Photo Software – Stuck in Customs

Taking photos in New Zealand with Brandin Cooks

Luminar AI – Processing Landscapes With People in Them

Luminar AI (launched yesterday!) is great for landscapes and portraits… in this quick look vid I process an image that is somewhere in between using templates, sky replacement, adding mist/fog and more. Grab Luminar AI here.

Check out Monni’s clothing range at https://monni.co or on Insta here (or here).

Daily Photo – Taking photos in New Zealand with Brandin Cooks

Here’s my buddy Brandin Cooks here in New Zealand when we went to go explore Skipper’s Canyon. This guy is such a badass… If you follow the NFL, then you know he has played for a bunch of teams and is now in Houston, being even more of a badass. As you can tell from his photography positioning, he’s even a badass when he takes photos!

Taking photos in New Zealand with Brandin Cooks

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2020-01-04 11:52:45
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4000
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Evening Storm Rolling into Naples

Landscapes with Luminar AI

I’ve been using Luminar for a while now, along with Aurora HDR, as my main software for processing images. It’s just so powerful and feature packed which makes editing images even more fun than normal. Recently I got hold of the new Luminar AI which replaces Luminar 4 and it’s great. There is a bunch of AI based stuff on the front end which helps you select templates (think presets) which is great for beginners or to inspire some ideas for processing. For those of us who want to get hands on that is still an option and there are a bunch of new sliders to play around with. Check out the vid below where I process a landscape image and if you’re interested in grabbing the software you can do so here. 🙂

Daily Photo – Evening Storm Rolling into Naples

I can see why Florida has a huge appeal to people who are the beachy sorts. I don’t actually think I am the beachy sort… I’m more the mountainy sort. But I’d do that split about 70/30. I certainly don’t hate the beach and I’ve been having a great time exploring all the beaches on the North Island of NZ. Nothing against Florida or anything, but I think I like the beaches here a bit more because they are so remote you hardly see anyone else… makes it easy for a fun skinny dip or two.

Evening Storm Rolling into Naples

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-04 19:57:29
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/20
  • Aperture4
  • ISO500
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1.3

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Singing Circle in Papua New Guinea

Passport Sunday Fun

Today, I have a new video that shows off the new Luminar AI if you are a Passport Member! You can get it now via that link for a pre-order and it’s released in just a few days. I think you are really going to like it!

Sunday: Mountains on top of Mountains

Today’s video will entertain you with a quick tour-de-force all around the new Luminar AI. I start off with a rather silly example of how you can add mountains on top of mountains… Hey, I would not doctor a photo quite that much, but it’s kind of cool how easy it is. Besides that quirky feature, I show off a lot more that are more practical.

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Daily Photo – Singing Circle in Papua New Guinea

While at the festival, we would visit 20-30 different tribes. They all had their unique outfits and singing patterns. There’s a big competition with which tribes have the coolest outfits and the coolest song & dance routine. I think the contest is pretty unofficial, but it’s still quite competitve. In fact, it can turn quite violent and the military has to come in with tear gas and stuff. When that happens, it’s time to leave the scene quickly!

Singing Circle in Papua New Guinea

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-09-13 09:15:35
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1250
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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More Donkey Bay in the Bay of Islands

Machine Elf 27 – Avoiding the Void

Here is the latest fractal creation, and it’s probably my favorite so far! I decided to explore the math of V3 of the Menger, which has all these beautiful spherical structures that are created by the minutest of filaments. It calmly explores the evolution of a void and allows you to relax in the unraveling, fundamental nature of its creation. As with the last one, Sam Mehrtens (Sam Wave) did custom music. He explains “with all these worlds there seems to be a pulsing balance of life and release. When I was making the soundtrack I was instantly drawn into the void and felt a passive tribal tone urging to come out… as the void unravels so does the sound, and the beat becomes a distant memory. Accompanied by sprays of tonal delay and psychedelic guitar, ‘Avoiding the Void’ is our most explorative creation yet.”

These are also available in 360 for a cool VR app called TRIPP. If you have an Oculus Quest, Go or Rift, you can download TRIPP which features guiding experiences to make you happier, calmer and more focused. Grab that here: https://the-machine-elf.com/TRIPP

For more Machine Elf creations, including physical installations, check out the website: https://the-machine-elf.com/

Daily Photo – More Donkey Bay in the Bay of Islands

This is the kind of amazing place that’s perfect for indoor photography. In general, the more rich textures and strategic lighting, the better. A perfectly lit room with boring textures just doesn’t always translate into HDR as well for some reason.

More Donkey Bay in the Bay of Islands

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-05-01 19:12:02
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time6
  • Aperture
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Behind the Scenes with a TRIPP creation

Tripp

If you’re a Passport Member then you can see some really radical new projects I’m working on with Tripp.com. Here’s a video from their website that describes a bit of what they are about.

First Official Fractal

Well, I have a lot of these… But this is the first fully mastered version along with music from Sam Wave. Wait till you see it in 360 VR!

Behind the Scenes with a TRIPP creation

I am not exactly sure how I got off on this crazy fractal tangent. It mostly started from having an epic acid trip that had extra layers thanks to adventures into the DMT zone. Either way, it started me down this path to try to recreate some beautiful visions.

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Exploring the Old Rockets at NASA

Daily Photo – Exploring the Old Rockets at NASA

If you’re a rocket enthusiast, then the museums at NASA are a must. I’m a little bit of a rocket nerd so I found it pretty exciting. That, plus being a photo nerd, was a perfect combo. Also, you get a leeway when it comes to using extreme HDR when taking photos of all this epic hardware.

Exploring the Old Rockets at NASA

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2011-04-28 14:41:26
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/8
  • Aperture6.7
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Taking photos at The Vessel

Video about psychedelics

If you know, then you know! Here’s a little video I saw on Reddit that you might find informative. If you want to know more, I recommend “How to Change Your Mind” by Michael Pollan.

The Case for Making Psychedelics Legal from DMT

Daily Photo – Taking photos at The Vessel

I was trying to be the last one in The Vessel to get some of these cool dusk shots after the sun set. I like to do this one simple trick where you simply put the camera on the ground (with a wide-angle lens) and shoot straight up in the air with a timer on. I wanted to set it right where that guy was standing… so, while I was waiting for him to move, I decided to take a photo!

Taking photos at The Vessel

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-06-22 20:58:44
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture4
  • ISO1250
  • Focal Length12.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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The Edge of Iceland

Today, if you’re a Passport Member, then you’ll get to see the full edit of this photo. It was a particularly fun one because of the extreme contrast in colors. Enjoy!

Editing a Photo from Iceland

In today’s video, you’ll get to see a quick edit of how the photo above was achieved. Keep on playing with Aurora HDR and eventually, you’ll get super-fast like me! 🙂

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Road Shots in Arizona

Daily Photo – Road Shots in Arizona

It’s sort of an obvious idea, but there is nothing wrong with obvious if it works! Anyway, the idea is whenever you have a cool road heading into a vista, why not include the road? Now, after having said that, you do have a few options. You can center the whole thing, but I usually only do that if the backdrop is equally weighted. In this case, since the coolest mountain feature is on the left, I oriented the road heading off a bit to the right to bring some balance to the scene. I believe (but I’m not sure) that this is one of the roads around Sedona, Arizona.

Road Shots in Arizona

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-08-18 12:02:53
  • CameraNEX-6
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length62.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Processing a photo from a Queenstown Helicopter

Passport Sunday Fun!

If you’re a Passport Member then you know it’s Sunday, that special day when I release a new how-to video! Now we’re at well over 150 videos, so you also have access to a massive back catalog. Enjoy!

Processing a photo from a Queenstown Helicopter

This is a fun little lesson and the photo turned out fantastic! It once again reminds me that I should take more photos from the portrait orientation! Today’s was processed from a single RAW.

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