The Shuttle at Rest

Part 2 for Passport Sunday

The creation of this photo took many steps, so I decided to split the process into two videos across two Sundays for Passport Members. So, today, we get to see the resolution to our exciting cliffhanger!

A Panorama of the Road from Glenorchy to Queenstown

Part 2 of the Mavic 2 Zoom Panorama

Here is a Link to Part 1 of this video from last Sunday if you did not see it. In this one, you’ll see how I put the finishing touches on this challenging pano with Aurora HDR.

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Daily Photo – The Shuttle at Rest

This is actually another panorama, but it was a little easier to put together. I was lucky enough to go out and get really close to the space shuttle on the day before the big launch. I was so excited… just a like a little kid! I still get excited thinking about it.

The Shuttle at Rest

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2011-07-07 18:42:32
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture6.7
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length300.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

Crossing the Range

Spotify Playlist Fun

Here is a new playlist of mine on Spotify for you to enjoy. It’s made up of songs that I listen to on a lazy, relaxing afternoon at Burning Man.

Daily Photo – Crossing the Range

There is a beautiful road that connects Wanaka and Queenstown that is locally known as the Crown Range. It’s the highest highway in all of New Zealand as it crosses the Southern Alps. There are plenty of places to pull off the side of the road and get a view of the valley down below. I live down in there somewhere… kinda over on the right side of the photo.

Crossing the Range

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-10-31 07:19:47
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.3
  • Aperture16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

Comments

Editing a Massive Panorama

Passport Sunday!

If you’re a Passport member, today you’ll see how I’ve changed the way I stitch together my panoramas, especially for these shots that are made from the drone.

Editing a MASSIVE Panorama

Creating this photo took quite a while, so I decided to split it up into two videos! In this first one, you’ll see how I prep the photos before I make the panorama and then the final stitching process. In the next video (next Sunday), I’ll show how I use Aurora HDR for the final touches.

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Daily Photo – A Huge Panorama of the road from Glenorchy to Queenstown

It was a perfect day a few weeks ago on the drive back, so I got the new Mavic 2 Zoom up in the air to take this panorama. It’s kind of annoying, in a way, that when the Mavic zooms into the sky, it doesn’t do any exposure adjustment. That always requires a little bit of cleanup.

A Huge Panorama of the road from Glenorchy to Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-12-01 15:47:22
  • CameraFC2204
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture3.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.6 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

Panorama of Lake Wakatipu

Arrowtown Brewing Co.

My friend David Gent has a new beer company! Dave is a cool dude. He comes over to my studio about once a week and we drink gin & tonics and come up with new Black Mirror plots. Last night we came up with our magnum opus episode about a fake vasectomy with a plot twist. Hey! Maybe we should make a podcast where we record these ideas. That’s a good idea in itself and it’s also the root of a good idea for another Black Mirror episode in a parallel universe where podcasts about ideas are illegal. Wait, let me write this down.

Dave was also the bass guitarist for The Exponents, one of the most well-known New Zealand bands. He’s also the sperm man for the great Tane Gent, who you may remember as my assistant before he left me for that delightful succubus in Chicago.

Anyway, here’s the new video for their beer company. He says it only cost $300 to make.

Thanks to Miller Best for his creation and Noel Coutts for the ladies eye candy. Arrowtown Brewing Co ad is up and running at Dorothy Browns Cinema.

Posted by Michael Thomas on Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Daily Photo – Panorama of Lake Wakatipu

On a recent trip to Glenorchy, I stopped along the road to make a panorama. I love it when the water here is so smooth and perfect. I continue to use Lightroom to do most of my stitching. It does a pretty good job, but it can occasionally really blow out some of the highlights. I wish I could make adjustments beforehand. Well, I actually can, but that takes an extra step because I have to export them from Lightroom and then bring them into Photoshop as layers before merging to the final image.

Panorama of Lake Wakatipu

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-10-21 10:52:54
  • CameraFC220
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture2.2
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length4.7 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

An Autumn Wander

Aurora HDR 2019

I used the new Aurora (that is available for PC and Mac) to make today’s image. If you haven’t picked it up yet, then be sure to pop on over to the store and make it happen!

Daily Photo – An Autumn Wander

Last Autumn, I took the time to have some random walks around the countryside here between Queenstown and Arrowtown. There are hundreds and hundreds of little scenes like this everywhere. Most are on private property, but it seems to kind of okay to wander around anyway. No one has ever stopped me. In fact, I’ve met a lot of nice people. They see me with a camera and are a little suspicious, but then they chill out after we talk for a while and see I am just one of their friendly neighbors!

An Autumn Wander

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-04-30 11:59:04
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture5
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

Derek Sivers in a Field

Sam Harris Meditation App

I have many meditation apps… this is a new one from Sam Harris that I really like. I think it’s perfect for people just getting into it for the first time. I’ve been meditating for a while, but it’s still fun to “start over” with a new set of techniques. That Sam Harris, he’s a cool cat.

Daily Photo – Derek Sivers in a Field

I think I really nailed it with the title of this photo. It came to me instantly. I don’t know what force brings about these amazing photo titles, but I am very thankful for it.

Man, I miss this guy! We were gonna do a big road trip across New Zealand, but we were both too busy to make it happen. He’s in Portugal now. Maybe I should make a trip over thataway and we’ll do a road trip there!

Derek Sivers in a Field

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-21 04:50:19
  • CameraX1D-50c
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

Pre-Interview Sunrise

Aurora HDR 2019

Hey guys, don’t forget to pop over to our store and get the new Aurora HDR 2019. Today’s photo is a good example of what it can make out of a single RAW file (handheld shot).

Daily Photo – Pre-Interview Sunrise

One of the New Zealand TV Morning Shows invited me down for an interview early one morning here in Queenstown. They were set up down by the lake, and it was freezing cold. I don’t know why they decided to do it at the coldest time of year, but, hey, I’m not in TV production. Anyway, I went down there to give a little interview about my fine art and some of my collectors. About 30 seconds before I ran onto the set, I took this photo!

Pre-Interview Sunrise

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-07-04 08:08:31
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length23.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

Beautiful Queenstown

Best Black Friday / Cyber Monday Photography Deals

Searching for the best photography deals? We’ve made a tidy little list which will hopefully save you time and money!

Only TWO spaces left for our New Zealand Photo Workshop

Also, be sure to pop over to our workshops page to get more info and sign up. You’ll love it! (Be sure to check out the Black Friday page above for a special offer on the Workshops…)

Daily Photo – Beautiful Queenstown

You might recognize this from a lot of advertisements that Google ran to promote its Chromebook laptops. That caused a minor point of contention, I will tell you, honestly. But I didn’t have any desire to sue Google because I have so many friends there. Besides, the idea to sue a big company is just an invitation for disaster, no matter how genuine and ernest the intention. I mentioned this issue one day when I was talking to Sergey and things were worked out.

Anyway, this is one of the scenes you’ll see if you come out to New Zealand for the workshop! I only do one of these a year, and I have as good of a time as all of you!

Beautiful Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-02-08 11:45:33
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Comments

Chinese Wedding Photographers in Queenstown, New Zealand

The New Flickr Pro

I added this to the Flickr forums after they announced the new pricing model at Flickr. I’ll share it with you now! Oh, also, here’s a link to my Flickr Account.

I think all the Pro features look fantastic and it’s a huge step in the right direction. I know the team is very serious about doing this the right way.

Besides, the cost of Pro is a FRACTION of what most photographers pay for their equipment. And let’s face it, the equipment is not nearly as fun as Flickr and sharing photos. So why don’t more people look at the fun:money ratio?

Anyway, I’m going for the new Pro option and so are all my photographer friends I’ve polled. It’s a heck of a deal… I’m not even sure where else you can get unlimited storage for full-rez files for that price. And, when you think about it, that price really is extremely small compared to your camera/phone + lenses + apps + travel, etc. If you like the online service, why not pay for it?

I read someone above talking about when art meets money things get messy. That can be true, but it’s always been a bit messy with the production and distribution of art ala movies, tv, music, etc. We see new smarter models all the time like Netflix and Spotify. They are much more efficient mechanisms (with no ads yay!) for the distribution of art than previous iterations. On the corporate side, they have a predictable income every month so they can make better planning decisions when it comes to adding new features and expansion. I don’t know if you listen to the Sam Harris podcast or not, but he uses this same monthly model and his fans love it.

Anyway, I’m excited to pay for the features and the fun. Flickr has done so much for me over the past TWELVE (whoa I just had to look that up) years. They are committed to making it even better, so I’m more than happy to keep my Pro account.

Daily Photo – Chinese Wedding Photographers in Queenstown, New Zealand

These guys are pretty easy to spot, I tell ya. And not because they happened to be near a Chinese couple in wedding garb. Wedding couples seem to ALWAYS bring their own photographer from China. And, since the couple are so over-the-top in their outfits, the photographers have started to assume all manners of dress as well. Some are all-Banksy like this guy and others wear shiny three-piece suits.

Chinese Wedding Photographers in Queenstown, New Zealand

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-12-30 20:16:16
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture4
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length44.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

A Smooth Day on Lake Hayes

Mavic 2 on the way!

Well, after my Mavic Pro had a dramatic crash, it’s time for a new unit with the Mavic 2! I’m excited about it… will try to pick one up on my upcoming trip to San Francisco! It looks like a nice little upgrade… I’m not materialistic at all, but I do kinda get excited about new creative tools like this.

Daily Photo – A Smooth Day on Lake Hayes

This is a good example of those 1/7 days where there is absolutely no wind at all. I took this with my quadcopter right in the middle of the lake. I’m always more worried flying it over water for some reason. I suppose that’s because it could always crash and that would be the end of it all. Although, realistically, 90% of the crashes over land if you’re 10 meters up could be catastrophic as well!

A Smooth Day on Lake Hayes

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-06-27 04:00:03
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

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