The Wolf Howling at the Sky

Lighting Decisions

When I process a photo like this, I usually go through a bit of a decision matrix about lighting. Since I’m combining multiple shots, I can choose to have everything equally lit, or go with a full-on silhouette. Such power! Haha… sometimes all the decisions can make you seize up a little bit, which is not a good thing. I try not to get caught up in the decision and just try different things and let it flow. In this case, I went with mostly a silhouette, but I did a bit of lighting in the foreground. I think it adds a nice layer right there in front of you.

Daily Photo – The Wolf Howling at the Sky

The shapes in Monument Valley are right out of all the westerns you watched when you were a kid. So, when I was there for the first time it was a bit surreal. Now, I know many readers here have been there several times and they are experts at this area… but it was all fresh and new to me! As long as there are good clouds, I think it is relatively easy to get a good shot here! Sort of a lay-up, I think! Some photos you have to work really really hard for… and those are fine… but I also like a few of these that make themselves a bit easier.

Monument Valley

The Wolf Howling at the Sky

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length55.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Friendly Horses in the Field

Composition Challenge

Whenever I take photos of objects that are defined by their shapes, I do my best to position my body (head) so that the objects do not overlap one another. I want each to have its own space. So, here in today’s photo, you can see the two horses with a nice separation between their heads. But you can also imagine that if I had been about 10 steps to the right or left, the heads might have overlapped one another. It’s a little thing to notice, but one of those little things that makes for a better photo.

Daily Photo – Friendly Horses in the Field

We walked through The Hills near Arrowtown one morning and went all the way down to where Max Patte's huge horses dominate one of the fields. I like how these look wooden, but they are actually made out of iron. There was a small group of us taking photos here, and we talked a little about the composition notes above, and this is what I came up with!

Friendly Horses in the Field

Friendly Horses in the Field

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/90
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length100.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Another Corner in Paris

Wide Angle on Corners

These tight-angled corners are great for photos, but they look even better if you back up with a bit of a wide-angle lens. You can get a sense of the effect in the photo below!

Daily Photo – Another Corner in Paris

Whenever I get back into my processing mode and I come across a photo I took of some corner in Paris, I think to myself, “Trey, why didn't you just stay out all night and take photos of corners until your fingers bled?” I don't know! I know when I am there, I get a little overwhelmed and lose a little bit of perspective on the whole thing… I need to work on this!

Another Corner in Paris

Another Corner in Paris

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Peter Giordano from The Arcanum

The Arcanum Critique Session

And here is the critique session we did as a fun event for The Arcanum! It was a great group of people that did the critiques and participated. We had Varina Patel, Rick Sammon, and Dave Cross. It was all hosted by Peter Giordano, who you can also see in today’s daily photo!

Daily Photo – Peter Giordano from The Arcanum

Here's Peter the Great, here in New Zealand from a few days ago. Pete is the CEO of The Arcanum, and he ends up spending a lot of time out here in New Zealand with me and the team doing all the creative work and planning! We also had a recent workshop while out here, and he joined us for the whole thing. I took this photo of him one morning. That crazy lens flare you see is because of the Leica f/1.4 50mm lens on the Sony A7r. I love that effect! It takes a little practice to get yourself in the right relation to the sun, but it's easy to nail the shot using the manual focus.

Peter Giordano from The Arcanum

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

Walking Along the Edge of Utah

Renting RVs

I feel like I’ve accidentally become kind of an expert in renting RVs for photo adventures! I never thought I’d be one of those RV-kinda-guys, and I don’t really see myself like that yet. But I guess I’m moving a bit in that direction. I must admit that it is very very nice to have a ton of space to hold all my camera gear and a fridge full of goodies always at the ready!

Daily Photo – Walking Along the Edge of Utah

Bryce Canyon is an unbelievable place. The drive is a bit daunting to get here, and here is a tiny tip that I hope doesn't kill you upon arrival.

Like most National Parks, there are many places to park and then walk up to a railing for some view spots. But if you just walk around the end a bit, you can get even more amazing shots. Note you don't have to go up to the very edge, and I don't recommend that. I never do that. I usually hang back a little or make sure there is actually a gentle slope or something along these lines. Nothing too scary! But, anyway, don't be afraid to do a little bit of scouting. All the fences make it seem like you're surely gonna die if you don't stay beside them, but that's not true if you're smart and have your head screwed on straight!

Walking Along the Edge of Utah

Walking Along the Edge of Utah

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4
  • Aperture10
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Impressive Sony 55mm Prime with Lavender in the Fields

A recommended Lens

If you click up there on the top to see Trey’s Gear, you’ll see I have a bunch of different recommended lenses. One of them I used for today’s shot – the Sony 55mm FE f/1.8 lens. It’s really been quite remarkable and fun! It’s nice to have a full-frame lens like this with a great depth of field for shots of this nature (if you forgive the pun!).

Daily Photo – Lavender in the Fields

While driving up towards Mount Cook, I finally saw my first endless field of lavender. I've seen these before in photos and thought it would be fun to walk amidst them, which I then ended up doing for about an hour. I got all sorts of shots, from the close-in stuff below to wide vistas. I'll publish some of those soon as well!

Lavender in the Fields

Lavender in the Fields

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture2.4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length55.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Deep into the Desert

Lightroom Presets

If you haven’t popped into the Stuck In Customs Store to see the latest Lightroom Presets, I invite you there. I used them in today’s photo, and I honestly find myself using them all the time. I especially use them on my personal and family photos to add a little special touch. If you already have them, well thanks! I’ve been seeing them pop up in style all over Facebook and Google+ — always fun to see!

Daily Photo – Deep into the Desert

I needed to spend more time here! But I suppose it is a good reason to go back. Arches National Park was nonstop gold! It’s always been on my list, and I never actually made it a point to go here until after I moved out of the US. I really had no excuse for not going while I was there. I guess it just seemed far away or whatever, which seems silly after I went there all the way from New Zealand!

I guess everywhere is far away from somewhere else. That’s something I say when people ask me about living in New Zealand. They say, “Well isn’t that far away?”

Deep into the Desert

Deep into the Desert

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Sony NEX Lenses on the Sony A7r?

The Sony NEX 10-18mm on the Sony A7r

I did a full comparison here of the two main wide-angle lenses that are currently available from Sony for the new Sony A7r (see my ever-growing Sony A7r Review here on the site). One of them is NEX 10-18mm (see the full Sony 10-18mm Lens Review) that worked so well on the cropped-sensor of my NEX system. The other is the full-frame Sony 16-35mm lens from their DSLR system. The latter needs an adapter to work on the Sony A7r.

As you can see in the video below, the NEX lens is my surprising favorite! I didn’t really expect it to be equal in sharpness and quality to its bigger full frame counterpart. The advantages to the bigger 16-35mm are that it can shoot all the way down to f/2.8. This would be valuable in low-light wide-angle handheld shooting (which I don’t do). It would also be valuable in astro-photography (which I rarely do).

But the advantages of the NEX 10-18mm are manifold! You basically get to move it between 12mm-17mm without seeing the ring around the outside. And yes, you get the full-frame goodness of the 36 megapixels of the Sony A7r! That’s much wider than the 16-35mm. The distortion is pretty much exactly the same on both cameras, as you can see in the video review. Even better, the NEX lens is over 2x lighter, 3x cheaper, and a fraction of the size. One last thing that my friend Gordon Laing from CameraLabs.com reminds me: this 10-18mm lens has built-in image stabilization. Amazing! I’m not seeing any difference in the sharpness of the lens.

So this was a pretty big decision for me — to switch to this lens when I fully anticipated using the 16-35mm until the new FE wide-angle lens for the Sony A7 launches later this year. I expect that will be a superior lens to both of these, although probably not as inexpensive as this NEX 10-18mm.

Daily Photo – My Fortress of Solitude

This is my studio! I walk out here every day from the main house to make art for you.

I don’t know why I’ve never taken a photo of it before now, but this seemed like a good occasion. I’m so in love with my new camera, and I’m super-enamoured since I discovered that my “old” NEX wide-angle lens works so well on the camera! No need to lug around that giant thing any more…

If you watch the video above, you’ll see the view when I walk out the front of my little cottage. If I had filmed this a few weeks before, you’d see those cherry trees blooming over with pink blossoms… it’s my little slice of Japan down here in the Southern Hemisphere. As you can see, the roses are now in full bloom… it’s the middle of summer here. The mornings are very early and the nights stay well lit. It doesn’t even get fully dark until around midnight… it makes for a very long and beautiful day of shooting!

My Fortress of Solitude

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Leica Lenses on the Sony A7r

Leica and the Sony

What a great combo!

In this video below, you’ll see me testing a bunch of different Leica lenses on the Sony A7r (see the updated Sony A7r Review — many more Leica shots there). You’ll be able to see how they attach, how focus-peaking works, and more. You’ll also get to hear all about my friend Stu Robertson‘s Leica fascination along with his project Peace in 10,000 Hands!

Here’s a photo of Stu below with the Leica 24mm f/1.4.

Here’s a photo of Stu below with the Leica 24mm f/1.4.

Daily Photo – Walking on Water

With his Christmas-Jesus like beard, Stu attempts to walk on water in an usual scene upon the Blue Lake in Saint Bathans.

This was taken with the Leica 24mm f/1.4 lens. It’s such a tiny and fun lens to use! I’m not used to shooting wide-angle stuff with such a big aperture, but it is kinda cool how it throws the background out of focus if you’re focused on stuff close to you. I could get used to it!

Walking on Water

Walking on Water

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3000
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Full interview from This Week in Photography

This Week in Photography about The Arcanum

I was joined by Peter Giordano and Bel Jones as we were interviewed by Frederick Van Johnson all about The Arcanum. Applications are blowing up and we can’t wait to get started! We answer a lot of questions in this interview, and you can see even more answered over on the This Week in Photo site.

Daily Photo – Daydreaming in gradeschool

Well here is a photo of Bel Jones, one of the Masters of the aforementioned Arcanum looking at some nice bokeh lights! I had just gotten the new Sony A7r and was testing out some of the prime lenses. This one was the Sony 55mm at f/1.8. I commented on how nice the lights looked at f/1.8, and she turned her head to look, so I ducked over to the left to get this quick photo!

This is one of the photos in the new Sony A7r Review here on the site.

I really do like the lens very much. I’m trying to compare it to that Leica 50mm f/1.4 but I need to do some more experimentation. That Leica lens is like a $10,000 lens, which is cray-cray! I’m doing my best to use a discerning and analytical eye to see if that out-of-focus area is $9500-more buttery!

Daydreaming in gradeschool

Daydreaming in gradeschool

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture1.8
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length55.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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