The Winners of the All-Expenses Trip to New Zealand and the Sony A7!
We recently had a live video hangout to announce the winners! It was part of the release of the new HDR Tutorial on Video. To see the winners, and all the runners-up, check out the video. Enjoy! :)
Daily Photo – The Busiest Sheep in Iceland
See that little sheepy there on the left? I think he must eat the tall parts of all the grass in that entire field to keep it looking perfect.
In fact, I’m often amazed at these huge fields of perfect grass. No one ever mows them, and usually there is almost no sheep. I have no idea how the grass is so perfect all the time. It’s really mind-bending and I stop thinking about it too much after a while because it begins to hurt. It’s that same kind of brain-hurt that you think about when you wonder what things would be like if there was no universe. I put it up there on that scale.
Jim Jochetz, Paul Johnston, and Alfredo Mora each won a XUME Adapter
And congratulations to those that received a $100 Gift Certificates from Adorama!
Daily Photo – Driving High Along the Fjords
The roads in Iceland normally follow the bottom part of the valley. Here, in this particular area, the road was about halfway up one of the mountains, which gave me a bit of a downward perspective. Every few miles there is an interesting, old, weather-beaten barn like this one to set the scene. It may not even be so old, and maybe the weather there is so rough that it makes things look old before their time.
During the last live class, I mentioned a few special events. No worries – we are still planning those. They are taking a bit of time for us to get our heads around and properly plan, but we’ll put something together that is amazing! 🙂 More info in the future…
Daily Photo – Farm in the Vastness
When you drive across Iceland, scene after scene is soooo…. epic! You just get this feeling of a vastness that permeates everything. There is a kind of timelessness in the architecture too, like you are unsure if something is new or quite old.
I felt this way when I passed through this valley full of farms with a little farmhouse right in the middle.
Many people are asking if I still use Photomatix, and the answer is an absolute yes! I use it to process all the photos you see on the site here. If you want to try it yourself, you can read more information here on the Photomatix Review.
I now use Aurora HDR Pro for all of my processing. I worked with Macphun for over a year to build the ultimate HDR software!
Daily Photo – Soft Sunset over the Gentle Stream
Every time I visit this little stream in the northern part of Iceland, it seems exactly the same. It makes me wonder if it ever gets high or low or just flows perfectly all the time.
If it does flow perfectly like this all the time, I’d be tempted to build a house right over it! Wouldn’t it be cool to have a perfect stream just flow right through your home?
We recently released WordPress for Photographers, a new eBook by Peter Adams. This is a step-by-step guide that will teach you everything about setting up WordPress, choosing a theme/design for your website, and adding content. Also included are advanced techniques for working with image galleries, importing image meta-data, optimizing image search, and a whole lot more!
There are many other new books over at Flatbooks as well, and I hope you’ll like them all!
Daily Photo – Waterfall of Certain Doom
This has become one of my favorite remote waterfalls in the world! Whenever I am taking photos of these places, I spend a lot of time there. I often imagine what it would be like to tumble over the edge… wondering various ways I could survive… if I’d get caught in a whirlpool underwater… or if I would just pop up like in the movies.
If you are ever near Akureyri, I suggest you visit this spot… if you are feeling bold, clamber down the side of the waterfall like I did here to get this shot…
Where does all the time go? How can time feel so fast and so slow at the same time… it’s a wonderful duality that makes me happy and confused to think about…
Daily Photo – The Rock Cleaved
I need more waterfalls in my life! This is what I am thinking whenever I just finish taking photos of waterfalls. As I was walking away from this one in Iceland, where I spent most of the day, I was thinking about the next waterfall. Then the next one. Then the next one. I think it’s cool how something can be so violent and beautiful at the same time.
Are you a fan of Pat? Join us tonight for the live hangout at 7 PM PT on Live.TWIT.tv.
EG Video – I’ll Save you $4000
So, instead of buying that ticket, I promised you could watch my video for free, and here you go. I took a risk with this one, and I hope there are bits in here that are of interest. Enjoy! (and yes, I’ll be returning to Monterey this year…maybe I will see some of you there!)
Daily Photo – The Beginning of Time
I spent most of this weekend working on this photo. One common question is, “How long do these photos take?” They take me anywhere from a few minutes to a few days. It’s not contiguous work, of course, but some are so challenging that I have to keep returning to them time and time again.
This spot in northern central Iceland is a bit perilous to reach. It’s so perilous here at Godafoss, in fact, that I am glad my mom didn’t see me getting into position. Is the water cold? Yes, yes it is.
I wanted to take a moment here and thank you all again for your comments! I read them all, and I get to know you through your comments. Even better, my MOM gets to know you all even better than me… when we talk on the phone she just goes on and on about so-and-so…. you have no idea… I should record one of our conversations and let you hear! She’s very sharp, has an encyclopedic memory, and has a full psychoanalysis of each one of you! 🙂
Daily Photo – The Mighty Peaks and Soft River
I’m going up again soon to the northern part of Iceland to visit some friends, and it will be great fun. This time, I’ll have to convince them to come out with me on a little photo adventure…
Right before you get to Akureyri, the road twists along a valley that runs beside these mountains. They are beautiful and scenic, but very difficult to photograph. You keep looking and looking and looking for an angle, and it never quite works out. I found this one by accident.
There was a little side road that looked interesting. I took it, and then it almost immediately went off the side of a hill! It turns out it wasn’t a side-road at all, but some kind of fake-road meant to trick dumb people like me. So, after sliding to a stop, I went out to see if my 4th wheel was dangling over the side. It wasn’t, but I did see a little path that went down by the river. I thought there might be a good vantage point, so I took my rig down there to get this shot.
Normally, I do one new photo a day, but today I wanted to do ten of them! Something a bit different to keep things fresh, perhaps!
So, when I was in Iceland, I went to visit my friend Helga Kvam who lives on a fjord in the far north near a town called Akureyri. She lives in a farmhouse right up against the water. Helga was with her long-time boyfriend Völundur Jónsson, who is also a photographer. Even though they live in a beautiful place, I don’t think they ever take it for granted… this is a nice side-benefit of being a photographer. You can read more about them on their About page on their website.
I slept in their basement one day, and woke up in time for dinner time (I stay awake all night to take photos and sleep during the day). Völundur and Helga were hard at work making a fantastic meal! I pulled out my camera and took some photos of the evening, so I can share it with here below.
If you’d like to see some other photos I took in and around this area, check the Iceland category!
Völundur is outside getting the grill ready. The weather was perfect and Helga opened the windows so we could smell everything. You can see the fjord behind Völundur...
Helga, for being a photographer, is very shy about having her photo taken! So I took this one of her sitting with her nephew in the window sill, as they watched the food cook outside.
While dinner is cooking, Helga's nephew goes outside to play and shows me where he built his tree house earlier in the day.
He prepared a ton of amazing and fresh food. I think the only time they get to cook outside is the summer, and they take full advantage of it.
Helga was telling me about what things have been like after the economic crisis in Iceland recently. She said people have gotten back to the basics, and she knitted these gloves for herself. I tried to convince her to make finger-flapped knit gloves for photographers and I would help her promote on the website! But I don't think I convinced her...
Her house has all sorts of nice details and colors. Even before I met her, I knew she was very into rich textures and colors.
Helga and Völundur go into her kitchen to make last-minute preparations for dinner.
This meat was incredibly tasty and tender. I won't tell you what it was... since people often seem overly judgmental (or stuck in customs, the second meaning of the blog that few people ever get).
Fresh vegetables on skewers. They tasted as good as they look.
And for dessert, we had these insane bacon-wrapped dates. These things are amazing. I did find them one other place -- at a tapas restaurant in San Antonio. But anyway, stay on the lookout for these things!
Now that the app is out, all the beta testing has closed off – thanks again!
Join our private testing group!
100 Cameras in 1 for the iPhone has been a huge success, so it gave us the chance to redesign everything from the ground up to take the experience to a new level for the iPad. And, well, with the upcoming iPad 2, it’s gonna be even more awesome (even though it will also work on the existing iPads, especially since we notice a lot of people enjoy re-processing existing photos). I won’t say more than that now, but you can get a hint as to some of the varied goodies in the screenshots below.
Want to join the testing with us? Just leave a comment below, and I’ll randomly select people and contact you via the email you used (or FB) when leaving the comment. So, it’s just not all fun and games… you need to crank hard on the app, try to break it, send us feedback, bugs, and all that sort of thing to be a good tester.
The Week of HDR Tips continues!
Today is Tip #4: Let the Time Flow. It’s been a great week so far, yes? Yes. Rick Sammon and I are each providing a good tip to help you take your photography to the next level… I hope you are getting something out of it. I enjoyed putting these together!
I thought it was interesting that yesterday, people discovered inside the tip that the object in the middle of the arena was a dirt-zamboni. I guess I looked at it so long, that I figured everyone would get to that conclusion.. but interesting that the mystery worked even better than I suspected!
Daily Photo – Icelandic boy after building treehouse
When I stayed at Helga’s delightful farmhouse near a northern fjord in Iceland, her brother came over and brought his son. They built a treehouse in the backyard and filled it with all kinds of goodies — all in one day! The sun was low, as it always is there that time of year. He was running around, silently playing in the back yard. I thought his eyes were so other-worldly blue that I just had to take a photo.
This area was very close to the little town of Akureyri. It took me about three visits to this place before I was able to pronounce it correctly. I feel like a damned fool trying to say some of those Icelandic words!