Upcoming Live “Organize Your Photos” Event!

Come Watch Live on Thursday!

Here’s the event (Click!) and where you can watch Live!

Live Photo Event – Organize Your Photos! – Thursday 6 PM PST, 9 PM EST (or check your local time on the event page)

Join me as we do a live Google+ Hangout soon. It’s a free event and I’ll be talking about how I organize my photos —I have a pretty good system I think that I believe would work for anyone because there are a few levels of “extremity” depending on how organized you want to be!

I know some of you have enjoyed the “Organize Your Photos!” tutorial and even if you already have it, you’ll enjoy seeing this, as I’ve added a bit of stuff! Some of it has to do with merging photos I take “on the road” back with the mother lode. I’m also putting together a strategy around the new all-encompassing Photos app for the Mac.

As always, there will be a live Q&A. I’ll also be looking at questions in the Stuck In Customs community — it’s always great to watch the activity in there!

Here’s a little video that shows what we’ll be talking about a bit!

Daily Photo – Late Night in Beijing

This place is always mega-crowded and a place most everyone visits when they come to China. It's hard not to ignore with that huge photo of Chairman Mao floating up there. It's amazing, actually, how popular Mao has become once again, especially with young people…I've heard many talk about what a great man he was, apparently not knowing he killed an estimated 40-70 million people during the revolution. Many carry his photo or come here to pay homage. Can you imagine huge photos of Stalin in Moscow or Hitler in Berlin? My goodness…

Late Night in Beijing

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

Camels in the New City and Venice PhotoWalk!

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Venice PhotoWalk Announced! May 3, 6 PM!

Hey everyone, I’m coming to Venice for the Biennale and I’m super-excited. Let’s do a photowalk while there. These events are free and just a fun way to give back to all of you that have given so much internet-love. It’s a great celebration of photography and all skill levels, ages, etc are welcome to join. It doesn’t matter if you take mobile photos or giant DSLR photos… come along! Bring a friend or bring the family… it’s all good! :)

Day: Sunday May 3
Time: 6 PM
Starting Location: St Mark’s Campanile in St. Mark’s Square
Google Map: http://goo.gl/M1ISUr
Ending Location: ?? We’ll find some pub or something — actually I could use a local helper to help plan the route and stuff — let me know!

Hashtag: #TRVenice2015

Who can come: Anyway, all skill levels and cameras from Mobile to DSLR are welcome.

Facebook Event: https://www.facebook.com/events/362960580561857/

Google+ Event: https://plus.google.com/events/cbo3enena96k5orkh4l4horfru8

What happens on my PhotoWalks? I usually start out and give a little talk or something… some ideas and lessons, etc. Then we start on the walk, all together taking photos of stuff and people and things. I’ll stop 3+ times along the way and set up or a formal shot… talk through my settings, let you look through my camera, etc etc. All the while, I’m there to answer your questions and have fun with y’all!

Grand Prize: An unlimited digital shopping spree in the Stuck In Customs store! I will announce the criteria to win on location, but you can share your photos anywhere from G+ to Instagram to FB to Pinterest to Flickr to 500px… you know them all… I’ll search across all of them to find my favorite!

Thanks again for the Dubai PhotoWalk!

What an incredible photowalk that was… thanks again everyone… just amazing!

We were walking along the main marina when it was recommended we pop over to the beach area. On the walk down to the beach, we saw this scene below — amazing!

Daily Photo – Camels in the New City

I gotta get back to Dubai! Man there is so much to shoot there. I could probably spend 6 months there and find new things to shoot every single day. It's an absolute and total playground for photographers. Every day, Rene and I would find more and more amazing subjects for photography.

Camels in the New City

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture4
  • ISO1000
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The edge of Hong Kong from Above

Drones or Quadcopters

I’m afraid the word “drone” is now in the popular vernacular, even though I think most quad pilots wished everyone referred to them as “quadcopters.” I think the “drone” word gets confusing because that’s what the military uses in a weaponized manner. But then again, “quadcopter” doesn’t always make sense either because some of them have 6 rotors! Anyway… a semantics issue… I don’t lose a lot of sleep over it… just noticing. These things are about to be everywhere based on sales.

Daily Photo – The edge of Hong Kong from Above

It's hard to believe the water is this color on the edge of Hong Kong, isn't it? It's not always that color, but I happen to be right by the ferry terminal, and so many boats come and go that it churns up a bunch of small bubbles that make everything seem a bit more Caribbean! After I took this photo straight down with the quad, I aimed it up and got a big panorama of the city. I'll share that one soon too!

The edge of Hong Kong from Above

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraFC350
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/50
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO137
  • Focal Length3.6 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

A Fun Family Day at Lake Wanaka

Yesterday’s and Today’s Image

I don’t know if you noticed yesterday’s and today’s image or not, but I’ve been doing something a little different with sharpness passes and filters. More and more I’m using MacPhun Intensify and Tonality — definitely some of my favorite filters!

Lightroom Presets

Today’s photo was made with one of the presets from the January 2015 Pack of the Lightroom Presets. I’m glad people are enjoying them so much. It’s very fun for me to experiment a LOT more and create 10 fresh ones per month. It’s a bit of a challenge to always try new looks and experiment, but I am glad you are all experimenting with me! :)

Daily Photo – A Fun Family Day at Lake Wanaka

Isn't this a wonderfully strange photo?!?

We went with our friends Mark and Sonia down to the beach in Wanaka to spend the day recently. It was so sunny and awesome to spend the day with everyone. I know it's opposite-land down here, our summer is the Northern hemisphere's winter, so seeing recent off-season photos can be confusing!

A Fun Family Day at Lake Wanaka

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7M2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

7 Dials in London

Fun Contest – your color for a camera strap?

I use this strap! What color for you?

Calibrating the DJI Inspire

I’ve noticed I’ve had to calibrate it a few times, but it has not been much of a problem. I guess it’s good that it refuses to fly until it is calibrated! Right before I did this, I had to do a rather long automated calibration that took 10 minutes. It’s the first time I had to do that… but it gave me a chance to have a coffee and pastry on the street corner while waiting! :)

Daily Photo – 7 Dials in London

I love getting these kinds of photos with the quadcopter. Looking straight down never seems to get old. Maybe it's because I've always wanted to fly and be like a bird… free like a bird! I get a very weak sense of it with this quadcopter, but it is still pretty awesome. This is a very cool area of London called Seven Dials where seven roads come together, and it seemed to cry out for a photo like this!

7 Dials in London

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraFC350
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/270
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length3.6 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramUnknown (58655)
  • Exposure Bias-0.656

Curtis in the Townships of Johannesburg

More Behind-the-Scenes videos coming up

We took quite a bit of video while here to do some new behind-the-scenes stuff. Be sure to subscribe to my Youtube Channel to see when this stuff is made available! :)

Funny Internet Comments

I end up getting some crazy comments on social media… I should share more of the crazy stuff – here’s one!

We are enjoying the always beautiful photos landscape taken by your trip
By the way
Wonder if this photo is a joke?
Japanese history is very old
And it’s complicated
I is not a emperor worship philosopher
The people of about half of the Japanese I think not a kit pleasant mood to look at this photo
It you are big up google +
Do not you have misunderstood something?
And if not problem deep meaningless jokes
Statue of Liberty is or has fallen in New York
George Washington image it would be a joke like or have fallen
The Tour of the assassination movie of North Korea’s authoritarian
The reply of cyber attacks in the same manner as terrorist supporting countries against terrorist supporting countries of cyber attack
It’s a time when it is done at the top level of the human world
And allowed to cringe (w)
Also I’m looking forward to beautiful photos

Daily Photo – Curtis in the Townships of Johannesburg

For a short time, we took a true adventure into the townships in Soweto. For those of you that don't know, this was the heart of apartheid, where they put all the black people in Johannesburg. It's been a long time since then, but these are still full and teaming with people. There's no electricity, no running water, no internet, no, well, nothing! But the kids were so happy and full of life while we walked around. So was everyone, really! Here's a photo of my friend Curtis sharing his photos with some children here.

Curtis in the Townships of Johannesburg

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7S
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Frederick Van Johnson

What’s in Trey’s Bag?

Here’s a video that we made soon after I took this photo below. You can see more (and updated stuff!) on my Camera Equipment page! :)

Daily Photo – Frederick Van Johnson

Here's my friend Fred. We were walking through the Queenstown Gardens here in New Zealand when I took this photo. It's shot with a Leica 50mm at f/1.4 on a Sony A7r. We started talking about camera gear so much that I almost forgot to take any photos! We had a great time together this week… this was just one of them! :)

Frederick Van Johnson

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

Wow! Antarctica!

An Amazing Trip

I’m just now getting back to reality, but I wanted to share some quick pictures and thoughts!

It all started with me being a bit nervous. Antarctica! Jeez… I felt like I was both unprepared and unworthy. But I kind of swallowed all that down and boarded a US military plane in Christchurch – a CL-130. That “L” means it has skis on the bottom for landing on the sea ice. That’s the first photo I have below… my view during the 10 hour flight to land towards the middle of Antarctica near Ross Island.

My home base there was to be New Zealand’s Scott Base, which is just an incredible place with a great team. This is an odd way to go, as 98% of people that visit Antarctica go on a ship, which usually leave from the tip of South America. The idea that I had a base on land for the whole time was really awesome, and it was from Scott Base that we launched for several unique locations all over the continent.

Daily Photo – Approaching the Glacier

And not too long after I landed, I went to camp out on the mainland of Antarctica in the Dry Valleys, where countless glaciers spill into the old land. One day, I did a hike away from camp across the wild bits and came up to the face of the Howard Glacier here. I was able to walk right up and touch it. It absolutely towered over me, silent and white and great.

I have a ton more photos and stories to share… I'll be sure to share them all here on the blog soon!

Approaching the Glacier

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture11
  • ISO64
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

A Quiver Tree Stands Alone

Portrait Orientation and Composition

There is a rule that is sometimes okay to break that you should not put the subject in the middle of your composition. Well, when you switch into Portrait-orientation, all those rules go right out the window! You’re fully allowed to plop things (like the tree below!) right plum in the middle of the frame.

Daily Photo – A Quiver Tree Stands Alone

These trees are unlike any other tree I've ever seen! They are spread all around many desert-y areas of Namibia, and they are often quite spread out from one another. Each one has a totally unique shape, and you'll never see one that will be mistaken for another one. I've never seen individual trees that can look so unalike their neighbors… I'll post more of these in coming weeks and you'll see what I mean!

A Quiver Tree Stands Alone

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/5
  • Aperture8
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length17.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Inside the Chinese Megapolis Waterslide Utopia

Interview with Ignite Channel

Here it is, in its entirety. I pasted the questions that Pamela Stewart asked me below the video.

1. You were one of the first photographers I saw working in HDR. I had no idea what it was, I just knew that your photographs felt real and surreal. They reminded me of the best dreams I have ever had. The Gentle Path to the Beyond is probably my favorite photograph. I don’t even know if I can explain how that image has settled in my soul, but it has. There seems to be a split between those who think the kind of photographs you take are more “real” and those who don’t see that. For example, The Edges of the Flatiron just feels more like a real experience to me. The first historical photographs weren’t in color, so technically they weren’t real either. There is nothing that can duplicate exactly what each person’s eyes see. What do you wish to convey with your work?

2. Your photographs of Burning Man are some of the most luscious and warm I have seen. I especially like the one from this year of Embrace with the couple dwarfed by the giant sculpture, and yet the feeling we get of the couple is larger than any representation made in wood. Burning Man is a photographer’s dream, but it is so much more. How has the experience changed you?

3. You’ve become a teacher and a mentor to thousands online. I like that you add the technical information to your photos, which is great for photographers who aspire to learn your techniques. You must get a ton of questions. What do you wish people would ask you and what is the question that you really can’t answer anymore?

4. People want to know the secret to your photography, but isn’t the secret something inside you? Isn’t it something that all artists have that can never be duplicated by another? What is you secret, or is it something so nebulous that even you don’t know?

5. Given all the places you have traveled to and shared with us, while you focus on the beautiful, you must witness the dark side of humanity in poverty and the destruction of nature. Do you ever have the urge to turn you camera in that direction, or would you rather share positive light?

6. I love your drawings (there is one titled Scarlett, which captured me). What art or music inspires you? How does working in other media influence your photographic work?

7. A lot of people may be fans of your work, but have not read your bio and the fact that you are blind in one eye. Since you were born that way, it’s all you know. When we look through a viewfinder, we only use one eye, so maybe you were given this gift as a kind of second eye, although I kind of see it as a third eye because your art seems to be imbued with a spiritual and intuitive quality. I know you didn’t take up photography until later in life, and I get that because I didn’t start writing until I was in my late 30s. I don’t know if you believe in a higher power, but if you do, what do you think? How do you think this gift came to you?

8. You create some incredible videos of your work with a soundtrack. Do you have any desire to do something outside of still photography like a documentary film?

9. Do you have any upcoming plans or events you would like to share?

Daily Photo – Inside the Chinese Megapolis Waterslide Utopia

I was having a bad day in China, so I decided to go here and see what it was like.

I was there, invited by an arm of the government. I had this massive fight with them that morning. They do help set things up for me from time to time, but they told me I could only go to a “certain” location on the Great Wall at a certain time. I told them they were being ridiculous and the light would be horrible in the middle of the day. The idea that I would not follow their plan, which was completely arbitrary to begin with, was so foreign to them that they had no idea how to handle me. These people still have no idea what the hell to do with me… so aggravating. Anyway, I'm not gonna work with those people again; way too frustrating.

ANYWAY, after I had the fight, I told the driver to take me here, because I always wanted to go and see what it was like… it was super-awesome inside!

Inside the Chinese Megapolis Waterslide Utopia

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture4
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

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