Friends in Beijing

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Daily Photo – Friends in Beijing

We went out to visit the Song Museum in Beijing, but some of the best things to shoot were on the outside. There were a few dozen ladies outside wearing all kinds of outfits, all taking photos of one another. I've never seen anything quite like it. I get the feeling this happens most every day there. Most of the ladies didn't even seem interesting into actually entering the museum… instead spending hours outside posing this way and that. I saw these two taking photos of one another and asked if I could jump in the fun. After I took photos with their mobile phone, I took a few of my own and sent them along via WeChat (that's the most popular sharing app in China). As you can see, they were very friendly.

Friends in Beijing

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-10 20:37:33
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length43.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Hot Pot in Chengdu

Need Towing Advice!

Hey all you smart people out there – I need some advice! I’m going to Burning Man again this year with my bestie Rene and we are going to tow our 5th Wheel out there. It’s a “2017 KZ-DURANGO G380FLF” – anyway, my question is what kind of truck do I need to rent to tow it? A F-250? 150? I don’t know much about these sorts of things, so any advice is welcome! Also, I don’t actually have US Driver’s License (I have an NZ one), but I have a friend from my camp that can tow it in… I just need to be sure what kind of truck to rent!

Daily Photo – Hot Pot in Chengdu

One of the most popular things to do in Chengdu is to eat out at these hot pot places. They basically give you some giant boiling vats and lots of random raw stuff you dump inside until its disinfected. Then you douse it in some incredibly spicy sauce and swallow it before asking too many questions. It wasn't my favorite thing if you can't tell. It's quite communal… everyone's food and eating-sticks are all mixed together into a confusing food situation. I also spent about 10% of my time at the table and the other 90% roaming around to get photos of the place… I think the environs were much more interesting than the food!

Hot Pot in Chengdu

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-14 23:45:08
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.5
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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

High over Shanghai and a Studio Tour for Passport Members!

New today for Passport Members!

If you are one of our awesome Passport Members then today you get to see a 360 Video tour of my updated studio with seasonal art! It’s also the first 360 video I made since upgrading the firmware on this cool Insta360 camera. Before, it was honestly pretty bouncy, but now I find it to be quite smooth!

We’re on a good pace to put up 60 new pieces of content per year for Passport Members, so at least once a week, I’ll be bringing you something fresh and new!

Stabilizing My Studio

It’s a new season around here, and time for another art hanging at my studio! I’ve been making one of these every three months or so to celebrate the turning of the season and a new set of art to hang! You’ll see it’s a bit snowy outside as I make my way over the studio… oh, and notice how mega-smooth the upgraded firmware is on this Insta360 camera!

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Daily Photo – High over Shanghai

I was really excited to return to Shanghai with all my new photo skills! I'm not saying I have all the skills in the world or anything, but I certainly have a lot more than my first trip there almost ten years ago. I look back on those older photos and I don't even like them that much. Since I was here for a solid week or so, I decided to shoot my heart out and see what I could achieve. This spot was one of my favorites because it made for a perfect vantage point in Pudong. This is shot from the rooftop bar at the Ritz-Carlton there. We actually took over the whole venue one day for one of my art talks about the 80 Stays tour. On that particular day, it was quite cloudy, but our first night here made for the perfect view!

High over Shanghai

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-18 23:32:42
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4
  • Aperture4
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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

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

Three Girls Sit in an Impossible Library

China Daily Article

While I was in Shanghai, I was interviewed by the biggest newspaper in China, this China Daily. Here is a link to the article. There are a few factual errors in there, but that’s okay… I don’t think anyone there will mind too much, nor will they see this, since I am pretty sure my blog is still banned in China. That is too bad, because I actually have lots of nice things to say about the place and lots of pretty photos of China! Oh well. Here is a link to the article.

Daily Photo – Three Girls Sit in an Impossible Library

How amazing is this library? I made a special point to go here while in Tianjin, China. It's almost an hour outside the city, but it's totally worth it. There are some secrets about this library I won't tell you, but you would thank me if you actually knew the secrets! Anyway, it was full of lots of young girls who were taking way more selfies than reading books.

Three Girls Sit in an Impossible Library

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-13 14:42:14
  • CameraPixel 2 XL
  • Camera MakeGoogle
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture1.8
  • ISO149
  • Focal Length4.5 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Complexity of Hong Kong

New, Stabilized 360 video!

We recently upgraded the firmware on the Insta360 camera so it is more stabilized. This is the first test of it today for Passport Members! I take you on a tour of my studio and the new art that I have just hung. I swap out the art every three months for each season. I’m a little behind now… as you’ll be seeing the “red” theme for Autumn. I gotta get ready for Winter colors now… as you’ll see the snow outside of the studio too!

Enjoy today’s newly stabilized video of my art hangings in the studio. I’ll stop briefly and tell little stories about each photo. Note that these photos aren’t for sale… just small informal prints to brighten up the mood of the studio.

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Daily Photo – The Complexity of Hong Kong

How beautiful is Hong Kong? I took this from the bar atop the Ritz-Carlton there on the other side of the bay. I tried to not just get the obvious wide-angle shots, but instead to zoom in and get some interesting details here and there. Naturally, there are all sorts of different apartments for different income levels. These are some of the nicer ones over on the Hong Kong side.

The Complexity of Hong Kong

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-03-13 00:01:59
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time2.5
  • Aperture4
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length105.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

A Food Truck Dinner on the Lawn!

Editing Kid-Sports Photos

Today for Passport Members is something a bit different! I openly admit in the beginning of the video that it may be a bit boring to those not interested in taking photos of kid-sports! My son has been playing a lot of rugby lately, and I’ve been taking more and more photos. So you can see my workflow of my 300 (mostly awful) photos and see how I pick out the winners, along with a few tips on composition.

When I went to Ethan’s (he is 17 now) rugby game on Saturday, I took just over 300 photos. Here’s how I organized them in Lightroom then edited a few of the winners!

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Daily Photo – A Food Truck Dinner on the Lawn!

How fun is this idea? it was a looooong travel day to get here to Sanya, China (which is a small island off the coast). We woke up in Macau, then took the ferry for an hour to Hong Kong before taking a flight here to Sanya. We were pretty exhausted after we landed, but were reinvigorated as we saw them setting up this massive dinner on the lawn. There were about 15 little setups with all sorts of food and drink. They do this out on the lawn of the Ritz-Carlton right by the beach there once a week. Anyone can go, and you don't even have to be a guest.

A Food Truck Dinner on the Lawn!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-03-17 18:47:34
  • CameraFC220
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/50
  • Aperture2.2
  • ISO174
  • Focal Length4.7 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias-1.66

The Rainbow Apartments

Editing a photo from Yosemite!

Here’s a how-to video where you can see me edit a photo from Yosemite. I hope you find it at least mildly interesting!

Daily Photo – The Rainbow Apartments

How amazing is this place in Hong Kong? It took me forever to find it. I almost gave up, in fact. In desperation, I found another photo of the place and started showing random Chinese people in the neighborhood. Finally, one very nice woman took me to this nondescript parking lot I would have never found! After getting to the top, I finally saw it… Thank goodness I had that idea to find this place. Otherwise I never would have found it!

The Rainbow Apartments

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-03-13 17:22:10
  • CameraFC220
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/580
  • Aperture2.2
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length4.7 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

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