Winter is Coming in The Remarkables

Happy July!

We’re halfway through the year team! Let’s make the 2nd half even better than the first half! We have all kinds of fun stuff planned and hope you’ll be with us all the way! :)

Daily Photo – Winter is Coming in The Remarkables

I have a secret Queenstown shame! I’ve lived here with my family for four years, and I’ve never been up into The Remarkables ski area! This is probably because I live closer to Coronet and it’s more convenient. But this is a silly reason because I came from Austin, Texas, where you have to drive at least one hour to go almost anywhere. Anyway, an extra few minutes in the car got us up into this snow filled and beautiful panacea. Being a landscape photographer, I’ve always been attracted to rugged and epic scenes, so pretty much everywhere I looked delivered a cinematic scene.

At one point, we took the snowmobiles as high as we could go then proceeded to hike up to Lookout Point. It was a hard hike through the thick snow. My fitbit said I climbed 70 floors, but I think I only really did 50 floors because I fell down about 20 of them. Anyway, once I finally got myself and all my equipment up the mountain, I got this panorama. The full rez version is quite huge — 3.5 meters across.

Winter is Coming in The Remarkables

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Reflections at Aro-Ha

Reflections Tip

Here’s a video I made about this shot! :)

Daily Photo – Reflections at Aro-Ha

If you ever go to this amazing yoga and wellness retreat, you may espy two little ponds down the hills towards the big lake. I decided to jump over a few fences (some electric!) to go check them out one day. It was a longer hike than I expected, probably because the ponds were not as small as I expected. I have great trouble on the scale of everything here in New Zealand in these mountains because everything is so epic!

Reflections at Aro-Ha

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/90
  • Aperture13
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Camping in the Yard at Night

Life from Above

This is one of my favorite video creations from this year… you will see a bit more of Burano in it! :)

Daily Photo – Camping in the Yard at Night

I built this for my kids to have a little camp out party. How awesome is that? I liked it so much that I wanted to go out there with them, but I wasn't quite welcome in their clubhouse. The nerve!

Camping in the Yard at Night

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time30
  • Aperture
  • ISO1250
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Pig Island and Pigeon Island

Another Show Suggestion

Rick & Morty! Even though it’s a cartoon, it’s definitely not for kids. It has some of the funniest writing and craziest plots I’ve ever seen!

Daily Photo – Pig Island and Pigeon Island

Amazing eh? I got this out of a helicopter while flying out to Earnslaw Burn on a reconnaissance mission. Maybe once a week or so the lake gets this smooth. I've never seen it this smooth from the air, though, so I had the chopper pilot make a 360 so I could get this shot. I got a little dizzy, but it was worth it!

Pig Island and Pigeon Island

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/90
  • Aperture22
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Devil’s Staircase

Silicon Valley

I highly recommend watching this show. At first, I wasn’t sure… but it really grows on you! I think it’s just in Season 3 now, so it’s a good time to get started!

Daily Photo – Devil's Staircase

Isn't this a cool road? This is one of the first photos I took with the Hasselblad. That's quite a camera eh? Amazing optics and sharpness. I can't quite figure it out because it's not like my Sony system is blurry. The feel is very…immediate, no?

This is actually quite a dangerous part of the road between Kingston and Queenstown, especially when it's raining… so if you are ever coming down here, be sure to drive carefully! Sometimes it's not your fault as there are a lot of Chinese tourists who are not that familiar with driving at all.

Devil's Staircase

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture13
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length80.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Wild Earth Winery at Night

Lunch suggestion

There are a ton of great places to eat all around Queenstown, but this one is a must-visit I think. Not a lot of people go because it’s about a 40-minute drive towards Cromwell… but the food is really amazing. They actually have converted old wine barrels into grills. Very cool!

Daily Photo – Wild Earth Winery at Night

This was a hard photo to take! I took it during one of our workshop events after we had just had an amazing dinner. It wasn't hard to take because I had too much wine — it was hard to take because it was on a swinging bridge. So I got to the very very edge of the bridge right by where it connected to the ground to minimize the swing. It was still a very long exposure and I was holding my breath. I really like the way it turned out!

Wild Earth Winery at Night

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time30
  • Aperture
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Remarkables in Queenstown

Facebook LIVE!

Here’s yet another installment of Facebook Live :) This is a fun one – an art tour in Sir Michael Hill’s home. We start in a rather self-serving way with one of my OWN prints in his wall from www.TreyRatcliff.com — see what I did there. Very cunning, as Sir Michael would say.

Part 1:

Part 2:

The Boilerplate:

We’re doing several of these per week. They’re fun and interactive and you can ask me questions live. Be sure to come to my Facebook Page and up at the top where it says “Like” click the down arrow choose “See First” — Also if you like these videos, share with your FB friends! :)

Holy Stitching Batman

I took today’s photo with my Android! I have the Nexus 6N from Google and I love it! This is actually 5 different photos and Google actually stitched them all together for me and delivered me this panorama! I then ran it through Aurora HDR Pro to give it more of the look I wanted… and I’m very happy with it. I can easily see a future where I only use my mobile phone.

Daily Photo – The Remarkables in Queenstown

I like to go on jogs a few times a week to clear out the cobwebs and such. I listen to Spotify as I run around… this is one of my turn-around points. I usually stop here and stretch, catch my breath, etc etc. This time, since I had my Android with me, I took a bunch of photos… I was so happy that by the time I got home that Google had stitched them all together into this panorama. Incredible, really!

The Remarkables in Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNexus 6P
  • Camera MakeHuawei
  • Exposure Time1/1946
  • Aperture2
  • ISO60
  • Focal Length4.7 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramNot Defined
  • Exposure Bias

Not a Truck Commercial

I need to Explore More!

I was sitting here thinking about how I need to go explore more of the South Island (and North Island!). There are so many things to see here. Last year I travelled a lot, so when I got back home, I’d try to stay at home with the family as much as possible. Maybe this year I’ll have more time to go out and explore beautiful New Zealand!

Daily Photo – Not a Truck Commercial

I know this looks like a sponsored post or something eh? Haha… it's not. I bought this truck a few years ago when I moved to Queenstown. It's a Volkswagen! Who knew they made trucks? It's actually pretty awesome… It's all 4WD and I take it everywhere around the south island. This scene here, and the reason I am sharing it, is a typical photo session. You can drive pretty much anywhere here then just jump out when you see a good scene!

Not a Truck Commercial

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Paragliding in Queenstown!

Learning to Paraglide

Here’s a fun video I made on Day 1 of learning to fly… I kind of combined it with getting to know my new Sony A7 a few years ago! :)

Daily Photo – Paragliding in Queenstown!

Wow, I do love to paraglide here, but I've actually given it up! I took this photo on one of my last flights from the southern alps here. I did about 15 solo flights before hanging up my chute! I actually had a few friends die in sudden air-related things… made me think that, while it is certainly one of the safest air-related sports, it really still amps up the risk level! Anyway, I had a great time while it lasted, except for the extreme momentary lapses of fear!

Paragliding in Queenstown!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Flying home between Wanaka and Queenstown

Photo Tip – Shooting from Planes or the Air in the Daytime

My technique for shooting from the air is pretty simple. It actually took me a while to arrive at this formula, but it always seems to work. I go into Manual mode and then force my shutter speed to be extra-fast… maybe 1/1000th of a second. This ensures there is absolutely no blur. And then I let my ISO float and auto-adjust… I’ll often get my F-Stop as low as possible too so all the dirt and smudges on the window disappear. It works like 98% of the time! And, well, like the title says, this method only works in the daytime… night is a different beast.

Daily Photo – Flying home between Wanaka and Queenstown

The flight into Queenstown is maybe one of the most beautiful flights in the world. This is the Crown Range here, and you can't quite see it, but there is a road there that connects Wanaka and Queenstown. It's actually the highest road in New Zealand! It gets A LITTLE icy sometimes in the winter, and they often close it down… but when it's open, the view there is as pretty as the view from this plane window!

Flying home between Wanaka and Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraDSC-RX100M3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture4
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length12.1 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

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