Above the Wolves

DJI Quadcopter Review

Today’s photo is from one of them, so be sure to check out the DJI Phantom Review soon!

Big Arcanum Update!

Be sure to go update your Application at The Arcanum. We now have added a few new things to help future Masters find you. I know there is a HUGE number of people waiting, so the more on the ball you are, the more like you are to be chosen from the orphanage!

Here’s a screenshot of one of the new Application pages… you can see how incomplete my own application is! I’m going to update it now :)

Trey_Ratcliff___The_Arcanum

Release Notes (Thanks Tania Court!):

Grand Library – Filters

There’s two new filters in the Grand Library that are really exciting (mainly because it means some of us won’t lose that video we were watching at 3am on Saturday morning during a impromptu cohort hangout).

My History lets you see what videos you’ve watched in descending date order

My Liked Videos lets you see videos you’ve liked easily.

Grand Library – Tags

- When viewing a video, Masters and Apprentices can now edit the descriptive tags on ALL videos. We encourage you to help us add more tags / keywords to any video you watch. It will help others to find videos in the future!
- Also when viewing a video, you can now tag yourself if you appear in it (this works for both Masters and Apprentices), the new option is located just below the video on the right.
- Masters can now tag one or more Apprentices from their cohort in videos that they submit.

To make sure you’re comfortable with having videos of yourself in the Grand Library you can now choose to hide videos you’re tagged in. Go to your Profile and the new Settings tab. There you will find the a new option for the Grand Library. If you’re shy about having your critique shared then make sure you’re tagged in the videos and then choose the “No One” option under “Who can see videos I’m tagged in”.

Other Updates

We all love to spend so much time in the Grand Library that it’s easy to forget about the rest of the stuff that goes into The Arcanum process. Not so for Curtis and his team – they’re busy keeping the rest of The Arcanum processes up-to-date. Here are some of the updates to the other processes that make The Arcanum run…

– The new Settings tab also includes an option to control who can see your City/State/Country. We do not share your general location today. If we do, it will only be used to display where Apprentices are roughly located on a map, solely for members of The Arcanum
- Updates to the Application Process and Personal profile pages were made to encourage a fully complete profile. There are also new options to better define your Learning Goals as an Apprentice, or Teaching Goals as a Potential Master.

Keep in mind that all of theses updates have come as a direct response to feedback from you so please keep the comments coming and let us know other improvements you’d like to see!

Daily Photo – Above the Wolves

Here's a DJI Quadcopter shot over the amazing wolves here at The Hills near Arrowtown. It's so cool how they were distributed in this patten… this vortex of wolves. I got to meet the sculptor when I was in Beijing most recently. It was a great honor to spend time with him and share some tea! :)

Above the Wolves

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraHero3-Black Edition
  • Camera MakeGoPro
  • Exposure Time1/390
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length2.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Isabella on a walk

Quick Shooting Tip

See this photo below? I can’t claim credit for this idea! It came from my friend Cliff Baise. But if you get down in some grasses or thin plants and shoot with a shallow DOF (low Aperture number), then you can end up with this nice-looking effect!

The Myth of Talent

Here’s a great video by Robin Griggs Wood! She made this as her intro video for www.TheArcanum.com — it’s so awesome. I hope you like it as much as I do! 

Daily Photo – Isabella on a walk

One day we went over to Jack's Point, which is just on the other side of the lake from Queenstown. It was a cool winter morning, but the grasses were blowing in the wind like Isabella's hair. She's a very sweet girl! :)

Isabella on a walk

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8000
  • Aperture
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Arrowtown in the Autumn

Composition Tricks

Here’s a little trick with composing photos. As you know, it’s usually bad form to put major things (like the sun) in the middle of the photograph. But, if you turn the camera sideways (said in a Raising Arizona voice) into portrait mode, you can suddenly center anything and it looks good! You can imagine the photo below in landscape orientation — it would not be as compelling.

Daily Photo – Arrowtown in the Autumn

Arrowtown is so lovely! There is a huge park right by the main street and the trees go crazy in the Autumn. I kind of think this photo is cheating, because you can kind of aim your camera in any direction and just take a photo!

Arrowtown in the Autumn

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length39.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

An amazing meal in Hobbiton

An Older Interview You Might Have Missed

Here is a very fun episode I did with Leo Laporte!

Daily Photo – An amazing meal in Hobbiton

If you go on the tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set, be sure you go on the last one of the day and stay for this dinner. It is absolutely NOT to be missed… man it was good. I ate so so so much — it was really redonkulous. And, as you can see, the view cannot be beaten!

An amazing meal in Hobbiton

An amazing meal in Hobbiton

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1.6
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Beautiful Land of the Hobbits

Other Great Movie Sets?

This spot below is the Hobbiton Movie Set. But it’s not just a set. It’s a real place with gardeners and staff, and, well everything but real Hobbits. I mean, some Kiwis are quite Hobbit-like, so I guess that is something!

Anyway, are there any other movie sets around the world that are actual real-working places that maintain their fantasy-glow all around the year?

Daily Photo – The Beautiful Land of the Hobbits

What's better than an afternoon strolling around the place where the Hobbits live? I can't think of much more than this? Oh sure, maybe take a boat ride in Venice or walk on the moon… but, other than those, I think maybe this comes in a solid third place! And the best thing about it is that anyone can do this! There are many tours that go through here… they are not rushed… lots of time for photos… and if you do the last tour of the day, you can even do the amazing medieval feast at night! :)

The Beautiful Land of the Hobbits

The Beautiful Land of the Hobbits

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Dallas PhotoWalk Announced!

Dallas Photowalk

Get the Latest Event Details here and RSVP!

Dallas PhotoWalk! 7 PM – Everyone is welcome!

Where: Outside the Winspear Opera House
Time/Date: 7 PM on Friday, September 5
Cost: Free! :)
Prizes: Yes!
Hashtag: #TRDallasPhotoWalk
Afterparty: 9 PM at the Angry Dog in Deep Ellum

Come one, come all! This will be a great event and a great celebration of photography. I grew up in Dallas, so I’m looking forward to coming back. This will be after Burning Man, so there is no telling what kind of condition I will be in. Have low expectations! haha…

It’s a family-friendly event so feel free to bring your kids and stuff. Any camera will do, from Mobile phone to big DSLRs!

I’ll be giving little lessons, tips, ideas, etc etc. You all can ask me any question any time. This will be so fun!

More details to come, but I wanted to get it on your schedules if interested!

Thanks to James Brandon for helping us to plan this!

Daily Photo – A Great View of Queenstown

I was just up here a few days ago with Cliff to get this shot of my hometown of Queenstown! I don't actually live down in there anywhere, but I do go into town two or three times a week. It's a small town with only about 30,000, but it swells a lot in the winter for all the skiing. I live about 10 minutes outside of town in between Queenstown and Arrowtown.

I used to live in Dallas, so I am looking forward to going back for the big photowalk above! :)

A Great View of Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/50
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

An Amazing Night in Milford and a New eBook on Flatbooks

New eBook – Photographing Children Naturally

We recently published a new book over on Flatbooks called Photographing Children Naturally. Portraiture can be challenging itself, and sometimes even more difficult when working with children. This new eBook by Cheryl Machat Dorskind helps you sort everything out, from selecting your gear to setting it up to keeping track of your client work. She’ll also be interviewed on This Week in Photo next Tuesday, so make sure you tune in!.

We’ve also pulled together a list of a few other books focusing on portraiture that you can check out at this page.

Another Night at Milford

Here’s a little B-roll (with no commentary) from another evening at this same place!

Daily Photo – An Amazing Night in Milford

I just spent three days in Milford Sound, New Zealand. This is about a four hour drive from my house. The bad news was there were no clouds for sunset. The good news was there were no clouds for star shots that night! Cliff and I stayed out there quite late to make sure we got all the shots we wanted! For this one, I tried attaching the Nikon 16mm f/2.8 prime via an adapter to my Sony A7r — it was very easy and worked like a charm! :)

An Amazing Night in Milford

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time25
  • Aperture
  • ISO3200
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Ethan in Glenorchy

Interested in a Lightroom Tutorial?

It’s just been released! See the new Lightroom Tutorial!

Daily Photo – Ethan in Glenorchy

Here's a picture of my son walking through the wetlands of Glenorchy. We had a nice family hike there on Mother's Day, and I liked the way he stood out in these yellow grasses… he kind of looks like a human in the wild… a creature of New Zealand… his gait kind of reminds me of that old video footage of a sasquatch! :)

Ethan in Glenorchy

Ethan in Glenorchy

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8000
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

One Day Left before Live Event!

New Lightroom Tutorial

Tomorrow is the big show, but the whole tutorial is now available for download so you can get a head start! Pop over the Trey’s Lightroom Tutorial page and grab it! If you miss the Live part of the show, then you can always download the recorded version of it.

Daily Photo – Another Queenstown Sunset

I took this photo right before our last workshop here in Queenstown, New Zealand. We only have one of these planned for 2015, so that is sure to be a good one. One thing interesting I did here for this photo is I also made a “Photosphere” while waiting on this sunset to develop. Follow that link to see how that works… you can click on it and zoom around… it's a pretty easy and fun thing to do with your Android phone.

Another Queenstown Sunset

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length0.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Spending the Night on the North Island

The North Island of New Zealand

I need to spend more time in the North! I feel so New-Zealand-Lame! I spend SO much time in the South Island, exploring all the mountains and everything… so I am feeling like I am a little lost up there, you know? I gotta get my act together!

Daily Photo – Spending the Night on the North Island

I stayed for the night with my friend Stu Robertson at his amazing secret hidaway. It was awesome. We shot of fireworks and made all kinds of really bad decisions… at one point in the night, things were so lovely that I stopped for a moment to take this photo.

Spending the Night on the North Island

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time13
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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