This is pretty cool – check out the new park Disney is building for Star Wars. I asked my Disney contact if we can get in there early to do a private photowalk. How cool would that be!?!
Daily Photo – More of the Moeraki
I haven’t been back to the Moeraki boulders in probably for years, but I did recently finish working on this shot. Seeing it reminds that I need to get back over there! It’s only about 2 or 3 hours away from here, and it sounds like another good reason for a road trip!
I will just complain for a moment here about Customs in New Zealand. I can’t tell you how many hours me and the team has had to spend on the phone to get stuff shipped into New Zealand. Of course, this is my first time dealing with shipping Customs… and I, regularly, weekly, literally, get stuff Stuck In Customs.
I’m constantly having to fill out forms, pay tariffs, and do all other kinds of nonsense that get in the way of the free flow of goods around the world. Of course, it’s not just New Zealand, but many countries around the world spend a lot of time slowing down commerce.
Naturally, I’m sort of a “Free to Choose” Milton Friedmaneque libertarian, who has many clever things to say about protectionism… “It protects consumers from low prices.”
Daily Photo – Old Boat by the Seashore
I was near Moeraki and taking photos at sunset. This was the only night I was there, and I was excited to eat at this legendary place I keep hearing about called “Fleur’s” — so I was extra-bummed to find out it happened to be closed on that one night in particular. What a bummer. But I walked around the back side to explore and saw this boat up by this tree…
If you didn’t know the geological process that forms these strange round boulders on the beach, what would you guess? I can see how the first explorers here thought they might have been some kind of alien eggs!
Daily Photo – Birds on the Spherical Boulders
After the sun had gotten higher up in the air, I left “sunrise shooting mode” and entered “find interesting shapes mode.” I had on my 14-24 lens, which means I had to get super-close to these birds. Birds are hard to take photos of, I think. So I had to be very slow, like a cat, on my approach to these boulders. I barely got off a shot before the freaked out and flew away!
Well, long term, HARDCORE readers already know this about me and my technique. But I suppose you have come to realize that HDR merely “informs” the final work. That is, HDR comes into play almost everywhere, but I adjust one part of the photo to 0% and maybe another to 100%. And there is lots of variation in between as the eye moves around the photo. For example, I really like how the sun and that whole bit is “blown out” below. If I did normal HDR, then nothing would be blown out. Hey, sometimes I like it… I’m unpredictable, like a woman.
Daily Photo – Moeraki Boulders at Uber Sunrise
These Moeraki boulders are awesome in the morning! If you are going to visit this place, I suggest you get online and check a few things:
1) Check the tides. Make sure there will be low tide in the morning.
2) Check the sun position and time for the year.
If you get those two things planned out, then you can go and spend the night there in Moeraki. You don’t want to go through all the trouble of getting into position if the conditions are wrong.
We set up on the rocks of Moeraki just outside of Fleurs. There is this abandoned dock here that shoots out into the bay towards the sunset. I like this spot because it is one of the few places on the east coast I have found that points back west towards the sunset.
Taking photos of birds is really really really hard. It just takes a lot of trial and timing! I don’t do a lot of close-ups of birds… just not my thing… but I do like to try to incorporate them into the landscape when it feels right!
Reminder- A Million Free Photo Locations in Stuck On Earth
Stuck On Earth is still getting downloaded and used like the dickens! It’s still free to download and the community is growing and growing. Remember if you are planning a trip and want to Find Awesome Places To Stand To Take Photos, this is the app for you! 🙂
Here’s a little video that shows some of the features… note that even more have been added since we made this! 🙂
Daily Photo – The coastal boulders
These boulders in Moeraki are beautiful any time of the day, but morning is the best time to get this kind of light. Since it faces the ocean to the east, that morning sun comes blasting out right behind them. But no worries, if you can’t master-plan your visit to that degree, this area is beautiful any time of the day.
I’ll be seeing you at the Copthorne Hotel Commodore located at 449 Memorial Avenue, Burnside in Christchurch on Thursday, December 6th, 2012, from 9:30am until 6:00 pm. Also, we’ll be getting you all the RAW files beforehand so you can work along with me if you wish! 🙂
Road Trip to the Moeraki Boulders
This was a very fun trip! I’ve decided to include three photos today instead of just one!
We stayed overnight in a little town called Moeraki, which is not surprisingly right by the Moeraki Boulders. There is a bay here with these rails that go into the water to launch boats.
Along the way, these Lupins are growing and blooming everywhere! It’s spring down here in NZ, and I think these flowers are great. I’ve met a few locals though that turn up their nose and call them annoying weeds!
Daily Photo – Moeraki Boulders at Sunrise
A group of people from NZIPP went out for an overnight road trip to this amazing place on the east coast. I’ve always wanted to shoot them at sunrise, but it kind of requires you to sleep pretty close by. I live in Queenstown, which is about 3-4 hours away, and that would mean a 2 AM wake-up time in the summer!
One of the tricky things about these boulders is ensuring you arrive at low-tide. At high-tide, they are almost totally inaccessible… so timing a sunrise with a low-tide takes a bit of planning. Thanks to Jason Law and NZIPP for the nice invite!
The Great Richard MacManus of the Great New Zealand
In the last two months, I’ve gotten to meet two great Kiwis: Richard MacManus (founder of ReadWriteWeb), and Ray Furgeson (NZ Ambassador to the US). John P, who put up the video of my art yesterday, set up a dinner down in Austin during SXSW with me, Richard MacManus, Elyssa Pallai, Cali Lewis, Sean Ammirati. We ate at the famous Oasis here in Austin and saw a beautiful sunset. John gave us all a secret look at some sweet new features of Woopra before we bloated ourselves on Mexican food. It was great!
I also was very happy to find out more about Richard, his background, and more about the way he thinks about things. I’ve always been a fan of ReadWriteWeb, and even went out to their “Real Time Web” conference last year. I hope I didn’t bore Richard and Elyssa by talking about my plans to move my family and StuckInCustoms.com to New Zealand… but I just get quite excited about their country. Maybe with today’s photo of the strange spherical boulders, you’ll see why.
If you want to find out more about what it looks like there, just click the New Zealand category here on the site!
The Six of us at Dinner at the Oasis. BTW, I’m the one in the glasses.
New Tweetboard Widget
I added a new Tweetboard widget there on the left. It’s a quick way for you to check in on the latest tweets and conversations on Twitter. I am at Twitter.com/TreyRatcliff.
Daily Photo – The Mysterious Moeraki Boulders
These are some of the most mysterious and alien structures I have ever seen!
Yesterday I remarked that I had a major in computer science. Well, for a short time, I had a double-major in comp sci and Geophysics. I got pretty deep into it until I had a fight with a Geology teacher over an intellectual matter (he was wrong and still is), and I dropped that half of the major. Anyway, it never dulled my interest in rocks and Earth science. So, when I saw these strange round rocks for the first time, I was extra-fascinated. Not that I had any idea what they were. My years of geology training did me no good at all… I think it was even more frustrating because I knew all the things they could not be. The remaining possibilities just seemed off-the-chart impossible.
And worse, I didn’t have a mobile connection to Wikipedia to help me figure it all out with my iPhone-tricorder!
After I got back, I was able to figure out a bit more of the arcane science around it all. Even more interesting, I read that 12 miles south of this spot is another are called the “Katki Boulders”. They contain the bones of mosasaurs and plesiosaurs. Cool!