Chivas Regal

Bokeh Quality

I’m still trying to get my head around the difference in quality levels in the bokeh area of photos. This photo below was taken with the Leica 50mm f/1.4 on the Sony A7r. This one was taken with the Sony 55mm f/1.8 (one of the new native FE lenses for the A7r). Anyway, when I go back and forth between the two, they both seem pretty magical! But the Leica one is about $10,000 whereas the Sony one is about 10% of that. I’ll keep shooting with both for a while and see if I can tell the difference… but currently, I am struggling!

Daily Photo – Chivas Regal

Stu’s studio 55 is an awesome collection of stuff to take photos of with Leica lenses. I don’t know what came first… the studio with knick-knacks or the Leica lenses… or maybe they just self-organized around one another.

Chivas Regal

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-12-16 00:00:00
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Best paragliding school in Queenstown

Learning to Paraglide in Queenstown?

This is an amazing experience and ANYONE can do it. Honestly. You should contact my master, Alan Swann, at Infinity Paragliding – the best paragliding school in Queenstown! I used to look up at people paragliding and thing, whoa I bet that is fun but they are CRAZY! But they are not crazy! It is something that anyone can do, and you can learn it in just one day.

In fact, and you may not believe this, but it is true, on DAY 2 of training, I was flying alone off the top of Coronet Peak, one of the taller mountains in the Southern Alps. I landed several kilometers away at the flight park in Arrowtown. It was fun remarkably easy!

If you’re planning a trip to Queenstown, be sure to come enroll in his school. It’s the kind of thing you’ll never forget, and you’ll have a view of the area that you won’t believe!

My latest flight – and +1 / Like them on Social Media

Here’s the view and what I saw on my most recent flight! Give them a +1 on Google+ and a Like on Facebook for keeping me safe! πŸ™‚

Daily Photo – Learning to Paraglide in Queenstown

When you go to Infinity Paragliding, be ready for Swanny here to take good care of you and teach you how to sail around with the greatest of ease! He’s amazing, and in this scene, you can see him commanding the mountain and reading the wind before sending me off on my first solo flight. Remember, I was doing this on day 2 of training! Amazing that he was able to teach me (and anyone!!) so quickly!

Learning to Paraglide in Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-12-10 00:00:00
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Spring Mountains

XBox Fitness

Has anyone tried XBox Fitness on the new XBox One? It’s cool but there are many problems! Even though my bandwidth is totally incredible, I still get “Low Bandwidth” warnings and it pauses quite a bit. Many times, I’ve lost connection and my whole workout has gone down the tubes! It’s quite demotivating for some strange reason! I hope XBox fixes that soon, or at least lets me cache everything locally.

Daily Photo – The Spring Mountains

Choppy landed here on this remote lake for a bit while I jumped out to take photos with Curtis, Luke, Pete, and Scott. It was so fun, and I felt lucky there was a bit of snow up high to give some more colors to the scene. You can also hike to this point, but while we were sitting there in the chopper, all we could think was, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

The Spring Mountains

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-11-05 00:00:00
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

The Beard and The Bob

Leica Lens Collection

My current collection is lame, and I mean to change this.

I need to find a vast store of Leica lenses so that I can make them part of my world. Running around and getting one lens here and one lens there is okay, I suppose, but I feel more like a woman visiting international cities to go high-end purse shopping. The shopping bit of it does not get me as much enjoyment and the purse-using bit of it. That’s where the analogy breaks down… so I have my eyes and ears open for a Vast Array of Leica Lenses that are in need of a Photographer to take care of them, all at once!

This photo below was taken with the Leica 24mm f/1.4. You can see how the background falls away into a wonderful Leica bokeh. πŸ™‚

Daily Photo – The Beard and The Bob

This guy on the right, Bob, is some kind of a legend in Saint Bathans! Everyone seems to know him. In fact, everyone pretty much INSISTED that we go and see him. They said, oh, just drive down to the end of that road and there Bob will be. Be careful, he’ll hug you!

So there we were, and my friend Stu (on the left), went right on over to get that hug. And then they started walking towards me like this. And then I took the photo. And then Bob jammed me in the sternum with that stick!

The Beard and The Bob

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-12-15 00:00:00
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture
  • ISO64
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Ever-Changing Mountains

Constantly Adding Back-End Functionality

Although this will not be terribly exciting from an outside-visual-standpoint, I am very happy that we are adding so much back-end functionality to The Arcanum! There are many moving parts to keep everything in working and growing order!

Daily Photo – The Ever-Changing Mountains

I usually think of mountains as these eternal things that might change a little here and there, but now I look at them in a new way. Maybe it was because I would just visit mountains on occasion, and then I just kind of generally categorized them as “mountain” β€” but now I am much more interested in how they change over the year and with the weather. Even since learning to paraglide, I’ve come to look at the clouds around them in a new way. It’s been kind of a nice mountain-rediscovery process. Plus, it gives me even more reasons to go out and take photos of them.

This was shot along the Lindis Pass on the South Island.

The Ever-Changing Mountains

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-10-29 00:00:00
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Trees on the Pond

Buying things when you travel

If you buy stuff when you travel, do you usually send it back via mail or take it back? I’ve taken to just getting things shipped. I’m so lazy and hate to carry stuff. If it is very small, of course, I’ll take it.

I’m thinking about getting a bunch of goodies in Morocco. It seems like it will be a nice, exotic place and I hope to find some things outside of the touristy areas… I figure shipping stuff back to New Zealand will be just as hard as expensive as shipping it anywhere else!

Daily Photo – Trees on the Pond

Here’s another delicate little spot we visited during the workshop. The pond was smooth without wind, and it made for hundreds of different shots. It was absolutely worth walking around the whole thing to see what shapes presented themselves. Even though I am pretty good at envisioning what the other side of the lake looked like, I didn’t see this until I actually got into position.

Trees on the Pond

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-11-02 00:00:00
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length19.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Hobbiton in the Morning

More Behind-the-Scenes Videos on the way

We have a brand new behind-the-scenes video in the works! I did a ton of shooting here in Hobbiton. It’s all under production, and I’m excited to release it soooooon. Thanks for coming back here often, btw… I’ll keep trying to keep things fresh for you! A new photo (maybe, hopefully, with a bit of inspiration) every day! πŸ™‚

Daily Photo – Hobbiton in the Morning

It was a lovely and peaceful morning in Hobbiton. There was a light mist on the pond and the only sound was the gentle water mill churning through water. You can see it there on the left side. I can’t wait to go back here in explore more!

Hobbiton in the Morning

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-10-17 00:00:00
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Exploring the Little Bay

Sailing a Boat

I feel like the only male in New Zealand that doesn’t know how to sail a boat. I swear to God… everywhere I go the conversation eventually turns to sailing at some point. And then people start talking about spinnakers and all kinds of crazy stuff, and I just slowly back out of the room…

I should look up what a spinnaker is so that I can say something clever before backing out of said room. Here I’ll look it up right now in fact. No time like the present. Back in a sec.

“first recorded use of the word was in 1866 in the August edition of Yachting Calendar and Review (p. 84). In addition, the term may have been influenced by the spanker, originally a gaff rigged fore-and-aft sail.” Okay… backing out of the room…

Daily Photo – Exploring the Little Bay

Here’s a new little bay that I had never visited before in Queenstown along Lake Wakatipu. I see all these amazing places from the air, and I wonder, “What would it look like if I stood THERE?!” I had never been to this exact spot before. Thanks to Todd & Sarah Sisson for bring us here! This is a spot we came during the New Zealand workshop and it was really perfect.

This shot is a single exposure. I did take multiple exposures while there, but this one came out so clean and dandy that no more were necessary!

Exploring the Little Bay

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-10-30 00:00:00
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length27.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Visiting the Peregrine Winery in the Late Afternoon

Heading away to Morocco

I’m in the middle of planning a trip to Morocco in a few months! I’ve never been there, and I’ve got a few different places I plan to visit. But if you have any secret spots or must-sees, please pass them along! πŸ™‚

Daily Photo – Visiting the Peregrine Winery in the Late Afternoon

This is one of the last places we visited on the wine tour. It was sunny all day long, and I never really took notice of it until I got here. I mean, when I’m out taking photos, I’m always generally aware of the sun and its relation to the landscape, but it started to have a different meaning with the architecture here. It made for much more interesting shots and this most amazing winery!

I need to come up with a list of my top 10 wineries to visit in this area. These are all less than half an hour from my house, so I have no excuse!

Visiting the Peregrine Winery in the Late Afternoon

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-11-08 00:00:00
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1250
  • Aperture9
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Taking out the rowboat at Northburn Station

Happy New Year Everyone!

This will be a great 2014! πŸ™‚

Advised them to get on Google+

While we were riding around on the wine tour below, I convinced Philip Green (who runs Appellation Wine Tours) to get onto Google+ and make a page for his company. He was of course first only interested in Facebook likes, Tweets, etc etc. But one thing he didn’t think about (most people don’t) β€” is that no one actually searches for anything worthwhile on FB or Twitter. People use Google to search for stuff, and if your local business has a robust Google+ page with some good reviews and photos, it completely changes the way search results look and work. Here’s a little screenshot I to the right of what things look like now that he has done it.

Daily Photo – Taking out the rowboat at Northburn Station

This is one of the places we stopped on our little wine tour a few weeks ago. It was a great lunch that we had with a little bit of time left over for photos. Well, naturally, we made sure there WAS extra time left over for photos! Whenever there is a group of photographers around, it seemed like a perfect opportunity to hit some of the most scenic bits of these wineries!

Taking out the rowboat at Northburn Station

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-11-08 00:00:00
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

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