Blue Door Number 6

Behind the Scenes at The Arcanum shoot

Here’s a bunch of relatively random clips that shows some behind-the-scenes stuff. We were shooting a new promo for The Arcanum and doing random other things!

Daily Photo – Blue Door Number 6

Every door in this little town is different. I took photos of about 50 different doors and I was thinking about making some kind of mosaic. But that's one of those “little” projects that sounds like it would take quite a bit of time, eh? Well, I should just buckle down and do it… I wish there were two of me! Anyway, this photo is a pretty good example of the kind of variety and uniqueness that comes around every corner in Chefchaouen.

Blue Door Number 6

Blue Door Number 6

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.3
  • Aperture11
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Two Men in Jilabas in Morocco

Sweet Jilabas

I bought one of these Jilabas, and I love it so much! It keeps me super warm and the pointy hood is so quirky! I even had extra pockets sewn in, just like Kvothe. In my case, they hold everything from lenses to camera gadgets to snacks… what else do I need? :)

Daily Photo – Two Men in Jilabas in Morocco

While walking around this wonderful little town of Chefchaouen, I ended up down in the village square where all the restaurants were open and music and wine was flowing. I skirted around the edge and found a little quiet corner. Just after I turned it, I saw these two older men sitting and talking. I nodded a hello, squatted down to one knee, and snapped a quick photo.

Two Men in Jilabas in Morocco

Two Men in Jilabas in Morocco

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3000
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Little Girl in the Streets of Morocco

Bokeh Processing Tip

When processing photos in lightroom that have a bokeh (or out-of-focus) area, don’t use the “Clarity” slider in Lightroom. Many times, when everything is in focus, this is my favorite slider. But watch out because it will make those softer areas less soft… and that’s the whole purpose of bokeh! Anyway, a quick tip there that is not immediately obvious because you can tend just to look how much better the “sharp” bits look when playing with the clarity slider, but be sure to look at the other bits too!

Daily Photo – Little Girl in the Streets of Morocco

While I was walking around this wonderfully blue city, I saw many kids out hanging around the outdoors. They all had on cute outfits that seemed to go so well with the powder blue paint of the city. Here is one of the little girls I saw. No one seemed to mind me taking photos, and that was nice because there were so many cute kids!

Little Girl in the Streets of Morocco

Little Girl in the Streets of Morocco

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

In the Blue Streets at Night

Watching People at Night

Sometimes at night I sit in places like this and just watch people… see what they do… where they walk… I suppose it might come off as a bit creepy! But as long as I have my camera with me, at least I have an excuse. I like watching people any way, and I don’t think I could get away with it if I just stood here and watched people. I guess that’s why outdoor seating at cafes in pedestrian areas is so popular… it gives you a reason to sit there and watch people! :)

Daily Photo – In the Blue Streets at Night

I spent most of my time in Chefchaouen in the night, walking around like crazy man taking photos. The colors and shadows came out looking so mysterious and cool. The blue paint looked so different in the night lights. I was happy they mostly used white lights around the town. Wherever the yellow lights were, the colors came off a bit green and sickly.

I took this photo with a 50mm prime all the way wide open. I like how the foreground is a bit out of focus…

In the Blue Streets at Night

In the Blue Streets at Night

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture
  • ISO5000
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Chefchaouen from Above

SmugMug Review

Below on today’s photo, I talk about our Quadcopter getting temporarily shut down by the military police in Morocco — but when the final video comes out, it will replace my current “promo” video for SmugMug, which is at the bottom of the SmugMug Review page!

Quadcopter filming a Bungy Swing in New Zealand

I wanted to post this video first here on the blog! Pretty much 100% of what you are about to see is ill-advised, but the swing bit, and the quadcopter filming bit. It all worked out fine, but this will only encourage more bad decisions by us in the future! :) We used a DJI Phantom Vision over a crazy gorge in Skipper’s Canyon to get this footage… this is the long version of the behind-the-scenes from http://www.StuckInCustoms.com ! :)

Daily Photo – Chefchaouen from Above

Now, here is a place where the military police shut us down with our quadcopter! I came into town with Anton and Ana from SmugMug to work on this cool new promo piece. We had been already using Anton's quadcopter all over Morocco, but when we got here, the taxi driver alerted the local military police that we had some sort of a “plane”! This caused a lot of worry and consternation (and, I should add, a Significant amount of confusion). After we were there for half an hour, the military police descended on our hotel with a rather sour attitude. I've never had any success negotiating with the Moroccan military, and I had no success here either. I did put up a good intellectual fight, but I eventually acquiesced, mostly because of the size of their guns. Well, there was no gunplay… but I did see a lot of guns… which always helps one side win an argument.

Chefchaouen from Above

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture16
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Berber Man in Morocco

Getting No for an answer in travel photography

Morocco is one of the hardest places to take photos of people. I got a lot of mean looks and countless outright No’s! But I didn’t let it slow me down. I didn’t let the rejections add up… and kept at it… and glad I did, otherwise I never would have gotten this photo below. He was so happy and interested in getting his photo taken!

Worth the full rez

This one is worth seeing the full-rez version! Don’t forget you can zoom into them on SmugMug and even download the full-rez version yourself. Enjoy!

Daily Photo – Berber Man in Morocco

I spent many great hours with this gentleman. He was very nice and spoke perfect English. You may remember another photo I published a month ago when he was wearing Google Glass! :) I took this photo outside in the streets of Chefchaouen, and I used a Leica 50mm prime at f/1.4 on the Sony A7r.

Berber Man in Morocco

Berber Man in Morocco

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1500
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Google Glass in the Middle East

Another cool use of Google Glass

I used Glass a lot this trip to record how-to videos and this sort of thing. Right after this, I went to Japan and used it to make this video of what it is like in Shibuya. Pop over to that link to check it out if you haven’t seen it yet!

Daily Photo – Exploring the World with Google Glass

Just recently, I met this gentleman in the wilds beyond the desert. He was so curious and interested in Glass. Absolutely transfixed, he asked me everything about it, then tried it on and played and played and played! He loved it!

First I had him go through the same demo I give everyone. I have them say, “Okay Glass, Take a picture” — it understands pretty much every accent around the world as far as I can tell. This always makes people freak out with excitement when they see the photo they just took floating as a hologram in front of their eyes.

Then he started using it more and more, going through all my emails, watching videos, seeing my text messages, asking Google questions, checking weather… I mean it just went on and on and on… and then he started showing all his friends and telling them about it — he was so excited. Naturally, he was happy for me to take his photo while he was playing!

We ended up talking about a bunch of different things. I even bought an old used knife from him, and he showed me how to stick the curved end of it into a camel's hump to get water in an emergency. There's another part of the knife you use to seal up the little puncture wound. Then we talked about meditation, the sealing of the four cardinal spiritual doors in the night before entering the tent, different cultures around the world, and well, about a dozen other things. Anyway, it was great…

Google Glass  Middle East

Exploring the World with Google Glass

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

An Awesome Place in Morocco

Strange cultural treatments?

Below, I describe my first two hamams… Have you ever had some strange cultural experience like this? Let us know! :)

Daily Photo – An awesome place in Morocco

This is a truly beautiful place right in the middle of Chefchaouen, Morocco. I also had a hamam in here, and it was a rough one. Do you know what a hamam is? I didn't! But I had two of them in Morocco. I didn't know beforehand if it was some kind of drug or hallucinogenic thing or whatever, but I decided to go for it! It turned out not to be either of them, unfortunately. Instead, it turned out to be more of an hour-long skin-based torture session.

Have you have been exfoliated by another human for an hour, rubbed with mud, then re-exfoliated when no skin remains? Well, that's a hamam. My first one was in Marrakesh by a small, hairless Moroccan man. He was nice, and I was nude except for a smallish g-string bathing suit that was absolutely shredded by the end of the session. But I was as smooth as him, I'll tell you that for sure. The second one was by a woman in a habib. She was very nice, but she was as rough as a German meat butcher with a nervous tick. I was bleeding like a royal inbred by the end of the session… but a few days later, I was healed and smooth as an android… oh yeah.

An awesome place in Morocco

An awesome place in Morocco

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

An Amazing City of Blue

Unique Places around the World

Below, you’ll see a secret place I found… any other places you know of that are amazing for photography but you never see other photographers? Let us all know first! We’ll buy some plane tickets straight away! :)

Daily Photo – An Amazing City of Blue

What an amazing place this is. Chefchaouen. It's a secret place. But I don't think it will be so secret after this post.

Now, naturally, there are other photographers that have been there, but it is pretty niche. Very niche. The whole time I was there, I didn't see another photographer, which makes it almost wholly unique in the world.

The entire place is painted blue. The walls, the roads, the… everything! I'll have make more photos of this place in the near future… hang on and you will see more!

An Amazing City of Blue

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture11
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length12.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Exploring a strange land with curious shadows in the night

More experiments with the NEX 10-18mm lens on the Sony A7r

Today’s photo is another shot taken with this setup above. I used it all over Morocco and it worked out great! If you end up trying this combo, be sure to take off the lens hood as well (otherwise you’ll still see that black around the outside at all zoom levels). This is something I forgot to mention in the video below, which you may have already seen. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel and you can see these kind of videos immediately as soon as they are released.

Daily Photo – Exploring a strange land with curious shadows in the night

This is a wonderful place. It's one of the first and most mysterious places I went in Morocco.

You'll see more about this amazing place in upcoming days, particularly in the “City of Blue” post that is upcoming. There are so many things to say about it, but I'll start with this one. When night falls, the shadows get particularly intense and full of wonder. Almost everyone in the town wears fabulous costumes like this, and they float around the streets like characters from a fantasy novel. I would walk around these streets at night and be continually amazed at the figures and shapes that would drift around through tiny corridors.

Exploring a strange land with curious shadows in the night

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture8
  • ISO3200
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2

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