The Blue

Paths in photos

I have a pretty good theory about paths in photographs! Here it is. I don’t know if it is right or not… but, well, probably.

So, when a human looks at a photo of a landscape, I think part of their brains imagines themselves walking or moving from one part of the landscape to the next. They try to get a sense of the 3D-ness of the photo and wonder how long it will take to walk to some distant object, tree, mountain, etc. The more hints you can give as to the distance of objects, the better. But, one thing that people always seem to enjoy seeing is some kind of a path (or, as in the photo below, a road). This is satisfying to see because their brain likes knowing there is an easy way to get from point A to point B. It’s not something that’s on the surface of the mind, but it is deep down… and I think paths generally make a photo more interesting to the brain.

Daily Photo – The Blue

What’s the best thing about the drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy in New Zealand? This view! Well, honestly, there are about 1000 places to stop, each of which is idyllic for a wonderful landscape photo, but this ONE spot is a stop I always make. It is right by the road, so it is super-convenient. It’s one of those shots that is a “lay-up” as my friend Tom likes to say! :)

Queenstown

The Blue

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length19.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

And on the way to Paradise…

Another international trip

Since I’m in the middle of yet another international trip, I thought I would share this video I made on a previous one – you may remember this! There’s also a making-of on YouTube as well that you may enjoy.

Daily Photo – And on the way to Paradise…

On the way to Paradise, New Zealand is Glenorchy. Be sure to stop here and take a walk around their new boardwalks that go out through the wetlands. You better set aside 2-4 hours, like all the “little” walks around here!

Some days have the water at a pretty high level, and you can sometimes see nice shapes like this one here.

Glenorchy Walk

And on the way to Paradise…

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length40.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Tom with the Horse

Mid-day Update – Flickr News 1 TB free?

I saw that Flickr is now giving 1 TB of storage of hi-res photos to ALL users. Wow that’s kind of an insanely high number! I’m not sure how existing pros account holders (like me) think about this, but they get grandfathered into infinite, which is a lot more that 1 TB, so that is nice. The new re-design looks nice too. Here’s my Flickr page.

I wonder if they are making this move because it “sounds” good when they know that the vast majority of users will never use that much data. So, it may not be that much of a financial hit on them for the storage space. Google recently upgraded their full-rez photo allotment too, but not nearly that high. But, on the plus side, the Google one allows infinite uploads of photos smaller than 2048×2048, which I think most photos are nowadays. My friend Thomas Hawk also has a nice article about this news from Flickr on his blog.

I still use SmugMug (see SmugMug Review) as my main place for hi-rez photos and my portfolio. Still, however, I spend most of my time on these other social networks, none of which do as good of a job as displaying my portfolio of work.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I still can’t upload full-rez images on Facebook… Sad emoticon.

Did you get the free Lightroom presets upgrade?

We recently added a free bonus package to the Lightroom presets for free. If you already bought them, then this is a free upgrade! Now, we started selling these in the “old” store, which let us send out an email to everyone. But if you got them in the New StuckInCustoms Store, then your account has been automagically updated! Just login and you can re-download the package that will have all the new goodies in there!

Daily Photo – Tom with the Horse

The first time Tom and I took photos of horses was on Oahu. This was our second horse-encounter here in New Zealand! He got up close with his fisheye while I backed up with the 70-200 f/2.8 to get this shot.

I really like those mountains behind Tom. I want to get a shot of them this winter when they are all covered in snow!

Tom with the Horse

Tom with the Horse

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length78.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Snow over the Creek

Snow in HDR

This is a common question I get. Basically, I think it is a bad idea to HDR the snow and ice part. It just looks dirty. You want it looking nice and pristine, and the HDR will add a little too much texture and grit for me. This seems to happen to an alarming degree with human skin and snow (and a few other things). Anyway, using layers and masking in Photoshop is an easy way to slice-n-dice your way out of that problem!

Daily Photo – Snow over the Creek

There is a place called Pyramid Lake just past Glenorchy that is perfectly wonderful in the winter as long as you have the traction. This shot is from the end of last winter when I caught a little bit of snow. You’ll notice I don’t have a ton of snowy shots from NZ yet, but I think I’ll get a lot more this winter. I’m really looking forward to some good snowfalls, in fact! I’m sure if you’re in the northern hemisphere that you are sick of the cold and ready for the warm… but I really am looking forward to the change!

Snow over the Creek

Snow over the Creek

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture22
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length32.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

Sheep Says Baaaaa

Flatbooks Special for the month!

During the month of April we are going to run a 20% off Sale in April for everything on Flatbooks.com. The coupon code APRILEBOOKS is valid through April 30th.

Daily Photo – Sheep Says Baaaaa

I know I sound like a total tourist, but I still like watching sheep. Maybe because I’ve lived here less than a year, but they are still fun for me to watch. They kind of move around like lily pads on a pond, in kind of a random way. Every now and then they line up and run to one area or another, but it’s mostly random drifting. And it’s fun for me to catch the random drifting and try to compose something interesting. As more and more sheep enter the frame, it cranks up the degree of difficulty, like Olympic diving!

Sheep Says Baaaaa

Sheep Says Baaaaa

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length175.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

A Weaving Path Through the Wetlands

Preparing for the Private Live Show on the 9th

For those of you that are participating in the live event in a few days (that bought the thing I mentioned yesterday on the blog), we have some surprises in store! Joining me are Karen Hutton, Scott Kublin, Lorenzo Montezemolo, Clayton Morris, and Bel Jones! They all joined me in New Zealand for the filming of this event, and they’ll share some of the things they learned as well; another perspective, if you will. I’ll have them share some of their own photos so you can see how they chose to process some of the same things in a slightly different way — it should be very educational and interesting!

Helping me out as always in the live hangout are Dave Veffer, Curtis Simmons, and Luke Lakatosh — it will be a fun get together! :)

Daily Photo – A Weaving Path Through the Wetlands

I’ve revisited this path in Glenorchy a few times now. You’ll see this in the new New Zealand video that is available now, by the way. I took a ton of different photos while there, but this one did not look so great in color. It was curious to me because there was something about the photo that I liked… but it looked so dull in color. And then I realized it was the shape and the contrast that was most interesting! So I decided to emphasize that with the black and white treatment using Silver Efex Pro.

path Glenorchy

A Weaving Path Through the Wetlands

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1.6
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2

Forest on the road to Paradise

Comments while on the road

This week, I’m at SXSW in Austin, so it’s a bit harder for me to respond to comments on the blog. But, I still read THEM ALL. So, have no fear… when it comes to feedback and reading what you have to say, the blog is always my first stop! :) And yes, I will always try to respond as much as humanly possible… thanks! :)

Daily Photo – Forest on the road to Paradise

When you leave Glenorchy and start driving on the dirt road to Paradise, there are a few little wet forested areas that you’ll pass through. It’s worth pulling over your car and just going on a random walk. I recommend following a stream or river so you can always find your way back. Because if you get more than 100 meters from your car and you lose your way, you’ll never find your way again! The heaviness and thickness of the forest is totally confusing, and you’ll be hopelessly confused… but following a little stream is usually a good ticket to find your way back.

Forest on the road to Paradise

Forest on the road to Paradise

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length28mm (28mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

The Dirt Road to Paradise

More from New Zealand – Forgive me!

Normally I jump around the world and post photos from many countries out of order. But, I’ve been processing SO MANY New Zealand photos that I’ve got a giant backlog that is New Zealand-heavy! So, you’ll have to give me a few weeks to post a bunch of new work from NZ… I apologize for that because I know you are used to seeing more variety. But, there are some Really Pretty Images coming up from NZ that I am so excited to publish and share with you…. like the one below today! :)

Daily Photo – The Dirt Road to Paradise

After you pass Glenorchy, the paved road continues for a while as you approach Paradise. The paved road then turns into a dirt road. At this point, many visitors turn around, which is a shame! You can keep on rolling down this road in your rental car for quite a way. There’s even a few river crossings you can make, like Arwen on horseback. You can do it! Probably. I even see giant campervans going through here… anyway, the dirt road is in pretty good condition, so don’t let that turn you back!

Paradise New Zealand

The Dirt Road to Paradise

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length85mm (85mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

The Walking Path in Glenorchy

New Zealand Photo Adventure Sold Out!

Thanks again for all the interest in the New Zealand Photo Adventure! We will have more events in different parts of the world. If I spent 100% of the year teaching, then I’m sure that I could satisfy more people… so, my apologies. As it is, I spend about 10% of the year doing either in-person stuff or online teaching… but, anyway, I’m very excited for this event.

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Daily Photo – The Walking Path in Glenorchy

This is a new walking path that has just been built through the woods and wetlands of Glonorchy. As far as I know, it is pretty rare to have wetlands so close to towering mountains, isn’t it? I suppose I always think of the wetlands in flat areas, like Louisiana and places like this.

There are a few different routes to take. Some take just an hour, and others take a few. I want to go back to this area with some more time!

The Walking Path in Glenorchy hiking

The Walking Path in Glenorchy

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length41mm (61mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Moving to New Zealand

Why Did I Move to New Zealand?

There’s a long story to it all… but I think you can see a lot of the reasons in the video below.

By the way, if you are looking to buy a house here and need a recommendation, contact me via support@stuckincustoms.com and the team will get you to me. I can make an excellent recommendation for you!

This video was made with Animoto!

I used a cool online thing called Animoto to make this video. I also wrote up a full Animoto Review here on the site.

You can also use the Animoto Coupon Code of “STUCKINCUSTOMS” to get 2 months free with a pro account… thanks for the team there for providing that for us!

New Video – Turning to Peace in New Zealand

It’s a hi-rez video… I recommend listening with earphones or good speakers too – enjoy :)

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