Through the Forest Path

Light Trough Trees

I take a lot of photos in forests and along paths, but they don’t always turn out well. In fact, I would say that shooting in a forest is one of the hardest shooting situations ever! Everything gets really muddled up if you don’t watch out. So, to get this photo below, believe me, I had to take over 100 different ones that just came out, well, kind of “blah”!

Daily Photo – Through the Forest Path

Yesterday I showed a shot from a hike, and here is yet another one! This one is along the Greenstone river further south towards Glenorchy. It's a great walk, but you have to drive a long way before you can start it. However, even better, you can take a boat over to the start of the trail. That will save you many hours of driving time and bumpy roads. I suppose it's a bit strange to arrive at a hiking trail by boat, but it's worth it because you're so tired after this little 16km jaunt!

Through the Forest Path

Through the Forest Path

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJanuary 15, 2014 at 11:14am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture8
  • ISO500
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

View Comments

The Spa at Aro-Ha

Cold Dip and Hot Dip

I got into doing this cold-dip thing. You dunk your whole body in water that is just above freezing for one minute, and then you get into a hot tub or a Finnish sauna, then rinse and repeat three times. It’s kind of a sweet torture, but you sure do feel better inside after. But I’m not sure if it is just in your brain or not… it reminds me of that joke by Stephen Wright: “I love hitting myself repeatedly in the head with a hammer because it feels so good when I stop.”

Daily Photo – The Spa at Aro-Ha

Hey, that rhymes! And it's one of my favorite places after a long day of working my body and mind. This is an absolute gem of a place, by the way. It's a spa and wellness retreat in New Zealand called Aro-Ha, and it gets my absolute highest recommendation. The hiking trails are amazing, the food is super-tasty (and healthy!), and even better, you get a massage every single day. Maybe I should capitalize that. Massage Every Single Day.

In fact, right there in the hot-tub on the left (you can't quite see him) is Michel. He's was one of my favorite masseurs. He's French and his hands were like Jean-Claude Van Damme in his prime. Well, probably twice as strong. And no, he did not massage me in the hot tub, although now that I think about it, I should have asked him to! Haha oh yeah! :)

The Spa at Aro-Ha

The Spa at Aro-Ha

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJanuary 13, 2014 at 8:54pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture13
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

View Comments

Heading back to Tokyo

Strange worlds!

This will be a strange turn-around for me. I’ll be spending a lot of time in the deserts of Morocco, away from civilization, and then I’ll be going straight into Tokyo here. I’m super-excited about the transition, actually. To me, Morocco and Japan are two true parallel universes that have not become generic in any way yet… so it will be a bit of a portal-between-worlds.

Daily Photo – Heading back to Tokyo

Here's a scene from the fun photowalk we did in Tokyo last time I was there. A bunch of girls in costume showed up and started playing with my Google Glass. They made the funniest faces of shock and surprise when they put them on. In this shot, you can see Vic Gundotra in the background taking his own photos of the festivities!

Heading back to Tokyo

Heading back to Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date TakenOctober 2, 2013 at 8:18pm
  • CameraNEX-6
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO1250
  • Focal Length56.0 mm
  • FlashAuto, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

View Comments

Edna

Beta Testing the new site!

We are rolling out the New Version of Stuck In Customs over the next 24 hours. A full update is coming soon and I’ll go through all the changes with you! Of the HUNDREDS of new things, one of the coolest is that it is now a responsive design that should be super mobile-friendly! Anyway, more info to come when it is official (probably tomorrow).

More about Edna from The Incredibles

I bet SOME of you in the audience know who this woman is, and if you do, feel free to educate everyone else! :)

Daily Photo – Edna

How awesome is this woman? I saw her while in Paris.

Or did I? No, not really… but there she is, evidently, yes? And I did take the picture.

But, amazingly, this is a store window display along the streets of Paris. Now that I say that, you see it, yes? Yes. But still, pretty cool I say! :)

Edna from The Incredibles

Edna

Photo Information

  • Date TakenNovember 11, 2012 at 10:12pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-3

View Comments

The Great Tea Shoppe

Your Favorite Tea?

I ended up buying a few different kinds of teas from all over Japan at this rather exotic tea shoppe below. Do you have a favorite kind of a tea or a favorite way to have it prepared? I’m curious! I used to think I liked Earl Grey Tea a lot because Captain Picard liked it, but now I’ve decided I actually really don’t like it (but I still like Captain Picard.)

Daily Photo – The Great Tea Shoppe

This was a magical little find off on one of the side streets in Ginza, Tokyo, Japan. From the road, I saw a bunch of patterned tea holders inside of a quaint shop, so I just went inside. For whatever reason, I am less shy about going into random stores in Japan. Even if I end up in a really strange store (which is mostly the case!), then people are so polite there that they never make me feel bad about it! Speaking of that, I should get some more photos of the rather strange stores into which I pop into!

The Great Tea Shoppe Japan

The Great Tea Shoppe

Photo Information

  • Date TakenOctober 4, 2013 at 5:50am
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/40
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

View Comments

Way Above Queenstown and Live Interview Today!

Live on This Week in Photo Later Today!

I’ll be on live answering questions all about The Arcanum. It’s gonna be a very fun show with Fred — looking forward to it! To see your local time, visit the event here! (You can also watch live on that video)

Speaking of our chopper ride below

If you want to see more from our little chopper adventure, see the new top-banner collage from my friend Peter Giordano on the top of his Facebook page!

Daily Photo – Way Above Queenstown

We had a great flight all around Queenstown with Choppy. She runs a company called Over the Top and I’ve flown with her many times. She’s so smooth! We landed up here for a short bit and took some photos as the sun was going down. It was so beautiful!

Way Above Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date TakenNovember 5, 2013 at 6:53am
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/50
  • Aperture16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length20.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

View Comments

The Mysterious Table and Don’t Forget about the Contest!

Don’t forget you can win a Quadcopter with a camera!

Be sure to pop on over to This Post from a few days ago and enter a comment to win this awesome thing you see to the right. I have one on the way, and I am so excited! It’s called the Phantom 2 from DJI, and it looks pretty incredible. It even has a 14 megapixel camera, which is not too shabby. I’m starting to think about some crazy photos and videos I can shoot with it!

And Speaking of Drones…

Amazon just announced they are working on some package delivery drones. They look like they’re pretty far into testing them! You can see this rather amazing video over on the right… whoa… I wonder how long before we just see drones all over the skies… probably not too long if this looks to be happening. I’ll probably order all kinds of useless stuff just so I can see the drones come over again and again!

Daily Photo – Secret Photo Day

Can anyone tell me where this amazing place is located?

I found it on a recommendation from Sir Richard Taylor (the gentleman from Weta Workshop), and he told me it was absolutely crazy inside. He was right! There are so many crazy pieces of art, every chair is unique, and, well, the list goes on and on. I think there are over forty rooms, and they are all different. This is just one of them!

The Crazy Chinese Table

Secret Photo Day

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMay 29, 2013 at 12:48pm
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time6
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

View Comments

The Air Force Museum in Christchurch

Flying from China to Sydney

Here’s a little video I made that shows the view out the window while landing in Sydney and then a slideshow from some photos from China. The looking-out-the-window bit is kinda boring for some people I guess… but I always stare out the window like a little kid whenever I land anywhere! :)

Loon Recap

This photo below from the Air Force Museum was taken during my Google Loon Balloon adventure. The big unveiling was here in a huge theater. While everyone was getting set up, I was walking around taking a few photos. Anyway, in case you missed that Loon Balloon thing, here is a video below that shows a bit about it! :)

Daily Photo – The Air Force Museum in Christchurch

This is only the second airplane museum I have been to other than the Air and Space Museum in Washington DC. It reminds me that I should go more often, because they are always awesome. This one had particularly cool lighting, which I’m always a sucker for! There’s also something very cool about seeing airplanes indoors — I’m not sure why that is other than just the pure novelty of it!

The Air Force Museum in Christchurch

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 14, 2013 at 11:50pm
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time10
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

View Comments

Flying through the Highlands

Photomatix Upgrade Policy

I know I mentioned the new Photomatix just two days ago, but I’ve been informed I was mistaken about the upgrade policy. Sorry about that! But, here, straight from them, is the latest upgrade policy:

“The upgrade to Photomatix Pro version 5 will be free of charge for customers who purchased a license of Photomatix Pro version 4.0 or higher through our website or authorised resellers (Photomatix Pro 4.0 was released on October 2010).”

The final Photomatix 5 should be out very very very soon — I am excited! I used it on the image below… and, well, most images you see on the site here!

Daily Photo – Flying through the Highlands

This is one of the first landings we made with Choppy on our latest helicopter tour. I swear — they are the most awesome things. I decided to reward myself with a few of these per year… the views you get are just amazing and I spend half the time being in awe and the other half recovering from the awe. Of course, I’m taking photos all the while!

Flying through the Highlands

Flying through the Highlands

Photo Information

  • Date TakenNovember 5, 2013 at 4:09am
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture10
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length11.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1.3

View Comments

The Beauty of Zion and Photomatix Betas

The New Photomatix

If you’ve already bought Photomatix (or, if not, visit the Photomatix page and use the coupon code “TREYRATCLIFF” to save 15%) then you should be trying out the new beta! It’s really awesome. I used it to make this image below from Zion National Park. I keep forgetting to go to the beta page and get the newest version. They seem to release them on a fairly regular basis. There are so many changes that it is hard for me to keep track of it all, but I do no each subsequent version gets better and better.

Multi-Language Versions of the HDR Tutorial!

And speaking of Photomatix and HDR, we’re always adding new versions… here is the latest list.

HDR Tutorial (English)
باللغة العربية HDR دورة ال
HDR Tutoriál v českém jazyce
HDR handleiding in het Nederlands
Tutoriel HDR en français
HDR-Kurs auf Deutsch
Tutorial HDR in italiano
日本語版HDRチュートリアル
Tutorial HDR em Português
Пособие по HDR по-русски
Tutorial HDR en Español
or Contact us to help with translations.

Daily Photo – The Beauty of Zion

Here’s one of the first photos I got while rolling into Zion National Park. It was my first time to ever visit the park, so I was completely transfixed and blown away. It wasn’t that I had low expectations — it’s that I had NO expectations. But it was so colorful and full of trees and little rivers and everything… it was like being inside of a painting. Sorry it took me so long, Utah! :)

The Beauty of Zion

The Beauty of Zion

Photo Information

  • Date TakenAugust 19, 2013 at 12:36am
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

View Comments
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