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

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

Layers of Ice and Water in Antarctica

Yacht Photo Story in News.com.au

The team over there in Australia took note of my yacht photo and it’s rather curious description. So that began a nice little interview that resulted in this Click-Baity article!

Here is the photo from the article:

The Abandoned Yacht In The Middle Of Government Housing

Daily Photo – Layers of Ice and Water in Antarctica

Oh how I wish I could have taken my quadcopter to Antarctica! They gave me the big no-no on that one, unfortunately. That's a real bummer because I could have gotten so many more shots. Anyway, I was more than lucky enough to take quite a few helicopter flights, and I went photo-crazy on all of them. I negotiated for the best seat (often having to offer bottles of wine) so that I could see as much as possible. One time, I had my camera out the window and the shutter area inside the Sony broke apart. I have no idea how that happened because I thought it was air-sealed in there. Anyway, who knows… but I got this shot right before it broke apart.

Layers of Ice and Water in Antarctica

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-20 16:09:50
  • CameraILCE-7S
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture11
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length27.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Chinese Governmental Complexity

New Zealand Fall Workshop Announced!

Be sure to check out our Workshops page to see the newly announced photo adventure in New Zealand for 2019! Fall is happening RIGHT NOW (it’s opposite from Spring in the Northern Hemisphere) and it’s a great time to check off a bucket list item. Here’s a little video about our photo adventures!

Daily Photo – Chinese Governmental Complexity

This is one of my new favorite photos and I made it by accident. I selected about 10 different images that I wanted to load into layers to re-arrange. Well, as a slip of the finger would have it, I accidentally clicked “Merge to HDR”! Naturally, nothing was aligned and everything was ghosted. It made for a very interesting montage. So then I went into it and began to do more tweaking with various colors and contrasts until I liked it even more.

Chinese Governmental Complexity

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-03-15 17:22:54
  • CameraFC220
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/300
  • Aperture2.2
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length4.7 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.344

Hong Kong on the Last Day

Show Recommendation!

I have a good show recommendation for you: Billions. I believe it’s a Showtime show… I’m excited because they are just launching Season 3!

Daily Photo – Hong Kong on the Last Day

The commute across the bay in Hong Kong on a rare foggy morning… On our last day here, we took a ferry over to Macau. Right before the ferry, we went through customs because there's still a whole process to go from Hong Kong to Macau, even though they are both technically China. I had to get a multi-pass (Fifth Element Style) entry Visa for China because I'm going in and out so much. I still find the whole customs process to be so slow, especially in light of new tech. Anyway, at least it was a pretty morning! I took this through the window from my room at the Ritz-Carlton.

Hong Kong on the Last Day

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-03-16 13:25:41
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length31.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Hong Kong at 240mm

De-Haze Tip

Be sure to get the latest version of Lightroom because they moved that powerful “De-Haze” slider up to the top set of tools. I use it quite a bit now, and it was definitely a lifesaver on this shot, which was originally quite hazy!

Daily Photo – Hong Kong at 240mm

This was a new area of Hong Kong for me to visit. Most people go up to “The Peak” which is on the other side of the bay. Sometimes it can take 2-3 hours to get up there because of the line. It's pretty up there, but I'm not sure it's worth the wait! Instead, I recommend going up the Kowloon side with a telephoto lens like this. You can't go wrong!

Hong Kong at 240mm

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-03-16 00:06:11
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length139.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

Exploring the Hong Kong Opera House

Ride with me to Glenorchy (Part 2 of 4)

And following up from Part 1 of my road trip to Glenorchy is this video below, where I process the photos I took on that extremely moody and windy day!

Daily Photo – Exploring the Hong Kong Opera House

I have a trick I do in China when going into places I'm not supposed to enter. This is a good example… this is the new opera house that is still under construction. I peeked inside from the street and thought it looked incredible. There were some security guards and stuff, so I casually walked up to them and said, “Don't worry, I'm with the government.”

Exploring the Hong Kong Opera House

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-03-14 03:16:39
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.5
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Hong Kong Without the Haze

Using the New Lightroom

I have a love/hate relationship with Lightroom. It’s more of the latter, really, and not enough of the former. But, I do like how they moved the Dehaze tool upwards. I use it quite a bit more now! Today’s video for passport members shows the best-use-case scenarios for it.

Now that the Dehaze tool has bubbled up to the top, I’ve been experimenting with it more and more. In this video, you can see how it works SOMETIMES with these rather hazy photos from Hong Kong. Well, in some cases, it is amazing. In others, it doesn’t look so good.

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Daily Photo – Hong Kong Without the Haze

Of the successful de-hazing shots from Hong Kong, this is one of my favorites. I never thought I would be such a fan of government housing, but these buildings do make for a great tableau! I left a little bit of haze in there because I think it helps to add a sense of depth to the image. I had to zoom in there close to see what was happening on that sports field. At first, I thought it was baseball… but baseball is not popular in China (it is in Japan). It's two soccer fields, or football as they call it in most of the world.

Hong Kong Without the Haze

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-03-16 00:16:35
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length141.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

The Financial District of Hong Kong

Wild Wild Country Documentary

I just finished watching this docco on Netflix; wow was it interesting! Even though I was just a kid when this “cult” was in the news, I have no memory of it. Anyway, watching the documentary reminds me of how unorganized hippies can be. I think the original notion of the commune was actually a pretty good idea, especially because it was voluntary and self-contained.

The whole idea seems pretty Burning-Man-ish. At Burning Man, we often sit around the campfire and wonder what it would be like if “this” existed for 52 weeks rather than 1. Well, it does require a bit of organization and governance by clever people. This documentary is a really good example of a good idea with rather bad organization.

Another aspect that occurred to me is the danger of the ego of the leadership. I’ve never listened to any of teachings of their leader, as there was a scant amount in the documentary. But it’s clear that some of the leadership started to take themselves and their identity a bit too seriously and that is when everything started to unravel.

Daily Photo – The Financial District of Hong Kong

I only spent four days in Hong Kong, so I tried to be as photographically productive as possible. Being the quintessential introvert, I have chosen not to live in big cities so it's a treat when I get to visit them. Nothing wrong with living in big cities, of course, as I know extroverts get a lot of energy from cities that never sleep. I enjoy them too, but only for short visits. Hong Kong has all sorts of different districts, and this is the financial hub of it all. I've been working on this new processing technique that you see here. I'll put together a how-to video soon and share it with you.

The Financial District of Hong Kong

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-03-12 23:57:36
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time2
  • Aperture4
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length70.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

Beautiful Hong Kong Government Housing at Night

Passport Early Look

I made a post-processing video for Aurora HDR users on how I worked on this shot and Passport Members get an early look. It was a lot of fun to work on! I’ve actually been saving this photo until I got back into the studio because I wanted to take my time working on it.

This incredible housing complex in Hong Kong was just asking for a photo! If you want to know where this is, check here on Google Maps. You may notice my final photo looks a bit different than what you see in the video below. I made a few more adjustments after the video ended:

1) I lightened up the upper floors towards the back of the complex. I felt they were a bit dark.

2) I desaturated some of the extreme yellow. After I looked at the shot, I felt it was too yellow and orange in some spots.

3) I made the canvas WIDER and stretched out the side-parts wider so that it seemed a little less narrow.

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Daily Photo – Beautiful Hong Kong Government Housing at Night

Hey, when it comes to government housing, it's hard to get more interesting than this! We had a long day running all around Hong Kong and exploring with my new friend Simon. He was a great local resource to show me some of his favorite spots. I think this was my final shot for the evening before we decided to go off bar hopping together! And for you Passport Members I hope you enjoyed the post-processing on this one.

Beautiful Hong Kong Government Housing at Night

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-03-15 02:44:23
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture10
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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