Going to Skipper’s Canyon with Cliff and Cher

Any cool Meditation Apps?

I don’t know if any of you all are into meditation or not, but I found a few interesting apps around these topics. One is called “Calm” and the other is called “Buddhify” — both pretty interesting, but I thought you might know of some too! :)

Daily Photo – Going to Skipper's Canyon with Cliff and Cher

My friends Cliff and Cher came over to visit us in Queenstown for several weeks recently. We had a great time! There were a lot of photos and a lot of good times! One day, I took them over the mountain here towards Skipper's Canyon. While, hiking, I stopped along the way to see Cliff taking this photo… I think they look pretty awesome and heroic!

Going to Skipper's Canyon with Cliff and Cher

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture18
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Isabella in Mid-air

Trampoline Places

I know these things are popping up in cities all over the place. They are a great idea — I wish I had them when I was a kid! This is kind of a cool concept – this idea that people take warehouses and turn them into inside-playgrounds for kids. It’s kind of weird, actually, but it really works!

Daily Photo – Isabella in Mid-air

For Isabella's 8th birthday, we went to this place here in Queenstown called Site. It's full of trampolines and 100 different ways for kids and their parents to get hurt. But no one did! I don't really know how I survived it, me not being a trampoline-kinda-guy. Since there is a lot of snowboarding activity around here, people use these little boards for practice and trying out tricks. Here's one of Isabella up in the air trying some stunts! BTW, I used one of the January 2015 Lightroom presets for this effect!

Isabella in Mid-air

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7S
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramShutter speed priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

Exploring Invercargill

Speaking of Camera Clubs

If you are with a local camera club and would like to do some fun giveaways at your local chapter, just contact [email protected] and he’ll get you a free download code to one of our products. They are fun giveaways for contests, raffles, critique-winners, and these sorts of things!

Daily Photo – Exploring Invercargill

I went down to Invercargill a few months ago for a speaking engagement and photowalk. During the event, we stopped here to take a photo. What a beautiful place and great group of people. I really enjoyed talking to everyone there and getting to know that city a little better. And those gardens? Wow — totally exceeded expectations!

Exploring Invercargill

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1.3

Walking to the Green Dragon for a Pint

Another great pub

My favorite one is very near my home in Arrowtown, New Zealand. If you ever go there, be sure to find and enter the “Blue Door.” There’s no sign or anything. You may have to ask around. It’s in a tiny alleyway, and you’ll see, well, a Blue Door.

Daily Photo – Walking to the Green Dragon for a Pint

After a long day of photography, what could be better than a walk across this bridge here in Hobbiton to visit the Green Dragon for a pint of ale? Not much! And it's all real. There are actual giant taps on the wall that pour actual stuff! Even better was having full run of the place while we took photos. But it's actually something anyone can do. It's part of the standard tour and they all end here for Hobbit-drinks and Hobbit-snacks.

Walking to the Green Dragon for a Pint

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/20
  • Aperture9
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Queenstown from a Quadcopter

The New DJI Inspire

This is an incredible machine! I simply love taking it up for a little in-air photo adventure. I’m still getting my head around all the amazing photo opportunities it creates… really amazing! I don’t have a review of it on the site yet, but I will soon.

Daily Photo – Queenstown from a Quadcopter

For this photo, I took about 5 or 6 shots, each one slowly rotating the quad. I get live feedback on my iPad, so I always know what I am shooting. I then stitched them together in Photoshop, and, voila! It's really easy and fun… I don't do a lot of panoramas, but it's actually quite easy… maybe with this new DJI Inspire setup, I'll try it some more!

Queenstown from a Quadcopter

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraFC350
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramUnknown (58655)
  • Exposure Bias

Beautiful Isabella on the Dock

Child Photography Tip

This is a very small tip, but a good one. If you’re ever at a birthday party or a place with kids and want to get different, engaging photos, just lower yourself to their level. It seems like a small thing to do, but it makes a tremendous difference! If you think about it, 99% of photos of children are taken from above… so if you just get down low, then you’re already in that top 1% of children photos! :)

Daily Photo – Beautiful Isabella on the Dock

All of my kids are beautiful, of course, but I just happened to be sharing one of them right now! Isabella is 9 years old and I ended up having her and her little sister Scarlett for a day of photography. Tina was off doing something, so Cliff and I took the girls out on a little photo adventure with us. This is the first place we stopped while exploring new parts around Queenstown.

Beautiful Isabella on the Dock

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8000
  • Aperture
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Flying over Perfect Lakes

Choppy at Over-the-Top

If you ever head to Queenstown and want the ultimate chopper experience, be sure to check out Choppy at Over-the-Top. She’s a good friend and an amazing pilot. Also, since she’s a photographer, she knows how to find all the best spots!

Nonstop Critiques!

We had a really fun critique session a few days ago. We selected a lot of images from Apprentices at The Arcanum and did lots of sharing!

Daily Photo – Flying over Perfect Lakes

A chopper flight (with Choppy!) from Queenstown to Glenorchy can take you over a few hidden lakes. Here is one of them, looking amazing in this strange light one afternoon. One cool secret thing about this lake is there is a tiny little hut at the end where you can stay for the night. No one lives there, but you can just hike in, bring a little dinner with you, do a little fishing, sleep and get all cozy-cozy, then wake up and hike back out. Sounds awesome!

Flying over Perfect Lakes

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length27.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-1

Join me for a week of Photography, Yoga, Hiking, Fresh Food, and More!

Visit the Workshop page to get all the information! I’ll tell you a little about it here…

Come join me in New Zealand at this new fun workshop event here right by my home. All our other ones for 2015 are sold out, and I wanted to mix it up with a combo event like this! You guys know me… I’m quite zen (usually) and generally enjoy the meditative and creative side of photography. If that sounds like the sort of thing that might be up your chi-alley, then maybe we are simpatico! :)

It’s at this amazing yoga retreat where I have been twice called Aro-Ha, which is located about 45 minutes from my home in Queenstown on the way to Glenorchy. This particular retreat will be different than the sort of thing they normally do in that it is photography-centric.

Every day, we’ll be waking up bright and early for a morning photowalk and hike in a new and beautiful location here in the Southern Alps. We’ll come back for photo instruction and post-processing together. That post-processing party goes on for a while, only to be interrupted by daily massages (oh yes, my favorite!) and then an evening yoga class followed by more sunset photos followed by time at the spa… wow I’m getting all excited just thinking about it all! What a perfect day, and we’ll have a bunch of them back-to-back!

I wanted to try something new, and I hope you’re keen for it. Besides photography, I’m also quite into yoga and this sort of thing. Just down the road from my home in Queenstown is an amazing yoga / hiking retreat called Aro Hā. We partnered with them to bring you an awesome week of photos and fitness!

And here’s a few photos from my other visits to this amazing location…

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

Frederick Van Johnson

What’s in Trey’s Bag?

Here’s a video that we made soon after I took this photo below. You can see more (and updated stuff!) on my Camera Equipment page! :)

Daily Photo – Frederick Van Johnson

Here's my friend Fred. We were walking through the Queenstown Gardens here in New Zealand when I took this photo. It's shot with a Leica 50mm at f/1.4 on a Sony A7r. We started talking about camera gear so much that I almost forgot to take any photos! We had a great time together this week… this was just one of them! :)

Frederick Van Johnson

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Making Mistakes at Mount Cook

Night Photography

A while ago, I suggested that maybe I could create a night photography tutorial. I must confess that I have never actually done this. It would be a really awesome thing, but I’ve just been too busy I’m afraid! I know that sounds lame, but they actually take quite a long time to make. But, it’s still on my list for sure… never fear! Well, fear a little.

Daily Photo – Making Mistakes at Mount Cook

I made a variety of mistakes this evening. The only success was this photo!

I went here to Mount Cook with my friend Stu (who I happen to be with now in Antarctica). We decided to sleep in the back of the pickup, but it was so horribly uncomfortable that we decided to move to inside the truck halfway through the night. While transferring from the outside to the inside, I took a quick photo of the village here on the edge of this amazing mountain range at Mount Cook.

Making Mistakes at Mount Cook

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time30
  • Aperture
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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