The Golden Valleys

PhotoWalk in New York City

I think I’m coming the NYC soon…. who is up for a PhotoWalk? I think I’ll have to get serious about planning something…

Daily Photo – The Golden Valleys

I’ve taken to going out on random drives around New Zealand. I put on music and just follow the sun around. It ducks behind and beyond mountains and valleys, so I turn this way and that, and often get out to hike around inaccessible areas. It’s the middle of the winter here, so the sun is always quite low, so we get nice, extended sunrises and sunsets. Every now and then, the sun gets into a certain angle and everything is bathed in gold…

The Golden Valleys

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length135mm (135mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Three Trees in Wanaka, New Zealand

Want to see me process each of these photos?

The class starts July 31st! If you miss the live bit, you can download later. Be sure to register at The Art of Photography page!

In Class #4, I’m going to process each of the photos below. I’ll show you all kinds of new tricks that are newly-figured-out… in the past few weeks or so. I’m saving them for Class #4 so that we can build up to this together. I’m very excited for the class, and I know that those of you who have registered are also excited. See you soon!

The First Two Trees

And here are the previously published tree photos from along the lake in Wanaka.

Lonely Tree Aflame After having a great flat white with Tim and Bel, Abe (my intern for the winter/summer) and I went down to the lake. I picked out some trees I wanted to re-visit in the evening light. As I was driving around, I got an idea… it was dark and blue and I thought about what it would look like if the tree was instantly on fire… so I gave Abe some specific instructions and a secret signal.I set up for the shot with the 14-24mm, prepared the timer, then made the secret signal to Abe. We gave it a few different tries until I felt like we had it right before driving back home over the crown range in the dark.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Lonely Tree in WanakaThis is one of three tree photos I will publish over the coming weeks. You may remember a previous one where the bottom of the trunk was on fire… that one DID have a bit of Photoshop… We’ll also go over that one in the class.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the entire post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Daily Photo – The Third Tree

When you have three tree photos that you adore, how can you choose an order in which to publish them? I don’t know! I figured that if I love all of them, then random is a good an order as necessary. I go through various levels of this every night when I put together the daily post for the next day. The selection process is fairly mentally grueling! :)

The Third Tree

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length20mm (20mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Queenstown Commonage Villas

Best View in Queenstown

So, while waiting to buy a house in the area, I spent a massive amount of time here at the Commonage Villas. My family rented two different villas over an extended period of time, and we were completely blown away. As you can imagine, a good view and convenience is very important to me, and this is The Best!

The villas are 3+ stories tall, so there are great views from all the levels (especially the top). I took a ton of photos at various times of the day… other times, I would just sit and stare out the window with a cup of tea. About once a day, I would walk down to Queenstown (it’s a short walk) to get coffee or a meal… quite idyllic, really! Anyway, if you are going to Queenstown and looking for a place to stay, I definitely recommend these villas.

These villas are also for sale. I met the guy that works there and said I would pass along his info if you want to find out more – contact Ross Marett at enquiries@commonagevillas.com for more.

Daily Photo – The View

And here is one of the thousands of photos I took from the balcony at sunset one evening. The whole family was just getting into the car to drive down to The Cow for dinner, and then this sunset started to happen! So, it was one of those elongated, “Oh just wait five more minutes!” while I kept extending it another five minutes as the sky got better and better! We ended up being delayed about half an hour to dinner, as you would expect. But once the kids had their giant loaf of garlic bread, everything was good again!

The View

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length28mm (28mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Rainbow over the Lake

Photomerge in Photoshop

The photo below was made by using Photomerge in Photoshop… do you use that much? I don’t make a lot of panoramas (for a variety of reasons), but whenever I do, this feature is really incredible.

To make this one, I:

1) took about 20 photos of the rainbow at 28mm
2) held the camera in a portrait orientation as I mowed across the horizon
3) imported everything into Lightroom
4) picked one of the middle frames and fully developed it in the Develop Module
5) “synced” those changes to all the other photos
6) exported them then imported into Photoshop using Photomerge
7) cropping and final cleanup!

Daily Photo – Rainbow over the Lake in Queenstown

I had just dropped my kids off for their first day of school. I had my D3S with me because I was taking photos of that momentous event, so it was still with me when I went downtown to sign some papers. When I got downtown, the rain was just starting to slow down, but there was still a thick morning dampness in the air over the lake, and a full rainbow was right in front of me. I didn’t have the right equipment with me to get the rainbow all at once, so I went through the steps listed above! :)

Rainbow over the Lake in Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/3.5
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length28mm (28mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Less than ONE week left to register!

Don’t Miss it!

There’s less than a week left to register for The Art of Photography. It’s built for beginners and intermediate levels, and I know you’ll have a great time!

One of the MOST common questions is: “If I’m registered and I miss the live part, can I still download?” Yes, of course! :)

Thanks again to our sponsors HDRsoft (makers of Photomatix), SmugMug, Nik, and Adorama! We’ll have many great prizes as well – more info on the page above.

Daily Photo – What the Ancient Seamariners Saw

Imagine seeing this if you were one of the great sea explorers of yore!

This is the entrance to Milford Sound from the Tasman Sea. It would have been so amazing to come across this and wonder what it was like up inside the fjord. And then, the captain could just decide to sail up inside and land some boats on the shore. Maybe if they were a little hungry, they could even grab a few Moas and cook ‘em up. After a long sea voyage, nothing goes down smoother than a Moa.

What the Ancient Seamariners Saw

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5.3
  • ISO1000
  • Focal Length105mm (105mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Up High in Queenstown

On Top of the Mountains

Here’s a quick picture I took with my Android while I was taking some photos.

If you look close, you’ll notice that is my D3S and not my D800. The shot below was with the D800, which means I was… maybe using the D3S for a special project??? I will reveal it soon! :)

I sometimes post these things live to places like Google+ while I am out in the field…. that’s another place to watch if you just need the “latest” Trey-fix! hehe….

Daily Photo – Up High in Queenstown

We have finally moved into the new house here in Queenstown. I was in for less than 24 hours when I decided to get up to the top of this nearby mountain to shoot down on the whole scene. It was a perfect night – a bit cool maybe – but that can be perfect too.

After I took this photo, I went back down the mountain and picked up some Thai food to take home and eat while warming up by the fire! :)

Up High in Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length18mm (18mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Lonely Tree in Wanaka

Preview of the Art of Photography Course

See the photo below? I’ll be editing it live to show how I did it on the last day of the Art of Photography course. You can do it all without Photoshop! I know that will make a lot of people happy that can’t get over the Photoshop-hump. For those people, we will also be talking about Photoshop in another segment to show you the hump doesn’t have to be so bad!

Daily Photo – Lonely Tree in Wanaka

This is one of three tree photos I will publish over the coming weeks. You may remember a previous one where the bottom of the trunk was on fire… that one DID have a bit of Photoshop… We’ll also go over that one in the class.

Lonely Tree in Wanaka

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length19mm (19mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

The Solar Storm Hits Queenstown

Watch Live Tonight for How-To

Watch here on StuckInCustoms.com later today for the live feed for the show! It starts at 7 PM or Your World Time!

Now, I’m by no means an “expert” on processing Aurora photos, but I did pick up a few tricks I’m happy to share. As always, as I figure this stuff out from scratch, I’ll share my results with you :)

Daily Photo – The Solar Storm Hits Queenstown

I’ve been awake for two days.

It all started yesterday after I put the kids to bed. I got a Facebook message from Stefan Haworth. It turns out that he and Eden Brackstone were headed out for a little viewing of the big solar storm that was hitting the atmosphere. Down thisaway, it’s called the Aurora Australis. Since I’ve never before seen one (despite countless attempts in Iceland), I was ready to suit up!

And it turns out that one of the best places we saw them was right here in Queenstown! I had a decent view from the place I am staying here at The Commonage, but the clouds were pretty heavy. So, we drove down along Lake Wakatipu until we were just past Wye creek. I got out of the car, let my eyes adjust, then saw colored shafts of light shooting up through the edge of our snow-globe. It wasn’t like I expected! It’s…. hard to explain.

The Solar Storm Hits Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/2.8
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length14mm (14mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programmanual
  • Exposure Bias

My Kea Camper on the South Island

Are you an RV-kinda person?

I know some people are really into their RVs and it’s a major part of their lives. I guess they are like boats in that way. For whatever reason, I’ve never really been into that, although you would think my nomadic nature would make that option seem particularly attractive to me.

I remember when I rented this one in the photo below. It was the first one I ever drove, and I guess there was an extra layer of nervousness because I was driving on the other side of the road plus a standard shift (that you shifted with your left hand). It was all a little overwhelming while my family was flying around hanging on to whatever they could find! Well… the kids had a good time…. the crazier the drive, the better!

Daily Photo – My Kea Camper on the South Island

This was one of the prettiest parts of the drive to Milford Sound. You can’t miss it. You CAN miss a lot of things down there, but not if you are right along this main road. This is probably one of the most majestic valleys I’ve ever seen.

My Kea Camper on the South Island

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length80mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure Program
  • Exposure Bias

PhotoWalk Fun – New Event

New Events – Follow Along

I put up the event on Google+ here, and this is a cool new system where we can collect photographs from the entire event. It will be great fun to follow along even if you can’t make it.

Exact Location: Here in St. Omer’s Park.
Time: 5 PM
What to bring: Any kind of camera will do, even a mobile phone!
Who to bring: Family-friendly! :)

Queenstown PhotoWalk

Come join me for a free and fun PhotoWalk on Saturday, June 30th!

We’ll start at 5 PM, but I’ll be there early goofing around if you want to hang out. I’ll have the Genie from SYRP with me as well, and I’ll try not to drop it in the lake.

We can meet in St. Omer’s Park, probably over by the bench (near the roundabout). After the event, we can go grab some chocolates or a snack or something.

See you soon!

HDR Photo

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