A peaceful morning in Glenorchy

From our New Zealand Workshop

Be sure to come check out our Workshops page here on the site if you want to come to New Zealand with me some time! 🙂

Post-processing the Wetlands in Glenorchy

And here’s how I made the image photo below. When you compare this to the “Final Version” above, you can clearly see how I stretched the mountains tall! 🙂

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Daily Photo – A peaceful morning in Glenorchy

Here's one of my favorite places near Queenstown we take our workshop friends when they come to New Zealand. On this day, we had super-smooth water… rare and beautiful, eh? I really don't like getting up early in the morning, but that is the time the water is smoothest! 🙂

A peaceful morning in Glenorchy

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-10-20 02:47:03
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1600
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1.3

1.5 Mil Downloads and a Giveaway Comment-to-Win Event to Celebrate!

Happy Passport Day!

Thanks again to those of you that are Passport Members – Today you get a special 360-degree behind-the-scenes video at Milford Sound. Well, TWO videos actually! If you don’t know what “Passport” is – well it’s a simple thing… for the price of a couple of cups of coffee per month, you get extra behind-the-scenes stuff, presets, and more. Nothing has changed on the blog… still a new photo and tips every day, but now I’m able to use some cool tech to add more stuff!

1.5 Million Downloads and a Giveaway + Deals to celebrate!

1.5 million downloads for Aurora HDR! Amazing everyone… and that’s only on the Mac (wait till we release the Windows version!! yes yes… still working on it, I promise!). Anyway, to celebrate this number, we’re throwing together a fun package deal just for a short time… it’s a bundle of the software and me newest (and best) HDR Tutorial video I did with Lisa Bettany in Venice.

Giveaway Time! Just Leave a Comment for you and a friend to win!

To celebrate that crazy number of downloads, I’m giving away 5 copies of Season 1 of Becoming an Artist. We filmed the whole thing in Africa, and I think you’re gonna love it… a very personal project chockful of tips & tricks.

To win a copy for yourself and a friend, simply leave a comment below (and, well, say whatever you want!) but also be sure to mention your friend. We’ll pick 5 random winners in the next week! 🙂 Here’s the promo video:

Favorite Photos of Milford Sound

Since I use Aurora HDR pretty much every day of my life, I thought I’d share some of my favorite HDR photos from Milford Sound! If you watch the exclusive PASSPORT videos below, then you get to see how amazing these fjords are all around you! 🙂


Amazing Milford Sound with Silky Fog

 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!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Poems in the Moonlight in Milford Sound

trey-ratcliff-new-zealand-milford-sound (374 of 649)

Passport Exclusive – Tips from Milford Sound

Thanks again Awesome Passport Member! You’re the best… has anyone told you that lately? Well, now they have! 🙂 Here are two 360 videos I recently made in Milford Sound… enjoy

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A few weeks ago on the way to Milford Sound at Lake Manapouri

Spot Location

There’s a road that’s hard to find that leads out to an old barge they used when building the hydrolics system here. Here’s the spot on Google Maps, in case you want to go yourself!

Daily Photo – A few weeks ago on the way to Milford Sound at Lake Manapouri

This was my first time at this lake… what a great spot! There are so many lakes on the South Island of New Zealand… I have a side-goal to visit all of them. Well this is another one marked off the list. My friends Mark Richter and Curtis Simmons came out this way with me… it was a great find – thanks again Mark!

A few weeks ago on the way to Milford Sound at Lake Manapouri

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-02-18 12:40:29
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

That Tree in Warm Light

That Tree in Wanaka

I believe this famous tree actually has it’s own hashtag. Try clicking on #ThatTreeInWanaka in Instagram to see many different versions of it!

Daily Photo – That Tree in Warm Light

Here's one of my latest iterations of the tree. I used one of our Lightroom Presets for this one in particular. Thanks again to everyone out there that has been enjoying these presets… been working on a few more, but none quite ready for release yet!

That Tree in Warm Light

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-04-02 14:57:57
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time6
  • Aperture8
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

The Lupins in Spring

A special day in Tekapo (more for Passport members)

Want to see how today’s photo was processed? I do the whole thing from beginning to end… it was kind of a challenging photo, I’ll be honest. Anyway, you’ll see the bonus material at the bottom of this blog post if you’re a Passport Member and THANKS again for all your support! 🙂

A very in-depth post-processing of the Tekapo Lupins

So, this is kind of a long video, but it’s one of the most in-depth post-processing videos I’ve ever made for you, awesome Passport member. I hope you enjoy! 🙂

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Daily Photo – The Lupins in Spring

This is a new favorite photo of Tekapo! I had a lot of trouble figuring out what composition to use and how to process it (you'll see in the how-to video below), but I'm very happy with the result. Can you believe a lot of locals in New Zealand find this lupin flower to be a pest and a nuisance? I've been trying to collect more and more and plant them at our home! I think they are very pretty! 🙂

The Lupins in Spring

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2012-12-05 11:17:16
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture16
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Over the docks in Glenorchy

On the Way To Earnslaw Burn – And New Passport Video!

Lucky you if you’re a Passport Member as you get two videos two days in a row. This one is another amazing one – I have a patron who has paid a Rather Significant amount of money for me to take some photos (today’s Daily Photo is NOT one of them… just a quick shot I took on the way there). Anyway, this is Part 2 of 3 of more behind the scenes stuff. If you saw Part 1, you got to see me and the crew out on an overnight camping trip where I was trying to get the shots… been working on this project for about a year! Now it’s all finally coming together.

Earnslaw Burn Continued…

And in our on-going saga to get some good photos from Earnslaw Burn, here is Part 2, where you can see the resulting photos. Which ones are your favorite? I’ve now flown out to visit the patron in Austin to see his!

I’ll put Part 1 below Part 2 in case you missed that… It’s a great video too – check it out!

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Daily Photo – Over the docks in Glenorchy

On the way from Queenstown to Earnslaw Burn, you pass over this nice dock that shoots out into that turquoise water in Lake Wakatipu. I've taken heaps (that's a word they use a lot here in New Zealand) of photos from ground level, so it was great to get up in the air to get a different perspective.

Over the docks in Glenorchy

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-11-23 14:51:21
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length3.6 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Bowen Falls and Milford in Black and White

Milford 360 Behind the Scenes

I made a 360 video for Passport Members that shows what it looks like just after you emerge into the fjord side of the tunnel. Normally there are lots of waterfalls and it is rainy, this time, the weather was perfect! Anyway, enjoy… and let me know if you like these 360 videos and I can make more.

360 Video of the fjord side of the Milford Sound tunnel

Hello, Brave Passport Member! Here’s another 360 video for you! I’ve been watching these both in YouTube and with my Google Daydream… pretty cool, eh?

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Daily Photo – Bowen Falls and Milford in Black and White

This is a little black and white study across the sound facing Bowen Falls. It's illegal, I think, but you can scramble around a wall down by the rocks (quite dangerous) and follow a path back there to an old grave. It's pretty back there but hard to get a photo because of all the spray that comes off the waterfall.

Bowen Falls and Milford in Black and White

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2012-10-27 06:36:03
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperture
  • ISO
  • Focal Length
  • Flash
  • Exposure Program
  • Exposure Bias

Into the Night in Milford Sound

TIP: How to use the Samsung Gear 360 Camera when using any Android Phone

This was not easy to figure out! Luckily good man Stu here, my techie right-hand-man at Stuck In Customs figured all this out… here’s how you do it!

Why would you do this?

The Gear 360 can be controlled using its small LCD and the buttons on the device but some functionality available in the app isn’t available using this method.

Main Benefits of the App:

  • Only way to unlock images for processing (happens during copy from camera to handset)
  • Live view so you can see where the stitching will be and avoid it landing on key areas
  • Ability to set ISO, white balance, HDR etc
  • Fire the camera wirelessly (you can hide)

In short, the app will function just as it does on a Galaxy handset. The only thing you need to remember is NOT to transfer videos via the App. At the end of transfers the app does some encoding, it’s a drain on battery/time. Just stick the the MicroSD card to from the Gear 360 into your system and copy the videos. Load them into the Gear 360 ActionDirector (bundled with the camera) and it will unlock them for use in your editing software.

Pics, you can transfer those on the app and let them convert so you can work with them in Photoshop, Lightroom, Aurora HDR, etc.

How to install the Gear 360 App

Step 1) Use Google Play to install the Samsung Accessory Service.

Step 2) Enable Unknown Source Installs on your handset. (Settings>General>Fingerprints + Security)

Gear 1

Step 3) Download and install the Gear 360 Manager from here.

Step 4) Launch the Gear 360 App. It should run as normal. The connection initially is via Bluetooth but then it switches to its own Wi-Fi network later on.

Step 5) Switch back the unknown source option to off. (Settings>General>Fingerprints + Security)

That’s it… in theory!

I did read that on some phones if live-view or file browsing doesn’t work you may need to switch the option to for mobile data when on Wi-Fi but opinions varied. If you need it here is the option (Settings>Networks> tap the current network). You can also watch out for new versions of the modified apps over on the XDA forum. Those guys over there have done some great work to make this possible.

Gear2

Have fun and be sure to share your results in our Facebook Group.

Starry Starry Night

Passport Members get to see a special 360 video below about an hour before I took this photo. Something that’s not in the video that I can tell you now – I shot this with the Leica 21mm at F/1.4. Getting as LOW as possible in that F-Stop is key for getting good star shots.

Thoughts on Failure

Here’s another 360 video I shot here in Milford Sound just as it was getting dark… Enjoy! Oh, P.S. the Timelapse video turned out to be TERRIBLE. That Samsung 360 Gear is really cool, but not so good for low-light photos.

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Daily Photo – Into the Night in Milford Sound

This is maybe my tenth trip to Milford? I always have a lovely and different sort of time there. I've never seen it so starry, though! I was here with my friends Mark and Curtis and the photos and wine were flowing nicely! 🙂 Curtis had suggested we go back to the room and relax for a while then come back out for the stars. I refused to follow this plan because I was afraid we'd never make it back out! But then just about 45 minutes later it was dark enough to take these sorts of photos.

Into the Night in Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-02-18 17:52:34
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time20
  • Aperture
  • ISO3200
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

Amazing Milford Sound with Silky Fog

First 360 Passport Video

Hey for those of you that get Passport Access, you’ll get to see my first ever 360 video! It’ll be at the bottom of this post for you if you’re logged in. You can watch in YouTube or Google Daydream/Cardboard, or whatever! In the video, I shoot it at night down on the water… but I actually shot the photo below with a quadcopter the next morning. I have a cool night shot that I’m still working on and will post in coming weeks.

My first 360 Video!

Enjoy my first ever 360 video with tips and thoughts. I hope you enjoy! Any questions, leave in the comments as usual! 🙂

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Daily Photo – Amazing Milford Sound with Silky Fog

Some friends and I just made the trek down to Milford Sound for a little photo getaway. you NEVER know what the weather is gonna be like down there. We had good karma I suppose and ended up with incredible weather! It was a great road trip… great tunes, good friends, good wine, and good snacks! Oh, and a few good photos here and there too… a lot more to edit! Oh btw, that is the famous Mitre Peak there on the right sticking out through the clouds.

Amazing Milford Sound with Silky Fog

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-02-19 09:38:55
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Yet another hobbit hole!

A Flight Over Hobbiton

We did a live FB show while flying over this amazing spot. Here it is!

Daily Photo – Yet another hobbit hole!

For regular readers, you know that every year I post about three photos of different hobbit holes. This one is probably #13 or something like that. I think there are 44 all together on Hobbiton Movie Set. it's an incredible place… I highly recommend the tour! If possible, sign up for the final tour of the day because you can also have this fabulous private medieval dinner at the pub right there in Hobbiton!

Yet another hobbit hole!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-06-04 22:27:46
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperture
  • ISO
  • Focal Length
  • Flash
  • Exposure Program
  • Exposure Bias

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