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Aerial Panoramas – How I Shoot Them

People seem fascinated by the aerial perspective of most things. So I am. It’s the feeling of being able to see something from a position you physically can’t get to.

Having no training in the field of photography makes things interesting. Throw a drone into the mix and too many ideas can complicate it at times but I’ve now well and truly welcomed myself to the world of HDR Panoramas.

HDR stands for High Dynamic Range and means you’ll be taking multiple exposures of the same image, stitching it together in post and editing the results. For landscape photography I love shooting HDR. Like A LOT!

Now throwing the word Panorama or Pano at it means more multiple images stitched together. Again this is a really beautiful procedure for landscapes.

Here is an example of a non HDR Pano.

G course Pano blog

Nice colour (although it clouded over), a fair bit of wow. Pretty simple.

Here is a HDR Pano of Omaha

Causeway 2 site

Sun was out, the tide almost perfect and lots of range!

This one is of Omaha Bay from Rodney Road. I was about 10 minutes late to get this shot. You can find out why by clicking here

Pano 1 resize

Obviously weather and angle plays a big part in the final result but the dynamic range in the HDR is so much better. This allows you to pull more detail from the shadows and drop the highlights so they’re not as blown out!

Better results, better images with more of a wow factor and better fun! HDR can be done poorly as well. When it’s overdone it’s just a bit…. Blaaaa.

There’s so many places I’ve been over the last year that I need to go back to and reshoot so it’s all in the planning.

This shot isn’t a Pano but it is a really nice HDR of the Omaha bridge

Causeway 4 blog

So many photos to take and so little time. Here’s to more HDR Panos.

 

See you at the beach!

-Sam

 

 

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Tyred

Sometimes I write blog posts when I’m bored. Sometimes when I have to. Sometimes late at night when I should’ve done it yesterday.

This one right now is new. I’m writing this because my ever reliable ute is sitting in the driveway with two flat tyres so I can’t leave my house. Yes two! How the hell did I manage that?

Not a clue. I had to change one on my way back from Pakiri yesterday afternoon on route to shooting a mindblowing pano of the bay. Thanks to said issue, it clouded over as I was about ten minutes too late so this is the best one

Pano 1 resize

Anyway the last week has been exhausting with this heat. I’ve been shooting plenty (no pun intended) in and out of the water. Last Saturday was another solid spear session out around the point so you can check the catch here

I also ducked out for a little golf course shoot in the evening and managed these couple of images

G course 1 blog

G course 2 HDR blog

Drone panos are fun. I will be writing a blog post very shortly with some details on this!

G course Pano blog

And yes of course, Sunday. A day like no other! A bit of swell hunting and a lot of photo taking. Peep the days action below

I shot A LOT of images this day, possibly too much. Here’s my favourites

Mike skim blog

Two roads blog

Ash 2 blog

These lads were having fun

Sending it blog

That was last weekend, it was a super fun one. I’m not sure about this one coming as I’m still working through my tyre woes. I will update once I’m rolling again.

See you at the beach!

-Sam

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10 Outta 10 Weekend

The weekends are simply spent doing what we love. At least they should be!

I know this is something I try to do my best at, as well as encouraging others to do the same. If this includes getting up super early and spearfishing until you’re completely exhausted then check out Saturday action below

Sunday again was an early start (shocking I know) but only shoot a couple of images as seen below

Morning mood resize

You can purchase this image by clicking it.

Pines resize

Pines 2 resize

Then it was skim time at a recently found spot at Tapora. Being inside the Kaipara harbour, surrounded by farmland, in the middle of nowhere, this little sand island spot is something truly unique.

Away from the shells and mud, this is probably the best set up for flatland skim I have ever seen. It’s a shame it’s not a little closer and easy to access. Find the days vlog below

I wrapped up the weekend with a little harbourside shoot with the drone. The film is included in the vlog and here is my favourite image

Boat HDR resize

You can purchase this image by clicking it.

Really solid weekend, I write this as I start to get set for another!

Let her rip boys!

See you at the beach.

-Sam

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January – Cyclone Victor, Kingfish & Minute Massacres

I used to do monthly wrap ups on my channel and stopped. I kind of feel with a few recent developments and the varied nature of what I do I felt it was time to bring it back.

January was more than packed with action in and out of the water. Find it all in the video wrap up below

Here’s the mentioned Minute Massacre from up north. This is why I find skimboarding the most fun!

Do you want a serious picture as well?

Kingy resize

Nahhh.

See you at the beach!

-Sam

 

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Spearfishing – The Ins & Outs

Is spearfishing the ultimate sport? It’s a lot like hunting but if you breathe at the wrong time you die. Plain and simple.¬†Adding to that, it’s not like death by a freak accident, but death because you wanted some oxygen.

Having dabbled with a lot of water sports from a young age and being very active in probably the highest impact one of them all (skimboarding), we are now getting somewhat serious about this spearfishing thing. I don’t like fishing on a regular basis. It’s too slow, smelly and well……… Boring.

Spearing fish is the opposite. It’s full of action, it’s one hell of a physical and mental challenge and you get to see things most people won’t. Like sharks, you get pretty up close and personal with these alleged man killers.

I got my full kit late last year and figured it was time. Time to test myself, my rig (below) and my friends haha.

Set up blog

With a little bit of coverage on OXS TV already I just wanted to drop this little clip here and tell you what is up. My addictive personality will take this somewhere amazing, as well as a waterproof housing for the A6000, so we can cover all the action with some serious quality.

I really want to shoot some high quality stills from the bottom so I’ll be working on that shortly.

See you at the beach!

-Sam

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Cyclone Victors Spoils

If you’re a wave chaser you’d know that the East coast is forecast a few cyclones this Summer. With already a couple of short sniffs of solid ground swells, Cyclone Victor arrived mid Jan with not too much hype about him (it?).

Points Sunrise resize

With a building swell the forecast just didn’t quite line up. Victor didn’t come too close to land, so with expected light winds and seabreezes…. It didn’t quite line up with more conventional work commitments and that’s not to mention the 500m wide closeouts Omaha was dishing up. I didn’t even manage to get away and shoot some proper surf shots so it was more of sunrise vibe.

Nose check canvas resizeLines blogSurf Check resize

The plan was to really shoot something similar but much better to what we did for Cyclone Pam last year. It didn’t quite pan out with those winds but the swell hung around for about a week which was nothing short of impressive. We even found this spot which we will not be telling you where it is.

Moon tree blogShallow reef resize

I did vlog a couple of the sessions with the self titled Cyclone Victor clip below

Here’s to the the next swell (which there’s a little whisper of at time of writing this).

See you at the beach!

-Sam

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40 Hours In The Far North – New Zealand

Now this was one of those trips that you shouldn’t really go on. So close to Christmas, a lot happening (including my unofficial Christmas team event) and short notice but hey…. I’d been waiting for this forecast for some time and excuses are for excuse makers.

Enjoy the main clip below

You can also find three days of vlogs on OXS TV here.

I also shot a whole heap of images from the trip as well. I would love to say I could pick one as my favourite but I can’t, so here’s one of Hendos very early on the Saturday

Edit Hendos bog

And some frigen fire from Saturday afternoon

Set up blog

This was Sunday morning again. Still big

Behind the wave resize blog

Of course I can make any of these images purchasable at your request.

See you at the beach!

-Sam