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4 Resources Guaranteed To Improve Your Landscape Photography

4 Resources Guaranteed To Improve Your Landscape Photography

Your landscape photography could be a lot better than it is. If you’re honest, you know that there’s room for improvement. The question is, what will help you grow and develop the most? Developing and growing as an artist requires investment. Time, energy, money. You could give me a long list of ways to invest in your craft that could help you become a better landscape photographer, but they all require different levels of investment and provide different levels of improvement. So which of them will give you the best return on investment? I’ll tell you straight off that it’s not new gear. Gear is awesome, but it won’t make you a better artist. It’s not the latest version of Photoshop or Lightroom either.  There are two things that will give you the most return on your investments of time, energy, and money. Education and practice. I’m not talking about formal education. We are long past the days of believing you need to go to art school to be a photographer. I’m talking about finding valuable resources that will teach you the craft. These resources come in many forms, and each of them offers something different and unique. Their value will vary from one photographer to the next depending on skill, needs, and learning style. Their value will also depend largely on the teacher. Not everybody has the ability to teach. Having a great portfolio doesn’t necessarily qualify somebody to be able to pass on their knowledge and skills. In terms of return on investment, you can’t go past great workshops that are well planned and run by skilled,...
September 2014 Desktop Wallpaper

September 2014 Desktop Wallpaper

Here in New Zealand, September signals a glorious time: the end of winter! The cold is over and summer is on its way! That’s the theory anyway. It’s still pretty cold and miserable today, but just the knowledge that spring is here makes me feel happy This month’s free desktop wallpaper is one from Mission Bay, Lake Taupo. This beautiful little spot is one of the first lakeside stops before you hit Taupo when driving up the North Island. The scenery here is breathtaking to say the least, especially when the light is gorgeous. I made this image last week while driving home from a few days in Wellington. I was lucky enough to hit Lake Taupo just after the sun had set, so the colour in the sky was still a beautiful mix of orange and blue. There are rocks all the way along the water’s edge, so it wasn’t difficult to find some a nice foreground to put in front of this stunning background. This free desktop wallpaper for September 2014 is a high-resolution image that will look great on any size screen from a smartphone or iPad to a 30″ cinema display monitor. To download, just right-click on the image. If you use and enjoy this background, please share using the social buttons below. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date with my latest images, free wallpapers, reviews, and...
Pauanui, Coromandel Peninsula

Pauanui, Coromandel Peninsula

Pauanui is one of those New Zealand towns that has absolutely nothing going on for most of the year. Then summer arrives, and BOOM, it’s bursting at the seams as half the population of Auckland heads to the stunning little beach. Sitting on the east coast of the Coromandel Peninsula, Pauanui lies about half an hour north of Whangamata and only around two hours drive from Auckland, which explains why it has become a very desirable and highly sought-after holiday hotspot. It may also have something to do with the scenery. The gorgeous white sand beaches, the beautiful family-friendly Tairua Harbour, not to mention the relatively close proximity to locations like Hot Water Beach and Cathedral Cove. I spent a week in Pauanui earlier this year. Turns out March is the perfect time to go. There wasn’t a soul there other than the locals, as all the visitors had returned to the city from their summer holiday, plus the weather was still warm and summery. We pretty much had the beach to ourselves. Our day trip up to Hahei was a major highlight. Kayaking around to Cathedral Cove was something I would definitely recommend. Of course, I also managed to capture some of the breathtaking scenery with my camera. I was hoping to take advantage of the lack of light pollution and get out for some star photography, but the moon was too bright. Next time maybe. There will definitely be a next time! Click on an image to purchase a print, canvas, or for digital use. Pauanui Waterways Boardwalk Secret creek off Tairua Harbour Tairua Harbour Wharf Secret creek...
August 2014 Desktop Wallpaper

August 2014 Desktop Wallpaper

Monkey Creek lies on the road from Te Anau to Milford Sound in Fiordland, New Zealand. This stunning little spot has been on my photo bucket list for a long time, so naturally, I stopped there on my recent trip to Fiordland. The clouds were pretty low, which isn’t unusual for this part of the country, but I grabbed my gear anyway in the hope that it might lift as I was walking up the river. By the time I found the location for this photo, the cloud had moved a little, not as much as I had hoped, but enough to reveal some of the breathtaking mountains surrounding the valley that Monkey Creek runs through. I always like to use long-exposure photography techniques when shooting moving water, and seeing as the light wasn’t quite low enough yet, I threw on my Lee Big Stopper ND filter to create this 30 second exposure. I don’t process my photos using black and white very often, but the tones in the rocks and clouds seemed to suit grayscale. I edited this image using a combination of Adobe Lightroom and Nik Silver Efex. This free desktop wallpaper for August 2014 is a high-resolution image that will look great on any size screen from a smartphone or iPad to a 30″ cinema display monitor. To download, just right-click on the image. If you use and enjoy this background, please share using the social buttons below and don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date with my latest images, free wallpapers, reviews, and giveaways! UPDATE: I couldn’t have asked for...
Best Websites For Photographers: PhotoShelter Vs SmugMug

Best Websites For Photographers: PhotoShelter Vs SmugMug

I have been using various forms of website for my photography since I caught the bug 5-6 years ago. Initially, I experimented with having a simple portfolio site built by a web designer friend, but I quickly got frustrated with having to rely on someone else any time I wanted to update my site or portfolio. I soon discovered WordPress and its ability to operate not only as a blog, but also a powerful portfolio site complete with galleries and even e-commerce via plugins.  My self-hosted WordPress website served me well as my main site for awhile, but when I discovered PhotoShelter, I realised what I was missing out on. The ability to upload full-resolution images to a powerful portfolio website that doubles as a backup archive was a no-brainer for me. Instead of replacing my main site, I use my PhotoShelter archive and WordPress site simultaneously, which has a number of advantages, including the ability to maintain this blog. PhotoShelter is only one of a number of companies offering a range of website and portfolio services for photographers. There is also Livebooks, Zenfolio, and SmugMug, just to name a few. As I only have experience with PhotoShelter and SmugMug, and they seem to be the most popular portfolio website providers, they are the two I will be comparing. After being a PhotoShelter customer for a number of years, I recently decided to give SmugMug a try. This was for a number of reasons, which I will get to. Firstly, a summary of the two photography portfolio website heavyweights: PhotoShelter is based in New York, USA, and has over...
June 2014 Desktop Wallpaper

June 2014 Desktop Wallpaper

Raumati Beach, Kapiti Coast Queen Elizabeth Park, Raumati South Beach, Kapiti Raumati Beach lies at the south end of the Kapiti Coast, about 45 minutes drive from Wellington. It was once a sleepy little coastal town that would easily be missed while driving up the coast. These days, Raumati is a great little place to visit. Cafes, restaurants, shops, and of course the gorgeous family-friendly beach complete with a monstrous children’s playground. It is increasingly becoming a very desirable place to live for those who work in Wellington, as real estate is much more affordable and it is so close to the city. Getting there will soon be even easier and faster once the new Transmission Gully is complete. At the south end of Raumati Beach is Queen Elizabeth Park; a collection of walking tracks that follow along the coastline. Great for walking, running, or mountain biking. I highly recommend it! This free desktop wallpaper for June 2014 is from one of the walking tracks in Queen Elizabeth Park. It is a high-resolution image that will look great on any size screen from a smartphone or iPad to a 30″ cinema display monitor. To download, just right-click on the image. If you use and enjoy this background, please share using the social buttons below and don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date with my latest images, free wallpapers, reviews, and...
May 2014 Desktop Wallpaper

May 2014 Desktop Wallpaper

Oriental Bay Sunrise, Wellington Oriental Bay Sunrise, Wellington, New Zealand I shot this scene last month while I was in Wellington visiting family and friends. I had been watching the weather for a couple of days, waiting for the right conditions to justify getting up at 5.30am to drive into the city for sunrise. Turns out I waited for just the right morning. Wellington is known for it’s wind, but luckily there was only a light breeze this particular morning, so the clouds weren’t blown off. This is a high-resolution image that will look great on any screen from a smartphone or iPad/tablet up to a 30″ cinema display. To download it, just right-click on the image and select “save as desktop background” or something similar. If you download this wallpaper, please share using the social buttons below....
Fiordland, New Zealand – The 8th Wonder of The World

Fiordland, New Zealand – The 8th Wonder of The World

Deep in the South Island of New Zealand, there is a place called Fiordland. It has some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country, if not the world.  It’s a visual feast of mountains, valleys, lakes, and rivers.  I’ve been lucky enough travel around and see and photograph some stunning places, but few of them compare to Fiordland.  In fact, it is sometimes referred to as the Eighth Wonder of The World!  You may have never heard the name, but I guarantee you’ve seen photos at some point. Landscape photography from this part of the country is heavily used in the promotion and marketing of New Zealand tourism.  It’s been high on my list of places to visit and photograph for a long time, and recently I was lucky enough to get there. I flew into stunning Queenstown, then travelled to Te Anau, where I was based for my time there. The weather was a bit disappointing, but I got a couple of small windows to get some of the shots I was wanting. Click on an image to purchase as a print, canvas, or usage licence. An aerial shot of Lake Wakatipu I took while flying into Queenstown at sunrise. Sunrise in Milford. Sunset over Mitre Peak, Milford Sound. Long exposure of Milford Sound during twilight. Sunset over the yacht club jetty, Lake Te Anau. Monkey Creek, on the road to Milford Sound. Also, take a quick look at the trailer below for Ata Whenua – Shadowland. It’s a stunning promotional video with footage of some of Fiordland’s most beautiful scenery. Worth two minutes of your...
Loving Landscapes: A Guide To Landscape Photography Workflow and Post-Production [eBook]

Loving Landscapes: A Guide To Landscape Photography Workflow and Post-Production [eBook]

  Last year, Todd and Sarah Sisson launched their first ebook; Living Landscapes: A Guide To Stunning Landscape Photography.  In the oversaturated world of photography resources, theirs brought something new and fresh that stood out above the rest.  I personally really enjoyed it, and it was very well received by the landscape photography community.  You can read my review here. Since then, the New Zealand-based landscape photographers have been in hiding, working on their newest offering to the photography community, Loving Landscapes: A Guide To Landscape Photography Workflow and Post-Production.  As with their first, this book has been published by Digital Photography School (dPS), one of the top photography blogs and publishers of fantastic photography resources.  As the name implies, this ebook builds on the knowledge and skills gained from Living Landscapes by exploring the world of post-production workflow.  If there was one area in Living Landscapes that I felt was too brief and needed expanding upon, it was the digital darkroom.  Not surprisingly, Todd and Sarah have exceeded expectations with this monster.   It’s packed with 200+ pages of New Zealand landscape photography gorgeousness and post-production genius.  No matter your choice of workflow weapon, this will be an invaluable resource.  Let’s get into it. The book is divided into 12 chapters: Image capture Computers and backups RAW workflow for landscape photography File management in Lightroom  Organizing your images in Lightroom Outputting your images from Lightroom Single-exposure post-processing Single-exposure post-processing walkthrough Other Lightroom tools and features Single-exposure techniques Photoshop for landscape photographers Multi-exposure workflow The first couple of chapters are pretty self-explanatory.  They really just cover a lot of the...
Nikon D3s Full Frame Body [FOR SALE]

Nikon D3s Full Frame Body [FOR SALE]

UPDATE: This camera has gone to a happy new forever home! After a lot of research and consideration, I’ve decided the time has come for me to sell my trusty Nikon D3s. This amazing camera has served me very well. I bought it when I was working as a wedding photographer, and it served that purpose better than I could’ve hoped. Since then I have moved on from weddings and portraits and focus my lenses mainly on landscapes. Again, the camera hasn’t let me down. It has performed impeccably no matter what I’ve thrown at it, whether shooting stills, timelapse, or video. Hence the reason why my decision to sell it has been such a difficult one. I love this camera, but as my needs as a photographer have evolved, so must my gear. Basically it comes down to this: this camera is big. It’s a full frame professional DSLR body. It has a vertical grip built in. It has space for two CF cards (part of the attraction for a wedding photographer who can’t risk having a memory card fail). The size isn’t cumbersome, in fact I like the size in my hand. It feels solid and reliable. It doesn’t get blown about in the wind while sitting on my tripod. It’s not that I don’t like the big body, but the more travel I do, whether here in New Zealand, or internationally, the more I notice the size. I’m increasingly envious of people who have space in their carry-on for anything other can their camera gear (no I’m not going to trust thousands of dollars worth of...

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New Photos!

Noosa Beach Sunset
Winter at The Mount
Mission Bay Sunset
Three Brothers
Landscape photo of Pauanui Beach and Mt Paku, Tairua, Coromandel Peninsula

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