The Beauty of New Zealand

A New Video!

A New Photo-Video for you – All New Zealand awesomeness…

I have a Landscape Photography Tutorial based here in New Zealand available over at http://www.stuckincustoms.com/landscape-and-travel-photography-tutorial-new-zealand/

Animation/Slideshow – more info at http://www.stuckincustoms.com/links/animoto — or see my review at http://www.stuckincustoms.com/animoto-review/

Amaze-maze music by the New Zealand band, Arma Del Amor – see more at https://www.facebook.com/ArmaDelAmorNZ

A Colorful Frosty Morning

Dressing in the early morning

I’ve taken up what I think is a bit of a bad habit. I basically pile up my 4 or 5 favorite warm clothes right beside my bed. This means that when I wake up in the morning, I can basically just kind of roll over and just get dressed in the dark so I am nice and warm before I go outside to take photos. I think it’s a bad habit because it’s such a tremendous mess! Anyway, I’m very forgiving of the mess in the morning because I stay nice and warm!

Daily Photo – A Colorful Frosty Morning

We had a crazy-frosty morning very early after the sunrise. Often times, I am much to lazy and cozy-coze in my bed to get out and take photos. But on this particular morning, I did! I popped out of bed, jumped over a few fences, and found my way under this tree.

A Colorful Frosty Morning

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.3
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Walking Back Home from Skipper’s Canyon

In the middle-zone

Now that I’ve lived here for about three years, I’m starting to notice what it is line when the temperature and altitude just vary a few degrees. I’m down in that valley you see below, but a little bit up on the hill. When it starts to rain, I can go outside and figure out how high up the snow (more or less) is going to accumulate. Down the road from us, it’s about 150 lower, so sometimes we accumulate snow and they do not. It’s so interesting living in a vertical climate! I’m sure many of you are used to this… but growing up in the plains of Texas makes this a totally new experience!

Daily Photo – Walking Back Home from Skipper's Canyon

When my friends Cliff and Cher were here, I took them on a little jaunt over the mountain to Skipper's Canyon. A fresh snow had fallen, but it only fell up here on the top bit of it all. It was so lovely with the white above and the lushness down in the valley below, so I stopped to grab this photo.

Walking Back Home from Skipper's Canyon

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1600
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Hay it is Flooding

Beaming Into the Geekhouse

Here’s a video clip of an appearance I made a few weeks ago when I virtually visited Cali and John at their new Geekhouse. Here’s more on their website!

Daily Photo – Hay it is Flooding

Okay that may be one of my dumbest photo titles ever, but I'm gonna stick with it.

We had a ton of rain here in Central Otago at the end of winter so there was quite a bit of flooding. Flooding is the wrong word, really… it never really got into houses or over roads or anything… just a TON of ponds everywhere because it is so hilly here. I was driving by this area and saw the hay with the perfect reflections, so I jumped out of the car to try to find a good angle on things…

Hay it is Flooding

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length70.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Into Skipper’s Canyon

The Arcanum, a Game Changer

Molly Kate, one of the Apprentices in The Arcanum, just wrote a beautiful piece all about her experience on her blog. Wow! Thanks so much Molly – that means a lot to all of us!

From Molly Kate's blog post at http://thingsthatkeepyoudreaming.wordpress.com/2014/10/11/the-arcanum-a-game-changer/

Daily Photo – Into Skipper's Canyon

I'm embarrassed to admit two things. The second I just realized.

The first is that this place here, Skipper's Canyon, is literally 15 minutes from my home here in New Zealand and it took me over a year to find it! I felt so lame when I finally realized where it was and why people talked about it so much. It's worthy of a lot more exploration I think!

The second thing I just realized is that my whole life I've never really spelled “embarrassed” correctly. If it wasn't for that red squiggly, I would always mess it up!

Into Skipper's Canyon

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture8
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

A Pair of Winter Trees

Five Days of New Tips/Tricks Videos on the Blog! Day Four!

Let me know if you have any questions… happy to answer!

This was shot inside the Beijing Planning Museum. This sounds like a boring place eh? But it’s not! You can see how I chose to compose this shot…

Processing like Cooking

I had a great time processing this photo. I had no idea what I was going to do with it and started with half an idea. I’m not sure I could ever process this photo exactly like this again… I try new stuff all the time. I was thinking that processing photos is a lot like cooking food in that you never get exactly the same dish twice. But maybe my processing is much more extreme than that! I dunno… anyway, perhaps it is an apt analogy.

Daily Photo – A Pair of Winter Trees

I don't know what drew me to these trees! I was driving around with some friends and suddenly I pulled over and jumped over a fence to go to these trees. I'm sure my friends thought I was crazy! Maybe it's because I've been looking for an interesting pair of trees by themselves for so long. Anyhoo, I was obviously super-happy to find these two!

A Pair of Winter Trees

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Autumn Awesomeness in Queenstown

Sony A6000 Review!

Come see the new Sony A6000 Review! I’ll keep adding to it as the weeks and months go on, but I thought you might enjoy an early look! :)

Five Days of New Tips/Tricks Videos on the Blog! Day Three!

Let me know if you have any questions… happy to answer!

Here’s some behind-the-scenes from our recent autumn workshop! Don’t forget to check out the New Zealand Photo Adventure page to find out more about that upcoming event! It’s the only thing planned now for 2015… it’s gonna be another great one! :)

Daily Photo – Autumn Awesomeness in Queenstown

Even though I've been here three years now, I have only experienced one proper autumn! I travelled too much in previous years, so now I'm going to make a point to stay home more to be sure to get all these amazing colors. Amaze-maze I say! There is so much to explore and see and do around here in the Autumn. It's just Spring now here, so I've got another five months or so to wait! But Spring and Summer ain't so bad either!

Autumn Awesomeness in Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/6000
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Willows and Scarlett

Getting kids to pose

If you have any great tips for getting recalcitrant kids to pose for photos, let me know. Most of the time, my kids are good to go… but sometimes I have to be a bit tricky… always looking for new tricks!

Daily Photo – The Willows and Scarlett

Here is my youngest girl, swinging free under the willow trees in front of our house in New Zealand. I love the colors of these things in the 3 living seasons of the year. They change quite a bit, and I thought they looked good with Scarlett's blonde hair. She never gives up a chance to model for me! :)

This was shot at F/1.4 btw. When you scroll over the photo, if you see no EXIF, chances are it was taken with my manual Leica lens!

The Willows and Scarlett

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture
  • ISO640
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

The Bend at The Hills

Getting that “Sunburst”

Don’t forget that you can get this kind of a sunburst if you set your camera to f/16 or higher. I find f/16 is usually good enough. You can go higher, but then you risk seeing more of the dust and junk on your sensor, which I always find annoying to fix in post.

Daily Photo – The Bend at The Hills

The Hills golf course near Arrowtown has a bunch of these quaint irrigation streams that flow around the golf course. I've never seen any other golf course with this kind of situation. The way they all bend and weave around the course are quite picturesque! It's also super-easy to take photos there too. I pretty much just walked along this thing for an hour getting a ton of different interesting photos.

The Bend at The Hills

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2

Isabella on a walk

Quick Shooting Tip

See this photo below? I can’t claim credit for this idea! It came from my friend Cliff Baise. But if you get down in some grasses or thin plants and shoot with a shallow DOF (low Aperture number), then you can end up with this nice-looking effect!

The Myth of Talent

Here’s a great video by Robin Griggs Wood! She made this as her intro video for www.TheArcanum.com — it’s so awesome. I hope you like it as much as I do! 

Daily Photo – Isabella on a walk

One day we went over to Jack's Point, which is just on the other side of the lake from Queenstown. It was a cool winter morning, but the grasses were blowing in the wind like Isabella's hair. She's a very sweet girl! :)

Isabella on a walk

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8000
  • Aperture
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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