Midnight Pizza in Queenstown

Photography and Neuroscience

Here’s a very cool article called When Photographers Are Neuroscientists from Nautilus.

Outdoor pizza oven

I’ve never wanted an outdoor pizza oven so bad! This bad boy made a pizza in, and I am not kidding, 1.5 minutes!

Daily Photo – Midnight Pizza in Queenstown

This is one of the best pizza nights of my life! We had a mini-get-together with me, Curtis, Rene, and Stu and made about 9 pizzas in this pizza oven right there… we ate pizza out under the stars and watched movies projected on the side of a wall. We had blankets and were cozy and everything. It sounds like the perfect date night, except it was just 4 dudes! haha… anyway, we were all so bloated and moaning from pizza pain… it was a weird scene but mega awesome!

Midnight Pizza in Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time3.2
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Amazing Clouds over Queenstown

Cloud Types

Anyone know what kind of clouds these are?

Daily Photo – Amazing Clouds over Queenstown

I don't actually go to downtown Queenstown more than once a week, but on this particular day I brought my camera… and boy was I glad. I so rarely see clouds like this here. The phenomenon did not last very long, so I got busy and made hay while the sun was not shining!

Amazing Clouds over Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7M2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1600
  • Aperture4
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Going to Skipper’s Canyon with Cliff and Cher

Any cool Meditation Apps?

I don’t know if any of you all are into meditation or not, but I found a few interesting apps around these topics. One is called “Calm” and the other is called “Buddhify” — both pretty interesting, but I thought you might know of some too! :)

Daily Photo – Going to Skipper's Canyon with Cliff and Cher

My friends Cliff and Cher came over to visit us in Queenstown for several weeks recently. We had a great time! There were a lot of photos and a lot of good times! One day, I took them over the mountain here towards Skipper's Canyon. While, hiking, I stopped along the way to see Cliff taking this photo… I think they look pretty awesome and heroic!

Going to Skipper's Canyon with Cliff and Cher

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture18
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Isabella in Mid-air

Trampoline Places

I know these things are popping up in cities all over the place. They are a great idea — I wish I had them when I was a kid! This is kind of a cool concept – this idea that people take warehouses and turn them into inside-playgrounds for kids. It’s kind of weird, actually, but it really works!

Daily Photo – Isabella in Mid-air

For Isabella's 8th birthday, we went to this place here in Queenstown called Site. It's full of trampolines and 100 different ways for kids and their parents to get hurt. But no one did! I don't really know how I survived it, me not being a trampoline-kinda-guy. Since there is a lot of snowboarding activity around here, people use these little boards for practice and trying out tricks. Here's one of Isabella up in the air trying some stunts! BTW, I used one of the January 2015 Lightroom presets for this effect!

Isabella in Mid-air

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7S
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramShutter speed priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

Queenstown from a Quadcopter

The New DJI Inspire

This is an incredible machine! I simply love taking it up for a little in-air photo adventure. I’m still getting my head around all the amazing photo opportunities it creates… really amazing! I don’t have a review of it on the site yet, but I will soon.

Daily Photo – Queenstown from a Quadcopter

For this photo, I took about 5 or 6 shots, each one slowly rotating the quad. I get live feedback on my iPad, so I always know what I am shooting. I then stitched them together in Photoshop, and, voila! It's really easy and fun… I don't do a lot of panoramas, but it's actually quite easy… maybe with this new DJI Inspire setup, I'll try it some more!

Queenstown from a Quadcopter

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraFC350
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramUnknown (58655)
  • Exposure Bias

Beautiful Isabella on the Dock

Child Photography Tip

This is a very small tip, but a good one. If you’re ever at a birthday party or a place with kids and want to get different, engaging photos, just lower yourself to their level. It seems like a small thing to do, but it makes a tremendous difference! If you think about it, 99% of photos of children are taken from above… so if you just get down low, then you’re already in that top 1% of children photos! :)

Daily Photo – Beautiful Isabella on the Dock

All of my kids are beautiful, of course, but I just happened to be sharing one of them right now! Isabella is 9 years old and I ended up having her and her little sister Scarlett for a day of photography. Tina was off doing something, so Cliff and I took the girls out on a little photo adventure with us. This is the first place we stopped while exploring new parts around Queenstown.

Beautiful Isabella on the Dock

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8000
  • Aperture
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Flying over Perfect Lakes

Choppy at Over-the-Top

If you ever head to Queenstown and want the ultimate chopper experience, be sure to check out Choppy at Over-the-Top. She’s a good friend and an amazing pilot. Also, since she’s a photographer, she knows how to find all the best spots!

Nonstop Critiques!

We had a really fun critique session a few days ago. We selected a lot of images from Apprentices at The Arcanum and did lots of sharing!

Daily Photo – Flying over Perfect Lakes

A chopper flight (with Choppy!) from Queenstown to Glenorchy can take you over a few hidden lakes. Here is one of them, looking amazing in this strange light one afternoon. One cool secret thing about this lake is there is a tiny little hut at the end where you can stay for the night. No one lives there, but you can just hike in, bring a little dinner with you, do a little fishing, sleep and get all cozy-cozy, then wake up and hike back out. Sounds awesome!

Flying over Perfect Lakes

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length27.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-1

Join me for a week of Photography, Yoga, Hiking, Fresh Food, and More!

Visit the Workshop page to get all the information! I’ll tell you a little about it here…

Come join me in New Zealand at this new fun workshop event here right by my home. All our other ones for 2015 are sold out, and I wanted to mix it up with a combo event like this! You guys know me… I’m quite zen (usually) and generally enjoy the meditative and creative side of photography. If that sounds like the sort of thing that might be up your chi-alley, then maybe we are simpatico! :)

It’s at this amazing yoga retreat where I have been twice called Aro-Ha, which is located about 45 minutes from my home in Queenstown on the way to Glenorchy. This particular retreat will be different than the sort of thing they normally do in that it is photography-centric.

Every day, we’ll be waking up bright and early for a morning photowalk and hike in a new and beautiful location here in the Southern Alps. We’ll come back for photo instruction and post-processing together. That post-processing party goes on for a while, only to be interrupted by daily massages (oh yes, my favorite!) and then an evening yoga class followed by more sunset photos followed by time at the spa… wow I’m getting all excited just thinking about it all! What a perfect day, and we’ll have a bunch of them back-to-back!

I wanted to try something new, and I hope you’re keen for it. Besides photography, I’m also quite into yoga and this sort of thing. Just down the road from my home in Queenstown is an amazing yoga / hiking retreat called Aro Hā. We partnered with them to bring you an awesome week of photos and fitness!

And here’s a few photos from my other visits to this amazing location…

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

Frederick Van Johnson

What’s in Trey’s Bag?

Here’s a video that we made soon after I took this photo below. You can see more (and updated stuff!) on my Camera Equipment page! :)

Daily Photo – Frederick Van Johnson

Here's my friend Fred. We were walking through the Queenstown Gardens here in New Zealand when I took this photo. It's shot with a Leica 50mm at f/1.4 on a Sony A7r. We started talking about camera gear so much that I almost forgot to take any photos! We had a great time together this week… this was just one of them! :)

Frederick Van Johnson

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Endless layers of the Southern Alps

Shooting in New Zealand

Here’s a little Google Glass video I made on one of the final days of a recent workshop we had!

Daily Photo – The Endless layers of the Southern Alps

I've been fortunate enough to take a variety of helicopter flights all over New Zealand. The Southern Alps, which can clearly be seen from planes on arrival into Queenstown, are staggering in their complexity and depth. It's really the layer after layer after layer of incredible peaks that always gets to me. And you think, well surely there can't be more mountains beyond those, but then you fly over them, and sure enough, there are! It's like a never ending fractal… and all very beautiful, especially when you get a bit of snow up there.

The Endless layers of the Southern Alps

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length41.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-1

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