos, but I hope I can make a few unique ones of my own!

Daily Photo – Approaching the Burj Al Arab on the Beach

This hotel is so massive that it’s hard to describe. Do you know it’s actually the third tallest hotel in the world? I know, hard to believe! And the top 5 are all in Dubai. Here’s a list of the tallest hotels in the world.

Approaching the Burj Al Arab on the Beach

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.3
  • Aperture4
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Fishing with Cormorant Birds in China

Speaking of Birds

These birds below, the cormorants, are used to fish in an unusual way. They dive into the water to catch a fish, but they have a ring around their neck to prevent them from swallowing the big fish. The fisherman then yanks the fish out of their mouth and throw it into that basket there. Seems kinda cruel but clever, I suppose.

Daily Photo – Fishing with Cormorant Birds in China

Here in the Guilin area of southern China, you can see this sort of fishing activity. It gets a little touristy, because whenever one of these guys is about, there can be many photos taken! But I thought this guy looked like a real badass — like he could fish at the same time he was kicking your ass, which is a super duper combo!

Fishing with Cormorant Birds in China

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

A Rainy Photowalk in Yangshuo

Preset Fun

This is one of my favorite presets from Trey’s Lightroom Presets. This one was included with the 2014 pack!

Daily Photo – A Rainy Photowalk in Yangshuo

It’s really fun to walk around in these places that are a bit out of the way and see what everyone is wearing. I find the Chinese seem to be all over the place with fashion. I can’t make heads or tails of it. I’d say that maybe 5% of the people I see have a decent, inborn fashion sense. The others just seem to throw together any sort of mismatched stuff. This is the complete opposite of Japan, where I’d say that 95% of people are always dressed quite sharp. It’s usually easy to identify Japanese travelers overseas too, because they typically are some of the best-dressed!

A Rainy Photowalk in Yangshuo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture
  • ISO5000
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Getting Ready for Sunset

Floating Over Bora Bora

Here’s a fun video I did while there at the Four Seasons in Bora Bora in case you have not seen it! :)

Daily Photo – Getting Ready for Sunset

Now this doesn’t always happen, but it certainly did this time. I was lucky enough to be in Bora Bora for a week straight and got to see a week’s worth of sunsets across this view. Amazing! But usually I am taking photos before the sunset, and when the sunset comes, I immediately “upgrade” all the pre-sunset shots! You know, I thought it was pretty before, but when the sunset actually hits, all bets are off and the photo is actually 10x better. But this one was an exception… the build-up to the sunset was pretty dang awesome too.

Getting Ready for Sunset

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/13
  • Aperture18
  • ISO64
  • Focal Length33.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Incredible London at Sunset

When I took this photo

Towards the end of this video I’m in the Shard with Stu and you can find out more about when I took this photo.

Daily Photo – Incredible London at Sunset

This particular location in The Shard doesn’t really have a very easy way to take this photo. The direction the sun was facing required some rather difficult window-maneuvering. They don’t really have any windows that face this direction except for one little bit that juts out.

Incredible London at Sunset

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length32.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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