Somewhere in New Zealand: Chapter 3
This part of my trip was the best and the most challenging. I visited Milford Sound, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been, but the rain was a never-ending deluge. (If you’re just joining me, you may want to catch up with Chapters 1 and 2 of this video travel journal.)
After driving through the Crown Range Pass, I stopped in Queenstown, which was my favorite New Zealand city. (I highly recommend Devil Burger for dinner.) It had been sprinkling ever since I left Wanaka, but by the time I made it to Fiordland National Park it was pouring. I knew Fiordland only hinted at what was to come, so I drove through the night, stopping frequently to take in the views of canyon walls streaked with waterfalls.
A tunnel connects Fiordland National Park to Milford Sound. The road ends at a small village, where you catch a boat to tour the Sound, most of which can be accessed only by water. A lot of the time, I was too worried about keeping my gear dry to venture out of the shelter of the boat’s cabin. While I didn’t take as many photos as I wanted to, it was an incredible experience. It gave me that feeling you get when you’re so in love with a place that you’re scared you’ll never be able to visit it again.
GIVING VIDEOS A MOTION-BLUR LOOK
I went to New Zealand with the idea of making one video inspired by what I saw and experienced. In that film, I decided to use a frame-blending effect that simulates what a long-exposure still photo looks like: Anything that moves blurs, anything stationary stays crisp. Normally, you can’t do that with video. To get the effect, I shoot regular video, then blend some frames afterward in Adobe Photoshop CC.
The first time I used this effect was in Tokyo, one of the world’s biggest cities, and this time it was in some of the most isolated places I’ve been. When I made the Tokyo video, I did all of the Photoshop frame blending by hand. For the New Zealand video, I got smart and used a Photoshop script written by me and the Photoshop team's Alan Erickson, Jeff Tranberry, and Tom Ruark. All those hours of manual labor are now a single click. If you’re interested in the effect, you can download the script and try it yourself! Place the downloaded script (named “AaronGrimesEffect.jsx”) in Applications/Adobe Photoshop CC/Presets/Scripts and restart Photoshop. To run the script, open a video in Photoshop and go to File > Scripts > AaronGrimesEffect. Choose how much blur you want to add, and render the blurred footage by going to File > Export > Render Video.
THE FINAL CHAPTER
Next week is Chapter 4, in which I say goodbye to New Zealand. But first, I’ll share tips on drone photography post-production using Photoshop and Adobe After Effects CC.