Fishing with Cormorant Birds in China

Speaking of Birds

These birds below, the cormorants, are used to fish in an unusual way. They dive into the water to catch a fish, but they have a ring around their neck to prevent them from swallowing the big fish. The fisherman then yanks the fish out of their mouth and throw it into that basket there. Seems kinda cruel but clever, I suppose.

Daily Photo – Fishing with Cormorant Birds in China

Here in the Guilin area of southern China, you can see this sort of fishing activity. It gets a little touristy, because whenever one of these guys is about, there can be many photos taken! But I thought this guy looked like a real badass — like he could fish at the same time he was kicking your ass, which is a super duper combo!

Fishing with Cormorant Birds in China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Bamboo Rafts Coming in Before the Storm

Shooting in the Rain

It’s always great to go out and shoot in the rain, except for the me-getting-wet part! I wish I had a little friend with me all the time that would hold an umbrella over both of us… that would be so awesome. I know it’s a strange thing to want, but you gotta admit, it would be mega awesome.

Daily Photo – Bamboo Rafts Coming in Before the Storm

I was crossing a bridge in a little town not too far from Yangshuo and trying to stay out of the rain. It was coming down pretty hard, but there was a sunset happening too. So, at great risk to camera and limb, I set up to take this shot. All these little bamboo rafts that would take people to and fro were coming in to hunker down for the big storm…

Bamboo Rafts Coming in Before the Storm

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture4
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Stormchasing in Guilin, China

Fake Lightning Shots

Getting a good lightning shot often involves a bit of artifice. I’m certainly not above that! But I believe a lot of the truly amazing lightning photos you see are QUITE fake. First, a lot of compositing is often done, which is fine, just letting you know. If you see a ton of lightning bolts in a photo, chances are they are all combined with many different strikes. Also, if you don’t have one of those light-sensors to automatically trigger, you have to just keep taking photos until you get lucky. It’s like a lightning slot machine, so sometimes it doesn’t feel like that much skill is involved!

Daily Photo – Stormchasing in Guilin, China

I love this area of China and right upon arrival there was a huge storm hitting. So exciting! I love a good storm. It was probably ill-advised, but Tom and I climbed up a mountain to get some photos. We were underneath the shade of an old pagoda, which kept us from getting wet… it was perfect conditions for storm shooting, really!

Stormchasing in Guilin, China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1.3
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length61.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Breakfast on a Beautiful River

Most unique breakfast

Where’s the place you’ve had the most unique breakfast? I think this little place before must be in my top 3!

Daily Photo – Breakfast on a Beautiful River

See these amazing boats down there? Tom and I came across this place totally by accident. We were quite confused.

It was a cool morning and not too humid for this part of Guilin, China, which is normally quite miserable. Tom and I walked down here and it was totally empty except for a few wild dogs. After a few moments, a nice Chinese lady came out (her nationality should go without saying) and asked us if we wanted something to eat. That's when it dawned on us these were eatin' boats! So she went in and made us a MASSIVE omelet and then set it up in the middle of the table. We were with our guides Mia and Andy, and the four of us sat around the table to eat while we were calmly poled down the river. Awesome! What a find!

Breakfast on a Beautiful River

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture
  • ISO500
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramShutter speed priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Sunset in Southern China

Don’t forget to Subscribe

Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel! If you do, then you get the first look as soon as I make videos “Public”!

Daily Photo – Sunset in Southern China

This was one of my favorite areas to visit in China a few months ago. And, even better, we were treated with a truly remarkable sunset. Sunsets like this don't happen there much, so I felt very lucky to be in the right spot at the right time. It was certainly hard to get up to this position… many cuts, bruises, and lots of blood was spilled to get here. But I forgot about all that quickly enough.

Sunset in Southern China

Sunset in Southern China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture9
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Happy Girls in Guangxi and more great feedback on The Arcanum

More Great Feedback on The Arcanum!

First, The Arcanum hit #8 of the Top 51 Websites for Learning Online. Amazing! That’s a great tribute the the team, the Masters, and the Apprentices! Thanks everyone!

And here are two wonderful Apprentices who made some lovely posts about their thoughts and experiences! The first is from Rose Fredriksen and the second is from Marjorie McDonald.

Daily Photo – Happy Girls in Guangxi!

One night I went out in the rain to take photos while staying in the little town of Yangshao. It was great fun! I was using my Sony A7r and my Leica 35mm f/1.4 which requires manual focus. Naturally, this means I need both hands to take photos. Luckily I had my guide Andy with me to help hold the umbrella!

Happy Girls in Guangxi!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture
  • ISO4000
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Dragons Coming

In Game of Thrones

Who is your favorite character? For me, I’d have to say Tyrion… I liked him ever since I started reading the books about 10 years ago!

Daily Photo – Dragons Coming

Here's a photo from a wicked place in China.

It was a very cloudy and moody sunrise and I thought not much would happen, but then I had the idea for this. Sometimes when things don't work out, you can work extra hard to try to make some lemonade out of the lemons.

I think I also named it this because I've been watching lots of Game of Thrones!

Dragons Coming

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Daemon Bird

The Lightroom Tutorial

I’m glad so many people are enjoying the Lightroom Tutorial! This photo below is one of the shots that is processed during the tutorial!

Daily Photo – The Daemon Bird

This fisherman and his bird were incredible. Whichever direction his head went, so did the bird's! It was really incredible to watch. If you have the Lightroom Tutorial I mention above, be sure to watch that part where I show all the various head positions! I've never seen anything like it in my life.

For this photo, because it was so dark, I opened up my aperture all the way to f/1.4 – that really helped the light to come in and give it this feeling.

The Daemon Bird

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Dining on the slow river

Back to Venice?

When I was on this boat, I was thinking of Venice a bit! I went there a long time ago, before I was into photography. Now I want to go back… maybe we should do a big workshop event there next year? That would be fun!

Daily Photo – Dining on the slow river

I took this photo behind our boat driver/captain/guy-with-long-stick. I actually don't even know what you call these guys? Anyway, while walking around this little town in Guilin, Tom and I and our two guides found this amazing raft by a restaurant. It was a big square raft with a little roof. Everything was made of bamboo. There was a table in the middle, so we found the nearby building and asked if we could eat on the boat while someone pushed us around the river. And then it was done! 15 minutes later, I was having a delicious omelette while taking high bokeh photos of the driver/captain/guy-with-long-stick!

Dining on the slow river

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramShutter speed priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Way Above Guilin

Editing videos?

I find myself editing more and more videos… what is your favorite movie editing tool and why?

Daily Photo – Way Above Guilin

Doesn't this look like the kind of city that would be full of casinos? When I got to the top of this strange karst mountain in Guilin, China, I saw the sprawling city below and all the crazy lights and it just struck me as a gamblin' town. But it isn't. The only place you can gamble in China is Macau, and that is very big on my list. It also looks amazing for photos.

But, anyway, as for this place, it is one of the main hikes in China. I wasn't totally thrilled about hiking up here because it was super hot and muggy… AND I was in a huge hurry to get up here before the sunet. I barely made it, but I was a wet, hot, soppy mess while taking this photo. It's honestly one of my least favorite feelings… I know that makes me sound like such a primadonna, but I do have a violent hate for being hot and supa-sweaty unless I am in some kind of a “workout” mode!

Way Above Guilin

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time5
  • Aperture4
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length59.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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