Not far from where today’s photo was taken is the famous tunnel to Milford Sound. Here’s a 360 video we released that shows what the experience is like!
Daily Photo – A Moody Fog in Doubtful Sound
What an awesomely moody morning! I was really hoping for a bit more clarity, but sometimes I can be a little moody too. It was pretty cold outside, as we were here in the late Autumn. It was one of those rather misty mornings, so the cold really felt like having a cool blanket around you all the time. Every few minutes, I’d have to wipe down my lens… but this Sony A7r Mark 3 seems perfectly weather-sealed so far, so that is great news!
Here’s a quick hit tip about making imperfect reflections in Milford Sound.
And here’s one of my favorite photos from this same spot!
Daily Photo – A Royal Panorama
I don’t make a lot of panoramas with my quad, but I thought this was the perfect situation. Usually, it shoots at such a wide angle that panoramas are not even necessary. But I wanted to do something that would end up with a much higher resolution. So I got a lot closer to the castle then normal and took four or five photos across.
My best advice is to come for at least 10 days and spend the entire time on the south island. Rent a camper van and just roll around all over the place. Some people try to squeeze in the North Island and the South Island into one trip. Just do the south. The north is fine, but it’s too much to squeeze into one trip.
Daily Photo – Tane Kayaking in Doubtful Sound
It was a very moody evening in Doubtful Sound, and it wasn’t just moody because of Tane. The afternoon had seen 70 knot winds, which translates to about 130 kilometers per hour or 80 mph. Crazy, eh? We couldn’t even go outside on the deck. The crew really seemed to enjoy all the wind; for what reason, I cannot discern. It also made me wonder more about why the measurement of knots came about rather than kph or mph. Even as I write this, I’m going to go look this up.
Okay I just looked it up, and it is only vaguely interesting. Here you go:
A knot is one nautical mile per hour (1 knot = 1.15 miles per hour). The term knot dates from the 17th century, when sailors measured the speed of their ship by using a device called a “common log.” This device was a coil of rope with uniformly spaced knots, attached to a piece of wood shaped like a slice of pie. The piece of wood was lowered from the back of the ship and allowed to float behind it. The line was allowed to pay out freely from the coil as the piece of wood fell behind the ship for a specific amount of time. When the specified time had passed, the line was pulled in and the number of knots on the rope between the ship and the wood were counted. The speed of the ship was said to be the number of knots counted (Bowditch, 1984).
Aurora HDR 2018 is now available for both Mac AND Windows! That’s right, the world’s leading HDR photography software has been entirely redesigned with exciting new features, improved user interface, speed improvements, Windows support and more. I’ve been using it a ton and I think you’ll be blown away!
Current users of Aurora HDR should check this link to see if you qualify for the upgrade price. New users can purchase Aurora HDR 2018 and my new Aurora HDR tutorial in my online store.
Already own Aurora HDR Pro and want to upgrade? Click here to find out if you qualify.
Sneak Peek Inside Aurora HDR 2018
Below is a sneak peek video I made that shows off just SOME of the new features!
In other news… Art of Tidying
I just finished listening to a good podcast by Tim Ferris about the Art of Tidying with Japanese-neatness-guru Marie Kondo. Here’s a link!
Daily Photo – Flying Over the Entrance to Milford Sound
This is a panorama I took right after coming out of the tunnel through the mountain to Milford Sound. It’s such a long drive from Queenstown to Milford Sound (about 4 hours), and seeing this after the tunnel is always extremely rewarding. Don’t get me wrong… the whole drive itself is beautiful (it’s New Zealand!) but after getting through this tunnel, it’s like you enter a different world. It’s basically the only way to get into the fjords unless you fly, which I haven’t tried yet. I do have it on my bucket list to take Over the Top and Choppy on a joy-ride over there to take photos like crazy!
I took this less than a year ago, but I had no memory of what lens or camera I used. I had to go look at the EXIF! I was 90% sure it was the Hasselblad, but I had no clue on the focal length. It looked quite zoomed in, but then I realized the waterfalls are so massive, you really can’t tell. Anyway, it was the 35-90mm, shot at 60mm. I wish there was a zoom lens, but in everyone’s life, a little waterfall must fall.
Daily Photo – Rainy Day in Milford Sound
In Milford, when it rains, the mountains pour. I tell most people when they go that rain is probably one of the best weather situations down there… literally THOUSANDS of waterfalls. I believe I took this one right by the tunnel that leads from one side of these massive mountains to the other. Waterfalls are crazy on both sides… mind-blowing, really. Whoever built that tunnel and road to Milford Sound, THANK YOU!
For just the price of a few cups of coffee a month, you can be a passport member and see a new 360 video today where I’m talking about my goals at Milford Sound. I was able to accomplish a few of them, and I failed at others. I have some fun photos from this trip coming up! 🙂
Passport Exclusive – My goals at Milford Sound
I often arrive at a location with amorphous goals. I’m sure this happens to you too. I get to a cool place, even one I’ve been to before, and then I have a sudden worry: “What the heck am I going to shoot here that is interesting?” Here’s another video for you, gentle Passport Member (thx again!) – where I talk about some goals… It’s good to have some goals and then vary from your main course… as is the case with today’s photo that was taken during this outing.
This was taken early in the morning at low tide. The tide here goes dramatically up and down. At high tide, you can just see a few branches sticking out of the water, but at low tide, you can walk about half a kilometer out into the bay and get shots like this. I shot this at f/1.4 with the Leica 21mm on the Sony A7r Mark II.
Thanks again to those of you that are Passport Members – Today you get a special 360-degree behind-the-scenes video at Milford Sound. Well, TWO videos actually! If you don’t know what “Passport” is – well it’s a simple thing… for the price of a couple of cups of coffee per month, you get extra behind-the-scenes stuff, presets, and more. Nothing has changed on the blog… still a new photo and tips every day, but now I’m able to use some cool tech to add more stuff!
1.5 Million Downloads and a Giveaway + Deals to celebrate!
Giveaway Time! Just Leave a Comment for you and a friend to win!
To celebrate that crazy number of downloads, I’m giving away 5 copies of Season 1 of Becoming an Artist. We filmed the whole thing in Africa, and I think you’re gonna love it… a very personal project chockful of tips & tricks.
To win a copy for yourself and a friend, simply leave a comment below (and, well, say whatever you want!) but also be sure to mention your friend. We’ll pick 5 random winners in the next week! 🙂 Here’s the promo video:
Favorite Photos of Milford Sound
Since I use Aurora HDR pretty much every day of my life, I thought I’d share some of my favorite HDR photos from Milford Sound! If you watch the exclusive PASSPORT videos below, then you get to see how amazing these fjords are all around you! 🙂
Passport Exclusive – Tips from Milford Sound
Thanks again Awesome Passport Member! You’re the best… has anyone told you that lately? Well, now they have! 🙂 Here are two 360 videos I recently made in Milford Sound… enjoy
I made a 360 video for Passport Members that shows what it looks like just after you emerge into the fjord side of the tunnel. Normally there are lots of waterfalls and it is rainy, this time, the weather was perfect! Anyway, enjoy… and let me know if you like these 360 videos and I can make more.
360 Video of the fjord side of the Milford Sound tunnel
Hello, Brave Passport Member! Here’s another 360 video for you! I’ve been watching these both in YouTube and with my Google Daydream… pretty cool, eh?
Daily Photo – Bowen Falls and Milford in Black and White
This is a little black and white study across the sound facing Bowen Falls. It’s illegal, I think, but you can scramble around a wall down by the rocks (quite dangerous) and follow a path back there to an old grave. It’s pretty back there but hard to get a photo because of all the spray that comes off the waterfall.
TIP: How to use the Samsung Gear 360 Camera when using any Android Phone
This was not easy to figure out! Luckily good man Stu here, my techie right-hand-man at Stuck In Customs figured all this out… here’s how you do it!
Why would you do this?
The Gear 360 can be controlled using its small LCD and the buttons on the device but some functionality available in the app isn’t available using this method.
Main Benefits of the App:
Only way to unlock images for processing (happens during copy from camera to handset)
Live view so you can see where the stitching will be and avoid it landing on key areas
Ability to set ISO, white balance, HDR etc
Fire the camera wirelessly (you can hide)
In short, the app will function just as it does on a Galaxy handset. The only thing you need to remember is NOT to transfer videos via the App. At the end of transfers the app does some encoding, it’s a drain on battery/time. Just stick the the MicroSD card to from the Gear 360 into your system and copy the videos. Load them into the Gear 360 ActionDirector (bundled with the camera) and it will unlock them for use in your editing software.
Pics, you can transfer those on the app and let them convert so you can work with them in Photoshop, Lightroom, Aurora HDR, etc.
Step 2) Enable Unknown Source Installs on your handset. (Settings>General>Fingerprints + Security)
Step 3) Download and install the Gear 360 Manager from here.
Step 4) Launch the Gear 360 App. It should run as normal. The connection initially is via Bluetooth but then it switches to its own Wi-Fi network later on.
Step 5) Switch back the unknown source option to off. (Settings>General>Fingerprints + Security)
That’s it… in theory!
I did read that on some phones if live-view or file browsing doesn’t work you may need to switch the option to for mobile data when on Wi-Fi but opinions varied. If you need it here is the option (Settings>Networks> tap the current network). You can also watch out for new versions of the modified apps over on the XDA forum. Those guys over there have done some great work to make this possible.
Passport Members get to see a special 360 video below about an hour before I took this photo. Something that’s not in the video that I can tell you now – I shot this with the Leica 21mm at F/1.4. Getting as LOW as possible in that F-Stop is key for getting good star shots.
Thoughts on Failure
Here’s another 360 video I shot here in Milford Sound just as it was getting dark… Enjoy! Oh, P.S. the Timelapse video turned out to be TERRIBLE. That Samsung 360 Gear is really cool, but not so good for low-light photos.
This is maybe my tenth trip to Milford? I always have a lovely and different sort of time there. I’ve never seen it so starry, though! I was here with my friends Mark and Curtis and the photos and wine were flowing nicely! 🙂 Curtis had suggested we go back to the room and relax for a while then come back out for the stars. I refused to follow this plan because I was afraid we’d never make it back out! But then just about 45 minutes later it was dark enough to take these sorts of photos.