I’m a little inconsistent on my Instagram about what photos I post and how often. I do all those posts myself… but I often use a cool app on the Mac called “Uploader.” Since I spend a lot of time on my laptop, it’s just an easier way to post… I recommend it!
Daily Photo – Hiking The Great Wall
On this day, I think I used more calories than the whole week! It was very beautiful in this section of the Great Wall, so I definitely did not want to miss a single sight. It's kind of awesome too because even though the whole Great Wall ostensibly looks the same, after just 50 steps, there is another slightly different view of something so beautiful.
I was sitting here thinking about how I need to go explore more of the South Island (and North Island!). There are so many things to see here. Last year I travelled a lot, so when I got back home, I’d try to stay at home with the family as much as possible. Maybe this year I’ll have more time to go out and explore beautiful New Zealand!
Daily Photo – Not a Truck Commercial
I know this looks like a sponsored post or something eh? Haha… it's not. I bought this truck a few years ago when I moved to Queenstown. It's a Volkswagen! Who knew they made trucks? It's actually pretty awesome… It's all 4WD and I take it everywhere around the south island. This scene here, and the reason I am sharing it, is a typical photo session. You can drive pretty much anywhere here then just jump out when you see a good scene!
Venice is one of the most beautiful and unique cities in the world and I was happy to share it with my family for their first trip there. To get to Venice, we took the direct train from Rome. It was a super-fast train and we got there in only about three hours. We jumped into a water-taxi from the train station and went right to the Boscolo Hotel in the northern part of the city. It’s quieter up there… hardly any tourists and where a lot of families live.
From there, we went out adventuring all over the place. You gotta do all the touristy things in Venice, eh? Yeah! We did everything from the gondolas to the glass factories to the gelato. In fact, Scarlett was appointed the Queen of Gelato and it was her job every day to make sure everyone had their daily gelato. The only rule was each day had to be a new flavor!
And here on Day 30 is when the whole trip officially ends. The family flies back to New Zealand and I stay here in Venice for another two weeks for both Carnivale, filming some new videos, and a fun photo workshop! And yes, more gelato!
A view from the Canals.
Details of a beautiful old church.
This is the Hotel L’orologio where we are staying for the next two weeks for the workshop at Carnivale.
Ethan in the Gondola.
Here’s the Boscolo Venezia where we stayed the first few nights.
Inside the Doge’s Palace.
Venice at Sunset.
Scarlett poses in a Gondola.
The incredible San Rocco.
Daily Photo – The old city of Venice begins to wake up
Macphun, Viewbug and I have all teamed up to bring you a series of contests called Explore HDR! There are 6 contests in the series and there are amazing prizes for each contest! This is the first of the 6 contests in the series, and it’s all about getting out there and exploring your inner HDR.
The Grand Jury winner gets G-Tech 1-TB drive and a Serge Ramelli Complete Package
Amateur winner gets 1 month free Arcanum and a metal print from Bay Photo – Gallery Series frame
People’s Choice winner gets $50 Amazon Gift Card and a metal print from Bay Photo – Gallery Series frame
Entries for the first contest in the series close in 19 DAYS! So get out there and start taking photos!
At the end of the series, I will select an overall Series Winner from the best of each previous 6 contests. The overall winner gets a NEW DJI Phantom Vision Advanced Quad!!
I was thinking about making a quadcopter-centric screensaver… I’m still trying to figure out if this is a good idea!
Daily Photo – The Pink Hood
I tried to maximize my exploring in Chefchaouen to see every possible nook and cranny. It's small enough where 10 hours on foot can get you to photograph the whole town, or at least, the colorful parts of it. The whole place is a soft powdery blue, so you can imagine my surprise when I found this pinky area!
Here’s a fun video I made on Day 1 of learning to fly… I kind of combined it with getting to know my new Sony A7 a few years ago!
Daily Photo – Paragliding in Queenstown!
Wow, I do love to paraglide here, but I've actually given it up! I took this photo on one of my last flights from the southern alps here. I did about 15 solo flights before hanging up my chute! I actually had a few friends die in sudden air-related things… made me think that, while it is certainly one of the safest air-related sports, it really still amps up the risk level! Anyway, I had a great time while it lasted, except for the extreme momentary lapses of fear!
My bees are out there working hard! I’m looking forward to getting out there and doing another major spin pretty soon. That’s always a ton of hard work for a day, but it’s so awesome to end up with over a hundred jars of your very own honey!
Here’re a few pictures from last year’s harvest with the family!
Daily Photo – Seeing Double In Vegas
This is one of those fun double-exposures. I don't do a lot of them…I'm not sure why. I think they often look pretty cool and trippy! The creation process is quite fun in its own right. I used Analog Efex Pro 2 to make this… it's one of the new features that is in the new version.
This was one of my favorite collaborations! I’m looking forward to doing more of these. If you want to get it, pop into the store and get the Midnight in Paris video!
Daily Photo – Down in the French Dungeon
Right outside of Paris, we rented a mansion for a few days to hold a great event! While there, we, of course, went down in the dungeon to get some photos… it's a fairly extreme HDR situation as you might imagine! We all really had a great time, and it was amazing to see what Miss Aniela created down here!
Day 25 – Rome, Fiat 500 Adventures, and the Holy Catholic Vatican
We left Doha, Qatar after too-short of a trip and flew about six hours to Rome after I finally got my quadcopter out of being stuck in customs! I wasn’t allowed to fly it anywhere in Qatar or Oman, so they kept it at the airport for me. There’s always a confusing process to get it un-stuck! But everything turned out okay…
In Rome, we stayed right in the middle of the city at the Boscolo Exedra. It was another great hotel and a fun home base for the whole family. We did a ton of stuff here in the city. We got started with a full tour of Vatican City, which was even more impressive than I anticipated. Mind-blowing really! I’ve been to Rome four times but never visited the Vatican until this time. We had a private tour guide and it was definitely the way to go… Maria knew everything about this place and it was much more interesting than just blindly stumbling around.
And then we ended up in a 1962 and 1967 Fiat 500s to tour the Roman countryside. What a great way to explore… just about 10 km away was a beautiful lake… and, well you can see more in the video!
A Roman villa stands on a hill with the rest of teaming Rome behind it.
A Straight-up view from another area inside The Vatican.
Driving into the Roman countryside.
Exploring another room in The Vatican.
Exploring the massive halls inside and outside of Vatican City.
Having a quick flight over Rome with the DJI Phantom 3.
Her skirt was a little too skimpy to be let into The Vatican, so they stopped outside for some selfie action.
Scarlett got a new coat in Rome and she never takes it off.
Stopping with our Fiat 500s at a Roman aqueduct.
The amazing golden dome of the Basilica of Saint Peter.
The Basilica of Saint Peter is the longest church in the world and you can see the lengths of other churches represented on the floor.
The girls in front of the Coloseum.
The massive interior of the Basilica.
There are thousands of fountains all over Rome where the water is perfectly drinkable – one secret thing many have is if you plug the bottom, the water spurts out a little hole on top .
We took two Fiat 500’s out to explore the Roman countryside.
With one foot in both countries of Italy and Vatican City.
This is a great winery and place to have lunch here on the South Island! One day when I was there, I flew the quad around a bit… Here’s the result!
Daily Photo – Hobbiton in Evening Light
Jumping from the beautiful South Island to the North Island of New Zealand, we come back to the quaint and too-perfect Hobbiton. I was lucky enough to be there right after they installed all the lights. What could be better than this? Something so scenic and relaxing… and it's all real too. I mean, there are no Hobbits or anything… but all the plants, gardens, working mead tap in the Green Dragon Inn – everything! I want to sleep here all night I think.