The Clubhouse at Jack’s Point in Queenstown

What is Uber?

I know some people in big US cities already know what Uber is, but I was so excited to finally use it, being an outsider…

I tried to use it a few months ago in Vancouver, but it was outlawed there! :( Instead, I had to take a taxi with my family — wait – let me modify. No, I couldn’t. I was leaving the Ferry Building with my wife and three kids, but the taxi would only let four people in the taxi! Madness. So, I walked back to the hotel while they rode. This was confirmed when I got to the Four Seasons and they said they are not allowed to put five people in a taxi. These unions drive me nuts…

And, actually, speaking of unions, when I got this Uber below, the driver asked me to sit in the front seat with him because I was being dropped off at the airport. He showed me a ticket he had just gotten from a policemen because they have made it illegal for Uber to drop off at SFO. Crazyness!

Daily Photo – The Clubhouse at Jack’s Point in Queenstown

I went with my friend Eden to shoot the supermoon one night over in Jack’s Point. I thought it was a great idea, but it turned out to be a horrible idea because the mountains are so dang high that it took forever to crest! Anyway, while we were waiting, we got lots of chances to shoot around Jack’s point, including this one of the clubhouse at the end of the lake… it’s a great restaurant — I always have wonderful food whenever I go there!

Jack's Point in Queenstown

The Clubhouse at Jack’s Point in Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 23, 2013 at 3:00am
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time15
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length55.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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The Monuments of the Earth

Benedict Cumbarbatch-athon

So, ever since I started recently watching the BBC Sherlock, I’ve become a huge fan of Benedict Cumberbatch. Either you know who I’m talking about or you don’t! If you haven’t seen this amazing series, I cannot recommend it any more. I’ve since been watching more his work. Of course he was in the new Star Trek, but many people know that. Two other great recommendations are a Vincent Van Gogh series from BBC called “Painted with Words” and another is Stephen Hawking BBC movie. I’m now kind of hoping that Benedict appears in every show I watch!

Daily Photo – The Monuments of the Earth

Here’s yet another amazing place in Utah that I’ve never been until just recently. You know how politicians try to gerrymander the county lines so they get votes from certain kinds of people? I think Utah did this back in the day to make sure all the awesome geographical anomalies were inside their borders! They are kind of spread out, however. I did spend a small eternity driving from one place to the next, so they are not exactly tightly packed together.

Monument Valley

The Monuments of the Earth

Photo Information

  • Date TakenAugust 22, 2013 at 12:40pm
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/50
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Tips for Shooting Out of a Helicopter

How to shoot out of a helicopter

I’m not at all an expert on this, but I have taken a lot of photos out of choppers, including the one below.

The two most important things to keep in mind seem to be shutter speed and window glare. Experiment with the lighting conditions before you get into the chopper and set your camera into Aperture priority (or Manual if you wanna go mega hardcore). Get the F-Stop nice and low since everything you’ll be shooting is far away and you won’t have any focus problems. Also, get your ISO around 100, but you may need to increase that if you feel your shutter speed is dragging a little. If it is super-bright, you may not want to be at the lowest F-Stop, because then everything will be blown out.

When I was doing this shoot below, I felt like the shutter was dragging a little bit, so I kept increasing the ISO. When you are in Aperture Priority, doubling the ISO makes your shutter speed drop in half.

The last thing to keep in mind is the glare. You want to minimize this of course, and it is very hard when the chopper is always turning this way and that. Just be mindful of it and get very close to the glass to minimize the effect. You can fix some of it in post, if it is not too terrible!

Daily Photo – New Zealand with Choppy

There are more valleys and rugged mountains around here than I could ever explore. I’m starting to really believe this! I know there is a lot of cool stuff around me, and, in the beginning, I had a confidence that I would be able to explore it all — but maybe not! Whenever I get up in a helicopter and fly around, I’m reminded how vast this place is. Vast and mostly empty. It’s like scary-awesome-empty… it’s really kind of a strange feeling flying over it in a way… so remote and beautiful and empty…

NZ

New Zealand with Choppy

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-6
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length55.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Driving through the Valley of Fire at Night

Google Drive Woes

Anyone else out there use Google Drive? I’m having a pickle of a problem where I’m getting duplicate folders… I can’t figure it out. I only have one folder on my computer, but inside the web interface I have duplicates. It’s so confusing and it gives me a headache whenever I try to work out what is happening and then reverse-engineer the whole thing so everything is synced. Maybe I am alone with this problem!

Daily Photo – Driving through the Valley of Fire at Night

This was my first time through the Valley of Fire just north of Las Vegas, and I spent so long taking photos through the day and into the night that I ended up staying right through the dark. When I drove through here, the headlights looked so magical against the rocks that I threw it into reverse to back up and take a photo. One of the strangest things about this place is that after the sun set – it was completely empty and I never saw another car.

Driving through the Valley of Fire at Night

Driving through the Valley of Fire at Night

Photo Information

  • Date TakenAugust 18, 2013 at 3:52am
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time25
  • Aperture4
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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High Atop Tokyo

Help with Leica Lenses from savvy People out there!

Okay, so I want to start getting some Leica lenses, but I have never felt as clueless as I do when I go Leica lens shopping. I know that there are many very intelligent and practiced Leica experts and collectors out there. I respect you greatly! Maybe I can just have a small iceberg of your knowledge from the wide and deep glacier. I need some advice:

1) What are the first four lenses I should get?
2) There are so many different prices even for the same lens – how do I know if I’m paying for quality or a collector’s item? (I’m more interested in quality of course!)
3) Where is the best place to buy them online?

I think I’d like a good wide-angle lens and then two good ones for portraits/people/things and then maybe a good telephoto lens too. Thank you in advance!

Daily Photo – High Atop Tokyo

After the fun Tokyo photowalk in Harajuku, we had a big dinner for everyone at an Italian restaurant on the top floor of pretty tall building. Somehow, we managed to get ourselves all the way up onto the roof for a bit of night shooting. It was so awesome up there, and I was immediately reminded of the blade-runner-esque feeling of Tokyo.

High Atop Tokyo

High Atop Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date TakenOctober 3, 2013 at 11:15am
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time3.2
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

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