Aurora Over the Valley

Aurora Borealis

Despite four trips to Iceland, I’ve never seen the northern lights! I’ve tried countless times… but on my list is to go up either there or Norway next winter to see them for sure!

Daily Photo – Aurora Over the Valley

I was driving home from a photo event from over the hill in Wanaka and I got to the edge of the crown range and saw this. So beautiful! The Aurora Australis is just incredible. In fact, when I got home, we got the whole family out on the deck on bean bags to watch it wash over us. So pretty and mesmerizing!

Aurora Over the Valley

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time15
  • Aperture
  • ISO1000
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Ascending Mount Aspiring

Everest

I still have not seen that movie. I understand it gets a little serious, to say the least. I almost took the kids to see it then someone warned me against that!

Daily Photo – Ascending Mount Aspiring

Well, I ascended it by air, which was much more civilized. I am so impressed by these mountain climbers that do it for real. Those are real dudes for sure… There're a lot of mountains here in New Zealand that are huge destinations for serious mountain climbers. I understand there are a few extra challenges here because of the ice, snow, and glaciers… I know people die all the time trying to climb Mount Cook, which is not too far away from this one… those guys have some balls! (and some frozen ones!)

Ascending Mount Aspiring

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length240.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Back to Wanaka

Micro SD Cards

I’m finding that I’m using these kind of cards more and more. I have them in my quads and my Osmo. They’re like all over the place and I’m not really that organized with them. I’m still a bit flummoxed by putting the micro card into a bigger card that I then put into my computer. I don’t have a good system to organize all this stuff yet…I often lose them and just confuse myself.

Daily Photo – Back to Wanaka

I'm never disappointed when I make the hour-long drive over the hill to Wanaka! It's beautiful over there… when I took this photo, it was a particularly crazy day because I had an amazing heli ride with Aspiring Helicopters. We went up into the snowy southern alps and had a beautiful landing at this secret snowy cabin where we had wine, cheese, and crackers. This is the view of the cabin as we flew away…

Back to Wanaka

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture5
  • ISO1000
  • Focal Length58.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • 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

Incredible Mount Aspiring

Last Minute Christmas Gift idea – My new book!

You’re running out of time… why not grab my new eBook – people seem to be loving it and I think you will too! :)

Daily Photo – Incredible Mount Aspiring

I had an incredible day up with Aspiring Helicopters right before my trip to the USA. We first went up to an amazing cabin way up in the mountains for a wine and cheese party, then we took off again to circle around this mountain at sunset. It was like a dream! I put on my earphones underneath my heli-big-boy-earphones and listened to all kinds of strange music as we flew around. It was very dreamy!

Incredible Mount Aspiring

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO1250
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Exploring the Mount Aspiring Area

New Tip Video: Removing Noise!

Here’s my latest tip video for you… remember, you can go get the full Aurora HDR Tutorial For Mac right now!

Limitless Places to Explore

I don’t go up in helicopters that much, but every time I do, I’m blown away by the infinite number of places you can land and explore. There’s not a bad photo in any direction, and it’s totally mind-numbing in a way. We’re working on a “What to Do in New Zealand” page… since I get so many questions… but that will be coming soon, I hope… RIGHT RUBY!!??!?! :)

Daily Photo – Exploring the Mount Aspiring Area

Here's another photo from my amazing day up with Mount Aspiring Helicopters when we went to go visit their little chalet where you can overnight. What a romantic place! This is the view of the backside, away from Mt. Aspiring. I took this right before we re-boarded to the heli to take us on a loop around the mighty mountain before flying back to Wanaka.

Exploring the Mount Aspiring Area

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraONE
  • Camera MakeDxO
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length11.9 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Wings over Wanaka

Featured Pinterest!

Thanks again to the Men’s Journal for featuring my Pinterest page… I feel like the guy that barely made the list! Actually, I am, at #22 ! haha Here’s my Pinterest!

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Classic Flights

Be sure to check out Classic Flights if you ever go to Wanaka. Anyone can go up… it’s so fun and the scenery is, of course, second to none.

Daily Photo – Wings over Wanaka

When I went to Wanaka for the Instameet day, Stu and I arrived early to go fly around in some of these awesome old planes. These are called Tiger Moths and they are just as much fun as they look. Well, I mean it’s more fun if you’re not in the middle of a war with the Germans and stuff.

Wings over Wanaka

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length175.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Brave Leader of The Arcanum

As long as we’re talking about it…

…why not go fill out an application at The Arcanum? It’s awesome! :)

Daily Photo – Brave Leader of The Arcanum

Here’s a fun/funny photo I took of Pete one day when we got off the helicopter over near Wanaka. We would do tiny little hikes here and there… he was kneeling down on this mountaintop with this vast valley behind him… he looked pretty awesome I thought!

Brave Leader of The Arcanum

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length45.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1.3

A Fun Family Day at Lake Wanaka

Yesterday’s and Today’s Image

I don’t know if you noticed yesterday’s and today’s image or not, but I’ve been doing something a little different with sharpness passes and filters. More and more I’m using MacPhun Intensify and Tonality — definitely some of my favorite filters!

Lightroom Presets

Today’s photo was made with one of the presets from the January 2015 Pack of the Lightroom Presets. I’m glad people are enjoying them so much. It’s very fun for me to experiment a LOT more and create 10 fresh ones per month. It’s a bit of a challenge to always try new looks and experiment, but I am glad you are all experimenting with me! :)

Daily Photo – A Fun Family Day at Lake Wanaka

Isn't this a wonderfully strange photo?!?

We went with our friends Mark and Sonia down to the beach in Wanaka to spend the day recently. It was so sunny and awesome to spend the day with everyone. I know it's opposite-land down here, our summer is the Northern hemisphere's winter, so seeing recent off-season photos can be confusing!

A Fun Family Day at Lake Wanaka

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7M2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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

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