Moonlight Clouds – Queenstown at 7:30 AM!

Bid on a Rare Print

Thanks again everyone who has been ordering prints! Whether you order from SmugMug or do a custom high-end signed piece on metal, I am appreciative!

I received an email recently from a gentleman who has been unemployed for a long time and is now selling off his possessions so he can pay his mortgage! A sad story… He emailed me, lamenting that he had to sell this print and he was heartbroken. This print is QUITE rare – it is numbered 1/50 in the series. These normally sell from $2,000 to well beyond. In fact, if you buy it, you’ll have the same print as +Mark Zuckerberg – only yours will be more valuable than Mark’s because his is higher in the series.

To bid on his print, visit the eBay link here.

New Zealand from Space

I was on Google+ and I saw Liz Quilty put of This NASA photo of New Zealand (Here it is in ultra hi-rez). Isn’t that cool? There is a satellite there that takes a new image every day. So I ended up bookmarking this site where I can go see the cloud cover, and even import it into Google Earth. Awesome dot com!

Daily Photo – Moonlight Clouds – Queenstown at 7:30 AM

The winter in these southern places make the sunrise rather late! I took this about 7:30 AM in the morning while the moon was still out over the sparkling Queenstown. I set up the tripod on my balcony, and this is our amazing view! I’m renting a Bach here called “The Nest” – and it has incredible views all day long… and all night long too, as you can see! :)

Moonlight Clouds – Queenstown at 7:30 AM

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
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  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length28mm (28mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

New App! Photo Voyages of Trey Ratcliff – Planning for Apple TV too!

Available Now – Photo Voyages of Trey Ratcliff

Grab it in the iTunes store or for Android now! :)

If you’re going for the iOS version, you’ll notice it is universal for iPhone and iPad. We’re going to convert it for use on the Apple TV as soon as it accepts apps, so it will be nice to get it full-screen up on your wall as well. That will be a free upgrade when it comes around.

The app is a great collection of my photos, the stories, and more. You even have the option to saving the photos as backgrounds / wallpapers for your devices. And yes, it’s all super-HD, retina, etc. etc.

Sleeping In Driving from Reykjavik to Isafjordur is just about one of the longest possible drives you can make in Iceland in a day if you have a reasonable level of sanity.  There comes a point when you feel like you're getting close, when you start weaving in and out of fjords.  They are huge and each one seems to take over half an hour to drive around.In the midst of one of these, I espied an old house up the side of one of the valleys.  It was partially obscured by a hand-built stone wall.  I stopped the car and started hiking up the side of the valley to investigate.  Once I got up there, I began to think that maybe this place was actually occupied!  There were new lace curtains hanging in the windows and everything seemed to be in pretty good repair.So then, I felt like I was intruding, and not just exploring an old ruin.  But, it was 3 AM in the morning, and I figured if anyone was indeed inside, they must be fast asleep.  So I set up for a shot and then made a hasty elf-like egress.Read more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

You’ll get this photo and many more with the app. Enjoy!

Daily Photo – Isabella on a Miniature Pony

A few evenings ago, we went to go visit The Brackstones, family friends that live nearby in Gibbston. Kerry Brackstone has taken to raising miniature ponies, so this sounded like something my two girls should not miss! We went over there for and the girls had an absolute ball on the ride. After that, we sat down for a fabulous dinner. And no, we did not eat the miniature ponies.

Isabella on a Miniature Pony

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programnormal program
  • Exposure Bias

Moving to Queenstown, New Zealand

The Big Move!

Well two days ago the move began!

I took a nice long flight on Air New Zealand (where we received MOST excellent service) and made our way down to Queenstown, New Zealand.

Wish us luck!

I’ll keep you informed here during our adventure. It was a big decision to move the family of five here, and we are all very excited! I hope my kids get little Kiwi accents… that would be one of the wonderful little side-effects.

So, what are we dealing with here? Well, it took about a year to officially get our NZ residence visas. It was an exhausting process, but that bit of logistics is over. And then we had to begin the move of all our Stuff. The moving trucks came about six weeks ago to empty out our house in Austin, and they put all our stuff in two containers that are now on a boat en route across the Pacific. They are on one of those big boats that you see Chinese exporters using. I’m a little jealous my stuff went through the Panama Canal without me!

Now we are here in Queenstown renting a flat for a few weeks while we do hardcore house-hunting.

I’d like to buy a place that is on the lake you see below. Or, barring that, I’d like to buy land on the lake and build a house along with my studio next door. We’ll see how all that works out. Or, maybe we will buy an existing house and modify it. Or, maybe we will rent a house for six months, move our stuff in there, then find a permanent house and move in there.

As you can see, things are in disarray with our housing situation! It’s kind of a big deal, you know, choosing this location in which to live. It was too scary to buy a house over the internet – like a pair of blue jeans.

Why am I moving here? Well THAT is a longer story… I get this question a lot… I will write a longer story/video about it soon, but most of the reason is because of YOU. Because YOU have told your friends about the website and helped it grow, we can now have a bit of a lifestyle change so that I can be in a location where I can take everything I am doing to the next level. As always, I am VERY VERY VERY thankful for YOU and your support of me and the website… you have really changed my life.

The Most Beautiful Road in the World I found it!I've looked at travel guides and driven on a ton of beautiful, scenic roads all over the world, but I think this road to Queenstown (on the way to/from Glenorchy) is the most beautiful in the world.  The road winds down one side of a perfect, fjord-like lake, and every few kilometers, the mountain views change dramatically.  Depending upon the time of day you travel it, the entire landscape transforms before your eyes.Wonder what it looks like on the other side of the lake?  You won't believe that it is in the same place!  See this photo called Mountainstorm that I took on a previous trip to this location.  It was shot later in the evening, so I wasn't able to properly capture the road that time.What's the prettiest road you have ever found?  I've seen conflicting guides of the most beautiful roads in the US... I'm sure everyone has their opinion... I'd love to know what you think!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

And another New Zealand photo…

The Long Road to New Zealand This is one of countless beautiful roads that crisscross New Zealand.  I'm afraid I've forgotten exactly where I was when I took this photo!   I know that is very lame, but I bet people around here can help me pinpoint the area.As far as the camera settings, this is the kind of shot you can get with something called "compression," a method where you use a zoom lens and zoom in quite far.  It takes images in the distance and makes them larger than life.- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

And here is a wonderful little video… it was made for an area of Queenstown called Jack’s Point, but it does give you a good idea of the environs…

Cart Racing in Queenstown

Zorbing on the South Island

Do any of my NZ experts know if there is any zorbing on the south island anywhere?  I know there is a lot around Rotorua and stuff… where there are green hills the multiply like rabbits… but surely there must be a few options in the south, yes?

Daily Photo – Cart Racing in Queenstown

This may be my son’s favorite thing about Queenstown!  In the summer, they open up this area at the top of the mountain where you can luge all day long.  He never gets tired of it – and neither do I!  When we go back, we’ll have to see if we can get some kind of a season pass or something.

He gets a little rough, and he’s a little bit ruthless.  But I have a good 100 pounds on him, which helps everywhere except for the curves.  He spins around the corners like Yoshi, and I’m a little more like Bowser…

Cart Racing in Queenstown This may be my son’s favorite thing about Queenstown!  In the summer, they open up this area at the top of the mountain where you can luge all day long.  He never gets tired of it – and neither do I!  When we go back, we’ll have to see if we can get some kind of a season pass or something.He gets a little rough, and he’s a little bit ruthless.  But I have a good 100 pounds on him, which helps everywhere except for the curves.  He spins around the corners like Yoshi, and I’m a little more like Bowser…- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Deep Icy Lake

 

G+ PhotoWalk in Austin during SXSW Today!

All skill levels are invited – bring your whole family… it’s great fun for all.

  • RSVP on Google Schemer: http://goo.gl/LkaKO
  • Google Schemer Invite link: goo.gl/RoxQg
  • Date: Saturday, March 10 at 2 PM.
  • Location: The Google Lot downtown – Bar 96
  • No SXSW badge required!

Mittens or Gloves

I still have yet to find the perfect situation for this.  I’ve tried many different gloves with flip-up fingers so I can use the camera, but they are usually not that great.  My fingers still get deathly cold after thirty minutes.  I think mittens are better, generally, because the fingers keep one another warm.  And I’ve tried some flip-up solutions for those, which aren’t great either.  What do you use?

Daily Photo – The Deep Icy Lake

Lake Wakatipu, cut by glaciers 15,000 years ago, plummets to 399 meters in depth (almost a quarter-mile)!  There is something creepy about very-deep lakes.  I don’t know what it is.  I mean, anything could be down there.  Something cold, old, and terrible… slithering around through a slurry of icy mud and grit, just waiting to shoot to the surface for a snack…

The Deep Icy LakeLake Wakatipu, cut by glaciers 15,000 years ago, plummets to 399 meters in depth (almost a quarter-mile)!  There is something creepy about very-deep lakes.  I don't know what it is.  I mean, anything could be down there.  Something cold, old, and terrible... slithering around through a slurry of icy mud and grit, just waiting to shoot to the surface for a snack...- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post, including some SXSW info, at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Orange Queenstown Sunset

 

Newsletter – See what it looks like!

Sign up here for free.  That page also has a nice sample so you can check it out :)

Fabien’s 2012 Calendars

My good friend (and designer of our Website) Fabien Barral has made some unique letterpress calenders for 2012.  He only has a few left and has put them on sale.  He asked me to pass this along to you! :)

I create a special coupon for you, if readers enter the stuckincustoms code, they will have a reduction of 7€… If you need pictures, you can found some at www.letterpress-calendar.com

Daily Photo – Orange Queenstown Sunset

I had a late night of decadent chocolate at a great local haunt there in Queenstown.  I ended up staying later than I expected because of said decadence.  This meant I arrived back over to my rental house in Kelvin Heights as the sun was finishing its descent.  I ran down to the beach just in time to see this light.  There was a mild panic, but it was pre-soothed by the chocolate.

Orange Queenstown Sunset I had a late night of decadent chocolate at a great local haunt there in Queenstown.  I ended up staying later than I expected because of said decadence.  This meant I arrived back over to my rental house in Kelvin Heights as the sun was finishing its descent.  I ran down to the beach just in time to see this light.  There was a mild panic, but it was pre-soothed by the chocolate.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Remarkables

1,000,000 Followers on Google+ !

Thanks to all of you that made the early jump over to Google+ to help out with this.  And I hope you all are enjoying that network as much as I am!  Here’s a post about when we passed a million with some book recommendations!

Anyone Want to Buy My House in Austin?

I’ll put up photos in the next week or so…  But, you know, we are moving…. MORE INFO on that move later! :)

It’s a five-bedroom house in the Jester area, so there is a little bit o’ info for you.  Drop me a note at wildcard (at) stuckincustoms.com.

I know many people will want to know more info right now… but just wait wait wait… I’ll tell you everything soon :)

Daily Photo – The Remarkables

If these mountains don’t have the coolest name ever, then I don’t know what does!

The mountains border the lake in Queenstown, but right before they dip into the deep water, a gentle dollop of green hills present themselves.  They are those soft kind of New Zealand hills – the kind that look like you could just take a giant thumb and mush them around into one shape or another.

The Remarkables If these mountains don't have the coolest name ever, then I don't know what does!The mountains border the lake in Queenstown, but right before they dip into the deep water, a gentle dollop of green hills present themselves.  They are those soft kind of New Zealand hills - the kind that look like you could just take a giant thumb and mush them around into one shape or another.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.  There's also some info about my house in Austin for sale!

Evening Light on the Remarkables

Nikon 28-300 Update

I think this is the 2nd or 3rd photo I have released that uses this lens with the zoom fully loaded… I still love this lens and use it about half the time. If you want to see more, see the full Nikon 28-300 review here on the site.

Daily Photo – Evening Light on the Remarkables

Misty and cloudy on the mountains… from this far away, it looks like a mist is blowing across the tops of the mountains. It makes it all appear more dramatic than perhaps it really is while you are there. But I guess there is this idea of relative drama. If you are actually there on the mountain, it’s probably quite mild and pretty. But, from way back here, dozens of miles away, it looks much more intense.

Evening Light on the RemarkablesMisty and cloudy on the mountains... from this far away, it looks like a mist is blowing across the tops of the mountains.  It makes it all appear more dramatic than perhaps it really is while you are there.  But I guess there is this idea of relative drama.  If you are actually there on the mountain, it's probably quite mild and pretty.  But, from way back here, dozens of miles away, it looks much more intense.- Trey RatcliffRead the rest of this entry here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Orange Light in Queenstown

Do you have a favorite cloud type?

Is this like Barbara Walters asking what kind of tree would you be? Gosh I hope not… But, maybe being someone that looks at the skies a lot, then you might have a particular cloud type that you find particularly appealing?

Daily Photo – Orange Light in Queenstown

I was driving back to the house we rented in Kelvin Heights, a little peninsula that sticks out into the lake, and I saw the potential for this light. I’ve only seen it about a dozen times in my life. It happens when there is a localized area of flat-white clouds but a perfectly clear horizon. It means the sun will dip below the clouds and cast an interesting color up on the bottom of the clouds. The reason this doesn’t usually happen is because an overcast sky will continue on for so many miles that the sun will have no angle of incidence.

Anyway, I got lucky and the prediction came true. I was able to be ready with my tripod just in time.

Orange Light in QueenstownI was driving back to the house we rented in Kelvin Heights, a little peninsula that sticks out into the lake, and I saw the potential for this light.  I've only seen it about a dozen times in my life.  It happens when there is a localized area of flat-white clouds but a perfectly clear horizon.  It means the sun will dip below the clouds and cast an interesting color up on the bottom of the clouds.  The reason this doesn't usually happen is because an overcast sky will continue on for so many miles that the sun will have no angle of incidence.Anyway, I got lucky and the prediction came true.  I was able to be ready with my tripod just in time.- Trey RatcliffRead the rest of this and tell me what your favorite cloud type is here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Mountains on the way to Glenorchy

 

Enjoyed the Live NASA Hangout!

The launch was incredible, and I enjoyed the live part beforehand. I’ll try to do more of these in the future… the problem is always getting a good connection while I am out and about, but that should get easier over time… it’s sort of like a virtual photowalk! :)

Daily Photo – Mountains on the way to Glenorchy

I’ve driven this road back and forth between Queenstown and Glenorchy about 6 times, and I can’t wait to do 100x that!

They are so violently tall that the clouds that spin off them are always different, and the light that falls on them is continually changing.

Mountains on the way to GlenorchyI've driven this road back and forth between Queenstown and Glenorchy about 6 times, and I can't wait to do 100x that!  They are so violently tall that the clouds that spin off them are always different, and the light that falls on them is continually changing.- Trey RatcliffRead the rest here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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