Camping out on the Great Wall

Camp out overnight with a shady company!

Hey, everything did end up working out in the end… but if you also want to try to sleep overnight on the Great Wall, I recommend this website! We did end up making a few videos of the entire adventure… wait till you see! Remember, apparently it is illegal to camp out on the Great Wall, but I guess you can do it anyway. He gave us some great advice in case the military arrived. He said it’s best just to ignore them.

Daily Photo – Camping out on the Great Wall

I'll save the overnight story for another blog post, but first I can tell you about the mini-struggle to get this photo! So, we found this place online that looked fairly legit. This “company” can get you up on top of the wall for a hike and an overnight camping trip. This guy and his driver picked us up at the hotel and we spent most of the day together. He seemed pretty legit, but less so as the day got closer to night. It was close to sunset, and he really wanted us to come into his farmhouse to take a shower. We said we don't really want to shower, but we want to get a sunset photo from the wall. He was really angling for this shower business, which we thought was strange. Finally, he admitted that we can't go up onto the wall until the guards go home from duty. This was the first indication that we were involved with a shady operation. More on the story in a future post!

Camping out on the Great Wall

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-06 23:09:57
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture9
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length29.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Love Heart Island

New Luminar Tip Video

Grab the new Luminar here and get cracking with some of these hot tips! In today’s video, I show how to use “LUTs” which stands for “Look Up Tables” – I find this to be a very geeky acronym that mostly just confuses people. Despite its geekiness, it’s quite fun and powerful!

Daily Photo – Love Heart Island

Here's that little island that sits in the middle of Lake Wanaka. From the shore, it looks like a little perfect fairy island… a perfect little secret island to go have some adventures on. It also looks like you could swim out to it, except you'd defo die from hypothermia in transit. I think people are always surprised when they visit the South Island at how cold the water actually is. Some people are really into swimming in cold water, but I think those people might be kinda crazy.

There's another quirky thing about New Zealand (this might be the case in Aussie as well). Anyway, you know that “heart” shape that we use to describe the shape that is, well, a heart? Well the Kiwis call it a “love heart” shape. I think that's kind of a nice quirky thing about it… now my little girls say that, and sometimes even with a Kiwi accent!

Love Heart Island

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-05-12 14:11:30
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Shanghai, The Bund, and Beyond

Working on a new China Video

While in China over the past year, I’ve done quite a few drone flights. I used the Mavic Pro almost exclusively, and it held up perfectly. I’m currently in the middle of a longer project where I’m putting together my favorite aerial footage into an all-China from the air video. I hope to have it ready within a week or so! I’m having my friend Stephan Bollinger put some finishing touches on the titling and credits area.

Daily Photo – Shanghai, The Bund, and Beyond

This might be one of my favorite new photos! I took this from the Sky Lounge around the 50th floor of the Ritz-Carlton on the Pudong side of Shanghai. These cool ships sail up and down the river and right in front of the warmly-lit Bund area. Those old colonial buildings have hardly changed in over 100 years while the rest of the city has built up behind it. Along the riverfront there, you can see a bunch of people walking around – that is the same place we had our awesome photo walk a few weeks ago. Thanks again everyone for coming out for the event!

Shanghai, The Bund, and Beyond

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-20 23:04:10
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/10
  • Aperture4
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length91.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Remarkables Across from Lake Johnson

New Luminar Tip – AI slider and Removing Color Cast

If you don’t have Luminar, grab it here! Today’s tip shows how to remove that color cast you may not know is there and how to use the AI-Accent slider.

Daily Photo – The Remarkables Across from Lake Johnson

Here's a photo I took on my three-hour hike around the lake. I think it only takes half that time, but I was really going slow and getting distracted. I didn't see another human soul the entire time, so it was sort of surreal. A lot of the Queenstown and Arrowtown area is overrun with tourists, so it's rare to spend times like this alone. I have a rough plan to come back here after a fresh snow, because I think it will look incredible!

The Remarkables Across from Lake Johnson

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-05-05 11:45:55
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length36.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Flying Into Auckland

Luminar Tip – Dehaze

Here’s another tip for one of my favorite editing programs, Luminar. This one has to do with De-haze!

Daily Photo – Flying Into Auckland

I've made the flight back and forth to Auckland probably 20 times now. It's a beautiful 1.5 hour flight where you get to sail across the top of New Zealand. About half of the way, you only see ocean, but it can make for some amazing clouds as they form on the coast. We get a warm wet wind that blows in from Australia across the Tasman Sea. When it collides with the NZ coastline, you get all kinds of fancy clouds like this.

Flying Into Auckland

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2012-08-13 03:01:09
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture5.3
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length98.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

Young Adventuress in Kuala Lumpur

Aurora HDR Tip – Reflections

This is a video that shows how I enhance reflections using Aurora HDR 2018. I took this photo at a cool outdoor shopping area in Singapore. Believe it or not, they air-condition the OUTSIDE, which seems like a ridiculous waste of money… but hey, Singapore is a pretty wealthy spot!

Daily Photo – Young Adventuress in Kuala Lumpur

It was fun to spend some time with Liz out of New Zealand! She joined me as part of the #80Stays tour in Kuala Lumpur. Boy, was it hot while we were there! It was probably over 90 degrees when we went into this mosque where we had to put on these heavy robes. Outside, there was a little bit of a breeze, at least. It had recently rained and left a thin layer of water on the marble… so it made for a nice reflection shot. Find out more about Liz's story from her visit on her blog.

Young Adventuress in Kuala Lumpur

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-03-31 23:16:39
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length26.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Filming at The Hills

The New Tutorial for Beginning Photography!

This has been a huge hit. I don’t know why I didn’t make it five years ago! Go grab it now in the store or get it included for free if you are a passport member!

Daily Photo – Filming at The Hills

I took this photo while we were getting a few pickup shots at The Hills country club with Bel. I typically do a little bit where I talk right to the camera, and since I stumble around a bit, we need to make some edits so the final video is smoother. So, after I finish my bit to the camera, Bel runs around me while I stumble around and take photos. While we were working on the video tutorial above, Bel was getting some B-roll while I took this photo. So, it might seem in the b-roll that I am pretending to get photos, but this is one of the photos I was actually getting!

Filming at The Hills

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-05-03 16:36:17
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

Another Rainy Night in Tokyo

Movie Night Presets

Today’s photo is a good example from my new Lightroom Presets! Every night I was there, it was very rainy, so that gave me a good excuse to go out and explore. I spent most of my time in Shinjuku, mostly because of all the ambient light and Blade-Runner like signs.

Daily Photo – Another Rainy Night in Tokyo

One thing, in particular, I've noticed about Tokyo is their penchant for opaque umbrellas. I think this actually makes a lot of sense because the umbrella holder can see where they are going. I, myself, would also use an umbrella of this sort if I was not so busy taking photos of people using these sorts of umbrellas.

Another Rainy Night in Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-02-02 05:22:44
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture4
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length105.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Waiting in Shibuya for the Lights to Change

New Preset Pack for Movie Presets

We recently added some new presets for Lightroom to our store. Get them right here. They are very fun presets that are quite cinematic. There are a ton of examples in there and more in the video below.

Daily Photo – Waiting in Shibuya for the Lights to Change

I hung out in Shibuya crossing for about 2 hours in the rain. It was great! There were so many cool outfits and interesting umbrellas to see. It was almost information overload and I could not figure out where to look next. The pauses were when people would stop at the intersection while waiting on the crosswalk. It was a lot less chaotic and it gave me a chance to find interesting subjects like this gal. I have since sent her the photo and she loves it!

Waiting in Shibuya for the Lights to Change

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-02-01 19:14:53
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO500
  • Focal Length105.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

A Moody Day in Central Otago

Another fun how-to Passport Day!

If you are a Passport Member today we have a making-of video for today’s photo. I woke up on Saturday here at home in Queenstown, New Zealand to see some beautiful and moody clouds through the valley. So I got up the drone to take some photos. After I sat down, I decided to record the making-of video for you.

Here I show I took three photos, stitched them together, then ran them through Aurora HDR 2018.

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Daily Photo – A Moody Day in Central Otago

I don't exactly understand the weather conditions that make this happen a few times a year, but I think it's pretty cool. This was taken on the last day of summer this year here in Queenstown (a few weeks ago), and as the seasons change, sometimes the weather gets a little funky like this!

A Moody Day in Central Otago

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-03-03 09:35:21
  • CameraFC220
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture2.2
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length4.7 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias-1.34

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