Quadcopters – Stuck in Customs

Floating over a seafront villa on Laucala Island

Machine Elf 25

This is the most mathematically complex fractal I’ve been working on for a few months. If you’re a math nerd, it’s a variant on the Menger Sponge but I ended up messing with the coefficients so much that you will only occasionally see the source pattern.

Last month, I did another hardcore version of the Menger with the short “Devs Cube (based on the Alex Garland show)” – which is a bit dark and unsettling. Most of my other weird Machine Elf creations have been more calm and meditative. Choosing (or creating) music is very difficult. For this one, I decided to use one of my favorite Jon Hopkins tracks. It’s quite glitchy and full-on, but it works more than enough for me. This song (Everything Connected) is from his latest album.

We’re in the middle of generating a 360 version of this now… so if you have a VR set, it’s quite a ride. Enjoy…

Daily Photo – Floating over a seafront villa on Laucala Island

When I was running around taking photos all over the island, they told me that this is where George Clooney stayed when he came. It’s a little hard to tell from this angle, but that pool is surrounded by this cool angled black basalt rock. It made the blue pop out even more.

Floating over a seafront villa on Laucala Island

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2020-07-08 14:04:12
  • Camera
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The Gold Coast Panorama

Passport Sunday from Australia!

If you’re a Passport member then today you’ll get that little bonus section where you see how I made the photo. I hope you enjoy it! It was a bit of a challenge…

The Gold Coast Panorama – making of Gold Coast

I was a little worried during the edit of this one that it may not work out… but, I should have had more faith in myself, because it did in the end!

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Daily Photo – The Gold Coast Panorama

This is a photo made out of 9 different shots from the Mavic in a 3×3 grid. I love the way it turned out, but when you watch the making-of video below, then you’ll see it didn’t start out so perfect!

The Gold Coast Panorama

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-01-26 21:06:06
  • CameraFC2204
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/1250
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length4.4 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

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Manarola While Waiting on Pizza

Daily Photo – Manarola While Waiting on Pizza

We stopped at an amazing restaurant here after our train ride into these amazing little towns along Cinque Terre. This was one of my favorite places, mostly because it was the most photogenic. Usually, after I order food, I get a bit restless and want to go out to take photos, especially in a place like this! So I headed out to launch the drone to try to get a bit of a unique view of this cool little town.

Manarola While Waiting on Pizza

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2020-07-08 14:04:12
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  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperture
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  • Focal Length
  • Flash
  • Exposure Program
  • Exposure Bias

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Floating over Cinque Terre

New Alan Watts Video

You may recognize today’s photo from one of my latest videos…

Daily Photo – Floating over Cinque Terre

Here’s one of the many photos I got with the quad while flying over Cinque Terre. It was an absolutely amazing place and I could definitely see myself living there. What could be better than an amazing coastline with Italian food every night?

Floating over Cinque Terre

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2020-07-08 14:04:13
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  • Exposure Time
  • Aperture
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  • Focal Length
  • Flash
  • Exposure Program
  • Exposure Bias

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Shanghai at Dusk from over the Bund

If you’re a Passport Member then today you get to see the creation of this fun panorama from Shanghai. It turned out to be a pleasant surprise!

Shanghai Surprise

This is made out of 9 different photos that I stitched together in Photoshop. I was trying to get an “angle” on Shanghai that no one has ever seen before, so I flew it out over the Bund to get this angle.

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Daily Photo – Shanghai at Dusk from over the Bund

I’m pretty sure flying a drone in China is illegal. I mostly think this because I was arrested a few years earlier for doing it. But I figured, hey, if I can talk myself out of Chinese prison once, I can do it twice, right? This is how I think… anyway, when I went to launch this down by the coast, I saw about three other Chinese dudes launching their own quadcopters. This only emboldened me!

Shanghai at Dusk from over the Bund

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-23 19:12:21
  • CameraFC220
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/25
  • Aperture2.2
  • ISO194
  • Focal Length4.7 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

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Lake Wakatipu

Daily Photo – Lake Wakatipu

Here’s a new photo from the lake that I live near – Lake Wakatipu. This is a 9-photo panorama, stitched together in Lightroom. It was shot with a drone, and the final image is even higher rez than my best Sony camera. This exact spot is about halfway between Glenorchy and Queenstown. Pretty soon, we’re gonna get some snow… so I’ll head back out here with all the mountains are icy white.

Lake Wakatipu

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-04-24 12:57:27
  • CameraFC2204
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture3.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.6 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias+1.3

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Floating over Laucala Island

Daily Photo – Floating over Laucala Island

Here is one of the amazing restaurants on the island. I think I ate here two times and each one was beyond spectacular. I’ve stayed in a lot of nice places (and I’m very grateful!), but this is probably the nicest I could have possibly imagined. It started as the private island for the gentleman that owns Red Bull and then he opened it up to the public.

Floating over Laucala Island

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-01-25 15:38:17
  • CameraFC2204
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture3.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.6 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Curvy Road and The Remarkables

New Zealand Highlights

Here’s a fun video that Stu edited together for me (thanks Stu!) of some of my recent quadcopter footage from around here. Enjoy!

Daily Photo – Curvy Road and The Remarkables

What a cool spot, eh? This is one of the many places we take our photo tours when they come to New Zealand. Naturally, we cancelled the previous one because of the outbreak, which was kind of a bummer. We haven’t put a new one up yet because I have NO IDEA what the travel landscape looks like for the next year!

Curvy Road and The Remarkables

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-04-25 08:09:46
  • CameraFC2204
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/120
  • Aperture3.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.6 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-1.3

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Morning Sunrise in California

Daily Photo – Morning Sunrise in California

I got up early with the quadcopter in hopes of a good sunrise and I was lucky! I was staying here at the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay with my family and they are used to me trudging out of the room in the dark trying not to wake everyone up. That doesn’t always work usually because I have to get my stuff together from all over the room. Anyway, after I got outside I was able to get the quad way out over the Pacific Ocean. Flying it over the water always gives me a little extra anxiety… I don’t know why. It’s just as likely to crash and break over land too!

Morning Sunrise in California

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-12-11 07:33:33
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Abandoned Ship in a Chinese Harbor

Kevin Rose UFO Episode

I am just as fascinated by UFOs as Kevin Rose is! This is a fun podcast episode where he talks to Navy Fighter Pilot Ryan Graves. Enjoy!

Daily Photo – Abandoned Ship in a Chinese Harbor

One day on the beach in Sanya, I took the drone out over some ships that were anchored about a mile off shore. It was about the limit for my drone, but it was really cool to explore these abandoned ships. I could have done it all day! Here’s one of the many shots my fun little drone friend brought back to me.

Abandoned Ship in a Chinese Harbor

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-03-19 18:35:19
  • CameraFC220
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/50
  • Aperture2.2
  • ISO155
  • Focal Length4.7 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

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