Little Streets in by the Li River in China

Street Shooting Tip

It’s very hard to shoot on the street when things are moving at f/1.4 if you are doing manual focus. So, one thing I try to do is stay up at f/2 or f/2.8 because you have a bit more margin for error on the focus. But, if you are a fixed distance away from your subject (like when I was following the gentleman below), you can go ahead and open it up as high as it wide as it will go and take your time. Not all street photography has to be rushed.

Daily Photo – Little Streets in by the Li River in China

I was mostly down in this area to try to find good vantage points on the river. But when you go along the river, you pass through tiny town after tiny town. I was on foot most of the time, so I would just try to feel my way from one side of the town over to the other side. I felt like a rat going through a maze trying to find some cheese! Anyway, while getting all turned around and going through the tiny streets, I got behind this old-timer here… I set my focus manually and just walked behind him at f/1.4.

Little Streets in by the Li River in China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1500
  • Aperture
  • ISO500
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramShutter speed priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Exploring Tokyo Tower

City Shooting Tip

The default compositional style when shooting cities from up high is to do the basic wide-angle landscape orientation. But I’ve been trying more and more to remember to go into portrait mode and zoom in a bit. Like this photo below, for example, was taken in this orientation at at 70mm.

Daily Photo – Exploring Tokyo Tower

The first time I saw this tower in Tokyo I did not like it. I thought it felt a little ugly, or maybe like a cheap version of the Eiffel Tower, but it has really grown on me. Especially at night. I really like the look of its starkness and warm shape against the blueness of the rest of the city.

Exploring Tokyo Tower

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time3
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length70.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Milky Way over Milford Sound

Low F-Stops on Star Shots

Veterans already know this, so you guys can just skip over this part! But if you’re just starting to get into star photography, one of the most important things is having a low f-stop on your lens. This means a LOT of light can get in over the exposure. For example, this was taken at f/1.4. The downside to this is that these lenses often tend to be much more expensive! But, then again, you can end up with shots like this one below! :)

Daily Photo – The Milky Way over Milford Sound

My friend Cliff and I stayed out late one night in Milford Sound to see the Milky Way. We were not disappointed! Sometimes it gets pretty cloudy over here, and there was just one night, so we were hoping that karma paid off, and it did!

The Milky Way over Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time25
  • Aperture
  • ISO16000
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Black Friday Sales for Fans and Photographers

Save 35% on all Presets, Tutorials* and eBooks

This Black Friday sales begins NOW and ends on Monday, December 1st

All the cool kids are holding Black Friday sales so we thought we would join the fun! Stop by the Stuck in Customs store and save 35% on all Presets, Tutorials* and eBooks! No coupon code is required. We have a variety of different tools and learning resources perfect for any skill level, from amateurs to professionals. See you there!

Hey what’s up with asterisk on the Tutorials? Well we JUST launched a brand new Textures tutorial a few days ago. We priced the tutorial and the 170 high-res texture pack at a super low rate already so we decided to keep them out of this Black Friday sale.


Use the code BlackFridayPrints to save 40% on all Prints

This Black Friday sales begins NOW and ends on Monday, December 1st

The Prints will make perfect gifts for friends, family or even yourself! You can view my entire portfolio over on SmugMug. Click on an image you like from the Portfolio section and then click on the green BUY PHOTOS button just above the image. The prices displayed will be the standard price. You can enter the Coupon Code “BlackFridayPrints” during the check out process to save 40%! Act now because this special 40% discount ends on December 1, 2014.


You can also save 35% on ALL eBooks over at Flatbooks.com

Head on over to Flatbooks.com for a HUGE collection of amazing eBooks from many different authors. The 35% discount will be applied upon checkout. You gotta hurry though! This sale ends on December 1st.


 

Additional Sales from our Friends

Get 40% off a SmugMug account

I store my entire portfolio on SmugMug. They have amazing tools for customizing your site, showcasing your work and selling prints. You can read all about them over on my SmugMug review. They have a special Black Friday Special that will save you 40% off a new SmugMug account.

Macphun Photo Editing Software

Our friends at Macphun have an awesome Black Friday / Cyber Monday offer this year! Four award-winning photo editing apps, plus a $25 Amazon or iTunes Gift Card for just $129.99, a 40% savings! Check it out at www.macphun.com/blackfriday.

A Quiver Tree Stands Alone

Portrait Orientation and Composition

There is a rule that is sometimes okay to break that you should not put the subject in the middle of your composition. Well, when you switch into Portrait-orientation, all those rules go right out the window! You’re fully allowed to plop things (like the tree below!) right plum in the middle of the frame.

Daily Photo – A Quiver Tree Stands Alone

These trees are unlike any other tree I've ever seen! They are spread all around many desert-y areas of Namibia, and they are often quite spread out from one another. Each one has a totally unique shape, and you'll never see one that will be mistaken for another one. I've never seen individual trees that can look so unalike their neighbors… I'll post more of these in coming weeks and you'll see what I mean!

A Quiver Tree Stands Alone

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/5
  • Aperture8
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length17.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Another Night in Bora Bora

EXIF Info

Remember, there are two ways to see the EXIF info for each of my shots. You can hover the mouse over and see them, or if you click through to SmugMug, you can click on the little “i” and see this information! BTW, I don’t even know what some of that means… like “Brightness -24026/256″??? Maybe one of you smarties can tell me what that means!

Camera SONY ILCE-7R (Sony A7r)
ISO 800
Exposure Time 25s (25/1)
Name The Bungalows at Night.jpg
Size 7837 x 5884
Date Taken 2014-06-29 19:55:35
Date Modified 2014-07-04 08:47:18

File Size 23.88 MB
Flash flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
Metering pattern
Exposure Program manual
Exposure Bias 0 EV
Exposure Mode manual
Light Source unknown
White Balance auto
Digital Zoom 1.0x
Contrast 0
Saturation 0
Sharpness 0
Color Space sRGB
Brightness -24026/256

Daily Photo – Another Night in Bora Bora

Was every night in Bora Bora this pretty, or just the ones where I took photos? It was EVERY NIGHT! It was so pretty every night, how could you NOT go out and take photos? With that mountain and the amazing architecture over the water… it was so awesome and a real treat to be here.

Another Night in Bora Bora

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time25
  • Aperture
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

A Pair of Winter Trees

Five Days of New Tips/Tricks Videos on the Blog! Day Four!

Let me know if you have any questions… happy to answer!

This was shot inside the Beijing Planning Museum. This sounds like a boring place eh? But it’s not! You can see how I chose to compose this shot…

Processing like Cooking

I had a great time processing this photo. I had no idea what I was going to do with it and started with half an idea. I’m not sure I could ever process this photo exactly like this again… I try new stuff all the time. I was thinking that processing photos is a lot like cooking food in that you never get exactly the same dish twice. But maybe my processing is much more extreme than that! I dunno… anyway, perhaps it is an apt analogy.

Daily Photo – A Pair of Winter Trees

I don't know what drew me to these trees! I was driving around with some friends and suddenly I pulled over and jumped over a fence to go to these trees. I'm sure my friends thought I was crazy! Maybe it's because I've been looking for an interesting pair of trees by themselves for so long. Anyhoo, I was obviously super-happy to find these two!

A Pair of Winter Trees

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Autumn Awesomeness in Queenstown

Sony A6000 Review!

Come see the new Sony A6000 Review! I’ll keep adding to it as the weeks and months go on, but I thought you might enjoy an early look! :)

Five Days of New Tips/Tricks Videos on the Blog! Day Three!

Let me know if you have any questions… happy to answer!

Here’s some behind-the-scenes from our recent autumn workshop! Don’t forget to check out the New Zealand Photo Adventure page to find out more about that upcoming event! It’s the only thing planned now for 2015… it’s gonna be another great one! :)

Daily Photo – Autumn Awesomeness in Queenstown

Even though I've been here three years now, I have only experienced one proper autumn! I travelled too much in previous years, so now I'm going to make a point to stay home more to be sure to get all these amazing colors. Amaze-maze I say! There is so much to explore and see and do around here in the Autumn. It's just Spring now here, so I've got another five months or so to wait! But Spring and Summer ain't so bad either!

Autumn Awesomeness in Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/6000
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Approaching Aït Benhaddou

Five Days of New Tips/Tricks Videos on the Blog! Day Two!

Let me know if you have any questions… happy to answer!

Here’s a collection of behind-the-scenes videos from Morocco. I started at the Mausoleum of Mohammed V in Rabat them moved on to Fes when I was at Ryad Alaya (highly recommended – thanks Hassan!)

Using many different cameras!

I’ve been using a bunch of different Sony cameras lately! While in Africa, I used a Sony A7, A7r, A7s, and an A6000 (come see the new Sony A6000 Review!) Whenever I get some time, I’m gonna write up a few more reviews… they are all cool and interesting in their own way! I don’t want to make it over-complex, of course… Naturally, you can always check out the Camera Equipment page where I have recommendations.

Daily Photo – Approaching Aït Benhaddou

What an amazing spot this is! After spending about three weeks in Morocco, I finally approached this incredible fortified city. It is right in the middle of a caravan route between the Sahara and Marrakech, which is the same route I was on! This place is mostly abandoned, but there are still eight families that live on the inside…

There have been many famous movies made here including The Last Temptation of Christ, Kundun, The Mummy, Gladiator, and The Prince of Persia. There were even a few scenes from Game of Thrones shot here!

Approaching Aït Benhaddou

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3000
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length300.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Light on the way to Milford Sound and Tiananmen Square Photography

Five Days of New Tips/Tricks Videos! Day One

Each day for the next five days, I’m gonna post a new video here on the blog! :) Let me know if you have any questions… happy to answer!

I’m here with my friend Tom in the middle of Beijing. I decided to go to Tiananmen Square for the day and take photos… here’s a little of what happened. A bunch of people came up to me that had never seen a white person before; I was like a freakshow!

Daily Photo – Light on the way to Milford Sound

One of my favorite drives is from Queenstown to Milford Sound. I've made it about eight times, and I can't wait to make more!

Here's a tip for you as far as light is concerned. Some of the best days for landscape photography are those partially-cloudy days. This is because it makes the light sift in random ways across the landscape, lighting one thing while darkening the next. This can do cool stuff, as you see below, such as light up the trees while darkening the mountain behind… it's the kind of stuff that would take you ages in photoshop (or be nearly impossible!!). So, next time you are in a partially-cloudy situation, be more patient than normal and watch the light as it sways around from one thing to the next…

This photo was taken in Lumsden, btw.

Light on the way to Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length66.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

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