Speargrass Flats Road (near Arrowtown, New Zealand)

Updated Kit.com Page – Books

If you haven’t checked out my Kit.com page lately, be sure to check out the “Books” section for some new recommended reads there!

Daily Photo – Speargrass Flats Road (near Arrowtown, New Zealand)

This is a road near my home that I often run down to during my semi-regular jogging sessions. Obviously, this is in the middle of the Autumn, and this island is known for its rather majestic poplar trees. I notice that all poplar trees seem to be over 100 feet tall! I’ve never seen a short poplar tree… surely they exist, or maybe I just don’t notice them.

Speargrass Flats Road (near Arrowtown, New Zealand)

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-04-30 11:48:10
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture9
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length105.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

Attack of the Wolves at the Hills

This week I’m bringing you another great free video from Africa! By the way, there are just a few slots left for our upcoming Africa Photo Adventure, so be sure to come to have a look at the amazing trip we have in store for you!

In this video I’ll be hanging out of a helicopter and then getting into some layer fun in Photoshop.

Daily Photo – Attack of the Wolves at the Hills

Here’s a fun little vertirama of The Wolves at The Hills here in Arrowtown, New Zealand. I believe this was taken with two vertically stacked shots with the quadcopter. I think it’s nice how just getting 10 meters off the ground gives a slightly different perspective. The top-down is not nearly as good as I thought it would be, because you can’t tell that these are wolves vortexing in on a samurai.

Attack of the Wolves at the Hills

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-02-23 10:14:51
  • CameraFC220
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/2500
  • Aperture2.2
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length4.7 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Comments

Crossing the Range

Spotify Playlist Fun

Here is a new playlist of mine on Spotify for you to enjoy. It’s made up of songs that I listen to on a lazy, relaxing afternoon at Burning Man.

Daily Photo – Crossing the Range

There is a beautiful road that connects Wanaka and Queenstown that is locally known as the Crown Range. It’s the highest highway in all of New Zealand as it crosses the Southern Alps. There are plenty of places to pull off the side of the road and get a view of the valley down below. I live down in there somewhere… kinda over on the right side of the photo.

Crossing the Range

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-10-31 07:19:47
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.3
  • Aperture16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

Comments

Panorama of Lake Wakatipu

Arrowtown Brewing Co.

My friend David Gent has a new beer company! Dave is a cool dude. He comes over to my studio about once a week and we drink gin & tonics and come up with new Black Mirror plots. Last night we came up with our magnum opus episode about a fake vasectomy with a plot twist. Hey! Maybe we should make a podcast where we record these ideas. That’s a good idea in itself and it’s also the root of a good idea for another Black Mirror episode in a parallel universe where podcasts about ideas are illegal. Wait, let me write this down.

Dave was also the bass guitarist for The Exponents, one of the most well-known New Zealand bands. He’s also the sperm man for the great Tane Gent, who you may remember as my assistant before he left me for that delightful succubus in Chicago.

Anyway, here’s the new video for their beer company. He says it only cost $300 to make.

Thanks to Miller Best for his creation and Noel Coutts for the ladies eye candy. Arrowtown Brewing Co ad is up and running at Dorothy Browns Cinema.

Posted by Michael Thomas on Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Daily Photo – Panorama of Lake Wakatipu

On a recent trip to Glenorchy, I stopped along the road to make a panorama. I love it when the water here is so smooth and perfect. I continue to use Lightroom to do most of my stitching. It does a pretty good job, but it can occasionally really blow out some of the highlights. I wish I could make adjustments beforehand. Well, I actually can, but that takes an extra step because I have to export them from Lightroom and then bring them into Photoshop as layers before merging to the final image.

Panorama of Lake Wakatipu

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-10-21 10:52:54
  • CameraFC220
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture2.2
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length4.7 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

An Autumn Wander

Aurora HDR 2019

I used the new Aurora (that is available for PC and Mac) to make today’s image. If you haven’t picked it up yet, then be sure to pop on over to the store and make it happen!

Daily Photo – An Autumn Wander

Last Autumn, I took the time to have some random walks around the countryside here between Queenstown and Arrowtown. There are hundreds and hundreds of little scenes like this everywhere. Most are on private property, but it seems to kind of okay to wander around anyway. No one has ever stopped me. In fact, I’ve met a lot of nice people. They see me with a camera and are a little suspicious, but then they chill out after we talk for a while and see I am just one of their friendly neighbors!

An Autumn Wander

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-04-30 11:59:04
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture5
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

Derek Sivers in a Field

Sam Harris Meditation App

I have many meditation apps… this is a new one from Sam Harris that I really like. I think it’s perfect for people just getting into it for the first time. I’ve been meditating for a while, but it’s still fun to “start over” with a new set of techniques. That Sam Harris, he’s a cool cat.

Daily Photo – Derek Sivers in a Field

I think I really nailed it with the title of this photo. It came to me instantly. I don’t know what force brings about these amazing photo titles, but I am very thankful for it.

Man, I miss this guy! We were gonna do a big road trip across New Zealand, but we were both too busy to make it happen. He’s in Portugal now. Maybe I should make a trip over thataway and we’ll do a road trip there!

Derek Sivers in a Field

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-21 04:50:19
  • CameraX1D-50c
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

Autumn in Arrowtown, New Zealand

New Mavic 2 Zoom

I chose to get the new Mavic 2 Zoom because I’m excited about many features, namely the zoom-panorama. I haven’t tried this yet, but I’m going to try it on the scene below next Autumn. Apparently, you can put it into a special photo mode where it zooms into 48mm and then takes a series of shots and creates a high-resolution panorama. That sounds like it’s going to be a lot of fun to try in these situations.

Daily Photo – Autumn in Arrowtown, New Zealand

The trees on the hillside behind Arrowtown in the Autumn are so beautiful. There’s a big autumn festival every year in downtown every year where all the families come out and have a good old fashioned parade. I don’t really like parades. I don’t know why. Other people really seem to enjoy them. I wonder if I am missing something or if I am simply numbed by over-stimulation. But I don’t think that’s true either because I’m a happy camper just to sit there and meditate with nothing happening. I should meditate more on my dislike of parades.

Autumn in Arrowtown, New Zealand

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-05-01 13:43:02
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/4000
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO6400
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

Update on Workshops

New Goodies for Workshop attendees

For our upcoming Photography Workshops in New Zealand and Africa, I’ve decided to throw in a Peak Design Goodie Kit! It will include a Peak Design bag and lots of other goodies. I think you’ll have a great time on the workshop anyway, but even better if you’re sporting some flash new gear!

Daily Photo – Beautiful Arrowtown in the Autumn

And this is one of the things you'll definitely see on the Autumn New Zealand workshop. We always spend at least a day here in Arrowtown to see the incredible colors while receiving photography instruction. One of my favorite parts after a long day of shooting and post-processing is ending up at one of my favorite restaurants for a group dinner. Everything is included with the price, and we always want to over-deliver, so I take you to the best places… the best foods, best wines, best photography… what else could you ask for!?!

Beautiful Arrowtown in the Autumn

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-05-01 13:43:02
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/4000
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO6400
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

My Two Girls, Horsin’ Around

Horse Riding Tours

If you like riding horses and are coming to New Zealand, you should definitely schedule a few horse rides through the countryside. They are offered in almost every area. I’d recommend doing one in Glenorchy or Paradise, which is just about an hour away from Queenstown. That is the beautiful area where they shot Lord of the Rings and a lot of other movies. You can see many of my Glenorchy photos here.

My Two Girls, Horsin’ Around

My girls absolutely love horses. Below are two photos of them at their horse-riding school. It’s not just horse-riding, but all the stuff around it too. They do everything from brush and clean the horses to pick up the horse poop. They appear to love all aspects of this horse-care bit, which boggles my mind. They have been trying to talk me into buying a horse and keeping it here on our property. I have told them this is a preposterous idea and I will never do such a thing.

Comments

High above Lake Hayes

Don’t miss my new Drone Tutorial!

You’re gonna love this thing! Seeing today’s photo reminds me of how much fun it was to create the series of lessons. You can buy it here in our store or Join Passport and have it included for free!

Daily Photo – High above Lake Hayes

How pretty is this idyllic lake? It's only about ten minutes from my home and I don't know why I don't visit more often. I do like to go on runs around the outside… it's about 8 km around the whole thing. It's only glassy-still like this about 10% of the time. Most of those times, I don't even have my camera, which is a major bummer. This is actually a quadcopter shot made from three different photos.

High above Lake Hayes

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-05-02 14:53:56
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

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