Secret Swimming Hole

Aruba Video

Here’s a video from our big family trip to Aruba. It has a few photo tips in here as well!

Daily Photo – Secret Swimming Hole

We found this secret swimming hole in Aruba. It looks kind of small, but it's about the size of a normal swimming pool. It was kind of cool to be in that calm, warm water while huge waves crashed on the rocks all around us. It wasn't exactly easy to get to because you had to climb over all these slippery rocks. I'm a go-slow-on-slippery-rocks kinda guy. And while I'm crawling like an old man, I see these barefooted kids sprinting this way and that across them, like little fearless monkeys.

Secret Swimming Hole

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-20 15:42:25
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Horse in Aruba

Pixel 2 Review

Be sure to go check out my review of the Pixel 2 Phone and, even if you don’t get it, I still suggest you sign up for Google Fi. It’s the greatest phone network in the world! Again, they are not a sponsor or anything… I pay full price! 🙂

Daily Photo – Horse in Aruba

This is pretty good for a mobile phone photo, eh? And this was taken with the Pixel 1, which doesn't even have as good of a camera as the Pixel 2. I've been sharing a bunch of my Pixel photos back with the team there at Google. I don't have any formal relationship with them, but maybe someday… I'm such a fan of the phone!

Horse in Aruba

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-17 15:09:35
  • CameraPixel
  • Camera MakeGoogle
  • Exposure Time1/8500
  • Aperture2
  • ISO51
  • Focal Length4.7 mm
  • FlashAuto, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Baths from Above

A Vote for Labradoodles

I don’t know if I spelled that right. But, anyway, these are really great dogs! We’ve had Blueberry (the kids named her) for about 4 years now and she’s a really good dog. And doesn’t shed! Great with the kids… never barks… always a great disposition. She likes to play fetch A LITTLE TOO MUCH and is always bringing us stuff to throw for her.

Daily Photo – The Baths from Above

Birds have it so lucky! They can get this view anytime they want. I wonder if they have any kind of aesthetic sense. They probably do, in a way, prefer to live in beautiful places, since those places often have a great diversity of food supplies and fresh water. I don't know what made me wonder what birds think. Maybe they spend very little time thinking at all… just sort of “being” in the bird-Om sense.

The Baths from Above

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-30 11:02:57
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Swimmin’ Hole in Aruba

New “People” Portfolio

One of the new Portfolios I have over on Smugmug is all my favorite people and portrait photos. Jump in there and enjoy!

Daily Photo – The Swimmin' Hole in Aruba

Aruba is one of my favorite islands I've ever visited. It has all these secret little spots like this. Well, it's not that secret, but I guess it's kinda secret because we were pretty much the only ones there! Here is a Map Link to the location in case you go on an Aruban adventure!

The Swimmin' Hole in Aruba

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-20 15:38:32
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Paddleboarding in Aruba

Paddleboarding Story

I had quite a hard time getting a paddleboarding photo while in Grand Cayman Island. I had this idea to do a 360 photo while paddleboarding. Seems like a good idea, eh? Well, it wasn’t. I had to paddleboard into this protected swimming area and get over a rope. But the back of the paddleboard has this inverse shark-fin thing. It because stuck on the rope. So I had to sit down (not easy) and untangle myself, all WHILE holding a very expensive 360 camera! Wow that was tough… not gonna lie.

Daily Photo – Paddleboarding in Aruba

This is just off the beach in front of the Ritz-Carlton there in Aruba. How amazing is that water? It doesn't matter if you are a total beginner in paddleboarding because this is a great place to learn. If you fall, you fall into milky-warm water with snowy-soft sand underneath.

Paddleboarding in Aruba

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-20 23:17:49
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Sunset in Aruba

Discover Weekly Algorithm

A lot of you know I am fans of Spotify and the Discover Weekly playlist. It’s pretty good. Maybe a bit hit-or-miss for me, but it does a generally awesome job. I saw this article about the algorithm which was interesting to me. Maybe a bit techy-nerdy, but still good.

Daily Photo – Sunset in Aruba

I never missed a single sunset in Aruba. Maybe I was just lucky during my four days there, but each one was just as perfect as this one. I love this kind of sunset because it's the only time you're allowed to look at the sun. I mean, I suppose it's okay, right? People say not to look right at the sun, but I figure if it doesn't actually HURT your eyes when looking at it, then it won't actually hurt your eyes physically or permanently at all.

Sunset in Aruba

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-19 06:32:26
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length240.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

4 Tips for Taking Surprising Mobile Photos

It doesn’t matter if you use an iPhone or an Android there are a few things you can do to get your mobile photography to the next level. All of the photos included with the tips were taken with my Google Pixel phone. I normally shoot with a big Hasselblad camera, but sometimes all I have with me is my phone. I’ve come up with some great tricks to make them look as surprising and incredible as possible.

1) Don’t hit that big circle on the screen to take the photo. Use the Vol Up button on the side! One, when you jab the screen with your finger, you’re causing camera-shake and it will make your photo more blurry. Two, using the volume up button allows you to hold the camera much more steady with one or two hands.

Image 1

This was taken an underground Turkish bath in Budapest, Hungary. This is Olya, my crazy Russian videographer, who traveled through Europe with us to make some inspirational and tutorial videos.

2) Experiment with the mobile app Snapseed! It’s free and available for Android and iOS. This is, by far, the best app for editing your photos on your phone. There are many tools in there and many different filters. One great thing about Snapseed is you can layer many different filters together to really give your photo a unique look. People will wonder how you did it!

Image 2

Here’s a fun family photo from a few months ago when we rode camels near the pyramids in Egypt. I used Snapseed filters to give it this “look.”

3) Take some cheeky street photos. If you’re like me, as you walk around the streets, you often see interesting people, crazy outfits, or just kooky things you find interesting. It can sometimes be embarrassing to blatantly aim your phone at these things, so get used to using the Volume Up button to take the photos. On the Pixel phone, for example, I can turn on the camera by double-clicking the power button. Then I move my finger to volume-up to take the photo. Your horizon will probably be off, but you can fix that later.

Image 3

Here’s a cheeky street photo I took in Budapest, Hungary. This is my assistant Tane. He’s not posing; this is literally how he looks all the time.

4) Try combining your phone with an iPad or tablet to edit your photos to the next level. Professional photographers know that a photo reads differently on a larger screen. Next time you’re at a coffee shop, why not zap your photo over to your tablet (via Google Photos or Airdrop), then use Snapseed to edit it there. A good photo always looks better bigger on a tablet, so don’t feel like you’re forced to use that tiny little screen.

Image 4

This a photo I took in Aruba. I was jogging on the beach, and of course I had my mobile phone with me. I was able to cover a lot of ground quickly, and there’s no way I would go on a jog and carry a Hasselblad! But it’s nice to always have the phone with me and take a ton of photos, picking out the best after I sit down to relax.

Image 5

Near my home on the south island of New Zealand, there is this amazing place to watch the sunset called Lake Hayes. I forgot my big Hasselblad camera, so all I had was my phone. There’s a saying that the Best Camera is the one you have with you!

Image 6

Here’s a panorama of three different photos I took while on a walk here near my home in New Zealand. Since I have an Android, I use Google photos. One great thing about Google Photos is there’s a little AI assistant that will “gift” you a panorama if it senses you took a lot of photos close together.

Ship Sailing at Sunset in Aruba

Reminder on the new X1D Review

Don’t forget to pop over to the new Hasselblad X1D Review when you get a chance!

Daily Photo – Ship Sailing at Sunset in Aruba

I came up with a new sub-hobby with my quadcopter – ship-chasing! I was sitting on the beach here in Aruba and watching these beautiful boats at sunset. They were too far away to get a good land-based photo of, so I launched the quad and started chasing them out there as far as I could go. I was a really bad judge of distance… this boat had to have been about 10 miles out at sea, but it only looked like 1 mile!

Ship Sailing at Sunset in Aruba

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-19 06:21:35
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO64
  • Focal Length124.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2.3

The Black Pearl Pirate Party Ship!

Tips for Street Fashion Photography from Milan

Milan was stop 3 on our tour of Europe and we had a cool crowd out for the photo walk where we discussed tips on photographing street fashion. What better venue for that than Milan? Maybe Paris? And that is up next!

Daily Photo – The Black Pearl Pirate Party Ship!

I could see this party boat go out every day from my room in Aruba. I never got on the boat, but I thought about it. One evening I decided to ALMOST get on the boat by flying the quadcopter out there. It was muuuuch further than it looked, and I was a little worried about the quad! But, if I'm going to fly so far away, I prefer to do it over the open water like this… it's really hard to get lost and not find it… that is one of my biggest worries!

The Black Pearl Pirate Party Ship!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-20 18:34:13
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Family Chaos

Chaos and Order

I noticed that most kids seem to have no preference of chaos over order, whereas parents almost universally prefer order. Well, at least my kids seem to thrive in chaos, as you can see in today’s photo!

Daily Photo – Family Chaos

Here's a crazy shot from Aruba. We thought it'd be a “great idea” to get the kids out for a little bit of family paddleboard action. Well it was pretty great for about 10 minutes until Ethan started using “ramming speed” and trying to capsize his sisters. They started fighting back (good for them), and then it turned into WWF on paddleboards!

Family Chaos

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-18 00:36:38
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2500
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Newsletter Sign Up

The most beautiful newsletter ever!