I leave today for a series of long flights that will end with me arriving at the PhotoWalk. I start in Queenstown (airport code ZQN – I think they were running out) and then go to Auckland then Los Angeles then New York City. I don’t know how many hours or miles it will be, and I don’t think I wanna know!
Daily Photo – Sunset in Milford Sound
I slept in my sleeping bag under the stars this night. It was very peaceful after seeing the pink milky sound under Mitre Peak.
I took this right before I left New Zealand down in Milford Sound. I was in a bit of a hurry (you know how things get rushed before a trip), and I left the house without my tent. All I had was a sleeping bag, but it’s a good one.
I slept under some trees that were tall and seemed to be leaning inwards while I looked up. Not long after that, I fell asleep…
I’m working on a how-to video that I will release to everyone soon. It shows how I did the photography, post-processing, editing and mixing, etc of this, along with all the tools. I do list out my equipment on the Stuff You Need page here on the site if you simply can’t wait.
30 Days and 30 Nights in Queenstown
(watch this 4K video in Full Screen in HD with good speakers/earphones! )
I’ve just moved to New Zealand, and my first 30 days and 30 nights here made a powerful impression on me. I’ve never done anything quite like this before, so I thought I would share what I felt with you.
(In Germany or can’t see the YouTube video? Here is the Vimeo Version.)
The music is from my friend… one of the few people on earth that makes my heart beat a little faster than normal… Hans Zimmer. Just go ahead and buy all of Hans Zimmer’s work… let it be the soundtrack of your life.
Over 300 hours of work went into the film’s creation. The Full How-To Video is coming soon, but I did everything myself… the shooting, the post-processing, the editing and sync, etc etc… I used a violent mixture of many tools: Photomatix Pro (Photomatix Review), Magic Bullet Looks (Magic Bullet Looks Review) , Topaz Adjust (Topaz Adjust Review), Nik Software (Nik Software Review), Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, LRTimelapse, Twixtor Pro, Final Cut X. Also thank you for logistical help to my assistant Abraham Stephenson.
I created the entire piece myself here in Queenstown, New Zealand. All of the shots are from this little fertile crescent. I get many questions about that interior shot, and that is from the Commonage Villas. I stayed there for about a month while house-shopping, and I think it has some of the best views in Queenstown! Besides that location, every shot was less than a fifteen minute drive from my home.
I really privately announced the Trey’s Lightroom Presets last week, but they are leaking out there in every direction, so it seems strange to keep it a secret here on the blog any more! This is the first time I’ve ever released any Lightroom Presets, and I think you’ll be very happy.
I notice that some people are posting thumbnails of their own creations on the presets page in the comments. Others are +@mentioning me on various social networks so i can have a look at their creations. I’ve run these through a ton of my own photos, so it’s great to see how they interact with other people’s photos too.
Before and After Image using Trey’s HDR Lightroom Preset
The “after” image was made with just one click of Trey’s HDR Lightroom Presets. What a dramatic difference!
Daily Photo – Our Galaxy over Queenstown
I took this photo on the evening of the Aurora Australis a few weeks ago. I came up with (BY ACCIDENT!) a new way of orienting the Milky Way so it goes straight up and down. Really, in the sky, it is a little bit tilted to the right. Anyway, here’s the trick.
When you take the photo, have your camera tilted to the left a bit. Then, when you crop later in Photoshop, turn on the “Perspective” checkbox and drag over the upper left corner until it is parallel with the Milky Way. Only people that are good at visualizing photoshop can understand what I am saying here… but I hope it helps!
Next time, I will do this trick by taking the tilted-photo on purpose!
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 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.
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!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 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!
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.
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!
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.