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

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.

Image 6

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!

The Long Cloud at Jack’s Point and How-To Video

New How-To Video

I have a new technique for making panoramas which I think is better than using Lightroom or anything else. If you’re a Passport Member, you can see it embedded in this post! 🙂

Passport Exclusive – New Panorama Tip

Here you go! I hope you like this technique… I pretty much only do panoramas this way… 95% of the time, I’d say.

Exclusive content for Passport members

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Daily Photo – The Long Cloud at Jack's Point and How-To Video

This is a great little spot in Queenstown to take photos. You have to cross the bridge and start heading towards Milford Sound. But about 15 minutes after that, you can turn into a little housing community called Jack's Point. The clubhouse there has this pretty tiny pond in front. It's often smooth enough for a good reflection shot. Today I was using a prime 45mm lens and decided to make a very hi-res panorama of the scene.

The Long Cloud at Jack's Point and How-To Video

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

A Favorite Walk

How-To Video

Here’s a how-to of how I made today’s photo. I did this on Facebook live, and it’s embedded here. Enjoy! 🙂

Side note: the video looses audio/visual sync though due to technical gremlins but hopefully it’s still somewhat useful!



Daily Photo – A Favorite Walk

I do this walk by my house a few times a week. This is about 5 minutes away and affords amazing views of the valley. I decided to make a panorama here with my new Hasselblad X1D. This is made up of 5 different vertical photos… stitched together in Lightroom, then adjusted with Aurora HDR. Well, you can see more in the video above!

A Favorite Walk

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-27 23:15:30
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

New Panorama

Full-Size Tips

Today’s photo is available full screen on my SmugMug at “https://stuckincustoms.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-V5zJTxN/A” but if you change that A to an O at the end (original), then you can see the full size ala “https://stuckincustoms.smugmug.com/Portfolio/i-V5zJTxN/O“.

Daily Photo – New Panorama

I took this photo with the new Hasselblad X1D while taking a little walk. This is actually very close to the photo I put up a few days ago. This one was taken by stacking four photos vertically. I'm starting to do this more and more. Lightroom is really good at putting together panoramas now, and of course the pixel count is just through the roof. I believe this one is about 12,000 pixels high. I encourage you to click through and see the original size.

New Panorama

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

Photo Walk with Friends

Camera Confusion

To show you how good the camera is on the Phantom 4 Pro, I had to go look at the EXIF on this one to recall what camera I used. It turns out I used the Sony A7r Mark II on this one… and I thought it was the Phantom! Great little camera on that guy!

Daily Photo – Photo Walk with Friends

Here's a shot from one of our New Zealand Workshops – pretty cool, eh? Look at those crazy clouds we had this morning… what an amazing morning. I tried to wait patiently until these two peeps were in the middle of the path… I don't really direct people, but just sort of hope the universe does an interesting spacing of things and I try to lay a composition on top of that.

Photo Walk with Friends

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-10-20 03:00:50
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1.3

Hot Air Ballooning in the Morning

Join us in New Zealand!

Be sure to pop over to our New Zealand Photo Adventure page to find out what is coming up next! 🙂

Daily Photo – Hot Air Ballooning in the Morning

A pretty and foggy morning over Lake Hayes here, eh? There are lots of these… i should really get over there and take more morning walks. I've been over there many times, and I often do see hot air balloons. This was the first time I had my camera with me, so it was a lucky experience. We also happened to have our New Zealand Photo Adventure Workshop people with us, so it was an extra treat for all involved!

Hot Air Ballooning in the Morning

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-10-21 01:58:29
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture5
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length69.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Scarlett Commanding Nature

Horse Love!

Now I have a bunch of horse photos in my portfolio! Feel free to check them out… we’re getting better at tagging everything, but almost everything should be there!

Daily Photo – Scarlett Commanding Nature

I love this little girl! Well, I love all my kids equally, as you know… but this one is a little firecracker. Scarlett. She's so strong and confident… it's so fun to watch her walk around with these giant beasts and they all just follow her will. She's got a strong will, this one! I didn't even plan on bringing my camera this day when I went to go pick them up from horse riding lessons… but at the last moment, I remembered I had it in my truck. I took a bunch of photos this day, and this was one of my favorites.

Scarlett Commanding Nature

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-03-17 03:51:21
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Climbing the Remarkables

Selfies

I don’t do a lot of them… in fact, almost none. I know it’s very popular and I see it a lot on Instagram (people putting figures in landscapes). I think it’s nice to look at, but I wonder if it’s a trendy thing. Anyway, just a little artistic note here that just because almost everyone seems to be doing it on Instagram, it doesn’t mean I’m going to start doing it too. No judgment or anything… just not gonna do it.

Daily Photo – Climbing the Remarkables

Here's a photo of me in my Spies Like Us coat atop The Remarkables in Queenstown. I didn't actually hike all the way up here… who has time for that? I took a snowmobile most of the way… then spent about 20 minutes on a final climb, which was more than exhausting! Anyway, I was up there with my friend Curtis… I figured out a shot, framed it, then asked Curtis to take the photo… then came back and processed it after my fingers unfroze!

Climbing the Remarkables

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-06-14 11:07:53
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO1250
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2

Swirling Vortex over Lake Wakatipu

Myers-Briggs Test

I have in my profile that I’m an “INTJ” – but I notice that confuses people sometimes. It’s based on this Myers-Briggs personality test that is generally quite accurate. I can’t say I disagree with the little analysis at the end. Here’s a 12-minute test you can take to test your own designation. People are often quite impressed with the little analysis at the end! Remember to answer honestly, even if you don’t like the answer (no one will see!) 🙂

Daily Photo – Swirling Vortex over Lake Wakatipu

One day I was driving out towards Glenorchy with my friend Mark, and we saw these unusual cloud pattern forming, so we pulled off the side of the road to grab a quick photo. The road from Queenstown to Glenorchy is great, but there are only about 6 good places to pull off. Great views are everywhere, but often blocked by bushes and trees. This is a big reason I recommend getting a quadcopter. You don't have to take the thing miles away, just 20 feet up in the air can do a tremendous amount of difference!

Swirling Vortex over Lake Wakatipu

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-06-14 10:11:34
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length37.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

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