Walking Along Arrowtown Lake

Stuck on Earth now on iPhone!

This has recently been released for the iPhone! Stuck On Earth – Yay!

What’s Cool about the App?

– It brings travel planning to Google Maps or iOS Maps (even though Google maps are way cooler hehe)
– Save your trips OFFLINE so that you can access everything when you don’t have Internet
– Photo spots are ranked based on how interesting they are
– Curated human trips by local experts like +Thomas Hawk
– Top 50 suggestions to get your mind flowing about places to visit like the best Castles on earth or the best Waterfalls
– An app that gets to know you over time based on your personality. For example, it will say different things to you the 9th time you open it if you are a “Photographer” personality type

And much much more! Now, if only those recalcitrant guys at Flickr would fix their API so we could “exclude” images with certain tags, then we could make it a lot better! We’d love to exclude geo-tagged photos that have words like “model, dog, cat, etc” so they don’t show up… those don’t help! :( But you should still see mostly good photos as long as you are zoomed into a landscape-architecture-interesting area!

Daily Photo – Walking Along Arrowtown Lake

We popped out of the bus after everyone had a delightful dinner at Amisfield to see Lake Hayes. When I say “we” — this was the group of us that came for the recent workshop. Typically, I tried to get people in the habit of taking a bunch of photos quickly, then jumping back in the vehicle to go hit another spot and chase the setting sun. It’s a bit like a sport… or speed golf! It’s a great challenge to see how many good shots from different locations you can squeeze into an afternoon and evening!

Walking Along Arrowtown Lake

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Storm Approaches the Home Through the Valley

The Next Two Workshops

I only did two in 2013, and there are only two planned for 2014. Here’s a little (WINDY!) thing we just recorded at the last one. You’re welcome to join us for one of the next two workshops here in New Zealand!

Daily Photo – Storm Approaches the Home Through the Valley

We took the whole class from the workshop out to Bendemeer Estates to get some photos. Since it is a fairly new development, it’s pretty much wide open with huge tracts of land photograph. Just towards the end, a big storm cell started to roll through the valley towards us. These are some of my favorite photography situations, mostly because they seem so unbelievable — this period when the bright sun is shining on the scene while an evil cloud, livid with storm, is making itself known for the immediate future

 Bendemeer Estates

Storm Approaches the Home Through the Valley

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Wine Barrels at Gibbston Valley Winery

A great Wine Tour!

If you’re looking for a good wine tour here in the south island of New Zealand, I recommend Appellation Central Wine Tours! Even though I live here, this was still a great way to do it. Philip showed us a bunch of great wineries with a stop for an incredible lunch. I took a ton of photos that day… here is one of them below!

Daily Photo – The Wine Barrels at Gibbston Valley Winery

This is a cave that was dug into 80 meters into the side of the mountain here in Gibbston valley. It keeps the wines at a constant 12-14°C (53.6-57.2°F) without the need for any other refrigeration. Even better, these kinds of places were made for photography! I got a few different angles… they are all interesting, but thought I would post this one first.

The Wine Barrels at Gibbston Valley Winery

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time13
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

Coming around for a snack at The Hills

Doing a search on the New SmugMug

I’m really enjoying searching on the new SmugMug! You can see the search box I added there at the top of my portfolio. Here is a sample search from Arrowtown (for more like the photo below). Here is a sample search for mountain. And here is one for Iceland!

Daily Photo – Coming around for a snack at The Hills

Here’s one of the last holes I play sometimes before giving up on The Hills. Usually, by the time I get to this hole, I’ve realized that I’m just really having a bad day of golf and I should really just get back to the ranch instead. Admittedly, I don’t have the perseverance with golf that I do with a few other things like photography. It’s probably related to my extreme level of incompetence with golf and the very slow learning curve. I prefer things like photography, where there is a faster reward cycle in the learning curve. This is why I usually stopping playing on the golf course and then start taking photos of it for fun instead!

A day of golf at the hills

Coming around for a snack at The Hills

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length19.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

Crossing the Final Bridge

Coming Soon on YouTube!

You will soon be able to buy and watch all the New Zealand Photo Adventure right on YouTube – all four hours! Two hours of live action and another two of post-processing.

Daily Photo – Crossing the Final Bridge

Here is a wonderful little bridge in Bendemeer Estates. We went here on the final day of the last New Zealand photo adventure, and we’re going here again! :) I can’t promise the skies will be this good, but it will be interesting.

I’ve been meaning to come back to this little island and bring a little picnic lunch. I need to stop thinking about this and just do it! :)

Crossing the Final Bridge

Crossing the Final Bridge

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/50
  • Aperture11
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

The Barn on Lake Hayes from the Trail

Best Bach in the Queenstown Arrowtown Area

If you’re coming to this area where I live and don’t want to stay in a bigger hotel (like the Hilton, I recommend, btw if you want that big new hotel experience), then I recommend you stay at this amazing secret place on Lake Hayes. It’s called The Barn on Lake Hayes, and it’s absolutely awesome. If you’ve never been to this area (coming from out of the country), then this is very centrally located and you’re right in the middle of everything even though it is wonderfully secluded.

Daily Photo – The Barn on Lake Hayes from the Trail

Here is another photo of an awesome find on Lake Hayes here beside Arrowtown and Queenstown in New Zealand. I saw this the first time I went on a run around a lake, and you can imagine my surprise when I found out it is owned by my friend! Now I can kind of come and go as I please… unless there is a guest there, of course! :)

The Barn on Lake Hayes

The Barn on Lake Hayes from the Trail

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture9
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Through the Valleys of New Zealand in a Chopper

Over the Top

I’ve taken a few different helicopter rides, but this one below was with Choppy from Over the Top. She’s a super-cool lady and she jams serious music through the speakers while you are flying around. She even landed on top of another mountain and brought out golf balls for us to hit off the edge… fun!

Through The Valleys Of New Zealand In A Chopper

Daily Photo – Over the Top

I’ve taken a few different helicopter rides, but this one below was with Choppy from Over the Top. She’s a super-cool lady and she jams serious music through the speakers while you are flying around. She even landed on top of another mountain and brought out golf balls for us to hit off the edge… fun!

Over the Top

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Walking down to the Lake

Free 30 minute video about these photos

I took a bunch of photos here in New Zealand – 1000 in fact! These are my favorite 36 from that grouping, and I talk through them a little bit… you’ll notice the field below in one of them! :)

Daily Photo – Walking down to the Lake

The fields around Queenstown and Arrowtown become multicolored between any shade of yellow and green. There are even orange and red… so strange and interesting that the grass itself becomes as colorful as wildflowers.

Walking down to the Lake

Walking down to the Lake

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture11
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length20.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Barn at Lake Hayes

Great Rental Property between Arrowtown and Queenstown

It turns out that my friend (and neighbor!) here in New Zealand inherited this amazing place and has recently converted it into an amazing rental property. You can see more at The Barn at Lake Hayes website.

I offered to go take photos of the inside and outside for him so he’d have some pretty shots for the website. I’m pretty happy with the way they turned out… maybe I’ll go over there for some more parties and get a chance to get more photos at sunset before things get too crazy…hehe. The last party we had over there was catered by an amazing sushi chef here in town… I’ve never seen people actually drink one of those huge bottles of sake — I thought they were For Display Purposes Only.

In case you don’t know (most people not from here do not know) — Queenstown and Arrowtown are only about 20 minutes apart. In between them is this beautiful lake called Lake Hayes. So, if you’re looking for a unique, secret little spot nestled away, then this is a great one for you! :)

Daily Photo – The Barn at Lake Hayes

I had jogged by this place many times before I figured out that my friend actually owns it! Whenever I run in a new place, I’m also kind of scouting for future photo-shoots… looking for locations and cool scenes and whatnot. This one certainly leapt out at me, so I was pleased to find out that taking a photo of it would be in my immediate future!

The Barn at Lake Hayes

The Barn at Lake Hayes

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/20
  • Aperture10
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Alone on 18

Speaking of golf…

Someone told me a stat that only 20% of people can break 100 if you are honestly keeping score. Do you think that is true? I’ve been poking around for that stat… maybe you know the one I am talking about… or know where that statistical analysis is.

Daily Photo – Alone on 18

I always have weird and surreal experiences on this golf course. Firstly, of course I take my camera ll over the place along with my clubs. There is rarely anyone else on the course. Some days they have tournaments and it fills up… but it’s mostly just empty and surreal. I also listen to strange music while I roll around, taking photos, and the stopping occasionally for some golf. When I finished here on 18 one evening, I was actually the last person even around… even that awesome clubhouse there in the distance was empty…

Alone on 18

Alone on 18

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/13
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

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