Curtis in the Townships of Johannesburg

More Behind-the-Scenes videos coming up

We took quite a bit of video while here to do some new behind-the-scenes stuff. Be sure to subscribe to my Youtube Channel to see when this stuff is made available! :)

Funny Internet Comments

I end up getting some crazy comments on social media… I should share more of the crazy stuff – here’s one!

We are enjoying the always beautiful photos landscape taken by your trip
By the way
Wonder if this photo is a joke?
Japanese history is very old
And it’s complicated
I is not a emperor worship philosopher
The people of about half of the Japanese I think not a kit pleasant mood to look at this photo
It you are big up google +
Do not you have misunderstood something?
And if not problem deep meaningless jokes
Statue of Liberty is or has fallen in New York
George Washington image it would be a joke like or have fallen
The Tour of the assassination movie of North Korea’s authoritarian
The reply of cyber attacks in the same manner as terrorist supporting countries against terrorist supporting countries of cyber attack
It’s a time when it is done at the top level of the human world
And allowed to cringe (w)
Also I’m looking forward to beautiful photos

Daily Photo – Curtis in the Townships of Johannesburg

For a short time, we took a true adventure into the townships in Soweto. For those of you that don't know, this was the heart of apartheid, where they put all the black people in Johannesburg. It's been a long time since then, but these are still full and teaming with people. There's no electricity, no running water, no internet, no, well, nothing! But the kids were so happy and full of life while we walked around. So was everyone, really! Here's a photo of my friend Curtis sharing his photos with some children here.

Curtis in the Townships of Johannesburg

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7S
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Frederick Van Johnson

What’s in Trey’s Bag?

Here’s a video that we made soon after I took this photo below. You can see more (and updated stuff!) on my Camera Equipment page! :)

Daily Photo – Frederick Van Johnson

Here's my friend Fred. We were walking through the Queenstown Gardens here in New Zealand when I took this photo. It's shot with a Leica 50mm at f/1.4 on a Sony A7r. We started talking about camera gear so much that I almost forgot to take any photos! We had a great time together this week… this was just one of them! :)

Frederick Van Johnson

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Wow! Antarctica!

An Amazing Trip

I’m just now getting back to reality, but I wanted to share some quick pictures and thoughts!

It all started with me being a bit nervous. Antarctica! Jeez… I felt like I was both unprepared and unworthy. But I kind of swallowed all that down and boarded a US military plane in Christchurch – a CL-130. That “L” means it has skis on the bottom for landing on the sea ice. That’s the first photo I have below… my view during the 10 hour flight to land towards the middle of Antarctica near Ross Island.

My home base there was to be New Zealand’s Scott Base, which is just an incredible place with a great team. This is an odd way to go, as 98% of people that visit Antarctica go on a ship, which usually leave from the tip of South America. The idea that I had a base on land for the whole time was really awesome, and it was from Scott Base that we launched for several unique locations all over the continent.

Daily Photo – Approaching the Glacier

And not too long after I landed, I went to camp out on the mainland of Antarctica in the Dry Valleys, where countless glaciers spill into the old land. One day, I did a hike away from camp across the wild bits and came up to the face of the Howard Glacier here. I was able to walk right up and touch it. It absolutely towered over me, silent and white and great.

I have a ton more photos and stories to share… I'll be sure to share them all here on the blog soon!

Approaching the Glacier

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture11
  • ISO64
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

A Quiver Tree Stands Alone

Portrait Orientation and Composition

There is a rule that is sometimes okay to break that you should not put the subject in the middle of your composition. Well, when you switch into Portrait-orientation, all those rules go right out the window! You’re fully allowed to plop things (like the tree below!) right plum in the middle of the frame.

Daily Photo – A Quiver Tree Stands Alone

These trees are unlike any other tree I've ever seen! They are spread all around many desert-y areas of Namibia, and they are often quite spread out from one another. Each one has a totally unique shape, and you'll never see one that will be mistaken for another one. I've never seen individual trees that can look so unalike their neighbors… I'll post more of these in coming weeks and you'll see what I mean!

A Quiver Tree Stands Alone

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/5
  • Aperture8
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length17.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Inside the Chinese Megapolis Waterslide Utopia

Interview with Ignite Channel

Here it is, in its entirety. I pasted the questions that Pamela Stewart asked me below the video.

1. You were one of the first photographers I saw working in HDR. I had no idea what it was, I just knew that your photographs felt real and surreal. They reminded me of the best dreams I have ever had. The Gentle Path to the Beyond is probably my favorite photograph. I don’t even know if I can explain how that image has settled in my soul, but it has. There seems to be a split between those who think the kind of photographs you take are more “real” and those who don’t see that. For example, The Edges of the Flatiron just feels more like a real experience to me. The first historical photographs weren’t in color, so technically they weren’t real either. There is nothing that can duplicate exactly what each person’s eyes see. What do you wish to convey with your work?

2. Your photographs of Burning Man are some of the most luscious and warm I have seen. I especially like the one from this year of Embrace with the couple dwarfed by the giant sculpture, and yet the feeling we get of the couple is larger than any representation made in wood. Burning Man is a photographer’s dream, but it is so much more. How has the experience changed you?

3. You’ve become a teacher and a mentor to thousands online. I like that you add the technical information to your photos, which is great for photographers who aspire to learn your techniques. You must get a ton of questions. What do you wish people would ask you and what is the question that you really can’t answer anymore?

4. People want to know the secret to your photography, but isn’t the secret something inside you? Isn’t it something that all artists have that can never be duplicated by another? What is you secret, or is it something so nebulous that even you don’t know?

5. Given all the places you have traveled to and shared with us, while you focus on the beautiful, you must witness the dark side of humanity in poverty and the destruction of nature. Do you ever have the urge to turn you camera in that direction, or would you rather share positive light?

6. I love your drawings (there is one titled Scarlett, which captured me). What art or music inspires you? How does working in other media influence your photographic work?

7. A lot of people may be fans of your work, but have not read your bio and the fact that you are blind in one eye. Since you were born that way, it’s all you know. When we look through a viewfinder, we only use one eye, so maybe you were given this gift as a kind of second eye, although I kind of see it as a third eye because your art seems to be imbued with a spiritual and intuitive quality. I know you didn’t take up photography until later in life, and I get that because I didn’t start writing until I was in my late 30s. I don’t know if you believe in a higher power, but if you do, what do you think? How do you think this gift came to you?

8. You create some incredible videos of your work with a soundtrack. Do you have any desire to do something outside of still photography like a documentary film?

9. Do you have any upcoming plans or events you would like to share?

Daily Photo – Inside the Chinese Megapolis Waterslide Utopia

I was having a bad day in China, so I decided to go here and see what it was like.

I was there, invited by an arm of the government. I had this massive fight with them that morning. They do help set things up for me from time to time, but they told me I could only go to a “certain” location on the Great Wall at a certain time. I told them they were being ridiculous and the light would be horrible in the middle of the day. The idea that I would not follow their plan, which was completely arbitrary to begin with, was so foreign to them that they had no idea how to handle me. These people still have no idea what the hell to do with me… so aggravating. Anyway, I'm not gonna work with those people again; way too frustrating.

ANYWAY, after I had the fight, I told the driver to take me here, because I always wanted to go and see what it was like… it was super-awesome inside!

Inside the Chinese Megapolis Waterslide Utopia

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture4
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

Through the Thailand Jungles, I discovered this

Breaking Bad

I finally finished watching the last episodes of this awesome, crazy show! Anyone else out there enjoy it too? I can’t believe that last season… whoa!

Daily Photo – Through the Thailand Jungles, I discovered this

This is the best temple I've ever been to in the world! If you ever go to Thailand, be sure to go about 2 hours south of Bangkok to Pattaya to see this place! It's absolutely beautiful and you'll have a fabulous time. The nearby town of Pattaya is really worth a visit too, but it's totally wild! There is a road there called “Walking Street” that is full of all kinds of interesting debauchery. A lot of ladyboys, crazy bars, strip clubs, and, well, just colorful characters everywhere… it's really fun for street photography there too… Anyway, there's a little ladyboy+temple advice for ya!

Through the Thailand Jungles, I discovered this

Through the Thailand Jungles, I discovered this

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time13
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Another Night in Bora Bora

EXIF Info

Remember, there are two ways to see the EXIF info for each of my shots. You can hover the mouse over and see them, or if you click through to SmugMug, you can click on the little “i” and see this information! BTW, I don’t even know what some of that means… like “Brightness -24026/256″??? Maybe one of you smarties can tell me what that means!

Camera SONY ILCE-7R (Sony A7r)
ISO 800
Exposure Time 25s (25/1)
Name The Bungalows at Night.jpg
Size 7837 x 5884
Date Taken 2014-06-29 19:55:35
Date Modified 2014-07-04 08:47:18

File Size 23.88 MB
Flash flash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
Metering pattern
Exposure Program manual
Exposure Bias 0 EV
Exposure Mode manual
Light Source unknown
White Balance auto
Digital Zoom 1.0x
Contrast 0
Saturation 0
Sharpness 0
Color Space sRGB
Brightness -24026/256

Daily Photo – Another Night in Bora Bora

Was every night in Bora Bora this pretty, or just the ones where I took photos? It was EVERY NIGHT! It was so pretty every night, how could you NOT go out and take photos? With that mountain and the amazing architecture over the water… it was so awesome and a real treat to be here.

Another Night in Bora Bora

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time25
  • Aperture
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Painted Elephant

Past and Current

If you’d like to watch me edit this photo on video, be sure to sign up for the Stuck In Customs Newsletter and you can find out first about a secret new video series that is coming. It’s gonna be awesome! And while you’re over on that page, you can check out previous newsletters as well.

Daily Photo – The Painted Elephant

I am pretty sure the elephant is my favorite animal there in Africa. It was so fun to watch them walk around. I was quite surprised how much I enjoyed it! Something else very interesting that I found out — there are over 90,000 elephants in Botswana. That's quite a few! I thought there were less for some reason… but you absolutely see them everywhere. Every turn around a bank of trees has a good chance of seeing elephants. It was so fun…

The Painted Elephant

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture8
  • ISO80
  • Focal Length57.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Kolmanskop and a New Facebook Page

New Facebook Page!

We’ve started a new Facebook Page for Trey Ratcliff! I’m moving it all off my personal page over there… so stop by and have a Like! :) We’re doing a special week-long event there, and it ends with an AMA, so stay tuned! :)

New Visual Interview with Adobe

I did an interview with Adobe… but it’s kind of a cool interview because they asked me to answer each question with a photo!

HDR Photo

Daily Photo – Kolmanskop

This is an amazing place! It's an abandoned diamond mining town near Lüderitz in Namibia. The nearby desert has blown in and covered the entire town with sand dunes. It's so wild there! This is the first of a TON of photos I took while there… I'll post more here soon.

Kolmanskop

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length11.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Sunset in Southern China

Don’t forget to Subscribe

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Daily Photo – Sunset in Southern China

This was one of my favorite areas to visit in China a few months ago. And, even better, we were treated with a truly remarkable sunset. Sunsets like this don't happen there much, so I felt very lucky to be in the right spot at the right time. It was certainly hard to get up to this position… many cuts, bruises, and lots of blood was spilled to get here. But I forgot about all that quickly enough.

Sunset in Southern China

Sunset in Southern China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture9
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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