Over Monte Carlo

Euro Tour

Check out this highlight video of our European Photo Walk Tour!

Listen to Sam Harris talk with Yuval Noah Harari (author of Sapiens)

Also, here is an interesting podcast I just finished listening to where Yuval Noah Harari talks about his new book 21 Lessons for the 21st Century. It is a wide-ranging discussion which is well worth some of your Sunday.

Passport Sunday – Art Talk in Glenorchy

If you ever find yourself in New Zealand, check out Camp Glenorchy as a place to stay. I was there a couple of weeks ago to do an art talk and not only is it a gorgeous location, but they also have the best projector known to humankind. In today’s Passport video, which is the complete talk, you’ll not get to experience the projector in all its glory but you will get to hear some stories from my travels along with a fun Q+A session towards the end which focuses on art, life and creativity.

Exclusive content for Passport members

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Daily Photo – Over Monte Carlo

On the European Tour, we stopped in Monte Carlo one day to take photos and have a dinner before getting back on the bus to drive overnight to Cinque Terre. I had been to Monte Carlo a long time ago with my dad and I remembered being down by the marina. When I looked at the map, I saw there were two marinas, and I was not sure which one to be dropped off at. I chose the wrong one! And there were no taxis or Ubers around, so we had to walk up this mountain… when we got to the top, I turned around to take this picture of the scene below. Yeah, it’s a cool marina, but not as cool as the one on the other side!

Over Monte Carlo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-01 19:46:32
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Complete Photography Bundle – $2,500 products for just $89

Featuring the likes of Zack Arias, Photoserge, Skylum, Phlearn and some guy called Trey…

Time to decide fast, because it’s time for the Complete Photography Bundle from 5DayDeal. It’s packed with photography resources which are 100% brand-new. No repeated products. Period.

There are over $2,500 worth of products for just $89. This year it includes two of my most awesome new video tutorials, one for total photography beginners and the other for drone newbies, who will quickly get addicted to this fun new form of photography and videography. Elsewhere in the 5DayDeal product, you’ll find courses on Lightroom, Photoshop, model photography, color grading, wedding photography and even zero gravity product photography. Seriously.


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And if that isn’t enough, a portion of every sale goes to charity. Everyone wins!

Click here to grab it now, all of the products can be downloaded immediately.

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Aurora HDR 2019 Launch Day!

Today’s the Big Day that Aurora HDR 2019 is ready for download! Come grab it pronto in our store.

Last year, we won Apple’s App of the year, and that was very unexpected and exciting. We have over 3 million downloads from their store and our stores, so it looks like we really hit a nerve for this thing. It’s especially great for beginners that want to add a special look to their photos.

The new features include noise-free results immediately, no halos, better for interior architecture shots with bright windows, new HDR sliders, and better processing for RAW files. I have a TON of videos I recently made that show off all the features over on YouTube.

I think this new tool is really gonna get your creative juices flowing! 🙂

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Pre-order Aurora HDR 2019 now

Entirely New HDR Algorithm with Artificial Intelligence

How do you follow up from Mac’s App of the Year in 2018? That’s a tough one but we put our heads together with the team from Skylum and we’ve done it!

i-ZjfXKWw.jpgAurora HDR 2019 uses Skylum’s new Quantum HDR Engine. It is a completely redesigned HDR algorithm, paired with artificial intelligence, which took 3 years of development by Skylum’s AI lab. My favorite thing about this new version is you no longer need to make corrections on the initial results because it virtually eliminates noise, halos, and other little issues you often needed to fix. This means you can focus on your creative side. Begin by trying out the new “looks” (formerly called presets, a few of mine are included for free). And try tweaking out the “HDR-ness” of your creation with the new and improved HDR Enhance and Smart Structure sliders.

Pre-Order prior to October 4th to save $$ and get tons of freebies!

Existing users can check this link to see if you qualify for an upgrade for just $49. New users may purchase Aurora HDR 2019 for just $89.

A collection of bonuses are included with every purchase:

  • $300 USD OFF a multi-day Iceland Photo Tour
  • Landscape Photography Handbook by David Johnston
  • Exclusive interior Aurora Looks by Richard Harrington
  • Burning Mood Looks by Richard Harrington
  • 3-month 500px Pro membership
  • Video Tutorial: Getting the Most from Aurora HDR 2019 by Trey Ratcliff

What else is new in Aurora HDR 2019?

I’m also impressed with the vastly improved results of interior architecture images. These are often problematic when it’s quite bright outside but dark inside. Previous versions of Aurora HDR would handle this in a bit of a sloppy manner. And competitors to Aurora HDR still struggle with interior shots.

Aurora HDR 2019 also includes Lookup Tables (LUTs) which allows you to give your finished image a “movie / film” appearance. They’re adjustable with sliders so you can get a little bit, or a whole lot of, that “Wes Anderson / Mad Max / Blade Runner” feel. Last but not least, there’s even more dynamic range if you choose to process a single RAW image, which I now do over 50% of the time.

And YES, the Windows version and the Mac version are now exactly the same. Huzzah! Go grab it pronto! If you’re not 100% satisfied you can, of course, have all your money back with no worries. It’s a perfect risk to reward ratio. In fact, mathematically, it’s a 1::infinity ratio, so you’re in a cozy mathematical nesting of absolute certainty.

How does Aurora HDR 2019 Compare?

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Here’s a few images I created with Aurora HDR 2019!

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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

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Two Girls Wander Through a Bamboo Forest in China

Editing Fireworks Quick Tip

Two days in a row for a Luminar Tip! Don’t forget you can download it here. This is a quick n’ dirty video that shows you how to edit fireworks and give them a bit more pop!

Daily Photo – Two Girls Wander Through a Bamboo Forest in China

This was my first trip to Chengdu, China, and I was surprised to find they had this giant bamboo forest near a temple complex. There are these cool red-walled tunnels that weave all around and through the forest. This area is also known for their giant pandas. I was kind of hoping to see one swinging around the trees, but no such luck. But there were a lot of festive people out walking around, like these two girls.

Two Girls Wander Through a Bamboo Forest in China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-15 19:01:02
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO1000
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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The Magical Castle at Night

Luminar Quick Tip

If you don’t have this amazing tool, be sure to get Luminar on Skylum’s website. It’s really a great tool! In this video, I show a bit about how to enhance foliage with one of their cool tools. I also briefly mention my new drone tutorial in this video, which is now available in the store.

Daily Photo – The Magical Castle at Night

Many hardcore people get angry when I call this a castle because it's actually more of a monastery on top of a medieval village. But I'm not much for semantics and the form largely ticks the “castle” pattern-recognition part of my brain. This is Mont St. Michel in the Normandy area of France. I still recommend this as an amazing destination, even if you are not into photography. It's kind of touristy in the daytime, but it really clears out in the evening. If you're looking for a “lively” place with lots of cool bars and restaurants, it's definitely not that kind of place. But if you're looking for a place where you can play real-life Assassin's Creed, well it's much more that kinda place.

The Magical Castle at Night

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2012-11-13 22:50:04
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time15
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length250.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+3

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The Long Plane Ride to Antarctica

Tip Video – Making Grass more Supple and Dreamy

In today’s video, I show how to use Aurora HDR to make the grass look extra soft and alive. I have a theory about landscape photos in that people imagine walking around inside of them. A lot of people imagine walking barefooted around inside… so I like to do little things like make the grass look extra squishy or sand look extra warm and soft. Anyway, enjoy!

Daily Photo – The Long Plane Ride to Antarctica

Now, I always get a bit of feedback from plane experts when I give the model number of this particular unit. But I THINK it is a CL-130 Hercules. It's modified so that it lands on skis instead of wheels for the giant ice runway on the mainland of Antarctica. As you can see, it's not exactly built for comfort and business-class service specs on board. But, all things considered, it was actually quite comfortable. I spent most of the time up, walking around and taking photos. I got to be good friends with Randy the loadmaster and a lot of the rest of the crew too. There was plenty of time because I think it was about a ten hour ride! On board here were people from all four bases. I was on my way to the New Zealand base, but the other nations represented were the US, Italy, and Korea.

The Long Plane Ride to Antarctica

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-06 10:04:15
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/45
  • Aperture
  • ISO2000
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

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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

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Entering the old bits of Fez, Morocco

Video How-To with Dotzsoh

When I was in Singapore, the local influencer we met up with was @Dotszoh and we spent a few days shooting together. One time to get out of the heat, we went back to process photos together. I decided to go ahead and record one of our post-processing sessions for you! Enjoy!

Daily Photo – Entering the old bits of Fez, Morocco

Well, all of Fez is old, but the oldest part is the labyrinth-like bazaar. There are a few entrances to this place, and this is one of the grand gates. It's unbelievable how lost you can get inside the old bazaar! But there's really nothing to worry about. Whenever I had four hours to go out and shoot, I would wander randomly for three hours and then leave myself the last hour to find my way out. Sometimes I'd end up at a completely different gate, completely turned around. But that was part of the fun! And, I typically have a Very Good Sense of direction… I think this is because I play so many first-person shooter games!

Entering the old bits of Fez, Morocco

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-03-03 23:46:52
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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