Super Massive China Dot Com

35mm F/1.4

I was able to get this focus trick working with the Leica 35mm F/1.4. Be sure to check out the Leica Lens Buying Guide here on the site!

Daily Photo – Super Massive China Dot Com

Okay this is a really stupid title for this photo but I still like it! Haha! Yeah here we are back in the Beijing Planning Museum. All the big cities in China have these museums that are open and free. They are always totally empty too, allow tripods, and have limitless photos inside… one of my best possible hot tips for China.

Super Massive China Dot Com

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture
  • ISO640
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Bamboo Rafts Coming in Before the Storm

Shooting in the Rain

It’s always great to go out and shoot in the rain, except for the me-getting-wet part! I wish I had a little friend with me all the time that would hold an umbrella over both of us… that would be so awesome. I know it’s a strange thing to want, but you gotta admit, it would be mega awesome.

Daily Photo – Bamboo Rafts Coming in Before the Storm

I was crossing a bridge in a little town not too far from Yangshuo and trying to stay out of the rain. It was coming down pretty hard, but there was a sunset happening too. So, at great risk to camera and limb, I set up to take this shot. All these little bamboo rafts that would take people to and fro were coming in to hunker down for the big storm…

Bamboo Rafts Coming in Before the Storm

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture4
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Stormchasing in Guilin, China

Fake Lightning Shots

Getting a good lightning shot often involves a bit of artifice. I’m certainly not above that! But I believe a lot of the truly amazing lightning photos you see are QUITE fake. First, a lot of compositing is often done, which is fine, just letting you know. If you see a ton of lightning bolts in a photo, chances are they are all combined with many different strikes. Also, if you don’t have one of those light-sensors to automatically trigger, you have to just keep taking photos until you get lucky. It’s like a lightning slot machine, so sometimes it doesn’t feel like that much skill is involved!

Daily Photo – Stormchasing in Guilin, China

I love this area of China and right upon arrival there was a huge storm hitting. So exciting! I love a good storm. It was probably ill-advised, but Tom and I climbed up a mountain to get some photos. We were underneath the shade of an old pagoda, which kept us from getting wet… it was perfect conditions for storm shooting, really!

Stormchasing in Guilin, China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1.3
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length61.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Watching the Dancers in Beijing

Another place I got in trouble

This is the first place I got in trouble for flying the quadcopter. But it was worth it because I got some amazing photos and videos from the air. There are really no laws about them in this area because nobody owns one. So, since it’s impossible to get permission for something they don’t understand, I just went for it. It’s such a new “category” that many remote places don’t have any rules about them at all…

Daily Photo – Watching the Dancers in Beijing

I was invited to a special event in the Summer Palace where we got to see a traditional Chinese theater show. These girls would dance around and do all sorts of things. I was wondering a pole would come out at some point, but then it occurred to me this would probably not happen. But if it did, boy my camera was ready for action!

Watching the Dancers in Beijing

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/6000
  • Aperture
  • ISO500
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

A cloaked woman in Hong Kong

Great news about The Arcanum and our new Passion Meter – so cool!

See more at www.TheArcanum.com !

How to get a shot like this?

This was a crazy idea I had and it worked out just fine. I suppose the first step is to be on an escalator that has a rich or interesting set of lights around it. Set up the tripod legs on the steps (which you have to do quickly because you are moving… it’s sort of a Level 6 tripod maneuver!) and then let it fly with a shutter speed of at least 2 seconds. This one was a 4 second exposure.

Daily Photo – A cloaked woman in Hong Kong

I was riding up a series of colorful outdoor escalators in Hong Kong and this mysterious cloaked women went flying by me. She made it up to a group of people where she got stuck for a bit, right when I took this shot.

A cloaked woman in Hong Kong

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length17.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Driving in Hong Kong

Cosmos

This is truly a great series, and I recommend you pick it up and enjoy it with the family. The kids here love it and Tina and I are always impressed at the production quality and the clever way in which they are able to easily explain complex concepts.

Daily Photo – Driving in Hong Kong

Getting shots from above in cities is quickly becoming one of my new favorite things! Getting this one with the DJI Inspire was very difficult, actually, because the buildings blocked the GPS. There were fairly random winds gusting through the buildings, so it was very challenging to keep it centered!

Driving in Hong Kong

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraFC350
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/50
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO191
  • Focal Length3.6 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Upcoming Live “Organize Your Photos” Event!

Come Watch Live on Thursday!

Here’s the event (Click!) and where you can watch Live!

Live Photo Event – Organize Your Photos! – Thursday 6 PM PST, 9 PM EST (or check your local time on the event page)

Join me as we do a live Google+ Hangout soon. It’s a free event and I’ll be talking about how I organize my photos —I have a pretty good system I think that I believe would work for anyone because there are a few levels of “extremity” depending on how organized you want to be!

I know some of you have enjoyed the “Organize Your Photos!” tutorial and even if you already have it, you’ll enjoy seeing this, as I’ve added a bit of stuff! Some of it has to do with merging photos I take “on the road” back with the mother lode. I’m also putting together a strategy around the new all-encompassing Photos app for the Mac.

As always, there will be a live Q&A. I’ll also be looking at questions in the Stuck In Customs community — it’s always great to watch the activity in there!

Here’s a little video that shows what we’ll be talking about a bit!

Daily Photo – Late Night in Beijing

This place is always mega-crowded and a place most everyone visits when they come to China. It's hard not to ignore with that huge photo of Chairman Mao floating up there. It's amazing, actually, how popular Mao has become once again, especially with young people…I've heard many talk about what a great man he was, apparently not knowing he killed an estimated 40-70 million people during the revolution. Many carry his photo or come here to pay homage. Can you imagine huge photos of Stalin in Moscow or Hitler in Berlin? My goodness…

Late Night in Beijing

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

A Special Event in Wanaka and…a Panorama of Hong Kong

Upcoming PhotoWalks and events including the Venice Photowalk

We’re about to announce a whole new slew of photowalks and events! Be sure to check the Events page for more!

Follow me on Instagram

Here’s me, @TreyRatcliff ! And we also started a live-feed Instagram page here on the site!

DJI Inspire Review

We now have two quad reviews up! The newer one is the DJI Inspire Review, but we also have up the DJI Phantom Review.

An Instameet in Wanaka on Saturday!

I’m gonna pop over to Wanaka on Saturday to meet with a bunch of Instagrammers and have a fun day/evening of photos!

It sounds like a good group of people going, and it’s led by Liz Carlson, also known as Young Adventuress! People coming include Chris Burkard, Folk Magazine, Hello Emilie, Elizabeth Gadd, Matt Glastonbury, Johan Le Backpacker, Steen Jones, Matt Vandeputte, and Shaun Jeffers. We’ll all meet down by the famous tree in the lake at 4PM. I think any camera including mobile phones are cool. She tells me tags at #LoveWanaka and #InstameetWanaka and tagging @lakewanakanz. You can see more on Liz’s blog here!

Even though we’re meeting at the tree at 4PM, I’ll be at Gin and Raspberry a few hours beforehand having a wine! :)

P.S. This is the tree I’m talkin’ about, just ask any local if you’re driving in! :)

Peaceful Evening in Wanaka I had a peaceful evening in Wanaka. There is this tree that sits out in the middle of the lake. It’s so unusual. I love the way it reflects back on itself in the smooth water. I was by myself, listening to music on my iPod, and just watching the water as it would calm down then get excited, then calm down again. I swapped out lenses a few times and kept moving around to admire it from different angles. This one was one of my favorites. - Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Daily Photo – A Panorama of Hong Kong

I think this is still called Hong Kong even though it's across the bay in the Kowloon area. I was looking at some old photos of Hong Kong from about seven years ago, and I could see this building just in its beginning stages. Now it's complete, and quite magnificent as you can see! This was a panorama made from about four shots with the DJI Inspire.

A Panorama of Hong Kong

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraFC350
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/351
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length3.6 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Two Chinas Together and Workshop Update

Upcoming Photography & Yoga retreat in New Zealand!

New Events:

*New Zealand Autumn 2015* – Sold out
*New Zealand Photo & Yoga Adventure*http://www.stuckincustoms.com/photography-workshop-yoga-retreat/
*Venice* – Not yet announced, watch our Newsletter at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com/news

Here’s a video that talks more about our workshops!

Daily Photo – Two Chinas Together

I found this old monastic area of Beijing that was right in the middle of the city. Inside there was really no one but monks. If you look close here, you can see that it is “resupply day” and the monks were carrying goods from the entrance back towards their living quarters. I looked inside one of the boxes, and I'm not kidding you, it was full of Red Bull!

Two Chinas Together

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1600
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length25.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

A windy day at the Forbidden City

Beijing From Above

Today’s photo is related to this video I made below! :) You can read the whole story about the incarceration here on the blog!

Daily Photo – A windy day at the Forbidden City

Here's my assistant in China, getting wind-blown and umbrella-inverted at the Forbidden City. As much as I like to tease her for being a rather useless assistant who could carry little more than an African swallow, she did get me out of incarceration with her fast-Chinese-talkin'. It wasn't too long after this that we ended up behind lock & key for flying the quadcopter in the video above…

A windy day at the Forbidden City

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture9
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1.3

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