The Ever-winding River

This spot on Google Maps

If you look at this Google Map, you can perhaps spot where the photo below was taken! :) It’s a bit prettier even if you click on the “Earth” view in the lower left!

Answer: Here is the exact bridge where I took the photo! :)

Daily Photo – The Ever-Winding River

There's this amazing man-made river here in New Zealand. It's used for irrigation, and as far as I can tell, the water flows south from Lake Pukaki down towards the south. The water that comes out of that lake is this amazing unholy blue, and it looks so perfect and strange as it flows in these smooth lines and curves on the way to the south. And then, when the sun is setting, the color becomes somewhere between blue and rainbow.

The Ever-Winding River

Photo Information

  • Date TakenOctober 29, 2013 at 7:31am
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Lavender Fields on the way to Mount Cook

Best Lavender Fields in the world?

Where are the best lavender fields? These are the first ones I’ve seen in person, so I’m not really an expert. I was expecting some place like the Netherlands or Denmark or something… but maybe you know for sure! :)

Daily Photo – Lavender Fields on the way to Mount Cook

I started a little scene here by accident!

This lavender field is off the side of the road on the way to Mount Cook. It was so beautiful that I had to get out of my car, jump over the fence, and start taking photos. There's no gate to get in, so no one ever really pulls over. But when someone saw me do it, they did the same thing, and so on, and so on. Before long, this place was covered in people! So funny…

Lavender Fields on the way to Mount Cook

Lavender Fields on the way to Mount Cook

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJanuary 5, 2014 at 12:38pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture13
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length55.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Impossible Blues of Lake Tekapo

Polarized Sunglasses

If you think this lake looks like a crazy color, then you should see it through polarized sunglasses. I’m constantly amazed at the color shift when I put on sunglasses that shift the color fields around… It kind of makes me want to get a bunch of crazy filters on the front of my camera. But I’m not that into, I think… I just like capturing all the light while there from the pure whiteness of the sun. I can always goof with the colors later if I want to.

Daily Photo – The Impossible Blues of Lake Tekapo

Well when you get to see this for yourself, you'll soon discover they are not impossible! It does of course depend on the sun and some of the other ambient light, but this is a pretty standard color. It looks extra nice with those little white cliffs too. Right below them, you see something that might be beaches, but they are not… that is just some of that white chalky stuff that is being brushed back into the water.

The Impossible Blues of Lake Tekapo

The Impossible Blues of Lake Tekapo

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJanuary 5, 2014 at 11:42am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/6400
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO80
  • Focal Length55.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Central Otago from the Air

Paragliding versus Gliders

Currently, I think I prefer paragliding to gliders. Both are awesome, of course, but I kind of like the slower speed and the openness of a paraglider. I know that people that prefer gliders like them for the opposite reason — the speed! I’ve also heard a lot of paragliders get into gliders later in their life after their knees are shot from landings! So far my knees are good… so far so good!

Daily Photo – Central Otago

What a view from the glider! I have never taken photos from a glider before, so I was very happy to see they all turned out so nice. They were all taken with the Sony A7r and the 10-18mm NEX Lens.

It's hard to believe that the landscape below just goes on and on and on for hours and hours and hours. New Zealand looks so small on the map, but when you are here, it's like a Tardis-country!

Central Otago

Central Otago

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJanuary 4, 2014 at 5:23pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture9
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length11.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

The Church at Lake Tekapo, and the African Photo Adventure is Sold Out

Update on Pricing and Availability

Cost: $20,000. Sold Out in 24 hours!

We just made an update to the page to the African Photo Adventure page with all the news. We only mentioned this in one place (to all of the amazing Newsletter Subscribers!), and then the team was overloaded. I’m sorry to all those that could not grab a slot — but we will have more in the future! We’ll hit many exotic places around the planet, and at various price points. This year we are only doing three: Two here in NZ and one in Africa. But next year should finish planning out here pretty soon. Just stay tuned to that newsletter for the latest!

Daily Photo – The Church at Lake Tekapo

Speaking of photo adventures, on the night after the most recent New Zealand Adventure ended, some of us came up here to take a photo of the church under the stars. Now, I have shot this before, but I wanted to come back and improve upon it! This photo was taken with a Sony A7r and the Leica 24mm f/1.4. I found this camera much easier to focus and put into the exact mode I wanted and needed.

We had to wait until about 1 AM or so to get this shot because the moon was causing a lot of light chaos. But, after that, it was on! It was such a beautiful night. Even better, right after this, Stu, Pete, and I laid out our sleeping bags and just drifted off to sleep.

The Church at Lake Tekapo

The Church at Lake Tekapo

Photo Information

  • Date TakenFebruary 9, 2014 at 1:56am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time20
  • Aperture
  • ISO500
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Impressive Sony 55mm Prime with Lavender in the Fields

A recommended Lens

If you click up there on the top to see Trey’s Gear, you’ll see I have a bunch of different recommended lenses. One of them I used for today’s shot – the Sony 55mm FE f/1.8 lens. It’s really been quite remarkable and fun! It’s nice to have a full-frame lens like this with a great depth of field for shots of this nature (if you forgive the pun!).

Daily Photo – Lavender in the Fields

While driving up towards Mount Cook, I finally saw my first endless field of lavender. I've seen these before in photos and thought it would be fun to walk amidst them, which I then ended up doing for about an hour. I got all sorts of shots, from the close-in stuff below to wide vistas. I'll publish some of those soon as well!

Lavender in the Fields

Lavender in the Fields

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJanuary 5, 2014 at 12:36pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture2.4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length55.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

A One-Man Roadtrip

All About the New Stuck In Customs!

Here’s a quick video I made that talks about some of the new features around the site here. Enjoy! :)

Daily Photo – A One-Man Roadtrip

I took a very nice photo road trip up to the north for a few days recently. I was lucky with the weather, except for the time I decided to sleep outside and got rained on at 3 in the morning. That's about the worst time to get rained on, btw. I was so confused!

Anyway, there was no rain here, as you can see. If you look into the far distance, however, you can see some moisture beginning to boil over the mountains and coming my direction…

A One-Man Roadtrip

A One-Man Roadtrip

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJanuary 5, 2014 at 2:35pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

All-New Stuck In Customs for you!

Free “Organize Your Photos!” Giveaway Event for local camera clubs!

I’m so excited about the re-design of this website that I wanted to do a big giveaway of a video+eBook for you all! You’ve been so supportive over the years, so I wanted to do something to give back! :)

As many of you know, I’m a HUGE fan of local camera clubs that help encourage members to get better. I always do giveaways when I speak at them, so I came up with an idea that I thought would scale well! Sometimes in camera clubs, they have special giveaways, raffles, or prizes to give to members. If you belong to a local camera club and want to do one of those with “Organize Your Photos! The Three Level System” video and eBook — well, this is your chance! Even better, you’ll get a copy yourself that you can review before the giveaway so you can tell others about it!

To get a free copy of the video and eBook, just do this:

1) Post a comment below with the name / location of your photo club.
2) Email luke@stuckincustoms.com with their name and contact info.
After Luke sets you up, you’ll be able to use your account at store.StuckInCustoms.com to download the hour-long video and eBook! :)

I hope you have a great time with it! Give everyone in your camera club a high-five for me! :)

The ALL NEW Stuck In Customs!

Wow, well what has changed around here? So much! Here’s just five of my favorite new things!:

  • Totally responsive and mobile-friendly – scales to any phone and tablets in any orientation! The menus flex and change and everything
  • Randomised images on top of the homepage that auto-rotate and slide away upon scrolling
  • Mouse-rollever EXIF info. Awesome! You can also share from there.
  • Infinite scroll… scroll down forever and ever and ever! :) You can still click on categories if you want to pop to a certain location!
  • New, streamlined organization. See the menu at the top for all the goodies!

A BIG thanks to the whole team that made this happen! Let me know your thoughts — what you like or don’t like!

Daily Photo – The Clay Cliffs

If you come to the South Island of New Zealand, please don't fly from Christchurch to Queenstown — drive!

The drive is absolutely beautiful, and along the way, this is one of the stops. The Clay Cliffs take a little bit of a drive (30 mins out of the way from Omarama), but they are really worth it. There is just a short hike to get this view, and you can even get up in there and walk around inside. It's enchanting, and you may recognize these from a few scenes in LOTR.

When you take the little hike, you can bring a wide-angle lens and maybe something a little tighter, and you'll be set and ready to go!

The Grey Cliffs

The Clay Cliffs

Photo Information

  • Date TakenDecember 5, 2012 at 4:39am
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO71
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Blues of Lake Tekapo and upcoming Live interview about The Arcanum

Blowing up around the world! Live interview soon!

Join us Live early next week in a G+ Hangout!. We just opened the doors less than two days ago, and we already have applications from so many countries around the world for The Arcanum. I am shocked! Here’s just part of the list: Afghanistan, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Barbados, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Serbia and Montenegro, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the US. Crazy! Even more crazy is how many we actually got from Afghanistan — that really surprised us!

I’ll be going on live with Frederick Van Johnson and Peter Giordano to answer questions. I am glad so many other people also love the idea of an artistic Master & Apprentice system that creates cells and self-replicates in a fun environment.

If YOU have questions, click on the event link below and let Frederick Van Johnson know on the event page! You can also click on that link to see the local day and time when it will be live.

Behind the Scenes at Lake Tekapo

Today’s photo below was taken here in New Zealand at this awesome place called Lake Tekapo. I took a few versions of this photo, and here is the latest one. If you want to see what it was like to take the photo, change lenses, etc etc, here’s a little video!

Daily Photo – The Blues of Lake Tekapo

I wished I lived closer to this lake so I could go out there more often to see all the pretty sunsets across the glacier-fed blue water. Whenever I do drive back and forth to Christchurch, though, I usually stop here for a bit! It’s actually one of the reasons I prefer the 4 hour drive to Christchurch from Queenstown rather than the 30 minute flight… there are so many places to stop and take photos!

Lake Tekapo

The Blues of Lake Tekapo

Photo Information

  • Date TakenDecember 7, 2012 at 11:50am
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Fog Across Central Otago

The Galaxy S4 Google Edition

I recently bought this phone and I really love it. Whenever people get an Android phone, I always recommend the pure Google edition because it is generally better. It gets updates right away to the software and it doesn’t have the strange UI skin that so many manufacturers annoyingly put on top of Android.

Daily Photo – Across Central Otago

One evening I was in Tekapo and considering waiting on the sunset there. I decided to drive to Pukaki to check it out, but I stopped halfway when I saw this aqua fog roll in across the fields. I ended up spending my time in this field all the way through the darkness. The fog was very deceptive because it seemed like it was moving slowly, but it did change form and shape quite a bit.

Across Central Otago

Across Central Otago

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length120.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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