Along Highway 1 in California

New Drone?

I’m expecting to hear some news from DJI any time now… for a while there, they had an announcement about new quads every few months or so… We must be getting close to a new version.

Daily Photo – Along Highway 1 in California

As far as road trips go, I figure this is one of the best in the world. Highway 1 hugs the coast for hundreds of miles and there are not any bad photos, anywhere! In fact, there are so many great places to pull over and take photos, it can be a little overwhelming. I took this one with the quadcopter… just getting up in the air a few hundred feet gives yet another great view.

Along Highway 1 in California

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-12-17 15:34:47
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Visiting the Summer Palace in China

Summer Palace

You’ll see another view of today’s place in my video below “Life from Above and Beyond.” Right after the scene goes black and Alan says, “very odd…” after the fade from black, you see this amazing palace.

Daily Photo – Visiting the Summer Palace in China

Here are my kids walking down one of the long hallways there. Well, that guy on the left is not my kid. He's one of the military dudes. Come to think of it, I have not seen a lot of difference between the way the police look and the way the military looks. They all seem pretty nice though; even those ones that arrested me a few years ago!

Visiting the Summer Palace in China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-12-08 13:28:11
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length44.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Beautiful Cinque Terre from Above

DJI Fun

It’s always a pain to carry around a quadcopter with you, but worth it when you have the right conditions. I did this with the Phantom 4, but I’ve thought about getting the smaller one to make it more convenient. My friend used his with me in Barcelona, and it was pretty much just as good. Well, I’ll wait a little while before I decide… I feel like DJI announces like 5 new products a year, so something else big may be coming out soon!

Aurora HDR 2018 – New Features

Take a look at some of the new features in Aurora HDR 2018, including the rather cool HDR Details Boost sliders.

Daily Photo – Beautiful Cinque Terre from Above

This is an area I would certainly like to return to for an extended period. It's so beautiful and peaceful around here. And the food… oh the food. I mean, you pretty much can't go wrong with Italian food anywhere, but this is the kind of small-town place where it is extra authentic… Okay, I need to finish this post now because it's starting to make me kind of hungry!

Beautiful Cinque Terre from Above

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-02 16:13:52
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Flying Over the Entrance to Milford Sound

Aurora HDR 2018 Avaiable Now for Mac/Windows!

Aurora HDR 2018 is now available for both Mac AND Windows! That’s right, the world’s leading HDR photography software has been entirely redesigned with exciting new features, improved user interface, speed improvements, Windows support and more. I’ve been using it a ton and I think you’ll be blown away!

Current users of Aurora HDR should check this link to see if you qualify for the upgrade price. New users can purchase Aurora HDR 2018 and my new Aurora HDR tutorial in my online store.

 

Buy NowTry for Free
Already own Aurora HDR Pro and want to upgrade? Click here to find out if you qualify.

Sneak Peek Inside Aurora HDR 2018

Below is a sneak peek video I made that shows off just SOME of the new features!

In other news… Art of Tidying

I just finished listening to a good podcast by Tim Ferris about the Art of Tidying with Japanese-neatness-guru Marie Kondo. Here’s a link!

Daily Photo – Flying Over the Entrance to Milford Sound

This is a panorama I took right after coming out of the tunnel through the mountain to Milford Sound. It's such a long drive from Queenstown to Milford Sound (about 4 hours), and seeing this after the tunnel is always extremely rewarding. Don't get me wrong… the whole drive itself is beautiful (it's New Zealand!) but after getting through this tunnel, it's like you enter a different world. It's basically the only way to get into the fjords unless you fly, which I haven't tried yet. I do have it on my bucket list to take Over the Top and Choppy on a joy-ride over there to take photos like crazy!

Flying Over the Entrance to Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-02-19 10:44:14
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Serene Lake Hayes

360 Drone Shots?

I’ve seen some really cool 360 drone shots. I would love to play there a bit more. I think today’s photo would have been totally radical in 360! 🙂

Daily Photo – Serene Lake Hayes

I was doing a run around this lake (it's about 8 km and a little bit hilly as you can see there on the right), and I noticed how still everything was. It's not always like this… so halfway through the run, I decided to call my assistant Tane and have him bring out my quadcopter and meet me at the terminus. We quickly launched the quad and got some shots like this. I believe this is a panorama made up of four different photos.

Serene Lake Hayes

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-06-27 04:05:00
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Over Chennai, India

Daily Photo – Over Chennai, India

My time here was way too rushed, but I tried to get all the photos I could as quickly as possible. It was so crowded down below that it was almost impossible to find a clear place to launch the quadcopter. As soon as I did, hundreds of men surrounded me to look at the screen. It was total chaos! I was trying to fly around and get good photos and videos while buried in this mass of people! And then, when it came time to land, things got really crazy because now there was ZERO room to land. So I had to reach up and snag it out of the air. It was quite heroic, really. I wish someone had been filming me!

Over Chennai, India

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-01-07 18:22:17
  • CameraFC300X
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/13
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO753
  • Focal Length3.6 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramUnknown (58655)
  • Exposure Bias

The old dining cottage in Mont St. Michel

Tip for Quadcopter shots

I recommend making your HDR from a single RAW file. I no longer do multiple brackets for quadcopter shots for the simple reason that it adds more noise.

Daily Photo – The old dining cottage in Mont St. Michel

Oh my gosh – how much do you want to go in there and eat some fresh, warm French food and drink wine? I'm sure they were all loving it… I like how the guy on the 2nd floor appears to be taking a photo of my quadcopter! I got quite a cool video (if I do say so myself), doing a vertical rise from here all the way to the spire on top of the monastery. I'll share that soon.

The old dining cottage in Mont St. Michel

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-10 21:04:09
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/40
  • Aperture3.2
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

A Panorama of the Valley

Fun, Free, and Passport-Only Content today!

I used today’s photo from here in Queenstown, New Zealand, as part of a series of fun videos. For those of you that are Passport Members (Thanks btw – and recommend to a friend if you don’t mind!), you’ll get to see a little bit extra about the animation process in Plotagraph. By the way, here is a Facebook Link to the animated version of today’s photo.

A Beautiful Way to get rid of Noise

Here’s a video that shows an unusual technique I came up with to get rid of noise.

And then I decided to animate it also using Plotagraph. Here’s a video showing how I did that. (If you watched the other video above you can skip through the first bit of this)

Exclusive content for Passport members

Unlock Now

Daily Photo – A Panorama of the Valley

So this was taken directly over my home. It was made of 4 or 5 photos with the DJI Phantom quad. I stitched them all together using Lightroom, then ran them through Aurora HDR before doing those finishing touches you see above with the noise reduction tip. It was a fun project! 🙂

A Panorama of the Valley

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-06-30 17:51:46
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Lake Hayes with no Wind

Quadcopter Panorama

This was taken with the DJI Phantom. I believe it was four different photos that I stitched together. I’ve started doing this more and more. I wish the quad could take vertical (portrait) shots that I could stitch together. I don’t always like how wiiiiiide the final shot becomes when you stitch them together. Well, I take that back. I suppose it depends on the medium. A giant print of this on a wall would look pretty sweet, I think. But it doesn’t read well on a phone or a tablet in the vertical position. I guess I shouldn’t think about the medium of display so much… but it does cross my mind.

European Highlight Video!

Here’s, probably, one of my favorite videos we’ve made around here. Thanks again to Olya and the whole team for making this video and the European tour possible!

Daily Photo – Lake Hayes with no Wind

This is Lake Hayes in Arrowtown, New Zealand. I try to come here at least once a week to have a run around the lake. It's 8KM around and a little bit hilly. It's always gorgeous, as you can see. Maybe half the time, there is no wind at all, so you get this incredibly glassy reflection. This was taken in the middle of winter, where the colors are the blandest… but, as you can see, “bland” colors in New Zealand are pretty electric!

Lake Hayes with no Wind

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-06-27 04:05:00
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Tuefelsberg, the Devil’s Mountain, the cold-war listening station

More and More Video

I took today’s photo with a drone. I also got a lot of video… I’m just kind of collecting cool video from all over the place. At some point, I’ll find time to make a new compilation video of some of these amazing places. Anyway, lock this place into your memory, as you may see it again in a future video! 🙂

Daily Photo – Tuefelsberg, the Devil's Mountain, the cold-war listening station

How cool is this abandoned place? I had never heard of it until our most recent trip to Berlin. There's a hill here that rises up about 80 meters. There's also an abandoned Nazi military-technical college. I bet that was gonna be quite the party school. Anyway, on the very top is this listening station. Now it's been taken over by graffiti artists and there's all kinds of crazy stuff happening inside. It's right out of Fallout. There are creepy people milling about, strange shut-ins, etc – the whole thing is wonderfully post-apocalyptic. You can buy a ticket to get in, but they make you leave (quite forcefully) after sunset.

Tuefelsberg, the Devil's Mountain, the cold-war listening station

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-23 21:10:03
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Newsletter Sign Up

The most beautiful newsletter ever!