Another Road Through an Endless Valley

Steam Games

I’ve been playing Left 4 Dead 2 a lot with my son. It’s good times. I’m playing Borderlands 2 on the XBox with Ethan, but it’s splitscreen and kinda crazy (but fun in co-op). But I was thinking of also getting it on Steam to play single player a bit. Other good games I’ve been playing are FTL and Civ 5 – always winners… You guys and gals playing anything lately?

Daily Photo – Another Road Through an Endless Valley

I rode down this one with Karen Hutton, Scott Kublin, and Curtis Simmons. Every five minutes they wanted to get out of the car and take a photo. I know the feeling! You see, I already have done this hundreds and hundreds of times… now I only get out on new roads or of the clouds/light is just different “enough”. It doesn’t take much, because there is a lot of variation. And, as most of you know, I’m not one to take a bunch of photos in the middle of a blue sunny day. But, on this day I was!

Road to Mount Cook

Another Road Through an Endless Valley

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Kayaks Along Lake Wakatipu

Your Irrational Fear?

Do you share my strange fear below? Do you have an equally strange one of your own you just can’t shake? Hehe… strange question, I know… I was just wondering if I was alone in this… !

Daily Photo – Kayaks Along Lake Wakatipu

I’ve never taken a kayak out onto that lake. I’m not much of a kayaker, but also, I’m not a big fan of deep bodies of water. Actually, I will just go all the way from “not a big fan” to “outright afraid”. You never know what kind of nonsense is happening underneath you, you know? I don’t like swimming to being in a little boat on top of deep water. I don’t mind being in a big, sea-worthy boat. That’s fine. But swimming and being in a little boat… that’s not for me. This is strange, because I know it’s irrational. And I don’t really have any other irrational fears… but I can’t figure out a way to get around this one (nor do I see the need to do so, which is probably part of the problem itself).

Kayaks along Lake Wakatipu

Kayaks Along Lake Wakatipu

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture8
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Road to the Woolshed

True Origin of “Taken to the Woodshed?”

Well, this photo is a woolshed reminded me of that saying about being taken to the woodshed. I actually thought it was woolshed till I Googled it and felt dumb. Anyway, I started poking around to try to find the origin… I could not find it. I thought maybe it came from Dickens or Shakespeare, but I did not see anything definitive…. smart readers here can probably figure it out I bet! :)

Daily Photo – Road to the Woolshed

After shooting the sunset, the entire class and I walked down this road together to have dinner at the Wool Shed. It was a fun, catered event, and a great way to wrap up the week. We didn’t end up walking down the road at the same time. In fact, I’m surprised everyone found their way here. We were spread out all over creation (although I invited people to stay near me if they wished!). A few people stayed with me, but others went off to seek their fortune on other faraway hills around Bendemeer. I had trouble finding the spot, so maybe they did too!

Road to the Wool Shed

Road to the Woolshed

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time0.8
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length23.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

The New Garden Path Along the Great Wall of China

Video from the Great Wall

Here’s a video I took while up here!

Daily Photo – The New Garden Path Along the Great Wall of China

Just to get to this point required a long walk through a rocky forest. It wasn’t like the super-pristine part of the Great Wall (which is actually quite fake and Disney-like) — where you can drive up in a huge tour bus and park in huge parking lot. No, it wasn’t like that at all. Instead, there was a “path” that was barely discernible (much less so when I walked back in the dark alone!) that wove up through a forest along an old creekbed. I’m not sure I could find it again if I had to!

Great Wall of China

The New Garden Path Along the Great Wall of China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/20
  • Aperture6.7
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+3

The Skies of Sydney and Photomatix Presets

Photomatix Presets

Do you have (my!) Trey’s Photomatix Presets? I still use Photomatix all the time, as many of you noticed from my recent tutorial video. I think my presets are much more interesting than the ones that come with Photomatix, but you can be the judge! If you don’t agree, you can have all your money back… no problemo!

Here’s a screenshot for ya!

Daily Photo – The Skies of Sydney

Sydney? Check. Sunset? Check. Easy photo? Check!

Man, this was such a lay up… I can’t claim much credit for it. I just kinda walked up and it was like this. Good sunset shots are not always easy, but this one was… I admit it! :) Now, it was made a bit easier with post-processing through Photomatix, but I kind of take that for granted now.

Sydney Opera House

The Skies of Sydney

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length90.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Fun with the Fisheye in Paris

Looking at a new camera or lens?

I am always adding to the Reviews section of the website, which I heartily recommend if you are looking for a new camera or a new lens. I don’t review a ton of things, but I do try to review all the stuff I actually use on a regular basis.

Now, you’ll only see a few lens reviews there on that page. For the rest, just scroll down the right side.

If you’re thinking about the lens I used below, check out the Nikon 16mm Lens Review. I love it! It’s a strange lens because the first time I used it, it didn’t really float my boat. But now, I really enjoy it… I’m using it quite a bit to re-invent a lot of shots and be creative. It’s also come in really handy the past few times when my 14-24 lens has been broken.

Daily Photo – Fun with the Fisheye in Paris

This is a close up of one of the two chandeliers in the entry way of my hotel in Paris. I was still getting used to the fisheye at this point, so it took me about five shots to get this exact one I wanted.

By the way, I like how Paris likes to fill “empty space” with red velvet. It’s like the go-to thing for interior designers there…

Fun with the Fisheye in Paris

Fun with the Fisheye in Paris

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time0.5
  • Aperture8
  • ISO280
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Sheep Says Baaaaa

Flatbooks Special for the month!

During the month of April we are going to run a 20% off Sale in April for everything on Flatbooks.com. The coupon code APRILEBOOKS is valid through April 30th.

Daily Photo – Sheep Says Baaaaa

I know I sound like a total tourist, but I still like watching sheep. Maybe because I’ve lived here less than a year, but they are still fun for me to watch. They kind of move around like lily pads on a pond, in kind of a random way. Every now and then they line up and run to one area or another, but it’s mostly random drifting. And it’s fun for me to catch the random drifting and try to compose something interesting. As more and more sheep enter the frame, it cranks up the degree of difficulty, like Olympic diving!

Sheep Says Baaaaa

Sheep Says Baaaaa

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length175.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

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

Another Bridge in Melbourne

iPhone Cases in the Wild!

Do you have an iPhone and looking for a snazzy case? We put together a bunch of different cases for you to enjoy and sport around! Just pop on over to the iPhone Case section of the store and have a gander! :)

Daily Photo – Another Bridge in Melbourne

I like these cities that get all fancy with their bridges. Melbourne certainly does! Each bridge tries to out-do the next. There’s no common theme and its sort of a mish-mash of styles, to say the least. I think that not everyone likes this, but I do. I don’t mind all the variety, especially from the perspective of photography.

It’s kind of the same way with the buildings and other decorative elements around downtown Melbourne. There are so many styles, most of which are one flavor of “modern” or “contemporary”. I enjoy mixing and matching different elements into compositions, but it is not easy. There is a challenging aspect to it that I don’t get in many other cities.

Bridge in Melbourne

Another Bridge in Melbourne

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

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

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