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

The New Arcanum Trailer and the Sun Drifts Away Into Time

The New Arcanum Trailer!

Here it is! We also just put this up on The Arcanum website. I know thousands and thousands of you have applied and are still waiting in the Neverending Orphanage of Lost and Forgotten Souls. You drift about like wayward wraiths, waiting for a Master to choose you, plucking you out of your perennial purgatory.

But we are going slow on purpose and hand-choosing Masters and training them up on the culture and the leveling system. We currently have between 20 and 30 Masters, each of which are averaging about 17 Apprentices each. We could amp it up at any time, but we’re trying to do this right. No one has ever built a system like this, so the whole team is keeping this as organic and special as possible. We’ll hit scale soon enough, so we really appreciate your patience! :)

Here’s one of the newest blog posts from one of our Apprentices, Tricia Booker!

Heroes of The Arcanum – Volunteers Creating a Magical Experience for You!

Check out the Heroes Of The Arcanum! I’m so happy to have these amazing people behind the scenes volunteering to make the whole Arcanum experience even more rewarding.

Thank you Tania Court, Tiff Gilleland, Tanya Wallis, Chris Thompson, and Daniel Levy so much! You’ll get to know these five better over time… Pete, Curtis, and I are very thankful for yalls, as is everyone else in The Arcanum!

Daily Photo – The Sun Drifts Away Into Time

Southern China! It's so wild and untouched! Well that's not totally true. It's mostly untouched. When you do find the occasional town, they can be a bit third-worldy in terms of trash and architectural squalor. They are not terrible and dangerous, just a bit, well, rough-looking. There are quaint parts that are authentic and charming, but often times there is too much detritus strewn about to make you feel totally comfortable. At least, this is the way it is to me. But I like escaping kind of far away from those places, up into hills like this where everything is back in its natural and beautiful state.

The Sun Drifts Away Into Time

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture8
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length70.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

In the streets of Yangshuo

I love Yangshuo!

I’m excited to go back to this little town. Be sure to sign up for the newsletter — we’ll be taking a trip there together, perhaps!

Daily Photo – In the streets of Yangshuo

I loved walking around this city in the rain. The colors and the umbrellas were so fun to photograph. I loved using the Leica f/1.4 at 35mm wide open. It made for nice quick shots. I, unapologetically, enjoy taking photos of interesting people. I'd say it's about 70% girls and 30% guys. It's just much easier to find interesting-looking girls in the streets. They dress more interesting, have prettier umbrellas, and often have a certain style to them. I don't know…anyway, here is one of them!

In the streets of Yangshuo

In the streets of Yangshuo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture
  • ISO3200
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Wild horse on the Li River

Horse Photography

I love taking photos of horses… I’d love to have even more chances to try different things… I think I like horses in the middle of dramatic backgrounds, cool barns, nice textures, etc. So I’m always trying to get horses into interesting background contexts… I just ended up lucky here.

Daily Photo – Wild horse on the Li River

Okay it's not wild. That's kind of wishful thinking. But, let's just say it was temporarily wild! Local villagers would bring their horses down to the river to wash. This one villager brought this beautiful white horse. I had my guide ask them if we could take photo before she got all wet. So, she was temporarily free, splashing in the water while I took this photo. I hope she enjoyed it — I did! :)

Wild horse on the Li River

Wild horse on the Li River

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Where the Warm City Meets the Blue Karst Mountains

When visiting Guilin

Be sure to sign up for our Newsletter there on the right, btw. I think we might do a big event in this area in 2015. You can click on the “Guilin” link there under the date of this post to see more photos from the area. Anyway, when you are here, the two main places to visit are Guilin and Yangshuo. I spend most of my time in Yangshuo… Just thinking about it again is getting me excited! :)

Daily Photo – Where the Warm City Meets the Blue Karst Mountains

This is a great city to watch from above. It's so electric and buzzing underneath the cool night air. It's so electric, in fact, I thought perhaps maybe there was legalized gambling here. But of course, there is not. The only place gambling is legal in China is in Macau, and I look forward to going there one day… it looks absolutely insane!

To get to this spot, it was a rather sweaty climb. It's one of the most popular hikes in the area, so you can't miss it, really!

Where the Warm City Meets the Blue Karst Mountains

Where the Warm City Meets the Blue Karst Mountains

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time2.5
  • Aperture4
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length70.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Walking Through Yangshuo

A buddy with an umbrella

Can I tell you what a luxury it is to have someone hold an umbrella for you in the rain while you take photos? It is unbelievable! I love to shoot in the rain, and always struggled with also holding an umbrella and trying to operate all my equipment. Plus, I refuse to get one of those hat-umbrella things… I must have at least a little bit of dignity!

Daily Photo – Walking Through Yangshuo

This was the only moment in the night where it stopped raining long enough for me to get a shot with a tripod. I took many other handheld shots this evening with my other Sony A7r, using Leica lenses. Of those, probably only 10/200 turned out interesting… but I was happy this one came out good. I do like to set up for the occasional wide-angle shot to try to capture the whole scene.

Walking Through Yangshuo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture4
  • ISO3200
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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