Milky Waters of Aruba

New Camera Gear Stuff!

I made a few changes to my Camera Gear Recommendations. Here you go… I’ll cut and paste them here for you or follow the link to see more.

Sony a5100 Mirrorless Camera

Good Camera: Sony a5100

This Sony mirrorless camera is highly recommended if your budget is keeping you around the $500 level.

If budget is not a concern, I suggest you jump down to the “Better” or “Best” or “HARDCORE” recommendations. However, if budget is your principal concern, then no worries; this Sony is the way to go! One great thing about it is that all the lenses that you get for this camera can also be used if and when you decide down the road to upgrade to the Sony a7Rii model below.

Better Camera: Sony a6300

Starting at below $999 for the body.

The A6300 is the latest evolution of the high end Sony APS-C models. It features, amongst other great features, enhanced autofocus speed and 4K movie recording. You can read my complete Sony a6000 review, it is the model the A6300 replaces and has many of the same specs. The a6000 series has a number of advantages over the lower-priced a5000 models. It has a built-in electronic viewfinder, more focal points, and faster continuous shooting (11 fps vs 6 fps).

Best Camera: Sony a7R II

Starting at just over $3198

A full-on Sony a7R Review is here on the site that is full of a ton of sample photos. The Mark 2 is faster, 42 Megapixel (instead of 36), and, most importantly, it has in-body stabilization. AWESOME. I used this camera ll the time before getting the Hasselblad X1D below. It’s a great camera and much more affordable than the Hasselblad. I absolutely love it even though I’m not using it any more. It has all the power of the giant DSLR systems at a fraction of the price and size. Its Full-Frame goodness combined with a small mirrorless form factor gives you everything you need. Plus, the camera smarts inside are absolutely insane. Check on the review there to see even more!

HARDCORE MODE: Hasselblad X1D

Starting at the low low bargain price of around $9,000.

What a beast! I don’t have a review up yet for this, as I want to use it for a few months. But I’ve used it long enough to know that I like the photo results better than the Sony A7r series of cameras. It’s medium format and mirrorless, which means it’s got a much bigger sensor than the Sony and is not that much bigger in size. 50 megapixels. Beautiful and Sleek. I have the 30mm, 45mm, and 90mm lenses and they are all outstanding! The only downsides I can see so far is it is a bit slow (like 2 frames per second) and the software is a tiny bit buggy. I think the latter will be fixed with firmware.

Link to my Spotify Playlists

If you click on this Spotify Playlist Link, you can see most of the songs I’ve added in the last year. It’s all over the place, really, but mostly Ambient/downtempo/electronica with a few wildcards thrown in. I listen to this stuff when editing photos to help “get me in the mood”!

Daily Photo – Milky Waters of Aruba

We were here in the middle of winter, and the water was still very nice. I can't imagine how nice it is in the summer! It was certainly better than being stuck in a cold place for the winter… don't get me wrong… you know I live in the mountains of New Zealand, so obviously I like wearing layers, a crackling fire, and hot cocoa, but a beach like this is a welcome respite!

Milky Waters of Aruba

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-18 00:53:12
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length26.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

Relaxing in Aruba

Personal Photo Challenges

Hey, check out my new YouTube Playlist from our Family Adventures in Florida and the Caribbean. In each of the six videos I recently posted, I give myself a little personal photo challenge. For this challenge in Aruba, I was practicing reductionism.

Daily Photo – Relaxing in Aruba

I admire people that can just sit in the waves and relax. I find the only time I sit completely still in any situation is when I am reading or meditation. I love both of those things… but I very rarely sit like this in the ocean and do nothing. Whenever I try it, I think, you know, I should really be walking up and down the beach and taking photos!

Relaxing in Aruba

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-18 00:53:50
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

Horse Play in the Water

Get a Pixel Phone!

These Google Pixel phones are great. Note Google didn’t pay me or anything to say this… I even bought a 2nd one for my wife and she loves it too. I find it superior to the iPhone in almost every way… and since I Switched from Mac to Windows now I am totally Apple-free! And yes, we’re still working on the Aurora HDR version for Windows! 🙂

Daily Photo – Horse Play in the Water

Heck of a nice photo from a mobile phone eh? One of the best advantages of the phone is I was able to go jogs with it up and down the beach here in Aruba. I saw so many interesting things! And it was so easy to quickly grab with by pressing the power button twice on the side then Vol-Up to grab it. I often didn't even have to look at the viewfinder. I would just “guess” and then edit in Snapseed or on my computer later.

Horse Play in the Water

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-17 15:09:38
  • CameraPixel
  • Camera MakeGoogle
  • Exposure Time1/6000
  • Aperture2
  • ISO57
  • Focal Length4.7 mm
  • FlashAuto, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Paddleboard Yoga Class

Paddleboard of my Own!

Here’s a photo of the first time I tried paddleboard yoga. This is extremely difficult, by the way… And when you fall off, there is simply no way to look cool. It reminds me of the other way it is impossible to look cool: When you crawl under a conference table to unplug things.


Yours Truly on a Paddleboard

Daily Photo – Paddleboard Yoga Class

You know what would have been really impressive? If I was doing yoga down there on paddleboard with all those ladies WHILE flying the quadcopter to get this shot. Can you imagine? Well… that's a recipe for disaster I'm sure… I almost fell over while standing over on the nearby beach!

Paddleboard Yoga Class

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-19 10:20:39
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Thanks again!

..to our partners at the Ritz-Carlton (we stayed here Aruba as well). We have a cool relationship because they let my family and crew stay for free and I just end up taking good photos in and around their properties. There’s no requirement that I blog post or social-media-ize anything, but I end up doing anyway because I occasionally nab interesting photos. They’re a perfect partner, since they have a 100% overlap with all the travel photography I’ve been doing anyway, and it makes it easier to bring the family along too!

Aruba Photo Tips and Tricks

Wow how beautiful is the water here? Join me in my reductionist mission here!

Yellow Ring in Aruba

Adobe Lightroom Woes

I have made a little video recording of how slow Lightroom is and I’m sending it to my peeps at Adobe. I’ll report back on what they say! 🙂 That thing just gets slower and slower and slower… Frustrating!

Daily Photo – Yellow Ring in Aruba

Here's another one of those reductionist photos I got while in Aruba. It was so fun to work up and down the white-sand coast and pick out simple structures like this. I also like that the yellow-ring is kind of confusing. I call them sea-condoms, but that is not really what they are. That would be silly.

Yellow Ring in Aruba

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-21 00:44:47
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2500
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Simple Shapes of Aruba

New Challenges in New Spots

You know these videos I’ve been making in each location? Well in each one I try to come up with a personal challenge and then kind of check in on that challenge throughout the video. For this challenge, see below.

Also, note over the next 7 blog posts, I’m gonna bounce around to all the Ritz-Carltons we stayed at in Florida and the Carribean! We have a good partnership with this company – they let us stay for free and they make great home bases for taking photos! I’m not required to share anything… but I do usually end up getting interesting photos, like in today’s blog post 🙂

Daily Photo – The Simple Shapes of Aruba

The challenge here was to use this amazing Aruba water to create a simple canvas upon which to position object. I got a ton of photos I liked, but this one exemplified it the most. Watch over the next year as I explore this idea more.

The Simple Shapes of Aruba

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-18 00:53:12
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length26.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

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