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 TakenAugust 9, 2014 at 1:51pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8000
  • Aperture
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Arrowtown in the Autumn

Composition Tricks

Here’s a little trick with composing photos. As you know, it’s usually bad form to put major things (like the sun) in the middle of the photograph. But, if you turn the camera sideways (said in a Raising Arizona voice) into portrait mode, you can suddenly center anything and it looks good! You can imagine the photo below in landscape orientation — it would not be as compelling.

Daily Photo – Arrowtown in the Autumn

Arrowtown is so lovely! There is a huge park right by the main street and the trees go crazy in the Autumn. I kind of think this photo is cheating, because you can kind of aim your camera in any direction and just take a photo!

Arrowtown in the Autumn

Photo Information

  • Date TakenApril 30, 2014 at 4:29pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length39.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

A Red Foggy Night in Northern China

See any typos?

You know what? I’m terrible with typos… just terrible. I make them all the time. I re-read my blog posts and I can never catch my mistakes. So, if YOU ever see one, just leave a comment! Don’t worry… it won’t hurt my feelings. Then I can just fix it right up! :)

Lake of Dreams

I just got back from another amazing Burning Man. I thought you might like to see this video called “Lake of Dreams” – it was made during last year’s burn!

Daily Photo – A Red Foggy Night in Northern China

Here, at the Great Wall of China, you get a very epic sense of the world. I've now been here four times, and every time I'm totally impressed. This is by far the most impressive section I've ever been to. I'd like to go back here, maybe even in the middle of winter when there is snow. How awesome would it be to camp out up here? It should be amazing!

A Red Foggy Night in Northern China

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 2, 2014 at 12:22am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length46.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

The Squid Boat

Waking up early for photos

You’ll see in the story below that I never actually got a photo of that amazing boat at night. I could have, if I wasn’t so lazy and wanted to see them come into port at 5 AM, but, honestly, I was way too lazy. That bed just feels so darned good. A comfy bed in the morning is my kryptonite.

Daily Photo – The Squid Boat

One thing you may notice from this photo are the huge lightbulbs. I've never seen such huge bulbs on a boat. But, apparently (and I did not see this), they light these boats up at night and the squid come flocking. This makes them very easy to catch! Maybe next time I go I'll be able to see these guys in action… I think that would be an amazing photo – it's on my to-photo list! :)

The Squid Boat

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJuly 22, 2014 at 11:55pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length53.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

A private Island

The Video

You’ll notice this island from above in at least two scenes in the video below. I made this with my quadcopter — see my DJI Phantom Review for more!

Daily Photo – A private Island

This was our favorite little island on the trip. You might remember a kayak photo from last month where I made my daughter paddle the kayak to get to this little island. It was hard work, but the whole time I told her it was character building!

A private Island

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 29, 2014 at 4:38pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture18
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length26.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

An amazing meal in Hobbiton

An Older Interview You Might Have Missed

Here is a very fun episode I did with Leo Laporte!

Daily Photo – An amazing meal in Hobbiton

If you go on the tour of the Hobbiton Movie Set, be sure you go on the last one of the day and stay for this dinner. It is absolutely NOT to be missed… man it was good. I ate so so so much — it was really redonkulous. And, as you can see, the view cannot be beaten!

An amazing meal in Hobbiton

An amazing meal in Hobbiton

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMay 7, 2014 at 8:27pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1.6
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Fishing Near the Summer Palace

Another China Scene

This is a video I made when I was north of the Palace here up near an abandoned part of the Great Wall of China.

Daily Photo – Fishing Near the Summer Palace

This is a peaceful Chinese scene, don't you think? It's nice to see these kind of quaint things happening in beautiful spots like this, I think. I see a lot of people fishing all over China. Not all the scenes are quite this idyllic, believe me. But I do like to try to capture it when I can. This was shot in one of the many lakes that surround the Summer Palace.

Fishing Near the Summer Palace

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMay 27, 2014 at 12:14am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture8
  • ISO640
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Beautiful Land of the Hobbits

Other Great Movie Sets?

This spot below is the Hobbiton Movie Set. But it’s not just a set. It’s a real place with gardeners and staff, and, well everything but real Hobbits. I mean, some Kiwis are quite Hobbit-like, so I guess that is something!

Anyway, are there any other movie sets around the world that are actual real-working places that maintain their fantasy-glow all around the year?

Daily Photo – The Beautiful Land of the Hobbits

What's better than an afternoon strolling around the place where the Hobbits live? I can't think of much more than this? Oh sure, maybe take a boat ride in Venice or walk on the moon… but, other than those, I think maybe this comes in a solid third place! And the best thing about it is that anyone can do this! There are many tours that go through here… they are not rushed… lots of time for photos… and if you do the last tour of the day, you can even do the amazing medieval feast at night! :)

The Beautiful Land of the Hobbits

The Beautiful Land of the Hobbits

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMay 8, 2014 at 11:00am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

The Daemon Bird

The Lightroom Tutorial

I’m glad so many people are enjoying the Lightroom Tutorial! This photo below is one of the shots that is processed during the tutorial!

Daily Photo – The Daemon Bird

This fisherman and his bird were incredible. Whichever direction his head went, so did the bird's! It was really incredible to watch. If you have the Lightroom Tutorial I mention above, be sure to watch that part where I show all the various head positions! I've never seen anything like it in my life.

For this photo, because it was so dark, I opened up my aperture all the way to f/1.4 – that really helped the light to come in and give it this feeling.

The Daemon Bird

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 4, 2014 at 12:19am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

In Bang Saray at Karma Studios

Amazing time at Karma Sound Studios

When I was recently in Thailand, I spent the week staying at Karma Sound Studios. It was really incredible and fun! What an amazing place for people to collaborate and make some great music. I met all kinds of famous Thai musicians there… it was a really kinda strange and awesome week!

Daily Photo – Down on the Pier at Sunset

This is just a short walk from the studio. The sunsets in Thailand were amazing all week. I don't know if they are always that good, but maybe! I don't think I've been in a place where I had good sunsets for an entire week. Maybe in the Caribbean? Anyway, this place was really special because of all the squid boats. I'll show you some cool shots of those as soon as I get around to processing them! :)

Down on the Pier at Sunset

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJuly 23, 2014 at 12:55am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length26.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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