Stormchasing in Guilin, China

Fake Lightning Shots

Getting a good lightning shot often involves a bit of artifice. I’m certainly not above that! But I believe a lot of the truly amazing lightning photos you see are QUITE fake. First, a lot of compositing is often done, which is fine, just letting you know. If you see a ton of lightning bolts in a photo, chances are they are all combined with many different strikes. Also, if you don’t have one of those light-sensors to automatically trigger, you have to just keep taking photos until you get lucky. It’s like a lightning slot machine, so sometimes it doesn’t feel like that much skill is involved!

Daily Photo – Stormchasing in Guilin, China

I love this area of China and right upon arrival there was a huge storm hitting. So exciting! I love a good storm. It was probably ill-advised, but Tom and I climbed up a mountain to get some photos. We were underneath the shade of an old pagoda, which kept us from getting wet… it was perfect conditions for storm shooting, really!

Stormchasing in Guilin, China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1.3
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length61.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Pausing for the Reflection

Some of the creation process

I went out to go get a bunch of reflection shots and made a few videos! I did a fun deal with WD to help promote it too, which was a pretty fun thing… anyway, you can see more below!

Daily Photo – Pausing for the Reflection

Here's one of the many reflection shots I got that day… that was fun! It's not like I need an excuse to run around and shoot, but I thought putting together some tips on getting a reflection shot would be a good idea and mission!

Pausing for the Reflection

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture13
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

New May Presets and the Breaking Sea Ice on the way to Antarctica

The May Preset Pack is out! (half-price today only)

This has been a very fun experiment and gets bigger every month! See the Lightroom Presets page for more. This month features a fresh 10 presets, just as new and idea-provoking as the previous months. The special deal we do to reward the hardest core of the fans of these is to do half-off just on the first day of the month. So, for 24 hours, it’s only $2.50 instead of $5.

And here’s a little video more about them!

Daily Photo – The Breaking Sea Ice on the way to Antarctica

Every pack comes with at least one Black & White preset, and this is a pretty good example of one. I took this photo out of the window of the CL-130 as I was still about 2 hours (after 8 hours already in the air) from Antarctica. I started to get excited as I looked down to see the sea ice melting apart in the middle of summer. I particularly liked all the layers of clouds floating on top…

The Breaking Sea Ice on the way to Antarctica

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length103.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

A cloaked woman in Hong Kong

Great news about The Arcanum and our new Passion Meter – so cool!

See more at www.TheArcanum.com !

How to get a shot like this?

This was a crazy idea I had and it worked out just fine. I suppose the first step is to be on an escalator that has a rich or interesting set of lights around it. Set up the tripod legs on the steps (which you have to do quickly because you are moving… it’s sort of a Level 6 tripod maneuver!) and then let it fly with a shutter speed of at least 2 seconds. This one was a 4 second exposure.

Daily Photo – A cloaked woman in Hong Kong

I was riding up a series of colorful outdoor escalators in Hong Kong and this mysterious cloaked women went flying by me. She made it up to a group of people where she got stuck for a bit, right when I took this shot.

A cloaked woman in Hong Kong

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length17.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

London as Night Closes In

How long for light trails?

Experiment! There is no right answer… When there is a little bit of ambient light, you may need to go shorter or close down the aperture, as I did here. This one is F/14 at 5 seconds. Not that I knew that ahead of time… I had to experiment. When I did F/4 at 5 seconds, the whole thing was way too bright but the light trail was the right length, so I just darkened it up by increasing the F stop to F/14.

Daily Photo – London as Night Closes In

Here's one of those really fun long exposure shots that are readily available all over London. This is one of the great advantages of living in a big city is that you get all that crazy tail light action that I don't get here in Queenstown. It makes for a very fun way to be creative and try new ways to fill up the frame with unexpected light action.

I took this one during the big photowalk event — thanks again everyone!

London as Night Closes In

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time5
  • Aperture14
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Snowflakes Up Close

My Goodie Bag

Even though I could see these with the naked eye, I used a few extension tubes! They are super-cheap, like under $20 I believe. I have that stuff and more on an Amazon list – just click Trey’s Favorite Things and you’re set!

For this photo, I just held out my black woolen glove and the little flakes would catch on the fibers… amazing!

Daily Photo – Snowflakes Up Close

The snow flakes in Antarctica are huge! You can actually see this with your naked eye. I've never seen anything like it… and I was freaking out the whole time. Maybe some of you live in places where you can see these kinds of shapes with out any special lenses or anything?

Snowflakes Up Close

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Exploring the New London at Night

Behind the Scenes in London

Don’t forget to check out the DJI Inspire Review!

Stu and I shot this video while in London and flying the quad about! He put on the Google Glass and recorded the various adventures we had that day — thanks again Stu! I got to know Stu through The Arcanum, which you should check out if you haven’t yet!

Daily Photo – Exploring the New London at Night

It's hard to believe how much this building (The Shard in the distance) has changed the skyline of London. I feel like it had not been that long since I was away (maybe three years?), but now, upon return, it's fun to re-shoot the city and get this incredible piece of architecture in the skyline.

In the video above, I was right by this area… very close to City Hall…

Exploring the New London at Night

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time5
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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

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