Here’s a quick and fun review of Luminar Neo! You can use the code TREY10 to get $10 off the yearly or lifetime plans. For those of you who are existing Aurora HDR users, that entitles you to grab the HDR extension for Neo with special pricing, depending on the version you have and for some of you that might even mean free! Just be sure to sign up for Neo with the same email you used to register Aurora HDR to get access to the best pricing. 🙂
Before we begin, here’s an image I’ve produced with Neo to get you in the mood…
This is right where we stayed for the night in one of those guard towers. It was not exactly luxury, unless you call putting a sleeping bag on hard stone to be “luxury.” It was one of the worst sleeps of my life, but it was still worth it… the next day I was a wreck and I had to show up for a photography meeting in Beijing. It was a tough one!
We were lucky to get a little bonus access to the Sagrada Familia and were able to get into the upper floors. These are quite hidden from the ground level and I never would have known they were there otherwise. I didn’t have to do anything special to get access, just a bit of planning ahead of time with their PR team.
If you’re one of our awesome Passport Members then you’ll get a fun, quick, and easy tutorial that shows how I made today’s photo.
Today I do a pretty extreme treatment with a little overexposure trick at the end to make all the people feel a little more surreal. (Also, we’ve made a few changes to the site this week and a couple of people reported issues playing the last Passport video. If you are affected by this email [email protected] and he’ll sort you out with a link until we fix the prob. 🙂 )
One thing is for sure about Asian megacities: They really know how to make some cool-looking shopping areas. The lights always call for some sweet sweet night photography. Also, I am pretty much usually the only one out there taking photos. People must be wondering what the hell I am doing. They would come up and ask, but they are too polite. Also, they don’t speak the same language.
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
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.
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.
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!
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.