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

A Textured Venice

Textures Tutorial

It’s been a while since I’ve plugged my fun video tutorial (that also comes with a ton of textures) about how to get this sort of look with your photos. Grab it in the online store here!

Daily Photo – A Textured Venice

This is one of my favorite little tricks whenever the sky gets a bit too boring, but the rest of the subject matter is great. For this texturing, I went a bit more grungy and distressed. It reminds me of some of the museums I visited around Venice. Many of the old paintings had stains and just “time” on them. The colors were often muted and they look like they might have been dipped into the canal from time to time.

A Textured Venice

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-05-10 12:16:23
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length108.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Fort Lauderdale Beaches

New Video Tip

Here’s another how-to video showing how to enhance details in your photos using Aurora HDR 2018. This particular tool, as you’ll see, can only be detected when you are zoomed into 100% or 200% on the image.

Daily Photo – Fort Lauderdale Beaches

Here's my friend Katie Ann out enjoying the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She came down with her boyfriend to meet me for the day and take some fun photos. I don't do a lot of this sort of thing, but I was getting a little bored of JUST taking photos of sand and water and clouds. Don't get me wrong, I love that sort of thing, but after several thousand, I wanted to mix it up a little. She's not a professional model or anything, just a cool gal with giant buns.

Fort Lauderdale Beaches

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-11 02:11:06
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4000
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

The Dart River Valley

Video Tip on Denoising Mobile Shots

Many of you may have my Google Pixel 2 Review on the site, so you know I take a lot more mobile photos than usual. As great as the camera is, there is still some noise in sunset photos and night photos. This video below shows you how I get rid of the noise using Aurora HDR 2018.

Daily Photo – The Dart River Valley

I took this from a helicopter while my friend Choppy was flying me out on a work for a patron. I flew over this delta probably about 10 times, and it looks different every time. This is one of my favorite shots with the shadows of the mountains falling halfway across it.

There is a jet-boat adventure you can do through here. I still haven't tried it, but it's on my to-do list!

The Dart River Valley

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-03-30 05:56:49
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Monks on a cruise ship

How to give your photos an artistic hand-drawn look using Aurora HDR 2018

If you don’t have it, you can grab Aurora HDR 2018 right here! In this video, I show how to take it to a bit more of an extreme to give a photo that almost crosses the line into an illustration.

Daily Photo – Monks on a cruise ship

Who knew Tibetan monks were into cruising? These two were all over the ship, monking it up. This was part of that Summit at Sea cruise I did. Think of it like a TED on the water. One thing that was pretty funny (well, to me) was what happened right when we launched the ship. I'm pretty apolitical, and I really don't get involved in either side, which is a nice benefit of living in New Zealand. But, as you can guess, these events draw a lot of extreme Left-leaning people. Well, the day we left the port in Miami was the same day Trump was elected. The next day there were all these announcements that some of the meeting rooms had been converted into “recuperation” rooms where people could go and weep and heal. You can't write this stuff. But, much like me, the monks didn't seem terribly bothered by any of this and just enjoyed looking at the ocean.

Monks on a cruise ship

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-11-11 06:30:20
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Little Girl in Okinawa

A Quick Edit of a Drone Photo

Here’s a video I made showing an edit of a drone photo from Waiheke. I edited it using Aurora HDR 2018 and you can see a few little tricks in the video below!

Daily Photo – Little Girl in Okinawa

We didn't get much beach time on Okinawa, even though the place is packed with beaches! Most of our time was spent in the inside parts of the island. Most Japanese think of the mountains and hills for vacation and not-so-much the beach. Anyway, as soon as we made it out here, I saw this cute little girl playing in the sand.

Little Girl in Okinawa

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-15 18:57:12
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture13
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length45.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Why isn’t Windows outpacing Apple Mac in Aurora 2018 sales?

I thought I’d write a little analysis that has more questions than answers. So, I guess it’s not really an analysis; perhaps an analysis of good questions!

I’ve speculated (with all honesty and openness) about why the adoption rate has been slower with Windows users, especially when they were so vocally angry about it being a Mac-only product for years. It’s racked up over 3 million downloads, has been used to make over 150,000,000 images (data collected anonymously), and has been a huge success in our partnership with Skylum. It’s honestly the BEST photo processing software out there to create dynamic light images. Note, although you may know, I teamed up with them to make this product. Also, note they are no longer Macphun, but now Skylum, after changing their name to indicate they are not just a Mac company. I think it’s pronounced Skyloooom or something, but all that is beside the point.

A shot of Tokyo, enhanced with Aurora HDR 2018


Two For Today For Tokyo!

Special Discount for Windows Photomatix Users

Of the various speculations below, maybe the best is #5 (in short, Windows peeps still use Photomatix because it is “good enough”) and they don’t want to spend the extra $99 on a new product. Well, let me tell you right away, that we are offering a 10% discount to existing Windows Photomatix users for Aurora HDR 2018 or my Bonus package that includes a full-length video tutorial and sample files. And, even better, if you don’t like it, you can have 100% of your money back. It’s literally a 0% downside / 100% upside deal. You don’t get those every day. So there, this is clearly logically unassailable, so go get it now!

Buy Now

 


A Day At Mount Fuji

A pretty little scene in Japan with Mount Fuji in the background.

Now, before we get to the sales, let’s look at some hard stats.

On the blog, nearly twice as many people visit on Windows vs. Mac OS. Worldwide for desktop/laptop users, Windows has an 83% market share compared to 17% for Mac (gs.statcounter.com)

In the Stranger Things upside-down-world, Aurora 2018 is almost exactly flipped with 75% of sales for Mac and 25% for PC. Hmmm.

So I began to noodle my noodle and wonder… And I always remember on photo walks, online, and other events, people were begging me to pressure Skylum to make a Windows version. I wanted a Windows version too, since I used both operating systems.

Anyway, this led to some honest speculation. Note these are just ideas, so don’t take any offence, unless you are just one of those internet people that is sitting around waiting to be upset. If you’re one of those people, oh well.


Shinjuku!

This one is a fairly “extreme” example of the kind of dynamic light work you can do with Aurora HDR 2018. This is the Kabukicho area of Shinjuku, Tokyo.

Speculations (or perhaps a combination of these reasons)

  • Mac people spend more $$ [on average] than Windows people on apps/software/hardware/phones, so the $99 is not as significant to them. I know this is the case with the Apple App Store for iOS, where the apps sell a lot better than apps for Android, per capita. (If anyone has more data on that, it would be interesting to examine, if not for simply mathematical-mental-masturbation).
  • Some Windows peeps are quicker to pirate software. I know it’s doing well in the pirate scene on BitTorrent, etc. Note that I’m not one of these anti-piracy guys… I get it. I’m the least judgmental guy in the world, just noting a natural force that is out there. Of course, the developers and I would prefer people pay for something they enjoy, but that decision is left to the individual (in my book).
  • Windows people still don’t know it’s available for Windows! I ran into a few people in photo walks in Asia that did not know this.
  • At launch, it did not have as many features as the Mac version, but it’s well on the way to feature parity now.
  • Windows people are happy enough with Photomatix, even though yours truly can objectively say that Aurora HDR is waaaay better, like totally, dude or dudette. Perhaps a bit afraid to shell out another $99, they chose to stay with what they know. I guess there’s a bit of fear-of-change which everyone has with a great number of things in life. Anyway, to combat this, in case this is the correct speculation, we wanted to offer a sweet 10% Discount for existing Photomatix users on the stand-alone Aurora HDR or my Bonus package that includes my video tutorial. And yes, if you still don’t like it, you can have all your money back. Truly all upside for you, my fellow HDR enthusiast! Aurora has so many tools in it… you’ll just love it. Get your Aurora HDR discount code now

Okay, did you decide to go for it? Need some help getting started? Here are two free tutorials I made to get you going. You can also get the whole package which includes the Aurora HDR 2018 software + tutorial + sample files.

Anyway, maybe you fall outside of one of those speculations? I guess maybe you might just use Lightroom or something and consider that good enough. I agree Lightroom is good (I use it a lot), but I still use Aurora HDR to do about 10 things that LR can’t. Anyway, pour your heart out in the comments below and let us know! I’ll be sure to share with the development team at Skylum!


Who’d have thought this was Moscow???

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