The Blue

Paths in photos

I have a pretty good theory about paths in photographs! Here it is. I don’t know if it is right or not… but, well, probably.

So, when a human looks at a photo of a landscape, I think part of their brains imagines themselves walking or moving from one part of the landscape to the next. They try to get a sense of the 3D-ness of the photo and wonder how long it will take to walk to some distant object, tree, mountain, etc. The more hints you can give as to the distance of objects, the better. But, one thing that people always seem to enjoy seeing is some kind of a path (or, as in the photo below, a road). This is satisfying to see because their brain likes knowing there is an easy way to get from point A to point B. It’s not something that’s on the surface of the mind, but it is deep down… and I think paths generally make a photo more interesting to the brain.

Daily Photo – The Blue

What’s the best thing about the drive from Queenstown to Glenorchy in New Zealand? This view! Well, honestly, there are about 1000 places to stop, each of which is idyllic for a wonderful landscape photo, but this ONE spot is a stop I always make. It is right by the road, so it is super-convenient. It’s one of those shots that is a “lay-up” as my friend Tom likes to say! 🙂

The Blue

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length19.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Barn at Lake Hayes

Great Rental Property between Arrowtown and Queenstown

It turns out that my friend (and neighbor!) here in New Zealand inherited this amazing place and has recently converted it into an amazing rental property. You can see more at The Barn at Lake Hayes website.

I offered to go take photos of the inside and outside for him so he’d have some pretty shots for the website. I’m pretty happy with the way they turned out… maybe I’ll go over there for some more parties and get a chance to get more photos at sunset before things get too crazy…hehe. The last party we had over there was catered by an amazing sushi chef here in town… I’ve never seen people actually drink one of those huge bottles of sake — I thought they were For Display Purposes Only.

In case you don’t know (most people not from here do not know) — Queenstown and Arrowtown are only about 20 minutes apart. In between them is this beautiful lake called Lake Hayes. So, if you’re looking for a unique, secret little spot nestled away, then this is a great one for you! 🙂

Daily Photo – The Barn at Lake Hayes

I had jogged by this place many times before I figured out that my friend actually owns it! Whenever I run in a new place, I’m also kind of scouting for future photo-shoots… looking for locations and cool scenes and whatnot. This one certainly leapt out at me, so I was pleased to find out that taking a photo of it would be in my immediate future!

The Barn at Lake Hayes

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/20
  • Aperture10
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Alone on 18

Speaking of golf…

Someone told me a stat that only 20% of people can break 100 if you are honestly keeping score. Do you think that is true? I’ve been poking around for that stat… maybe you know the one I am talking about… or know where that statistical analysis is.

Daily Photo – Alone on 18

I always have weird and surreal experiences on this golf course. Firstly, of course I take my camera ll over the place along with my clubs. There is rarely anyone else on the course. Some days they have tournaments and it fills up… but it’s mostly just empty and surreal. I also listen to strange music while I roll around, taking photos, and the stopping occasionally for some golf. When I finished here on 18 one evening, I was actually the last person even around… even that awesome clubhouse there in the distance was empty…

Alone on 18

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/13
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

Little Stream Through The Hills

Running out of days for Spring (In New Zealand!) discount

This is the early warning on final spots at a cheaper price on the upcoming October photography workshop here in New Zealand. That link will take you to a page with a lot more information and a video that shows more about the event. And if you already registered, well then I look forward to spending a lot of time with you here in my backyard! 🙂

Daily Photo – Little Stream Through The Hills

This lovely little stream curves a hundred different ways through a thousand different compositions here between Queenstown and Arrowtown. I’ve walked along only a small part of it, and I look forward to doing it a lot more. It’s here on The Hills golf course, and I’ve lost a total of two golfballs in here so far. More soon to come.

Little Stream Through The Hills

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length22.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Karen Hutton in New Zealand

More Karen for you!

The upcoming photography workshop in October has Todd Sisson and Scott Kublin joining me. But the next one has Jason Law and Karen Hutton… so you might be seeing more of her if you signed up for that one! Watch out, or she’ll make you do p90X… some of the Karen’s pot-stirrers!

Daily Photo – Karen Hutton in New Zealand

Here’s Karen taking photos in a big field near my house one evening. If you saw the landscape video tutorial on the page here, then you’ll recognize her here from this scene! It was cool to have her and Scott and so many other people on the scene… just was a perfect night of photography! 🙂

Karen Hutton in New Zealand

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/40
  • Aperture16
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The View from Deer Park Heights in New Zealand

Want to join me in New Zealand?

The team put together an amazing New Zealand Adventure for you. Join me as early as October (which is Spring here!) or into 2014. It’ll be great! 🙂

Daily Photo – New Zealand Deer Park Heights

I’ve always wanted to get up here to take a photo! They unfortunately closed it down a few years ago to public access. When you look at the hill, it looks pretty easy to climb, but man, it isn’t. I did get permission to get up here, but it wasn’t simple.

Towards the end of the night. I decided to do some long exposures to get the traffic as it wove around the roads. There really wasn’t much traffic… just one bus that was coming over to pick us up… but I did several exposures of it as it moved down the road and combined them all into one.

New Zealand Deer Park Heights

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time2
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

New Workshop in New Zealand

Just announced on the blog! Want to join me In New Zealand?

Learn more about the upcoming workshop in October or other options in 2014! Learn More About the Workshop here. We’re all really excited about this here… ! 🙂

A Few Favorites from New Zealand

Heck, I’ll use this as an opportunity to show you some of my favorite shots from New Zealand in case you forgot what it looked like! 🙂

The Golden Valleys I’ve taken to going out on random drives around New Zealand. I put on music and just follow the sun around. It ducks behind and beyond mountains and valleys, so I turn this way and that, and often get out to hike around inaccessible areas. It’s the middle of the winter here, so the sun is always quite low, so we get nice, extended sunrises and sunsets. Every now and then, the sun gets into a certain angle and everything is bathed in gold…- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Long Road to New Zealand This is one of countless beautiful roads that crisscross New Zealand.  I'm afraid I've forgotten exactly where I was when I took this photo!   I know that is very lame, but I bet people around here can help me pinpoint the area.As far as the camera settings, this is the kind of shot you can get with something called "compression," a method where you use a zoom lens and zoom in quite far.  It takes images in the distance and makes them larger than life.- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

What Does The Road Look Like on the Way to Mount Cook? It looks like this. :)- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Secret Pond in New Zealand This amazing little place is right by my house! It’s less than a five minute drive. I put the location in HDRSpotting above… so if you click through, you can also visit this secret spot when you come here some day!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Daily Photo – Failed Supermoon Shot at Jack’s Point

I made a big mistake when I decided to come here to get a photo of the super moon about a week ago!

I had it all planned out, but then nothing went as planned. My Big Awesome Plan was to take a photo of the super moon and the mountains and get a reflection off the lake. Well, I was so close to the Remarkables here that the moon took about four hours after moonrise to get over them! It was pitch black by then… oh well. But, while waiting, the water calmed down nicely and I took this photo. This is an area called “Jack’s Point” — sort of a private home community and golf course. That’s the clubhouse there where you can get some great food too if you are in the area!

Failed Supermoon Shot at Jack’s Point

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

特雷 Entering Weibo! Plus Jack’s Point in Queenstown

特雷 is entering the Weibo-universe

Attention Chinese friends: 特雷 is entering the Weibo-universe!
 
大家好!For the avid Sina Weibo-users among you, I have just set my first steps in the magical Weibo microblogging land, so you can follow me there! 中文名就叫特雷,特好记。我真的真的很喜欢中国。它是这样一个令人难以置信的美丽的地方,当我有时间的时候我都会持续来中国,它每次总给我不一样的灵感。
 
Add me on http://weibo.com/3566761121/ or by scanning the QR code below with your Chinese-world-scanning-device! 🙂

Daily Photo – Jack’s Point in Queenstown

I went out with Eden Brackstone the other night to take some photos. After he decided to wade callously into this crystal clear water and ruin the placid reflection, I had about five minutes to contemplate life while the ripples settled down. And then I took this one!

Man, I do love this Sony NEX-7. And no, Sony didn’t pay me to say that or give me my camera… I’m working hard on that full analysis… I hope to have it done, by, well, let’s say, FRIDAY!

Jack’s Point in Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Super Moon

Speaking of the NEX-7

Here’s a little video from China when I was changing lenses to get a shot on an old part of the Great Wall.

Another Photo during Winterfest

Every year around this time Queenstown has a long event called Winterfest. Every day they have different events… on the opening night, there is a big concert and then some fireworks. Here’s a quick shot I got while I was watching it with the family.

HDR Photo

Daily Photo – Super Moon Sets Over Queenstown

So… you’ve been coming to the blog for, what, six+ years, yes? Well, maybe…hehe… AND, if you’ve been coming all that time, you might have noticed that I have NEVER posted a photo of the moon. Why is that, you wonder? The main reason is because I’ve always gotten absolutely terrible moon photos. Until now! I finally got one that I am kinda happy with… I shot this in the morning yesterday when I walked out to my studio.

I saw it setting behind the mountain near my house, so I got out my NEX-7 with the 55-210mm lens and shot away. This is just one exposure… one RAW file. It worked out well because all the light levels were about the same with the pink in the sky and the snow and the white moon behind the purple cloud…

Super Moon Sets Over Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/50
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length210.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

On the Way to the Cabin/Studio

Wanna see my walk to work?

A few people saw this a few months ago when they came out to the workshop, but I thought you might like to see it in the snow… it’s a cool winter down here in Queenstown… anyway, I thought you might enjoy seeing where I go to work on my photos every day! 🙂 I shot this with Google Glass.

Daily Photo – Path Through the Snow

Just today, on the way home after the Winter Festival in downtown Queenstown, I saw this scene just off the road. I jumped out of the car and got in a good spot to take a photo. There is no tripod or anything… just a handheld shot with the Sony NEX-7. I processed it in Lightroom and Silver Efex Pro. Actually, I also made a video of me processing it… the team is actually working on something cool on the backend too… a new way to bring you these videos! 🙂

Path Through the Snow

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length12.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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