We have finally moved into the new house here in Queenstown. I was in for less than 24 hours when I decided to get up to the top of this nearby mountain to shoot down on the whole scene. It was a perfect night – a bit cool maybe – but that can be perfect too.
After I took this photo, I went back down the mountain and picked up some Thai food to take home and eat while warming up by the fire! 🙂
Watch here on StuckInCustoms.com later today for the live feed for the show! It starts at 7 PM or Your World Time!
Now, I’m by no means an “expert” on processing Aurora photos, but I did pick up a few tricks I’m happy to share. As always, as I figure this stuff out from scratch, I’ll share my results with you 🙂
Daily Photo – The Solar Storm Hits Queenstown
I’ve been awake for two days.
It all started yesterday after I put the kids to bed. I got a Facebook message from Stefan Haworth. It turns out that he and Eden Brackstone were headed out for a little viewing of the big solar storm that was hitting the atmosphere. Down thisaway, it’s called the Aurora Australis. Since I’ve never before seen one (despite countless attempts in Iceland), I was ready to suit up!
And it turns out that one of the best places we saw them was right here in Queenstown! I had a decent view from the place I am staying here at The Commonage, but the clouds were pretty heavy. So, we drove down along Lake Wakatipu until we were just past Wye creek. I got out of the car, let my eyes adjust, then saw colored shafts of light shooting up through the edge of our snow-globe. It wasn’t like I expected! It’s…. hard to explain.
A few nights ago I went for a walk along the water’s edge here in Queenstown. About one out of ten nights (or, as far as I have measured), there is a clear night with a bright pink light that shoots up from behind those mountains. It’s really quite a sight.
I went down to the edge of the lake and buried my tripod legs in the frigid, icy-clear water. Even though the color of the light was so nice, in the end it was not as interesting as the light itself.
A new article came out today in the Otago Daily Times about my recent move to New Zealand. I met the reporter, Christine McDonald, down at Motogrill where I pigged out during the interview. I asked her if it was okay if I ate while we talked. She said yes, so I really pushed that to the limits…
Daily Photo – The Valley Between Queenstown and Arrowtown
See that area down there? We’re in the middle of an epic house-hunting adventure right in the middle of it all.
I took this photo a few days ago on a drive to Wanaka. It was so pretty, I just had to pull over to take it! In fact, maybe I need to make this drive more often!
In the far distance is Queenstown, which is only about 15-20 mins from this spot. Down to the right, just beyond the edge, is nearby Arrowtown. I think there are about 1 million photographs somewhere in between.
Thanks again everyone who has been ordering prints! Whether you order from SmugMug or do a custom high-end signed piece on metal, I am appreciative!
I received an email recently from a gentleman who has been unemployed for a long time and is now selling off his possessions so he can pay his mortgage! A sad story… He emailed me, lamenting that he had to sell this print and he was heartbroken. This print is QUITE rare – it is numbered 1/50 in the series. These normally sell from $2,000 to well beyond. In fact, if you buy it, you’ll have the same print as +Mark Zuckerberg – only yours will be more valuable than Mark’s because his is higher in the series.
Daily Photo – Moonlight Clouds – Queenstown at 7:30 AM
The winter in these southern places make the sunrise rather late! I took this about 7:30 AM in the morning while the moon was still out over the sparkling Queenstown. I set up the tripod on my balcony, and this is our amazing view! I’m renting a Bach here called “The Nest” – and it has incredible views all day long… and all night long too, as you can see! 🙂
If you’re going for the iOS version, you’ll notice it is universal for iPhone and iPad. We’re going to convert it for use on the Apple TV as soon as it accepts apps, so it will be nice to get it full-screen up on your wall as well. That will be a free upgrade when it comes around.
The app is a great collection of my photos, the stories, and more. You even have the option to saving the photos as backgrounds / wallpapers for your devices. And yes, it’s all super-HD, retina, etc. etc.
You’ll get this photo and many more with the app. Enjoy!
Daily Photo – Isabella on a Miniature Pony
A few evenings ago, we went to go visit The Brackstones, family friends that live nearby in Gibbston. Kerry Brackstone has taken to raising miniature ponies, so this sounded like something my two girls should not miss! We went over there for and the girls had an absolute ball on the ride. After that, we sat down for a fabulous dinner. And no, we did not eat the miniature ponies.
I took a nice long flight on Air New Zealand (where we received MOST excellent service) and made our way down to Queenstown, New Zealand.
Wish us luck!
I’ll keep you informed here during our adventure. It was a big decision to move the family of five here, and we are all very excited! I hope my kids get little Kiwi accents… that would be one of the wonderful little side-effects.
So, what are we dealing with here? Well, it took about a year to officially get our NZ residence visas. It was an exhausting process, but that bit of logistics is over. And then we had to begin the move of all our Stuff. The moving trucks came about six weeks ago to empty out our house in Austin, and they put all our stuff in two containers that are now on a boat en route across the Pacific. They are on one of those big boats that you see Chinese exporters using. I’m a little jealous my stuff went through the Panama Canal without me!
Now we are here in Queenstown renting a flat for a few weeks while we do hardcore house-hunting.
I’d like to buy a place that is on the lake you see below. Or, barring that, I’d like to buy land on the lake and build a house along with my studio next door. We’ll see how all that works out. Or, maybe we will buy an existing house and modify it. Or, maybe we will rent a house for six months, move our stuff in there, then find a permanent house and move in there.
As you can see, things are in disarray with our housing situation! It’s kind of a big deal, you know, choosing this location in which to live. It was too scary to buy a house over the internet – like a pair of blue jeans.
Why am I moving here? Well THAT is a longer story… I get this question a lot… I will write a longer story/video about it soon, but most of the reason is because of YOU. Because YOU have told your friends about the website and helped it grow, we can now have a bit of a lifestyle change so that I can be in a location where I can take everything I am doing to the next level. As always, I am VERY VERY VERY thankful for YOU and your support of me and the website… you have really changed my life.
And another New Zealand photo…
And here is a wonderful little video… it was made for an area of Queenstown called Jack’s Point, but it does give you a good idea of the environs…
Do any of my NZ experts know if there is any zorbing on the south island anywhere? I know there is a lot around Rotorua and stuff… where there are green hills the multiply like rabbits… but surely there must be a few options in the south, yes?
Daily Photo – Cart Racing in Queenstown
This may be my son’s favorite thing about Queenstown! In the summer, they open up this area at the top of the mountain where you can luge all day long. He never gets tired of it – and neither do I! When we go back, we’ll have to see if we can get some kind of a season pass or something.
He gets a little rough, and he’s a little bit ruthless. But I have a good 100 pounds on him, which helps everywhere except for the curves. He spins around the corners like Yoshi, and I’m a little more like Bowser…
I still have yet to find the perfect situation for this. I’ve tried many different gloves with flip-up fingers so I can use the camera, but they are usually not that great. My fingers still get deathly cold after thirty minutes. I think mittens are better, generally, because the fingers keep one another warm. And I’ve tried some flip-up solutions for those, which aren’t great either. What do you use?
Daily Photo – The Deep Icy Lake
Lake Wakatipu, cut by glaciers 15,000 years ago, plummets to 399 meters in depth (almost a quarter-mile)! There is something creepy about very-deep lakes. I don’t know what it is. I mean, anything could be down there. Something cold, old, and terrible… slithering around through a slurry of icy mud and grit, just waiting to shoot to the surface for a snack…