Stuck In Customs

My daily travel blog to inspire and get you motivated!

Read the Blog Photo Tips

Magic Kingdom

World of Avatar!

I know the Animal Kingdom is soon (maybe already?) opening the new World of Avatar section of the park. I really want to go see it… the Disney team there invited me to come and check it out, but I’m too busy with this Europe Tour! Oh well! I’ll try to get there with the family before the year is done and dusted! ๐Ÿ™‚

Daily Photo – Magic Kingdom

Wow was it ever crowded here on New Year's Eve Eve! Actually here's a hot Disney tip if you go for New Years. Well, first tip would be to NOT go for New Years because it's soooo crowded. But, if you do go, then you should go to the Magic Kingdom park on December 30, because they have the same fireworks show as they do on New Year's at midnight… then, you can go to Epcot for the actual New Year's at midnight… there's a lot more room to find good places to shoot at Epcot because it's so huge.

Magic Kingdom

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-12-31 07:40:57
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.5
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Lisa Bettany in a Venetian Mask

The New HDR Tutorial from Venice

Speaking of Lisa Bettany in today’s daily photo, don’t forget you can see more of her in the new HDR Tutorial we made in Venice! I think you’ll love it!

Daily Photo – Lisa Bettany in a Venetian Mask

While we were in the middle of filming the new HDR Tutorial, we took a bunch of friends over to a masquerade ball in Venice. What a fun night! There was an opera that went all around us while we gorged on food and wine. It was a true Venetian experience! ๐Ÿ™‚

Lisa Bettany in a Venetian Mask

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-02-07 14:06:19
  • CameraLEICA Q (Typ 116)
  • Camera MakeLeica
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture1.7
  • ISO4000
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Rice Fields in Bali

Lisbon Photo Walk Highlights – A challenge in Street Photography

Lisbon was the first stop in our tour across Europe and it did not disappoint. We had a big enthusiastic crowd show up for the photo walk. Along the way I provided some tips for Street photography. I hope you enjoy and learn something new!

Daily Photo – Rice Fields in Bali

Here's a view from one of the rice fields I worked while staying at this hotel! This is the Ritz-Carlton in Bali (there are two… I stayed at both- this one is the Mandapa Reserve. Anyway, they had a “fun” (actually it was fun) thing you can do there where you plant rice with local farmers. So I put on my Thai fisherman pants, plopped off my shoes, ripped off my shirt like rice-farm-baywatch and got to work! You can see some of my amazing rice-planting here in this photo… I was a natural!

Rice Fields in Bali

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-11-13 11:58:32
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Inside the Hagia Sofia

Broadcast from the Hagia Sofia

When I was in Istanbul, I published this live Facebook video while I was there in the Hagia Sofia… Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Daily Photo – Inside the Hagia Sofia

Look, a wonder of the world! At least, it's a wonder in Civilization. There are many different lists for Wonders of the World, and I never know which one to believe. Oh well, no matter, because this is on MY list. At first, when I went in here, I was a bit bummed out about the scaffolding. But then I decided to embrace it as a moment in time… and I think in embracing it and in the post processing, it came out quite interesting. I think it actually looks kind of cool, and it reminds me of a space station building a starship or something like this…

Inside the Hagia Sofia

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-10-03 19:07:42
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.6
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length11.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Pool Time in Beverly Hills!

Speaking of…

Today’s daily photo features one of the founders of Plotagraph! If you look around the Plotagraph site, you’ll probably see even more photos of her… the full story below! ๐Ÿ™‚

Daily Photo – Pool Time in Beverly Hills!

One day while we were staying at one of my art collector's homes in Beverly Hills, we had the team from Plotagraph over, Troy and Sascha. We were having a little catch-up session on Plotagraph, and my friend Tom Anderson was there too (you know, MySpace Tom!). Anyway, we were both ready to take some photos, and since Sascha is a model, she offered to slink around the pool a bit. Troy was really funny – he's a Photographer as well – but he knows how to talk to models… so he was yelling out this and that and cracking me and Tom up… I'll get a recording next time!

Pool Time in Beverly Hills!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-13 06:12:39
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length31.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Massive Huka Falls

Continued P4 Pro + Problems

I sent my list of complaints to DJI and they still haven’t responded. So, I’ll repost them here publicly… I’m still recommending the non-“Plus” version of this device. You can also see my DJI Phantom Review here on the site.

1) At least three times while up in the air and fairly far away, the Plus thought there were obstacles in front of it. There was nothing… it was in the middle of the bright open air. This mostly happened when I was trying to fly it back to me. The two workarounds I found were a) to do a 180 and back it home to trick the sensors and b) switch to ATTI mode to manually fly it back. Of course, ATTI (Manual) mode can be very scary if the quad is a far away dot and you can’t tell what direction you’re going. (It seemed to happen whether or not I calibrated the compass before each flight.)

2) On four occasions the UI disappeared and we were left with a slightly zoomed-in version.

3) On three occasions I would get it up and somewhere between 50 and 100 feet it would say “Maximum Altitude Reached.”

4) After booting up, it took a long time to get a good connection to the controller. The connection was often weak even though there was no EM interference anywhere (we were in the middle of nowhere on the South Island of New Zealand).

5) Every time I fly now after a few minutes it says “Unable to save video – video cache is full.” For a while, this messed with my head because it made me think my SD card was full. That’s what it sounds like, right? So I kept landing and putting in new SD cards. But now I think it means the controllers video cache was full. I don’t know what that means or why it happens. The cache should just be dumping all the time as new stuff comes in, right?

6) The video that appears on the screen is not super-smooth and does a major tear randomly every 5-15 seconds. By “tear” I mean it shows half a second of video from 2-3 seconds previously. It freaks me out because I don’t feel like I’m getting real time video – also it makes me think I’m not getting smooth video.

7) When broadcasting to Facebook Live (See My Facebook Live Videos!), there was no way to upload the HD version or save the video myself. These are both options avail on the non plus version.

8) When going live on Facebook, I cannot choose my “Fan Page” – only my personal page.

9) Last, a minor one… when making the description for FB Live, I only have like 80 characters and there is no way to copy/paste more than a single word.

10) …another minor one… didn’t notice it until the import but the default clock does not update automatically. All my pictures say they were taken in 1951, which is well-known for being one of the worst years for quadcopters.

Massive Huka Falls

This was one of my scariest quad flights ever! I was staying up at the Huka Lodge which is so far up that river you can just BARELY see it. See those little bits of white up there? One of this is probably me, pale white with fear. Something about taking the quad over a waterfall is terrifying. I started to lose transmission power too at this distance… I was getting lots of beeps and bloops in the controller which added to the stress even more! Anyway, I ended up with this pretty cool vertirama that turned out pretty good… I was just so happy to bring the bird home and land it.

Massive Huka Falls

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-05-24 12:04:42
  • CameraFC330
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramUnknown (58655)
  • Exposure Bias

Into the Windy Crevasse

Antarctica Photos

There are two ways for you to explore all my Antarctica photos. One is to visit my Artactica category on Smugmug – the second is to click on the Antarctica category on top of this post to see all the same stuff on the blog. The only difference is the blog sorts by “most recent” and Smugmug sorts by “most popular.”

Daily Photo – Into the Windy Crevasse

During one of my midnight walks in Antarctica I came across this deep, dark ice cave. I was by myself, but I really wanted to go inside. I thought the better of it, which is a high-point for my normally untrustworthy judgment. If I had gone in here and disappeared, I would not have been found for three more ice ages. But my camera should still be intact, and this would have been the final photo recovered by future-robots!

Into the Windy Crevasse

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-11 00:48:16
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

7 Dials in London

See you in London soon!

Don’t forget to A) Sign up for the London Photo Walk (Free) and B) Sign up for the special day-long workshop (not free but more than worth it!).

Warming up the Quad

If you’re a Passport member, you can see a 360 story of me testing out the Phantom 4 Pro + on a cold New Zealand morning here… making sure it’s ready for the big Europe Trip!

Passport Exclusive – A Phantom 4 Pro Vlog in 360

Here’s a 360 video of me heading out with the quadcopter to test it out!

Exclusive content for Passport members

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And the second video below is a short edited video that shows a bit of the footage. Like I say in the video, none of it is great but thought you’d like to see anyway! Most of life is Just Showing Up, right? Well I showed up this morning to take that video, and not much interesting turned up… just thought you might like to see how many days are banal! But that’s okay, the real reason was to test out the new firmware.

Exclusive content for Passport members

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Daily Photo – 7 Dials in London

Speaking of quadcopters, here's one of my favorite photos from London at this famous street where seven roads come together. I flew this one with my friend Stu. I was using the HUGE Inspire drone… it's really much too massive and ungainly! After I got it set up, I had to go through this very time-consuming IMU calibration… thought it would never end… but I finally got it up in the air to take this photo!

7 Dials in London

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-02-18 03:42:29
  • CameraFC350
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/270
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length3.6 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramUnknown (58655)
  • Exposure Bias-0.656

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