A Mom Walking Home in Chefchaouen

Category Reminder

Remember that if you want to see more photos from this “Town of Blue” in Morocco, just click on the “Chefchaouen” tag above! It’s kind of hidden there, and not everyone sees it! :)

Daily Photo – A Mom Walking Home in Chefchaouen

Here is that mountain town in Morocco where everything is painted blue. One of my favorite things to do in these places is just watching regular people go about their daily business. It's kind of nice to see that people all over the world do the same kind of things – little kids run off to school in uniform, shopkeepers brush off the sidewalk in front of their businesses, and moms walk through the streets carrying their children. I think it's so awesome how everyone there dresses so full of color and life. It kind of reminds me of how so many tones in the west often kind of “blend in” and don't stand out, which doesn't totally jibe with our supposedly more individualistic natures.

A Mom Walking Home in Chefchaouen

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Further Along the Central Axis at the Ming Tombs

Going Back to China?

I’m honestly a little worried that I might not be allowed back into China. I don’t think they like me much there after my quadcopter incident. I have not been formally kicked out of the country, but I don’t know if there is a formal process for that anyway! I guess I would find out if I apply for a visa and it is denied. Well, we’ll see what happens… I’ll keep my fingers crossed!

Daily Photo – Further Along the Central Axis at the Ming Tombs

Yesterday I mentioned the central axis in Beijing, the spiritual line that goes straight through the ancient city. There are all kinds of interesting monuments and things to visit along this axis, but very very far north are the Ming Tombs. These things are spread out and require a lot of walking, but the walks are quite beautiful. It's strange to be in such a tight congested city but then have these massive swaths of open areas. Hardly anyone ever comes to these places, so there is plenty of solitude, which is a welcome respite from the chaos of the rest of Beijing!

Further Along the Central Axis at the Ming Tombs

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture8
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length68.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

DJI Inspire and HDR Photos

HDR Tutorial

I know many of you already have my new HDR Tutorial, but wanted share this little promo below for all the new people that come to the blog from time to time!

First Inspire Photo

I put that photo on yesterday’s blog post – check it out in case you missed it! :)

Daily Photo – HDR Photos and the DJI Inspire

Because the Inspire gives you manual control over the camera, you can take full-on proper HDR photos!

The current version of the software I am using is a little clunky, but it is all controlled through the iPad. I can set the shutter speed or adjust the exposure compensation. I can't seem to adjust the ISO, as that seems to float, but I'm working on that. The UI controls don't always work so well, but I think they'll work out the bugs. For the photo below, I took 4 different exposures at 4 different shutter speeds. The Inspire was SO STEADY in the air that I was able to get them to automatically align very well in Photomatix. Anyway, these are early tests, but this is very encouraging!

HDR Photos and the DJI Inspire

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraFC350
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/240
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length0.0 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramNot Defined
  • Exposure Bias-2

My first photo with the DJI Inspire

First DJI Inspire HDR Photo coming tomorrow!

What’s the DJI Inspire? It’s the coolest new quadcopter (see my DJI Phantom review in the meantime) – it is a bit bigger than the last one and has an amazing system for video and photos. I’ll write a big review of it at some point here… but it shoots 4K video and streams it right back to your iPad. It shoots great photos in RAW — man it just seems to do everything! I’m just now learning how to use it, but I wanted to share a few early things here with you.

And since the camera shoots in Manual mode, I can take HDR Photos with it! I’ll post that one tomorrow! :)

Daily Photo – Morning Fog and Clouds over Queenstown, New Zealand

I had my first flight today with this incredible machine! I went out in my backyard (this is at 6:30 AM here in Queenstown btw!), and took off for the air straight away. This is a pano made out of 4 different photos. It is really fun and easy to fly — and the software is incredible. Here's one thing that surprised me: You can take photos with the camera in manual mode! How cool is that?

Morning Fog and Clouds over Queenstown, New Zealand

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraFC350
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO391
  • Focal Length
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramNot Defined
  • Exposure Bias

The Creation Wars – New Episodes!

“The new DJI Inspire Quadcopter & Lark gets called into Battle!”

Welcome to the big show #5! This is a weekly show featuring a really fun photography competition with a twist!

For those of you that just wanna see the new Inspire DJI Quadcopter, jump to about the 9 minute mark! :)

Key times:

1.00 Intros
9.00 DJI Inspire Preview/Talk
23.00 A.D. Wheeler Cohort Submission
35.30 Angela B. Pan Cohort Submission
42.00 Mason Marsh Cohort Submission
53.00 David Marx Cohort Submission
1hr 02m 30s Submission Roundup
1hr 08m Voting/Twitter coverage
1hr 12m Gino The Hipster
1hr 16m 30s The Winner
1hr 18m The Fallout/Mason calls out +Jessica Lark (planned loosely for Show 8, btw)
1hr 23m Master Shares 1
1hr 26m Photowalk talk (AD/Trey)
1hr 33m Shares Continue

And a special thank you to Stuart Davidson and Tiff Gilleland for helping out with the production!

Bonus: Pre-Show Partay

Bonus: Post-Show Partay

Some Favorite Photos and a New Daily One!

A trip down memory lane

Here are a few favorite photos I thought I might re-share! And, as always, there’s a new Daily Photo at the bottom. Thanks again to everyone that comes to the blog so often… you guys are the best! And thank you for recommending it to your friends too. I hope you’re having a good holiday season! :)

The Peony Pavilion at The Imperial Granary I was invited to go see a very special event here in Beijing.  There is an old area that has the ancient Imperial Granaries that date back hundreds and hundreds of years.  One of these has been converted to an intimate opera house.  They bring in some of the best opera actors from all over China to perform here.If you haven't seen a Chinese opera, you are in store for something totally original!This particular performance was called The Peony Pavillion, which was written during the Ming dynasty and is a love story about all kinds of crazy mythical stuff that I don't want to spoil for you.  But it's really a must-see if you are into unique forms of entertainment.  And you do feel a bit like a time-traveller, watching a scene from hundreds of years ago.Even more interesting, there is a trendy and delicious restaurant next door.  Everyone eats together and has a wonderful leisurely meal before meandering over next door to enjoy the opera.  It's a great experience!- Trey RatcliffRead the rest of this entry here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Ceiling of the Paris Opera House I stole this photo-taking idea from Matt Knisely! At first, I would lay down on my back and try to get the shot. But that was frustrating and bothersome. Then I saw Matt just put his camera on the ground with a timer then run away! So that’s what I did to get this shot… although it took a few takes to get it to line up right…- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Little Girl On A Long Blue Road

Little Girl And Thought

In the Imperial Hallways I went over to Baihei Island in Beijing to visit some of the older parts and see what it looked like inside some of the temples. As you can imagine, everything was quite detailed and ornate. There was even some amazing food that was prepared for us by a chef at the restaurant there. And then, to my surprise, this richly decorated woman came out to serve it to us. As she was walking back through one of the old hallways, I asked her to stop for a second so I could take a photo.And yes, this was taken with the Sony NEX-7. All of my new photos from China were taken with that camera…- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Pink Sea Spray at Sunset Behind this exploding wave at Big Sur is something that I have never seen before. Why didn’t I take a photo of it? It’s because taking a good photo of a pod of whales from the beach is almost impossible! At least, it appears to be impossible for me. I’ve never seen whales so close into the beach. Maybe it happens all the time around there, but I was quite surprised. Have you ever seen a pod of whales from the beach? - Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Solar Flower - The Giant Robot of Buenos Aires This thing is enormous.  In grinds and churns as it follows the sun.  The metallic petals flex and bend with the light as the sun sweeps across the sky.  I had never seen anything like it in my life.  It sits in a park and public walking area of Buenos Aires, Argentina.  I walked around it for a while to get a good angle of the monster.  My tripod was stuck in customs, so I had to do this one handheld... and do my best to keep the camera as steady as a T-1000.In less than 24 hours, I will endeavor to introduce a new type of photography to you guys.  I don't have a name for it.  It's experimental.  You'll have to help me come up with a good name for the technique.  People that get the Newsletter (it's free!) will get a sneak peak tomorrow a little early.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Daily Photo – Lounging at the Fish River Canyon

Here's one of the swanky places we stayed at during our Namibian Photo Adventure! It was so incredible… When we weren't out shooting, we were either processing photos, drinking, lounging by the pool, or lounging by the pool and drinking! Haha it was all so fun! If this kinda think looks fun to you, be sure to sign up for our Newsletter and/or check out our Stuck In Customs store above to find out about upcoming workshops.

Lounging at the Fish River Canyon

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1.5
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

New Lightroom Presets for the Holidays!

New Bonus Pack for the Holidays!

I just released this new set of Lightroom Presets for the Holidays! This pack has 10 of my new favorites… it’s been about half a year since I have released anything, and this stuff has been building up in my Lightroom, so, anyway, here’s a great pack for you!

Which presets come in this 2014 Holiday Preset pack?

“Abs Underneath”
“Candy-Coloured Fishnets”
“Game of Stones”
“Morning Without Chaos”
“Red Planetlight”
“Samurai Kiss”
“Sandstorm Beyond”
“Something Borrowed”
“Warmer Fruitpop”
“Zenith Noir”

Daily Photo – A Tomb Guard in Rabat

It's hard to believe that this photo was only edited in Lightroom! You should have seen the “Before” version. The entire interior was pretty much black and in shadow. Even though I know the power of Lightroom and RAW files, I'm constantly amazed and surprised with what you can do!

I was actually inside the tomb of Mausoleum of Mohammed V at the time I took this. It was dark inside compared the outside, but I had to expose for the guard himself, otherwise he would be hopelessly (and probably un-recoverably) overexposed!

A Tomb Guard in Rabat

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Happy Elephant Family

Part 3 of 3 – Tips for getting the Perfect Reflection Shot

And here is the final part; here you actually get to see me edit the final photo! :)

Thinking about Elephants

I did not expect the elephants to be my favorite animal while in Africa. But they were! Sometimes I would get close to them and see strange wildness in their eyes. I don’t anthropomorphize animals (read in human emotions), but I do see something else going on in there… something around a different time-sense. I wonder if they are a lot like whales like that. I’ve never swam with whales, but maybe some day I will and I can compare the two, insofar as I am able.

Daily Photo – Happy Elephant Family

We were actually out looking for a pride of lions in Botswana when we came across this perfect little family of elephants. It's quite a life for these guys! They basically get to hang out with their family all day and just eat, eat, eat! Can you imagine going to a 14 hour buffet every day with your family where no one ever gets full? What a world that would be!

Happy Elephant Family

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-6000
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1250
  • Aperture4
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length146.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

The Tanning Vats and I get Electrocuted

Part 2, now with bonus electrocution!

Here’s Part 2 of the video series from yesterday about 3 tips for getting a good reflection shot! I went on a fun hike here in New Zealand to find some cool “reflictions”… you can come along, see a new on-the-road backup solution I am using, see some nervous sheep, see me get electrocuted by a fence – heck it’s got it all haha! :)

Daily Photo – The Tanning Vats

This is one of my favorite areas in Fes, Morocco. The whole area is known for their various vats for tanning and curing leather. There are several tanneries around the town, some big, some small. This is one of the medium-sized ones that I got into because of a family connection. It was actually a tremendous amount of fun just roaming through this area. I walked all around down inside, stepped over vats, almost fell in a few times, etc.

The smell was supposed to be pretty bad, but it wasn't as bad as I suspected. Just in case, while walking through one of the nearby food markets, I bought a sprig of mint the keep with me just in case I was overpowered!

The Tanning Vats

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture13
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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