Night in Arches National Park

Getting Light Trails

I’ve recently changed how I get light trails. It’s a minor change, but I’ve had more success with it. I used to take a series of bracketed photos when cars go by and just hope for the best. This actually worked quite a bit, but sometimes the very short and very long exposures in a bracket would be useless. The short one would be too dark and the long one would be too bright. Anyway, now I turn off the autobracketing and switch over to manual.

It honestly takes a lot of guesswork, but I usually get my f-stop quite low and my ISO around 100 or 200. I play with these so that my exposure is at least 5 seconds. Sometimes 5 seconds is all you need for a car going by. But if I want a lot of cars and need 20 or 30 seconds, I’ll keep moving the f-stop to a higher and higher number to balance. It’s actually kind of fun to guess and then experiment with different settings. You can simply press play after you shoot to see if you guessed right, then make the adjustments accordingly.

Daily Photo – Night in Arches National Park

Okay well here is yet another amazing place in Utah. Yes, I know all you people in Utah are saying, “Yes we know Utah is awesome, Trey — it’s about time you figured that out for yourself!” Well I have… and now I lament that I was only in Arches National Park for a day. But I tried to make the most of it, even squeezing all the light out of dark here after an amazing day of sightseeing.

Night in Arches National Park

Night in Arches National Park

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time30
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length11.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Taking the Earnslaw to Walter Peak Station

Into Old Ships?

If you’re really into ships, you may enjoy reading more about the TSS Earnslaw on this page.

Daily Photo – Taking the Earnslaw to Walter Peak

This great old steamer ship was originally commissioned in 1911. It’s a regular sight on the lake here in Queenstown, going back and forth between Queenstown and Walter Peak High Country Farm. Back in the day, it used to take gold down to Kingston. I’ve actually never been on it! This is something I’ll remedy soon. I have flown over it in a helicopter a few times, and on this particular day, I got a shot of it as it was pulling into Kingston…

Taking the Earnslaw to Walter Peak

Taking the Earnslaw to Walter Peak

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture5
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.7

Six amazing stories in a new conversation…

Google+ Conversation

Hear six amazing stories and hang on till the end to hear a possibly less amazing story about new camera bags! Here are links to the gentleman that joined me:

1. Paul Carmona
2. Andrew Gerard
3. Guy Parkes
4. Rick Schwartz
5. Jesse Summers
6. Danny Levin

Camera Bag in Action and a Question

Here’s a bunch of photos people took of me and the bag in action a few days ago in Tokyo during the photowalk I’ll describe below… You can see how tiny it is – barely noticeable !

Question / Mission for you, my brave and resourceful audience:

I want to contact the people that make this bag for Bianchi. I have a feeling they don’t make it themselves… but I love the basic idea, and I think I can improve on it to make something even better for photographers. Here is a link to several of the bags so you can find out more about them. If you find me the contact information, I’ll reward you with the first bag we design together! (btw, I’ve been contacted by at least 6 companies to custom-design bags, but I have never seen a style that I think is worthy… there is something about this Italian design that is vibrating nicely with me and my new smaller-camera habit.

Photo of Trey Ratcliff

Daily Photo – Getting Candy in Tokyo

Here’s another shot from the Google+ PhotoWalk in the streets of Harajuku. We were walking through with a ton of photographers and models — Vic Gundotra, Bradley Horowitz, Holger Feroudj, Hisaya Murata (err, they were not the models) and so many more! The street is packed with all sorts of colorful stores and interesting people, just like Tomomi Terada here :) — she told me that people could visit her blog. To see more photos from the event, click here.

Harajuku Tomomi Terada

Getting Candy in Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8
  • Aperture4
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Photomatix 5 in Open Beta – And Last Night in Tokyo

New Photomatix 5 and Tonemapping!

Now it’s finally available for beta download on this special Photomatix page. There is all new tonemapping algorithm and all kinds of cool stuff a’goin’ on. Also, if you decide to buy the full version (you’ll get the free upgrade), we have a new Photomatix coupon code of TREYRATCLIFF. Or, if you’re completely new to this software, I have a how-to over on the HDR Tutorial.

Last night in Tokyo

Here is some behind the scenes for you that I just got up on my YouTube channel (free subscriptions welcome)! :)

Daily Photo – The Infinity of Tokyo

We also had a huge PhotoWalk ended at this Italian restaurant atop a building in Harajuku. There were over a hundred people inside at the party. I gave a speech about the effects of Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints on the Impressionist movement and how this tradition now continues online with Google+.

Right after that, I discovered there was a huge balcony out the side door with an amazing view of the city! I went out there with Vic Gundotra, Bradley Horowitz and a few others to grab a shot of the view.

Here are more photos from the PhotoWalk.

Tokyo Japan

The Infinity of Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1.7

Great time in Australia!

Brisbane PhotoWalk

Check out the event here on G+ to see photos from the great PhotoWalk!

Jogging with Glass on the Gold Coast

I’ve had a very weird schedule lately!! I went from the desert of the US to Australia for a speaking engagement then back to the desert of the US, then back home to New Zealand! So, whenever my body is all out-of-whack, I try to go out and get exercise and feel the natural vibrations of wherever I am. I decided to go out on the Gold Coast of Australia for a jog, and, just for kicks, I had an idea with Glass while doing it… This place is just a short ways from where I was staying there on the coast at the QT Gold Coast (highly recommended!) here’s the end of the little experiment. :)

More Glass Photos

Below are some photos that I took with Glass while on the run down the beach. This first one strange with the bikini-clad girl in the elevator – that was taken inside the QT Gold Coast!

Glass Random (106 of 125)

Glass Random (62 of 125)

Glass Random (59 of 125)

Glass Random (55 of 125)

Glass Random (35 of 125)

Glass Random (125 of 125)-2

Daily Photo – Brisbane Laser Light Show

We had an amazingly fun PhotoWalk in Brisbane! The people there were really nice and it was fun to talk with them about so many different topics. The photowalk ended here, at this most incredible laser light show in the middle of downtown on the river… Thanks again everyone! :)

Brisbane Laser Light Show

Brisbane Laser Light Show

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length17.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The QT Gold Coast and Bazaar

Great Hotel in the Gold Coast!

I was just here in the Gold Coast for a speaking engagement at the amazing Problogger conference. It was a great collection of professional (and aspiring!) bloggers from all over Australia and the world. We all stayed here at this cool hotel called the QT Gold Coast — I also stayed in another QT in Sydney which was similarly awesome.

Bazaar Restaurant

A lot of us went to eat downstairs at their restaurant called Bazaar. I’ve never eaten anywhere like this before! I hate to say “buffet” because you immediately get an image in your head… but imagine a buffet where the high-end chefs are right behind the organic layout and cooking live while you watch them. They prepare everything fresh and serve it right up in pans and all sorts of different spreads. The place is vast with a ton of different options… I have more photos, but this is the only one I have processed so far.

Bazaar Restaurant

Daily Photo – The Space-Aged Lobby

I’ve only stayed in a few of these QTs, but they all designed in an edgy and visually mesmerizing manner. Something else that is visually mesmerizing is all these hot girls they get to work there! They dress them up in these uniforms that makes them look like futuristic sex-robots. I know that is a strange thing to think about, but it’s the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw a few of them walking in tandem across the lobby! :)

Speaking of that, I’m going to Japan soon… I think that will probably be the first country to make sex-robots.

QT Gold Coast Hotel

The Space-Aged Lobby

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.6
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length11.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Burning Man 2013

Full Burning Man Album

You can visit the Full Burning Man album here on SmugMug. (BTW, isn’t the new SmugMug so cool? Check out my updated SmugMug Review right here for more.) I keep adding to it, and I’ve front-loaded the portfolio there with mostly new photos from 2013. This is my own little personal artistic contribution to Burning Man… I still have many more photos to edit and I will of course share them here on the blog as well.

Photo Equipment in the Desert – Questions?

Would people like to see me do a longer post about photography equipment handling in these crazy conditions? I’ve heard a few questions about this… but not sure if it is something everyone wants to know about. I’m happy to write more about it… just let me know! As for these photos below, these were all shot with the Sony NEX system… For newcomers, see my Sony NEX-7 Review here on the site.

Post-processing the Burning Man photos and Lightroom Presets?

This is a common question! If you enjoy the style of some of the photos below, you might want to grab some of my Lightroom Presets – they are here on the site in the Get Cool Stuff area.

Burning Man 2013

This is my fourth burn in a row, and this time I brought my wife and 12-year-old son. We camped with one of my best friends Cliff Baise and his wife + 12 year-old son. You can see him below as the alien, and, no, he doesn’t normally look like that. We were also right by my good friends Curtis Simmons and his wife, who were first-timers along with our wives… so it was fun to have so many “virgins” out there!

Wait, what IS Burning Man, anyway, I hear you wondering. It’s a magical event in the desert every year where over 50,000 artists, musicians, and explorers come together to build a temporary city that is just on the other side of reality.

We had an amazing time, and I can see all the questions forming now… WHAT? You brought a 12-year-old to Burning Man? Yes, oh yes. I’ll tell that full story soon. In the meantime, here are a few of my favorite photos from the event this year.

Burning Man Photo

Burning Man Photo

Burning Man Photo

Burning Man Photo

Burning Man Photo

Burning Man Photo

Burning Man Photo

Burning Man Photo

Burning Man Photo

Burning Man Photo

Burning Man Photo

So….

Who wants to go next year? :)

The Mighty Glaciers of Alaska

Meet Your Neighbor!

Haha this made my kids laugh when it appeared in the local paper. So, I now live in a small town of like 30,000 people here in Queenstown. I love it, of course, but I’m just not used to the smallish-town nature of it… that is actually why I like it! So the Mountain Scene, which is the local newspaper, sent a nice guy (Paul Taylor) over to my home to interview me. I guess he found me to be “charismatic”! hehe… anyway… most people that come to the blog a lot already know most of this stuff, but thought you’d like to see and maybe read a bit more… You can download the PDF yourself to catch up on all the local news on the Mountain Scene page — get the August 8, 2013 edition.

HDR Photo

Daily Photo – The Mighty Glaciers of Alaska

Here’s another photo from our family trip to visit the fjords of Alaska. We got in pretty close to this glacier. Any closer can get a bit scarier… but it was lovely sitting in this spot, watching the ice float around in a smooth brownian motion…

The Mighty Glaciers of Alaska

The Mighty Glaciers of Alaska

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length18mm (27mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Stuck On Earth Mac Now Avail and The Secret Underground Caves

Stuck On Earth for the Mac Now Available!

I wanted to announce this first here on the blog!

The app is FREE, so be sure to go grab it from the Mac App Store, and put in a good review for us, if I can ask you so kindly ! :)

There is also a new version of the Android and iPad versions available as well. Thanks again, and we’re continuing to update these on all fronts. Below these two screenshots are some of the cool new features for the Mac version.

StuckOnEarthMac_and_Applications

StuckOnEarthMac 2

Above: Try the DOWNLOAD ALL button in the lower left to grab all the images from the window and turn them into a new trip.

– In the background, we download all the images so that you can quickly cycle through all the images in a given area when looking at Featured Photos (the main view)

– Stretch your window as wide as you want, even 10,000+ pixels across multiple screens!

– Double click (or use two fingers up and down) to zoom in and out of the map

– Swap the view around from Satellite to Standard to Hybrid to get another view

– Start building your trips NOW for submissions for the Editor’s Pick! See below.

– Need Trip-Ideas? Easy! Just click on the HOME and go to the Featured Lists to see things like Top 50 Castles on Earth or Top 50 Secret Spots in New York City.

– Want to change your “Personality” in the app? Go to the Settings on the Home Screen (the little gear icon) or Click on the big Stuck On Earth logo in the upper right.

– Submit your trip for an Editor’s Pick! Note that we actually prefer the trip that you put together not to be your own photos so there is a better selection for other people visiting your city or a favorite spot… You can start building the trips now for submission! :)

Daily Photo – The Secret Underground Caves

Wow, what a place! It’s been a long time since I’ve ever been so transfixed by a find. I’m gonna get this exact location into Stuck On Earth very soon, but it is in an unmarked place in the valley of fire. I spent ages looking for it. I’m currently on the road and will get all the info to you ASAP!

The Secret Underground Caves

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4
  • Aperture14
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

Photomatix 5 Preview!

New Photomatix soooooon???

I wanted to announce this first on the blog since it is so cool and I was excited!

It’s not available yet – I got one early since I am in the private beta. I asked if it was okay to share a few early things (I’m not into spilling secrets), and they said it was cool — the public beta will be very soon, so no need to contact Photomatix!

I assume you know that Photomatix is a common tool I use in processing my photos. If you’ve never heard of it and want to try it, you can get it cheaper over at the Photomatix page with the coupon of TREYRATCLIFF. I also have more about it over on the HDR Tutorial here on the site.

The new Photomatix 5 will have some awesome stuff that is pretty cool. For one, the auto-align algorithm is continuing to improve. There is even an added option (as you can see below) for images that are taken on tripods. I can attest that not all images on tripods are necessarily aligned, so this is a cool tweak to the algorithm which itself has made tremendous strides even in recent point releases after Photomatix 4.

Regarding the Upgrade policy (many questions about this — this is from their website):

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).

One of the other many new features is a new algorithm called Exposure/Fusion-Realistic which looks promising. That’s all I’ll share for now, but I’ll be sure to update the reviews and everything when it is ready!

HDR Photo

HDR Photo

Daily Photo – Frolicking Horses in Iceland

Here’s one of the best situations to use Photomatix — when you are shooting a landscape scene with a lot of different light levels. In this case, it does not get much more extreme than staring right into the sun while shooting these lovely horses on a farm in Iceland.

iceland horses

Frolicking Horses in Iceland

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/6.7
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length28mm (28mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

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