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 Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length116.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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 Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/8
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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 Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length54.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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 Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture10
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length17.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

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 Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/20
  • Aperture8
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2

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 Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length82.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Clayton Morris from Fox News Balances

A few days left for the special pre-sale event!

You can go buy it now and save money. This savings (and bonus!) only lasts a few more days. I wanted to do something special because I’m so excited about these new tutorial videos!

It’s $20 cheaper if you get it now, and you’ll get access to a special live event!

You’ll notice this photo of Clayton below in the little promo video on the site! :)

See you in Australia for the big Problogger Conference!

I was honored when Darren invited me to do this. You can find out more on the Problogger site! :)

HDR Photo

Daily Photo – Clayton Morris from Fox News Balances

The water was slowly, slowly, slowly rising one morning in Milford Sound when we were all there together. We made a desperate retreat just as things were getting a bit too late. The last one to cross was Clayton, so I spun around quickly to get this shot while he was being all Cirque de Soliel with his tripod. And no, he did not fall into the water! :)

Clayton Morris Fox News

Clayton Morris from Fox News Balances

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/1250
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

NPS Australia is Absolutely Awesome

NPS Australia is a model for the other NPS branches

Nikon is a confusing company. The way the NPS (Nikon Professional Services) territories have been separated by the Japanese-corporate-groupthink causes a lot of confusion. I know it’s “just the way they do things,” but that is a sorry excuse from an old-style company that refuses to change and be more like, well, Apple. The way products are sold with distributors and middlemen that create this “grey-market” is absolutely perplexing to the well-meaning customer. I never get a “grey-market” iPad. Wherever I buy an MacBook, for example, I can take it into any Apple store around the world and get it fixed.

A few months ago I wrote a blog entry called “Bad Experiernce with Nikon Professional Services“. I’ve now put an update at the top of that blog entry with this sweet “exception” about NPS Australia!

If NPS does decide to change things up, they should put the team from NPS Australia in charge of the whole shootin’-match. These guys are awesome.

Thanks to my friend Alexia Sinclair and her new husband James, they hooked me up with NPS Australia while I was there with Tom. I had a problem with my 14-24mm lens. It would not reset the aperture between shots. The NPS Australia team got the lens, fixed it, and cheerfully delivered it to me in Melbourne a few days later. This is of course exactly what I would expect from a Professional Services organization. Compare this to dozens of multi-paragraph emails and countless confusing phone calls with other NPS branches, and, well, you get the picture.

(and thanks to all the other Big Camera Companies that contacted me during this dark period in my life… but I’m still staying with Nikon for now… your Australian outfit saved the day!)

Daily Photo – Through The Mists of Milford Sound

The mornings are the best in Milford Sound, I think. I’ve been here about seven times now. Even though I had one amazing sunset, I think that the mornings tend to have better luck for photos. Note this is all anecdotal, and I’ll be more sure after I visit 100 times, which I plan to do, by the way! It’s only a few hours from my home… I really have no excuse, do I?

Through The Mists of Milford Sound New Zealand

Through The Mists of Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/11
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length24mm (24mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Two Dolphins in Love in Milford Sound

Back to Normally Scheduled Broadcasting

Now that the crazy two weeks has ended, we will begin regular broadcasts of the Trey’s Variety Hour. They appear here live on the blog every Monday night at 7 PM PT, 10 PM ET. And they’re all available to watch afterwards on YouTube.com/StuckInCustoms!

Daily Photo – Two Dolphins in Love in Milford Sound

While we took the boat out of Milford towards the Tasman Sea, a pod of bottle-nose dolphins came to visit. They turned and jumped and spiraled in a double helix, twisting endlessly like a playful cyclone.

Two Dolphins in Love in Milford Sound

Two Dolphins in Love in Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/6.3
  • ISO640
  • Focal Length14mm (14mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Poems in the Moonlight in Milford Sound

The Pilgrimage begins!

The event is sold out, and we have about 20 people descending on New Zealand from all around the world. I’m so excited… We have the Photography Workshops listed on that page, and you can see we don’t have any more in the works. You can always keep an eye on that page… but if you’d like to get a video of the event, sign up below to find out first!

If you want to hear about future workshops before they’re listed here and made known to the public then sign-up for our Newsletter. It’s free and pretty, and we promise not to spam you!


Scott Kublin, Karen Hutton, and Curtis Simmons are arriving here ahead of time so we can start preparing for all the festivities! I’m mega-excited! :)

Daily Photo – Poems in the Moonlight in Milford Sound

I stayed out late… way after the sun went down. The moon was out in full force, so I was getting all sorts of interesting shots. For the briefest of moments, the moon shot through one of the clouds towards one of the mountains that holds a glacier. I grabbed it as quick as I could!

Milford Sound under moonlight

Poems in the Moonlight in Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/2.8
  • ISO1000
  • Focal Length24mm (24mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programmanual
  • Exposure Bias

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