Mid week last week rolled around and it was time to hit the road again. The team of Mice, consisting of my Dad, Uncle, a friend from America and myself were heading north for a few days of fun, in and on the water. The cat (my Mum) was heading south for a weekend doing whatever cats do.
A long drive on Thursday night brought me to Houhora in good spirits and good weather.
Friday morning we got out on the water for a very green and quiet spear. The afternoon could be the most scenic and enjoyable few hours I’ve had lately. Check it
North Cape was Saturdays destination. North Cape is more north than Cape Reinga in case you didn’t know. We dove there at New Years with some bronzies. We ate shark on Saturday. Find it here
Sunday was moving day and a rather spontaneous filming of my first video podcast which I believe will be live this Sunday
I’ve shot a heeeeap of images up north in the last couple of weeks so I will think I will throw together a separate blog post featuring them as well as a couple of videos.
Stay tuned for the podcast. I will see you at the beach!
Horses are funny creatures. Most are contained to a paddock, forced to be ridden by us humans. The lucky few are let to roam free, exploring the wide open expanses of the country side without a care in the world (I assume).
I’ve visited Spirits Bay in the far north of New Zealand many times now and have seen a horse or two on most of these visits. Once or twice they’ve even been standing in the middle of the road.
On this day they were perched high up on the cliffs just standing and watching. I popped the drone up in the air expecting them to scarper like domesticated horses do and nothing. They did nothing. One battery of shooting later and I had this little production below which I feel is possibly my best work to date!
I am super happy with the results, they only thing I wish I could change is that I shot another batteries worth of footage. You can see the vlog from the day here
I’ve been flying and shooting with drones for coming up two years now and love it. I love being able to put the camera in the air and follow things about. Flying that little (in the case a Phantom) machine about really does draw a lot of attention, which oddly enough is the least interesting part of it to me.
The how far, how much does it cost, what do you do with the photos etc etc type question do get pretty old, pretty quick.
While they are incredible pieces of tech, my main and number one point of interest from the very start, was being able to put a camera in a place I physically can’t get to. This image of the wild horses at Spirits Bay in the far north really got me thinking about this. I was about 100m below and 300m away when I shot this. I certainly wasn’t prepared to get too close in person for the fear of being stampeded. Do horses even do that? Unless I had an actual helicopter and a huge lens, there was no real way to get this snap without a drone. The weird thing is that they weren’t bothered the slightest by this little machine buzzing about.
I wouldn’t be able to get this shot any other (realistic) way and holds true for so many images. Here’s a couple more of my favourites.
I’m dropping a 4K edit of these horses on Monday so you can hold your breath until then. Or just browse my YouTube channel while you wait.
Have you ever looked at Mt Tamahunga from the eastern side (lets use Omaha for example) and realised how much of the landscape it dominates?
It’s a lot. So much so, that the sun actually sets earlier in the northern end of Omaha, than the southern end. This only applies over the colder months as the sun slides to the south in Summer.
It is the biggest peak in the immediate area, not that there’s much to challenge it. With a moderate level of fitness the walk from Omaha Valley Road only takes about a hour. It can take longer if you miss the first sign posting in the dark and wander off down the farm tracks but that’s a story for another day.
I shot most of this little clip a couple of months ago and figured I could throw something together out of the footage. Enjoy.
The walk is through dense native bush and is only spoiled by the fact you can’t actually see much when you get to the top. The aforementioned dense bush tends to block the views for most people, making a drone the perfect tool for the job.
Enjoy the walk if you choose to go. I believe you can attack it from a few sides but I’ve only taken the Omaha Valley Rd route. In case you’re wondering there’s a car park on the left side of the road for it.
That’s not a typo. After returning this week from “The Barrier” and clearing all my cameras, 165gb was the number on the folder.
That consists of shooting with a DJI Phantom 3 drone, Sony Handycam, Sony A6000, three different GoPros (one of which is now dead), all in the highest res possible.
Now comes the what to do with it all?
The daily vlogs are underway on OXS TV, with Day 5 dropping soon after this post goes up. These videos are produced to really try capture the whole experience with where we are, what we’re doing, eating and laughing about. These aren’t directly attached here for now but a full update will be coming in a couple of days. Get along to OXS TV HERE.
The pictures. Oh boyyy the pictures. I have several HDR drone panos to edit from the top of mountains, beaches and sunsets that I haven’t got to yet!
Aaaand of course my main channel productions which basically takes the best of the best and jams it all together. I’m also going to drop a little highlight video in the next couple of days from the trip.
Hours upon hours of editing is where I’m at.
All the fantastic updates are coming soon so stay tuned.
Thank you to the people who made the trip what it was. Simply put, I feel Great Barrier Island is an adventure lovers paradise that we all should experience!
I pride myself in being productive, hard working and motivated. I turn 30 in two weeks, which I’m not looking forward to. In fact I haven’t, since I was about 27.
I sort of know why, I sort of don’t.
I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting on life lately and really trying to work out what it is, I want to do. I know I want to deal with hard working, motivated and above all… Passionate people. Passion is everything to me. I consider myself passionate, probably a little too passion filled.
Unlike most people I genuinely do feel I know what I want but here’s the cliffhanger……
I’m working far too slowly in order to get there.
Everyone knows the saying “Time flies when you’re having fun” and boyyy, I have a lot of fun but it’s time. Time to pull finger. Pull all of them, at once.
The last week, like always has been action packed. Saturday was spent winching and diving as seen below
Sunday was dive day (again) and I had a shocker. Over the span of about half a hour I shot and lost my best fish ever, got tangled in my line and almost drown, then lost my gun. Was a fun day anyway
I also just dropped this super fun Game Of Skim we filmed a few weeks ago
Shooting nice pictures of nice things is on my list on finger pulling actions. I’ve been out on the Golf Course again and just have to sort a couple more images so here’s a little snippet
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.
Nice colour (although it clouded over), a fair bit of wow. Pretty simple.
Here is a HDR Pano of Omaha
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
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
So many photos to take and so little time. Here’s to more HDR Panos.