Merry Christmas from The Ratcliffs!

I hope you guys are having a great holiday season… here’s a few pictures of our family decorating the tree this year at home! You might see one black & white one where Isabella is on the ground taking a photo of the tree… she’s getting her Instagram on haha! :)

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

A Wine Day in New Zealand!

Something New!

Hey everyone… I wanted to try something new here on the blog on occasion! If you like this idea, I’ll continue posting first here to all the loyal readers that come every day!

Anyway, I got a cool new gadget called an Osmo from DJI and I’ve been using it to record a few of my days here and there. I thought it’d be cool do do a vlogging action! Anyway, here is a day that our team spent jumping around wineries and flying the quad… we left Queenstown in the morning and didn’t get home till late! :)

Note that I have since fixed many of the sound problems by using an external mike on the Osmo… more on that and a review coming! :)

Incredible Mount Aspiring

Last Minute Christmas Gift idea – My new book!

You’re running out of time… why not grab my new eBook – people seem to be loving it and I think you will too! :)

Daily Photo – Incredible Mount Aspiring

I had an incredible day up with Aspiring Helicopters right before my trip to the USA. We first went up to an amazing cabin way up in the mountains for a wine and cheese party, then we took off again to circle around this mountain at sunset. It was like a dream! I put on my earphones underneath my heli-big-boy-earphones and listened to all kinds of strange music as we flew around. It was very dreamy!

Incredible Mount Aspiring

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO1250
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Another Central Otago Pond

Updated Quadcopter Reviews!

But I’ve also updated a few reviews for the Phantom and Inspire. My reviews were woefully out of date… sorry about that but now they are up-to-speed!
DJI Phantom Review
DJI Inspire Review

Daily Photo – Another Central Otago Pond

Well, there seem to be no less than 10,000 of these ponds all over the South Island of New Zealand. And they're always surrounded with really beautiful objects that reflect like a painting. It's almost as if some guy was making a perfect video game map and just sprinkled ponds and trees and rocks around in perfect formations… and it's like I'm driving around finding these little secret spots in the New Zealand Video Game. I think it actually might be true, especially if what some people say is true, and we're living in a projection. This is the projection I'd like to live in without apriori knowledge!

Another Central Otago Pond

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Exploring the Mount Aspiring Area

New Tip Video: Removing Noise!

Here’s my latest tip video for you… remember, you can go get the full Aurora HDR Tutorial For Mac right now!

Limitless Places to Explore

I don’t go up in helicopters that much, but every time I do, I’m blown away by the infinite number of places you can land and explore. There’s not a bad photo in any direction, and it’s totally mind-numbing in a way. We’re working on a “What to Do in New Zealand” page… since I get so many questions… but that will be coming soon, I hope… RIGHT RUBY!!??!?! :)

Daily Photo – Exploring the Mount Aspiring Area

Here's another photo from my amazing day up with Mount Aspiring Helicopters when we went to go visit their little chalet where you can overnight. What a romantic place! This is the view of the backside, away from Mt. Aspiring. I took this right before we re-boarded to the heli to take us on a loop around the mighty mountain before flying back to Wanaka.

Exploring the Mount Aspiring Area

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraONE
  • Camera MakeDxO
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length11.9 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Thar She Glows

Slack

Have you ever heard of Slack? It’s a really cool tool for teams to communicate… they don’t sponsor the site or anything… but we all use it here at Stuck In Customs to keep the team communicating since many of us are far apart… all over the world!

Daily Photo – Thar She Glows

Here's a new favorite shot from down here in New Zealand near Glenorchy. We took our photo group out one morning for a hike, and we pulled off the side of the road when we saw these beautiful lighting conditions. It's very unusual, and I don't often get to see this kind of morning light coming in under a heavy blanket of clouds…

Thar She Glows

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/80
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length89.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Intense Canterbury

Trello

I have a hot tip for you if you work with small (or big!) teams to help keep track of all the projects. We use “Trello” here at Stuck In Customs to figure out what projects are happening where! It’s a web app, and it’s pretty fun. I’ve actually never been so organized! :)

Daily Photo – Intense Canterbury

This is a rather intense and colorful photo today, eh? I tell ya, it was a pretty golden light there… it was so unusual that I pulled over on the way to Tekapo to take this photo… and I was an even more colorful mood when I processed it!

Intense Canterbury

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Hiking along the Lake at Aro-Ha

Live from Bali!

Amazing Screensaver!

If you have a Mac, Go Get This All-Aerial Screensaver now! :) If you’ve never installed 3rd party “things” on your Mac before, you may have to change some security settings, but that’s pretty easy. Check here to see those steps.

Daily Photo – Hiking along the Lake at Aro-Ha

We had an amazing workshop at Aro-Ha — that was our combination Yoga + Photography + Hiking thing. And this was on one of the hikes along the incredible Lake Wakatipu. We stopped at one point and decided to launch the DJI Phantom up into the air and see what it looked like from above!

Hiking along the Lake at Aro-Ha

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraFC300X
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/310
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length3.6 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramUnknown (58655)
  • Exposure Bias

Wings over Wanaka

Featured Pinterest!

Thanks again to the Men’s Journal for featuring my Pinterest page… I feel like the guy that barely made the list! Actually, I am, at #22 ! haha Here’s my Pinterest!

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Classic Flights

Be sure to check out Classic Flights if you ever go to Wanaka. Anyone can go up… it’s so fun and the scenery is, of course, second to none.

Daily Photo – Wings over Wanaka

When I went to Wanaka for the Instameet day, Stu and I arrived early to go fly around in some of these awesome old planes. These are called Tiger Moths and they are just as much fun as they look. Well, I mean it’s more fun if you’re not in the middle of a war with the Germans and stuff.

Wings over Wanaka

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length175.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

The Magic of New Zealand

Taking Around a Mirror With You

Continuing with the “reflection” theme that we’ve been working on, a creative idea is to carry around a mirror with you. It doesn’t have to be big at all because you can lay it on the ground anywhere with your camera right on top of it. If you’re doing landscapes, it can be a very fun tool!

Daily Photo – The Magic of New Zealand

I really love this photo, but there’s only one problem. I can’t figure out how the heck I made it! I remember a few of the steps… but not sure I could re-create the actual technique. Oh well… at least I still have a pretty picture!

The Magic of New Zealand

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture5
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length31.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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