Little girl on a long blue road

Storybird

Have you ever tried out this thing called “Storybird“? If you have kids, I think it is certainly worth a try!

Daily Photo – Little girl on a long blue road

I loved exploring this very old part of Rabat. In this one area, there were a lot of these sorts of amazing streets with blue trimmings. I set up here and waited for a child or something interesting to run down the street. And sure enough, it happened! It was actually bright enough that I was still able to freeze the quick movement even at a high ISO. That always makes the post-processing so much easier.

Little girl on a long blue road

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1500
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2

The Safe Slums of Fes, Morocco

Safest Scary Place You’ve Been?

I know those words are kind of the opposite: Safe & Scary. But I suppose I mean where is a place you were really scared to go and then, after arriving, you found out it was totally awesome and safe?!? I find these kind of places all the time. I don’t know if I would say I was super “scared” — just kind of on high alert. Don’t get me wrong… I’m not going to walk around the bad parts of Rio or Detroit at night by myself with my camera, but you know what I mean.

Daily Photo – The Safe Slums of Fes, Morocco

I went through this dodgy area of Fes one night to try to climb up a hillside to get a view of the mountain. It was actually perfectly safe, and everyone was smiling and happy. I now know how to speak just a little bit of Arabic, at least enough to get by. I thought this run-down area was actually kind of beautiful in its own way, so I set up to take a photo…

The Safe Slums of Fes, Morocco

The Safe Slums of Fes, Morocco

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

The Path in Rabat

Reflective Path Trick

The path was already nice and shiny, but here’s a good way to get it to be extra-reflective and goody-shiny in the final photo:

1) Duplicate the layer
2) Blur the new layer on top (Gaussuan around 30)
3) Set the blend mode to Overlay (you’ll see the path get all shiny-shiny!)
4) Duplicate the bottom (original) layer again and move it to the top
5) Mask through to the reflective path!

Daily Photo – The Path in Rabat

This is the very first place I stayed when I got to Rabat, Morocco. This is the interior courtyard and it was pretty in the day, and I had a feeling it would be even better in the night. Indeed it was! I like setting up these kind of shots where the path does not go down the very center, but a bit off to the side, disappearing at the Phi point.

The Path in Rabat

The Path in Rabat

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time30
  • Aperture9.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Crossing the Sahara

Mystery in your photos

Having little strange things in your photos is nice little touch, I think. For example, in this photo below, there is that one guy just walking off into the distance… it raises more questions than answers.

Daily Photo – Crossing the Sahara

I had an amazing and rather hot time in the Sahara. To get this photo, I had to go up a huge dune on foot. I gave my own camel a break and decided to walk up the dune. How hard could it be, I figured. I figured wrong. And that night, I got so dizzy and sick, then realized it was probably because I hardly had any water… even though I've seen thousands and thousands of shows and movies about people not drinking enough water in the desert, I was so excited that I forgot to drink water!

Crossing the Sahara

Crossing the Sahara

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length70.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Little Girl in the Streets of Morocco

Bokeh Processing Tip

When processing photos in lightroom that have a bokeh (or out-of-focus) area, don’t use the “Clarity” slider in Lightroom. Many times, when everything is in focus, this is my favorite slider. But watch out because it will make those softer areas less soft… and that’s the whole purpose of bokeh! Anyway, a quick tip there that is not immediately obvious because you can tend just to look how much better the “sharp” bits look when playing with the clarity slider, but be sure to look at the other bits too!

Daily Photo – Little Girl in the Streets of Morocco

While I was walking around this wonderfully blue city, I saw many kids out hanging around the outdoors. They all had on cute outfits that seemed to go so well with the powder blue paint of the city. Here is one of the little girls I saw. No one seemed to mind me taking photos, and that was nice because there were so many cute kids!

Little Girl in the Streets of Morocco

Little Girl in the Streets of Morocco

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Amazing Castle on the edge of the Desert Gorge in Morocco

Comments Fixed!

We fixed all the comments… now no more comments will be lost! Yay team! :)

Renting Castles

I love staying in castles, and I’ve heard there are some where you can rent the whole castle for quite inexpensive. Apparently there are many castles all over the world that are mostly abandoned but can be rented for a shockingly small number. I need to look into these more, so if you have any hot connections, let me know!

Daily Photo – Amazing Castle on the edge of the Desert Gorge in Morocco

This is the amazing Auberge le Festival in the gorge just on the edge of the Sahara desert. After spending several nights out in the arid desert situations, I started to work my way back towards the Atlas mountains. This area is very near a fantasy (but real!) oasis, and it was absolutely perfect in every way. If you ever go to Morocco, be sure you look up this unbelievable place!

Amazing Castle on the edge of the Desert Gorge in Morocco

Amazing Castle on the edge of the Desert Gorge in Morocco

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time25
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

In the Blue Streets at Night

Watching People at Night

Sometimes at night I sit in places like this and just watch people… see what they do… where they walk… I suppose it might come off as a bit creepy! But as long as I have my camera with me, at least I have an excuse. I like watching people any way, and I don’t think I could get away with it if I just stood here and watched people. I guess that’s why outdoor seating at cafes in pedestrian areas is so popular… it gives you a reason to sit there and watch people! :)

Daily Photo – In the Blue Streets at Night

I spent most of my time in Chefchaouen in the night, walking around like crazy man taking photos. The colors and shadows came out looking so mysterious and cool. The blue paint looked so different in the night lights. I was happy they mostly used white lights around the town. Wherever the yellow lights were, the colors came off a bit green and sickly.

I took this photo with a 50mm prime all the way wide open. I like how the foreground is a bit out of focus…

In the Blue Streets at Night

In the Blue Streets at Night

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture
  • ISO5000
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Lamp Shopping in Fes

Your Favorite Travel Collection?

I’ve started bringing back little goodies with me when I travel to places… and I wish I had started a long time ago. But anyway, better late than never… what’s your favorite “goodie” you collected on some travels then brought home?

Daily Photo – Lamp Shopping in Fes

I love Moroccan lamps! I love them so much that I bought nine of them while I was in Fes and had them shipped back here. Now that was a real fiasco because of customs. I think I paid about $500 for the lamps and $600 just to get them in the country! It's so maddening… I know that the name of this blog is Stuck In Customs, but that was meant to be a bit playful… now all that seems to be Stuck In Customs is my lamps and my money! :(

Lamp Shopping in Fes

Lamp Shopping in Fes

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.7
  • Aperture11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2

Hay!

Third-World Crazy Vehicle Situations

Whenever I am in places that are far away and I see people doing insane things with vehicles, it never ceases to amaze. And most things I see seem to appear totally unsafe, and more or less like fraternity pranks! What’s the craziest thing you have seen?

Daily Photo – Hay!

I can't believe this thing has somehow evaded the principals of Newtonian physics! When I pulled into a small kasbah called Aït Benhaddou in the desert to take some photos, I saw this huge truck full of hay rumbling past. I barely kept my wits about me to take a photo just after it passed.

On the plus side, it must be very easy to get the hay off the truck!

Hay!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture9
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1.3

Chefchaouen from Above

SmugMug Review

Below on today’s photo, I talk about our Quadcopter getting temporarily shut down by the military police in Morocco — but when the final video comes out, it will replace my current “promo” video for SmugMug, which is at the bottom of the SmugMug Review page!

Quadcopter filming a Bungy Swing in New Zealand

I wanted to post this video first here on the blog! Pretty much 100% of what you are about to see is ill-advised, but the swing bit, and the quadcopter filming bit. It all worked out fine, but this will only encourage more bad decisions by us in the future! :) We used a DJI Phantom Vision over a crazy gorge in Skipper’s Canyon to get this footage… this is the long version of the behind-the-scenes from http://www.StuckInCustoms.com ! :)

Daily Photo – Chefchaouen from Above

Now, here is a place where the military police shut us down with our quadcopter! I came into town with Anton and Ana from SmugMug to work on this cool new promo piece. We had been already using Anton's quadcopter all over Morocco, but when we got here, the taxi driver alerted the local military police that we had some sort of a “plane”! This caused a lot of worry and consternation (and, I should add, a Significant amount of confusion). After we were there for half an hour, the military police descended on our hotel with a rather sour attitude. I've never had any success negotiating with the Moroccan military, and I had no success here either. I did put up a good intellectual fight, but I eventually acquiesced, mostly because of the size of their guns. Well, there was no gunplay… but I did see a lot of guns… which always helps one side win an argument.

Chefchaouen from Above

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture16
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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