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

Queenstown after Dark

Speaking of Aurora

Be sure to Pre-order it today! It drops in a week and you’ll be the first to get it! 🙂

Daily Photo – Queenstown after Dark

Here's a favorite photo I took from the top of the Gondola here in Queenstown one night. I should really go up there more, you know? It's kind of expensive… and I guess I always cheap-out a little bit because I live here. I'd actually like to go up here one night and spend the whole night, doing time-lapses and maybe seeing the Aurora. That would be epic… I wonder if I'm allowed to?

Queenstown after Dark

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-08-09 19:15:47
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time10
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • 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

Aro-Ha at Sunset

Burning Man Article Updated

Hi all! I updated my Burning Man article about how to protect your Camera in the wild conditions. I also linked to the upcoming Burning Man photo walk as well as linking to my Burning Man packing list for Photo Kits and my Burning Man Kit for Essentials.

Why not come to Aro-Ha?

This is not a paid ad or anything… I’m just a fan and my best friend owns the place. If you’re looking to come to New Zealand, why not plan a few days here at Aro-Ha? It’s about 45 minutes outside of Queenstown, and, as you can see, it’s quite the serene and beautiful place.

Daily Photo – Aro-Ha at Sunset

Here's my favorite little hot tub in New Zealand. This is at the yoga and meditation retreat, Aro Ha. This is where we had our photography/yoga workshop last year. This whole spa area is European clothing-optional, which some of us took full advantage of! It was a great place to unwind after a long day of hiking, yoga, and photography.

Aro-Ha at Sunset

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-10-09 15:12:44
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.5
  • Aperture9
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

A Panorama of the Valley

Fun, Free, and Passport-Only Content today!

I used today’s photo from here in Queenstown, New Zealand, as part of a series of fun videos. For those of you that are Passport Members (Thanks btw – and recommend to a friend if you don’t mind!), you’ll get to see a little bit extra about the animation process in Plotagraph. By the way, here is a Facebook Link to the animated version of today’s photo.

A Beautiful Way to get rid of Noise

Here’s a video that shows an unusual technique I came up with to get rid of noise.

And then I decided to animate it also using Plotagraph. Here’s a video showing how I did that. (If you watched the other video above you can skip through the first bit of this)

Exclusive content for Passport members

Unlock Now

Daily Photo – A Panorama of the Valley

So this was taken directly over my home. It was made of 4 or 5 photos with the DJI Phantom quad. I stitched them all together using Lightroom, then ran them through Aurora HDR before doing those finishing touches you see above with the noise reduction tip. It was a fun project! 🙂

A Panorama of the Valley

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-06-30 17:51:46
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • 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

The Earnslaw Burn

New Passport Video

If you’re an awesome Passport Member then you get to see today’s 360 video. It’s part 4, where I give a tour of my patron’s mansion in Beverly Hills and you can see where one of the works will hang. Right in the entry way, and I’m very honored. Parts 1-3 are various scenes of me flying out to the photo location under the glacier, forgetting a tent for our overnight stay, working on the photos over the project, etc. Anyway, enjoy Part 4 below ! 🙂

Passport Exclusive – 360 video

Exclusive content for Passport members

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Daily Photo – The Earnslaw Burn

Here's one of the final three works for the mysterious patron. What a fun (and tough!) project. But I'm very happy with all the final works. And, most importantly, so is he and his whole family! I like making people happy like that… kind of the purpose of creativity, right? To make yourself and others happy.

The Earnslaw Burn

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-12-01 09:08:33
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture11
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Another Walk in Glenorchy

Derek Sivers on Tim Ferris

Here’s a link – the one about self confidence, to the podcast when Derek first talks to Tim Ferris. I had about 10 people tell me I should meet him, and vice-versa, so we finally made it happen.

Daily Photo – Another Walk in Glenorchy

I had my new friend Derek Sivers down to Queenstown for a visit and we went over here to Glenorchy to take a walk. You can't ever go wrong with a walk here, talking about philosophy and life, taking photos all the way. The colors this day were particularly vibrant when the sun would bleed through the clouds.

Another Walk in Glenorchy

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-21 22:24:11
  • CameraX1D-50c
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • 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.

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