Gehry Building in Dusseldorf

New Article in the Daily Telegraph

Here’s an article that came out yesterday. It talks a bit about me, the blog, and everything! It features a few different “Online Influencers.”

Correcting Alignments in Architecture

I tried doing the automatic adjustments in Photoshop to send all the lines back to vertical. The look was okay, but it was a bit boring on this image, so I kept it with the wacky verts… which I generally like better anyway, but especially for crazy architecture like this!

Daily Photo – Gehry Building in Dusseldorf

How cool is this building? Gehry actually has three buildings here in this “Media Center” area of Dusseldorf that are grouped together. All the buildings are awesome, but this one definitely stands out. The three are very similar in design, but this is the one with the crazy mirrored outside. The “look” and feel of it change dramatically throughout the day and night, but around this time, I felt like it was an entrance to the Matrix!

Gehry Building in Dusseldorf

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time30
  • Aperture4
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length21.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

In the Streets of Chefchaouen

Manual Focus Street Photography

Now that I use a lot of Leica lenses with my street photography, they require manual focus. It’s really not that bad, and I used to dread it. But with focus-peeking, it makes everything quite a bit easier. I’d say that I definitely get a better sense of getting things in focus than ever before. It’s also a great challenge. I do miss a FEW shots that I would have gotten with a fast auto-focus, but I also believe I get other ones I would have missed when the autofocus would have messed up!

Daily Photo – In the Streets of Chefchaouen

I saw this gentleman walking down the middle of the roads slowly. He would occasionally hold out his hand slowly and the first time I did it, I put a small pile of coins into it. He then quickly slid the coins inside his jilaba. I saw him again a shade later and took his photo as he was walking right at me.

In the Streets of Chefchaouen

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/750
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Along the road on the way to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco

A Long Year in Africa

So this year I spent about two months in Africa, and I feel very lucky for it! I spent the vast majority of it early in the year here in Morocco and then the second month was later in the year down in the south. What a huge place Africa is… I guess we all know it is pretty huge from the map, but when you actually get there, it’s pretty much beyond comprehension!

Daily Photo – Along the road on the way to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco

Here's a photo of some Moroccan men along the side of the road on the desert-side of the Atlas Mountains. The way this look was achieved is with a little bit of compression-magic. I used a 300mm lens, which made that awesome old city behind them loom large and soft. I felt lucky to have this nice arrangement of colors… the nice cool blue of their dress with the warmth of the old buildings behind.

Along the road on the way to the Atlas Mountains in Morocco

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length300.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Beautiful Isabella on the Dock

Child Photography Tip

This is a very small tip, but a good one. If you’re ever at a birthday party or a place with kids and want to get different, engaging photos, just lower yourself to their level. It seems like a small thing to do, but it makes a tremendous difference! If you think about it, 99% of photos of children are taken from above… so if you just get down low, then you’re already in that top 1% of children photos! :)

Daily Photo – Beautiful Isabella on the Dock

All of my kids are beautiful, of course, but I just happened to be sharing one of them right now! Isabella is 9 years old and I ended up having her and her little sister Scarlett for a day of photography. Tina was off doing something, so Cliff and I took the girls out on a little photo adventure with us. This is the first place we stopped while exploring new parts around Queenstown.

Beautiful Isabella on the Dock

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8000
  • Aperture
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Driving in Ginza

Low F-Stops in Cities

If you want to get this kind of out-of-focus effect like you see in the photo below, be sure to shoot at a low F-Stop and get a nice close subject. As in the photo below, I took a photo of that car at F/1.4 and everything behind it kind of fell away into the soft bokeh. You’ll get different results based on different lenses. This one was with the 35mm.

Daily Photo – Driving in Ginza

This hyper-clean and hyper-modern area of Tokyo is one of the best for photography I think! It's so wonderful to be able to just coast around the streets, listen to music on my ipod, take photos, and get lost in all the little streets. Actually this area is very hard to get lost in… it's quite grid-like, but you do get the feeling that you are like Pac-Man, just eating up all the little photo dots as you move through the streets!

Driving in Ginza

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1500
  • Aperture
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Another Beautiful Night under the Quiver Trees in Namibia

Star Shot Pano

This was actually created with 6 different photos. I made a little grid in the sky with 3 boxes across and 2 rows tall. I did this mostly because I was shooting on the resolution A7S and the 35mm F/1.4. I just could not get all of the Milky Way with one shot, so I mapped out the little grid in my mind then made the pano later!

I actually have a how-to-video for this! Sign up for the Newsletter to be sure to find out when it is available! :)

Daily Photo – Another Beautiful Night under the Quiver Trees in Namibia

The Milky Way is a magnificent site anywhere in the world. I never really saw it when I lived in Austin so I kind of lost an appreciation for it over time – that was lame of me! Anyway, I should really take more opportunities for star shots, so I tried to get out almost every night in Namibia to make it happen!

Another Beautiful Night under the Quiver Trees in Namibia

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7S
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time30
  • Aperture
  • ISO1000
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Stuck In Customs in Botswana

Slight Update to the Sony A7r Review

I added a few thoughts halfway down about the A7r vs. the A7II over on the Sony A7r Review. In short:

This is a tough question! I do have both, and I still use the A7r for most of my landscape shots because of the 36 megapixel to 24 megapixel advantage. If you’re shooting on a tripod, like I often do, then you’re better off with the A7r, I think. The A7ii REALLY shines with handheld shots because of the stabilization, and that is when I often switch to the A7ii.

Having said that, if it is the stark middle of the day and quite bright, I don’t think image stabilization gets you anything because your shutter speed will be so fast anyway. I think the A7ii is best for medium and low-light situations when handheld camera-shake becomes an issue. But then, you see, we have yet another variable in the equation, the A7s, which is undoubtedly better than the A7ii in low-light situations. But that drops us down to 12 megapixels. Anyway, there’s almost too many variables to consider for any waking mind.

Two passports

I’m looking forward to getting my New Zealand passport in a few years! I find that going some places with a US Passport can be a bit problematic. Not everyone seems to be the USA’s #1 fan, so I’ll probably use the NZ passport in those spots!

Daily Photo – Stuck In Customs in Botswana

Yes, I was actually Stuck In Customs once again! I was not allowed to fly from Maun, Botswana to Cape Town, South Africa because they said I needed a full blank page in my passport! What a mess. I did have room for 5 more stamps, but just not on the same page. This woman was a real stickler! It really harshed my mellow.

So that meant I had to fly to Gaborone to go to the US Embassy. While at the Embassy, there was a huge alarm that went off and everything got locked down! I had just gotten my extra pages sewn into my passport, and I was quickly escorted out. My driver was out there, but he was illegally parked by this huge barricade and security was all around him, making things very crazy! I think he could have been the one to set off the alarm! Anyway, I got in the car and told him to get the hell out of there… what a mess. We went straight to the airport, and then I took this photo.

Stuck In Customs in Botswana

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7S
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4000
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

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

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