Across the Mirrorportal in Wanaka

Lonely Trails

You know one of the strangest things about these hiking trails in this area of the South Island of New Zealand? They are almost entirely empty. Sometimes on hikes you go hours or all day without ever seeing another human. And they are all wonderfully maintained too… there are little bridges here and there, nicely graded paths, etc etc — they put a lot of care and work into them for something that is so rarely used… but that’s okay with me of course — I like the solitude! :)

Daily Photo – Across the Mirrorportal in Wanaka

While filming the new HDR Tutorial (be sure to subscribe to the newsletter to the right to find out the scoop on that!), we hiked to the top of this trail to get this unique view. It was a moody and wet day, and everything had a very otherworldly feel about it. This shot was actually fairly difficult because I couldn't get everything in one shot. So it required some difficult vertical panorama stitching in the final result. It's never an easy combo with HDR! Anyway, all of that is seen in the new video HDR Tutorial I mentioned up there! :)

Across the Mirrorportal in Wanaka

Across the Mirrorportal in Wanaka

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Ducks and Tree and Snow

ND Filters

Does anyone know of a Variable ND filter that fits on these new Sony lenses? That might be a handy thing to have… I never ended up getting one for my old Nikon 14-24mm because it was just too honking big!

Daily Photo – Ducks and Tree and Snow

I need to pop over to Wanaka more often! I don't have an excuse, as it is just an hour away. The mountains and lake and everything there is so different than Queenstown. Even though I “know” this in my brain, every time I go there is a little burst of surprise about how different it is!

There is a cool tree that grows out of the water here. When things are calm, sometimes there are these nice little ripples that come by while the ducks swim around… so serene!

Ducks and Tree and Snow

Ducks and Tree and Snow

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/40
  • Aperture13
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

Looking Across the Lake

Newsletter

Be sure to check out our new Newsletter signup thing there on the right! If you haven’t signed up, be sure to do it so you can hear about the secret new stuff first! :)

Daily Photo – Looking Across the Lake

We visited this lake in the late afternoon on one of the final days of shooting for the new HDR Video Tutorial. This is actually getting edited together right now and it's gonna be amazing! Anyway, this is not one of the shots that is in the actual video, but just one I took along the way. We walked all the way around the lake, and there were very few openings to get a shot. You'll see in another one how I had to slide down a rock to get into position — in fact, I almost fell right in the river during the shoot!

Looking Across the Lake

Looking Across the Lake

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/13
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length21.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Full interview from This Week in Photography

This Week in Photography about The Arcanum

I was joined by Peter Giordano and Bel Jones as we were interviewed by Frederick Van Johnson all about The Arcanum. Applications are blowing up and we can’t wait to get started! We answer a lot of questions in this interview, and you can see even more answered over on the This Week in Photo site.

Daily Photo – Daydreaming in gradeschool

Well here is a photo of Bel Jones, one of the Masters of the aforementioned Arcanum looking at some nice bokeh lights! I had just gotten the new Sony A7r and was testing out some of the prime lenses. This one was the Sony 55mm at f/1.8. I commented on how nice the lights looked at f/1.8, and she turned her head to look, so I ducked over to the left to get this quick photo!

This is one of the photos in the new Sony A7r Review here on the site.

I really do like the lens very much. I’m trying to compare it to that Leica 50mm f/1.4 but I need to do some more experimentation. That Leica lens is like a $10,000 lens, which is cray-cray! I’m doing my best to use a discerning and analytical eye to see if that out-of-focus area is $9500-more buttery!

Daydreaming in gradeschool

Daydreaming in gradeschool

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture1.8
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length55.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

A Path near Diamond Lake

Something Big And Exciting Is Coming This Week

I have a Rather Major Thing we are launching this week… stay tuned !!

For a sneak peek, watch LIVE for tomorrow’s show which is all about Drone Photography. We’ll do a special announcement before the show. For your local time for the show, visit the Event Page!

Panel on Social Media

I was on a panel at the Better By Design CEO Summit in Auckland, New Zealand recently. This is a gathering of about 500 of the top CEOs/business leaders in NZ and was put on by Icebreaker Merino and Jeremy Moon. This panel discussion was all about Social Media and where things are at…

Here’s the people on the panel: Ken Hong, Head of Marketing Strategy for the Chinese micro-blogging Sina Weibo, Derek Handley, Founding CEO at The B Team, Aura Oslapas, former Senior Vice President and Chief Design Officer at Best Buy and (me) share their social media insights. Panel facilitated by Keith Yamashita, Partner at consultancy and product-creation engine SY.

Daily Photo – A Path near Diamond Lake

We were out shooting the new secret video for something you will see very soon (stay tuned!), and we walked along this path on the way back. It was so pretty both directions, but I’m often reminded that when I walk back the other direction that it looks totally different. I’d like to think I’m pretty “aware” of what landscapes look like from every direction, but on long walks, sometimes you forget to look behind you.

A Path near Diamond Lake

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.8
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Peaceful Evening in Wanaka

Communities and New Badges

Want to join the community and share your photos? Here’s some links for you! :) Google+ turned 2 years old, and they announced a new Badge Maker that you can use for your website. I thought I’d use the new badges below to re-invite you to a few of the communities we started there! These are good places for you to share your work, if you so desire. Also, as always, I am happy for you to share your work here in the comments on the blog too! :)




Daily Photo – Peaceful Evening in Wanaka

I had a peaceful evening in Wanaka.

There is this tree that sits out in the middle of the lake. It’s so unusual. I love the way it reflects back on itself in the smooth water. I was by myself, listening to music on my iPod, and just watching the water as it would calm down then get excited, then calm down again. I swapped out lenses a few times and kept moving around to admire it from different angles. This one was one of my favorites.

Peaceful Evening in Wanaka

Peaceful Evening in Wanaka

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/50
  • Aperture13
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length55.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

Driving Along Lake Hawea

More New Zealand in Stuck On Earth

I know we have a good group of people coming to New Zealand in February for a fun event together (see Photography Workshops) , but even if you are unable to make it, remember to check Stuck On Earth for a great load of photo locations. I put together a list of photo highlights in the South Island there for you.

Here is the exact map point where I took this photo, btw… you can zoom out and see how there is just not much around!

Daily Photo – Driving Along the Lakes of New Zealand

When I drive along the countless electric-blue lakes of New Zealand, I keep thinking, “This reminds me of Switzerland!” But this is actually a strange thing to think, because I’ve only spent a short amount of time in Switzerland. Really, you can make the case that New Zealand is more like Switzerland than Switzerland. This is a very confusing thing to say, but maybe you know what I mean.

For this one, I’m afraid I did have to jump a fence. But this lake near Wanaka (Lake Hawea) is pretty much completely devoid of houses or any lake-side habitation. You can drive for hours and never see anybody or anything. I’m not big on jumping fences, but it seemed pretty harmless here… and, besides, I just HAD to take a photo of this tree! You know how it is…

Tree New Zealand Wanaka Lake Hawea

Driving Along the Lakes of New Zealand

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length135mm (135mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Moving to New Zealand

Why Did I Move to New Zealand?

There’s a long story to it all… but I think you can see a lot of the reasons in the video below.

By the way, if you are looking to buy a house here and need a recommendation, contact me via [email protected] and the team will get you to me. I can make an excellent recommendation for you!

This video was made with Animoto!

I used a cool online thing called Animoto to make this video. I also wrote up a full Animoto Review here on the site.

You can also use the Animoto Coupon Code of “STUCKINCUSTOMS” to get 2 months free with a pro account… thanks for the team there for providing that for us!

New Video – Turning to Peace in New Zealand

It’s a hi-rez video… I recommend listening with earphones or good speakers too – enjoy :)

Three Trees in Wanaka, New Zealand

Want to see me process each of these photos?

The class starts July 31st! If you miss the live bit, you can download later. Be sure to register at The Art of Photography page!

In Class #4, I’m going to process each of the photos below. I’ll show you all kinds of new tricks that are newly-figured-out… in the past few weeks or so. I’m saving them for Class #4 so that we can build up to this together. I’m very excited for the class, and I know that those of you who have registered are also excited. See you soon!

The First Two Trees

And here are the previously published tree photos from along the lake in Wanaka.

Lonely Tree Aflame After having a great flat white with Tim and Bel, Abe (my intern for the winter/summer) and I went down to the lake. I picked out some trees I wanted to re-visit in the evening light. As I was driving around, I got an idea… it was dark and blue and I thought about what it would look like if the tree was instantly on fire… so I gave Abe some specific instructions and a secret signal.I set up for the shot with the 14-24mm, prepared the timer, then made the secret signal to Abe. We gave it a few different tries until I felt like we had it right before driving back home over the crown range in the dark.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Lonely Tree in WanakaThis is one of three tree photos I will publish over the coming weeks. You may remember a previous one where the bottom of the trunk was on fire… that one DID have a bit of Photoshop… We’ll also go over that one in the class.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the entire post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Daily Photo – The Third Tree

When you have three tree photos that you adore, how can you choose an order in which to publish them? I don’t know! I figured that if I love all of them, then random is a good an order as necessary. I go through various levels of this every night when I put together the daily post for the next day. The selection process is fairly mentally grueling! :)

The Third Tree

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length20mm (20mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Lonely Tree in Wanaka

Preview of the Art of Photography Course

See the photo below? I’ll be editing it live to show how I did it on the last day of the Art of Photography course. You can do it all without Photoshop! I know that will make a lot of people happy that can’t get over the Photoshop-hump. For those people, we will also be talking about Photoshop in another segment to show you the hump doesn’t have to be so bad!

Daily Photo – Lonely Tree in Wanaka

This is one of three tree photos I will publish over the coming weeks. You may remember a previous one where the bottom of the trunk was on fire… that one DID have a bit of Photoshop… We’ll also go over that one in the class.

Lonely Tree in Wanaka

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length19mm (19mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

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