Walking to my Studio

Quadcopter Panorama

On my way to the fjords last year, I stopped to make a 360 video about creating a panorama out of quadcopter photos. In this video, I talk a bit about how I hope to achieve that!

Note this video is a bit bouncy. I’m happy to say now I have some new firmware that does much better stabilization!

Daily Photo – Walking to my Studio

How lucky am I to get to walk to work every day from home? I don't take any of these niceties for granted, I promise. And there's Blueberry, our awesome dog, standing on the little stone steps, hoping I will throw her a tennis ball. I swear, these Labradoodles are a bit OCD with the fetching situation. It's literally all she does other than cuddling and eating.

Anyway, the path doesn't always look like this… this is a bit of an autumn view when the trees are changing color.

Walking to my Studio

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-04-30 11:06:13
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Filming at The Hills

The New Tutorial for Beginning Photography!

This has been a huge hit. I don’t know why I didn’t make it five years ago! Go grab it now in the store or get it included for free if you are a passport member!

Daily Photo – Filming at The Hills

I took this photo while we were getting a few pickup shots at The Hills country club with Bel. I typically do a little bit where I talk right to the camera, and since I stumble around a bit, we need to make some edits so the final video is smoother. So, after I finish my bit to the camera, Bel runs around me while I stumble around and take photos. While we were working on the video tutorial above, Bel was getting some B-roll while I took this photo. So, it might seem in the b-roll that I am pretending to get photos, but this is one of the photos I was actually getting!

Filming at The Hills

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-05-03 16:36:17
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

A Peaceful Autumn Walk

My Earnslaw Burn Project Part 2

Here’s a video that was released over a year ago to the Passport Members that shows my progress on a commissioned work for a patron.
You can see Part 1 here.

Daily Photo – A Peaceful Autumn Walk

I keep finding new secret locations around my neighborhood for photos! There are just a few roads around here that are dead-end roads. I never really have a reason to drive down them because of the aforementioned dead-endedness of them. But since I'm a photographer, I get to invent a reason and drive down them just to see what I can see off to the side of the road. A lot of these places are on people's private property, but no one really seems to mind. I always give them the photo for free if they ask… as I'm trying to be a friendly neighbor!

A Peaceful Autumn Walk

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-04-30 12:02:46
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture4
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Walking around Lake Johnson

The Making of This Photo

I did a Facebook Live and showed how I made this photo using Aurora HDR 2018. In the video, I talk about a few other things including Luminar and our upcoming workshops in New Zealand and Africa.

Daily Photo – Walking around Lake Johnson

This is a great place to collect magic mushrooms! Of course, that's not the only reason I went, but I did do a bit of foraging. Actually walking around this lake is a bit difficult because there isn't exactly a trail. So you kind of have to hop over a lot of fences and some little rivulets and whatnot. You can't see it here, but I'm on top of a little cliff I had to scramble up. I've only been here about half a dozen times, and I've never seen another human. Right after I took this picture, I sat on this hillside for about an hour and read a book… what a relaxing Saturday!

Walking around Lake Johnson

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-05-05 12:11:34
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture9
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length27.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

A Silent Morning in Doubtful Sound

All 400 of my mostly lousy photos of Doubtful Sound!

Today for Passport Members, I go through the ~400 photos I took over two days in this area. You’ll see how most of them are absolutely atrocious. I’d like to blame the bad weather on day 1, but I really only have myself to blame!

Win a free Mavic Air Drone!

Join me on Facebook Live here as I talk about editing drone videos and drone photos – also be sure to join our Drone giveaway! I’m giving away a new shiny red Mavic Air to promote my new drone tutorial you can find here!

Take a tour through my favorite photos from Doubtful Sound in today’s video. Also included on the tour, are about 395 terrible photos that sent me into a shame spiral.

Exclusive content for Passport members

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Daily Photo – A Silent Morning in Doubtful Sound

I just finished my first overnight journey with Real Journeys down in Doubtful Sound. I've lived here on the South Island of New Zealand for about six years, and I had always wanted to do this overnight adventure. I went down there with Curtis and Tane and we had a great time. The first part of the voyage was a bit “moody” with some crazy wind and rain, but that subsided to some beautiful calmness afterward.

One great thing about having lots of rain is that you get to see hundreds and hundreds of waterfalls. I often find it difficult to get a good photo of a waterfall, but I'll share some attempts in upcoming posts!

A Silent Morning in Doubtful Sound

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-05-09 08:51:31
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture4
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Another Beautiful Autumn in New Zealand

Join us for the Autumn workshop here in 2019!

Our workshops page now has a few photo adventure options for you. Come on over and sign up! You’ll have a blast out here!

Daily Photo – Another Beautiful Autumn in New Zealand

I keep finding new locations each Autumn. Even though I know 50 great spots for photos around here, I force myself to go down new roads here and there. I also randomly drive down people's driveways to see what I can find. The driveways here can be quite long… sometimes up to half a kilometer. But along the driveways, you can see some great stuff. I've never gotten in trouble for this, and whenever I encounter the property owners, they are always very friendly. Well, I'm friendly too, and that helps a bit. And since I only live a few minutes away, I get to sort of call them “neighbor”, which is a good icebreaker.

Another Beautiful Autumn in New Zealand

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-04-30 11:56:19
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Chinese Wedding Photographs in Queenstown

Ride with me to Glenorchy (Part 1 of 4)

I released this video over a year ago to Passport Members and I wanted to share it with everyone now. It shows just one of my random days… driving from Queenstown to Glenorchy on a moody, windy day to try to take some photos. There’s a lot of stream of consciousness and that sort of thing. Anyway, jump into my pickup truck with me and we’ll see where we end up!

Daily Photo – Chinese Wedding Photographs in Queenstown

Here's a little of local Queenstown, New Zealand color for you. This area has become Extremely Popular for Chinese tourists. I don't know the exact number, but it's in the hundreds of thousands, which is significant for a country of about four million people. Another thing I happen to notice a lot, perhaps because I'm a photographer, is a gaggle of Chinese wedding photographers with their couples. I don't know if you've been to a Chinese wedding reception, but they often run a slideshow of the lucky couple in love in exotic locations. It's all completely ridiculous, of course, but they've all bought into this silly fiction. Anyway, to scaffold that fiction, they are all over Queenstown and Arrowtown taking these sorts of photos. You can tell he's a real “artsy” photographer because he's wearing a hoodie.

Chinese Wedding Photographs in Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-12-30 20:15:25
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture4
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length41.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Dart River Valley

Video Tip on Denoising Mobile Shots

Many of you may have my Google Pixel 2 Review on the site, so you know I take a lot more mobile photos than usual. As great as the camera is, there is still some noise in sunset photos and night photos. This video below shows you how I get rid of the noise using Aurora HDR 2018.

Daily Photo – The Dart River Valley

I took this from a helicopter while my friend Choppy was flying me out on a work for a patron. I flew over this delta probably about 10 times, and it looks different every time. This is one of my favorite shots with the shadows of the mountains falling halfway across it.

There is a jet-boat adventure you can do through here. I still haven't tried it, but it's on my to-do list!

The Dart River Valley

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-03-30 05:56:49
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Fly, My Pretties!

My Instagram Stories

I advise you to watch my Instagram Stories only if you have absolutely nothing better to do. This should be your absolute last-resort, like after you’ve seen absolutely every show on Netflix. Then, and only then, you should watch all the silly stuff I put on my Instagram Stories.

Daily Photo – Fly, My Pretties!

This is what I scream every time my quadcopter takes off. You have probably seen this angle of the mountains a million times by now; that's because this is what the mountains look like about 100 meters over my studio! But this was a very special evening because of this colorful summer storm that moved in. These were the colors… nothing added or subtracted! If you were watching my Instagram live stories from that day you may remember!

Fly, My Pretties!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-27 21:17:04
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Jack’s Point Clubhouse

Time for a Passport Freebie! Panorama Processing Tip

Last year I made over 50 videos for Passport Members to see first or exclusively. I wanted to share this one publicly as sort of a promotion for the kinds of things you might see inside.

There are a lot of ways to skin the panorama cat. 90% of the time, this is the way I do it in the video below. To me, it just looks better than when the computer tries to auto-stitch it and remove the stitch lines.

Daily Photo – Jack's Point Clubhouse

And here's the final result. Pretty cool eh? And it didn't take much time at all. If you ever get out to the Queenstown area, be sure to pop over to Jack's Point and visit the clubhouse here. Anyone can go and there's a really good restaurant inside. Just outside is this perfect little pond. If you get there early enough (or on a windless day), the reflection is perfect!

Jack's Point Clubhouse

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-07-03 01:04:00
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length45.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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