I know many people have been ordering prints from SmugMug (there is a link below each photo), and I wanted to take a moment to thank you. I’ve been receiving emails and photos of “new walls” quite a bit, and I think it is exciting. Thanks again!
Daily Photo – A Reflective Morning in Milford Sound
After sleeping in my sleeping bag all night, a 6 AM wake up time was a little bit rough. The rough part was the cold that quickly cut through to my bones when I got out. Usually I get dressed inside the tent, but, being tentless, I had no other options. I guess I could have gotten dressed inside the sleeping bag, but that would have been a little bit strange and difficult. Plus, from the outside, I would have looked like I was going through some metamorphosis.
I think I’ll have to find some kind of netting or something light to cover me when I take naps outside. I’ve taken to hiking and just stopping in random places to take naps. There are countless comfy spots in the grass by waterfalls and bubbling brooks, but sometimes the sandflies are around and they can be a bit annoying. I’m not exactly sure what I need… kind of a little mini-net-tent or something like this. I’ll have to poke around, but any suggestions are welcome!
Daily Photo – Path to the Waterfall
This waterfall at Milford is one of those amazing things that churns away all day. Waterfalls that generate a ton of water constantly impress me. It’s hard to get my head around all the water that is in movement all the time, and it’s even more impressive that so much fresh water can be generated without end…
I used one of Trey’s Lightroom Presets on the photo below. Thanks again for all the good feedback on those – I am glad everyone is enjoying them!
Daily Photo – An Old Dock in the Lake
A bit further down the road to Glenorchy is an old dock that has fallen into the lake over the years. You can pull off the road just about anywhere and take a very short little walk to see a bunch of things you can’t see otherwise. I sometimes force myself to pull over and just go for little jaunt off in one direction or another. I’m pretty good at visualizing what it might be like from the road, but there’s often hidden information back there…
This how-to video is taking a very long time… I’ll get it done, but it will take a while longer…
If you click through to the YouTube page, you’ll see a list of all the tools I used… and that will give you some info in the meantime.
A few of the shots in the video are from this area around Glenorchy below.
Daily Photo – Rounding the Bend to Glenorchy
Each time I go around the bend from Queenstown to Glenorchy, I see something spectacular. I know there are a few people that live in Glenorchy and work in Queenstown, so that means they get to make this drive every day. I wonder if any of them like to take photos… if so, the commute must take an extra thirty minutes!
This comes from the full 4-video Art of Photography series that we recently launched for Beginner to Intermediate photographers. The live launch was a huge success (thanks everyone for the GREAT comments on that page!) and we have just released this first video for free. Sadly (but awesomely) you can go purchase the other 3 episodes if you find the first one to be helpful. I believe you will!
Many Days of New Zealand
I miss my new home in Queenstown, so I’m going to be posting a series of photos from NZ over the next few days. I hope that is okay. Normally I jump around and post places out of order, but I’ll make a departure from that for four or five days. Thanks for indulging me!
Daily Photo – A Moving Sunset
When the sun started going down in Milford Sound, I figured I was going to start using up a lot of memory cards. I’m still using those RAW Steel cards that are 16GB each. The D800 has been filling up my cards pretty quickly, so I’ve been thinking about upgrading to 32GB. But I already have a load of 16GB and swapping isn’t that much of a pain… maybe I should just wait until I need the 64GB some day… if ever.
I’ve got a great pair of hiking shoes, but my pants are not so great. I’m looking for a certain pair, but I just don’t know exactly what I’m looking for. This is one of the reasons I am generally dissatisfied with my hiking pants selection and shopping. Any suggestions are welcome! They have to be warm, super comfy, not “wander downwards” when I squat for low photos, and not be tooooo dorky. That’s not too much to ask, is it? 🙂
Daily Photo – Hiking Around Milford
I went around a bend in Milford and was greeted with these strange lost-world type trees. You can see the famous Mitre Peak there on the right. There is a wide array of lush vegetation around here because of the constant moisture. There’s even a surplus of moisture here because of a huge waterfall that is right behind me, coating everything in a fine mist all day long.
If you’re in the Petaluma area on Sunday, stop by and say hi! I’ll be on This Week in Tech with Leo at the TWIT studios. The show starts at 3 PM PT… hope to see you there!
Here’s a video from one of the previous times I was at the TWIT studios.
My NZ friends all assumed that I must have seen many auroras in the northern hemisphere, but I never have. I went out several times in Iceland and other places in the far north in the winter and never saw a thing. So I was very thrilled to have it happen just a few weeks after I arrived in NZ!
Daily Photo – The Comet in Queenstown
On the night of the Aurora Australis, I was about to pack up and head back to the car when I saw this amazing aurora right over the top of my head. It made this long triangle across the ceiling of the sky, so I had to do that thing where I get my camera in that strange position on the tripod of pointing up. There is always a tough yoga move you gotta perfect to get the camera situated at the right angle. Also, frankly, there’s a little bit of guesswork that comes into play too!
I leave today for a series of long flights that will end with me arriving at the PhotoWalk. I start in Queenstown (airport code ZQN – I think they were running out) and then go to Auckland then Los Angeles then New York City. I don’t know how many hours or miles it will be, and I don’t think I wanna know!
Daily Photo – Sunset in Milford Sound
I slept in my sleeping bag under the stars this night. It was very peaceful after seeing the pink milky sound under Mitre Peak.
I took this right before I left New Zealand down in Milford Sound. I was in a bit of a hurry (you know how things get rushed before a trip), and I left the house without my tent. All I had was a sleeping bag, but it’s a good one.
I slept under some trees that were tall and seemed to be leaning inwards while I looked up. Not long after that, I fell asleep…
I’m working on a how-to video that I will release to everyone soon. It shows how I did the photography, post-processing, editing and mixing, etc of this, along with all the tools. I do list out my equipment on the Stuff You Need page here on the site if you simply can’t wait.
30 Days and 30 Nights in Queenstown
(watch this 4K video in Full Screen in HD with good speakers/earphones! )
I’ve just moved to New Zealand, and my first 30 days and 30 nights here made a powerful impression on me. I’ve never done anything quite like this before, so I thought I would share what I felt with you.
(In Germany or can’t see the YouTube video? Here is the Vimeo Version.)
The music is from my friend… one of the few people on earth that makes my heart beat a little faster than normal… Hans Zimmer. Just go ahead and buy all of Hans Zimmer’s work… let it be the soundtrack of your life. 🙂
Over 300 hours of work went into the film’s creation. The Full How-To Video is coming soon, but I did everything myself… the shooting, the post-processing, the editing and sync, etc etc… I used a violent mixture of many tools: Photomatix Pro (Photomatix Review), Magic Bullet Looks (Magic Bullet Looks Review) , Topaz Adjust (Topaz Adjust Review), Adobe Lightroom, Adobe Photoshop, LRTimelapse, Twixtor Pro, Final Cut X. Also thank you for logistical help to my assistant Abraham Stephenson.
I created the entire piece myself here in Queenstown, New Zealand. All of the shots are from this little fertile crescent. I get many questions about that interior shot, and that is from the Commonage Villas. I stayed there for about a month while house-shopping, and I think it has some of the best views in Queenstown! Besides that location, every shot was less than a fifteen minute drive from my home.
I really privately announced the Trey’s Lightroom Presets last week, but they are leaking out there in every direction, so it seems strange to keep it a secret here on the blog any more! This is the first time I’ve ever released any Lightroom Presets, and I think you’ll be very happy.
I notice that some people are posting thumbnails of their own creations on the presets page in the comments. Others are [email protected] me on various social networks so i can have a look at their creations. I’ve run these through a ton of my own photos, so it’s great to see how they interact with other people’s photos too.
Before and After Image using Trey’s HDR Lightroom Preset
The “after” image was made with just one click of Trey’s HDR Lightroom Presets. What a dramatic difference!
Daily Photo – Our Galaxy over Queenstown
I took this photo on the evening of the Aurora Australis a few weeks ago. I came up with (BY ACCIDENT!) a new way of orienting the Milky Way so it goes straight up and down. Really, in the sky, it is a little bit tilted to the right. Anyway, here’s the trick.
When you take the photo, have your camera tilted to the left a bit. Then, when you crop later in Photoshop, turn on the “Perspective” checkbox and drag over the upper left corner until it is parallel with the Milky Way. Only people that are good at visualizing photoshop can understand what I am saying here… but I hope it helps!
Next time, I will do this trick by taking the tilted-photo on purpose! 🙂