Flying Over the Entrance to Milford Sound

Aurora HDR 2018 Avaiable Now for Mac/Windows!

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.

 

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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!

Flying Over the Entrance to Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-02-19 10:44:14
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Rainy Day in Milford Sound

Bad Memory

I took this less than a year ago, but I had no memory of what lens or camera I used. I had to go look at the EXIF! I was 90% sure it was the Hasselblad, but I had no clue on the focal length. It looked quite zoomed in, but then I realized the waterfalls are so massive, you really can’t tell. Anyway, it was the 35-90mm, shot at 60mm. I wish there was a zoom lens, but in everyone’s life, a little waterfall must fall.

Daily Photo – Rainy Day in Milford Sound

In Milford, when it rains, the mountains pour. I tell most people when they go that rain is probably one of the best weather situations down there… literally THOUSANDS of waterfalls. I believe I took this one right by the tunnel that leads from one side of these massive mountains to the other. Waterfalls are crazy on both sides… mind-blowing, really. Whoever built that tunnel and road to Milford Sound, THANK YOU!

Rainy Day in Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-12-21 09:13:11
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length60.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Bleached Tree in Milford Sound

More passport Goodness

For just the price of a few cups of coffee a month, you can be a passport member and see a new 360 video today where I’m talking about my goals at Milford Sound. I was able to accomplish a few of them, and I failed at others. I have some fun photos from this trip coming up! 🙂

Passport Exclusive – My goals at Milford Sound

I often arrive at a location with amorphous goals. I’m sure this happens to you too. I get to a cool place, even one I’ve been to before, and then I have a sudden worry: “What the heck am I going to shoot here that is interesting?” Here’s another video for you, gentle Passport Member (thx again!) – where I talk about some goals… It’s good to have some goals and then vary from your main course… as is the case with today’s photo that was taken during this outing.

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Daily Photo – Bleached Tree in Milford Sound

This was taken early in the morning at low tide. The tide here goes dramatically up and down. At high tide, you can just see a few branches sticking out of the water, but at low tide, you can walk about half a kilometer out into the bay and get shots like this. I shot this at f/1.4 with the Leica 21mm on the Sony A7r Mark II.

Bleached Tree in Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-02-19 02:25:33
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

1.5 Mil Downloads and a Giveaway Comment-to-Win Event to Celebrate!

Happy Passport Day!

Thanks again to those of you that are Passport Members – Today you get a special 360-degree behind-the-scenes video at Milford Sound. Well, TWO videos actually! If you don’t know what “Passport” is – well it’s a simple thing… for the price of a couple of cups of coffee per month, you get extra behind-the-scenes stuff, presets, and more. Nothing has changed on the blog… still a new photo and tips every day, but now I’m able to use some cool tech to add more stuff!

1.5 Million Downloads and a Giveaway + Deals to celebrate!

1.5 million downloads for Aurora HDR! Amazing everyone… and that’s only on the Mac (wait till we release the Windows version!! yes yes… still working on it, I promise!). Anyway, to celebrate this number, we’re throwing together a fun package deal just for a short time… it’s a bundle of the software and me newest (and best) HDR Tutorial video I did with Lisa Bettany in Venice.

Giveaway Time! Just Leave a Comment for you and a friend to win!

To celebrate that crazy number of downloads, I’m giving away 5 copies of Season 1 of Becoming an Artist. We filmed the whole thing in Africa, and I think you’re gonna love it… a very personal project chockful of tips & tricks.

To win a copy for yourself and a friend, simply leave a comment below (and, well, say whatever you want!) but also be sure to mention your friend. We’ll pick 5 random winners in the next week! 🙂 Here’s the promo video:

Favorite Photos of Milford Sound

Since I use Aurora HDR pretty much every day of my life, I thought I’d share some of my favorite HDR photos from Milford Sound! If you watch the exclusive PASSPORT videos below, then you get to see how amazing these fjords are all around you! 🙂


Amazing Milford Sound with Silky Fog

 Clayton Morris from Fox News Balances The water was slowly, slowly, slowly rising one morning in Milford Sound when we were all there together. We made a desperate retreat just as things were getting a bit too late. The last one to cross was Clayton, so I spun around quickly to get this shot while he was being all Cirque de Soliel with his tripod. And no, he did not fall into the water!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Poems in the Moonlight in Milford Sound

trey-ratcliff-new-zealand-milford-sound (374 of 649)

Passport Exclusive – Tips from Milford Sound

Thanks again Awesome Passport Member! You’re the best… has anyone told you that lately? Well, now they have! 🙂 Here are two 360 videos I recently made in Milford Sound… enjoy

Exclusive content for Passport members

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Exclusive content for Passport members

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Bowen Falls and Milford in Black and White

Milford 360 Behind the Scenes

I made a 360 video for Passport Members that shows what it looks like just after you emerge into the fjord side of the tunnel. Normally there are lots of waterfalls and it is rainy, this time, the weather was perfect! Anyway, enjoy… and let me know if you like these 360 videos and I can make more.

360 Video of the fjord side of the Milford Sound tunnel

Hello, Brave Passport Member! Here’s another 360 video for you! I’ve been watching these both in YouTube and with my Google Daydream… pretty cool, eh?

Exclusive content for Passport members

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Daily Photo – Bowen Falls and Milford in Black and White

This is a little black and white study across the sound facing Bowen Falls. It's illegal, I think, but you can scramble around a wall down by the rocks (quite dangerous) and follow a path back there to an old grave. It's pretty back there but hard to get a photo because of all the spray that comes off the waterfall.

Bowen Falls and Milford in Black and White

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2012-10-27 06:36:03
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperture
  • ISO
  • Focal Length
  • Flash
  • Exposure Program
  • Exposure Bias

Into the Night in Milford Sound

TIP: How to use the Samsung Gear 360 Camera when using any Android Phone

This was not easy to figure out! Luckily good man Stu here, my techie right-hand-man at Stuck In Customs figured all this out… here’s how you do it!

Why would you do this?

The Gear 360 can be controlled using its small LCD and the buttons on the device but some functionality available in the app isn’t available using this method.

Main Benefits of the App:

  • Only way to unlock images for processing (happens during copy from camera to handset)
  • Live view so you can see where the stitching will be and avoid it landing on key areas
  • Ability to set ISO, white balance, HDR etc
  • Fire the camera wirelessly (you can hide)

In short, the app will function just as it does on a Galaxy handset. The only thing you need to remember is NOT to transfer videos via the App. At the end of transfers the app does some encoding, it’s a drain on battery/time. Just stick the the MicroSD card to from the Gear 360 into your system and copy the videos. Load them into the Gear 360 ActionDirector (bundled with the camera) and it will unlock them for use in your editing software.

Pics, you can transfer those on the app and let them convert so you can work with them in Photoshop, Lightroom, Aurora HDR, etc.

How to install the Gear 360 App

Step 1) Use Google Play to install the Samsung Accessory Service.

Step 2) Enable Unknown Source Installs on your handset. (Settings>General>Fingerprints + Security)

Gear 1

Step 3) Download and install the Gear 360 Manager from here.

Step 4) Launch the Gear 360 App. It should run as normal. The connection initially is via Bluetooth but then it switches to its own Wi-Fi network later on.

Step 5) Switch back the unknown source option to off. (Settings>General>Fingerprints + Security)

That’s it… in theory!

I did read that on some phones if live-view or file browsing doesn’t work you may need to switch the option to for mobile data when on Wi-Fi but opinions varied. If you need it here is the option (Settings>Networks> tap the current network). You can also watch out for new versions of the modified apps over on the XDA forum. Those guys over there have done some great work to make this possible.

Gear2

Have fun and be sure to share your results in our Facebook Group.

Starry Starry Night

Passport Members get to see a special 360 video below about an hour before I took this photo. Something that’s not in the video that I can tell you now – I shot this with the Leica 21mm at F/1.4. Getting as LOW as possible in that F-Stop is key for getting good star shots.

Thoughts on Failure

Here’s another 360 video I shot here in Milford Sound just as it was getting dark… Enjoy! Oh, P.S. the Timelapse video turned out to be TERRIBLE. That Samsung 360 Gear is really cool, but not so good for low-light photos.

Exclusive content for Passport members

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Daily Photo – Into the Night in Milford Sound

This is maybe my tenth trip to Milford? I always have a lovely and different sort of time there. I've never seen it so starry, though! I was here with my friends Mark and Curtis and the photos and wine were flowing nicely! 🙂 Curtis had suggested we go back to the room and relax for a while then come back out for the stars. I refused to follow this plan because I was afraid we'd never make it back out! But then just about 45 minutes later it was dark enough to take these sorts of photos.

Into the Night in Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-02-18 17:52:34
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time20
  • Aperture
  • ISO3200
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

Amazing Milford Sound with Silky Fog

First 360 Passport Video

Hey for those of you that get Passport Access, you’ll get to see my first ever 360 video! It’ll be at the bottom of this post for you if you’re logged in. You can watch in YouTube or Google Daydream/Cardboard, or whatever! In the video, I shoot it at night down on the water… but I actually shot the photo below with a quadcopter the next morning. I have a cool night shot that I’m still working on and will post in coming weeks.

My first 360 Video!

Enjoy my first ever 360 video with tips and thoughts. I hope you enjoy! Any questions, leave in the comments as usual! 🙂

Exclusive content for Passport members

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Daily Photo – Amazing Milford Sound with Silky Fog

Some friends and I just made the trek down to Milford Sound for a little photo getaway. you NEVER know what the weather is gonna be like down there. We had good karma I suppose and ended up with incredible weather! It was a great road trip… great tunes, good friends, good wine, and good snacks! Oh, and a few good photos here and there too… a lot more to edit! Oh btw, that is the famous Mitre Peak there on the right sticking out through the clouds.

Amazing Milford Sound with Silky Fog

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-02-19 09:38:55
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Cotton Candy Fjord

An Older Photo, Remastered

I took a series of photos here in Milford Sound about three years ago during the best sunset I have ever seen there. Just amazing! I processed a few back then, but then been hanging on to the others for a “rainy day.” That rainy day was just a few Sundays ago, so I made this!

The making-of-video for The Cotton Candy Fjord

Here’s my making-of video where I show off a few techniques and show how to bring balance to the final photo.

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Daily Photo – The Cotton Candy Fjord

I believe this is the night I met Glenn Guy. He just happened to be hanging out here taking photos and he came over to say hello. He couldn't have been a nicer guy and we hit it off right away!

The Cotton Candy Fjord

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2012-08-08 02:58:25
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length20.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Into the mists of Milford Sound

Behind the Scenes at Hans Zimmer’s Studio

I stopped by on a Sunday a few weeks ago to see Hans Zimmer and Steve about some fun projects. Right at the end, I started this little live video – enjoy! 🙂

Daily Photo – Into the mists of Milford Sound

On one ill-fated day, Ruby had to drive the team deep into Milford Sound on a photo expedition. The roads got worse and worse as the weather continued to falter. On the plus side, we had plenty of wine, which only made the trip more annoying for Ruby. This was also my first day testing out the Hasselblad, and I consistently came away impressed at the quality of the images.

Into the mists of Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-12-21 08:23:41
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length90.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

A Hassy Pano at Monkey Creek

New Article on Stuff

Here’s an article on Stuff.co.nz about our new Facebook Live show.

Best Pano Software?

I use Photoshop or Lightroom for simple panos that are only a few shots. For the bigger panos, especially when I want to HDR them, I use Auto Pano Giga. That program is hard as hell to use, but I love the results!

Daily Photo – A Hassy Pano at Monkey Creek

It was a bleak day for sure, but I really like the mood of this photo. It was literally my first day using the Hasselblad, and I didn't quite have the lens I wanted to get in the whole valley. So I made a series of horizontal shots and stitched them all together later in Photoshop.

A Hassy Pano at Monkey Creek

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-12-21 08:42:23
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/50
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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