Looking down on Beijing

China Next Year?

I’ve gone to China every year for the last four or five or so. But I may skip it this time. The pollution in the cities is so bad that it literally makes me not feel good towards the end of the trip. Of course when I arrive, I am so excited to go! And I keep that excitement for a long time… but then the last few days I’m just dragging… it’s too much for me… so maybe I will fill that hole with something else – maybe like just staying at home in New Zealand where there is negative pollution! :)

Daily Photo – Looking down on Beijing

Here is a view of the master-planned roadway system from the top of one of Beijing’s tallest buildings in the CBD (Central Business District). I notice something funny about the way Chinese governments name areas. They are always so literal and formally translated that there is no magic in the names. One building might be called “Tower of Office” and another would have the name “Newspaper Building”.

Looking down on Beijing

Looking down on Beijing

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time5
  • Aperture16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length84.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Questions Answered Regarding the switch from Nikon to Sony

Questions about switching from Nikon to Sony – Jump to the answer!

I’m not going to embed the video here, because the Q&A Interface won’t work right, so Go Watch The Video Here.

After you press click on the link above and press play, , you can click on the questions on the right to jump forward to the answer! Actually, this is REALLY COOL that you can do this… this Q&A layer on top of YouTube is really slick!

If you want to know more, go ready my Sony NEX-7 Review.

Some of you may have already seen some of this, but if not, once inside, here are some of the questions & answers you can jump to!

- How are you able to get the quality of images you are getting with such a tiny camera?

- What was the impetus behind you deciding to try switching to the NEX?

- Why go with the NEX / APS-C size sensor? Why not go down to the Micro Four Thirds format with a slightly smaller sensor but with a better lens selection?

- What about photographers with clients? Is the perception of carrying a big camera vs small camera an issue?

- Bokeh…Talk about the differences there.

- What are the quality trade-offs?

- Durability…what are some of the differences there?

- I’ve noticed a different look to your edits since you’ve started using the mirrorless system. Is this intended or just the way your photos have come naturally?

- Did you find yourself shooting more with the NEX once the firmware update for auto bracketing was released?

- Trey, in your article, you stated you use the NEX6 for day to day and the NEX7 for your epic landscapes. Do you find the NEX7′s slow focus the cause for that?

- How do you carry your gear?

- Going back to your Nikons, with companies releasing adapters for lenses for other brands, do you see yourself grabbing a Nikon to NEX speedbooster to use your lenses on your NEX system?

- In your article you mentioned apps on the Sony. Do the new Android cameras like the recently announced Samsung NX1000 excite you in that department?

- Parting thoughts. Regarding advanced amateur photographers, what would you advise them if they’ve already spent thousands on DSLR gear or not , should they switch to mirrorless?

and lastly but not leastly:

- What would you rather photograph – Tennis or Water Polo?

Daily Photo – NEX in China

Here’s another photo I took while in China when in the middle of my Sony NEX experimentation. We went to an older area in the middle of Beihei to see this ancient scene, like time had stopped hundreds of years ago…

China Girl

NEX in China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-5R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture5
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length65.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Giant Buddha

Extra Info!

I don’t usually get all wikipedia-ish on the blog… but I did look up more things about this most fascinating statue.

Maybe the coolest thing is that 8 meters (over 25 feet!) of this statue are underground, buried, and never seen! It was carved out of a single trunk of white sandalwood, and 18 meters of it stick up above ground. It’s from 1744 and it took over three years to ship the trunk to Beijing! There were over 8 million taels of silver spent to build it and 1800 meters of yellow satin to make the kasaya… amazing!

Daily Photo – The Giant Buddha

This thing was a pleasure to photograph! While I was in this temple, monks were taking huge long red sashes and walking around the upper areas and draping them around different parts of the enormous statue. It was all in slow motion and most interesting!

Buddha Lama

The Giant Buddha

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/9
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10mm (15mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

The City Blocks

YouTube Playlists

I was wondering if you use YouTube Playlists in your own life? I mean, even if you don’t make videos yourself, do you use it to keep track of funny or helpful videos? I have a few playlists on YouTube. Some are of my own stuff, but most are things from other people… funny videos and whatnot that you might enjoy. :)

Daily Photo – The City Blocks

While I was up on top of the few buildings in Beijing, I made special care to use my zoom lenses as well. It turned out the be a lot of fun to zoom in and find cool things that were getting lost in the wide angle. This building you see here is part of the strange overhang part — this place is known as the infamous “metal underpants.”

The City Blocks

The City Blocks

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1.6
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length177.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

In the Backstreets

HDR Spotting

I’m glad so many people are enjoying HDR Spotting — it’s been a labor of love for the team, so I am honored you are choosing to share some of your images on there. It’s free to join of course… and if you choose to get the “Pro” option on there, well then you’ll be able to do some other cool things! :)

Daily Photo – In the Backstreets

I like how in the backstreets of Beijing people just kinda hang out and sit around, relaxing and thinking. I guess you don’t see that too much more nowadays. They all make for good photo subjects too. No one seems to mind, even though they may be a bit confused as to why you are taking a photo! I usually resolve the confusion by walking over to them after and showing them the photo… it makes them happy and we have a nice little interchange! :)

In the backstreets

In the Backstreets

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-5R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO500
  • Focal Length136.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Down the road

Wide angle tip

Here’s a very simple tip for shooting with a wide angle lens. Advanced people will know this already, so no need to read further! :) But, if you have a wide angle lens, or even a kit lens that you dial back for a wide scene, then you can end up getting crooked or angled lines in your shot. Of course, normally I don’t mind this at all, but sometimes, I do want things to be totally straight, as in this photo below. To keep things totally straight, there is only one simple rule — keep the camera level with the horizon. That keeps all vertical lines perfectly vertical.

Daily Photo – Down the road

While walking around the streets near Tiananmen square, there are many strange and interesting environments… almost like you walk through portals into parallel universes. This is one of them. It’s somewhere between old and modern, and the strangest thing was it was almost totally empty. And, occasionally there would be a single person that would walk down the street, which made it even more zombie-apocalypse and unusual…

Down the road

Down the road

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length17.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Temple of Confucius

Texture Tutorial

If you check the store up there on the top red bar, you’ll find the textures tutorial buried in there. It’s one of the first videos I ever made! The tutorial still sells great and people get a lot of fun ideas out of it. We recently also made an option where you can just get the textures if you like, since some people were asking for this…

Daily Photo – Temple of Confucius

Here’s one of the great things about this particular Chinese temple – it was practically empty. Strange, I thought, because every other temple is completely overloaded with people doing this and that. It was very easy to explore around and find many interesting angles and scenes. The other great thing, of course, is that absolutely nobody minded if I used a tripod. I always appreciate pure tripod freedom whenever I occasionally get it!

Temple

Temple of Confucius

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture10
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Inside the Secret Base

Interview on Chinese TV

Hehe this was a crazy scene… I don’t even really know what happened the entire time… I spoke very slowly, btw, so that they could translate.

Daily Photo – Inside the Secret Base

If I had a team of superheroes, this is where we would meet. I have no immediate plans for this, but I’ve been looking for a good spot just in case this happens. The only problem with this particular spot is that it is owned by a government-owned broadcasting company in China. I don’t know how I could possibly talk them into selling it to me.

On the bottom level, there was a very serious looking military-style guard. I tried to take a photo of him with my Google Glass, but he waved no, so I just winked. :)

Inside the Secert Base

Inside the Secret Base

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time10
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length11.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Classical Chinese Shoes

Cool Camera Clip? Yes!

I saw this Kickstarter for this Capture Camera Clip v2. Man, that thing looks pretty slick! I’ve seen many versions… and this one looks interesting.

Daily Photo – Classical Chinese Shoes

I don’t know much about women’s shoes. I’ll openly admit that. So, I don’t really know much about these either except that they are really interesting and must be hard to walk on! It’s an older style, obviously, and I wonder if Chinese ladies used to walk on these all the time in the olden days. I bet smart people in the audience will know, however! :)

Shoes

Classical Chinese Shoes

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-5R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture1.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Boxes Forever

Looking for good internet videos?

Sure… nothing wrong with a little internet-distraction right? Well whenever I need some new sure-thing videos, I go to the “Top for the Month” area of reddit. There’s all kinds of stuff in there too… you can add this to your internet wheelhouse! :)

Daily Photo – Boxes Forever

I see scenes like this and it is both awesome and depressing. Everyone seems so cramped up. Maybe it’s not as bad as it looks… maybe the compression of the lens makes it seem worse than it is… like an ant colony… like bees in a hive.

Vertical City

Boxes Forever

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time5
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length122.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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