Have you seen those videos of Marines disassembling and reassembling their gun blindfolded? I can do this with my tripod and camera. It’s not nearly as cool or impressive, and I usually do it while I’m alone. It’s just really from habit, since I’m always opening and closing my system. It’s become more of a meditation than a hassle.
Daily Photo – Driving through Remote China
I took a six hour drive through part of the Hangzhou. At some point, it began to get very hilly and moody. The ride was a little rough, so I would pull over from time to time to take breaks.
One time when I popped out, I thought the road and the scene felt fairly cinematic. I went through the old routine of opening up the tripod for a shot…
Here’s a video from when I was in Beijing… trying to get to my hotel… the more I showed him the map, the more confused he got..
Daily Photo – The Internal Weather System
This is another view inside the cavernous symphony hall in Beijing. The place is so enormous that you can see the beginnings of little clouds inside when the lights move a certain way. I actually think only part of it is related to the size – the other part is related to the awful pollution all around Beijing. There is so much particulate in the air, and it fills up inside big places like this. When the distance is obscured by cloud-matter, it makes everything feel more epic and grand (albeit dirty!).
The year is going by fast! We haven’t run a sale since Father’s Day so October sounded like a great time do it. You can use the the discount code “Octoberfest20″ to save 20% on all eBooks over at Flatbooks.com and on the Tutorial and Tools at StuckInCustoms.com through October 31st, 2012.
(Note: The discount does not apply to Workshops, Prints or Apps)
Topaz Adjust Reminder
Be sure to check out the Topaz Adjust Review if you want to know one of my most commonly used plugins. I often use that towards the end of my process for a bit of extra sharpening and pop.
Daily Photo – Man on Horse in Lijiang Square
When I arrived into the middle of this opening within the tight city of Lijiang, a fresh rain had just made everything nice and slick. There were a few men walking around the old town square on horses in the midst of all the pedestrian activity.
This is my favorite time of day to shoot. I love it when there is a little bit of light that is both natural and artificial. I always use Photomatix (see my HDR Tutorial if this is all new to you) to process my photos, but I find it is especially receptive to these sorts of lighting conditions.
Daily Photo – The Resting Egg
National Centre for the Performing Arts in China is one of the easiest AND most challenging things to photograph. This is an interesting duality, I think. Obviously, it’s a beautiful structure, and it’s easy to access and circumnavigate, but that is not the “easy” that I mean. I suppose it’s easy because it’s hard to take a bad picture of the the structure. The challenging bit is doing something very interesting. And that comes with the use of light and composition. I have hundreds of photos of this thing — and the challenging part to me is picking “the most interesting” — it’s a fun task that never gets old!
Here’s the longer cut of the interview… actually, I think this is uncut!
Daily Photo – Chinese Lanterns
Whenever I walk around taking photos, I usually have two cameras with me. My second camera usually has a 50mm prime, or something along these lines. I capture thousands and thousands of little photos, but I hardly ever post them. I don’t know why… maybe it is sort of the one-photo-per-day thing here on the blog. I guess I could post more, but I don’t want it to get too busy… or… well, I don’t know. I don’t have a great reason. But, anyway, here is one of those little photos that I take with my walkin-around-camera from a small shop in Beijing.
These out-of-the-way places are some of the best for photography because the locals actually like photographers from the west. About 98% of the time they find us interesting and worthy of a smile. They seem to like the attention we give them with our cameras and there are many smiles to be had.
I don’t take a lot of photos of people smiling, because I like to take photos before people notice or right as soon as they notice. Usually though, everyone smiles after I take a few… I do a few facial maneuvers so that they feel more comfy.
Here’s a recent article from The Mountain Scene by Paul Taylor about the video below… glad it turned out so popular! I’ll embed the video below in case you have not seen it yet… thanks again!
Cutting Room Floor of My Favorite Musicians
I have a huge list of music that I like, which I suspect is no different than you. Some of it is niche, and I was thinking that I would love to have tracks from the cutting room floor. Like, for example, I’d love to hear some of the lost tracks of Patrick iO’Hearn, Bel Canto (Anneli Drecker), David Darling, Jami Sieber, and more (I picked some niche ones there). All these musicians must have stuff they’ve thrown away that I would find quite interesting!
Daily Photo – Overgrown Tower Atop the Great Wall
You may remember seeing towers that connect the sections of the Great Wall. Here I am inside of one of them that has fallen to ruins and the vegetation has taken over. You can see the tree jutting up from the left and how everything else is slowly crumbling back into the soil.
The stairs to the right are barely usable, and I went up them to get a good view of the sunset and have a snack.
If you want some cool filters for Video, I recommend Magic Bullet Looks! I updated my Magic Bullet Looks review after I used it to make this video below. By the way, thanks for telling your friends and everyone about it… I just released it and it already got over 150,000 views, so thanks!
A great app if you have Apple TV
This is sort of a niche recommendation. But if you have Apple TV and you have an iPad and want to play movies from your computer, try an app called “Air Video”. I use it all the time to play video files and then share them from the iPad up onto the Apple TV.
Daily Photo – Walking Farther Along the Ancient Great Wall
Some of the places I visited on this ancient, original stretch of the Great Wall were almost too covered in vegetation to navigate. Thick conifers and strange plants would block this way and that. I listened to music and that made everything even more surreal.
I had always heard that the top of the Great Wall was so wide that five horses could ride side by side (16 feet across). When you are up there, it seems even wider with all the trees and plants, and you almost forget you are on top of the wall itself.
I’ve been using this app, Hotel Tonight, for a while now. It’s a really neat concept – every day at noon, hotels from all over the US release their unsold inventory for sale in this app at rock-bottom prices. If you’re able to wait until the last minute to book, you can get some amazing deals… it really saved the day during my recent trip to NYC. New York hotels can get quite expensive, but I got a great price using the app.
Virtual Photo Walks
During the New York event, we also decided to do this thing called a “Virtual Photo Walk” where we were able to have many other people join us at the event. People that join these events are often those that can’t walk or physically join us, so it is kind of a fun and cool thing to do. I put a little highlight video that they made over on the right.
Chinese People Love Them Some Apple
So I don’t know if I ever mentioned this on the blog or not. I don’t think I have. But whenever I walk into coffee shops or these sorts of places in China, a good 50% of the crowd has out their Apple devices. They proudly work/play along on them, having a grand old time. It’s so mega-trendy there that I can see this is just the beginning there…
Daily Photo – Shopping Scene from Beijing
Speaking of parallel universes (the question from yesterday), I often imagine I have side-stepped into one when I travel to other cities, especially as global commerce becomes more homogenized. For example, maybe you can see the Apple store in the background there. When you walk in, everything is exactly the same except for the language and all the Chinese people (of course). Now, this may seem like a totally obvious thing, but it is one of those other universes that is right in the middle of our own.
When I was getting moved into my new place in NZ, my posts became a little irregular. I never missed a day, but sometimes I was a little late rather than my normal midnight-central-time schedule! Anyway, things should be back to normal now… I was burning the candle at both ends… (not that I’m doing any less now… I just got that bit of my life under control!)
Daily Photo – The Opera Scene
The Chinese Opera almost has more photo opportunities than Burning Man. There are at least half-as-intense in their costumes, and every pose they get into seems like it is ready for a photo!
I took a great many photos that evening, and I still have many more to process. As I scrubbed through in Lightroom, this one really jumped out!
Thanks again everyone for jumping into the New Training Course we announced a few days ago. It’s been a huge success and I really want to thank you all for all the support. It was a lot of fun to make, and I’m glad you’re getting a lot out of it!
Daily Photo – The Great Wall Stretches Across the Sunset
Beautiful China! Isn’t the Great Wall an awesome thing? It’s so epic in every way. I do what I can to make it feel as epic as it deserves. On one of my nights there, the sun dipped halfway behind a hill. I saw it happening while I was walking along the wall by myself, so I set up for this shot…
It’s very soon! Thanks for all the feedback when I asked the other day…
See PhotoWalk Details Here – and see you soon! I’m packing now for the trip from New Zealand! It’s a long trip… ! No worries, I have a good book…
Daily Photo – Dark and Light in Lijiang
Here’s a photo that I edited live during the class a few days ago. The motions I went through are also inside of one those “Trey’s Lightroom Presets” I mentioned a few days ago… you can do so much in Lightroom nowadays that it is kind of scary!
This is one of the main streets in the city of Lijiang. During the day, it looks quite traditional, but at night, everything lights up and becomes wonderfully alive.