Waking up Early

Where should we go next?

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.

Waking up Early

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-10-21 01:56:05
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length134.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Backyard View

Hasselblad X1D Review

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.

The Backyard View

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-30 19:51:47
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time0.5
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Serene Lake Hayes

360 Drone Shots?

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.

Serene Lake Hayes

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-06-27 04:05:00
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Derek Sivers in a Field of Fake Horses

More on Derek Sivers

You might enjoy his podcast he did with Tim Ferris. I found it fun, funny, and interesting~

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.

Derek Sivers in a Field of Fake Horses

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-21 04:48:47
  • CameraX1D-50c
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Lake Hayes in the Winter

Hasselblad X1D Review

Don’t forget to check out the Hasselblad X1D Review here on the site. I’ve recently added a few more sample photos in there for your enjoyment! 🙂

Daily Photo – Lake Hayes in the Winter

This is the first photo I took with the new Hasselblad X1D. Yes, this is my replacement X1D after I lost the first one on a train in Europe. I felt a little silly about that. But I'm so used to making mistakes that it no longer surprises me, or anyone around me. I find this both alarming and comforting. But I try to be like those ducks. Not a worry in the world… just kind of wander around aimlessly, doing duck-things.

Lake Hayes in the Winter

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-07-08 03:31:38
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture13
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length45.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Lake Hayes with no Wind

Quadcopter Panorama

This was taken with the DJI Phantom. I believe it was four different photos that I stitched together. I’ve started doing this more and more. I wish the quad could take vertical (portrait) shots that I could stitch together. I don’t always like how wiiiiiide the final shot becomes when you stitch them together. Well, I take that back. I suppose it depends on the medium. A giant print of this on a wall would look pretty sweet, I think. But it doesn’t read well on a phone or a tablet in the vertical position. I guess I shouldn’t think about the medium of display so much… but it does cross my mind.

European Highlight Video!

Here’s, probably, one of my favorite videos we’ve made around here. Thanks again to Olya and the whole team for making this video and the European tour possible!

Daily Photo – Lake Hayes with no Wind

This is Lake Hayes in Arrowtown, New Zealand. I try to come here at least once a week to have a run around the lake. It's 8KM around and a little bit hilly. It's always gorgeous, as you can see. Maybe half the time, there is no wind at all, so you get this incredibly glassy reflection. This was taken in the middle of winter, where the colors are the blandest… but, as you can see, “bland” colors in New Zealand are pretty electric!

Lake Hayes with no Wind

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-06-27 04:05:00
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

4 Tips for Taking Surprising Mobile Photos

It doesn’t matter if you use an iPhone or an Android there are a few things you can do to get your mobile photography to the next level. All of the photos included with the tips were taken with my Google Pixel phone. I normally shoot with a big Hasselblad camera, but sometimes all I have with me is my phone. I’ve come up with some great tricks to make them look as surprising and incredible as possible.

1) Don’t hit that big circle on the screen to take the photo. Use the Vol Up button on the side! One, when you jab the screen with your finger, you’re causing camera-shake and it will make your photo more blurry. Two, using the volume up button allows you to hold the camera much more steady with one or two hands.

Image 1

This was taken an underground Turkish bath in Budapest, Hungary. This is Olya, my crazy Russian videographer, who traveled through Europe with us to make some inspirational and tutorial videos.

2) Experiment with the mobile app Snapseed! It’s free and available for Android and iOS. This is, by far, the best app for editing your photos on your phone. There are many tools in there and many different filters. One great thing about Snapseed is you can layer many different filters together to really give your photo a unique look. People will wonder how you did it!

Image 2

Here’s a fun family photo from a few months ago when we rode camels near the pyramids in Egypt. I used Snapseed filters to give it this “look.”

3) Take some cheeky street photos. If you’re like me, as you walk around the streets, you often see interesting people, crazy outfits, or just kooky things you find interesting. It can sometimes be embarrassing to blatantly aim your phone at these things, so get used to using the Volume Up button to take the photos. On the Pixel phone, for example, I can turn on the camera by double-clicking the power button. Then I move my finger to volume-up to take the photo. Your horizon will probably be off, but you can fix that later.

Image 3

Here’s a cheeky street photo I took in Budapest, Hungary. This is my assistant Tane. He’s not posing; this is literally how he looks all the time.

4) Try combining your phone with an iPad or tablet to edit your photos to the next level. Professional photographers know that a photo reads differently on a larger screen. Next time you’re at a coffee shop, why not zap your photo over to your tablet (via Google Photos or Airdrop), then use Snapseed to edit it there. A good photo always looks better bigger on a tablet, so don’t feel like you’re forced to use that tiny little screen.

Image 4

This a photo I took in Aruba. I was jogging on the beach, and of course I had my mobile phone with me. I was able to cover a lot of ground quickly, and there’s no way I would go on a jog and carry a Hasselblad! But it’s nice to always have the phone with me and take a ton of photos, picking out the best after I sit down to relax.

Image 5

Near my home on the south island of New Zealand, there is this amazing place to watch the sunset called Lake Hayes. I forgot my big Hasselblad camera, so all I had was my phone. There’s a saying that the Best Camera is the one you have with you!

Image 6

Here’s a panorama of three different photos I took while on a walk here near my home in New Zealand. Since I have an Android, I use Google photos. One great thing about Google Photos is there’s a little AI assistant that will “gift” you a panorama if it senses you took a lot of photos close together.

The Wolf Attack

Medium Format Depth of Field

I’m still getting to know this X1D. This one was shot at F/5.6 with the focus on the wolf’s mouth. You can see the tail is a bit out of focus, as is the warrior in the distance. I think I should have pumped it up to F/3.5 (as low as that 30mm can go), or gone all the way to F/16 to get everything in focus. I’m not upset with the photo… but I am kind of in the middle of that DOF range here.

Daily Photo – The Wolf Attack

Yes, yes, I've posted about 10 photos of this sculpture! But every time I go back here, I just can't help but take more and more… I always try to mix it up just a little bit too. This is one of those shots that's really hard to get without using HDR because this near wolf was almost entirely in shadow.

The Wolf Attack

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-21 05:41:47
  • CameraX1D-50c
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Day of the Dead in Arrowtown

Lightroom Presets

Today’s photo is brought to you courtesy of… drumrolll…. Trey’s Lightroom Presets. This is the package from last year that contains heaps of presets. I hope you have a great time with them! 🙂

Daily Photo – Day of the Dead in Arrowtown

Here are two of my friends in full regalia at Halloween. They really did it up, eh? I was going to go to this party dressed as a unicorn, but my wife told me that would be stupid because no one else would be in costume. I finally agreed, since I try not to make her mad. But then we got there and almost everyone was in costume. Oh well. Unicorn next year.

Day of the Dead in Arrowtown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-10-29 13:50:12
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2500
  • Aperture
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Happy Horses

More Max Patte

Go check out Max Patte’s Website to see more of his work. I’ve met him a few times, and he’s a heck of a nice guy! 🙂

Daily Photo – Happy Horses

Here's another sculpture by Wellington artist Max Patte. I shot this at The Hills in Arrowtown… a sprawling golf course filled with incredible sculptures like these. These horses are huge too, at least 2x the size of a real horse. People always try to climb them, but then realize how awesome-huge they are. This is one of my favorite times to photograph them – in Autumn just when the grass is getting long.

Happy Horses

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-21 04:44:15
  • CameraX1D-50c
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Newsletter Sign Up

The most beautiful newsletter ever!