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

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

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

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

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

Chris Madison in Queenstown

Speaking of Paragliding….

Yesterday I posted a photo from a glider, so today is loosely related. I actually joined the paragliding school by mistake! My neighbor Chris walked over and said we should go do a tandem flight with a professional. Next thing I knew, we were suited up in paragliding school! He was as shocked as I was, but everything worked out in a surprisingly awesome way!

Daily Photo – Chris Madison in Queenstown

Here's my friend Chris right before take off on another paraglider flight across Queenstown. You can see the windsock behind him, fully erect, so to speak. Speaking of erections, I should tell you more about Swanny's Paragliding School! If you're ever in Queenstown, and looking for a good time, be sure to contact Swanny. The name of it is Infinity Paragliding — and on day 2, you'll actually be doing a solo flight over Queenstown. Unbelievable!

Chris Madison in Queenstown

Chris Madison in Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date TakenDecember 10, 2013 at 11:55am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Impossible Blues of Lake Tekapo

Polarized Sunglasses

If you think this lake looks like a crazy color, then you should see it through polarized sunglasses. I’m constantly amazed at the color shift when I put on sunglasses that shift the color fields around… It kind of makes me want to get a bunch of crazy filters on the front of my camera. But I’m not that into, I think… I just like capturing all the light while there from the pure whiteness of the sun. I can always goof with the colors later if I want to.

Daily Photo – The Impossible Blues of Lake Tekapo

Well when you get to see this for yourself, you'll soon discover they are not impossible! It does of course depend on the sun and some of the other ambient light, but this is a pretty standard color. It looks extra nice with those little white cliffs too. Right below them, you see something that might be beaches, but they are not… that is just some of that white chalky stuff that is being brushed back into the water.

The Impossible Blues of Lake Tekapo

The Impossible Blues of Lake Tekapo

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJanuary 5, 2014 at 11:42am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/6400
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO80
  • Focal Length55.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Arriving in Hobbiton in the Early Morning

Many cool new things coming!

Seeing this photo reminded me of some of the new videos we are working on for you. There is a lot of amazing stuff in the works, and I am super excited!

Daily Photo – Arriving in Hobbiton in the Early Morning

When I arrived here for the Air New Zealand shoot, it was about an half-an-hour before sunrise. The sky was very light already, as you can see below. They have these little lanterns that hang down and around the Green Dragon Pub. I got in close to one to show the detail, and in the distance, you can see many hobbit holes reflected across the water.

Arriving in Hobbiton in the Early Morning

Arriving in Hobbiton in the Early Morning

Photo Information

  • Date TakenOctober 17, 2013 at 5:27pm
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/13
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Across the Mirrorportal in Wanaka

Lonely Trails

You know one of the strangest things about these hiking trails in this area of the South Island of New Zealand? They are almost entirely empty. Sometimes on hikes you go hours or all day without ever seeing another human. And they are all wonderfully maintained too… there are little bridges here and there, nicely graded paths, etc etc — they put a lot of care and work into them for something that is so rarely used… but that’s okay with me of course — I like the solitude! :)

Daily Photo – Across the Mirrorportal in Wanaka

While filming the new HDR Tutorial (be sure to subscribe to the newsletter to the right to find out the scoop on that!), we hiked to the top of this trail to get this unique view. It was a moody and wet day, and everything had a very otherworldly feel about it. This shot was actually fairly difficult because I couldn't get everything in one shot. So it required some difficult vertical panorama stitching in the final result. It's never an easy combo with HDR! Anyway, all of that is seen in the new video HDR Tutorial I mentioned up there! :)

Across the Mirrorportal in Wanaka

Across the Mirrorportal in Wanaka

Photo Information

  • Date TakenNovember 7, 2013 at 6:07am
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Central Otago from the Air

Paragliding versus Gliders

Currently, I think I prefer paragliding to gliders. Both are awesome, of course, but I kind of like the slower speed and the openness of a paraglider. I know that people that prefer gliders like them for the opposite reason — the speed! I’ve also heard a lot of paragliders get into gliders later in their life after their knees are shot from landings! So far my knees are good… so far so good!

Daily Photo – Central Otago

What a view from the glider! I have never taken photos from a glider before, so I was very happy to see they all turned out so nice. They were all taken with the Sony A7r and the 10-18mm NEX Lens.

It's hard to believe that the landscape below just goes on and on and on for hours and hours and hours. New Zealand looks so small on the map, but when you are here, it's like a Tardis-country!

Central Otago

Central Otago

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJanuary 4, 2014 at 5:23pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture9
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length11.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

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