Happy New Years Eve!

Thanks for 2013!

Thanks for hanging out around here in 2013! There will be a lot more photos, experimentation, and fun stuff happening in 2014 — I’m all ready for it! :)

Daily Photo – Reflections in Milford Sound

Here’s one of my favorite images from Milford this last year. Right after the big New Zealand Workshop, I took the team down to Milford Sound for the evening. The night was kind of moody in the lighting, but the next morning made for some great shots! Oftentimes, the best reflections are not in the sound itself, but in the huge puddles that are left behind at low tide, like this one.

We didn’t bring the whole workshop down here because the weather is just so dang unpredictable! We got lucky the first time, but did not want to press our luck. But for those of you that signed up for the workshop in 2014, we highly encourage you to take a side-trip down here! It’s only 4 hours from Queenstown, and certainly worth the drive!

Milford Sound

Reflections in Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date TakenNovember 9, 2013 at 9:21pm
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture10
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1.3

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The Lodge at Milford Sound

Paragliding Update

Yesterday was a good day of learning to Paraglide. Tomorrow, I do a SOLO JUMP from the top of Coronet Peak. If this is my last blog entry, well then, I was honored and happy to spend so many years with you. Truly.

Daily Photo – The Lodge at Milford Sound

The breakfast here is incredible, but I took this photo way before breakfast! I was down there just recently to do some shooting, and I woke up early to go get photos of the sunrise in Milford Sound. That is the time that the water is the calmest because of the lack of wind. So, I woke up extra early and headed out to the truck. I was there with part of our team from Stuck In Customs, but I think the only people that actually woke up was Curtis, Pete, and me! Anyway, as soon as I came out of the lodge that morning, I saw this scene.

Milford Sound Lodge

The Lodge at Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date TakenNovember 9, 2013 at 5:06pm
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

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Google Science Fair highlight

Short snippet on perceptive radius

Here’s one of the questions answered from the Google Science Fair. The full video is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t222tH_28M4

Daily Photo – Waterfall over the grave in Milford

This is Bowen Falls in Milford Sound, and right at the bottom is a very old grave that you can hike to. It’s not an easy hike, but you can get there if you are crafty. It’s the grave of William Ward Rathbun, and there is an old iron fence that is falling apart around it. It’s all very scenic and grave-y.

Waterfall over the grave in Milford

Waterfall over the grave in Milford

Photo Information

  • Date TakenOctober 27, 2012 at 3:36am
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Across and Through Milford

Camping in Milford

I remember sleeping outside one night in Milford. I was pretty cold, but I had a great sleeping bag. There was a tiny little hold in the top of my sleeping bag, and around 3 AM, a possum came and stuck his face and mouth into the hole! It scared the living Jesus out of me… man, I’ll never forget that one.

Daily Photo – Across and Through Milford

I love sailing through the fjords of Milford! I’ve done this a few times now, and there is always something new and a different kind of light.

I think a lot of people are disappointed if they get to Milford Sound and it is raining. I would not feel that way if I were you because things can perhaps be at their most dramatic! There can be a ton of little waterfalls and crazy clouds even in the middle of the rain. So don’t let the rain dissuade you from taking the boat out and about!

Across and Through Milford

Across and Through Milford

Photo Information

  • Date TakenFebruary 9, 2013 at 11:58pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length19.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2

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Bel in the Field

Her Handiwork

See Bel in the field in today’s photo? Here’s some of her handiwork… she made this whole video! If you want to know more, see the Landscape Tutorial Series page! :)

Daily Photo – Bel in the Field

Here is Bel Jones, caught in the middle of filming the New Zealand photo adventure a few months ago. We stopped in a field on the way to Milford Sound to do some shooting… She got low in the grass like an African predator to get her shots… so turned the camera back at her for a moment while she was getting some b-roll!

Bel Jones

Bel in the Field

Photo Information

  • Date TakenFebruary 9, 2013 at 6:26am
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length116.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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A Pink Sunset in the Fjords

Video from this Sunset

A few weeks ago, I posted a YouTube video with b-roll from this very sunset. I didn’t want to embed it again (I feel like sometimes I put too much video on the blog, even though no one has complained?!??) — but anyway, there is a link for you. :)

Daily Photo – A Pink Sunset in the Fjords

I tried to make as much as I could out of this amazing sunset! I swapped lenses, tried every possible angle, aimed every possible direction — I knew how rare a sunset like this was. This is a often a very exciting (and fun!) time… when you sit through dozens of mediocre sunsets, you get overly excited when one goes off the charts like this. It must be a lot like a good day of fishing, but I would not really know, since I’ve never had one of those. Well, hehe, that’s not true… I was in Alaska as a kid with my dad and I caught like 70 fish in a day! But I was just a kid… and I could not really appreciate how lucky that was.

A pink sunset in the fjords

A Pink Sunset in the Fjords

Photo Information

  • Date TakenAugust 8, 2012 at 3:02am
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/8
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Deeper into Milford Sound

The Free HDR Tutorial

Thanks for the continued feedback on the new HDR Tutorial here on the site. I’m reading everything! Also, I’m glad you like that new little video I put on page three!

Daily Photo – Deeper into Milford Sound

Milford Sound has lots of interesting mountains besides the main ones that everyone shoots. The main corridor of dramatic mountains and sea is so alluring that it pulls your eye over there every time. The only way I can ignore it is to actually look through my camera at other areas. I think that’s the only way I spotted this!

Deeper into Milford Sound

Deeper into Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date TakenOctober 27, 2012 at 3:48am
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length54.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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New HDR Tutorial – Free Web Version with New Videos

Fully re-vamped HDR Tutorial!

I removed and rebuilt the HDR Tutorial from the ground up! Now it is tighter, more focused, and has all my latest techniques. Those of you that purchased the latest HDR and Post-Processing Tutorial on Video from New Zealand will see a consistency between the online free version and the paid version. They got out of sync there because my technique evolves pretty fast!

Some B-roll from the video below

I’m sure many of you have seen this video below already — but you might notice during the video that you can see some of the scenes that brought today’s photo to life! :)

Daily Photo – The Ghostly Spirits in Milford Sound

We had a lucky morning in Milford Sound! In retrospect, it was really dumb to bring so many people to Milford when the weather could have been horrible! But man, we really lucked out! I would say there is good weather there (shootable weather) only 50% of the time.

There are many favorite little things about this photo. One of them is that little greenish island out into the bay… that has a good feeling to it, I think.

Milford Sound, New Zealand

The Ghostly Spirits in Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date TakenFebruary 9, 2013 at 10:42pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture10
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length17.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

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Big Live Show Today! Last Day for Special Discount!

Join me in Tokyo at the Google HQ! (Free Event)

On Friday April 12 at 4 PM – 7 PM, come to my tech talk or to the meet up afterwards! Want to join me? Fill out this Google Form if you’d like to come, and I’ll see you there!

The Google offices are located at 6-10-1 Roppongi, Minato, Tokyo. The building is called Roppongi Hills Mori Tower and the Google reception is on the 26th floor.

Thanks again – Live Show Today!

Thanks again for those of you that purchased the new video series Landscape and Travel Photography: New Zealand! You’ll get to watch the big show today. I’m super-excited! If you have any questions about how to watch or whatever, be sure to contact support@stuckincustoms.com. Luke will help you out!

You still have a chance to get it at the discounted price today before the live event.

Today’s photo below is one of the shots that I show how to post-process in the video. I hope you all are enjoying it! :)

Daily Photo – Morning Reflections of Bowen Falls

We had a great still morning in Milford Sound! I think, in retrospect, that it was very very risky taking everyone down there. The weather could have been horrible the whole time and there would be no shots! But, we got lucky and everything was beyond awesome.

We walked out onto a peninsula of rocks and the most interesting scene was kind of “straight ahead” out between the mighty peaks through the fjord into the ocean. But, there were other good angles too, like this one off to the right of this beautiful waterfall. I took well over 1,000 photos over that few days, and many of them came this morning!

Milford Sound Bowen Falls

Morning Reflections of Bowen Falls

Photo Information

  • Date TakenFebruary 9, 2013 at 10:24pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/20
  • Aperture8
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2

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Waterfalls on the way to Milford Sound

Milford Sound Lodge

At the end of this scene, you end up at the Milford Sound Lodge. I’ve stayed there about 6 or 7 times now! You can get a few different types of accommodations… from hardcore backpacker to something with a bit more space. The prices are very reasonable, and you’re right in the middle of the action for the next morning for those sunrise photos!

Daily Photo – Waterfalls on the way to Milford Sound

There is a good question that will never be answered: Is the drive to Milford Sound equal to the epicness of Milford Sound itself? No one knows!! I can’t figure it out. But, one random element that comes into the equation is the rain. When it is raining (or a recent rain), there are over 100 waterfalls that decorate the steep valley.

It’s kind of hard to shoot waterfalls in the rain. Actually, it’s really hard. I usually amp up my ISO and drop my F-stop very low to make sure I get a quick picture before the rain settles on my lens.

Waterfalls in Milford Sound

Waterfalls on the way to Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date TakenOctober 27, 2012 at 4:43am
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length82.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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