Denver PhotoWalk & Taking a break on the hike

Denver PhotoWalk!

I need a Denver Expert to help me plan a route and stuff! Any volunteers?

I’ve never done a PhotoWalk in Denver and I am excited! I’ll be there (by accident via a long international connection from Yellowstone to Bangkok) for about 10 hours, and I thought it would be fun to come see the city, take photos, and meet you all! Let’s do it…

For the LATEST EVENT INFO, check this Google+ Event page!

Date: Saturday, July 19
Time: 6PM
Location: TBD
Route: TBD! :)
Cost: Free
What Levels are invited? All levels, from Beginner to Advanced, from Mobile Phones to DSLRs!
Prizes: Yes! I’ll give away a free copy of my latest Lightroom Presets to everyone who shows up! :)
Family Friendly? Yes, bring the kids!
Afterparty? Probably! TBD!

If you’ve never been to one of these, they are very fun! I’ll be setting up in various locations to take photos. I’ll talk through all my settings. I’ll talk about compositions or ideas… I also talk a lot about shots that I don’t take and why I don’t take them… anyway, I’m there for questions or, well, anything!

Fake Reflection Shots

I never fake my reflection shots, and here is a good way to tell. Now, even before telling you this, I suppose, naturally, it is possible to fake it the way I am telling you, but it is just a lot harder, I guess! Anyway, if you look at all the structures above the water, you’ll see that not all of them are in the reflection because of my angle. As just a little example, you can see all the mountains in the top, but not in the bottom. If you ever see EXACTLY the same thing, either it is faked, or the camera has to be like one inch above the water!

You can also see this effect in a previous photo I posted while over Lake Hayes. Just click on the “New Zealand” link above in the category to find that one! :)

Daily Photo – Taking a break on the hike

While at that amazing retreat called “Aro-Ha” here near Queenstown, we'd take amazing hikes every day… and had so much fun! Here, we stopped for a little break by this perfect little pond. It's amazing to me how many picture-perfect spots are all over the landscape here… I'll never get used to it!

Taking a break on the hike

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJanuary 18, 2014 at 9:03am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3000
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length55.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Where the Warm City Meets the Blue Karst Mountains

When visiting Guilin

Be sure to sign up for our Newsletter there on the right, btw. I think we might do a big event in this area in 2015. You can click on the “Guilin” link there under the date of this post to see more photos from the area. Anyway, when you are here, the two main places to visit are Guilin and Yangshuo. I spend most of my time in Yangshuo… Just thinking about it again is getting me excited! :)

Daily Photo – Where the Warm City Meets the Blue Karst Mountains

This is a great city to watch from above. It's so electric and buzzing underneath the cool night air. It's so electric, in fact, I thought perhaps maybe there was legalized gambling here. But of course, there is not. The only place gambling is legal in China is in Macau, and I look forward to going there one day… it looks absolutely insane!

To get to this spot, it was a rather sweaty climb. It's one of the most popular hikes in the area, so you can't miss it, really!

Where the Warm City Meets the Blue Karst Mountains

Where the Warm City Meets the Blue Karst Mountains

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 3, 2014 at 12:37am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time2.5
  • Aperture4
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length70.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Isabella on the Path and Pandacraft!

Speaking of Isabella – how to make rubber-band jewelry

Here’s a cute video my daughter made… and there’s a little surprise grammar lesson at the end by the panda on her left! :)

Daily Photo – Isabella on the Path

We had a great overnight camping trip out past Glenorchy by the Greenstone River. Well, it was not really pure full-on camping because there was an old house there that we slept inside. We headed out on a few little hikes here and there, and on the way, I stopped to take this photo of Isabella. I asked her to stand right in the middle, so while she was looking down to get herself in the middle, I snapped this one.

Isabella on the Path

Photo Information

  • Date TakenApril 27, 2014 at 2:49pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture9.5
  • ISO1000
  • Focal Length47.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+1

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Walking Through Yangshuo

A buddy with an umbrella

Can I tell you what a luxury it is to have someone hold an umbrella for you in the rain while you take photos? It is unbelievable! I love to shoot in the rain, and always struggled with also holding an umbrella and trying to operate all my equipment. Plus, I refuse to get one of those hat-umbrella things… I must have at least a little bit of dignity!

Daily Photo – Walking Through Yangshuo

This was the only moment in the night where it stopped raining long enough for me to get a shot with a tripod. I took many other handheld shots this evening with my other Sony A7r, using Leica lenses. Of those, probably only 10/200 turned out interesting… but I was happy this one came out good. I do like to set up for the occasional wide-angle shot to try to capture the whole scene.

Walking Through Yangshuo

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 5, 2014 at 1:37am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture4
  • ISO3200
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Spire through the Morning Fog

Thanks for signing up for the Newsletter!

I wanted to thank everyone again for signing up for the Newsletter. We have more special treats coming soon. And, as usual, we send out about one a month… it’s not to be missed! :)

Daily Photo – Spire through the Morning Fog

Every morning here near the Li River is different. I walked all the way up here one morning only to be surrounded by pea-soup the entire time! This time I woke up again at 4 in the morning to come up here to try again. This time, I was rewarded with some truly beautiful mists and foggy cloud layers that made everything feel like a dream!

Spire through the Morning Fog

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 7, 2014 at 11:21am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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The Safe Slums of Fes, Morocco

Safest Scary Place You’ve Been?

I know those words are kind of the opposite: Safe & Scary. But I suppose I mean where is a place you were really scared to go and then, after arriving, you found out it was totally awesome and safe?!? I find these kind of places all the time. I don’t know if I would say I was super “scared” — just kind of on high alert. Don’t get me wrong… I’m not going to walk around the bad parts of Rio or Detroit at night by myself with my camera, but you know what I mean.

Daily Photo – The Safe Slums of Fes, Morocco

I went through this dodgy area of Fes one night to try to climb up a hillside to get a view of the mountain. It was actually perfectly safe, and everyone was smiling and happy. I now know how to speak just a little bit of Arabic, at least enough to get by. I thought this run-down area was actually kind of beautiful in its own way, so I set up to take a photo…

The Safe Slums of Fes, Morocco

The Safe Slums of Fes, Morocco

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMarch 16, 2014 at 8:02am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

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Way Over Wanaka

Borders on Photos

I don’t usually put borders around my photos. I don’t have anything necessarily against borders (as long as they are not too garish). But my friend Jackie Ranken made a good point about them — that they help define the borders of a photo when shown on a black screen when projecting. I think a lot of people also look at them full screen on their computers or TVs with a black background, so it is nice to have that sharply designed border there.

Daily Photo – Way Over Wanaka

We had an amazing helicopter flight over the Southern Alps and ended up flying over some mountains near Wanaka. They were covered in a fine fog and mist and looked absolutely epic. I took dozens and dozens of shots. This is one of the first that I have processed, and I love the way it turned out in black and white.

Way Over Wanaka

Way Over Wanaka

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMay 3, 2014 at 11:28am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture10
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length44.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

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The Path in Rabat

Reflective Path Trick

The path was already nice and shiny, but here’s a good way to get it to be extra-reflective and goody-shiny in the final photo:

1) Duplicate the layer
2) Blur the new layer on top (Gaussuan around 30)
3) Set the blend mode to Overlay (you’ll see the path get all shiny-shiny!)
4) Duplicate the bottom (original) layer again and move it to the top
5) Mask through to the reflective path!

Daily Photo – The Path in Rabat

This is the very first place I stayed when I got to Rabat, Morocco. This is the interior courtyard and it was pretty in the day, and I had a feeling it would be even better in the night. Indeed it was! I like setting up these kind of shots where the path does not go down the very center, but a bit off to the side, disappearing at the Phi point.

The Path in Rabat

The Path in Rabat

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMarch 1, 2014 at 11:04am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time30
  • Aperture9.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

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Crossing the Sahara

Mystery in your photos

Having little strange things in your photos is nice little touch, I think. For example, in this photo below, there is that one guy just walking off into the distance… it raises more questions than answers.

Daily Photo – Crossing the Sahara

I had an amazing and rather hot time in the Sahara. To get this photo, I had to go up a huge dune on foot. I gave my own camel a break and decided to walk up the dune. How hard could it be, I figured. I figured wrong. And that night, I got so dizzy and sick, then realized it was probably because I hardly had any water… even though I've seen thousands and thousands of shows and movies about people not drinking enough water in the desert, I was so excited that I forgot to drink water!

Crossing the Sahara

Crossing the Sahara

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMarch 8, 2014 at 6:48am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length70.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Woman getting goodies in Tokyo

Interesting Effect

I know many of you bought my Lightroom Presets from the Stuck In Customs store up there (thanks!) — so you might notice this one is from “Fire of the Chandrian” — and I think it made such a cool effect in the background. Can you see what I mean? Once you see it, the shapes in the bokeh came out in a pretty and surprising way!

Daily Photo – Woman getting goodies in Tokyo

When I was in Tokyo last, there were a group of these traditionally dressed women who were walking around, shopping, laughing, and basically being perfect little Japanese people! They would often stop and get little snacks, which was also awesome. I just like watching them… even the way they purchase and eat snacks is so interesting!

Woman getting goodies in Tokyo

Woman getting goodies in Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMarch 20, 2014 at 8:09pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1500
  • Aperture
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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