Africa, Thailand, somewhere in Europe? We usually do one workshop in New Zealand and another at an international destination. We’re trying to decide now! 🙂
Waking up Early
Here's a photo from Lake Hayes where we took our NZ photo adventure workshop one morning. It's kind of a tough workshop, since we make everyone wake up around 6 AM and then go take photos! But the one person to miss this morning was Curits, and he was bummed out! All the more reason to make sure you join the morning outings on our photo workshops.
I’m coming to Japan for a bunch of photo events and photo walks! The main events are in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Okinawa. If you’ve never been to a Photo Walk, then this is a great chance. They are free, family-friendly, and you can use any kind of camera (yes even a mobile!) – I give lots of tips & tricks and will do my best to inspire you as we work on this creative life together.
Japan is one of my favorite countries and I can’t wait to be back. This time we are also doing something a little different, with a local Instagram star joining us in each location. Take a look at the video below to find out more information, I hope you can make it! 🙂
Nearby Huka Falls
If you’re going to Hobbiton and have a few extra bucks to spend, I recommend the nearby Huka Lodge. It’s right by Huka Falls and is a great central location for accessing this whole central area of the North Island of New Zealand.
Daily Photo – A Textured Hobbit Hole
I think if I had a Hobbit Hole I would never repaint the thing. I can't imagine this would look any better with a fresh coat of paint. I'm impressed at all these movie people that can build something new and make it look so authentically old. They do that a lot of Disneyworld too. It's a strange skill, I suppose, because most people that build something new have customers that also want it to look new. No one says, build me a new couch, but I want it to look that ropey old couch I had in college.
If you haven’t seen my Hasselblad X1D Review, please pop on over! I’ve added some new photos recently that you may enjoy.
Daily Photo – The Backyard View
Whenever I get a new camera, I head out into the backyard to take some test photos. This is one of the first photos I took when I got the new Hasselblad X1D. It arrived at the house, and I didn't even receive the delivery until the sunset. I was so excited and I threw a memory card in there to run out and take this photo.
Aurora HDR 2018 is now available for both Mac AND Windows! That’s right, the world’s leading HDR photography software has been entirely redesigned with exciting new features, improved user interface, speed improvements, Windows support and more. I’ve been using it a ton and I think you’ll be blown away!
Current users of Aurora HDR should check this link to see if you qualify for the upgrade price. New users can purchase Aurora HDR 2018 and my new Aurora HDR tutorial in my online store.
Already own Aurora HDR Pro and want to upgrade? Click here to find out if you qualify.
Sneak Peek Inside Aurora HDR 2018
Below is a sneak peek video I made that shows off just SOME of the new features!
In other news… Art of Tidying
I just finished listening to a good podcast by Tim Ferris about the Art of Tidying with Japanese-neatness-guru Marie Kondo. Here’s a link!
Daily Photo – Flying Over the Entrance to Milford Sound
This is a panorama I took right after coming out of the tunnel through the mountain to Milford Sound. It's such a long drive from Queenstown to Milford Sound (about 4 hours), and seeing this after the tunnel is always extremely rewarding. Don't get me wrong… the whole drive itself is beautiful (it's New Zealand!) but after getting through this tunnel, it's like you enter a different world. It's basically the only way to get into the fjords unless you fly, which I haven't tried yet. I do have it on my bucket list to take Over the Top and Choppy on a joy-ride over there to take photos like crazy!
It was fun going back in my “back catalog” from the last five years to find photos I had never processed to test out the new Aurora HDR 2018. This was one of them… I was testing the “ghosting” here to see how well it worked… as you might expect, in my three exposures, the lupins were blowing all over the place.
Less than 48 Hours to pre-order!
Purchase Prior to September 28 to Save 10% and Get Tons of Freebies!
A couple of years ago I teamed up with the geniuses at Macphun to design the ultimate tool for HDR photography. I had them put in all of the things I felt were missing from Photomatix, OnOne, and the other tools out there. I’ve been blown away with the results.
Current users of Aurora HDR should check this link to see if you qualify for the special pre-order price of just $49. New users may purchase Aurora HDR 2018 for $89. A collection of free bonuses is included with every purchase.
Daily Photo – Bright Fields of Lupins
This is one of those pretty Spring days in Tekapo at the Church of the Good Shepherd. It's kind of a hard shot to get nowadays because you have to get there between the busloads of Chinese tourists. It's great for the economy, but horrible for photos!
I’ve seen some really cool 360 drone shots. I would love to play there a bit more. I think today’s photo would have been totally radical in 360! 🙂
Daily Photo – Serene Lake Hayes
I was doing a run around this lake (it's about 8 km and a little bit hilly as you can see there on the right), and I noticed how still everything was. It's not always like this… so halfway through the run, I decided to call my assistant Tane and have him bring out my quadcopter and meet me at the terminus. We quickly launched the quad and got some shots like this. I believe this is a panorama made up of four different photos.
Here's a favorite photo I took from the top of the Gondola here in Queenstown one night. I should really go up there more, you know? It's kind of expensive… and I guess I always cheap-out a little bit because I live here. I'd actually like to go up here one night and spend the whole night, doing time-lapses and maybe seeing the Aurora. That would be epic… I wonder if I'm allowed to?
Here are four behind-the-scenes videos for Passport Members. It starts with me and the team flying out to this remote location to get some photos for a patron. And then by part 4 I am in his private home in Beverly Hills trying to figure out where to hang the final selection.
On my many trips to Earnslaw Burn while working on that project for the patron, we would always pass over this in the helicopter. I asked the pilot to bank this way and that so I could get some straight-down shots at the beautiful patterns below.
I’m planning on doing a little overnight thing here where you cross-country ski out to a little hut that’s been pre-stocked with food, cheeses, chocolates, wines, etc. After arrival, the party begins and then you sleep there, wake up the next day, and cross-country ski back out of there. Fun!
End-to End-Photo Edit
Watch me take an image from start to finish in Aurora HDR 2018. It’s super quick to edit in Aurora and great results, even for beginners, are easy to achieve.
The latest version of Aurora 2018 (for Mac and Windows) is here! I’ve been using it a ton and I think you’ll be blown away by all the new features, especially combined with all the features that you’ve come to know and love with previous versions. If you Pre-Order you’ll get a bunch of goodies as extras and a discount!
Daily Photo – The Secret Car Testing Facility
We took a helicopter over towards Wanaka one day to this place, the Snow Farm. I had never been here before. There's all kinds of stuff going on. Dogsledding, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, etc. Anyway, one of the other special areas here is the car testing area. They have secret next-year models of Alfa Romeos, Mercedes, Audi, etc. A lot of these secret cars have strange metallic paint that is hard to photograph and more to keep them secret. Obviously, I had permission to take this one photo. See that long building back there behind it? That's full of the new models of cars over the next few years… super secret!
Daily Photo – Derek Sivers in a Field of Fake Horses
This is kind of a strange photo haha. Derek said he had this dream about laying in tall grasses, and that was sort of his dream about moving to New Zealand. He ended up in Wellington, but wanted to lay down here to see if it was like his dreams! I was out testing the new Hasselblad at the time, so I had fun taking photos of him rolling around in the grass.