Looking Across the Lake

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Daily Photo – Looking Across the Lake

We visited this lake in the late afternoon on one of the final days of shooting for the new HDR Video Tutorial. This is actually getting edited together right now and it's gonna be amazing! Anyway, this is not one of the shots that is in the actual video, but just one I took along the way. We walked all the way around the lake, and there were very few openings to get a shot. You'll see in another one how I had to slide down a rock to get into position β€” in fact, I almost fell right in the river during the shoot!

Looking Across the Lake

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-11-07 00:00:00
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/13
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length21.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

A One-Man Roadtrip

All About the New Stuck In Customs!

Here’s a quick video I made that talks about some of the new features around the site here. Enjoy! πŸ™‚

Daily Photo – A One-Man Roadtrip

I took a very nice photo road trip up to the north for a few days recently. I was lucky with the weather, except for the time I decided to sleep outside and got rained on at 3 in the morning. That's about the worst time to get rained on, btw. I was so confused!

Anyway, there was no rain here, as you can see. If you look into the far distance, however, you can see some moisture beginning to boil over the mountains and coming my direction…

A One-Man Roadtrip

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-01-05 00:00:00
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

All-New Stuck In Customs for you!

Free “Organize Your Photos!” Giveaway Event for local camera clubs!

I’m so excited about the re-design of this website that I wanted to do a big giveaway of a video+eBook for you all! You’ve been so supportive over the years, so I wanted to do something to give back! πŸ™‚

As many of you know, I’m a HUGE fan of local camera clubs that help encourage members to get better. I always do giveaways when I speak at them, so I came up with an idea that I thought would scale well! Sometimes in camera clubs, they have special giveaways, raffles, or prizes to give to members. If you belong to a local camera club and want to do one of those with “Organize Your Photos! The Three Level System” video and eBook β€” well, this is your chance! Even better, you’ll get a copy yourself that you can review before the giveaway so you can tell others about it!

To get a free copy of the video and eBook, just do this:

1) Post a comment below with the name / location of your photo club.
2) Email [email protected] with their name and contact info.
After Luke sets you up, you’ll be able to use your account at store.StuckInCustoms.com to download the hour-long video and eBook! πŸ™‚

I hope you have a great time with it! Give everyone in your camera club a high-five for me! πŸ™‚

The ALL NEW Stuck In Customs!

Wow, well what has changed around here? So much! Here’s just five of my favorite new things!:

  • Totally responsive and mobile-friendly – scales to any phone and tablets in any orientation! The menus flex and change and everything
  • Randomised images on top of the homepage that auto-rotate and slide away upon scrolling
  • Mouse-rollever EXIF info. Awesome! You can also share from there.
  • Infinite scroll… scroll down forever and ever and ever! πŸ™‚ You can still click on categories if you want to pop to a certain location!
  • New, streamlined organization. See the menu at the top for all the goodies!

A BIG thanks to the whole team that made this happen! Let me know your thoughts β€” what you like or don’t like!

Daily Photo – The Clay Cliffs

If you come to the South Island of New Zealand, please don't fly from Christchurch to Queenstown β€” drive!

The drive is absolutely beautiful, and along the way, this is one of the stops. The Clay Cliffs take a little bit of a drive (30 mins out of the way from Omarama), but they are really worth it. There is just a short hike to get this view, and you can even get up in there and walk around inside. It's enchanting, and you may recognize these from a few scenes in LOTR.

When you take the little hike, you can bring a wide-angle lens and maybe something a little tighter, and you'll be set and ready to go!

The Clay Cliffs

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2012-12-05 00:00:00
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO71
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Pete is coming back to New Zealand in Style!

Following The Arcanum on Social Media

Pete is running the big show at The Arcanum, but we wanted to make sure we point you to the social media pages for them on Google+ and on Facebook!

Daily Photo – Pete is coming back to New Zealand in Style!

We’re having good man Pete Giordano back to New Zealand for another big event! We have the workshop (only 1 of 2 this year), but Pete is going to stay a little extra. It will give us a chance to hang out, take photos, party, visit wineries, explore, and, oh yes, do some work! Actually, the whole time we are doing all this stuff, we are doing Arcanum stuff, even late into the night! Curtis and I feel lucky to have him around!! πŸ™‚

This photo is of Pete jumping out of a helicopter that Choppy was flying! He looks so awesome I think! It also kind of looks like he’s carrying a dead body, if you look at it the right way.

Pete is coming back to New Zealand in Style!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-11-05 00:00:00
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1250
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Chivas Regal

Bokeh Quality

I’m still trying to get my head around the difference in quality levels in the bokeh area of photos. This photo below was taken with the Leica 50mm f/1.4 on the Sony A7r. This one was taken with the Sony 55mm f/1.8 (one of the new native FE lenses for the A7r). Anyway, when I go back and forth between the two, they both seem pretty magical! But the Leica one is about $10,000 whereas the Sony one is about 10% of that. I’ll keep shooting with both for a while and see if I can tell the difference… but currently, I am struggling!

Daily Photo – Chivas Regal

Stu’s studio 55 is an awesome collection of stuff to take photos of with Leica lenses. I don’t know what came first… the studio with knick-knacks or the Leica lenses… or maybe they just self-organized around one another.

Chivas Regal

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-12-16 00:00:00
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Best paragliding school in Queenstown

Learning to Paraglide in Queenstown?

This is an amazing experience and ANYONE can do it. Honestly. You should contact my master, Alan Swann, at Infinity Paragliding – the best paragliding school in Queenstown! I used to look up at people paragliding and thing, whoa I bet that is fun but they are CRAZY! But they are not crazy! It is something that anyone can do, and you can learn it in just one day.

In fact, and you may not believe this, but it is true, on DAY 2 of training, I was flying alone off the top of Coronet Peak, one of the taller mountains in the Southern Alps. I landed several kilometers away at the flight park in Arrowtown. It was fun remarkably easy!

If you’re planning a trip to Queenstown, be sure to come enroll in his school. It’s the kind of thing you’ll never forget, and you’ll have a view of the area that you won’t believe!

My latest flight – and +1 / Like them on Social Media

Here’s the view and what I saw on my most recent flight! Give them a +1 on Google+ and a Like on Facebook for keeping me safe! πŸ™‚

Daily Photo – Learning to Paraglide in Queenstown

When you go to Infinity Paragliding, be ready for Swanny here to take good care of you and teach you how to sail around with the greatest of ease! He’s amazing, and in this scene, you can see him commanding the mountain and reading the wind before sending me off on my first solo flight. Remember, I was doing this on day 2 of training! Amazing that he was able to teach me (and anyone!!) so quickly!

Learning to Paraglide in Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-12-10 00:00:00
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Spring Mountains

XBox Fitness

Has anyone tried XBox Fitness on the new XBox One? It’s cool but there are many problems! Even though my bandwidth is totally incredible, I still get “Low Bandwidth” warnings and it pauses quite a bit. Many times, I’ve lost connection and my whole workout has gone down the tubes! It’s quite demotivating for some strange reason! I hope XBox fixes that soon, or at least lets me cache everything locally.

Daily Photo – The Spring Mountains

Choppy landed here on this remote lake for a bit while I jumped out to take photos with Curtis, Luke, Pete, and Scott. It was so fun, and I felt lucky there was a bit of snow up high to give some more colors to the scene. You can also hike to this point, but while we were sitting there in the chopper, all we could think was, “Ain’t nobody got time for that!”

The Spring Mountains

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-11-05 00:00:00
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

The Beard and The Bob

Leica Lens Collection

My current collection is lame, and I mean to change this.

I need to find a vast store of Leica lenses so that I can make them part of my world. Running around and getting one lens here and one lens there is okay, I suppose, but I feel more like a woman visiting international cities to go high-end purse shopping. The shopping bit of it does not get me as much enjoyment and the purse-using bit of it. That’s where the analogy breaks down… so I have my eyes and ears open for a Vast Array of Leica Lenses that are in need of a Photographer to take care of them, all at once!

This photo below was taken with the Leica 24mm f/1.4. You can see how the background falls away into a wonderful Leica bokeh. πŸ™‚

Daily Photo – The Beard and The Bob

This guy on the right, Bob, is some kind of a legend in Saint Bathans! Everyone seems to know him. In fact, everyone pretty much INSISTED that we go and see him. They said, oh, just drive down to the end of that road and there Bob will be. Be careful, he’ll hug you!

So there we were, and my friend Stu (on the left), went right on over to get that hug. And then they started walking towards me like this. And then I took the photo. And then Bob jammed me in the sternum with that stick!

The Beard and The Bob

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-12-15 00:00:00
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture
  • ISO64
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Ever-Changing Mountains

Constantly Adding Back-End Functionality

Although this will not be terribly exciting from an outside-visual-standpoint, I am very happy that we are adding so much back-end functionality to The Arcanum! There are many moving parts to keep everything in working and growing order!

Daily Photo – The Ever-Changing Mountains

I usually think of mountains as these eternal things that might change a little here and there, but now I look at them in a new way. Maybe it was because I would just visit mountains on occasion, and then I just kind of generally categorized them as “mountain” β€” but now I am much more interested in how they change over the year and with the weather. Even since learning to paraglide, I’ve come to look at the clouds around them in a new way. It’s been kind of a nice mountain-rediscovery process. Plus, it gives me even more reasons to go out and take photos of them.

This was shot along the Lindis Pass on the South Island.

The Ever-Changing Mountains

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-10-29 00:00:00
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Trees on the Pond

Buying things when you travel

If you buy stuff when you travel, do you usually send it back via mail or take it back? I’ve taken to just getting things shipped. I’m so lazy and hate to carry stuff. If it is very small, of course, I’ll take it.

I’m thinking about getting a bunch of goodies in Morocco. It seems like it will be a nice, exotic place and I hope to find some things outside of the touristy areas… I figure shipping stuff back to New Zealand will be just as hard as expensive as shipping it anywhere else!

Daily Photo – Trees on the Pond

Here’s another delicate little spot we visited during the workshop. The pond was smooth without wind, and it made for hundreds of different shots. It was absolutely worth walking around the whole thing to see what shapes presented themselves. Even though I am pretty good at envisioning what the other side of the lake looked like, I didn’t see this until I actually got into position.

Trees on the Pond

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-11-02 00:00:00
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length19.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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