Thursday, September 19, 2013

The View from Deer Park Heights in New Zealand

The team put together an amazing New Zealand Adventure for you. Join me as early as October (which is Spring here!) or into 2014. It’ll be great!
I’ve always wanted to get up here to take a photo! They unfortunately closed it down a few years ago to public access. When you look at the hill, it looks pretty easy to climb, but man, it isn’t. I did get permission to get up here, but it wasn’t simple. Towards the end of the night. I decided to do some long exposures to get the traffic as it wove around the roads. There really wasn’t much traffic… just one bus that was coming over to pick us up… but I did several exposures of it as it moved down the road and combined them all into one.

The Tiny Shrine in the Hills

I’ve been enjoying catching up on all the Fringe episodes. Man, anything JJ Abrams does — I’m into it… I wonder what his next project will be? Whatever it is, I’ll go see it! There are not many automatic-people like that in my life. The only two others I can think of are Joss Whedon and Christopher Nolan.
It was a short hike to this tiny temple from the ancient village of Cuandixia, or 爨底下村, as I like to call it . I find that latter name flows off the tongue easier. This area was quite nice because it was a bit out of the way, and no one was around by me and Tom. It proved to be one of the better shots of the whole village. I had a bit of trouble finding good shots while actually inside the village.

Into the Night

I’ve been listening quite a bit… if you have any recommendations, let me know! I’ve been listening a lot to a cello player I like named Philip Sheppard — check him out!
The restaurants all closed early in this area of Beijing, but the lights stayed on. So that was the perfect time to get some shots of the scene without a bunch of people in the frame mucking it up. I can’t tell you how many hours of my life I spend waiting for people to get out of the way. I mean, it’s not a horrible thing… because at least I’m usually in visually interesting people while waiting on people!

More Soundcloud Greatness

Be sure to check out BT on Soundcloud. I’m a fan of his, and I happened to send him a tweet one day while I was editing photos and listening to this. He tweeted me right back and it got meta and awesome. Anyway, check that dude out… he’s cool, like the other side of the pillow.

The Lupins Under Wormhole Clouds

If anyone ever does a Google search for “The Lupins Under Wormhole Clouds” – chances are high this blog entry will turn up. I did not actually take the time to Google it myself, but I just have this general feeling… Every now and then when you look up in NZ, you just see crazy stuff happening in the skies. It must be because the warm sea air rips over the mountains along the west coast and it makes the air and moisture do crazy things. Everything on this side of the mountain is a feast for the eyes in the sky…

The Sunset Bathes the Deck of Disney’s Wonder

I have news! Well, news to me. Or, let’s say, news that is ever-evolving. I used to not like the auto-align feature very much with Photomatix. I thought it didn’t do such a great job, but now it has made great strides and the algorithm continues to improve! This shot, for example, was handheld in pretty low light. Not only did Photomatix do a perfect job of aligning the -2, 0, and +2 exposures, but it also made everything perfectly sharp and lucid. BTW, in case you are new to the site, here is my Photomatix Review. I’ve been doing more and more auto-aligning lately with Photomatix, and it really feels like it has come a long way. So now, if I occasionally have to do handheld shots, I feel happy to all my trust in there.
Right after dinner was the best time to hit the top decks for some photography. Most nights we had amazing sunsets, so I feel lucky for that. See that little room to the left with the glass? That’s where I spent most of my days, relaxing, reading, drinking coffee, and working on photos!

A strange night in the Rocks

Africa? If you were to to Africa, what country would you suggest? What areas? I’m interested in your opinion… I may be planning something for 2014!
Curtis and I went around to the other side of Virgin Gorda one night to explore. While there, we found a very cool outcropping of rocks that held some still water inside. It turned out to be a place to get a nice clean reflection of a most unusual dusk set of clouds. How lucky we were! But some people say that luck is the residue of design…