Thanks for the continued feedback on the new HDR Tutorial here on the site. I’m reading everything! Also, I’m glad you like that new little video I put on page three!
Daily Photo – Deeper into Milford Sound
Milford Sound has lots of interesting mountains besides the main ones that everyone shoots. The main corridor of dramatic mountains and sea is so alluring that it pulls your eye over there every time. The only way I can ignore it is to actually look through my camera at other areas. I think that’s the only way I spotted this!
Since I’m in the middle of yet another international trip, I thought I would share this video I made on a previous one – you may remember this! There’s also a making-of on YouTube as well that you may enjoy.
Daily Photo – And on the way to Paradise…
On the way to Paradise, New Zealand is Glenorchy. Be sure to stop here and take a walk around their new boardwalks that go out through the wetlands. You better set aside 2-4 hours, like all the “little” walks around here!
Some days have the water at a pretty high level, and you can sometimes see nice shapes like this one here.
I saw that Flickr is now giving 1 TB of storage of hi-res photos to ALL users. Wow that’s kind of an insanely high number! I’m not sure how existing pros account holders (like me) think about this, but they get grandfathered into infinite, which is a lot more that 1 TB, so that is nice. The new re-design looks nice too. Here’s my Flickr page.
I wonder if they are making this move because it “sounds” good when they know that the vast majority of users will never use that much data. So, it may not be that much of a financial hit on them for the storage space. Google recently upgraded their full-rez photo allotment too, but not nearly that high. But, on the plus side, the Google one allows infinite uploads of photos smaller than 2048×2048, which I think most photos are nowadays. My friend Thomas Hawk also has a nice article about this news from Flickr on his blog.
I still use SmugMug (see SmugMug Review) as my main place for hi-rez photos and my portfolio. Still, however, I spend most of my time on these other social networks, none of which do as good of a job as displaying my portfolio of work.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I still can’t upload full-rez images on Facebook… Sad emoticon.
Did you get the free Lightroom presets upgrade?
We recently added a free bonus package to the Lightroom presets for free. If you already bought them, then this is a free upgrade! Now, we started selling these in the “old” store, which let us send out an email to everyone. But if you got them in the New StuckInCustoms Store, then your account has been automagically updated! Just login and you can re-download the package that will have all the new goodies in there!
Daily Photo – Tom with the Horse
The first time Tom and I took photos of horses was on Oahu. This was our second horse-encounter here in New Zealand! He got up close with his fisheye while I backed up with the 70-200 f/2.8 to get this shot.
I really like those mountains behind Tom. I want to get a shot of them this winter when they are all covered in snow!
The Hills Golf Course is covered with these amazing sculptures! I think they have a good thing going here, and I hope they keep adding more and more statues. With all these statues and whatnot, it reminds me a bit of a miniature golf course for grownups! These statues are not on every hole, but they are elegantly placed here and there. Also, they seem to all be set up for really good photo ops as well.
Here’s a snippet from the latest tutorial for you. This is the part we filmed when we were up close to the North Korean prison here in New Zealand. I talk a bit about expanded visual consciousness…
Daily Photo – Entering the Dungeons
Here’s the dungeon from under that French chateau that we visited several months ago.
I can’t imagine actually living in a house with a dungeon. I mean, it would be pretty dang awesome, but you would also feel like you’d have to put the place to good use. I guess I have a few enemies that I could capture and put down there, but that seems a bit extreme. Maybe just have parties and stuff. Or maybe a studio for processing down there. It’s hard to say… it all seems a bit dreary.
Maybe when I get some miner-bots, I’ll minecraft up a design under my existing house and send them on their way. I can carve something out down there. Well maybe I better do it beside the house so my bad designs don’t make the whole house collapse.
Hope to see you there! See the event info here! We’ll be giving away Google Glass, so good luck to all of you attending.
New part of the HDR Tutorial – mini-masking tutorial
If you have seen the new and improved HDR Tutorial, then you may see this new video below on page 3! This describes how to do masking, which is a very common question for people that are getting started in Photoshop.
Daily Photo – The Night of the Aurora
I think these happen a lot down here in New Zealand! I’m hardly an expert though… I’m very last-minute about all these things and only know about them once they start happening. Some people are real aurora experts and track them like storms. There are websites, apps, and all sorts of things. I gotta get my act together so I can plan for these events better.
I was having so much fun with the landscape orientation… but then I decided to go vertical for a few shots, and I am glad I did!
When I show people these photos without any explanation, they never ever ask me what that yellow-green light is in the lower part. I don’t know if they just assume it is the aurora, or maybe they think it is light from a city, or maybe they think I added it in post. I just don’t know… but I do like to see people’s reactions, especially when they are confused. I don’t know why I enjoy confusing people with these sorts of photos, but it is just kinda fun. I think it is fun because I am also confused by how this kind of light can even be possible!
I’ll be saying a few words at an unveiling of these new statues on Sunday, May 12, at The Hills here in Arrowtown. A few of you may be there! Sir Richard Taylor from Weta Workshop and Sir Michael Hill will be there for the official unveling of its newest work, ‘The Frolic and the Fancy’ by Max Patte. See more about Max here. Max liked this photo I took one day while I was out golfing, so it will be fun to be there for the official event!
Daily Photo – The Frolic and the Fancy by Max Patte
Here’s the first photo I took of these transcendant statues.
I’m surprised at people’s reaction to this photo online. So many people thought they were real! I suppose I did too the first time I saw them.
There is one other very unusual thing. I don’t know what they are made of, even though I was right beside them. Obviously, I know next to nothing about sculpture, but I have some basic knowledge of materials (I think!). Anyway, I absolutely am not sure how they are made… I’ll ask Max and report back to you!
Here is the embedded video from Wakatipu High School in Queenstown. This was a really fun event for the Google Science Fair!
Daily Photo – Queenstown from the Air
I’m happy to be back home in Queenstown!
It’s strange to me to come “home” to the kind of place I used to go on vacation. I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to it. There is a very nice feeling when the airplane approaches this place. If you ever have a chance to fly in here, then you will know what I mean.
Airplane pilots have to go through some kind of special training or planning before an approach here. They have to spiral down and get between the mountains. I don’t know much about it, obviously. But I do know there is a very nice pilot on Air New Zealand that is a frequent reader of the blog! He came up and said hello to me when I was on his plane one day. Hi Captain!
I removed and rebuilt the HDR Tutorial from the ground up! Now it is tighter, more focused, and has all my latest techniques. Those of you that purchased the latest HDR and Post-Processing Tutorial on Video from New Zealand will see a consistency between the online free version and the paid version. They got out of sync there because my technique evolves pretty fast!
Some B-roll from the video below
I’m sure many of you have seen this video below already — but you might notice during the video that you can see some of the scenes that brought today’s photo to life!
Daily Photo – The Ghostly Spirits in Milford Sound
We had a lucky morning in Milford Sound! In retrospect, it was really dumb to bring so many people to Milford when the weather could have been horrible! But man, we really lucked out! I would say there is good weather there (shootable weather) only 50% of the time.
There are many favorite little things about this photo. One of them is that little greenish island out into the bay… that has a good feeling to it, I think.
This is a common question I get. Basically, I think it is a bad idea to HDR the snow and ice part. It just looks dirty. You want it looking nice and pristine, and the HDR will add a little too much texture and grit for me. This seems to happen to an alarming degree with human skin and snow (and a few other things). Anyway, using layers and masking in Photoshop is an easy way to slice-n-dice your way out of that problem!
Daily Photo – Snow over the Creek
There is a place called Pyramid Lake just past Glenorchy that is perfectly wonderful in the winter as long as you have the traction. This shot is from the end of last winter when I caught a little bit of snow. You’ll notice I don’t have a ton of snowy shots from NZ yet, but I think I’ll get a lot more this winter. I’m really looking forward to some good snowfalls, in fact! I’m sure if you’re in the northern hemisphere that you are sick of the cold and ready for the warm… but I really am looking forward to the change!
I’ve been playing Left 4 Dead 2 a lot with my son. It’s good times. I’m playing Borderlands 2 on the XBox with Ethan, but it’s splitscreen and kinda crazy (but fun in co-op). But I was thinking of also getting it on Steam to play single player a bit. Other good games I’ve been playing are FTL and Civ 5 – always winners… You guys and gals playing anything lately?
Daily Photo – Another Road Through an Endless Valley
I rode down this one with Karen Hutton, Scott Kublin, and Curtis Simmons. Every five minutes they wanted to get out of the car and take a photo. I know the feeling! You see, I already have done this hundreds and hundreds of times… now I only get out on new roads or of the clouds/light is just different “enough”. It doesn’t take much, because there is a lot of variation. And, as most of you know, I’m not one to take a bunch of photos in the middle of a blue sunny day. But, on this day I was!
Do you share my strange fear below? Do you have an equally strange one of your own you just can’t shake? Hehe… strange question, I know… I was just wondering if I was alone in this… !
Daily Photo – Kayaks Along Lake Wakatipu
I’ve never taken a kayak out onto that lake. I’m not much of a kayaker, but also, I’m not a big fan of deep bodies of water. Actually, I will just go all the way from “not a big fan” to “outright afraid”. You never know what kind of nonsense is happening underneath you, you know? I don’t like swimming to being in a little boat on top of deep water. I don’t mind being in a big, sea-worthy boat. That’s fine. But swimming and being in a little boat… that’s not for me. This is strange, because I know it’s irrational. And I don’t really have any other irrational fears… but I can’t figure out a way to get around this one (nor do I see the need to do so, which is probably part of the problem itself).