Moeraki Boulders at Uber Sunrise

Selective HDR

Well, long term, HARDCORE readers already know this about me and my technique. But I suppose you have come to realize that HDR merely “informs” the final work. That is, HDR comes into play almost everywhere, but I adjust one part of the photo to 0% and maybe another to 100%. And there is lots of variation in between as the eye moves around the photo. For example, I really like how the sun and that whole bit is “blown out” below. If I did normal HDR, then nothing would be blown out. Hey, sometimes I like it… I’m unpredictable, like a woman.

Daily Photo – Moeraki Boulders at Uber Sunrise

These Moeraki boulders are awesome in the morning! If you are going to visit this place, I suggest you get online and check a few things:

1) Check the tides. Make sure there will be low tide in the morning.
2) Check the sun position and time for the year.

If you get those two things planned out, then you can go and spend the night there in Moeraki. You don’t want to go through all the trouble of getting into position if the conditions are wrong.

Moeraki Boulders

Moeraki Boulders at Uber Sunrise

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture22
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

Wild Horses in Queenstown by Max Patte

Video highlights from The Hills

Those of you that have been watching the new videos will have seen a lot of footage from The Hills golf course here between Arrowtown and Queenstown. It’s all at the end of the “Live action part 1.” You’ll also notice that the horses below are NOT in the video. That’s how new they are! They were just put up a few days after everyone left! Oh well, I’m not sure we could have handled more that morning… it was full-on and I think everyone was exhausted and ready for that hearty breakfast! :)

Daily Photo – Wild Horses in Queenstown

This is Max Patte’s latest creation. I saw them by accident while I was playing golf at The Hills here. I came over the hill to this little par 3 and I thought they were real! I was so shocked… it was a very strange reaction, actually. I’ll never forget it. It was surreal… and I love that feeling of not knowing if something is real or fantasy, and really getting lost, even if just for a moment.

Wild Horses in Queenstown

Wild Horses in Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture11
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Big Live Show Today! Last Day for Special Discount!

Join me in Tokyo at the Google HQ! (Free Event)

On Friday April 12 at 4 PM – 7 PM, come to my tech talk or to the meet up afterwards! Want to join me? Fill out this Google Form if you’d like to come, and I’ll see you there!

The Google offices are located at 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo. The building is called Roppongi Hills Mori Tower and the Google reception is on the 26th floor.

Thanks again – Live Show Today!

Thanks again for those of you that purchased the new video series Landscape and Travel Photography: New Zealand! You’ll get to watch the big show today. I’m super-excited! If you have any questions about how to watch or whatever, be sure to contact [email protected] Luke will help you out!

You still have a chance to get it at the discounted price today before the live event.

Today’s photo below is one of the shots that I show how to post-process in the video. I hope you all are enjoying it! :)

Daily Photo – Morning Reflections of Bowen Falls

We had a great still morning in Milford Sound! I think, in retrospect, that it was very very risky taking everyone down there. The weather could have been horrible the whole time and there would be no shots! But, we got lucky and everything was beyond awesome.

We walked out onto a peninsula of rocks and the most interesting scene was kind of “straight ahead” out between the mighty peaks through the fjord into the ocean. But, there were other good angles too, like this one off to the right of this beautiful waterfall. I took well over 1,000 photos over that few days, and many of them came this morning!

Milford Sound Bowen Falls

Morning Reflections of Bowen Falls

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/20
  • Aperture8
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2

A Weaving Path Through the Wetlands

Preparing for the Private Live Show on the 9th

For those of you that are participating in the live event in a few days (that bought the thing I mentioned yesterday on the blog), we have some surprises in store! Joining me are Karen Hutton, Scott Kublin, Lorenzo Montezemolo, Clayton Morris, and Bel Jones! They all joined me in New Zealand for the filming of this event, and they’ll share some of the things they learned as well; another perspective, if you will. I’ll have them share some of their own photos so you can see how they chose to process some of the same things in a slightly different way — it should be very educational and interesting!

Helping me out as always in the live hangout are Dave Veffer, Curtis Simmons, and Luke Lakatosh — it will be a fun get together! :)

Daily Photo – A Weaving Path Through the Wetlands

I’ve revisited this path in Glenorchy a few times now. You’ll see this in the new New Zealand video that is available now, by the way. I took a ton of different photos while there, but this one did not look so great in color. It was curious to me because there was something about the photo that I liked… but it looked so dull in color. And then I realized it was the shape and the contrast that was most interesting! So I decided to emphasize that with the black and white treatment using Silver Efex Pro.

path Glenorchy

A Weaving Path Through the Wetlands

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1.6
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2

Today is the Day – Download Day for the New Videos!

Download Now Available!

All of you that participated in the pre-sale event are now able to download your video! We’ll keep the $79 Special Pricing for the Landscape and Travel Photography Tutorial until the Live Video event on the 9th. So, you’ll have a few more days to get this special deal… as a special thanks to those of you that come to the blog so often! :)

Today’s photo below was taken during the event!

And here’s the little promo video in case you haven’t seen it.

Daily Photo – The Endless Fields of Queenstown

On the final night, we all started walking around these fields together to take photos. The sunset wouldn’t quit! It just kept going and going… like a painting that changed every few minutes. And a few steps this way and that way would completely change the color situation on the bottom half of the photo. Honestly, there were not many bad combinations!

If you get the full video above, you’ll hear me talk more about this shot, and you’ll also get to see full post-processing of seven different photos. I hope you love it! :) I’m sure you will!

Fields of Queenstown

The Endless Fields of Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture16
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

Waterfalls on the way to Milford Sound

Milford Sound Lodge

At the end of this scene, you end up at the Milford Sound Lodge. I’ve stayed there about 6 or 7 times now! You can get a few different types of accommodations… from hardcore backpacker to something with a bit more space. The prices are very reasonable, and you’re right in the middle of the action for the next morning for those sunrise photos!

Daily Photo – Waterfalls on the way to Milford Sound

There is a good question that will never be answered: Is the drive to Milford Sound equal to the epicness of Milford Sound itself? No one knows!! I can’t figure it out. But, one random element that comes into the equation is the rain. When it is raining (or a recent rain), there are over 100 waterfalls that decorate the steep valley.

It’s kind of hard to shoot waterfalls in the rain. Actually, it’s really hard. I usually amp up my ISO and drop my F-stop very low to make sure I get a quick picture before the rain settles on my lens.

Waterfalls in Milford Sound

Waterfalls on the way to Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length82.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Clayton Morris from Fox News Balances

A few days left for the special pre-sale event!

You can go buy it now and save money. This savings (and bonus!) only lasts a few more days. I wanted to do something special because I’m so excited about these new tutorial videos!

It’s $20 cheaper if you get it now, and you’ll get access to a special live event!

You’ll notice this photo of Clayton below in the little promo video on the site! :)

See you in Australia for the big Problogger Conference!

I was honored when Darren invited me to do this. You can find out more on the Problogger site! :)

HDR Photo

Daily Photo – Clayton Morris from Fox News Balances

The water was slowly, slowly, slowly rising one morning in Milford Sound when we were all there together. We made a desperate retreat just as things were getting a bit too late. The last one to cross was Clayton, so I spun around quickly to get this shot while he was being all Cirque de Soliel with his tripod. And no, he did not fall into the water! :)

Clayton Morris Fox News

Clayton Morris from Fox News Balances

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/1250
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Easter Weekend in New Zealand

How about a few Family Photos?

I don’t share these very much… but I thought you might like to see a new batch! I took the family on a little road trip to visit some glaciers near Mount Cook, and then we came back home to Queenstown for a little Easter egg hunt!

By the way, these are all using some NEW Lightroom presets. I know a lot of you have already purchased the existing Lightroom Presets (thanks!). I’ll be sending these out with the new batch as a FREE update for you as a little thank-you gift. :)

I’ll put a little caption abve each one. :)

Scarlett reaches up to a huge iceberg that just flipped over, after breaking off the Tasman Glacier near Mount Cook.

 

Isabella gets ready to take our zodiac over to the next iceberg.

 

Scarlett begins the Easter Egg hunt in while the wolves chase her.

 

Isabella runs across the fairway on the 18th hole to try to find some eggs in the bunkers.

 

Scarlett walks along the path near the forest.

 

Isabella shows her sister a new stash of eggs

 

Scarlett takes a break to check how many eggs she has found.

 

Scarlett runs full speed to the next woods to get more eggs.

Rowboat at the Still Lake

Exciting!

Thanks again for all the enthusiasm about the new video that you can sign up for now on the Landscape and Travel Photography Tutorial: New Zealand page! You can probably get the idea there that this thing is super-high quality. And, you’ll get to watch me do all kinds of hi-rez edits of many photos, including the one I am posting below today! :)

Daily Photo – Rowboat at the Still Lake

We walked around The Hills one morning, and we came to this place after the sun was beyond its “sunrise” phase. The sky was the peaceful morning infinite blue and the water was still as ice. There were many good angles to shoot across this peaceful scene, and most of us chose this view! :)

It was cool to do this and be with so many other nice photographers that were taking similar shots. I liked seeing their versions as well.

Anyway, if you end up getting the video series mentioned above, you’ll get to see me edit this photo from beginning to end! :)

The Hills

Rowboat at the Still Lake

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-3

New Zealand Video Tutorial – Post-processing and Landscapes Galore!

It’s finally ready for pre-order!

Pop over to the new Landscape and Travel Photography Tutorial: New Zealand to sign up! Sign up now, and you get several goodies… you’ll save $20 and you’ll get to join a private video Q&A group after launch.

This is really the coolest video we’ve ever made. I think you’ll find the quality and the content to be second-to-none. Really. Just by watching this preview below you’ll get a great idea of the content. Basically, you get 2.5 hours of post processing and an additional 1.5 hours of live-action footage, following me around while I set up for photos.

And… there is the new puppy in the beginning! hehe :)

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