Name That Bird!

A 14mm prime

If you had a 14mm prime, what would you take photos of? We are having this discussion in the clubhouse… and I was kind of curious what everyone thought.

Daily Photo – Name That Bird!

We had left Dunedin, in the very south of New Zealand, before switchbacking our way up a steep mountain to visit this castle. It’s called the Larncach Castle, and it was very beautiful. The gardens were immaculate, and there were many interesting subjects for photography.

I found this little guy over by a pond and bent over with my 14-24mm to take a shot. You have to get in close with this lens, and I felt a little strange getting so close to such a strange beasty. Anyone know what it is?

HDR Photo

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From Bilbo’s Hobbit Hole

The Hobbit in New Zealand

It’s funny that I happen to be in New Zealand while all the financial wrangling about The Hobbit movie’s future. It’s all they talk about on the local news and the radio!

I only have a cursory understanding of what is going on, but I believe it had something to do with the unions, and the movie studio was getting a bit worried about committing a bunch of money to something unstable. At the last second, the NZ gov’t jumped in to toss $10mm in guarantees into the deal to ensure that the 2-part movie is made here.

Daily Photo – From Bilbo’s Hobbit Hole

When I was in a little town called Matamata, which Peter Jackson’s team selected as the perfect place for Hobbiton, I was lucky enough to receive a private tour from Ian Brodie (see Hobbiton Tours for more info!). Ian is also quite the HDR enthusiast (see Ian’s Photo Website), so it was great to spend several hours with the guy! I put a video of us together below… and we talked a bit about taking photos of the party tree.

After that, we got to adventure inside of Bilbo’s actual hole! Cool! I turned around to take a photo from the inside out. The huge tree there is the famous party tree, where Bilbo had his birthday party with Frodo before he slipped on the ring.

HDR Photo

Video – HDR in Hobbiton

I took this video earlier in the year with Ian. You can take the tour too! Just go visit Hobbiton Tours, and be sure to say hi to Ian if you see him while running around Hobbiton!

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New Video – On Eden’s Farm

New Video – On Eden’s Farm

I had a wonderful evening with Eden Brackstone, even though he uses a Canon. I can overlook these trifle matters, but I do not forget them lightly.

We were in Gibbston, New Zealand, about 20 minutes from Queenstown. After a wonderful dinner with his delightful family, I popped out onto his farm to shoot some HDR. He started recording video on his aforementioned Canon-thing, and put together the little dealio below. Enjoy!

Daily Photo – The Pond and the Sunset Stormclouds

Here is the final photo that was taken just before we started recording the video above.

Nikon 28-300 Review

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The Lake in Queenstown

Daily Photo – The Lake in Queenstown

We are having a wonderful time in Queenstown and the surrounding area. We just can’t find a place with a bad view! Thanks again for all the suggestions and info on the various neighborhoods that people have suggested via email, twitter, and the blog comments!

Gordon from Camera Labs, who lives here, made a good point that living in Queenstown is a bit like living inside of a national park. There are beautiful national parks around the world, but you can’t actually live inside of them… so this is really a remarkable place. Even better, the main mountain range here is called “The Remarkables”!

HDR Photo

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Sheep on the way to Paradise

Two to the Third

Sometimes, when I am out with people, talking about shooting landscapes, I talk about the light possibilities on partly-cloudy days. In today’s photo, you can see it is a partly cloudy day, which means the light changes every 5-10 minutes or so. Usually, it is so gradual, that it is hard to tell.

I find that most of my landscapes have three distinct areas. The foreground, the middle ground, and the background. If you think about it, each of these 3 places can have 2 lighting conditions: sun or shadow. So, you may have the middle in sun with the fore and back in shadow, or all three in shadow, or… you get the point. There are eight possibilities (two cubed). So, I run through in my head WHICH of those eight combinations I want. In this case, I wanted the combination where the foreground and the middle ground are well lit while the background was in shadow. So I had to wait about 15 minutes or so for this combination… [EDIT - thanks to commenters who corrected my math from three squared!]

Daily Photo – Sheep on the way to Paradise

This title makes it sounds a bit like they are about to be slaughtered… or maybe they are suicide-sheep, about to meet some sweet sweet virgin sheep in paradise. But no, this is not what I mean. There is a little town past Glenorchy, New Zealand called “Paradise”. I passed these sheep while on the way there.

I never made it to Paradise, truthfully. I turned around. It felt like such a long way to get here, and I had to turn around to get back to Queenstown before it got too late.

I took this photo with my new Nikon 28-300 lens. I love it so far! This one was shot at f/5.6, 70mm, and ISO 100.

Nikon 28-300 Review

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