If you’re into meditation (or even want to just try it for a few days), I recommend the new version of the “Headspace” app. All the basic stuff is free, and I think you’ll enjoy it. Why not make 10 minutes for your awesome mind to relax a bit?
Daily Photo – Adventuring in Rotterdam
I don't have many regrets from the road trip across Europe, but maybe one is not stopping in enough other cities other than the big ones. This was one little side-stop we made in Rotterdam, a very cool city that I had never visited. It was a very artsy place, with wacky sculptures and street art all over the place… All the art gave the city a very nice texture; and it's another pin in the map to return to some day with more time! 🙂
Many of you know that I recently Switched from Mac to Windows. I’ve recently updated the article because I’ve added the Microsoft Surface Studio to the mix… what a mean machine! Here’s a little video that shows it off:
Daily Photo – Subway Stations of Moscow
The subway stations of Moscow are legendary. And it's not just this one, but there are at least a dozen stunners. I only had about 2.5 days in Moscow, so not nearly enough time to see them all, but it's certainly on the list when I go back… it's a fun challenge, actually, if you go to Moscow. It's a good idea to set aside two entire days to visit 20 subway stations… seems like a really fun photography scavenger hunt!
I’m a big believer in Karma, and when it doesn’t work out at all, I always find it humorous. Some of you may know I’m a beekeeper… I have about five hives and occasionally there are bees around the house or even in the house. One morning, I was making my coffee in the dark kitchen and I saw a bee slowly crawling across our countertop. Usually bees do this when they are exhausted and about to die. It was a pitiful thing, so I went to go get some honey and I put a bit on the end of a knife, and slid the knife close to the bee’s head. The bee was excited and crawled up to start getting some much-needed calories so it could fly back. I was holding my coffee, watching this whole thing happen, and thinking about what great karma I have, and then I spilled my coffee down my stomach and crotch! haha… just goes to show you to have good karma but not give yourself credit for it! 🙂
Daily Photo – Mont Saint Michel in the Dark
We had an amazing day in Mont Saint Michel. It was much too short, and I want to go back again to explore more… but I was happy to escape with a few shots! Here's one that I took right before I was about to give up and walk back to our bus. I was about to pack up my tripod but then turned around to see a bus coming toward Mont Saint Michel. I quickly set everything up to get a long exposure right as soon as the bus passed, hoping it would give some dreamy light streaks towards the old monastery.
My friend Rene Smith joined us on the bus for most of the trip. He put together a little Facebook Album with a few fun photos and some commentary!
Daily Photo – Beautiful Budapest
Okay, I've already repeated Budapest as a location 2 out of the last 3 days. Maybe it's because it was one of my favorite new places! We stayed right here in the middle at the Ritz-Carlton (who partnered with us on the tour), and this is a view from when I flew a quadcopter off the roof. This was shot with the Phantom 4 Pro and is a panorama made from 4 different photos. I'm impressed at the low-light capabilities of this beast!
I recommend getting an outside table at Nessun Dorma here in Manirola. This is basically the view from the restaurant! Well, it’s a little bit higher, but more or less… go there and order a bunch of food a spritzer drinks and enjoy several hours of one of the most beautiful views in the world.
Daily Photo – Cinque Terre as Evening Falls
It's hard to say where my favorite stop was during our 55-day photo tour in Europe. This area of Italy is easily in the top 10, though. I've always wanted to visit this place, so we decided to make it happen! There are 5 small towns here embedded into the coastline of Italy. You can hike between all 5 or take a little train that connects all of them. We decided to take the train to cover as much ground as possible. I have a lot more photos to share from the area, but wanted to get the Cinque Terre party started early with this one!
Good Science video on the effects of LSD on the brain
You guys may know I’m a fan of all kinds of experimentation; especially with mind-altering drugs. There’s a lot of misinformation out there… I’ve never had a bad experience, and it’s always been mind-expanding and very inspirational. It’s good to see there’s some more hard science behind it too. Here’s an article from Reason Magazine where they interview David Nutt.
Daily Photo – The Turkish Baths of Budapest
I'm going to start sharing some of my favorite photos from this mammoth 55 day tour across Europe! I hardly know where to start… how about here, in one of the most relaxing places of all! Budapest is filled with many different Turkish baths, all of which are worth visiting. This one might be my favorite – it's called Gallert. It was not crowded at all, and there were seven different thermal baths, both inside and outside. We also did some filming in here… people wondered what the heck we were doing running around half nude carrying cameras!
Just by chance, my friend Serge Ramelli was in Paris while we were there on tour. Here’s a video he made while there… always good to see Serge, and even better to hang out with his extended family a bit! You’ll see his daughter Marin in the video below as well.
More about Luminar
Go grab the new Luminar now at the Macphun website. It’s a great improvement over the last one. I’ll talk about one feature in particular here: the “AI Slider”.
When Dima (the head programmer) told me about this in Amsterdam, he was so excited… this idea that ONE slider can make your photo look better, with AI! I was skeptical, of course… but after playing with it, I get it! 🙂
I’m working on a full review of Luminar, but, in the meantime, here are two quick screenshots with caption descriptions:
After you load an image into Luminar, go up to that drop down on the top right and select “Quick & Awesome” – inside there is that ONE slider you need “Accent – AI Filter.” You can see the split screen here… that is literally the only slider I moved! This was taken in Monet’s garden in Giverny, a place I had always wanted to visit. I bet Monet wishes he had this slider himself.
Here’s a slightly more complex screenshot to show you just a few of the other things you can do in Luminar. Here, I tried a different workspace – the “Landscape” workspace. When I selected this, it opened up a ton of filters on the right side. It still has that “Accent – AI Filter”, but it also has a whole host of the other filters that can really give your landscape a bit more attitude. You can’t see it all in this screenshot, but you can scroll down quite a ways and make all sorts of adjustments.