Join me for a week of Photography, Yoga, Hiking, Fresh Food, and More!

Visit the Workshop page to get all the information! I’ll tell you a little about it here…

Come join me in New Zealand at this new fun workshop event here right by my home. All our other ones for 2015 are sold out, and I wanted to mix it up with a combo event like this! You guys know me… I’m quite zen (usually) and generally enjoy the meditative and creative side of photography. If that sounds like the sort of thing that might be up your chi-alley, then maybe we are simpatico! :)

It’s at this amazing yoga retreat where I have been twice called Aro-Ha, which is located about 45 minutes from my home in Queenstown on the way to Glenorchy. This particular retreat will be different than the sort of thing they normally do in that it is photography-centric.

Every day, we’ll be waking up bright and early for a morning photowalk and hike in a new and beautiful location here in the Southern Alps. We’ll come back for photo instruction and post-processing together. That post-processing party goes on for a while, only to be interrupted by daily massages (oh yes, my favorite!) and then an evening yoga class followed by more sunset photos followed by time at the spa… wow I’m getting all excited just thinking about it all! What a perfect day, and we’ll have a bunch of them back-to-back!

I wanted to try something new, and I hope you’re keen for it. Besides photography, I’m also quite into yoga and this sort of thing. Just down the road from my home in Queenstown is an amazing yoga / hiking retreat called Aro Hā. We partnered with them to bring you an awesome week of photos and fitness!

And here’s a few photos from my other visits to this amazing location…

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

Frederick Van Johnson

What’s in Trey’s Bag?

Here’s a video that we made soon after I took this photo below. You can see more (and updated stuff!) on my Camera Equipment page! :)

Daily Photo – Frederick Van Johnson

Here's my friend Fred. We were walking through the Queenstown Gardens here in New Zealand when I took this photo. It's shot with a Leica 50mm at f/1.4 on a Sony A7r. We started talking about camera gear so much that I almost forgot to take any photos! We had a great time together this week… this was just one of them! :)

Frederick Van Johnson

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

Making Mistakes at Mount Cook

Night Photography

A while ago, I suggested that maybe I could create a night photography tutorial. I must confess that I have never actually done this. It would be a really awesome thing, but I’ve just been too busy I’m afraid! I know that sounds lame, but they actually take quite a long time to make. But, it’s still on my list for sure… never fear! Well, fear a little.

Daily Photo – Making Mistakes at Mount Cook

I made a variety of mistakes this evening. The only success was this photo!

I went here to Mount Cook with my friend Stu (who I happen to be with now in Antarctica). We decided to sleep in the back of the pickup, but it was so horribly uncomfortable that we decided to move to inside the truck halfway through the night. While transferring from the outside to the inside, I took a quick photo of the village here on the edge of this amazing mountain range at Mount Cook.

Making Mistakes at Mount Cook

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time30
  • Aperture
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Endless layers of the Southern Alps

Shooting in New Zealand

Here’s a little Google Glass video I made on one of the final days of a recent workshop we had!

Daily Photo – The Endless layers of the Southern Alps

I've been fortunate enough to take a variety of helicopter flights all over New Zealand. The Southern Alps, which can clearly be seen from planes on arrival into Queenstown, are staggering in their complexity and depth. It's really the layer after layer after layer of incredible peaks that always gets to me. And you think, well surely there can't be more mountains beyond those, but then you fly over them, and sure enough, there are! It's like a never ending fractal… and all very beautiful, especially when you get a bit of snow up there.

The Endless layers of the Southern Alps

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length41.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-1

Maybe Will See you in Queenstown!

We’re looking forward to it!

Be sure to pop over to the “Workshops” page here on the site to see what is coming up next… all kinds of exciting stuff!

Daily Photo – From Deer Park Heights

Here's one of my favorite photos we took during one of our Photo Adventures here in Queenstown. I actually took it on the very first one we ever did! That was so fun; I'll never forget it. I'll also never forget how windy it was while I was taking this photo – so crazy! It was all I could do to keep my tripod from flying away, even though I think the final photo looks pretty serene!

From Deer Park Heights

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Walking down by the Beach in Queenstown

Mid-Summer Sunsets

If you’re gonna wait for the sunset at this point in the summer, you have to wait quite a while! It sets around 9:30 PM and doesn’t really get dark until around 11 PM. It always makes for a strange “Christmas” season when you are almost never in the dark… I guess I just remember a lot of general “darkness” during the holidays back when I was growing up!

Daily Photo – Walking down by the Beach in Queenstown

The beachfront in Queenstown is a quaint little place to go on a walk! The sun sets so that it blasts into the faces of everyone on the lake front, so it's almost like being at the ocean, especially because the lake is so big! Anyway, on days without clouds, I like to get behind these trees to break up the intensity of the sun a bit.

Walking down by the Beach in Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4
  • Aperture6.7
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Twisting in the Wind

Behind the Scenes Video

Here’s a cool video I took while inside the glider and taking photos. I used Google Glass to make this, which comes in really handy for these sorts of things!

Daily Photo – Twisting in the Wind

This is a perfect situation for an ultra-wide angle lens! The downside to these lenses is that it really warps and stretches the very edge of the photo. You can see how I compensated for that here by simply cropping that warped part out! Yes, I lost a little of the photo, but you don't really have to show everything to give the viewer the impression of what is happening beyond the edges of the frame.

Twisting in the Wind

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture9
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Streamy, Dreamy Clouds over Hobbiton

14 Cold Nights in Antarctica

As my Antarctic trip begins in earnest, I decided to make a special Pinterest Board called 14 Cold Nights in Antarctica for inspiration!

Amazing Cloud Names

Do any of you know a good website that has a bunch of photos of clouds and their names? I’m not a big “this-is-called-that” kinda guy, but I would be interested to see, especially if there are little scientific explanations of how particular clouds are formed.

Daily Photo – Streamy, Dreamy Clouds over Hobbiton

I feel like I post too many photos of Hobbiton! But whenever I go to this spot on the north island, I just go a little photo-crazy. How can you not? These are some of my favorite sorts of clouds. I maybe only see them once a month or so? But they make for such a nice texture in the sky, I tend to go a little crazy no matter where I am!

Streamy, Dreamy Clouds over Hobbiton

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture9.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Morning Light Hits Milford

Sunrise/Sunset in the Mountains

Now that I live in a mountainous area, this idea of sunrise and sunset times has a very strange meaning. You tend to actually SEE the sun 2 hours after it rises or vice-versa at night. But the sky goes crazy of course at the normal times…

Daily Photo – Morning Light Hits Milford

The hardest thing about getting up for the sunrise in Milford Sound is figuring out when the heck to get up. The sunrise varies so much here, and sometimes you get down there then realize there is no internet to look it up! And the place you sleep is so surrounded by trees that it's hard to tell when it is starting to get bright. So, you kind of blindly set your alarm and hope to walk out to the beach to see something like this!

Morning Light Hits Milford

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/40
  • Aperture9
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length51.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Flying over Queenstown

That first Flight

Here’s a video I made of one of my flights!

Daily Photo – Flying over Queenstown

Here's a photo I took of my friend right before we both jumped off one of our first solo flights. You can actually see my house down there to the left… I'm hoping that when I get good enough that I can go take off and just land back at home. How cool would that be? I can just get Tina to drop me off at the top of the mountain on her way home, and then I can race her home in my paraglider! I'm sure my mom doesn't like this idea, but I'll go for it anyway! :)

Flying over Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture6.7
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

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