Beautiful Rain in Shanghai

Beautiful video of the ski fields in Queenstown, New Zealand

My friend that works over at NZSki just sent me this video from the Remarkables Ski Field. We have three different ski fields here near Queenstown. All are pretty close together except for Cadrona that takes about a 45 minute drive. Anyway, check out this video!

Daily Photo – Beautiful Rain in Shanghai

I mentioned before how it rained most of the days that I was in Shanghai, but that didn't bother me at all. Unfortunately, my long-gone assistant spent half his time on another gig, so I didn't have anyone to hold an umbrella over me. I know that sounds like a real primadonna kind of thing to want, but it's almost critical because you need two hands to operate the camera. I've tried locking the umbrella in my bent neck (like a 1970's phone receiver), but that doesn't really work because there's not enough diameter to keep it from spinning around all over the place. So, I just had to be really quick and try my best.

Beautiful Rain in Shanghai

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-23 01:27:13
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/6
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length21.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Toilets in Old China and an Article in China Daily

Great Job on the New Bag!

Go visit their Kickstarter page to see all the features for yourself

Once again, Peak Design has launched a great Kickstarter campaign! On day 1, not only did they reach their funding goal, but they broke a million big ones. I’m very happy for them!

Article in China Daily

See the Interview Here

I was interviewed by China’s biggest newspaper while we were on tour there a few weeks ago. I hope you enjoy the story! 🙂

Daily Photo – Toilets in Old China

On my tour of Shanghai, I ended up in the previous French concession. Inside of all these old homes, you can see the old style of water distribution. This particular apartment had 5 different places to live, and each family has their own water supply. So when you go to the toilet (or wash your hands or take a shower), you have to use your own water supply. Can you imagine?

Toilets in Old China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-18 14:19:01
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO500
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Shanghai Photo Walk!

80 Stays

We don’t always do photo walks in every city, but I do them as frequently as possible! Be sure to check out our 80 Stays website to see more about this fun tour around-the-world tour we are doing!

Daily Photo – Shanghai Photo Walk!

Thanks again for meeting me at the Shanghai Photo Walk! What a fun event that was! It's great to meet so many enthusiastic photographers of all levels. Wow I can't believe how crowded the Bund was on this evening. We almost lost one another a few times… If I had known it was gonna be that crowded, I never would have chosen that spot… but it still worked out great. Thanks again!

Shanghai Photo Walk!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-17 22:34:03
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture9
  • ISO500
  • Focal Length20.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Evil Building in China

Rainy Night Challenge

It rained for about five days in a row while I was in Shanghai, but I went out into the rain anyway. It’s usually one of the best times to take photos, but I do find it a bit hard to motivate myself to go out into the rain! I go out there anyway because I’m usually very happy with the final results of the photos. It’s kind of like going to the gym… I don’t really get excited about going to the gym, but I always feel good about myself after. This is a strange dynamic I can’t figure out.

Daily Photo – Evil Building in China

Well, I don't think it's actually an evil building. I guess it could be… but I got this idea from this strange subreddit called “evilbuildings” where people take photos of buildings that might be the lair of some super-villain. There are a lot of funny photos in that group… man, people on Reddit have so much spare time… I'm always amazed at all the stuff they find out there!

Evil Building in China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-23 04:56:37
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time5
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length19.0 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!

Exclusive content for Passport members

Unlock Now

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

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

Updated Camera Recommendations!

Updated Camera Reviews!

We have updated the Good / Better / Best recommendations on the Camera Reviews page. I’ll paste them below for you, although that linked page has even more information included recommended lenses, software, and more.

Good Camera

Panasonic Lumix GX1

Panasonic Lumix GX1

Priced at about $499, this Panasonic camera is highly recommended if your budget is keeping you at around the $500 level.

If budget is not a concern, I suggest you jump down to the “Better” or “Best” recommendations. However, if budget is your principle concern, then no worries! This Panasonic will serve you well! It has a 16 megapixel sensor and is based on something called the “Micro Four Thirds” standard. This means that there many different lenses you can attach to this camera, which is something you can add over time. If you’re just getting started, there is no need to worry about lenses, since it comes with a servicable 14-42mm lens that will allow wide-angle shots and a little bit of zoom. It also has a slick 3″ touch enabled LCD screen.

Better Camera

Sony NEX-7

Sony NEX-7

Starting around $1,300 which includes an 18-55mm lens.

See my full Sony NEX-7 Review. In short, this is really a great camera. I carry it! It is compact and powerful. It can be used it almost any photographic situation and is one of the best models available in this class. I use it to take photos of everything, from kids to landscapes to architecture to objects. This tiny 24 megapixel beast has a thousand other features that those clever Japanese crammed inside… see the full Sony NEX-7 Review for more information and sample photos.

Best DSLR Camera

Nikon D800

Nikon D800

Starting at $3,000 for the camera body.

See my full Nikon D800 Review. This is currently my main camera. I also carry the Sony NEX-7 above as a second camera to get quick shots here and there. But this Nikon D800 is a bigger, traditional DSLR camera. It shoots a massive 36 megapixels and has all the professional-level features associated with high-end DSLRs. For me, I prefer this over the Nikon D4 which is almost twice as expensive. You can see many sample photos and read more in my full Nikon D800 Review

Daily Photo – The Hypercity of Shanghai

When you are up in one of the taller buildings in Shanghai, you can look in almost any direction and see a Blade-Runneresque view. It’s always staggering. I’d love to see a time-lapse of Shanghai being built up over the last 30 years… that would be amazing.

The Hypercity of Shanghai

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2007-08-03 10:11:43
  • CameraNIKON D2Xs
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Wormhole

Back to China

I’m going back to China for quite a while.   This will be a fun trip, and I’m getting access to all kinds of incredible places. I’m not totally sure about the details of my adventure, but I’ll be sure to share them with you here.

I’ve also recently gone through the trouble of getting another Chinese Visa. These things are not terribly easy or cheap to get! The first thing that is horribly unnerving is the requirement to send my actual passport through the mail. It’s a major worry to do this! Furthermore, it’s not cheap — in order to get everything back and forth to me as quickly as possible, fees + Fedex costs over $300.

I like the “softcore Visas”, where you stand in line after arrival and then pay some shifty-eyed Indonesian customs worker $20 US cash and he stamps you through right away.

Daily Photo – The Wormhole

Shanghai has this incredible tunnel that goes under the river to the Bund. It’s just wild inside!

They have a series of robotic trains that shuttle people back and forth. Robotic doors whir open then shut again. The front of the capsule has a bubble-window that allows for a stunning view as you dip below the river and back up again. Colored lights in every lighting configuration fly by in beautiful colors. This is an amazing experience that I recommend if you ever get to Shanghai!

HDR Photo

Even the Model of Shanghai is Huge

Look at this crazy place I found in Shanghai!

This was inside one of the many government buildings. It was a multi-story complex dedicated to the past, present, and future of Shanghai. It was filled with multimedia presentations on the water systems, photo exhibits of the Bund under British control, and video extrapolations of what the city would become in 2020.

Of all these cool things, the best was this gigantic model of Shanghai. I walked around it about five times, trying to get some kind of sense of how to photograph the dang thing. Then, finally, I decided to grab a shot that included a few tourists to show the scale of this monstrosity.

By the way, thanks so much for all the interest in the Newsletter yesterday! I put a map on that page showing where all the early subscribers are coming from. I was, frankly, surprised how many people signed up! Now the pressure is on to deliver something that is worthwhile!

Even the model of Shanghai is huge (by Stuck in Customs)

The Motion of Shanghai

I crossed under the river one night from the Bund to get a closer look at the Oriental Pearl Tower. There was a cool fountain at the bottom and no tourists around.

This is a good thing, since it is always hard to make tourists look “cool” in photos. No matter what, everyone ends up looking like a gawking Rick Steves. Speaking of which, his travel series on PBS called “Europe through the Back Door” always gave me cause for concern.

The Motion of Shanghai

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