Another Choppy Dropoff in the Southern Alps

Looking for a fun and scenic helicopter ride?

Be sure to look up Choppy’s company when you come to Queenstown. It’s called “Over The Top” and you’ll never forget it!

Daily Photo – Another Choppy Dropoff in the Southern Alps

One of the greatest things about flying around with Choppy is I can just kinda point where I want her to land, and she does it! She can land anywhere. One time she came over to my house to pick me up, and I thought she’d land in this huge field behind our house. I was sure of it, in fact. I was wrong — she landed right in my driveway!

Another Choppy Dropoff in the Southern Alps

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Going to Swim with the Sharks

Going to Swim with the Sharks

Have you ever been in the ocean with anything dangerous? I’ve done a few things that were ill-advised. As some of you know, one of my phobias is deep water where I can’t see under. I got around that one here because I wore a face mask so I could see what the heck was going on below me. In this case, my getting-around-the-phobia was then taken to the next level with a fairly healthy shark-phobia. What is the word for shark-phobia? Common-sense!

Daily Photo – Going to Swim with the Sharks

Here’s the view of our little boat as we headed out of the safety of the lagoon of Bora Bora to the pacific ocean. Just after the shelf drops off, the water gets a bit deeper and there were sharks everywhere! Our fun-loving boat captain started the adventure by tossing raw meat into the water! The sharks started going cray cray.

I had the whole family with me except for Scarlett (the 5 year old). She seemed more meat-sized. I did a little estimation and figured that the 8-year-old Isabella was big enough and certainly the 13-year-old Ethan! Tina was a little scared though, but I told her not to worry because I was an expert at swimming with sharks. This was of course a lie and it did not help the situation. Anyway, after we fed them some raw meat, all of us dove in together! There must have been about 30 or 40 sharks down there… Smaller reef sharks and much bigger lemon sharks. They mostly ignored us but would sometimes dart up to investigate. It was a lot of fun and the kids had a blast!

Going to Swim with the Sharks

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1600
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length36.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Temples in Thailand

Religious Architecture

I’m getting better and better at identifying a country just by looking at its religious buildings. Not always, though. Europe is really hard because most of the cathedrals look alike. The German ones stand out a bit more in their gothicness. The French ones tend to be a bit more ornate, as you’d expect. But in the Asian countries, there is a much bigger difference. The Japanese ones look nothing like the Thai ones which look nothing like the Chinese ones. It’s interesting!

Daily Photo – Temples in Thailand

Here’s another good spot that I found thanks to Stuck on Earth. It’s close to Bang Saray and is a very friendly walking-area. The whole place is very strange and full of surprises. I won’t tell you the surprises just in case you visit here some day. I’ll tell you this though: it’s a super-weird adventure with animals you’ve probably never heard of (I hadn’t!)

Temples in Thailand

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1600
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Low Mist in Mackenzie Country

Coming to New Zealand?

As you know, we have one or two workshops a year here in New Zealand (click on the store up there at the top), but if you are coming on your own and have never been before, here is some advice. New Zealand is big. Way bigger than you think. Many people come for 3 weeks and really spend quite a bit of time driving if they are trying to visit both the north and south island. My advice is just to stick to the south island. That is where I live, and if you are into dramatic landscapes, it honestly doesn’t get any better.

Daily Photo – Low Mist in Mackenzie Country

While I was working with the Google team, taking photos of the Loon project, I went out one evening to see this. It is very close to Tekapo, where all the Google Loon Balloons were launching from. Sometimes right before dusk there is a nice inversion layer that makes everything extra-dreamy.

Low Mist in Mackenzie Country

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/25
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length95.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Horse, Stirred and Shaken

Riding Horses?

I have a confession to make that I think will upset everyone in the audience that enjoys riding horses. Maybe “confession” is the wrong word, because that makes it sound like I did something untoward to the horse. Anyway, I came to the decision that I don’t actually enjoy riding horses. I was at this ranch below in Yellowstone recently, and it was my fourth time there. Every previous time I go horseback riding. This time, when they asked if I wanted to go, I just said no. I really frankly find it to be very uncomfortable and ungainly. I spent more time feeling uncomfortable and awkward than I do enjoying myself. I just go for hikes instead. That’s about 10% discomfort / 90% pleasure. I’m trying to make sure my leisure activities have this sort of discomfort / pleasure ratio.

Daily Photo – The Horse, Stirred and Shaken

In the late afternoon, they let all the horses run out across the meadow. They often come up near the main lodge here to eat flowers and relax. They’re always covered in flies, which must be mega annoying to horses. I would think that is one of the main purposes of tails is to get those flies away. But it doesn't really reach up to the neck, so every minute or so, this horse would do this crazy neck-shake thing that I captured here.

The Horse, Stirred and Shaken

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture
  • ISO640
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

The Frozen Grasses

Strange Visual Phenomenon?

What is the strangest visual thing you’ve ever seen? This little scene I describe below is one of them.

Daily Photo – The Frozen Grasses

About five seconds after I took this photo below, the sun came up over a mountain and made everything start to crystallize. The sun gave every little bit a different color of the rainbow. What was even more fascinating was while walking along the path with the sun, there was a moving set of rainbow drops everywhere. It looked like a thousand sparkling diamonds… never seen anything like it!

I tried to take a photo of it, but it just didn't work out right… You kinda had to be there! That’s a terrible thing to say, I know… but maybe I’ll get better and can figure out a way to capture it next time!

The Frozen Grasses

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/13
  • Aperture14
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length33.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Coasting Through Zion

Thanks for the Testimonials

I wanted to thank you for adding new testimonials to Trey’s Complete HDR Tutorial and the Lightroom Tutorial. We recently swapped out our commenting system to Discus and we lost all the other ones! This sucks… sorry about that. But now we are good to go again. Today’s daily photo is one of the ones edited in the Lightroom Tutorial!

Daily Photo – Coasting Through Zion

I made a mistake in Zion, I now realize, thank you, dear reader of the blog! I posted another photo from Zion and some cool things I saw while there. Well, apparently, I completely missed most of the goodness! There is a bus that you take that goes up a road to show you all the cool stuff. I usually hate buses and was confused by the bus-thing. I didn't know what it was and I just decided I didn't like it. This was dumb of me because I should have tried to find out more. Well, a reason to go back, I suppose!

Coasting Through Zion

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1250
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Surprise Lake on Hole 1

Speaking of Portal

Any of you fans of that game Portal? Are they going to make a new one sometime soon I hope?

Daily Photo – The Surprise Lake on Hole 1

A few weeks ago we had an amazing amount of rain in Central Otago. The day it cleared up, I went over to The Hills to take photos with my friends Maura and Cliff. We walked around all over the place and I was surprised to see these lakes that formed all over the place. I’m always a sucker for a clean reflection. It reminds me of a secret portal to the mirror-world.

The Surprise Lake on Hole 1

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2500
  • Aperture4
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length45.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2.3

The Earthmelting Truck

Grunge HDR

If you’ll notice, I haven’t been doing much grungy HDR stuff lately. I never did that much back in the day, but I did dabble in it. I could do more, I suppose, but I don’t really seek out all those abandoned kinda places. I don’t know why. I know some people really like that, and that’s cool. But I do find I end up going to pretty, beautiful places rather than rundown grungy places. I’ve never really thought about this until I wrote this paragraph, but it is an interesting thing I am noticing.

Daily Photo – The Earthmelting Truck

We recently found a new place thanks to a hot tip. This amazing truck that is being swallowed by the earth is about 30 minutes past Glenorchy on the way to Kerloch (I think I've spelled that wrong — my apologies). If you start looking along the side of the road for a dilapidated shack, then you’re on the right track. It’s just past a very tiny bridge. You can just park there and walk to the back side to get a view of this. The people that lived in that house didn't seem to mind that I was in their back yard.

The Earthmelting Truck

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length11.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Late Morning at Mitre Peak

Edited with Macphun

This photo below is one of many I have done lately with Macphun software. See more in my .

Daily Photo – Late Morning at Mitre Peak

If visiting Milford Sound, one great piece of advice is not to go all the way to the water’s edge at low tide. Some of the best shots are from the still reflection shots of the puddles that form from the retreating water. There are hundreds of these little pools. Some are clear without rocks and others have rocks. I decided to move around until I found a nice sequence of them.

Late Morning at Mitre Peak

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/10
  • Aperture18
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length44.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2

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