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

Chinese Wedding Photographs in Queenstown

Ride with me to Glenorchy (Part 1 of 4)

I released this video over a year ago to Passport Members and I wanted to share it with everyone now. It shows just one of my random days… driving from Queenstown to Glenorchy on a moody, windy day to try to take some photos. There’s a lot of stream of consciousness and that sort of thing. Anyway, jump into my pickup truck with me and we’ll see where we end up!

Daily Photo – Chinese Wedding Photographs in Queenstown

Here's a little of local Queenstown, New Zealand color for you. This area has become Extremely Popular for Chinese tourists. I don't know the exact number, but it's in the hundreds of thousands, which is significant for a country of about four million people. Another thing I happen to notice a lot, perhaps because I'm a photographer, is a gaggle of Chinese wedding photographers with their couples. I don't know if you've been to a Chinese wedding reception, but they often run a slideshow of the lucky couple in love in exotic locations. It's all completely ridiculous, of course, but they've all bought into this silly fiction. Anyway, to scaffold that fiction, they are all over Queenstown and Arrowtown taking these sorts of photos. You can tell he's a real “artsy” photographer because he's wearing a hoodie.

Chinese Wedding Photographs in Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-12-30 20:15:25
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture4
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length41.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Chinese Wedding Photos in Queenstown

Wedding Photos

I’ve only taken photos at two weddings in my life, and both were at Burning Man. And, neither of those was planned! I just kind of rolled up on my bike and saw a wedding going on, so I went photo-crazy. Afterward, I would always introduce myself to the bride and groom and send them the photos.

I also took photos of a temporary Burning Man wedding (only lasted for the week) and a temporary Burning Man divorce (only lasted for the week). I must say that my divorce photos really didn’t have the same feel as the wedding ones.

Daily Photo – Chinese Wedding Photos in Queenstown

You would not believe how many Chinese people come here to get their photo taken. Every day I see another couple. Sometimes they have these outrageous photographers as well. This guy was in this fully-realized hoodie and he would jump around doing this rather silly photo-parkour. He would gesticulate this way and that, making grandiose movements with his arms. The whole thing was like watching theater. This photo I call, “Saving a drowning victim.”

Chinese Wedding Photos in Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-12-30 20:15:25
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture4
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length41.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

A Dreamy Day in Glenorchy

Spotify Playlists

I have a bunch of different Spotify Playlists, but one of my favorites is Feelin’ Groovesalad. It’s one of my most active ones that I add to the most… Right now it has over 200 songs and I add about 5 more cool finds a week. Enjoy!

Daily Photo – A Dreamy Day in Glenorchy

Every time I make a trip to Glenorchy I come away with a winner photo or two. The whole place is so photogenic! I should be driving over there once a week or something. Actually, I'm home for a little six-week stint now before a SE Asia trip, so I'm going to set aside more time to visit some old favorite haunts and get some photos! I've been pretty busy organizing all my photos and preparing some unique content for Passport members, but most of that is finished now so I can take more photos.

A Dreamy Day in Glenorchy

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-21 22:31:45
  • CameraX1D-50c
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Dart River Valley

Video Tip on Denoising Mobile Shots

Many of you may have my Google Pixel 2 Review on the site, so you know I take a lot more mobile photos than usual. As great as the camera is, there is still some noise in sunset photos and night photos. This video below shows you how I get rid of the noise using Aurora HDR 2018.

Daily Photo – The Dart River Valley

I took this from a helicopter while my friend Choppy was flying me out on a work for a patron. I flew over this delta probably about 10 times, and it looks different every time. This is one of my favorite shots with the shadows of the mountains falling halfway across it.

There is a jet-boat adventure you can do through here. I still haven't tried it, but it's on my to-do list!

The Dart River Valley

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-03-30 05:56:49
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Tree in Waiheke

Looking to get away from cold USA Winters?

Why not come down here to New Zealand! It’s summertime and a great excuse to get out of all that coldness. If you need more incentive, check out the New Zealand Keyword in my SmugMug Portfolio!.

A bit of Post-Processing Love

This one was a fun little photo. I show you how to increase the sharpness and glow to selected areas of the image using layers. Thank you again for being a Passport Member and I hope you enjoy today’s edit!

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Daily Photo – Tree in Waiheke

The hilly areas of New Zealand (which is probably like 75%!) are filled with these huge trees that are just kinda hanging out alone on hilltops. Many times I see some distant tree and I think, “Hey, I should walk over there!” So, this day on Waiheke I did! You usually have to jump over a fence or four, but no one ever minds. You can walk through these hills all day long and never see another soul!

Tree in Waiheke

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-12-07 14:49:07
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/90
  • Aperture9.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-2/3

The Hills Near Arrowtown

Hasselblad X1D Review

I recently added some more photos to the Hasselblad X1D Review here on the site so, go have a look! However, if you are following the blog lately, then you may know I’m switching mostly over to the Sony A7R Mark 3!

Aurora HDR 2018 Free Update

As is often the case, the photo below was processed with Aurora HDR and it has just been updated for both Mac and Windows. If you already have Aurora you can automatically update from inside the app. If you don’t, grab it (including a free trial option) in the store! It’s now in its 11th iteration and the team at Skylum is making steady updates.

For those who have Aurora, here’s what’s new…

WINDOWS USERS

  • Improved Sliders: You can now directly enter values into a slider with the keyboard.
  • Improved presets: Applying multiple presets now handled correctly.
  • Cropping improvements: The cropped state of an image is now correctly captured in the native Aurora HDR file.

MAC USERS

  • Batch process faster: We’ve fine-tuned our bracket-detecting algorithm to speed up batch processing.
  • Align brackets better: We’ve updated our alignment algorithm to improve hand-held HDR photography.
  • Adobe plug-in improvements: The plugins for Adobe products have been performance tuned.
  • Improved cross-platform files: We’ve fixed issue with cropped photos created on Windows.
  • Improved user experience: We’ve refined the software to make it easier to use based on user feedback and testing.

Daily Photo – The Hills Near Arrowtown

This was one of my first stops when I got my Hasselblad X1D. Up at The Hills country club, there are some very beautiful rolling hills in almost every direction. Since I'm a landscape photographer, it's a simple turkey-shoot! You can just kind of look in any direction and get a good shooting situation. That makes testing the camera a bit easier. I found myself going right into Manual mode because of the Live EVF. I still had to use the camera for about a month before I was totally comfortable with it, however.

The Hills Near Arrowtown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-21 05:11:34
  • CameraX1D-50c
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Visiting Waiheke

New Video!

Hey if you’re a lucky Passport Member, you’ll see a new how-to-edit video for today’s photo. It’s mostly a vertirama made from several quadcopter shots. I think you’ll enjoy the edit!

And here’s quick how-to video that shows you how to stitch together a four shot vertorama I shot using the DJI Phantom Pro 4 drone and then edit the vertorama in Aurora HDR 2018.

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Daily Photo – Visiting Waiheke

Thanks again to my friend Deanie for letting my family stay at her place on Waiheke! It was a great little vacation after Tina's doctor visit in Auckland. Waiheke is less than an hour away by ferry and it's like a perfect little island getaway! There are so many cool beaches and awesome places to visit. If you have an extra few days on your next trip to New Zealand, be sure to come over thisaway!

Visiting Waiheke

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-12-08 13:47:52
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Fly, My Pretties!

My Instagram Stories

I advise you to watch my Instagram Stories only if you have absolutely nothing better to do. This should be your absolute last-resort, like after you’ve seen absolutely every show on Netflix. Then, and only then, you should watch all the silly stuff I put on my Instagram Stories.

Daily Photo – Fly, My Pretties!

This is what I scream every time my quadcopter takes off. You have probably seen this angle of the mountains a million times by now; that's because this is what the mountains look like about 100 meters over my studio! But this was a very special evening because of this colorful summer storm that moved in. These were the colors… nothing added or subtracted! If you were watching my Instagram live stories from that day you may remember!

Fly, My Pretties!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-27 21:17:04
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Jack’s Point Clubhouse

Time for a Passport Freebie! Panorama Processing Tip

Last year I made over 50 videos for Passport Members to see first or exclusively. I wanted to share this one publicly as sort of a promotion for the kinds of things you might see inside.

There are a lot of ways to skin the panorama cat. 90% of the time, this is the way I do it in the video below. To me, it just looks better than when the computer tries to auto-stitch it and remove the stitch lines.

Daily Photo – Jack's Point Clubhouse

And here's the final result. Pretty cool eh? And it didn't take much time at all. If you ever get out to the Queenstown area, be sure to pop over to Jack's Point and visit the clubhouse here. Anyone can go and there's a really good restaurant inside. Just outside is this perfect little pond. If you get there early enough (or on a windless day), the reflection is perfect!

Jack's Point Clubhouse

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-07-03 01:04:00
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length45.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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