Stuck In Customs

My daily travel blog to inspire and get you motivated!

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Mount Fuji, Framed

Travel Tip in Japan

Did you know you can get great shots of Mount Fuji only about an hour outside of Tokyo? Yes! Sometimes even on crystal clear days you can even see Mt. Fuji from Tokyo. Anyway, I really recommend jumping in a car and getting out into the wild a little and find nice perspectives of Fuji. There are amazing spots all around!

Daily Photo – Mount Fuji, Framed

Even though I was at this location several years ago, I only just processed this photo recently. Seeing this again makes me reeeeeaaaalllly want to go back to Japan! How much longer must I wait! Maybe I'll just make it happen! 🙂

Mount Fuji, Framed

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-04-14 13:15:24
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time0.5
  • Aperture9
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length38.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Lupins in Spring

A special day in Tekapo (more for Passport members)

Want to see how today’s photo was processed? I do the whole thing from beginning to end… it was kind of a challenging photo, I’ll be honest. Anyway, you’ll see the bonus material at the bottom of this blog post if you’re a Passport Member and THANKS again for all your support! 🙂

A very in-depth post-processing of the Tekapo Lupins

So, this is kind of a long video, but it’s one of the most in-depth post-processing videos I’ve ever made for you, awesome Passport member. I hope you enjoy! 🙂

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Daily Photo – The Lupins in Spring

This is a new favorite photo of Tekapo! I had a lot of trouble figuring out what composition to use and how to process it (you'll see in the how-to video below), but I'm very happy with the result. Can you believe a lot of locals in New Zealand find this lupin flower to be a pest and a nuisance? I've been trying to collect more and more and plant them at our home! I think they are very pretty! 🙂

The Lupins in Spring

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2012-12-05 11:17:16
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture16
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Last Sunset in Venice

Netflix Ideas?

Any hot Netflix suggestions? I’m currently into Season 3 of Chef’s Table as well as “Abstract” which is kind of like Chef’s Table but with design. Interesting stuff… I like these deconstructions of artistic practices…

Daily Photo – Last Sunset in Venice

I took this on my final sunset in Venice. I had been there a month, and I still never lost the “bug” to go out and take photos. I decided to go to an area of Venice that was quite far from my hotel. I was getting in the habit of walking over 15,000 steps a day, then eating massive amounts of Italian food at night. Somehow I managed to not gain any weight even though I was constantly feeling guilty about all the gorging!

Last Sunset in Venice

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-02-10 17:38:24
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/8
  • Aperture5
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length60.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Over the docks in Glenorchy

On the Way To Earnslaw Burn – And New Passport Video!

Lucky you if you’re a Passport Member as you get two videos two days in a row. This one is another amazing one – I have a patron who has paid a Rather Significant amount of money for me to take some photos (today’s Daily Photo is NOT one of them… just a quick shot I took on the way there). Anyway, this is Part 2 of 3 of more behind the scenes stuff. If you saw Part 1, you got to see me and the crew out on an overnight camping trip where I was trying to get the shots… been working on this project for about a year! Now it’s all finally coming together.

Earnslaw Burn Continued…

And in our on-going saga to get some good photos from Earnslaw Burn, here is Part 2, where you can see the resulting photos. Which ones are your favorite? I’ve now flown out to visit the patron in Austin to see his!

I’ll put Part 1 below Part 2 in case you missed that… It’s a great video too – check it out!

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Exclusive content for Passport members

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Daily Photo – Over the docks in Glenorchy

On the way from Queenstown to Earnslaw Burn, you pass over this nice dock that shoots out into that turquoise water in Lake Wakatipu. I've taken heaps (that's a word they use a lot here in New Zealand) of photos from ground level, so it was great to get up in the air to get a different perspective.

Over the docks in Glenorchy

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-11-23 14:51:21
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length3.6 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Boats at The Baths

Saint Thomas Highlight Video

I hope you enjoy the photo challenge I set out for myself in Saint Thomas… also was able to battle with one of my greatest phobias (but not sure I won!)

Daily Photo – Boats at The Baths

As you can see in the video above, my big goal here was to get some decent aerial shots from the quad. I was one-minute away from making a tragic mistake in Customs. Yes, imagine that! I left my quadcopter on the boat when I was going through customs on Virgin Gorda. I didn't realize I wouldn't see the boat till the end of the day! I had to get the police to let me out of customs so I could run back to the boat to get the quad. I arrived back into customs, sweating while carrying a suspicious looking device… nothing to see here… just move along…

Boats at The Baths

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-30 12:19:30
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Bowen Falls and Milford in Black and White

Milford 360 Behind the Scenes

I made a 360 video for Passport Members that shows what it looks like just after you emerge into the fjord side of the tunnel. Normally there are lots of waterfalls and it is rainy, this time, the weather was perfect! Anyway, enjoy… and let me know if you like these 360 videos and I can make more.

360 Video of the fjord side of the Milford Sound tunnel

Hello, Brave Passport Member! Here’s another 360 video for you! I’ve been watching these both in YouTube and with my Google Daydream… pretty cool, eh?

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Daily Photo – Bowen Falls and Milford in Black and White

This is a little black and white study across the sound facing Bowen Falls. It's illegal, I think, but you can scramble around a wall down by the rocks (quite dangerous) and follow a path back there to an old grave. It's pretty back there but hard to get a photo because of all the spray that comes off the waterfall.

Bowen Falls and Milford in Black and White

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2012-10-27 06:36:03
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperture
  • ISO
  • Focal Length
  • Flash
  • Exposure Program
  • Exposure Bias

Strange Formations in Antarctica Ice

Special Critiques for our Facebook Group

First, haven’t you joined our Facebook Group? You gotta… it’s so fun! I did a critique the other day of some images people posted on Facebook Live – here is the video below!

Daily Photo – Strange Formations in Antarctica Ice

We took a lot of helicopter flights across the ice in Antarctica… it was so unusual to see these square shapes. You may notice another one off in the distance to the right too. I asked our helicopter pilot Hef about them. He said he has no idea, but he's been seeing them forever… I'd like to know myself… because in my whole life whenever I see ice crack, it always seems to crack in a random pattern!

Strange Formations in Antarctica Ice

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-14 12:31:41
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/5000
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length113.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Into the Night in Milford Sound

TIP: How to use the Samsung Gear 360 Camera when using any Android Phone

This was not easy to figure out! Luckily good man Stu here, my techie right-hand-man at Stuck In Customs figured all this out… here’s how you do it!

Why would you do this?

The Gear 360 can be controlled using its small LCD and the buttons on the device but some functionality available in the app isn’t available using this method.

Main Benefits of the App:

  • Only way to unlock images for processing (happens during copy from camera to handset)
  • Live view so you can see where the stitching will be and avoid it landing on key areas
  • Ability to set ISO, white balance, HDR etc
  • Fire the camera wirelessly (you can hide)

In short, the app will function just as it does on a Galaxy handset. The only thing you need to remember is NOT to transfer videos via the App. At the end of transfers the app does some encoding, it’s a drain on battery/time. Just stick the the MicroSD card to from the Gear 360 into your system and copy the videos. Load them into the Gear 360 ActionDirector (bundled with the camera) and it will unlock them for use in your editing software.

Pics, you can transfer those on the app and let them convert so you can work with them in Photoshop, Lightroom, Aurora HDR, etc.

How to install the Gear 360 App

Step 1) Use Google Play to install the Samsung Accessory Service.

Step 2) Enable Unknown Source Installs on your handset. (Settings>General>Fingerprints + Security)

Gear 1

Step 3) Download and install the Gear 360 Manager from here.

Step 4) Launch the Gear 360 App. It should run as normal. The connection initially is via Bluetooth but then it switches to its own Wi-Fi network later on.

Step 5) Switch back the unknown source option to off. (Settings>General>Fingerprints + Security)

That’s it… in theory!

I did read that on some phones if live-view or file browsing doesn’t work you may need to switch the option to for mobile data when on Wi-Fi but opinions varied. If you need it here is the option (Settings>Networks> tap the current network). You can also watch out for new versions of the modified apps over on the XDA forum. Those guys over there have done some great work to make this possible.

Gear2

Have fun and be sure to share your results in our Facebook Group.

Starry Starry Night

Passport Members get to see a special 360 video below about an hour before I took this photo. Something that’s not in the video that I can tell you now – I shot this with the Leica 21mm at F/1.4. Getting as LOW as possible in that F-Stop is key for getting good star shots.

Thoughts on Failure

Here’s another 360 video I shot here in Milford Sound just as it was getting dark… Enjoy! Oh, P.S. the Timelapse video turned out to be TERRIBLE. That Samsung 360 Gear is really cool, but not so good for low-light photos.

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Daily Photo – Into the Night in Milford Sound

This is maybe my tenth trip to Milford? I always have a lovely and different sort of time there. I've never seen it so starry, though! I was here with my friends Mark and Curtis and the photos and wine were flowing nicely! 🙂 Curtis had suggested we go back to the room and relax for a while then come back out for the stars. I refused to follow this plan because I was afraid we'd never make it back out! But then just about 45 minutes later it was dark enough to take these sorts of photos.

Into the Night in Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-02-18 17:52:34
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time20
  • Aperture
  • ISO3200
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

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