July First, Time for New Presets!

Ready for the New Presets

This is my Birth Month, July 1971, so you know I’m gonna pull out all the stops this month! Pop over to our Trey’s Lightroom Presets to grab the amazing presets for this month. Remember, on Day 1 of every month, we offer them half-price. It’s a heck of a deal, and something I’m happy to offer the most HARD CORE of you that come back month after month for the goodies!

Here’s one of the before/afters for ya. Naturally, every preset totally depends on each photo… but this one is called “Daytwister.”

After:

Dubai Amaze (210 of 406)-1

Before:

Dubai Amaze (210 of 406)-1-2

Daily Photo – A Warm Afternoon in Hobbiton at the Water Mill

How perfect is this water mill? It would sit there all day, gently turning the water over itself. I don’t have to tell you the wish-wash sound it made, because you already know and can imagine it without effort. If that is you, then I took this photo just for you.

This is one of the photos that I processed in our HDR Video Tutorial. I hope you like the final result!

A Warm Afternoon in Hobbiton at the Water Mill

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture10
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Approaching Vancouver at the End of the Cruise

Best Cruise Lines?

I’m hardly a cruise expert, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on various cruise lines!

Daily Photo – Approaching Vancouver at the End of the Cruise

This Disney cruise was one of the best things I’ve ever done. I was dreading it because I thought the hundreds of kids would drive me nuts, but it wasn’t even a bother. Really! It was just a wonderful all around trip, and we all felt very happy here on the last day as we pulled into Vancouver Port at the end.

Approaching Vancouver at the End of the Cruise

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-6
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length158.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Air New Zealand Photoshoot on the Hobbiton Movie Set – Behind the Scenes

Air New Zealand Photoshoot on the Hobbiton Movie Set – Behind the Scenes

How did the art director feel about me using a mirrorless camera? What kind of problems did I have on set with costuming? What happened when one of the hobbit-kids freaked out because of the prosthetic feet? What were the challenges in the post-processing?

Join me on the Hobbiton Movie Set in New Zealand as I do a photo shoot campaign for Air New Zealand. I almost never do client work, but since NZ is my new home, I made an exception. Besides, I like Air New Zealand!

Daily Photo – Inside the Greatest Temple

You may remember a post from a few weeks ago where I showed the outside of what I consider one of the most amazing temples in the world. It was from Pattaya, Thailand, and one of the most remarkable things is how new it is. Can you believe all this has been built just in the last 20 or 30 years? It’s very Burning-Manish too inside, which is always a plus with me!

Inside the Greatest Temple

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time3.2
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length12.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Mind if I Plug In?

Speaking of plugs and adapters

This is still a constant problem for me when I travel. Carrying around adapters and everything is just a big mess. I’d say that often whenever I get everything hooked up in the hotel room, from battery chargers to laptops to phones, that the outlet looks a bit like today’s photo!

Daily Photo – Mind if I Plug In?

How insane is this wiring job? You see this kind of scene in a lot of Southeast Asian countries. I can’t make heads or tails of it, and it seems incredibly dangerous and confusing! Can you imagine if one of these poles fell over? Not only would it cause a terrible mess, but re-wiring everything would just about drive you insane.

Mind if I Plug In?

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture4
  • ISO80
  • Focal Length49.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Through the Forest Path

Light Trough Trees

I take a lot of photos in forests and along paths, but they don’t always turn out well. In fact, I would say that shooting in a forest is one of the hardest shooting situations ever! Everything gets really muddled up if you don’t watch out. So, to get this photo below, believe me, I had to take over 100 different ones that just came out, well, kind of “blah”!

Daily Photo – Through the Forest Path

Yesterday I showed a shot from a hike, and here is yet another one! This one is along the Greenstone river further south towards Glenorchy. It's a great walk, but you have to drive a long way before you can start it. However, even better, you can take a boat over to the start of the trail. That will save you many hours of driving time and bumpy roads. I suppose it's a bit strange to arrive at a hiking trail by boat, but it's worth it because you're so tired after this little 16km jaunt!

Through the Forest Path

Through the Forest Path

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture8
  • ISO500
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Spa at Aro-Ha

Cold Dip and Hot Dip

I got into doing this cold-dip thing. You dunk your whole body in water that is just above freezing for one minute, and then you get into a hot tub or a Finnish sauna, then rinse and repeat three times. It’s kind of a sweet torture, but you sure do feel better inside after. But I’m not sure if it is just in your brain or not… it reminds me of that joke by Stephen Wright: “I love hitting myself repeatedly in the head with a hammer because it feels so good when I stop.”

Daily Photo – The Spa at Aro-Ha

Hey, that rhymes! And it's one of my favorite places after a long day of working my body and mind. This is an absolute gem of a place, by the way. It's a spa and wellness retreat in New Zealand called Aro-Ha, and it gets my absolute highest recommendation. The hiking trails are amazing, the food is super-tasty (and healthy!), and even better, you get a massage every single day. Maybe I should capitalize that. Massage Every Single Day.

In fact, right there in the hot-tub on the left (you can't quite see him) is Michel. He's was one of my favorite masseurs. He's French and his hands were like Jean-Claude Van Damme in his prime. Well, probably twice as strong. And no, he did not massage me in the hot tub, although now that I think about it, I should have asked him to! Haha oh yeah! :)

The Spa at Aro-Ha

The Spa at Aro-Ha

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture13
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Heading back to Tokyo

Strange worlds!

This will be a strange turn-around for me. I’ll be spending a lot of time in the deserts of Morocco, away from civilization, and then I’ll be going straight into Tokyo here. I’m super-excited about the transition, actually. To me, Morocco and Japan are two true parallel universes that have not become generic in any way yet… so it will be a bit of a portal-between-worlds.

Daily Photo – Heading back to Tokyo

Here's a scene from the fun photowalk we did in Tokyo last time I was there. A bunch of girls in costume showed up and started playing with my Google Glass. They made the funniest faces of shock and surprise when they put them on. In this shot, you can see Vic Gundotra in the background taking his own photos of the festivities!

Heading back to Tokyo

Heading back to Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-6
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO1250
  • Focal Length56.0 mm
  • FlashAuto, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Edna

Beta Testing the new site!

We are rolling out the New Version of Stuck In Customs over the next 24 hours. A full update is coming soon and I’ll go through all the changes with you! Of the HUNDREDS of new things, one of the coolest is that it is now a responsive design that should be super mobile-friendly! Anyway, more info to come when it is official (probably tomorrow).

More about Edna from The Incredibles

I bet SOME of you in the audience know who this woman is, and if you do, feel free to educate everyone else! :)

Daily Photo – Edna

How awesome is this woman? I saw her while in Paris.

Or did I? No, not really… but there she is, evidently, yes? And I did take the picture.

But, amazingly, this is a store window display along the streets of Paris. Now that I say that, you see it, yes? Yes. But still, pretty cool I say! :)

Edna from The Incredibles

Edna

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-3

The Great Tea Shoppe

Your Favorite Tea?

I ended up buying a few different kinds of teas from all over Japan at this rather exotic tea shoppe below. Do you have a favorite kind of a tea or a favorite way to have it prepared? I’m curious! I used to think I liked Earl Grey Tea a lot because Captain Picard liked it, but now I’ve decided I actually really don’t like it (but I still like Captain Picard.)

Daily Photo – The Great Tea Shoppe

This was a magical little find off on one of the side streets in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan. From the road, I saw a bunch of patterned tea holders inside of a quaint shop, so I just went inside. For whatever reason, I am less shy about going into random stores in Japan. Even if I end up in a really strange store (which is mostly the case!), then people are so polite there that they never make me feel bad about it! Speaking of that, I should get some more photos of the rather strange stores into which I pop into!

The Great Tea Shoppe Japan

The Great Tea Shoppe

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/40
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

Way Above Queenstown and Live Interview Today!

Live on This Week in Photo Later Today!

I’ll be on live answering questions all about The Arcanum. It’s gonna be a very fun show with Fred — looking forward to it! To see your local time, visit the event here! (You can also watch live on that video)

Speaking of our chopper ride below

If you want to see more from our little chopper adventure, see the new top-banner collage from my friend Peter Giordano on the top of his Facebook page!

Daily Photo – Way Above Queenstown

We had a great flight all around Queenstown with Choppy. She runs a company called Over the Top and I’ve flown with her many times. She’s so smooth! We landed up here for a short bit and took some photos as the sun was going down. It was so beautiful!

Way Above Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/50
  • Aperture16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length20.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

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