Cows under the snowy mountain

Taking Coffee to my Studio

A quick tour of my studio near my home in Queenstown, New Zealand. Sort of a quick and dirty video… nothing too exciting here… move along… :)

Daily Photo – Cows under the snowy mountain

We were over near the Greenstone trail near Glenorchy and there was a big cattle drive going on. I usually don't see this many cows in New Zealand! I'm used to a lot of sheep, but this is the most cattle I had ever seen together. It reminded me of Texas except for the massive snowy mountains behind them. It was kind of surreal and awesome for me!

Cows under the snowy mountain

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length36.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Looking Down From the Bell Tower in Beijing

New Perspectives with Drones

I really like this top-down view that you get from drones. It’s so interesting to me… I follow a few other quadcopter photographers that do this also, and I’ve seen a few comment that it’s now “passé” — which I find to be ridiculous! I love looking at them and I think it will be a long time before I tire of it.

Daily Photo – Looking Down From the Bell Tower in Beijing

This is on the edge of one of the most famous buildings in Beijing. The building itself is great, naturally, but one of the best views is right here along this road. It’s where all the little covered bike-things line up to ferry people to and fro. I like how they are all a deep red and stand out against the greenness of the Beijing concrete.

Looking Down From the Bell Tower in Beijing

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraHero3-Black Edition
  • Camera MakeGoPro
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length2.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Wild clouds in Bora Bora

Wide-Angle Tip

If you like these kinds of shots where everything seems to be pointing towards the middle, try a wide-angle lens! I first shot this a bit tighter. It was a cool shot, but then when I put on the wide-angle everything got so much more amazing! I even sometimes forget this effect, and it’s so fun to look through a wide-angle lens and see it happen!

Daily Photo – Wild clouds in Bora Bora

Just before I took this, I was hand-feeding a puffer fish! It was one of the strangest things I had ever done. First I picked up a sea urchin off the bottom and held it loosely in my hand. Then the puffer fish came over and started tearing into it! Puffer fish don't care! It was so awesome to watching him tear it apart. They have big and hard teeth, those guys… kind of freaky really. It's the first time I've ever done anything like that.

Anyway, after feeding the fish, I looked up through the water and saw these crazy clouds. I got out of the water, nabbed my camera, and shot away!

Wild clouds in Bora Bora

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Baby Snow Monkey

African Video Production

At our upcoming African Photo Adventure (thanks again everyone for helping it to sell out so quick – wow!), we’re going to have Bel and the video team out with us. We’ll be capturing everything for either one upcoming video or a series of videos. We haven’t figured it all out yet, but we will soon. I figure there will be a mix of new landscape lessons mixed with some animal/wildlife lessons. I’m starting to get pretty excited about it!

Daily Photo – Baby Snow Monkey

Near Nagano, Japan, is a special place where the snow monkeys frolic about in a hot pool. Entire monkey families come down here to play and frolic and bathe. This little guy was left alone pretty much the entire time because he had an older brother and sister that would be off playing in the deeper water. The parents were busy grooming one another… It was kind of sad, but it made for a nice photo, I suppose!

Baby Snow Monkey

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/4000
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length50.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Conjuring Thoughts Deep in the Desert Berber Camp

Another Book Suggestion

Below I make a reference to The Alchemist, but I recently discovered a new book that I can highly recommend that is vaguely along the same lines. It’s quite different, though! It’s called Journey to Ixlan by Carlos Castaneda

Daily Photo – Conjuring Thoughts Deep in the Desert Berber Camp

I’ve always wanted to sleep deep in the desert after riding a camel. I think this is because I love that book The Alchemist so much.

I was so tired when I took this photo because of a very long day in the Sahara. After arriving at the camp in late afternoon, I decided to climb a huge sand dune by myself. It looked so easy! It was not. Halfway up that son of a gun I was wondering why I did not take that camel!

Conjuring Thoughts Deep in the Desert Berber Camp

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time5
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Give Sheep a Chance

We don’t all…

Here’s one of my favorite Farside cartoons about sheep!

Daily Photo – Give Sheep a Chance

We took a drive out past Glenorchy towards Paradise the other day. About 30% of the time, I come across a shepherd moving sheep from one farm to the next. They totally clog up the road and it is hilarious. I'll never get tired of seeing thousands of sheep all clogged up in the road like this. I'm sure the shepherds find it all quite banal, but I love it!

Give Sheep a Chance

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Willows and Scarlett

Getting kids to pose

If you have any great tips for getting recalcitrant kids to pose for photos, let me know. Most of the time, my kids are good to go… but sometimes I have to be a bit tricky… always looking for new tricks!

Daily Photo – The Willows and Scarlett

Here is my youngest girl, swinging free under the willow trees in front of our house in New Zealand. I love the colors of these things in the 3 living seasons of the year. They change quite a bit, and I thought they looked good with Scarlett's blonde hair. She never gives up a chance to model for me! :)

This was shot at F/1.4 btw. When you scroll over the photo, if you see no EXIF, chances are it was taken with my manual Leica lens!

The Willows and Scarlett

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture
  • ISO640
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

A view from the Pagoda in Yangshuo

Crazy Lightning Photos

I think most awesome lightning photos are fake or very lucky. I guess I don’t know what I mean by fake. I guess if you combine a bunch of lightning over a 30 minute storm into one photo, then that crosses the line a little for me. Trying to get it all at once is a bit more sporting, but, honestly, that’s a bit more lucky too! The best system I have found (and I am not an expert) is to go into manual mode and get your shutter to about 5 seconds. Get all your other settings so the photo looks good! Then just keep taking photos and keep your fingers crossed!

The 5 second span is good because you probably have a half-second gap between photos… it means that if there is lightning, you have about a 94% chance of catching it!

Daily Photo – A view from the Pagoda in Yangshuo

That's Yangshuo splayed out down below under the evening sky. Tom and I went up here to shoot and then a very nice lightning storm rolled in! That was pretty awesome, but a little bit wet and scary. So we got under the pagoda for a while to stay out of the elements… but we kept doing our best to get lightning shots. Taking photos of lightning is always challenging, but I think we got a few!

A view from the Pagoda in Yangshuo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time2.5
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length31.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Across the Water Hazard

The Artist

This artist that made that statue across the water is Max Patte. Be sure to check out some of his other work too! I believe he’s also the guy that designed the new suit for Batman, among other things!

Daily Photo – Across the Water Hazard

The Hills golfcourse near my home has some absolutely beautiful water hazards! How can something be so pretty and scary at the same time? Honestly, I don't play a lot of golf because I kinda suck. So I usually prefer to take my camera around the course rather than my sticks!

Across the Water Hazard

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture4
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length25.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

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