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

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

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

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

The Path in Rabat

Reflective Path Trick

The path was already nice and shiny, but here’s a good way to get it to be extra-reflective and goody-shiny in the final photo:

1) Duplicate the layer
2) Blur the new layer on top (Gaussuan around 30)
3) Set the blend mode to Overlay (you’ll see the path get all shiny-shiny!)
4) Duplicate the bottom (original) layer again and move it to the top
5) Mask through to the reflective path!

Daily Photo – The Path in Rabat

This is the very first place I stayed when I got to Rabat, Morocco. This is the interior courtyard and it was pretty in the day, and I had a feeling it would be even better in the night. Indeed it was! I like setting up these kind of shots where the path does not go down the very center, but a bit off to the side, disappearing at the Phi point.

The Path in Rabat

The Path in Rabat

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMarch 1, 2014 at 11:04am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time30
  • Aperture9.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Crossing the Sahara

Mystery in your photos

Having little strange things in your photos is nice little touch, I think. For example, in this photo below, there is that one guy just walking off into the distance… it raises more questions than answers.

Daily Photo – Crossing the Sahara

I had an amazing and rather hot time in the Sahara. To get this photo, I had to go up a huge dune on foot. I gave my own camel a break and decided to walk up the dune. How hard could it be, I figured. I figured wrong. And that night, I got so dizzy and sick, then realized it was probably because I hardly had any water… even though I've seen thousands and thousands of shows and movies about people not drinking enough water in the desert, I was so excited that I forgot to drink water!

Crossing the Sahara

Crossing the Sahara

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMarch 8, 2014 at 6:48am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length70.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Woman getting goodies in Tokyo

Interesting Effect

I know many of you bought my Lightroom Presets from the Stuck In Customs store up there (thanks!) — so you might notice this one is from “Fire of the Chandrian” — and I think it made such a cool effect in the background. Can you see what I mean? Once you see it, the shapes in the bokeh came out in a pretty and surprising way!

Daily Photo – Woman getting goodies in Tokyo

When I was in Tokyo last, there were a group of these traditionally dressed women who were walking around, shopping, laughing, and basically being perfect little Japanese people! They would often stop and get little snacks, which was also awesome. I just like watching them… even the way they purchase and eat snacks is so interesting!

Woman getting goodies in Tokyo

Woman getting goodies in Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMarch 20, 2014 at 8:09pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1500
  • Aperture
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Walking to Glacier Isobel

Environment-sensitive Quadcopters

I’ve been thinking how awesome it will be when quadcopters have built-in lidars so they can sense when objects are nearby and automatically avoid them. My vision is not that great (since I only see out of one eye), and so sometimes it hard for me to have depth perception once I lose parallax. Anyway, I’m looking forward to that collision-avoidance soon!

Daily Photo – Walking to Glacier Isobel

Here's my friend Curtis walking towards Glacier Isobel there in the distance. We landed the chopper (with Choppy!) about 100 meters behind us and we walked up as close as we could. Well, we didn't actually get that close because there was a super-steep cliff where we called it quits.

I came to this place back in the summer, and the ground was covered in these bright red tussocks. But now in the Autumn when it starts to snow, it looks like a totally different place!

Walking to Glacier Isobel

Walking to Glacier Isobel

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMay 3, 2014 at 11:48am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture10
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

Little Girl in the Streets of Morocco

Bokeh Processing Tip

When processing photos in lightroom that have a bokeh (or out-of-focus) area, don’t use the “Clarity” slider in Lightroom. Many times, when everything is in focus, this is my favorite slider. But watch out because it will make those softer areas less soft… and that’s the whole purpose of bokeh! Anyway, a quick tip there that is not immediately obvious because you can tend just to look how much better the “sharp” bits look when playing with the clarity slider, but be sure to look at the other bits too!

Daily Photo – Little Girl in the Streets of Morocco

While I was walking around this wonderfully blue city, I saw many kids out hanging around the outdoors. They all had on cute outfits that seemed to go so well with the powder blue paint of the city. Here is one of the little girls I saw. No one seemed to mind me taking photos, and that was nice because there were so many cute kids!

Little Girl in the Streets of Morocco

Little Girl in the Streets of Morocco

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMarch 5, 2014 at 6:33am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

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