The Blue Door in Arrowtown

Your favorite secret pub or bar?

I guess I’ve taken to calling them pubs because everyone uses that word here… but if you have a favorite secret haunt, please be sure to share it below! :)

Daily Photo – The Blue Door in Arrowtown

My favorite place in Arrowtown?

Yes.

Should you go there?

Absolutely!

There is not even a sign for this place… you kind of have to keep walking down tiny little streets until you see a little blue door. Go inside – you must! It's probably the best secret pub in the world… It's amazing and there is an incredible fireplace that is super-cozy. It's a little bit underground too, which makes it feel ultra-cozy.

The Blue Door in Arrowtown

The Blue Door in Arrowtown

Photo Information

  • Date TakenNovember 8, 2013 at 4:32am
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.8
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length11.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Hiking Through the Low Hills

Favorite Recent Documentaries?

I’m on a hunt for more good documentaries! Let me know if you have any recent winners! :)

Daily Photo – Hiking Through the Low Hills

Last week I mentioned the quality of some of the hiking trails and thought you might like to see a sample. They are all very nicely maintained, and when in these lower hills with the big grasses, sometimes I like to run my hand through them like I'm Maximus from Gladiator…

hiking through the low hills

Hiking Through the Low Hills

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJanuary 16, 2014 at 8:46am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Red Dress in the Sun

Doctors in Queenstown

So as a result of over-doing it for a ten days in a row, I got my first taste of nationalized healthcare. I know it’s a hot topic to bring up! Haha… well, since New Zealand has everything nationalized, I had no idea what to expect. I woke up feeling terrible and called in. They made an appointment for me in 20 mins and I drove right in. I saw the doctor within 2 minutes of being there, and she got me my diagnosis and two prescriptions in a very speedy way. I popped downstairs and got everything at the pharmacy – I think it was like $20 or something. Then I was off, back home for recovery. Now, this is just one story… but I’m happy it turned out well.

Daily Photo – Red Dress in the Sun

We took a group of photographers out to the Queenstown Gardens to get some photos as the sun was setting. It was a sunny day, and I started to notice some of the nice sun flares that come through this Leica 50mm f/1.4. I was so transfixed by them that I started looking for nice colors and shapes to pair with the lens flare. I really like the way the sun was coming through the red bits of Maria's outfit, so I kind of lurked behind her a bit while she was taking photos of something else!

Red Dress in the Sun

Red Dress in the Sun

Photo Information

  • Date TakenFebruary 3, 2014 at 8:20pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4000
  • Aperture
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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The Wolves at The Hills

Another funny moment there at The Hills

A few days before, Curtis Simmons, Peter Giordano, and I went over to spend the evening with Sir Michael Hill at his new house. Here’s a quick photo of us playing with his crazy new stereo!

Daily Photo – The Wolves at The Hills

It was a good morning to be out shooting wolves!

This is one of the many sculptures around The Hills golf course in Arrowtown (near Queenstown). I actually managed to get to take a bunch of people with me this time, and the whole crowd followed me up the stairs, greeted by Sir Michael Hill himself! I told him I had absolutely no time to chat since this light was fading fast and we had to get it — he understood and ushered us forward! Haha it was so funny… anyway, we had a great morning out shooting around this area.

The Wolves at The Hills

The Wolves at The Hills

Photo Information

  • Date TakenFebruary 5, 2014 at 6:59am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/45
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Mystery Photo – What is it?

Vertical Monitors

I’ve taken to using my external monitor and flipping it up on it’s side so that it is vertical. It’s really cool, actually! I use my main Retina Macbook here to do my editing, but the big one on my right is used for surfing the web or doing other things. It’s handy to stack things up so high, and certain websites look really incredible in that format. It’s kind of the dimensions of a mobile phone, I guess… just a huge one!

I use a cool program for the Mac called SwitchResX to help make this possible, which I highly recommend! It’s also a cool program for doing other unique resolution-things… very handy!

Daily Photo – Mystery Photo – What is it?

I had a fun processing idea on this one. I actually goofed around with it live during a class so people could see and hear my thought process. It's now so delightfully strange that I decided to make it a Mystery Photo for you to guess! :)

mystery

Mystery Photo – What is it?

Photo Information

  • Date TakenFebruary 6, 2014 at 8:01am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length300.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Sheepshade

Gary Oldman

I had to stop spending so much time on Pinterest looking at awesome photos of Gary Oldman and re-pinning them! After I saw Leon: The Professional (8.5 on IMDB!), I went on a Gary Oldman kick and started watching all of his movies… man, that guy is cool. And here is a funny clip of him impersonating Deniro on the Jimmy Kimmel show.

Daily Photo – Sheepshade

Here's one of the countless trees and ponds you come across while driving through Central Otago on the South Island of New Zealand. People here get quite used to seeing sheep, but I never do! I think they look so peaceful out there… floating around like fluff in the green air. Sometimes, when the sun comes out, many of them cotton-ball-cluster up together underneath one of these trees. You can see a few of them tucked away under there right now.

Sheepshade

Sheepshade

Photo Information

  • Date TakenDecember 15, 2013 at 10:37am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Going back into the Spa at Aro-Ha

Did you Lose the Overall Categories Bit?

On the old design of the site, we used to have that over there on the right. Now, there is a link on the left that says Trey’s Travel Locations — just click on that and you are good to go!

Daily Photo – Going back into the Spa at Aro-Ha

I saw this view many times per day during my week there! Outside, they had this rather evil “cold-dip” that was slightly above freezing level and then the panacea of a nearby hot tub. So I would go back and forth at least three times to make sure my legs and general soreness got that bloodflow it needed. I was not really a believer in this till I tried it. I thought it was just something athletes did to pretend to be tough or maybe it was some old wives' tale — but no, it really works! Anyway, this is the view I would see when slowly sinking into the cold dip…

Going back into the Spa at Aro-Ha

Going back into the Spa at Aro-Ha

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJanuary 13, 2014 at 9:29pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture13
  • ISO2500
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

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On the way to Skipper’s Canyon

Pre-Leica Lens Buying Guide

I have this idea in my head that I need to put into action. I’m starting to learn a lot about Leica lenses, and I think I am close to recommending some. But, I think a good thing to know is that you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars. The Leica M-Lenses can be quite expensive, from $1,000 to $15,000 and well beyond! But the Leica R-Lenses are much more affordable. You can get some amazing deals with them, and they also work great on all camera systems. I know it can get confusing, so that is why I wanted to put together a little practical buying guide for people that want to experiment… I figure I could put something up, and then look at what advice and feedback you have, and then iterate.

Most likely, it would not be overkill and show all possible Leica combinations, but I would just hit on maybe 3-8 of my favorite lenses and give a few price points and options for all levels.

Daily Photo – On the way to Skipper's Canyon

We took a few people up Coronet Peak then around the bend towards the beginning of Skipper's Canyon. We didn't go all the way in, but we took a bit of time up top to explore just a little bit. These long grasses that come up here and there and tend to cluster around these old fences are usually good photo subjects. I shot this one wide open at f/1.4 on the Sony A7r with the 50mm Leica.

On the way to Skipper's Canyon

On the way to Skipper's Canyon

Photo Information

  • Date TakenFebruary 7, 2014 at 7:37am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4000
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Flying the Toy Chopper

More Quadcopter Stories

So we had a party at our house. Curtis took control of our quadcopter and took it up about 500 feet in the air and then we lost control of it! There was a short in it because we tried to solder together some wires (well, actually Eden did — not blaming him just telling the story). The lights started blinking like crazy, then it started heading off at 80km per hour straight at Sam Neill’s house! We were quite worried that we might have accidentally decapitated one of New Zealand’s greatest actors! We went on a Search & Rescue mission however, and there were no decaps… !

Daily Photo – Flying the Toy Chopper

We had a lot of fun making mistakes with this helicopter. Those of you that know anything about remote control helicopters may see a vital flaw in the photo. This is embarrassing to say, but I'll go ahead and point it out. See that thing hanging down under the chopper? We thought that was the battery, and we were so confused why it just dangles below. There didn't appear to be any slot whatsoever, and it would just kind of shake around underneath while it was flying! So crazy. Only several days later did I figure out that the battery is inside, and that thing is just simply something you plug into it as a gateway so you can charge it!

Flying the Toy Chopper

Flying the Toy Chopper

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1600
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

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Lavender Fields on the way to Mount Cook

Best Lavender Fields in the world?

Where are the best lavender fields? These are the first ones I’ve seen in person, so I’m not really an expert. I was expecting some place like the Netherlands or Denmark or something… but maybe you know for sure! :)

Daily Photo – Lavender Fields on the way to Mount Cook

I started a little scene here by accident!

This lavender field is off the side of the road on the way to Mount Cook. It was so beautiful that I had to get out of my car, jump over the fence, and start taking photos. There's no gate to get in, so no one ever really pulls over. But when someone saw me do it, they did the same thing, and so on, and so on. Before long, this place was covered in people! So funny…

Lavender Fields on the way to Mount Cook

Lavender Fields on the way to Mount Cook

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJanuary 5, 2014 at 12:38pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture13
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length55.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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