Fstoppers Visits New Zealand, Is Attacked By "Wingless Bird" P.T.W. BTS Ep 5

Photographing The World Behind The Scenes Episode 5 is here. In last weeks episode (episode 4) we spent our last day in Iceland, and our photography guide went on a rant about photographers that is so hilarious, his rant has more views than the entire episode. In episode 5 we leave Siggy behind and fly to the opposite side of the world, New Zealand. 

Being that Iceland and New Zealand are in opposite hemispheres, they also have opposite seasons. It was an extremely cold winter in Iceland and we were thrilled to have beautiful summer temperatures in NZ.

The first thing that you will notice is that my beard is much longer than it was in last weeks episode. That's because we filmed this tutorial out of order. We actually filmed 2 tutorials over the course of 3 months. The first one, which is out now, is Photographing The World: Landcape Photography and Post Processing. The next tutorial, which will be available around the end of the year will be called, "Photographing The World: Cityscapes, Astro Photography, and Advanced Post Processing." When we release the second tutorial we will also release the "second season" of Photographing The World Behind The Scenes, but we are months away from completing that. 

Everyone wants to visit New Zealand in the summer time, and prices for rental cars, RVs, and vans were at an all time high. Our van, which was particularly crappy, was over $3000 for a month rental. When we picked up the van they told us about a photography contest that could potentially reimburse our rental costs. We thought for sure that we would win, we ended up submitting something like 50 incredible images to their contest but we still lost. The "winner" ended up being some crappy iPhone snapshot. We assumed they didn't want to give up $3000 when they could have chosen a winner with a cheaper rental. Since the winner was chosen after we left NZ, that never ended up making the BTS series. 

In this episode we have a run-in with one of the smartest animals in the world, New Zealand's famous Kea bird. We attempt to film a lesson on a beach while timing the tides and sunset and fail miserably. Finally at the end of the episode, we capture a great lesson at the world famous "pancake rocks."  Elia teaches us how he uses his hand to combat lens flare, then takes 9 bracketed exposures and combines them into 1 hand made HDR image. 

 

 

In case you've missed the other episodes you can easily find them below. 

You can watch episode 1 here

You can watch episode 2 here

You can watch episode 3 here

You can watch episode 4 here

You can watch episode 5 here

You can watch episode 6 here

You can watch episode 7 here

You can watch episode 8 here

You can find the finished tutorial in the Fstoppers Store.

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20 Comments

mark millar's picture

NOOOOO! Where is Elia's jacket? Doesn't the jacket help to create richer photographs?! ;)
Seriously though, looks great!

Henry Louey's picture

50 Meg download??

You lucky bastards! The hotels I stay at in NZ give me 25!

Crazy right? Some of the worst internet on earth.

Dylan Patrick's picture

Hahaha these BTS are awesome. Talk about an epic trip!

I had a great time with a Kea as well. Imagine trying to make it up a snow-covered road on the South Island, in your Kea rental camper, when it starts to lose traction. (I hadn't installed the chains, since it was dry when I left). I had to back down, following my tire tracks, as it was too steep to attempt a multi-point turn. When I found a place to back in and turn around, I got out for photos. Because that's what you do when all alone, in an avalanche zone. One of those pesky Kea birds decided to attack the camper, and here I am, trying to shoo it away, but quietly. I'm glad there was no one creating a BTS video of that day.

Beautiful country though. Visit in September, right after their school break. It's very inexpensive then, and no crowds anywhere.

Here's a bad scan of the road signs. The top one was taken on the way in before the sun came up - "Chains Must Be Carried". The bottom was taken on the way out, as I noticed the highway crews had changed it to "Chains Essential".

Michael Kormos's picture

Lee, what is Elia's mailing address (you know, this month, as I know he loves around). I'm going to get him a set of filters to help him distance himself from this HDR wizardry. Also, I know this "Castaway" look you took from Peter Hurley is supposed to be cool, but honestly, a shave and a clean shirt go a long way toward looking normal :-)

He just left us and went to China I believe. Don't worry, he owns filters and uses plenty of them in this tutorial. This lesson was just about extremes HDR.

I don't think you'll convince him or me to ever do a clean shave again.

Patrick Hall's picture

In this lesson he specifically shows why filters do not work in this situation. They actually introduce MORE glare because they add a large flat glass element to your lens which causes more problems then the recessed curved element on the front of the lens.

The other problem here is this is one of those super rare moments where you would want something called a "reverse neutral density graduated filter". I've never heard of this but Elia said you use them when you want to knock down the exposure in the middle of the frame during say a sunset but you don't want the top part of your frame to go even more dark.

Michael Kormos's picture

I got you buddy: http://www.singh-ray.com/shop/daryl-benson-reverse-graduated-neutral-den...

Patrick, you know I just like to jerk your chain, right? Let me know if you and Lee are in town for PhotoOp. I'll buy you guys a round of beers.

On second thought, beer in NYC is expensive. Maybe a cup of coffee? Decaf? Peter Hurley can come too, provided he showers.

It's all love :-)

David Moore's picture

I totally don't do landscape but I love watching these videos.

I'm happy we can entertain.

Mark leedom's picture

OMG you came here to NZ and you didnt tell me!!?? >_<

Patrick Hall's picture

I thought we told EVERYONE :/

Did you guys win your rental car back?!

Patrick Hall's picture

Augh, no. I'm convinced the contest was rigged. We rented the most expensive car for a full month so I think they didn't want to reward us by giving us $3000 back. Instead they picked a horrible snapshot. Here is the link to the winning image and if you are smart you can figure out how to see all the submissions from Feb and March. https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10152591035578518.1073741830.4...

Not only did we lose the contest to a snapshot, but since our reservation spanned 2 months, we lost the contest twice!

Such a bummer, I'm convinced most things like that are rigged. Free promotion is all it is.

Regarding the limited cargo capacity of the van, perhaps y'all could've asked the rental company if seats could be removed for cargo and stored at the rental company. My wife and I once owned a 15 passenger van, but we removed the two rear seats for our dogs, dog crates, and our stuff for dog shows.

We did and they said it was against some law

Maximilian Mesch's picture

Good spot :D
Kinda remember it :D