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

Into the Night

Anyone listen to Soundcloud?

I’ve been listening quite a bit… if you have any recommendations, let me know! I’ve been listening a lot to a cello player I like named Philip Sheppard — check him out! :)

Daily Photo – Into the Night

The restaurants all closed early in this area of Beijing, but the lights stayed on. So that was the perfect time to get some shots of the scene without a bunch of people in the frame mucking it up.

I can’t tell you how many hours of my life I spend waiting for people to get out of the way. I mean, it’s not a horrible thing… because at least I’m usually in visually interesting people while waiting on people! :)

Beijing Night

Into the Night

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time2.5
  • Aperture13
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

中文名就叫特雷,特好记。And the Drum Tower.

A Welcome, and my Favorite Photos from China

Here is a rediculous video… you can see me struggling I think! hehe… but it was fun to make… and I ended it with some of my favorite photos from China.

http://weibo.com/3566761121/ ! 中文名就叫特雷,特好记。我真的真的很喜欢中国。它是这样一个令人难以置信的美丽的地方,当我有时间的时候我都会持续来中国,它每次总给我不一样的灵感。

Music from BT, Matt Hales, and Tony Awake is on Soundcloud here! :)

Daily Photo – The Drum Tower

Here is one of my favorite images from China. I can still hear the Kublai Khan beating the enormous drum inside to call his soldiers near… This temple sits in the Inner City to the north of Di’anmen Street.

The Drum Tower

The Drum Tower

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14mm (14mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

More Beijing at Night

Tip for Noise at Night

I’m getting re-used to APS-C sensors! Man, you really gotta keep that ISO at 100 to keep the noise to an absolute minimum. The noise is barely visible at 100, but it is definitely there. A little nudge of the Noise Reduction slider in Lightroom will take care of it though. Easy Peazy!

But, if you crank the ISO up to 400 or higher, there may indeed be too much noise for LR to fix for you. Noiseware can still help you out, but that’s an extra plugin you’ll need… here’s the Noiseware Review on the site for you.

Daily Photo – More Beijing at Night

I usually don’t do this – post photos of a similar subject matter within the same week, but I thought I would show you another angle of the same place at night. Remember that “bakery” shot from a few days ago? This is basically the same spot (you’ll recognize it) much later at night.

This was another one of those cases where I was not quite used to the 10-18mm lens. I normally walk RIGHT to the spot I want to be in then pop the 14-24 on my Nikon and fire away. But now, I’m always off by a few steps with the NEX-7! But, I quickly re-adjust then shoot. If you have shot with a wide angle lens, then you may know about this concept of picturing things from that vantage before you even do it!

Beijing Street

More Beijing at Night

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1.6
  • Aperture13
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

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