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???

The Whale Shark in Okinawa

Some goodies coming up for our awesome Passport Members!

I’m back from Japan and ready to share a whale-load of videos, photos, and special behind-the-scenes stuff. If you are a Passport Member then you’ll get to see a whole new video here about my crazy workflow, juggling different photos, HDRing, Lightroom, and more. It is a bit of a frenzied process, as I am trying to crank out as many photos as possible in a compressed time. Anyway, that’s today’s Passport video below that will be automatically unlocked if you are a member!

Here’s a video of my somewhat crazy (but amazingly efficient) workflow now that I am back in the saddle of my studio. Apologies for the sound getting strange around the 10-minute mark! I think my mic is broken… or something. I just can’t figure it out. I’m using a pro Samson mic. Anyway, I’ll try to figure it out or get a new one!

Exclusive content for Passport members

Unlock Now

Daily Photo – The Whale Shark in Okinawa

As much as I don't think any creatures should be in captivity, this was still pretty awe-inspiring. On the northern tip of Okinawa is a popular aquarium. I was asked to go take photos there even though I didn't really want to. Sometimes in life, you gotta do stuff you don't wanna do, right? Well, anyway, I showed up and tried to get the best photo I could. I wasn't going to half-ass it just because I didn't want to be there. So I put Tane and Olya up there right in front of the tank as the mighty beast swam past.

The Whale Shark in Okinawa

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-17 16:06:05
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/45
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-1

Super Plastic Man

Fun Interview

This is a rather in-depth interview I did about a particular shot from Paris. Enjoy!

Photo Walk Fun!

I hope you’re enjoying the photo walks across Japan! We’ve got about 15 more coming up all over China and the rest of Asia. Exciting stuff! 🙂

Daily Photo – Super Plastic Man

I saw this guy on the Summit cruise. He was sitting on this couch extremely still. In fact, he was SO still that I thought he was a waxen statue. So I got up to go take his photo and he started to move! It freaked me out… I told him I thought he was a fake person… that made him laugh and then I asked him to re-assume his pose from before then I took this photo.

Super Plastic Man

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-11-11 07:36:17
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture
  • ISO1250
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Another Horse In Iceland

the New HDR Tutorial

Here’s a promo for my new HDR Video Tutorial – I hope you get it and love it! 🙂

Daily Photo – Another Horse In Iceland

Sometimes I think I could make a whole blog just about horses in Iceland. I swear, I have So Many Photos of horses in Iceland, and they're all pretty good! I can't take much credit for them, you know, as the horses are just so darned photogenic. And then the whole country has a perfect backdrop… it's just kind of hard to take a bad photo of them!

Another Horse In Iceland

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2010-06-13 05:00:29
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/4000
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length50.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Me with my Snow Dog Friends

Video Recap

You may remember this video below for the announcement of Aurora HDR 2018! While I was shooting the video, Curtis was busy taking photos, so I edited this photo that he took.

Daily Photo – Me with my Snow Dog Friends

I think this is kind of a funny image. It's like I'm staring off over the horizon, perhaps thinking about pruning a bonsai tree. I don't know, I suppose you can imagine me thinking about a great number of things. This was my first time driving a snow-dog sled there at the Snow Farm. It was both hard and easy. While they are running, it's actually pretty easy. You just stand there like a sack of potatoes. But this is often interrupted by bouts of wild panic when you start to go up on a ledge, slide sideways around a corner, or start going down hill and you have to brake for fear of the sled running into the snow dogs!

Me with my Snow Dog Friends

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-08-04 10:54:37
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8000
  • Aperture8
  • ISO2000
  • Focal Length73.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

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

A Painted, Moody day in Feng Huang

Billions

Here’s another show recommendation: Billions! It’s a drama based on Wall Street. Sounds kind of boring, I know… but still very entertaining! It’s one of the only shows I watch not on Netflix… it’s on Showtime and maybe a few other places?

Image Radiance

Let’s talk about one of my favourite features in Aurora HDR 2018, Image Radiance.

The latest version of Aurora 2018 (for Mac and Windows) is here! I’ve been using it a ton and I think you’ll be blown away by all the new features, especially combined with all the features that you’ve come to know and love with previous versions. If you Pre-Order you’ll get a bunch of goodies as extras and a discount!

Daily Photo – A Painted, Moody day in Feng Huang

I remember at the time I took this that I almost DIDN'T take it. The colors seemed muted, it was quite steamy/foggy/moody, and also, I was quite tired. Maybe I was feeling a bit melancholy or something. Anyway, for whatever reason, I took it. And then, when processing, I recalled the melancholy mood and decided to give it a nudge in that direction.

A Painted, Moody day in Feng Huang

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2010-10-07 15:23:51
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture1.4
  • ISO2500
  • Focal Length50.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Queenstown after Dark

Speaking of Aurora

Be sure to Pre-order it today! It drops in a week and you’ll be the first to get it! 🙂

Daily Photo – Queenstown after Dark

Here's a favorite photo I took from the top of the Gondola here in Queenstown one night. I should really go up there more, you know? It's kind of expensive… and I guess I always cheap-out a little bit because I live here. I'd actually like to go up here one night and spend the whole night, doing time-lapses and maybe seeing the Aurora. That would be epic… I wonder if I'm allowed to?

Queenstown after Dark

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-08-09 19:15:47
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time10
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Secret Car Testing Facility

Heading Back to the Snow Farm

I’m planning on doing a little overnight thing here where you cross-country ski out to a little hut that’s been pre-stocked with food, cheeses, chocolates, wines, etc. After arrival, the party begins and then you sleep there, wake up the next day, and cross-country ski back out of there. Fun!

End-to End-Photo Edit

Watch me take an image from start to finish in Aurora HDR 2018. It’s super quick to edit in Aurora and great results, even for beginners, are easy to achieve.

The latest version of Aurora 2018 (for Mac and Windows) is here! I’ve been using it a ton and I think you’ll be blown away by all the new features, especially combined with all the features that you’ve come to know and love with previous versions. If you Pre-Order you’ll get a bunch of goodies as extras and a discount!

Daily Photo – The Secret Car Testing Facility

We took a helicopter over towards Wanaka one day to this place, the Snow Farm. I had never been here before. There's all kinds of stuff going on. Dogsledding, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, etc. Anyway, one of the other special areas here is the car testing area. They have secret next-year models of Alfa Romeos, Mercedes, Audi, etc. A lot of these secret cars have strange metallic paint that is hard to photograph and more to keep them secret. Obviously, I had permission to take this one photo. See that long building back there behind it? That's full of the new models of cars over the next few years… super secret!

The Secret Car Testing Facility

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-08-03 22:50:52
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length69.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Newsletter Sign Up

The most beautiful newsletter ever!