Somewhere in New Zealand: Chapter 1

By Aaron Grimes

Hey everyone! Freelance filmmaker and photographer Aaron Grimes here. I recently spent 10 days driving a sweet red VW camper van around New Zealand, capturing video footage and photos. In this four-part series, I’ll share tips that you can use in your own shooting. Because you don’t need to be in New Zealand to explore the world—opportunities are everywhere.

I’m kind of surprised I made it past Chapter 1. Between not knowing how to drive on the left side of the road and butchering the place names, I wouldn’t have blamed the Kiwis for putting me on a plane back to the United States after the first day. But they let me stay, so I drove from Auckland to Wellington in the southern tip of the North Island. While it was too crowded for the kind of shots I was searching for, it did give me time to get situated in a foreign country.

Click the image above to watch Chapter One.


Because the camper van wasn’t super roomy, I had to carefully choose the equipment I would use to shoot photos and video on the ground and in the air. Here’s a peek at what I packed; you can see all of it in the Chapter 1 video below:

  • Apple iPhone
  • GoPro Hero 4 camera
  • DJI Osmo camera
  • Canon 5D MK III camera
  • DJI Phantom 3 drone
  • Osmo car mount
  • Shotgun mic


In each of the three remaining chapters, I’ll explain how I used the gear and how I processed the stills and video I captured.

Chapter 2: I demonstrate a cool phone app and introduce you to an invaluable piece of gear for stitching photos.

Chapter 3: I give you a free Adobe Photoshop CC script that mimics the look of a long exposure.

Chapter 4: I share post-processing tips for aerial drone videography, including how I use the Camera Raw filter in Photoshop and the Warp Stabilizer in Adobe After Effects.  

April 8, 2016

Images Aaron Grimes

Video Aaron Grimes