Floating Over Bora Bora

DJI Phantom Quadcopter Review

I’m putting together the beginnings of a DJI Phantom Review here on the site. I’m adding the specifics of my setup as well as a little behind-the-scenes video if you want an early look! Or, if you just quickly want to know my setup, here it is: DJI Phantom 2 with Zenmuse H3-3d 3-axis Gimbal and Gopro Hero 3+ Black Edition.

Video: Floating Over Bora Bora

Here’s my latest video that I thought you might enjoy! Thanks again to the team over there at the Four Seasons Bora Bora for making such a fabulous resort that was so amazing to shoot from the skies above… wow what a week!

(be sure to click the little gear to make it hi-rez!)

The music in there is “Jetstream” by the incredible Luscne. Click that link to see their Soundcloud channel!

Some favorite Aerial Photos

As you’ll read in the review above, I set mine up in such a way so it records HD video and also takes a photo every five seconds. Every one of these photos below is taken using that process!

HDR Photo

I love aiming the camera straight down… I think this is also why I like looking out of a plane window so much… I want to do it all day long!

 

DCIM101GOPRO

Oh my gosh – how beautiful is this place? Even though it is beautiful from the ground level, it’s really remarkable how surprising the view is from just a bit above. I showed this photo to several people that have worked there at the Four Seasons for many years, and they were absolutely shocked at the angle. I think taking photos from new perspectives like this is so exciting!

 

DCIM101GOPRO

If you watch the behind-the-scenes video for this on the review page, you can see more how this shot was made… mostly just lucky!

 

DCIM101GOPRO

Just what I always wanted, my own small deserted island! How cool! I find that when I do these straight-down shots that I prefer to have the GoPro set on the wide-angle mode because it makes it look like the quadcopter is much higher than it really is.

 

DCIM101GOPRO

Now, I don’t love this shot, but I’m putting it up anyway. The light was starting to get low here, and this is when the GoPro doesn’t do so hot. There are many artifacts and other problems with this photo. But, I still kinda like it, despite the flaws.

 

DCIM101GOPRO

I love that the top-down view is often kind of confusing. This was taken wide-angle, but I used the Profile Correction in Lightroom to make all the lines nice and straight again.

 

DCIM101GOPRO

The amazing blues that the GoPro can capture!! This is a view of the Pacific ocean in the other direction off the island.

 

DCIM101GOPRO

Here’s my Yoga teacher Sara doing some light paddleboard yoga in the morning! And here’s a shot of me!! hehe

 

DCIM101GOPRO

Another view looking towards the north and the little deserted island you may remember from before.

 

http://stuckincustoms.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-jB79565/A

Another crazy view from above that shows the lovely colors of blue. I also profile-corrected this one so the horizon was straight across. Sometimes I leave it curved though, because I like the effect.

 

DCIM101GOPRO

This is one of my favorite shots and I didn’t even take off yet! This kind of shows how awesome the GoPro camera is!

 

DCIM101GOPRO

Which one do you want to live in? I shot this from room 101, right below. I was laying on my back by that little plunge pool. Actually, one of my favorite ways to fly this thing is laying on my back!

 

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Spire through the Morning Fog

Thanks for signing up for the Newsletter!

I wanted to thank everyone again for signing up for the Newsletter. We have more special treats coming soon. And, as usual, we send out about one a month… it’s not to be missed! :)

Daily Photo – Spire through the Morning Fog

Every morning here near the Li River is different. I walked all the way up here one morning only to be surrounded by pea-soup the entire time! This time I woke up again at 4 in the morning to come up here to try again. This time, I was rewarded with some truly beautiful mists and foggy cloud layers that made everything feel like a dream!

Spire through the Morning Fog

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 7, 2014 at 11:21am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Little girl on a long blue road

Storybird

Have you ever tried out this thing called “Storybird“? If you have kids, I think it is certainly worth a try!

Daily Photo – Little girl on a long blue road

I loved exploring this very old part of Rabat. In this one area, there were a lot of these sorts of amazing streets with blue trimmings. I set up here and waited for a child or something interesting to run down the street. And sure enough, it happened! It was actually bright enough that I was still able to freeze the quick movement even at a high ISO. That always makes the post-processing so much easier.

Little girl on a long blue road

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMarch 1, 2014 at 11:20pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1500
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2

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The Safe Slums of Fes, Morocco

Safest Scary Place You’ve Been?

I know those words are kind of the opposite: Safe & Scary. But I suppose I mean where is a place you were really scared to go and then, after arriving, you found out it was totally awesome and safe?!? I find these kind of places all the time. I don’t know if I would say I was super “scared” — just kind of on high alert. Don’t get me wrong… I’m not going to walk around the bad parts of Rio or Detroit at night by myself with my camera, but you know what I mean.

Daily Photo – The Safe Slums of Fes, Morocco

I went through this dodgy area of Fes one night to try to climb up a hillside to get a view of the mountain. It was actually perfectly safe, and everyone was smiling and happy. I now know how to speak just a little bit of Arabic, at least enough to get by. I thought this run-down area was actually kind of beautiful in its own way, so I set up to take a photo…

The Safe Slums of Fes, Morocco

The Safe Slums of Fes, Morocco

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMarch 16, 2014 at 8:02am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

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The Paragliding Flight School in Queenstown

Speaking of the Flight School

Here’s a full video about me learning to fly at the place depicted below! :)

Daily Photo – The Flight School Cafe

You have to come here after having Swanny all up your backside while teaching you paragliding for the day! Be sure to tell them Trey sent you! This is an amazing place for food… breakfast or lunch. You might just see me landing there… Have fun! :)

The Flight School Cafe

Photo Information

  • Date TakenFebruary 2, 2014 at 11:07am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture10
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.7

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Bora Bora Four Seasons

Getting to Bora Bora

This island sits right in between Hawaii and New Zealand. Or so. That means it’s equally easy to get here from either location, but it could not be more different than Hawaii. I mean, Hawaii’s great and everything, but this is my first time to French Polynesia, and I absolutely love it. I’ll post a lot more photos soon, so be sure to click on the “Bora Bora” category above for more!

Daily Photo – An amazing night in Bora Bora

I just arrived at the Four Seasons in Bora Bora and am having an amazing time. This is the view from the Sunset Bar, and you can see the bungalows glowing under the ancient volcano…

Bora Bora Four Seasons

An amazing night in Bora Bora

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 23, 2014 at 8:52pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time25
  • Aperture
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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A HUGE HBO Game of Thrones and Google+ PhotoWalk in Sydney

Join me next week in Sydney!

All the event details are here. I’m really looking forward to seeing you — it should be an amazing event… I’m a huge fan of The Game of Thrones, so this will be a perfect storm of awesomeness! :)

Daily Photo – Across the Narrow Sea to Sydney for the Game of Thrones event

Or, well, across the next great thing – the Tasman Sea from New Zealand to Australia! I'm excited about the big event… and no, I won't be arriving on this boat, but it would be kinda cool!

Across the Narrow Sea to Sydney for the Game of Thrones event

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJanuary 9, 2013 at 5:28pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time2
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

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May in Akihabara

50mm fun

On this day in Akihabara, I decided to mostly use my 50mm to see if I could capture this area in a different way. I tried many different things, but the shot below is one of my favorites. I usually don’t do set-up shots like this, but I just saw that awesome background and told May to stand right there, with her feet planted on those two spots. I got far enough away so that the bokeh was not so blurry as to not make sense. Does that make sense? hehe…

Daily Photo – May in Akihabara

While in Tokyo, four of us went to explore this awesome area of Tokyo together. It was me, Mark Louie, Brian Matiash, and May Fukuyama. Our original plan was to go to one of those crazy Maid Cafes where the girls dress up like anime characters and act totally crazy. But that plan didn't exactly work out — there is a longer story there — we did indeed find a place but the line was 45 minutes and it was filled with these really lonely looking Japanese guys, and it was simply too humiliating to stand in line there with all of them, so we skipped that and went to some confusing place with a vending machine and Brian ordered “raccoon” and I know this is a run-on sentence but that is the kind of day it was… !

May in Akihabara

May in Akihabara

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMarch 21, 2014 at 7:19pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1600
  • Aperture
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+1.3

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Way Over Wanaka

Borders on Photos

I don’t usually put borders around my photos. I don’t have anything necessarily against borders (as long as they are not too garish). But my friend Jackie Ranken made a good point about them — that they help define the borders of a photo when shown on a black screen when projecting. I think a lot of people also look at them full screen on their computers or TVs with a black background, so it is nice to have that sharply designed border there.

Daily Photo – Way Over Wanaka

We had an amazing helicopter flight over the Southern Alps and ended up flying over some mountains near Wanaka. They were covered in a fine fog and mist and looked absolutely epic. I took dozens and dozens of shots. This is one of the first that I have processed, and I love the way it turned out in black and white.

Way Over Wanaka

Way Over Wanaka

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMay 3, 2014 at 11:28am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture10
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length44.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

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