New York City Travel

SmugMug Winners – Free SmugMug Pro account!

For everyone that didn’t win, you can at least use “STUCKINCUSTOMS” to save money over at SmugMug. If you want more info, see my full SmugMug Review here on the site.

I picked five people from the recent photowalk in San Francisco (see the tag on G+), and here they are: Keith Cuddeback, Omar AlQabandi, Joe Ercoli, Joette A. Wangsgard, and Dave Bell. Just leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to have our support team hook you up with your prize!

More categories?

Are you a newcomer to the site?  Yes, besides all the photography tutorials and stuff, there are endless categories of countries and locations down the righthand side there.  The site may be going through a redesign soon, but I’ll be sure to always keep that monster-list somewhere!

Daily Photo – New York City Travel

So this is my newest photo of Times Square.  I return to this spot time and time again.  The situation, light, cars, people, and billboards are always different, so it’s never a dull subject.  It’s also always such a challenge to shoot that it keeps all my senses fully honed.  In fact, I’m already thinking about going back to New York City for another photograph of Times Square!

New York City TravelSo this is my newest photo of Times Square.  I return to this spot time and time again.  The situation, light, cars, people, and billboards are always different, so it’s never a dull subject.  It’s also always such a challenge to shoot that it keeps all my senses fully honed.  In fact, I’m already thinking about going back to New York City for another photograph of Times Square!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read this entire post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Pier in Santa Monica

Live Show Tonight!

Watch tonight to see tons of photos from our big photowalks in San Francisco!
Date / Time: Monday night at 7 PM PT
Location: Find the “Live” button on my YouTube Channel

On NPR

NPR featured Stuck On Earth the other day. You can listen to the audio bit of it here! And thanks again to everyone that came to the very special Stuck on Earth session in San Francisco – that was a great time! :)

Fun in LA

Thanks again everyone for coming out for the photowalks lately!  I know it takes a lot of time and effort — so I hope that you enjoy them as much as I do.  And yes, I plan on coming to [your area] at some point in the future… since I want to go everywhere, why wouldn’t I come there?

Daily Photo – The Pier in Santa Monica

After we finished shooting down on the beach, we moved the photowalking party up to the pier.  There was just an edge of light left when I took this photo.

The dock is in two parts.  The first part has the amusement park and the second part extends further out into the sea.  Sometimes docks aren’t so great for night shots because they are shaky and move with the waves.  But this one was pretty solid — I suppose because of the rides and whatnot that also need to be stable.  Anyway, it was more than steady enough for the very long exposures need for the shot.

The Pier in Santa MonicaAfter we finished shooting down on the beach, we moved the photowalking party up to the pier.  There was just an edge of light left when I took this photo.The dock is in two parts.  The first part has the amusement park and the second part extends further out into the sea.  Sometimes docks aren’t so great for night shots because they are shaky and move with the waves.  But this one was pretty solid — I suppose because of the rides and whatnot that also need to be stable.  Anyway, it was more than steady enough for the very long exposures need for the shot.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Printing Your Photos for Profit

Printing Your Photos for Profit

I get this question a LOT! I’ve put some new information about this on my SmugMug Review. If you sign up, be sure to use “STUCKINCUSTOMS” to save some money. Since many photographers would like to make revenue from their photos, I wanted to show what it looks like when you sell some prints. In the case below, a customer purchased four prints from our online store in SmugMug. I am putting this up for the benefit of photographers who are curious about what this looks like on the back-end. As most people know, I am very open in all this “sharing” of how things work behind-the-scenes.

Personally, all of my prints through SmugMug are of a limited series, and this is one reason I sell them at a higher cost. You can of course choose a system that works best for you and the art you choose to share with the world in the form of prints.

SmugMug Review

The Rest of the Hearst Castle

See the rest of Hearst Castle here in that category.  Don’t forget to click “Previous” to see more photos.

Even though this photo below is taken just south of San Francisco in the San Bruno area, Hearst Castle is about a six hour drive to the south in San Simeon…

Daily Photo – The Hearst Tomb

Thomas Hawk brought me to this cemetery. He always takes me to the most romantic places.

He remarked (and he is right) that he is surprised that Hearst has such a “small” tomb. It does seem rather understated, compared to the other monstrosities he built. But maybe he’s just being a little bit humble in his tomb. It’s hard to say…

This photo was pretty much pitch black with a little bit of light that would collect over time. This is what I got out of a 30 second exposure at f/6.7.

The Hearst Tomb Thomas Hawk brought me to this cemetery. He always takes me to the most romantic places.He remarked (and he is right) that he is surprised that Hearst has such a “small” tomb. It does seem rather understated, compared to the other monstrosities he built. But maybe he’s just being a little bit humble in his tomb. It’s hard to say…This photo was pretty much pitch black with a little bit of light that would collect over time. This is what I got out of a 30 second exposure at f/6.7.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read this entire post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Old Forest in Yosemite

Robert Scoble Video from Yosemite

Scoble was there with us for the photowalk… and he grabbed some video that maybe you have not seen yet…. here you go!

Daily Photo – Old Forest in Yosemite

This was a fun trip!

When I was walking through this forest, we had a photowalk-of-sorts going on with a ton of people going here and there.  It was sort of Ewok-like with all the activity.  We’d all have to ask one another to hide behind trees and duck out of the way, since we were all criss-crossing our shots this way and that.  Often times, the shot I really wanted to get required me to clamber up and over big fallen trees.  There’s not really a graceful way to do this.  No matter how many times I do it, I continually look like I’m just barely keeping it together…

Old Forest in YosemiteWhen I was walking through this forest, we had a photowalk-of-sorts going on with a ton of people going here and there.  It was sort of Ewok-like with all the activity.  We’d all have to ask one another to hide behind trees and duck out of the way, since we were all criss-crossing our shots this way and that.  Often times, the shot I really wanted to get required me to clamber up and over big fallen trees.  There’s not really a graceful way to do this.  No matter how many times I do it, I continually look like I’m just barely keeping it together…- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this entry at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Waikiki at Night

Space Cadets

Dallas Nagata White took this photo of Tom and me right after the photowalk.  She has a cool method for doing this…  I put it below so you can read more.

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark II…Yes, I shot these two with a Canon…I’m a rebel (but not a Rebel) like that. ;)
Exposure: 0.006 sec (1/160)
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length: 24 mm (It was using the EF 24mm f1.4L II, if anyone is curious…I personally love the flare it gives)
ISO Speed: 200

Two Canon Speedlites with Pocketwizard Plus II triggers…a 580EX is being held by my friend hiding in the shadows behind them, pointed into the lens, and my husband was holding a 580EXII (with a small softbox) is above me and to my left for fill. They are standing at the end of a concrete pier/jetty with their backs to the ocean, and I’m crouching in front of them. Those aren’t stars – they’re rain drops! :) Although I definitely love the idea of them as stars…that’s inspiring, and a concept I’ll have to play with later.

I also posted on more shot that doesn’t have the lens flare, just rim lighting, when I shifted and the flash was hidden from the lens.

Daily Photo – Waikiki at Night

And during the photowalk, there were many great chances to take photos of the city.  It was exciting for me — it was my first time to see the city at night.   All the Oahu people were kind of used to it, I assume…  But it was also exciting to have them all around.

When I set up for these shots during the photowalks, it’s always extra-strange.  Because I’m really trying to get a good shot, but I also know that a ton of people are watching me right there.  And then I talk through my shot while I’m taking it.  And, of course, I NEED to get a good shot… there are so many vectors of attention that it can be a little distracting… but I do my best!

Waikiki at NightAnd during the photowalk, there were many great chances to take photos of the city.  It was exciting for me — it was my first time to see the city at night.   All the Oahu people were kind of used to it, I assume…  But it was also exciting to have them all around.When I set up for these shots during the photowalks, it’s always extra-strange.  Because I’m really trying to get a good shot, but I also know that a ton of people are watching me right there.  And then I talk through my shot while I’m taking it.  And, of course, I NEED to get a good shot… there are so many vectors of attention that it can be a little distracting… but I do my best!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Wind and Driftwood

PhotoWalk in San Francisco

Are you coming to the Google+ Photographer’s Conference and joining me on my PhotoWalk on Monday the 21st? I’m getting many questions about the location, so Here Are The PhotoWalk Details!

Video Recap for Smugmug

As you know by now, I process photos out of order.  The photo I am posting today was taken on the day I made this video for Smugmug.  If you want to know more about it, see my Smugmug Review.

Daily Photo – Wind and Driftwood

It was so windy out there — I’m not even sure the video captures it!  Maybe you can see the wind ripping the top of the foam away from the waves… or maybe you can see some of the sand blowing across the beach.  And it’s just as hard to capture the feeling of it all in the photo as it is in the video.  I don’t have the benefit of multiple frames, so I try to get all of that in a single frame.  It’s a wonderful challenge and puzzle!

Wind and DriftwoodIt was so windy out there — I’m not even sure the video captures it!  Maybe you can see the wind ripping the top of the foam away from the waves… or maybe you can see some of the sand blowing across the beach.  And it’s just as hard to capture the feeling of it all in the photo as it is in the video.  I don’t have the benefit of multiple frames, so I try to get all of that in a single frame.  It’s a wonderful challenge and puzzle!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Japanese in the Hawaii

Japanese People with Cameras

I like to watch tourists take photos.  One thing I notice is that, on average, Japanese people taking photos are happier than Americans taking photos.

Why is this?  One guess is that Japanese people design the cameras, so they are easier for people to understand over there!  Americans are often hopelessly confused by Japanese cameras, so some of their unhappiness comes from that scowl that says, “I’m not sure how this camera works.”

Daily Photo – Japanese in the Hawaii

And, continuing the theme of Japanese people, here is a couple in Hawaii.  I like how they are wearing matching outfits (her dress matches his shirt if you look closely).  I had a version of this photo with and without the people in it… and I quite like the one with them in there!

Japanese in the Hawaii And, continuing the theme of Japanese people, here is a couple in Hawaii.  I like how they are wearing matching outfits (her dress matches his shirt if you look closely).  I had a version of this photo with and without the people in it… and I quite like the one with them in there!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Lonely River in Iceland

The Histogram eBook

HistoWe have a new eBook over at Flatbooks.com about Histograms! Go grab it — it’s filled with great information and I think you’ll really enjoy it!

Favorite Fish?

While posting this photo, I was thinking of my favorite fish restaurant in the world about 20 km from this spot below.  They didn’t have my favorite kind of fish, which is black cod, but they did have a delicious selection.  What’s your favorite?

Daily Photo – Lonely River in Iceland

I wonder sometimes if I project my own emotions onto the landscape around me.  I’m really not all that dramatic, but sometimes this does seem to be the case, especially in Iceland.  Since I spend so much time there alone, I end up thinking that parts of the environs seem kind of lonely too.  And I think there is probably a lot of truth in it because I hardly ever see any other humans, so everything is very lonely!

Lonely River in Iceland I wonder sometimes if I project my own emotions onto the landscape around me.  I’m really not all that dramatic, but sometimes this does seem to be the case, especially in Iceland.  Since I spend so much time there alone, I end up thinking that parts of the environs seem kind of lonely too.  And I think there is probably a lot of truth in it because I hardly ever see any other humans, so everything is very lonely!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

France in Epcot

The new Photoshop CS6 – what is your “line”?

Like you, I’ve been watching the videos of CS6 and playing with it myself. (notice the important “it” in that sentence)

Things are gettin’ a little crazy with post-processing eh? What are your limits for what you’ll do with your photos? It’s a very personal thing… I won’t judge you… I’m just interested! Here’s my post-processing line (which I reserve the right to change at any time):

I will:

  • I will remove things like lightposts or ugly animals or tourists wearing Spice Girls T-shirts
  • I will use HDR to bring out the colors in the shadows and dial back bright areas
  • I will sharpen to bring emphasis to one area or another
  • I’ll take multiple exposures on a tripod and fix one area of a photo with another exposure

I will not:

  • I will not take a foreign object from one photo and put it into another (like pasting a moon over a mountain)
  • I will not take a sky from one photo and paste it into the landscape of another

I might:

  • Use the new Content-Aware-Move in CS6. I can’t decide! It’s a slippery slope. For example, in the photo below, I had to work so hard to find and frame these boulders in this EXACT way. Man, it would have been so easy just to go to an easier location and then re-arrange the boulders using CS6 Content-Aware-Move. But maybe that doesn’t even matter! I can’t decide… And it is soooooo slippery… If I will allow myself to “Move a Boulder 10 feet” — then maybe I would also also “Move a Moon Behind THAT Mountain” — then maybe I would also…. well… where does it stop? It’s almost like I am 6-years-old and moving stickers around a sticker book! Hehe… I’m confused… my “line” is constantly being challenged… like the border between two countries in a good game of Civ!

Daily Photo – France in Epcot

These little fabrications of countries around Epcot try really hard at being authentic, and they are often quite successful!  Sometimes bits and pieces here are a little cheesy, but I get the sense that the people that build, model, and landscape these things put a lot of time and effort (and love) into it.  I’m sure it gets down to the detail of trying to choose the right kind of fonts for the clock.

This evening was a particularly lucky one because of the clouds and the light in the sky.  This situation is so rare that I went photo-crazy for about 15 minutes while it lasted!

HDR Photo

He Watches

Museum Photography

Do you like to take photos in museums?  It’s very challenging…  To me, I like to try to take a photo of the actual museum or a photo of some art and its relation to the museum.  I find taking photos just of the art itself to be a little boring. It seems so obvious… and it seems like kind of a disservice to the art itself, unless you are adding something new or seeing it in a new light. It depends on the art, of course. A photo of a painting always falls flat, but a photo of a statue can be interesting.

Daily Photo – He Watches

And so it was with the emperor here in the Capital Museum in Beijing.

Do you know how hard it was to get permission to use a tripod in here? It was very very hard. And, the permission part had to be in Chinese, which adds a whole new layer of complexity to the permission-gaining-process. But, luckily I had a little team there helping me out with this stuff, and that made life a lot easier. After all the paperwork was squared away and three redundant layers of government officials were satisfied, the light was perfect for this shot. I rushed over to take it before the ink was dry!

He Watches And so it was with the emperor here in the Capital Museum in Beijing.Do you know how hard it was to get permission to use a tripod in here? It was very very hard. And, the permission part had to be in Chinese, which adds a whole new layer of complexity to the permission-gaining-process. But, luckily I had a little team there helping me out with this stuff, and that made life a lot easier. After all the paperwork was squared away and three redundant layers of government officials were satisfied, the light was perfect for this shot. I rushed over to take it before the ink was dry!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Welcome to STUCK IN CUSTOMS Welcome to my travel photography blog!
Enjoy the daily photos, tips, tutorials & more!
Newsletter Sign Up
The Most Beautiful Newsletter Ever!


x