Road to the Sunset in Iceland

What’s in Trey’s Bag?

I’m sure many of you have clicked the links at the top of the blog that show the kind of stuff I carry around on a daily basis, but here is a video you may have missed! :)

Walter Mitty

Can I say something that most of you will probably disagree with? Sorries in advance! But, for the life of me, I just cannot like that Walter Mitty movie. I found it to be entirely silly, ridiculous, and preposterous in almost every way. Now, nothing wrong with that, I say. I love a good silly, ridiculous, and preposterous movie. For example, give me Monty Python all day long! I don’t know… there were just so many scenes in there I found to be redonk… oh well. Almost everyone I tell this to completely disagrees with me, but, that’s okay I suppose.

Daily Photo – Road to the Sunset in Iceland

Here’s another photo that I edited with the new Lightroom Tutorial. This one is in the bonus bit, as I did it during the Live Q&A bit. I think it’s pretty cool what you can accomplish with just Lightroom. The reason I was thinking about that silly Walter Mitty movie is this road reminds me of something he might skateboard down.

Road to the Sunset in Iceland

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/10
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Farming in Deep Southern China

What is The Arcanum to Trey and Pete?

Here’s a new video we just released!

Textures Tutorial

If you pop over to the Stuck In Customs Store you’ll see the Textures Tutorial. This is how I accomplished today’s photo. Actually, that Textures Tutorial is the FIRST video tutorial I ever made here for the site. I was thinking about re-doing it early next year and include all-new textures. Let me know if you’d have an interest in this!

Daily Photo – Farming in Deep Southern China

We found this amazing area by accident! We were having some strange weather situations and this made us change our schedule about. After coming down from a mountain that resembles one of those spires you see in the distance, we took a side-road (a dirt road) down through some farms to work our way down to the river, as we were to take a bamboo raft back to the little town of Yangshao.

Farming in Deep Southern China

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 7, 2014 at 12:54pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture9
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Foggy Mists of Yellowstone

Yellowstone or Yosemite?

Which of these two is your favorite? I’ve only been to Yosemite once, but I’ve been to Yellowstone maybe 9 times. I just don’t know Yosemite that well yet, but I know it is the opposite with many people!

Daily Photo – The Foggy Mists of Yellowstone

This is a very strange area of Yellowstone and I’m not even sure how I found it. But I happened to find it quite early in the morning, just after sunrise. I walked and walked through this forest to find interesting tree shapes. I walked and jumped over tiny hot streams the flowed here and there. As they flowed about, they would kick up more mist and fog to add to the overall scene.

The Foggy Mists of Yellowstone

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture22
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length34.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Happy Girls in Guangxi and more great feedback on The Arcanum

More Great Feedback on The Arcanum!

First, The Arcanum hit #8 of the Top 51 Websites for Learning Online. Amazing! That’s a great tribute the the team, the Masters, and the Apprentices! Thanks everyone!

And here are two wonderful Apprentices who made some lovely posts about their thoughts and experiences! The first is from Rose Fredriksen and the second is from Marjorie McDonald.

Daily Photo – Happy Girls in Guangxi!

One night I went out in the rain to take photos while staying in the little town of Yangshao. It was great fun! I was using my Sony A7r and my Leica 35mm f/1.4 which requires manual focus. Naturally, this means I need both hands to take photos. Luckily I had my guide Andy with me to help hold the umbrella!

Happy Girls in Guangxi!

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 5, 2014 at 1:19am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture
  • ISO4000
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Heading to Africa

Cape Town, South Africa PhotoWalk on Oct 7th at 5:30 PM!

Pencil in that evening! Here is the Event Info on Google. We’ll get you more specifics soon — really looking forward to it!

On the Way to Africa!

I’m about to come to Africa for a month! I’ll be in Namibia, Botswana, and South Africa. I’m super-excited about this trip! This Africa trip is Sold Out, but you can check that page to sign up for the newsletter to find out about future adventures!

Since I’m on a bunch of small planes while there, I had to pack everything and it ALL had to be under 20KG. Here’s a quick video I made about what I am bringing!

Daily Photo – Paddling Over

I swear — everyone in Bora Bora must know each other. No matter where we went, everyone knew our boat captain. Everyone would just randomly paddle over and they'd start talking and telling all kinds of stories. It was really amazing and cool! One of the coolest things was actually when our captain would steer the boat with his feet while singing to us on a ukelele ! Everyone loved it… he was really good too. I have a photo of that somewhere. I need to find it! :)

Paddling Over

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 27, 2014 at 11:40am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Above the Wolves

DJI Quadcopter Review

Today’s photo is from one of them, so be sure to check out the DJI Phantom Review soon!

Big Arcanum Update!

Be sure to go update your Application at The Arcanum. We now have added a few new things to help future Masters find you. I know there is a HUGE number of people waiting, so the more on the ball you are, the more like you are to be chosen from the orphanage!

Here’s a screenshot of one of the new Application pages… you can see how incomplete my own application is! I’m going to update it now :)

Trey_Ratcliff___The_Arcanum

Release Notes (Thanks Tania Court!):

Grand Library – Filters

There’s two new filters in the Grand Library that are really exciting (mainly because it means some of us won’t lose that video we were watching at 3am on Saturday morning during a impromptu cohort hangout).

My History lets you see what videos you’ve watched in descending date order

My Liked Videos lets you see videos you’ve liked easily.

Grand Library – Tags

- When viewing a video, Masters and Apprentices can now edit the descriptive tags on ALL videos. We encourage you to help us add more tags / keywords to any video you watch. It will help others to find videos in the future!
- Also when viewing a video, you can now tag yourself if you appear in it (this works for both Masters and Apprentices), the new option is located just below the video on the right.
- Masters can now tag one or more Apprentices from their cohort in videos that they submit.

To make sure you’re comfortable with having videos of yourself in the Grand Library you can now choose to hide videos you’re tagged in. Go to your Profile and the new Settings tab. There you will find the a new option for the Grand Library. If you’re shy about having your critique shared then make sure you’re tagged in the videos and then choose the “No One” option under “Who can see videos I’m tagged in”.

Other Updates

We all love to spend so much time in the Grand Library that it’s easy to forget about the rest of the stuff that goes into The Arcanum process. Not so for Curtis and his team – they’re busy keeping the rest of The Arcanum processes up-to-date. Here are some of the updates to the other processes that make The Arcanum run…

– The new Settings tab also includes an option to control who can see your City/State/Country. We do not share your general location today. If we do, it will only be used to display where Apprentices are roughly located on a map, solely for members of The Arcanum
- Updates to the Application Process and Personal profile pages were made to encourage a fully complete profile. There are also new options to better define your Learning Goals as an Apprentice, or Teaching Goals as a Potential Master.

Keep in mind that all of theses updates have come as a direct response to feedback from you so please keep the comments coming and let us know other improvements you’d like to see!

Daily Photo – Above the Wolves

Here's a DJI Quadcopter shot over the amazing wolves here at The Hills near Arrowtown. It's so cool how they were distributed in this patten… this vortex of wolves. I got to meet the sculptor when I was in Beijing most recently. It was a great honor to spend time with him and share some tea! :)

Above the Wolves

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJanuary 2, 2012 at 10:59pm
  • CameraHero3-Black Edition
  • Camera MakeGoPro
  • Exposure Time1/390
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length2.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Dragons Coming

In Game of Thrones

Who is your favorite character? For me, I’d have to say Tyrion… I liked him ever since I started reading the books about 10 years ago!

Daily Photo – Dragons Coming

Here's a photo from a wicked place in China.

It was a very cloudy and moody sunrise and I thought not much would happen, but then I had the idea for this. Sometimes when things don't work out, you can work extra hard to try to make some lemonade out of the lemons.

I think I also named it this because I've been watching lots of Game of Thrones!

Dragons Coming

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJune 4, 2014 at 10:59am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Burning Man and the Dust

My Full Burning Man Gallery

Is slowly getting updated with this year’s photos integrated into the flow in the Burning Man Portfolio on SmugMug. P.S. Wondering what SmugMug is? Check out the SmugMug Review here on the page!

Burning Man 2014 was Incredible!

Wow what a great year! This is year number five for me, and I feel like I’m starting to merge more and more of Burning Man into my real life. Thanks again to everyone I met and spent time with. It was so incredible and I can hardly wait for next year! I’m adding some of the new photos from this year in today’s post below.

Burning Man and using Cameras in the Dust

I’m gonna make this short and sweet. I get this question A LOT whenever I post photos, so I’m just gonna boil it down.

My Burning Man Recommendations

  • I recommend taking an older camera that you don’t mind breaking. Let’s face it, you rarely use your old cameras anyway, right? You can put them into an amazing environment and not really worry about them!
  • For daytime shots, a smaller compact camera is quite alright. You might be surprised to know how many of the shots in my Burning Man Portfolio (linked above) were taken with an Olympus Pen camera. Also, compact cameras do great in the dust — never had a problem!
  • If you do take your DSLR or interchangeable lens-system, try not to change lenses outside for the love of god. There’s always a little dust flying around… Charm your way into someone’s RV to change lenses if you must!
  • I recommend putting on a good general purpose lens (24-70mm) and then put a ziplock around the whole thing. Tape it on.
  • You can also put some tape around where the lens attaches to the body if you wish.
  • I have heard of photographers who have their cameras completely broken at Burning Man, but I don’t personally know any. I think the Burning Man website does a good job of REALLY SCARING you into over-protecting your camera. That is fine, better safe than sorry, I suppose, but I don’t do 10% of what it recommends. Mostly, it really seems to scare people because my posts are filled with comments like, “OMG I Can’t Believe You Took Your Camera Out at Burning Man!”
  • #1 Recommendation: Don’t worry so much! You may get some dust in there, but just get it cleaned! You’re probably spending over $1,000 to get to Burning Man, so just be cool with paying to get your camera cleaned at the end!

My Personal Burning Man Camera Experience

  • In the first four years of Burning Man, I never lost a camera. I never used any protection. I was a bit Olympus-PEN camera centric in the daytime and DSLR at night. I never even used a baggie or tape or anything… But I would often put my camera back in my camera bag during big sandstorms.
  • In 2013 I used almost all Sony NEX cameras and never had any problems with the sand or heat or anything.
  • This year 2014, I took my Sony A7r and my Sony A7s. This year was CRAZY with sandstorms. I basically shot with the Sony A7r the whole week with no problems until the end on the final day. This time, I did NOT put my camera away in the sandstorms and decided to shoot like a madman because it was so incredible then! I think it was honestly TOO MUCH sand in those sandstorms, again, the likes of which I have not seen in the last five years. The camera is a “little” bit broken. It’s a strange problem in that it actually works fine, but I can only take photos in the 2-second timer mode now! Strange! Anyway, I just sent it back for repair. No biggie. I did not have much dust inside either.
  • My Sony A7s performed flawlessly. Upon that, I had a Leica 35mm f/1.4. I did put tape on that. But I had no probs and no dust inside either.

On this day, I shot for about 8 hours inside a sandstorm here on another blistering day at Burning Man. While going through the middle of it, I came across a formal Japanese tea ceremony. It was amazing. The man in red on the left had a pure white face and bald head. His movements were slow and measured with the ceremony.
Just after he finished serving the woman on the right, he invited me over to sit. The whole process took about five minutes. He intricately folded red napkins to clean off the stirring brush, put matcha green tea into a golden bowl, added another tea drink (I cannot describe the taste), and then, in the end, he used chopsticks to pull out floating bits of gold from a small box of water. The first piece of gold flew away in the sandstorm, so he got another and put it all the way down into the tea. I then drank the whole thing at once. It was so amazing. I bowed and said thank you very much in Japanese, then I went away back into the sandstorm.

 

The Man was absolutely huge this year… It towered over all of us and could be seen from anywhere in Black Rock City.

 

I heard there was a lot of dramadrama over the construction of the Temple this year. I don’t know the full story, but the resulting temple was absolutely incredible when they got it up. Every year I am amazed that they burn something so beautiful to the ground.

 

I saw this amazing scene when I turned around during the Temple Burn.

 

Wonder what Burning Man looks like from above? Here’s a scene I saw when approaching the city from over a ridge. At the end of the burn, this all disappears and goes back to the white sands again…

This photo is special to me because I feel like it is me and my two little girls. I can’t wait to show them some of the art from Burning Man. Isabella is the middle one, always paying attention and very gently looking at things. That’s Scarlett in the front, just dancing freely in the wind.

 

Just one of the 65,000 interesting people that roam around the playa for the week.

 

Everyone at Burning Man rides bikes around to see the huge expanse of the impromptu city.

 

A little yoga session I came across!

 

I chased a sand tornado across the playa one day until it started ripping through the Pink Heart camp. I stayed right with it as it twisted in a counter-clockwise motion. I didn’t even have to pedal as the tornado pushed/pulled me along!

 

Daily Photo – Embrace

This is just about everyone's favorite art piece at Burning Man this year. What a bold idea! I took this on the first night when one of the couples that helped build it was embracing down at the base.

Embrace 2014

Embrace

Photo Information

  • Date TakenAugust 25, 2014 at 4:05pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.3
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO2000
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Isabella on a walk

Quick Shooting Tip

See this photo below? I can’t claim credit for this idea! It came from my friend Cliff Baise. But if you get down in some grasses or thin plants and shoot with a shallow DOF (low Aperture number), then you can end up with this nice-looking effect!

The Myth of Talent

Here’s a great video by Robin Griggs Wood! She made this as her intro video for www.TheArcanum.com — it’s so awesome. I hope you like it as much as I do! 

Daily Photo – Isabella on a walk

One day we went over to Jack's Point, which is just on the other side of the lake from Queenstown. It was a cool winter morning, but the grasses were blowing in the wind like Isabella's hair. She's a very sweet girl! :)

Isabella on a walk

Photo Information

  • Date TakenAugust 9, 2014 at 1:51pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8000
  • Aperture
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Arrowtown in the Autumn

Composition Tricks

Here’s a little trick with composing photos. As you know, it’s usually bad form to put major things (like the sun) in the middle of the photograph. But, if you turn the camera sideways (said in a Raising Arizona voice) into portrait mode, you can suddenly center anything and it looks good! You can imagine the photo below in landscape orientation — it would not be as compelling.

Daily Photo – Arrowtown in the Autumn

Arrowtown is so lovely! There is a huge park right by the main street and the trees go crazy in the Autumn. I kind of think this photo is cheating, because you can kind of aim your camera in any direction and just take a photo!

Arrowtown in the Autumn

Photo Information

  • Date TakenApril 30, 2014 at 4:29pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length39.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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