To Swim with Sharks

Animal Kingdom Photo Tip

When the mood strikes me, I often create tip videos for Passport Members! I do at least one a week, and after they are over a year old, I share them here with everyone. Here’s one of them about some compositional photo tips while at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.

Daily Photo – To Swim with Sharks

For some reason on our family trip to Bora Bora, we decided to go swim with sharks. This is a photo from the boat ride out there. It could not have been more serene and beautiful. The serenity only made everyone more nervous. Well, I wasn't worried… I'm just not a worrier, I suppose. I don't think they would have let us do it if it wasn't pretty safe. Resorts aren't in the habit of actively killing their guests. Even my daughter Isabella, who is the biggest worrier of the group, jumped into the fun!

To Swim with Sharks

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-06-27 09:52:11
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-1

Papua New Guinea Face Paint

Best Rooftop Bars in Hong Kong

I came across this amazing List of Rooftop Bars in Hong Kong. I marked most of them on my personal map and will see how many I can visit and photograph while there. If you like city-photography, these are often some of the best places to go take photos!

There’s a game called Bar Golf where you go out with your friends and have a golf-scorecard. You start at Bar #1 and the oldest person picks the first drink for everyone (like Champagne, for example). The number of sips it takes you to finish is your score for that hole. Then you go to Bar #2 (Hole #2) and the next oldest person chooses the next drink. And then I assume you see how the rest of the golf game plays out. I’ve never tried it, I can’t imagine finishing the front 9.

Daily Photo – Papua New Guinea Face Paint

Speaking of rooftop bars in Hong Kong, here is a gentleman from Papua New Guinea. I'd love to get back there with my new Sony setup. I think I could be even more productive. If I recall, I was using a Leica lens here which required a bit of manual focus time. I'm pretty fast, but not nearly as fast as Auto-focus. I missed a few little expressions here and there that I would have liked to nab.

Papua New Guinea Face Paint

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-10-13 12:21:25
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Sunset in Vietnam

The First Kickstarter Video

One of the reasons we went here was to film some footage for the very first camera bag Kickstarter we did with Peak Design! Since then, there have been a lot more bags made, and you can see all of them over on the Peak Design website!

And, for old-times-sake, here is the first Kickstarter video we made!

Daily Photo – Sunset in Vietnam

Here in Phu Quoc, Vietnam, we never saw a bad sunset. They were all winners. It made me think that maybe I want to live on a little island like this where great sunsets are a regular thing. But, I'm definitely more of a mountain-kinda-guy. I don't get to see as many great sunsets, but I like seeing all the beautiful light on the mountains around me all the time. I sort of think of that as a non-stop sunset with interesting textures and shapes in the sky.

Sunset in Vietnam

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-05-17 19:09:35
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1250
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length47.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Matrix

Morning Edits

I have a slightly new morning routine. After I get my coffee, I begin to edit photos right away before I do email or anything. It’s good because my head is pretty clear and not distracted by silly things that appear in my email to distract me! 🙂

Passport Bonus!

Hello awesome Passport Member! Below is an early look at a how-to video for you.

Aurora HDR Deep Dive – Beginner to Intermediate Level Editing

Here is a fairly in-depth how-to for you awesome Passport people. It covers making extremely reflective looking grounds and some panorama techniques that I’ve been using recently.

Exclusive content for Passport members

Unlock Now

Daily Photo – The Matrix

This is kind of a crazy photo, eh? I had an idea to find some of the most technically-crazy buildings in London and get tight photos of them. The instinct is often to try to capture the entire building, but I thought it might be fun to make something more abstract. I like the way this turned out, and I'll have to make a reminder to myself to do this to more buildings!

The Matrix

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-02-17 06:27:03
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4
  • Aperture4
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Near the Mayor’s Office in London in the Rain

Tip: Getting Extra-Shiny Streets

Streets are already pretty shiny in the rain at night, but here’s a way to make them extra-crazy. You have a lot of lee-way to do this artistically because night-shots with long exposure are, in their very nature, much more “fantastical” than normal shots. Anyway, go give it some extra ooomph, start a new layer in Aurora HDR 2018, then really crank up the Image Radiance Amount, then jam up the Image Radiance Shadows, and, last, unless things are already too colorful, dial up the Image Radiance Vividness.

Daily Photo – Near the Mayor's Office in London in the Rain

I recently went on a London-in-the-rain editing kick! I was going back through my Lightroom and looking at older photos to edit that I had never even touched yet. I found this whole grouping and went for it. I edited all these with Aurora HDR 2018 as well!

Near the Mayor's Office in London in the Rain

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-02-17 08:23:15
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time3.2
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length19.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Rainy Streets of the London Theater District at Night

Nintendo Switch Game Suggestions

We got a Nintendo Switch for the family this holiday and we absolutely love it! Here are some game suggestions. Note that some of these allow multiple people to play simultaneously! Like, for example, in Super Mario Odyssey, one person can be Mario while the other is Mario’s Hat that can jump off Mario’s head and go kill baddies or rescue treaure. Others are: the new Zelda, Splattoon 2, and Rocket League!

Daily Photo – The Rainy Streets of the London Theater District at Night

Ahhh rainy London at night. Any part of London in the rain is fun and moody to me, but one of the brightest and most well-lit areas is here around the Theater District close to the Picadilly tube station. And, as long as you're here, why not go watch a show? I try to see as many as I can while I am there. I've heard there are So Many shows there that you can see a different one every night with no repeats.

The Rainy Streets of the London Theater District at Night

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-02-17 03:04:40
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.4
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO80
  • Focal Length17.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Mohammad’s Tomb in Rabat

Trey Ratcliff, Tomb Editor

That clever name was not created by me, but Stu up in Scotland. He’s the good lad that helps edit together all these special videos for Passport Members! Thanks Stu! Today’s special Passport Bonus section shows how I processed this image. Enjoy!

In this quick video tip I’ll show you how I post-process a 3 shot bracketed image using Aurora HDR 2018.

Exclusive content for Passport members

Unlock Now

Daily Photo – Mohammad's Tomb in Rabat

This is the second photo that I have edited from this tomb, and I believe I like this one better. It's amazing how much better I've come to learn Aurora HDR in just the past few years. In fact, I can't even remember if I edited the other photo from this tomb with Aurora or Photomatix. Man, my memory is the worst. THE WORST. I hope Google hurries up with their AI because my HI is really leaking like a sieve.

Mohammad's Tomb in Rabat

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-03-01 21:24:43
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/5
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length11.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Another Amazing Hut on Antarctica

A creative way for getting rid of noise

Today, I thought I’d share something special. We released this to Passport Members first last year. I wanted to share it with everyone now as sort of a promotion for the passport! Last year I released about 50 videos like these in the membership area.

So this video shows a creative way I came up with for getting rid of noise. It’s beautiful and not very time-consuming. It’s always quite a bit of fun!

And here is the final photo:

A Panorama Of The Valley

Today’s photo is from Antarctica (you’ll see it below). We released 3 videos from Antarctica last month for Passport Members so be sure to go check those out!

Daily Photo – Another Amazing Hut on Antarctica

These shots are definitely worth a zoom-in if you have the time. Click through to go to the Smugmug site. When there, down in the lower right-hand corner you can see there are little piled up rectangles. If you click on those, you can go see the original and scroll around the see all the nifty details!

Another Amazing Hut on Antarctica

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-09 12:40:13
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture9.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Meanwhile, in Papua New Guinea

Going to Papua New Guinea

Sometimes I’m a fan of getting a local guide, and sometimes I am not. In the case of Papua New Guinea, you should DEFINITELY get a local guide. Otherwise, you may literally get killed.

Here’s a really cool map I found on Etsy. This is a link to Conquest Maps on Etsy.

Exclusive content for Passport members

Unlock Now

Daily Photo – Meanwhile, in Papua New Guinea

All kids like to dress up a bit, eh? And a bit of face painting? It comes with the territory, so to speak, down here in Papua New Guinea. All members of the tribe paint and festoon themselves in the exact same manner, from child to adult. There may be a few variations in the decorations for the adults, but I could not see them.

Meanwhile, in Papua New Guinea

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-10-13 12:02:16
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Bazaar in Dubai

Mavic Pro On the Way!

Well, I broke down and bought a new Mavic Pro Quadcopter! I love my Phantom 4 Pro, but I also wanted not just a backup, but a device that I could quickly get up in the air. My current thoughts are the Mavic Pro will perform perfectly for most daytime flights. We’ll see! I’m headed to Florida and the Caribbean soon, and I’m excited to try it!

Daily Photo – The Bazaar in Dubai

I've spent a bit of time in different bazaars all over the middle east and I've loved every one of them. I really feel like I should be buying a lot of stuff, but I'm usually so overwhelmed that I don't know what to buy. I did get about 10 Moroccan lamps to be sent back to New Zealand. So that was fun. Actually, I think I'm usually in “Photo Mode” and therefore not so in the “Shopping Mode.”

The Bazaar in Dubai

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-03-20 00:30:49
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time5
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO80
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1.3

Newsletter Sign Up

The most beautiful newsletter ever!