Now, this may have NO interest to you at all… because it’s not even about photography… it’s about the creation process of a book. My new book, actually… so, today, for you Passport members, you get to see my towards the end-cycle of a random creative endeavor!
Passport – Book Behind the Scenes Part 1
And now for something COMPLETELY different. I’m always trying new things… I think this is very important to keep the brain plastic and always learning. I’ve never written a book of this nature before, so here is some of the behind-the-scenes stuff of the things I was working through with the book. Enjoy!
If you’re a Passport Member then today you get to see about a 10 minute video of my time here in Shirakawa-go, Japan. I talk about the shots I’m trying to get, my travel pains, my travel pleasures, and other various tips and tricks. I hope you enjoy!
A Walk Around Shirakawa-go
This was a last-second idea to make this video in Shirakawa-go, Japan. I was having so much fun… I was totally alone, and then I thought, hey, why not bring the Passport members along with me on this little adventure! Anyway, here ya go… a lot of stream of consciousness in here, but I hope you like it! 🙂
Below is the highlight video from our photo walk in Moscow… it was a great way to end the event. If you look closely, there were two undercover marines following me for protection.
A Week in Dusky Sound
Here’s a fun video that shows a boat I was living on for about a week with some friends down in the fjordlands of New Zealand. What a great time we all had! I also recommend this a fun guy trip to anyone. I think everyone pitched in around $800 bucks or so. You get a captain and a chef and basically an unlimited week of freedom!
We were all pretty tired by the time we made it to the last stop in our 10-country tour of Europe a few years ago. But there’s something about being a new city that gives me a little boost of energy! So I tried to use every possible calorie left in my body to see as much as I could… this is the view from one of the bridges as you approach the Red Square.
Some of these photos below are newly printed and on display in downtown Queenstown at SLOW. Stop by and have a look!
Taking photos of photos
I don’t get a chance to see all my art hangings, but whenever I do, I often set up to take a photo of the photo. I think it’s interesting to share how people place these in their living or working areas. They read much differently when they are huge in large format. For some reason, even though I think I am above a mediocre photographer, I can never quite capture a photo of the photo, so I need to do a little photoshop action to recreate the scene!
Be sure to check out my Kit.com and see the section on books! I wanted to recommend, once again, “How to Change Your Mind” by Michael Pollan. Of all the people I recommend it to, 100% of people come back to me with very interesting thoughts!
Experimenting with a new Photoshop feature…
The 2019 Version of Photoshop has a few new features. I like to play with all this stuff just to keep my brain a bit “plastic” and always trying new things. Most of the features in Photoshop are not that useful to me, but these new content-aware options are pretty slick! Check ’em out!
Here’s one of my new favorite kind of drone photos: a photo of a city where you can’t see the skyline. I like this because you can’t quite work out what city it is. I notice when people look at my portfolio, they are always quite ready to guess (or know) what city it is. Actually, I’d probably be the same way… but now I find it interesting to purposefully confuse people.
I recently visited an amazing place in Fiji called Laucala Island. I’m old friends with the General Manager there and I primarily went there to take photos. But, while there, we decided to add a video to the mix. If you’re a Passport Member, you’ll hear more about the client work agreement that went into this and see how I edit the video. I’ve gone back-and-forth with their marketing team a few times, so I’m trying to make everything perfect for them, being an over-deliver kinda guy like I am!
If you’re a Passport member you also get full access to my all-new Quadcopter tutorial that will hopefully save you countless weeks of trouble, as you learn from all the mistakes I have made! There is a great section at the end about editing video too that I think you’ll enjoy.
I used Screenflow Pro to do all the editing for this video, even though I actually recommend Final Cut or Premiere for more serious videos. Screenflow was just barely strong enough to do all the heavy lifting for this one. Anyway, in this video, you’ll see how I chose to edit and re-organize this video based on client feedback.
I found this place by accident when I was arriving into Venice and trying to find my digs for the Biennale. I now know my way around the confusing town, but it’s really kind of a drain when you are dragging a big bag all around the city with you. Most of the effort is getting up and down over dozens of bridges… and there is always a sinking feeling that you’re going completely the wrong direction and will have to go back over that same bridge again!
Today I’m sharing a free Passport video with everyone. If you’re a Passport Member, then you get access to over 100 of these videos and a new one every Sunday! Some of my favorite ones are the six videos I released from Antarctica where you get to see all sorts of behind-the-scenes tomfoolery!
How To Video from Ginzan Onsen
Here’s a video I recently made that shows how I edited a photo from a location very close to where I took today’s daily photo. Of course, I used Aurora HDR 2019 to do all the editing.
Daily Photo – Ginzan Onsen
I came to this place with one of my worst plans, but it totally worked out!
Planning for this Japan trip was very difficult because I was going to many remote towns that a) do not take online booking b) where I stay in small hotels where no one speaks English. This makes getting reservations directly almost impossible!
I tried to get reservations via the bilingual concierge at the Ritz-Carlton in Tokyo, and even though he was very resourceful, he said it was 100% booked. But I decided to go anyway and knock on every door of every ryokan until I found a room. I knew it would be hard because nobody speaks English in these places. Anyway, after I knocked on the door of ryokan #4 I finally found a room! Even better, they had private baths fed by all the steaming water from the nearby hot springs. It was incredible to be soaking in steaming hot mineral water while watching snow fall all around me.
…is all about the new Luminar Libraries. You’ll see me poke around and get a little bit lost as I work on three different portraits using the new Festival Presets. But it all turns out good in the end! Remember, you can unlock over 100 videos if you’re a Passport Member!
Three Portraits and Playing with Festival Presets
Here are three different portrait shots. Each one is unique, and I gave each one a slightly different treatment. You’ll also hear about the importance of always trying new tools to keep your mind fresh!
Today’s photo is a good example of taking a single photo and slicing and dicing it different ways. This was originally (and, I suppose, still is) a vertical photo that followed the river further down off the screen. It was a fine photo in itself, but so is the top 40%, I decided. Sure, it’s not full frame and it’s lower resolution, but who cares? Often times, if you get a good photo, don’t be afraid to slice and dice it different ways!
Today’s how-to if you’re a Passport Member is how I created this photo out of nine different shots. It was a fun (and relatively easy, actually) one to process. I’m not one of those guys who makes things seem more difficult than they really are! 🙂
Editing a 9-photo panorama with adjustments in LR
In today’s edit, you’ll see how (and why) I took 9 shots from the new Mavic 2 Zoom and made some adjustments in Lightroom before bringing the whole shebang into Aurora. BTW, in case you have a lot of extra money sitting around, you can go check out this resort at Laucala Island.