Isabella on a walk

Quick Shooting Tip

See this photo below? I can’t claim credit for this idea! It came from my friend Cliff Baise. But if you get down in some grasses or thin plants and shoot with a shallow DOF (low Aperture number), then you can end up with this nice-looking effect!

The Myth of Talent

Here’s a great video by Robin Griggs Wood! She made this as her intro video for www.TheArcanum.com — it’s so awesome. I hope you like it as much as I do! 

Daily Photo – Isabella on a walk

One day we went over to Jack's Point, which is just on the other side of the lake from Queenstown. It was a cool winter morning, but the grasses were blowing in the wind like Isabella's hair. She's a very sweet girl! :)

Isabella on a walk

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8000
  • Aperture
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Arrowtown in the Autumn

Composition Tricks

Here’s a little trick with composing photos. As you know, it’s usually bad form to put major things (like the sun) in the middle of the photograph. But, if you turn the camera sideways (said in a Raising Arizona voice) into portrait mode, you can suddenly center anything and it looks good! You can imagine the photo below in landscape orientation — it would not be as compelling.

Daily Photo – Arrowtown in the Autumn

Arrowtown is so lovely! There is a huge park right by the main street and the trees go crazy in the Autumn. I kind of think this photo is cheating, because you can kind of aim your camera in any direction and just take a photo!

Arrowtown in the Autumn

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length39.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

An amazing meal in Hobbiton

An Older Interview You Might Have Missed

Here is a very fun episode I did with Leo Laporte!

Daily Photo – An amazing meal in Hobbiton

If you go on the tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set, be sure you go on the last one of the day and stay for this dinner. It is absolutely NOT to be missed… man it was good. I ate so so so much — it was really redonkulous. And, as you can see, the view cannot be beaten!

An amazing meal in Hobbiton

An amazing meal in Hobbiton

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1.6
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Beautiful Land of the Hobbits

Other Great Movie Sets?

This spot below is the Hobbiton Movie Set. But it’s not just a set. It’s a real place with gardeners and staff, and, well everything but real Hobbits. I mean, some Kiwis are quite Hobbit-like, so I guess that is something!

Anyway, are there any other movie sets around the world that are actual real-working places that maintain their fantasy-glow all around the year?

Daily Photo – The Beautiful Land of the Hobbits

What's better than an afternoon strolling around the place where the Hobbits live? I can't think of much more than this? Oh sure, maybe take a boat ride in Venice or walk on the moon… but, other than those, I think maybe this comes in a solid third place! And the best thing about it is that anyone can do this! There are many tours that go through here… they are not rushed… lots of time for photos… and if you do the last tour of the day, you can even do the amazing medieval feast at night! :)

The Beautiful Land of the Hobbits

The Beautiful Land of the Hobbits

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Dallas PhotoWalk Announced!

Dallas Photowalk

Get the Latest Event Details here and RSVP!

Dallas PhotoWalk! 7 PM – Everyone is welcome!

Where: Outside the Winspear Opera House
Time/Date: 7 PM on Friday, September 5
Cost: Free! :)
Prizes: Yes!
Hashtag: #TRDallasPhotoWalk
Afterparty: 9 PM at the Angry Dog in Deep Ellum

Come one, come all! This will be a great event and a great celebration of photography. I grew up in Dallas, so I’m looking forward to coming back. This will be after Burning Man, so there is no telling what kind of condition I will be in. Have low expectations! haha…

It’s a family-friendly event so feel free to bring your kids and stuff. Any camera will do, from Mobile phone to big DSLRs!

I’ll be giving little lessons, tips, ideas, etc etc. You all can ask me any question any time. This will be so fun!

More details to come, but I wanted to get it on your schedules if interested!

Thanks to James Brandon for helping us to plan this!

Daily Photo – A Great View of Queenstown

I was just up here a few days ago with Cliff to get this shot of my hometown of Queenstown! I don't actually live down in there anywhere, but I do go into town two or three times a week. It's a small town with only about 30,000, but it swells a lot in the winter for all the skiing. I live about 10 minutes outside of town in between Queenstown and Arrowtown.

I used to live in Dallas, so I am looking forward to going back for the big photowalk above! :)

A Great View of Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/50
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

An Amazing Night in Milford and a New eBook on Flatbooks

New eBook – Photographing Children Naturally

We recently published a new book over on Flatbooks called Photographing Children Naturally. Portraiture can be challenging itself, and sometimes even more difficult when working with children. This new eBook by Cheryl Machat Dorskind helps you sort everything out, from selecting your gear to setting it up to keeping track of your client work. She’ll also be interviewed on This Week in Photo next Tuesday, so make sure you tune in!.

We’ve also pulled together a list of a few other books focusing on portraiture that you can check out at this page.

Another Night at Milford

Here’s a little B-roll (with no commentary) from another evening at this same place!

Daily Photo – An Amazing Night in Milford

I just spent three days in Milford Sound, New Zealand. This is about a four hour drive from my house. The bad news was there were no clouds for sunset. The good news was there were no clouds for star shots that night! Cliff and I stayed out there quite late to make sure we got all the shots we wanted! For this one, I tried attaching the Nikon 16mm f/2.8 prime via an adapter to my Sony A7r — it was very easy and worked like a charm! :)

An Amazing Night in Milford

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time25
  • Aperture
  • ISO3200
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Ethan in Glenorchy

Interested in a Lightroom Tutorial?

It’s just been released! See the new Lightroom Tutorial!

Daily Photo – Ethan in Glenorchy

Here's a picture of my son walking through the wetlands of Glenorchy. We had a nice family hike there on Mother's Day, and I liked the way he stood out in these yellow grasses… he kind of looks like a human in the wild… a creature of New Zealand… his gait kind of reminds me of that old video footage of a sasquatch! :)

Ethan in Glenorchy

Ethan in Glenorchy

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8000
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

One Day Left before Live Event!

New Lightroom Tutorial

Tomorrow is the big show, but the whole tutorial is now available for download so you can get a head start! Pop over the Trey’s Lightroom Tutorial page and grab it! If you miss the Live part of the show, then you can always download the recorded version of it.

Daily Photo – Another Queenstown Sunset

I took this photo right before our last workshop here in Queenstown, New Zealand. We only have one of these planned for 2015, so that is sure to be a good one. One thing interesting I did here for this photo is I also made a “Photosphere” while waiting on this sunset to develop. Follow that link to see how that works… you can click on it and zoom around… it's a pretty easy and fun thing to do with your Android phone.

Another Queenstown Sunset

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length0.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Spending the Night on the North Island

The North Island of New Zealand

I need to spend more time in the North! I feel so New-Zealand-Lame! I spend SO much time in the South Island, exploring all the mountains and everything… so I am feeling like I am a little lost up there, you know? I gotta get my act together!

Daily Photo – Spending the Night on the North Island

I stayed for the night with my friend Stu Robertson at his amazing secret hidaway. It was awesome. We shot of fireworks and made all kinds of really bad decisions… at one point in the night, things were so lovely that I stopped for a moment to take this photo.

Spending the Night on the North Island

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time13
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Yoga in Hobbiton

A lot of Yoga!

Some of you may recognize Bel from today’s photo below… here she is doing some more in this How-To HDR video we made. This is from the “Complete HDR Tutorial” which I highly recommend! :)

Daily Photo – Yoga in Hobbiton

This is my friend Bel (from above) doing a bit of impromptu yoga on the Hobbiton Movie Set on the old stone bridge before the watermill.

We were there with Curtis and Pete while working on some new videos. She's our awesome videographer, but we could not shoot for about 30 minutes because some weedwackers were going crazy and the audio was a mess. She said, “How about if I do some yoga on that bridge?” It seemed like a random and good idea so I got in position for this shot and we went for it! This was early in the morning before Hobbiton officially opened, so some of the staff was watching quite nervously, hoping she didn't fall in!

Yoga in Hobbiton

Yoga in Hobbiton

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

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