Massive Huka Falls

Continued P4 Pro + Problems

I sent my list of complaints to DJI and they still haven’t responded. So, I’ll repost them here publicly… I’m still recommending the non-“Plus” version of this device. You can also see my DJI Phantom Review here on the site.

1) At least three times while up in the air and fairly far away, the Plus thought there were obstacles in front of it. There was nothing… it was in the middle of the bright open air. This mostly happened when I was trying to fly it back to me. The two workarounds I found were a) to do a 180 and back it home to trick the sensors and b) switch to ATTI mode to manually fly it back. Of course, ATTI (Manual) mode can be very scary if the quad is a far away dot and you can’t tell what direction you’re going. (It seemed to happen whether or not I calibrated the compass before each flight.)

2) On four occasions the UI disappeared and we were left with a slightly zoomed-in version.

3) On three occasions I would get it up and somewhere between 50 and 100 feet it would say “Maximum Altitude Reached.”

4) After booting up, it took a long time to get a good connection to the controller. The connection was often weak even though there was no EM interference anywhere (we were in the middle of nowhere on the South Island of New Zealand).

5) Every time I fly now after a few minutes it says “Unable to save video – video cache is full.” For a while, this messed with my head because it made me think my SD card was full. That’s what it sounds like, right? So I kept landing and putting in new SD cards. But now I think it means the controllers video cache was full. I don’t know what that means or why it happens. The cache should just be dumping all the time as new stuff comes in, right?

6) The video that appears on the screen is not super-smooth and does a major tear randomly every 5-15 seconds. By “tear” I mean it shows half a second of video from 2-3 seconds previously. It freaks me out because I don’t feel like I’m getting real time video – also it makes me think I’m not getting smooth video.

7) When broadcasting to Facebook Live (See My Facebook Live Videos!), there was no way to upload the HD version or save the video myself. These are both options avail on the non plus version.

8) When going live on Facebook, I cannot choose my “Fan Page” – only my personal page.

9) Last, a minor one… when making the description for FB Live, I only have like 80 characters and there is no way to copy/paste more than a single word.

10) …another minor one… didn’t notice it until the import but the default clock does not update automatically. All my pictures say they were taken in 1951, which is well-known for being one of the worst years for quadcopters.

Massive Huka Falls

This was one of my scariest quad flights ever! I was staying up at the Huka Lodge which is so far up that river you can just BARELY see it. See those little bits of white up there? One of this is probably me, pale white with fear. Something about taking the quad over a waterfall is terrifying. I started to lose transmission power too at this distance… I was getting lots of beeps and bloops in the controller which added to the stress even more! Anyway, I ended up with this pretty cool vertirama that turned out pretty good… I was just so happy to bring the bird home and land it.

Massive Huka Falls

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-05-24 12:04:42
  • CameraFC330
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramUnknown (58655)
  • Exposure Bias

Beautiful Rough Mountains in the Southern Alps

Getting closer to the European Tour!

Be sure to visit our European Photo Walk Tour page and see if you can join us for a photo walk or a workshop! πŸ™‚

Daily Photo – Beautiful Rough Mountains in the Southern Alps

On a helicopter ride to Glenorchy, we soar over hundreds of peaks like these. I've literally taken thousands of photos like this, just small studies. I really don't publish many of them, because they are just little ideas. But I think it's important to do this. I think no matter your photography level, it's good to take pictures of things you see here and there – interesting shapes, textures, and compositions.

Beautiful Rough Mountains in the Southern Alps

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-18 11:20:20
  • CameraILCE-7S
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length19.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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A Starry Morning atop the Remarkables

Live from later this morning

You can see from the video below I actually did have a pretty good time, despite an embarrassing fall down the mountain.

Daily Photo – A Starry Morning atop the Remarkables

Was it cold here? Yes oh yes. I was up here for something called “World Social Media Day” which sounds like a fairly self-congratulatory idea. I don't know who thought up this day, but probably a bunch of Social Media people who got together and said, “Hey, we're pretty awesome, let's have a day all about US!” haha… honestly that is probably the way it narcissistically went down. Anyway, they contacted me in Queenstown and asked if I wanted to go participate and freeze my ass off up here, and I said, “Hey sure sounds like fun I don't like sleeping in any way.” But, I actually did have a good time, as you can see from the video above.

A Starry Morning atop the Remarkables

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-06-30 03:24:51
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time6
  • Aperture
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Day of the Dead in Arrowtown

Lightroom Presets

Today’s photo is brought to you courtesy of… drumrolll…. Trey’s Lightroom Presets. This is the package from last year that contains heaps of presets. I hope you have a great time with them! πŸ™‚

Daily Photo – Day of the Dead in Arrowtown

Here are two of my friends in full regalia at Halloween. They really did it up, eh? I was going to go to this party dressed as a unicorn, but my wife told me that would be stupid because no one else would be in costume. I finally agreed, since I try not to make her mad. But then we got there and almost everyone was in costume. Oh well. Unicorn next year.

Day of the Dead in Arrowtown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-10-29 13:50:12
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2500
  • Aperture
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Bleached Tree in Milford Sound

More passport Goodness

For just the price of a few cups of coffee a month, you can be a passport member and see a new 360 video today where I’m talking about my goals at Milford Sound. I was able to accomplish a few of them, and I failed at others. I have some fun photos from this trip coming up! πŸ™‚

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Daily Photo – Bleached Tree in Milford Sound

This was taken early in the morning at low tide. The tide here goes dramatically up and down. At hightide, you can just see a few branches sticking out of the water, but at low tide, you can walk about half a kilometer out into the bay and get shots like this. I shot this at f/1.4 with the Leica 21mm on the Sony A7r Mark II.

Bleached Tree in Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-02-19 02:25:33
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Golden Fields in the morning

A Special Passport Day!

Today’s photo was a lot of (fun) work, and this time, I happened to capture everything on video. You get to see me running out from my studio from the backyard, taking the photo, AND the final screen casting as I work on the photo. And if you haven’t joined yet, please become a Passport Member to see all the goodies today!

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Daily Photo – The Golden Fields in the morning

Of the two videos you saw above, you may recall that I was having A LOT OF TROUBLE trying to choose which one was my favorite. In the end, it was THIS one because I really like the warmth of the flowing grass fields here. Well, I kind of make up my mind then go back to other one, once again filled with self-doubt! πŸ™‚

The Golden Fields in the morning

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-30 19:51:47
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time0.5
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Driving up Mountains

Passport Earnslaw Burn Part 3

Here’s the Part 3 of the ongoing commissioned work I am doing for a patron. This shows my final shots… my favorite 10 or so. Which ones did he choose for his 3 homes around the world? We’ll see on the next exciting episode, entitled Part 4!

And what? You’re not a Passport member? Jump on in to see all kinds of goodies, including Part 1 of this series where you see me and my crew get dropped off at the bottom of a glacier for 24 hours when I forgot to bring a tent!

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Daily Photo – Driving up Mountains

Here's Ruby who joined me on my first sojourn to the Earnslaw Burn. At one point, I asked her to help get my tripod ready, and she ripped out one of the legs like it was a robot trying to attack her. There's some little piece that fell out that we never found. Now, I have to treat this one leg very gingerly, because it comes out all the time. This was just one of the casualties of equipment during the 4-5 trips we made out into the bush!

Driving up Mountains

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-10-18 14:26:27
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture16
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-3

Happy Horses

More Max Patte

Go check out Max Patte’s Website to see more of his work. I’ve met him a few times, and he’s a heck of a nice guy! πŸ™‚

Daily Photo – Happy Horses

Here's another sculpture by Wellington artist Max Patte. I shot this at The Hills in Arrowtown… a sprawling golf course filled with incredible sculptures like these. These horses are huge too, at least 2x the size of a real horse. People always try to climb them, but then realize how awesome-huge they are. This is one of my favorite times to photograph them – in Autumn just when the grass is getting long.

Happy Horses

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-21 04:44:15
  • CameraX1D-50c
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

A peaceful morning in Glenorchy

From our New Zealand Workshop

Be sure to come check out our Workshops page here on the site if you want to come to New Zealand with me some time! πŸ™‚

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Daily Photo – A peaceful morning in Glenorchy

Here's one of my favorite places near Queenstown we take our workshop friends when they come to New Zealand. On this day, we had super-smooth water… rare and beautiful, eh? I really don't like getting up early in the morning, but that is the time the water is smoothest! πŸ™‚

A peaceful morning in Glenorchy

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-10-20 02:47:03
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1600
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1.3

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