Driving to Dunedin

Hasselblad Phocus Testing

I’ve been playing a lot with “Phocus,” which is Hasselblad’s own first-party software for processing their photos. I thought for a while it was going to be better than Lightroom, but I just don’t see that yet. Look, I post-process a LOT (shocker), and I’m very familiar with many different tools. I don’t see anything I can do in Phocus that I can’t in Lightroom. But I’m still playing around… one thing for sure, Phocus is FASTER than Lightroom, but so is going to the moon…

Daily Photo – Driving to Dunedin

Sometimes on long drives across the south Island of New Zealand, you can come across many kinds of weather. This was one of those sunny days in one area where you are driving towards a bit of a gloomy, possibly stormy area. I hopped out of my car about ten times to get different photos, and this was one of my favorite compositions.

Driving to Dunedin

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-04-06 05:30:43
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Another View over Queenstown

Looking at a new PC

Some of you may have seen my Switching to Windows guide where I got a 17″ MSI. Now I think it is just toooooo big, so I’m thinking of switching to the 15″ UHD Razer. But that is up in the air…pretty busy with this European Tour, but this is a subject on my hardware mind! Anyway, I’ll let you know when I make a decision… That Razer is so pretty and fast… I’m a sucker for that! πŸ™‚

Daily Photo – Another View over Queenstown

Queenstown is a small town with only about 25,000 people. See that group of buildings to the left? That's the main part of downtown… the photo I shared yesterday was one of about four neighborhoods around town. When I first moved out here, we rented an AirBnB in three different neighborhoods to see what it was actually like to live in a foreign country. The great news was that all of them were amazing, and you just can't make a bad choice around here!

Another View over Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-04-25 21:10:55
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/90
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length65.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Soaring over Queenstown

Tip for shooting out of airplane windows

I usually set my f-stop as low as it will go so that I don’t see all the muck and water-spots on the window. If you’re focused on infinity, which surely you will be, everything really close to the lens will not even be visible… a fun little optics trick there! πŸ™‚

Daily Photo – Soaring over Queenstown

This is the Kelvin Heights area of Queenstown. Pretty eh? This is one of those places you fly over as you are coming into or out of Queenstown Airport (depending on the wind). Be sure you grab a window seat if you ever fly in here… some of the best views in the world. Oh, and have your camera ready to go!

Soaring over Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-04-25 22:11:36
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Having a Night Ski at Coronet Peak

Following along in Europe

Try out the #80stays hashtag on Instagram to follow along and see some of the photos people are taking while joining me on the European Photo Walk Tour!

Daily Photo – Having a Night Ski at Coronet Peak

This is kind of a crazy photo, eh? In a lot of ways, I think it is kind of a crappy photo, but in another way, it's sort of an abstract. I was going back and forth between how to process this photo, and I finally decided on this other-worldly look. The whole thing reminds me of something sci-fi in a way… the idea of skiing at night is pretty awesome. I can see this lit-up ski field atop Coronet peak from my home down at the bottom of the mountain.

Having a Night Ski at Coronet Peak

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-08-13 18:46:24
  • CameraFC330
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time0.5
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO649
  • Focal Length3.6 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramUnknown (8176)
  • Exposure Bias+0.7

My Backyard

Link to Derek Sivers on Tim Ferris

Yesterday I mentioned that I was hanging out with Derek and maybe you don’t know who he is! Here’s a link to a podcast interview with Tim Ferriss you may enjoy!

Daily Photo – My Backyard

This is one of the very first photos I took with the X1D. The sun was getting kind of a low, and we have a bunch of land out back where sometimes I go for a wander. I decided to take my new toy out with me! I was basically testing different F-Stops… this is where I ended up at F/22. The F/16 shot looked 95% the same, except this one kept the bits in the foreground a weeeeee bit sharper. This was taken with the 30mm lens.

My Backyard

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-27 23:35:10
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Staring up in Paradise

First X1D Photo

Here’s one of the first photos I took with the new Hasselblad X1D. I went out and took all sorts of different photos as I’m getting to know the new camera system… I’m finding it very sharp and fun. I don’t have enough data yet for a full review, but I’m really enjoying it! πŸ™‚

Daily Photo – Staring up in Paradise

If you go past Glenorchy for another 30 minutes, you enter a magical forest of sorts near Paradise. Derek Sivers and I were walking around the mossy forest for a while, talking and seeing pretty things… then I decided to look up, and I saw this pretty little scene.

Staring up in Paradise

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-21 23:54:05
  • CameraX1D-50c
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Over the wine fields of Waiheke Island

Awesome Heletranz

If you don’t want to take the ferry to Waiheke Island and instead arrive in style, I recommend Heletranz as an incredible way to see the island and travel about. They can set you up for a day-long experience that includes visiting wineries, crazy car rides, knife-throwing, gun-shooting (those last three via Boomrock), and more! Here’s a live show we did while there!

Daily Photo – Over the wine fields of Waiheke Island

I got up with the quadcopter as many times as I could while on the island… looking at these photos really makes me want to go back. It's just a short ferry ride from Auckland, and now I have some new friends that live there. If you're planning a month-long trip to New Zealand, be sure to spend a few days over here, touring the wineries and whatnot.

Over the wine fields of Waiheke Island

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-05-26 15:55:19
  • CameraFC330
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramUnknown (58655)
  • Exposure Bias+0.656

Massive Huka Falls

Continued P4 Pro + Problems

I sent my list of complaints to DJI and they still haven’t responded. So, I’ll repost them here publicly… I’m still recommending the non-“Plus” version of this device. You can also see my DJI Phantom Review here on the site.

1) At least three times while up in the air and fairly far away, the Plus thought there were obstacles in front of it. There was nothing… it was in the middle of the bright open air. This mostly happened when I was trying to fly it back to me. The two workarounds I found were a) to do a 180 and back it home to trick the sensors and b) switch to ATTI mode to manually fly it back. Of course, ATTI (Manual) mode can be very scary if the quad is a far away dot and you can’t tell what direction you’re going. (It seemed to happen whether or not I calibrated the compass before each flight.)

2) On four occasions the UI disappeared and we were left with a slightly zoomed-in version.

3) On three occasions I would get it up and somewhere between 50 and 100 feet it would say “Maximum Altitude Reached.”

4) After booting up, it took a long time to get a good connection to the controller. The connection was often weak even though there was no EM interference anywhere (we were in the middle of nowhere on the South Island of New Zealand).

5) Every time I fly now after a few minutes it says “Unable to save video – video cache is full.” For a while, this messed with my head because it made me think my SD card was full. That’s what it sounds like, right? So I kept landing and putting in new SD cards. But now I think it means the controllers video cache was full. I don’t know what that means or why it happens. The cache should just be dumping all the time as new stuff comes in, right?

6) The video that appears on the screen is not super-smooth and does a major tear randomly every 5-15 seconds. By “tear” I mean it shows half a second of video from 2-3 seconds previously. It freaks me out because I don’t feel like I’m getting real time video – also it makes me think I’m not getting smooth video.

7) When broadcasting to Facebook Live (See My Facebook Live Videos!), there was no way to upload the HD version or save the video myself. These are both options avail on the non plus version.

8) When going live on Facebook, I cannot choose my “Fan Page” – only my personal page.

9) Last, a minor one… when making the description for FB Live, I only have like 80 characters and there is no way to copy/paste more than a single word.

10) …another minor one… didn’t notice it until the import but the default clock does not update automatically. All my pictures say they were taken in 1951, which is well-known for being one of the worst years for quadcopters.

Daily Photo – Massive Huka Falls

This was one of my scariest quad flights ever! I was staying up at the Huka Lodge which is so far up that river you can just BARELY see it. See those little bits of white up there? One of this is probably me, pale white with fear. Something about taking the quad over a waterfall is terrifying. I started to lose transmission power too at this distance… I was getting lots of beeps and bloops in the controller which added to the stress even more! Anyway, I ended up with this pretty cool vertirama that turned out pretty good… I was just so happy to bring the bird home and land it.

Massive Huka Falls

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-05-24 12:04:42
  • CameraFC330
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramUnknown (58655)
  • Exposure Bias

Beautiful Rough Mountains in the Southern Alps

Getting closer to the European Tour!

Be sure to visit our European Photo Walk Tour page and see if you can join us for a photo walk or a workshop! πŸ™‚

Daily Photo – Beautiful Rough Mountains in the Southern Alps

On a helicopter ride to Glenorchy, we soar over hundreds of peaks like these. I've literally taken thousands of photos like this, just small studies. I really don't publish many of them, because they are just little ideas. But I think it's important to do this. I think no matter your photography level, it's good to take pictures of things you see here and there – interesting shapes, textures, and compositions.

Beautiful Rough Mountains in the Southern Alps

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-18 11:20:20
  • CameraILCE-7S
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length19.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Passport Exclusive Content

Do you have Passport yet?

If you’re already an awesome Passport Member then you’ll be able to see the secret hidden content below, if you’re not…what are you waiting for? For the price of a couple a cups of coffee a week you get to see all sorts of behind-the-scenes stuff, get access to my tutorials, presets and so much more!

Passport Exclusive – X1D Initial Quick Review

Hi, Awesome Passport Member. I feel like I call you awesome a lot… but it’s true, you know? You can’t ever have someone call you “Awesome” too much, right?

Here is a video I made that talks about the new Hasselblad X1D camera. I haven’t written a full review yet, so this is just a little “early” review that talks about the camera a bit – enjoy!

Exclusive content for Passport members

Unlock Now

Newsletter Sign Up

The most beautiful newsletter ever!