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 TakenJune 3, 2014 at 12:39am
  • 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 TakenJune 7, 2014 at 12:05am
  • 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

A fisherman from a thousand years ago

47 Ronin

Did any of you see 47 Ronin? Some of the scenes in that movie are just unbelievable… in fact, I think that scene when they go to the slaver ships is one of the coolest backgrounds I’ve ever seen in a movie! Here’s a still from it. It didn’t turn out to be the greatest movie ever made or anything… but some of the scenes in there are really beautiful!

Daily Photo – A fisherman from a thousand years ago

There are thousands of little rivers that flow through these huge karst mountains. Fisherman have been around here forever, and I like this idea that this scene could have happened almost any time in history. There are fewer fishermen nowadays, but they can still be seen. We were with some locals that knew some of the fisherman, so we were able to go out on another boat to find them… He looked so cool from a distance as we were approaching, so I tried to grab the photo in that style.

A fisherman from a thousand years ago

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 4, 2014 at 12:20am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture5
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length63.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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 TakenJune 5, 2014 at 1:16am
  • 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 TakenJune 4, 2014 at 2:56pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Spire through the Morning Fog

Thanks for signing up for the Newsletter!

I wanted to thank everyone again for signing up for the Newsletter. We have more special treats coming soon. And, as usual, we send out about one a month… it’s not to be missed! :)

Daily Photo – Spire through the Morning Fog

Every morning here near the Li River is different. I walked all the way up here one morning only to be surrounded by pea-soup the entire time! This time I woke up again at 4 in the morning to come up here to try again. This time, I was rewarded with some truly beautiful mists and foggy cloud layers that made everything feel like a dream!

Spire through the Morning Fog

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 7, 2014 at 11:21am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Other Half

A blog post from Karen Hutton

Ever wonder what it is like to be a Master in The Arcanum? Here’s a great blog post from Karen Hutton that talks about that! :)

Daily Photo – The Other Half

While walking through some tiny roads in a small village near Xingping in Guanxi, I came across this rather surreal scene! I don't think I've ever seen anything like it. They were wondering why I was taking photos, and I just smiled and gave them the thumbs up! I'm sure this just confused them even more…

The Other Half

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 3, 2014 at 1:26pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

The Fisherman and his Mindmelded Cormorant Bird

Leica Lens Buying Guide

I started a Leica Lens Buying Guide here on the site and linked to it from within the Sony A7r Review. It’s kind of version 0.9 — so I look forward to your feedback!

Now, btw, as of the writing of this, comments WORK fine on pages like those two above, but they don’t work here for daily blog posts :( We are working on that now, though!

Daily Photo – The Fisherman and his Mindmelded Cormorant Bird

This was the wildest thing I've ever seen. I got in close to this fisherman on the Li River, and he had his trusty bird-friend right behind him. No matter which way the fisherman turned his head, the bird looked the exact same way. It reminded me of the daemons from His Dark Materials. I have about 6 frames I shot where they are all looking in the same direction as they rotate their heads… I wish I had it on video!

This is a Cormorant Bird, and they have a little ring around their throats so they can't swallow the fish they catch… the fisherman takes the fish out of his mouth and puts it in a straw basket at the back of the bamboo boat. The ring is just wide enough to let little fishes go through…

(this was taken with the Sony A7r and the Leica 24mm at f/1.4 – processed with my Lightroom Presets – “Fire of the Chandrian” I think)

The Fisherman and his Mindmelded Cormorant Bird

The Fisherman and his Mindmelded Cormorant Bird

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 4, 2014 at 12:28am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture
  • ISO2500
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Little Girl and Thought

Very nice post about The Arcanum

I know we have more people signing up all the time and we just can’t meet the demand for The Arcanum, but for the few that are in, the experience has been magical I think! Here’s a nice post by Tricia Booker about what it is like to be an Apprentice within the system.

Daily Photo – Little Girl and Thought

I was walking through a little town in Xingping talking to a local man that was making some silver jewelry by hand. While he was working, his daughter was running around across the street while his father sat nearby. I snapped this quick photo while she was running free…

Little Girl and Thought

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 7, 2014 at 2:33pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO3200
  • Focal Length48.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Deep into the Jungle Mists

HDR Photo

100 New Effects to Instagram and More Updates

The new version (iTunes Link) was released yesterday.  We have 755 reviews at a 4.5 star average – that is incredible, so thank you very much.  Now, what is new?  We fixed many issues with Flickr and Dropbox, added memory fixes, and integrated the new Twitter for 5.0.  Enjoy!

That link is to the iPad version, even though we also have one for the iPhone. I recommend the iPad version if you have a choice — it has many more features than the iPhone version… you will see what I mean!

Daily Photo – Deep into the Jungle Mists

I was many kilometers down this river away from the town.  I got off my little boat to do some hiking up through the hills through the jungle. It was dense.  Even when there was a little opening, it still felt like leaves and vines were pressing in on me.  On occasion, I would see a wider break that let me see into the mysterious beyond.

Deep into the Jungle Mists I was many kilometers down this river away from the town.  I got off my little boat to do some hiking up through the hills through the jungle. It was dense.  Even when there was a little opening, it still felt like leaves and vines were pressing in on me.  On occasion, I would see a wider break that let me see into the mysterious beyond.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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