Way above and behind Wanaka

A great flight with Choppy!

If you ever come to the Queenstown area and want an absolutely incredible helicopter ride, be sure to contact Choppy at Over The Top. She knows all the best spots, and she’s a photographer at heart too… so she’s always thinking in those directions!

Daily Photo – Way above and behind Wanaka

Choppy told me that in the winter, people get dropped off by a helicopter here and then ski all the way to the bottom. How awesome does that sound? I guess it also sounds a bit scary… I wish I was super-good on a snowboard so that I could take all my camera stuff along… even with traveling lighter, there are still several guaranteed crashes till I get to the bottom!

Way above and behind Wanaka

Way above and behind Wanaka

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture10
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length37.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Fes in the Night

Recommendations

Thanks again to everyone that recommended that I go to Fes for exploration! You were right on. I loved so many cities in Morocco, but this was the biggest one I went to where I didn’t see a bunch of tourists. Marrakech seemed to have about 10x or 20x more tourists! It’s not that tourists are necessarily bad, but it does kind of take me out of the scene a bit, you know?

Daily Photo – Fes in the Night

I arrived here late at night, so this was the first thing I saw. The train ride took way longer than expected, and it is often a strange feeling to arrive at a foreign place at night. Everything has a patina of mystery and you really feel like you're on another planet. I was happy to be up high to get a view of everything… the clouds were very low, and the pink & orange lights from the city gave everything an odd but magical glow.

Fes in the Night

Fes in the Night

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time15
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Queenstown Gardens in the Autumn

Backlit Trees

When shooting in the Autumn, be sure to get lots of photos of the sun behind the trees. And if you end up doing HDR (you don’t have to), then you can even show the sun itself without things blowing out too much. Backlit leaves that are going through color changes really adds a nice X-factor I think!

Daily Photo – Queenstown Gardens in the Autumn

I should get over to Queenstown Gardens more! I don't know why I don't visit more often… it's really kind of a shame! I guess, honestly, I spend so much time in front of the computer that it limits how much I am out shooting. But I also love the post-processing… ahh… well… no regrets, right? I like doing both, and I'm only one person! I do all the post-processing myself. I know some other people farm it out to others, but I just can't bring myself to do that. Anyway, when I see how pretty these gardens are in the Autumn, maybe I'll shift around some things to make it here more often!

Queenstown Gardens in the Autumn

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length25.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Man Walking in Marrakech at the Koutoubia Mosque

Silver Efex Pro 2

If you’re B&W-curious, I recommend this software from Nik. It can do some amazing things to photos to give them a special kind of pop. I tend to like some of this high-key stuff, but my tastes are also changing a bit… maybe not changing… evolving? Is that the right word? I don’t know… maybe I am just moody and my tastes pop around randomly with little rhyme or reason!

Daily Photo – Man Walking in Marrakech at the Koutoubia Mosque

This is one of most scenic mosques in this area. They would not let me inside, me being a non-muslim and this sort of thing. So I would just stay outside and take photos of interesting people as they passed by. I got many photos of the mosque by itself, but it seems more interesting with people.

I hung out around mosques quite a bit in Morocco and would see men come in multiple times throughout the day for the call to prayer. One thing I noticed that I thought was a bit odd — is that everyone came out looking quite serious and dour.

Man Walking in Marrakech at the Koutoubia Mosque

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture9.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Boats in repose in Essaouira

The Fish Market

Right by this place below was a fish market. Fisherman had been out since the morning, and now their partners were out selling fish on the docks. There were the craziest looking fish! I mean, there were some normal looking fish, but there were a few I have never seen before. I’d like to think I can identify a fair number of fish, but whenever I visit foreign fish markets, I see the craziest-looking sea creatures. It’s just amazing — I would have no idea how to prepare them or cook them… in fact, they often look way too scary, and I just kind of avert my eyes.

Daily Photo – Boats in repose in Essaouira

What a beautiful and amazing little seaside town this is! Who knew that Morocco had such charming places on the ocean? Well, I'm sure Moroccans know… but I sure didn't. This is definitely a fishing town and everything is boat-centric. I spent countless hours on the shore and on the docks exploring all the mythical boats. Here are a few of them for you.

Boats in repose in Essaouira

Boats in repose in Essaouira

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture10
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length12.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

Man in Ginza

People Watching

Are you into people watching too? I one time watched an hour long documentary on some billionaire guy. He said his favorite hobby was to go sit in grocery stores and watch people. It wasn’t even his business — he didn’t end up making money from that sort of thing — his career was far removed from the shopping habits of humans — but that always stuck with me… that people watching can be a hobby and there is nothing wrong with it.

Daily Photo – Man in Ginza

I stayed in this area for many hours, watching people. It's so strange (and cool!) just to stay in one general area with no other agenda than just to watch people and occasionally take a photo. I feel a bit like an anthropologist, just sitting here and observing humans in their native environment. And then I put on my photographer-hat, and then really think about the best way to capture them in that environment.

Man in Ginza

Man in Ginza

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1500
  • Aperture
  • ISO4000
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Tokyo through the Glass

Shooting Through Hairline grids

This was another one of those windows that had a mesh of wires on the inside. I suppose that is to make the window stronger and less likely to break. Even though you think those lines might mess up the photo, they don’t even show up if you keep your aperture wide open. So give it a try next time you end up in that kind of situation — it looks hopeless, but it’s actually full-of-hope! :)

Daily Photo – Tokyo Through the Glass

This is just yet Another Amazing Part of the city. At first, when I went here, I thought that it would be a big city like New York, but, just, you know, Japanese. But it's really so much more vast in terms of the buildings and the lights and the action (and the safety!). There are literally so many places you can go to and see this kind of scene that it is mind-boggling. Even though I have been there, my mind still boggles.

Tokyo Through the Glass

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1
  • Aperture
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length0.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Lamps in Marrakech

What is a critique like in The Arcanum?

As you may know, we are currently in an early testing phase of The Arcanum, but one question we often get is “How do critiques work?” Well here is a how-to video of everything that happens up to and including the critique. Another cool thing about these is that every single critique is saved on YouTube and submitted to the Grand Library inside… so you can just sit there and watch critiques all day if you like!

This video comes from the Arcanum Leveling Guide for levels 1-10.

Daily Photo – Lamps in Marrakech

This is a good example of why it's nice to have a fast, prime lens at dark situations! Many experienced people will already know this, but I'll explain it for those that don't! When you shoot at night, it's hard to get a lot of light into the camera quickly to make a good photo. But if you have a wide open aperture, in this case, f/1.4, you can take very fast shots that are not blurry without too much noise. The other nice side-effect (or maybe even, the main-effect) is that you get this nice depth-of-field effect where only one bit is in focus as the foreground and background fade away into bokeh.

Lamps in Marrakech

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture
  • ISO1250
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

KLIA Airport, a few minutes ago.

Happy Birthday Bianca!

Happy birthday to my awesome sister Bianca!

Comments Fixed!

Errrrrrr I think! Email me if it is not the case!

A few minutes ago in Kuala Lumpur

Here’s a video and a photo I literally made less than 30 minutes ago… I wanted to put it here on the blog first. Enjoy! Be sure to subscribe to my YouTube Channel Here.

Daily Photo – KLIA Airport

I love Kuala Lumpur! I don't know if you care for the sorts of videos above where I just kind of ramble… stream of consciousness… I wonder if you find it boring or just-above-mildly-entertaining! Let me know! That is, if the commenting is working again on the blog… Curtis will let me know when it is working, and I'll let you know ASAP! Sorry about the tech difficulties! :)

KLIA Airport

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture4
  • ISO4000
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1.3

Woman in Fes

Comment Problems

We’ve been having tech problems — we’re trying to figure it out now! Apologies!! :(

Most exotic clothing?

What culture would you say has the most beautiful clothing? I can’t say I know for sure. Maybe it is some remote tribe or distant Asian province. I didn’t really think about this too much until I was in Morocco and started looking at how interesting the outfits were — and all the variety therein.

Daily Photo – Woman in Fes

When I am in places like this and everyone is in rich, colorful outfits, it kind of makes me wish the whole world was like this! Wouldn't it be cool if everyone was dressed exotically all the time? I guess you'd have to rotate the cultural styles every year or so… because I doubt any culture considers itself to be exotic. But this plan would require everyone to be constantly buying new clothes as the rotation period comes around. On second thought, it is a terrible idea (but not my worst).

Woman in Fes

Woman in Fes

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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