The Cinematic Country

Thanks Balog!

Justin Balog posted a nice review of the Lightroom 4 presets — thanks for that Justin! Glad you are enjoying them.

I’m about to send out a FREE bonus pack to everyone that already bought those things… just a little nice thing… I created some new ones and thought you might enjoy them too. You can pick them up inside the Stuck In Customs store.

New HDR Tools? Or still Photomatix?

Yes, I’m still using Photomatix as my main tool! I updated the HDR Tutorial recently — you can see all the new screenshots in there.

Daily Photo – The Cinematic Country

When you drive to Aoraki Village, it can take many more hours than necessary if you like to take photos. There are literally one million places to jump out and get photos of roads and the mountain! So awesome!

Here’s a little hint if you take this road. If you walk off to the right and jump the fence, there are many little streams that are also very beautiful. No one ever walks over there… I don’t know why. Don’t let the fence stop you. No one is over there! :)

Mount Cook Road

The Cinematic Country

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJanuary 18, 2013 at 11:50am
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length21.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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The Night of the Aurora

Huge PhotoWalk in San Francisco Tonight!

Hope to see you there! See the event info here! :) We’ll be giving away Google Glass, so good luck to all of you attending.

New part of the HDR Tutorial – mini-masking tutorial

If you have seen the new and improved HDR Tutorial, then you may see this new video below on page 3! This describes how to do masking, which is a very common question for people that are getting started in Photoshop.

Daily Photo – The Night of the Aurora

I think these happen a lot down here in New Zealand! I’m hardly an expert though… I’m very last-minute about all these things and only know about them once they start happening. Some people are real aurora experts and track them like storms. There are websites, apps, and all sorts of things. I gotta get my act together so I can plan for these events better.

I was having so much fun with the landscape orientation… but then I decided to go vertical for a few shots, and I am glad I did!

When I show people these photos without any explanation, they never ever ask me what that yellow-green light is in the lower part. I don’t know if they just assume it is the aurora, or maybe they think it is light from a city, or maybe they think I added it in post. I just don’t know… but I do like to see people’s reactions, especially when they are confused. I don’t know why I enjoy confusing people with these sorts of photos, but it is just kinda fun. I think it is fun because I am also confused by how this kind of light can even be possible!

The Night of the Aurora

The Night of the Aurora

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJuly 15, 2012 at 11:50am
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time30
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Robots in the Streets of Tokyo!

Did you get your monthly HardWare Magazine?

No? Well, me neither. I’m not sure who subscribes. I think it is an Asian magazine. Singapore? Anyway, they interviewed me, and they now have the (honor?) of having the article with the BIGGEST PHOTO OF ME EVER! haha it’s so crazy… I was shocked when someone sent me a PDF!

Actually, when I saw this giant spread, I thought that “Hardware Magazine” might be some kind of a Singaporean gay magazine.

skitch

Daily Photo – Robots in the Streets of Tokyo!

Someone gave me a hot tip to go see this cool robot area of Tokyo! There’s a place called the Robot Restaurant, and it’s one of the craziest places I have ever been!

It’s basically like Medieval Times, but with robots and girls in bikinis.

Outside the Robot Restaurant, they have all these awesome-looking robots with iPads on their chests. There are people inside, which is kind of a disappointment, but also kind of a relief. Either way, they are pretty awesome!

Robot Restaurant Tokyo

Robots in the Streets of Tokyo!

Photo Information

  • Date TakenApril 16, 2013 at 3:03pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture1.4
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length50.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Ancient Mount Fuji Village

My Friend Antonis Karalis

Recently appeared on Greek TV to talk about Google Glass and he mentioned me in a very nice way. Antonis composes a lot of the music I use in my videos, so be sure to look for his work on one of the sites below! :)

iTunes: http://goo.gl/LYY7j
Google Play: http://goo.gl/mtW23
Amazon MP3: http://goo.gl/SvsJq

Missed this behind the scenes video?

Last week I posted a behind-the-scenes of this shot. You can find that video right here on the blog!

Daily Photo – Ancient Mount Fuji Village

Here I am in that little village of Saiko. I don’t know if it is always relatively empty or just this one day, but hardly anyone was around. I did see this one older gentleman sauntering around, and he happened to saunter right into the frame! A lucky grab! :)

This “look” for this photo is a bit experimental, but I kind of like it. To achieve it (this is Photoshop-heavy-jargon I’m afraid!), you can duplicate the layer then do some extreme sharpening and a black and white conversion using something like Silver Efex Pro (there is a review here on the site). After that, you can change the blend mode to Hard Light… it makes an interesting effect!

Mount Fuji

Ancient Mount Fuji Village

Photo Information

  • Date TakenApril 14, 2013 at 9:28am
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length32.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Exploring the old Village – and new Behind the Scenes Video

Newsletter Special

Those of you that sign up for the free Newsletter not only hear about specials, but you sometimes get to see videos early! Like this one below… Happy subscribers got to see it first! :)

Behind the Scenes in the New Zealand Forest (silly video warning)

I ran around in the forest in New Zealand with Curtis, Karen, and Scott. We decided to make a video after we got to a stopping point… Anyway, here’s something fun (and maybe a tad useful) for you :)

Daily Photo – Exploring the old Village

If you ever get to Mont Saint Michel, give the whole place a full circle on the curtain wall. It’s easy to get up on the wall (and quite safe to walk on… even though walking on a wall sounds dangerous). There are stairs to get up there and everything. Anyway, the wall circumnavigates about a third of the old village and monastery. There are countless good angles. It’s also worth walking this route at least three times – Sunrise (or sunset), mid day, and night!

Castle Village

Exploring the old Village

Photo Information

  • Date TakenNovember 13, 2012 at 11:18am
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2

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The Pink Sea Spray at Sunset and Interview with Kate Russell

Recent Interview with Kate Russell

You may remember Kate from the BBC; many years ago when she did a story about this site. She helped to make the site very popular in the UK — so we all have her to thank for that!

Kate has launched a new book called Working The Cloud, where she just posted a recent interview with me. There is a lot about business and this sort of thing, not so much about the photography. But maybe you’ll still enjoy it if you want to hear about those sorts of matters. Here is a little snippet from it:

Pinterest is another huge success for you, but is there any reason for non-visual businesses to engage with it?

TREY: Pinterest is awesome. I think I have about five million followers there and it is 90% women. Women connect the world and make it work! I know this because I was raised by my mom and sister… so I am sensitive to these things, you see. Anyway, even if, as you say, someone has a “non-visual business”, then they should still use Pinterest to build a brand around people and passions associated with the product or service. Let’s say for example, err… maybe a non-visual-business is something like… errr… let me see here, thinking out loud… well it’s hard to think of one… okay how about an accounting firm. I can’t think of anything more boring or non-visual than that. You could post photos of things that people in the accounting firm are passionate about… and you can build a personal connection that way. Let’s say that Steve, who is an expert in Irish Intellectual Property Tax Law is really into collecting steampunk stuff. Well he could pin a lot of steampunk gizmos. And Sally, who is a real killer when it comes to Inheritance Law in the Isle of Man is into candle-making. She can pin a lot of pretty candles and nonsense like that into the firm’s Pinterest with her own little personal note. That will give the accounting firm more of a human face and a bit more personality.

Daily Photo – The Pink Sea Spray at Sunset

Behind this exploding wave at Big Sur is something that I have never seen before. Why didn’t I take a photo of it? It’s because taking a good photo of a pod of whales from the beach is almost impossible! At least, it appears to be impossible for me. I’ve never seen whales so close into the beach. Maybe it happens all the time around there, but I was quite surprised. Have you ever seen a pod of whales from the beach?

Ocean at Big Sur

The Pink Sea Spray at Sunset

Photo Information

  • Date TakenApril 25, 2013 at 6:36am
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture5
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length72.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Two Events in Queenstown Today – Google Science Fair Worldwide, and a local talk!

Watch online for the Google Science Fair, Live from Wakatipu High School in Queenstown

Well, “today” is confusing in New Zealand. It’s May 8 in NZ and May 7 in the US + Europe, and, well, + everywhere.

First is the Google Science Fair, which you can see below.

Second is with NZIPP this evening. Check this post to find the local time.

The Google Science Fair – Live Today

Here is the embedded video from Wakatipu High School in Queenstown. This was a really fun event for the Google Science Fair!

Daily Photo – Queenstown from the Air

I’m happy to be back home in Queenstown!

It’s strange to me to come “home” to the kind of place I used to go on vacation. I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to it. There is a very nice feeling when the airplane approaches this place. If you ever have a chance to fly in here, then you will know what I mean.

Airplane pilots have to go through some kind of special training or planning before an approach here. They have to spiral down and get between the mountains. I don’t know much about it, obviously. But I do know there is a very nice pilot on Air New Zealand that is a frequent reader of the blog! He came up and said hello to me when I was on his plane one day. Hi Captain! :)

Queenstown, New Zealand

Queenstown from the Air

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJanuary 19, 2013 at 11:59am
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length19.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

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New HDR Tutorial – Free Web Version with New Videos

Fully re-vamped HDR Tutorial!

I removed and rebuilt the HDR Tutorial from the ground up! Now it is tighter, more focused, and has all my latest techniques. Those of you that purchased the latest HDR and Post-Processing Tutorial on Video from New Zealand will see a consistency between the online free version and the paid version. They got out of sync there because my technique evolves pretty fast!

Some B-roll from the video below

I’m sure many of you have seen this video below already — but you might notice during the video that you can see some of the scenes that brought today’s photo to life! :)

Daily Photo – The Ghostly Spirits in Milford Sound

We had a lucky morning in Milford Sound! In retrospect, it was really dumb to bring so many people to Milford when the weather could have been horrible! But man, we really lucked out! I would say there is good weather there (shootable weather) only 50% of the time.

There are many favorite little things about this photo. One of them is that little greenish island out into the bay… that has a good feeling to it, I think.

Milford Sound, New Zealand

The Ghostly Spirits in Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date TakenFebruary 9, 2013 at 10:42pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture10
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length17.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

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Behind the Scenes in Japan

New Video – Behind the Scenes in Japan

Here’s one I just edited together from my trip last week! It shows what happened while I was taking a few different photos around Mount Fuji. The video has a bunch of different tips and tricks, shows how I set up my camera, how I change lenses, how I struggle with putting on the lens hood, and lots of other goodies. Enjoy! :)

Daily Photo – Approaching Mount Fuji from the Old Village

What a perfect place this is!

I’ve been to Japan many times, but I never had the chance to visit Mt. Fuji! This time, Tom and I made a point to do it, and this was one of our fist stops. You can see much more about it in the video above!

Approaching Mount Fuji from the Old Village Saiko

Approaching Mount Fuji from the Old Village

Photo Information

  • Date TakenApril 14, 2013 at 7:53am
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture10
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length32.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Google Science Fair !

Gather the kids and join me online soon!

I’ll be broadcasting live on YouTube for the Google Science Fair! You can watch online on the Event Page Here. This is a free educational event, aimed especially at kids. It’s all about science and photography.

It’s on May 7 (May 8 in some parts of the world) – check The Event Page for your local time. I’ll be joined by schoolkids from all around the world. It should be great fun!

Here is info from the event:

The Science of Photography

Digital photography offers amazing flexibility to capture and modify images. But how does the science of photography actually work? What are the basic principles of light, and how do they affect how photographers shoot? How do different cameras and lenses capture images differently? And how do software tools change the way those images are ultimately viewed?

Come to this Hangout On Air with Trey Ratcliff, the world-class photographer whose work is displayed at StuckInCustoms.com. He will be interviewed by well-known blogger, technology analyst, and amateur photographer Robert Scoble, as well as by Google Student Ambassadors. Here’s your chance to learn about the science behind those amazing images.

Tuesday, May 7, 2:00PM PT / 4:00PM CT / 5:00PM ET / 2200 GMT / 2300 CE / 900 NZDT (8 May)

Daily Photo – Close Encounters over Big Sur

I went out to take photos of the shooting stars in Big Sur last week, but I only saw a few. I took a few shots of the night skies, but I think the most interesting one was this. It reminded me of that opening scene from Close Encounters! This is what it looks like in the middle of a long exposure when a car comes up over a hill towards you…

The Shooting Stars

Close Encounters over Big Sur

Photo Information

  • Date TakenApril 22, 2013 at 3:34pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time25
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO2000
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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