The Most Amazing Golf Hole in the World

Crazy Golf Holes

What other crazy golf holes do you know of? This must be in the top 10!

Daily Photo – The Most Amazing Golf Hole in the World

Look at this amazing golf hole! It's a single golf hole, way on top of Cecil peak. You can see Queenstown down below. The only way to get here is by chopper, and, well, Choppy! You can see her standing there on the green after just sinking a super long putt. I was up here with Curtis, Pete, Varina, and Frederick. Everyone was trying desperately to putt the ball in. She stepped up and sank it on stroke one!

It's not just a green — there are tee-boxes way up above too. There are a few, in fact, all of which use the same green.

Choppy says she came up with the idea because her dad had a fantasy-golf-hole calendar… and she thought, one day, she would build it!

The Most Amazing Golf Hole in the World

The Most Amazing Golf Hole in the World

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture10
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length29.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Denver PhotoWalk & Taking a break on the hike

Denver PhotoWalk!

I need a Denver Expert to help me plan a route and stuff! Any volunteers?

I’ve never done a PhotoWalk in Denver and I am excited! I’ll be there (by accident via a long international connection from Yellowstone to Bangkok) for about 10 hours, and I thought it would be fun to come see the city, take photos, and meet you all! Let’s do it…

For the LATEST EVENT INFO, check this Google+ Event page!

Date: Saturday, July 19
Time: 6PM
Location: TBD
Route: TBD! :)
Cost: Free
What Levels are invited? All levels, from Beginner to Advanced, from Mobile Phones to DSLRs!
Prizes: Yes! I’ll give away a free copy of my latest Lightroom Presets to everyone who shows up! :)
Family Friendly? Yes, bring the kids!
Afterparty? Probably! TBD!

If you’ve never been to one of these, they are very fun! I’ll be setting up in various locations to take photos. I’ll talk through all my settings. I’ll talk about compositions or ideas… I also talk a lot about shots that I don’t take and why I don’t take them… anyway, I’m there for questions or, well, anything!

Fake Reflection Shots

I never fake my reflection shots, and here is a good way to tell. Now, even before telling you this, I suppose, naturally, it is possible to fake it the way I am telling you, but it is just a lot harder, I guess! Anyway, if you look at all the structures above the water, you’ll see that not all of them are in the reflection because of my angle. As just a little example, you can see all the mountains in the top, but not in the bottom. If you ever see EXACTLY the same thing, either it is faked, or the camera has to be like one inch above the water!

You can also see this effect in a previous photo I posted while over Lake Hayes. Just click on the “New Zealand” link above in the category to find that one! :)

Daily Photo – Taking a break on the hike

While at that amazing retreat called “Aro-Ha” here near Queenstown, we'd take amazing hikes every day… and had so much fun! Here, we stopped for a little break by this perfect little pond. It's amazing to me how many picture-perfect spots are all over the landscape here… I'll never get used to it!

Taking a break on the hike

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3000
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length55.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Isabella on the Path and Pandacraft!

Speaking of Isabella – how to make rubber-band jewelry

Here’s a cute video my daughter made… and there’s a little surprise grammar lesson at the end by the panda on her left! :)

Daily Photo – Isabella on the Path

We had a great overnight camping trip out past Glenorchy by the Greenstone River. Well, it was not really pure full-on camping because there was an old house there that we slept inside. We headed out on a few little hikes here and there, and on the way, I stopped to take this photo of Isabella. I asked her to stand right in the middle, so while she was looking down to get herself in the middle, I snapped this one.

Isabella on the Path

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture9.5
  • ISO1000
  • Focal Length47.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+1

The Paragliding Flight School in Queenstown

Speaking of the Flight School

Here’s a full video about me learning to fly at the place depicted below! :)

Daily Photo – The Flight School Cafe

You have to come here after having Swanny all up your backside while teaching you paragliding for the day! Be sure to tell them Trey sent you! This is an amazing place for food… breakfast or lunch. You might just see me landing there… Have fun! :)

The Flight School Cafe

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture10
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.7

Way Over Wanaka

Borders on Photos

I don’t usually put borders around my photos. I don’t have anything necessarily against borders (as long as they are not too garish). But my friend Jackie Ranken made a good point about them — that they help define the borders of a photo when shown on a black screen when projecting. I think a lot of people also look at them full screen on their computers or TVs with a black background, so it is nice to have that sharply designed border there.

Daily Photo – Way Over Wanaka

We had an amazing helicopter flight over the Southern Alps and ended up flying over some mountains near Wanaka. They were covered in a fine fog and mist and looked absolutely epic. I took dozens and dozens of shots. This is one of the first that I have processed, and I love the way it turned out in black and white.

Way Over Wanaka

Way Over Wanaka

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture10
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length44.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Walking to Glacier Isobel

Environment-sensitive Quadcopters

I’ve been thinking how awesome it will be when quadcopters have built-in lidars so they can sense when objects are nearby and automatically avoid them. My vision is not that great (since I only see out of one eye), and so sometimes it hard for me to have depth perception once I lose parallax. Anyway, I’m looking forward to that collision-avoidance soon!

Daily Photo – Walking to Glacier Isobel

Here's my friend Curtis walking towards Glacier Isobel there in the distance. We landed the chopper (with Choppy!) about 100 meters behind us and we walked up as close as we could. Well, we didn't actually get that close because there was a super-steep cliff where we called it quits.

I came to this place back in the summer, and the ground was covered in these bright red tussocks. But now in the Autumn when it starts to snow, it looks like a totally different place!

Walking to Glacier Isobel

Walking to Glacier Isobel

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture10
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

Morning Scramble in Queenstown

We’re hiring a Wizard of Web Development for The Arcanum

Come see more at http://thearcanum.com/web-development-wizard/ – maybe it’s a good fit for you? No wizard-robes required, although they are encouraged…

Appreciating Sunsets and Sunrises When I Don’t Have My Camera

Yes, I can still appreciate them, but it is a bittersweet appreciation! It’s a complex series of emotions that are in some kind of a spinning yin-yang in my mind. There’s this Brownian emotional motion that makes things all a bit weird… I don’t know if that makes sense!

Daily Photo – Morning Scramble in Queenstown

I woke up one morning while Curtis was here and there was this crazy sunrise just starting. I was still in bed (one of my favorite places on cold mornings), but I knew I had to get up. I'm usually quite incoherent after I wake up… so there were many different socks and shoes combined to get myself somewhat mobile. I scrambled around and found my tripod and camera and everything. I clumsily put on the right lens and got in position. And then I realized I had no battery. So I had to do a sprint back to my studio to get a fresh battery. That morning sprint will wake you up in a rude way, but you are certainly awake by then. Anyway, after all that mess, I got this shot. Yay! hehe…

Morning Scramble in Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8
  • Aperture8
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1.7

Looking upwards by the river

New Trick with Cameras

I figured out a new strange way to take photos with my Sony A7r — actually this will work with any camera that has a flip out screen that points at least 90 degrees upwards.

As you may have tried before you know that looking straight up with a wide angle lens often produces really interesting results. The problem is actually the “looking straight up” bit! It always hurts my neck, especially when on a tripod. So now what I do is just aim the camera straight up and walk forward behind it, normally, but I keep the screen flipped up to 90 degrees so it is right in front of my eyes. It makes it super-easy to find the shots you might normally miss!

Daily Photo – Looking upwards by the river

These trees were the first to lose their leaves this season, but I wanted to see if I could still make an interesting photo from them. That trick above helped. The colors maybe came out a bit dull initially, but I do like the way everything turned out when I added some of my Lightroom Presets to them. These are from the latest edition of the package, and I'm secretly working on a few more… will let you know!

Looking upwards by the river

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/80
  • Aperture8
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.7

The View from the Barn at Lake Hayes

The Barn at Lake Hayes

Don’t forget that if you come to this area here in Queenstown and Arrowtown that you should totally stay at “The Barn at Lake Hayes” — it’s just incredible there as it backs onto the shore of this majestic lake. I took this photo from there!

Daily Photo – The View from the Barn at Lake Hayes

Doesn't this view make you want to go out and do some paddle-boarding? I still haven't done it, but it looks so fun. And whenever I see people do it, they make it look so easy. Maybe it is easy! I want to try, and it's super popular around here. A lot of people even have their own paddleboards… Maybe I will borrow one and give it a whirl. It would be really cool if I could get good enough where I could take my camera out with me.

Oh, there is this one curious thing about this photo I noticed when I was done with it. It looks like there is sort of one of those glass spheres, huge, right in the middle of the photo, eh?

The View from the Barn at Lake Hayes

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture8
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length37.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

High Above the Southern Alps and Tips for shooting from fast-moving vehicles

How to take photos from high-speed vehicles in the daytime

The photo below is a good example of this, seeing as it is from a helicopter! It’s best get out of Aperture Priority mode (which I contend is just fine when walkin’ around) and jump into Manual Mode. I amp up the shutter speed to at least 1/250s if not faster. This ensures there will a sharp photo, which is most important. I also drop down the F stop very low. This allows a lot of light in quickly and can get you through any dirt or spots on the window. You don’t have to worry about distant things being in-or-out of focus as long as you don’t have on some kind of a crazy 200mm+ lens.

Last, I let my ISO float (with Auto-ISO), so that I don’t have to constantly be adjusting it as the vehicle turns and there are bright bits and shadowy bits — I think it is smartest to let the computer inside the camera figure out the ISO!

Daily Photo – High Above the Southern Alps

We recently had Choppy fly us over to an amazing campsite near the Greenstone river. Along the way, we flew over these breathtaking mountains. I was taking photos like a man possessed. In addition to the tips above, I also did one other thing. I set up auto-bracketing and had it step by 1 (so it was -1, 0, and +1). I didn't do this for HDR, but just so that I would have a bit of variety in the light levels in my shots. I'm glad I did it, because sometimes the darker one is better than the 0 exposure! For this one, I set the exposure compensation down a bit, so this is actually shot at EV -0.7. It was also SUPER bright outside, so I the aperture was F/10.

High Above the Southern Alps

High Above the Southern Alps

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture10
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length38.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

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