London during the PhotoWalk

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Daily Photo – London during the PhotoWalk

This area behind Westminster Abbey was under all sorts of construction, so it was very hard to shoot. They had this wall here that was blocking some of the construction, and it turned out to be very shiny… so I got extremely close to try to get creative and make this kind of a shot. I think everyone on the photowalk thought I was crazy while I was leaning up against the wall in a Very Strange Pose!

London during the PhotoWalk

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.5
  • Aperture9
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Exploring the New London at Night

Behind the Scenes in London

Don’t forget to check out the DJI Inspire Review!

Stu and I shot this video while in London and flying the quad about! He put on the Google Glass and recorded the various adventures we had that day — thanks again Stu! I got to know Stu through The Arcanum, which you should check out if you haven’t yet!

Daily Photo – Exploring the New London at Night

It's hard to believe how much this building (The Shard in the distance) has changed the skyline of London. I feel like it had not been that long since I was away (maybe three years?), but now, upon return, it's fun to re-shoot the city and get this incredible piece of architecture in the skyline.

In the video above, I was right by this area… very close to City Hall…

Exploring the New London at Night

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time5
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

TEDx Queenstown and Beautiful London at Sunset

TEDx Queenstown

I’m very much looking forward to the big event in about 9 days here in Queenstown. I know we have a few people flying in for it… be sure to come over and see me during one of the in-between events — don’t be shy… just come on over; I am very nice! :)

HDR Photo

Here’s the press release:

Trey Ratcliff, author of the number one travel photography blog ‘Stuck in Customs’ will be speaking at the TEDxQueenstown event on Sunday April 19.

Ratcliff is the latest to be announced in a plethora of speakers descending upon Queenstown later this month at the independently organised version of the TED (Technology Entertainment Design) talks, another phenomenon to have taken the internet by storm.

Speakers have less than 18 minutes to wow their audience – something which could prove tricky for the adventurous photographer who has travelled and snapped Antarctica to Zurich and most places in between.

TEDxQueenstown organiser Trent Yeo said he was ‘excited’ to announce Ratcliff as part of the line-up.

“There’s a great range of speakers and performers at this year’s event and Trey is a wonderful addition.

“Queenstown somehow attracts very purposeful and influential people so it’s great we can invite a local to address what he shares to his global community, but in person,” said Mr Yeo.

Ratcliff is also well known as a pioneer in High Dynamic Range (HDR) photography, a technique whereby multiple levels of light are captured of a single scene and then combined into a single photograph. The resulting image is richly detailed and more closely resembles how you’d recall a scene in your mind.

Ratcliff spent three weeks photographing Antarctica earlier this year, capturing the continent’s icy wilderness. The trip included survival training, carving an ice cave and overcoming the daily challenge of living in such a harsh and unforgiving environment.

He has over 60 Billion views on Google along with over 13 million followers cumulative across Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Originally from Texas, US, but now living in Queenstown with his family, Ratcliff said that he believed it was ‘the greatest place on the planet’ and was supportive of the TED mission.

“Queenstown seems to be a vortex of interesting people and the TEDxQueenstown event will take that to the next level,” Mr Ratcliff said.

“Preparation for the event has been a lot of fun, my talk will be unexpected and full of surprises and a secret that people might just figure out in the first 17 minutes…”

Ratcliff joins fellow adventurer Jamie Fitzgerald who holds the world record for rowing across the Atlantic Ocean, archaeologist Leslie Van Gelder and well-known Wellington musician Graeme James among others.

Trey Ratcliff is the final speaker to be announced out of the 11 who will participate in this year’s event at Queenstown’s Memorial Centre.

Mr Yeo said tickets were almost sold out.

“I love this town, the depth of people that live here, the amazing influence of the person next door.

“So I’m really excited to welcome Trey to the TEDxQueenstown stage, a chance to meet a person that thinks constantly about how to positively influence the world”

TEDxQueenstown ticket details:
www.tedxqueenstown.com

Daily Photo – Beautiful London at Sunset

I love this city so much! And even better, the photographers there in London are unbelievably nice and welcoming! The photowalks we have there are always a treat, not just for photography, but in getting to meet so many amazing people. Photographers are always among the nicest people in the world, I find, but in London especially so!

I think I took this the day after the photowalk… seeing London from above really gives a wonderful perspective on the whole place.

Beautiful London at Sunset

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.5
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Having Drinks in The Shard

DJI Inspire Review

It’s now up on the DJI Inspire Review page. One of the videos in there was even shot right down below where Stu and I were having drinks! :)

Nice YouTube Playlist

I’m listening to music on YouTube more and more now… I kind of have it running on a second computer while I’m editing photos. Anyway, here’s my cool playlist that starts with Jon Hopkins! There’s some crazy videos on there too…not all are safe for children (or for adults!).

Daily Photo – Having Drinks in The Shard

I reckon this is just about the most awesome place to have drinks in London. This is inside the Shangri-La hotel, and even though this bar is not on the very top, it's plenty high enough! There's also a restaurant here, but I did not eat there. I did walk over there to take a few photos out the window, but the restaurant staff was not too keen on that. I had to turn my charm up to 11 to get over there, but I did end up getting a cracking sunset shot that I will post soon!

Having Drinks in The Shard

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1
  • Aperture4
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Wet, Dark London at Night

Reflections

I’ve often thought about how awesome it would be to have a team of people around me all the time, each person holding a huge bucket of water. We could all work together to go wet down an area for a photo. It’s hard for me to think of a time when a dry pavement is better than a wet pavement! Of course, this idea is crazy, until I have my personal robot-bucket army, that is.

Daily Photo – Wet, Dark London at Night

Not far from here, I had a bit of a sketchy moment! Locals will know where this is, and there is a long alleyway with all kinds of intersecting and twisting bridges above. It's an awesome street and absolutely Dickensian! Anyway, I was walking there, and one guy ran up to me and said in a thick accent, “You better be careful around here, people get mugged all the time!” Of course I was thinking this was all a trick and he, or one of his secret friends behind me was about to mug me! Well, no worries… it was all fine after all.

Wet, Dark London at Night

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Approaching The Shard

Tallest building in Europe?

Is this currently the tallest building in Europe? I think someone told me that, but they were not very trustworthy… haha, but I figured you all would know!

Daily Photo – Approaching The Shard

One night after seeing a strange play called “The Nether,” I went on a solo four-hour photowalk around London at night. It was so magical! I had on my earphones and just had a grand old time walking here and walking there… so amazing to see such amazingness everywhere. It had been about three years since I had been, so I was immediately impressed at this cool new building, The Shard, that shot right out of the city. Incredible!

Approaching The Shard

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time10
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

7 Dials in London

Fun Contest – your color for a camera strap?

I use this strap! What color for you?

Calibrating the DJI Inspire

I’ve noticed I’ve had to calibrate it a few times, but it has not been much of a problem. I guess it’s good that it refuses to fly until it is calibrated! Right before I did this, I had to do a rather long automated calibration that took 10 minutes. It’s the first time I had to do that… but it gave me a chance to have a coffee and pastry on the street corner while waiting! :)

Daily Photo – 7 Dials in London

I love getting these kinds of photos with the quadcopter. Looking straight down never seems to get old. Maybe it's because I've always wanted to fly and be like a bird… free like a bird! I get a very weak sense of it with this quadcopter, but it is still pretty awesome. This is a very cool area of London called Seven Dials where seven roads come together, and it seemed to cry out for a photo like this!

7 Dials in London

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraFC350
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/270
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length3.6 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramUnknown (58655)
  • Exposure Bias-0.656

The Night Before Chinese New Year in London

Sprouting Photographer

We just finished a really fun podcast for The Arcanum over at The Sprouting Photographer. Be sure to pop over there and have a listen!

Daily Photo – The Night Before Chinese New Year in London

Here I am in Chinatown in London around midnight. It was the evening before the Chinese New Year and everyone was getting pretty excited. The next night was to be absolute chaos, but this night things still had a nice electricity in the air.

I also made a little video here of what things looked and felt like… sometimes I record little videos here and there to remind myself. I don't usually publish them because the editing takes so long! So I just kind of save them for myself. It helps when I edit the photo later to remind me of how things felt at the time.

The Night Before Chinese New Year in London

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/5
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

London PhotoWalk Recap!

First announced in the Newsletter?

What? You didn’t already read this in the newsletter? Oh no! Be sure to subscribe for free here!

Not your last chance to win a DJI Inspire Quadcopter!

Even if you were not the Grand Prize winner in London, you can still win by dropping a comment on the YouTube video below. It’s a crazy one where I dressed up like a pilot with Kai in Hong Kong… what a fun guy and fun video!

PhotoWalk Recap!

Here’s a great photo of the crowd before the London photowalk. It’s hard to see me, but do you see that statue of the Holy Crusader holding the Crucifix Sword with +2 to Holy Damage? I’m the little guy just to the left of that standing up on the 2nd level. Thanks Naf Selmani for taking this cool photo before the event!

The Winners!

Thanks again to EVERYONE that came along and entered. I really enjoyed looking at all the photos. I scanned the hashtag everywhere from FB to G+ to Flickr to Instagram to Twitter to Pinterest — you name it! Anyway, here are the winners, and thanks again! If you won, please contact luke@stuckincustom.com to find out how to get your goodies!

Grand Prize winner of the DJI Inspire! Carl Crosby for this amazing shot of the PhotoWalkers on the way to the London eye.

And the following 5 get an unlimited shopping spree of all downloadable products in the Stuck in Customs Store!

More London PhotoWalk goodies

Daily Photo – Tower Bridge

I didn't take this during the PhotoWalk, but I took it the next evening. If you want to see all the photos I turn during the walk, just check the photos above.

As for this one, I had just seen a Very Strange play by myself called The Nether. Whoa that was some weird stuff… Anyway, it put me in a strange mood, and I think it helped me capture this scene!

Tower Bridge

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time10
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

London PhotoWalk! Feb 14, 3 PM

Join Me in London for a fun and free photowalk!

The last one we did 5 years ago in 2010 was Absolutely Amazing, and I want to do it again with y’all! I am SO Excited for this event. It will be quite strange to come back from the remote bits of sensory-deprived Antarctica to the opposite-world of sensory-overload London!

If you’ve never been to a photowalk before, no worries. Come, bring a friend or your family, get a camera in everyone’s hands, and yes, mobile phones and things like this are perfectly fine! :) We’ll combine this one with a really fun photo contest, and there are more details on that below.

TWO Grand Prizes! Stuck in Customs Shopping Spree and a DJI Inspire 1 Quadcopter!

At first, we were just giving away a bunch of Shopping Sprees inside the Stuck In Customs Store, but now we are also giving away a DJI Inspire 1 Quadcopter too!

I absolutely LOVE taking photos with this amazing machine… it’s so cool to use that XBox controller thing to finely control the camera and get compositions that have otherwise always been impossible. Finally, all these years of playing video games has paid off! Anyway, I’m MEGA excited to give it to one of you in London during the PhotoWalk. More details on how to win below! :)

The deets

Google+ Event Page

Facebook Event Page

Hashtag: #TRLondon2015

Time Start: Saturday, February 14, 3 PM

Time End: Probably around 6 PM at a pub where we can all buy drinks, hang out, etc. We can keep on taking pictures in the bar! haha :)

Location: South Bank right outside the National Theatre (Google Map and How to get to the National Theatre)

Location End: Slug and Lettuce Bar – http://goo.gl/djxIMK

Route: http://goo.gl/SwJMRm

Plan: I’ll say hello to everyone and give everyone some artistic and technical goals for the day. I’ll talk through my camera setup and discuss the whole plan for the evening. Then we’ll all walk around like a huge centipede to find our photographic muses for the day! I’ll stop 5 or so times and we’ll all congeal into a slime-mold at which point I’ll set up for a formal shot and talk about my settings, framings, what I’m trying to communicate with the shot, etc. You are ALWAYS welcome to ask me questions any time… Please don’t hesitate! :)

GRAND Prize – 5 Unlimited SIC Shopping Sprees!

Everything in the new Stuck In Customs store that is downloadable can be yours! (A total value of $3,000 USD)

How to Win the Shopping Spree? Take an interesting photo of one or more fellow PhotoWalkers and then post it to any social media channel with the #TRLondon2015 hashtag. Be creative and try new things! Get close, get far, get low, get high (hehe), get interesting subject matter in the background, etc. Have fun with it — you can take and post and share as many photos as you like! Of course, all the time we’ll be taking photos of other things too, the amazing buildings, landscapes, bridges, and the like, but only the photos of fellow PhotoWalkers will be eligible for the prize. I know photographers often really enjoy taking “street photos” of other people but sometimes can be a bit shy or afraid to ask. Well not here, you all have permission…it’s open season! :)

How will I choose the 5 winners for the Shopping Spree? I’ll scan all social media about a week after the event for that #TRLondon2015 tag and choose 5 of the photos that I think are the most interesting! Each winner will get an Unlimited Shopping Spree in the new Stuck In Customs store.

GRAND, Grand Prize – DJI Inspire 1 Quadcopter!!!

We are giving away a brand new DJI Inspire 1 Quadcopter. This thing is amaze-maze! Imagine 4K video, 12mp camera, real-time pilot app, vision positioning system and so much more! ($2,900 USD value)

How will I choose the winner for the DJI Inspire 1 Quadcopter? I’ll look for the same #TRLondon2015 hashtag on social media (see above) and I’ll choose the image that SURPRISES me most! So, a bit tricky there, yes? What will surprise me? I don’t know — that is the very nature of surprises. But I know for sure that one of you will really surprise me with a photo I did not expect… it’s really anyone’s game. And, often times, it is total beginners that surprise me with something I would have never considered… it can be a mobile phone shot, or, well anything!

Photos from the first London Photowalk!

Images from the Trey Ratcliff HDR Walk

Photowalk London

HDR Photo

Some of my favorite photos from London – I can’t wait to get back!

Grey London in ColorIt's so hard to carry a tripod with a big camera AND an umbrella.  The number of ways you can severely pinch yourself must be in the thousands.There is the right-hand-hold-the-umbrella-and-camera-together method.  This keeps the left hand free to zoom, but there is no hand left to secure the ballhead.  So, that only kinda works, but you have to do the strange reach-around.  It's about as much fun as using your left hand to get exactly 45 cents out of your right pocket.Another method is using your neck to secure the umbrella, but that gets out of control very very quickly in the wind.  The last method is usually the one I do -- and that is just to let myself get soaked.  I feel only a tiny bit miserable, but I can sometimes be so focused that I can push that discomfort away while I'm focused on the photography bit.- Trey RatcliffRead the rest here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Approaching London The afternoon yesterday had a typical London rainshower.  But it cleared up just before sunset to reveal magnificent clouds.  I crisscrossed the Thames River many times to find the right light.  After the sun dipped below the horizon, the light finally fell behind Westminster with a delicate palette.- Trey RatcliffRead the rest here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Old London From Above It's a long walk to the top of St. Paul's.  And by long walk, I should throw in that there are a lot of stairs.  But, after you finally arrive, you're greeted by a wonderful view of the city.  As long as you don't have too much of an issue with heights, you'll be in for a treat.Even though I saw all sorts of stuff while I was up there, I enjoyed working on this photo too.  I was able to zoom into 100% and look at all the details and little buildings/bridges/shops once again.  It reminded me of walking around many of them at ground level.- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The London Underground - Piccadilly Piccadilly Circus is one of the most popular places in London for tourists.  I don't like to always hit all the obvious places, but, then again, I kind of have to hit the obvious places, yes?  So, when I went to this famous spot, I tried my best to find some interesting angles and compositions.This was a standard HDR shot - five exposures from -2 to +2.  To fix the ghosting problem with the people, I did the same thing I always do!  I think that's on page 2 or 3 of the HDR Tutorial...  (maybe that is the #1 Question about HDR!)- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Rainbow over the London Eye Today's shot is of the newly famous London Eye.  It's more than just a ferris wheel.  I can understand why it was so controversial when it was being built.  What proper city would want a carnival-esque attraction right in the middle of it all?  Well, this is no regular ferris wheel.  It's at least four times bigger than most, and each capsule is like a tiny plane.  Sadly, I didn't have a chance to go inside for a ride...   - Trey Ratcliff Find out why here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Sunday Brunch in London I don't know London very well at all.  I can't ever decide if it's a good thing or a bad thing.   It's just a thing, I suppose.  And it's neither nor.While walking through the streets you come across places that you should probably know what they are.  Or maybe you see a charming old pub and you just assume that it's quite famous.  But I don't know.  I can't tell one thing from the next...But I did see this little restaurant one morning.  The outside was covered in ivy and flowers, and this old couple was sitting outside on the bench.  I don't know why I set up for a picture...  it was both mundane and not.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Art Hangar The Millennium Bridge crosses the Thames and terminates here, at the Tate Museum.  They don't like you to take photos in here.  Heaven forbid someone should make art in a museum.I mean really... isn't it insulting?  Who runs the committee at the Tate that decides, "Oh, we mustn't let people take photos in this part of the museum.  They might be making art!  What possible reason would they have?  Quite nefarious, no doubt!"Anyway, I find it insulting how these museums treat me like a child.  I hope they secretly have somewhat empty lives... and perhaps when they are in some ultra-modern part of the museum and prattling on about the hidden meaning of clump of steel and fluff... that they secretly know they are just spouting a bunch of nonsense in a grandiose effort to placate other fakers around them.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Wicked London So, I just got finished watching Wicked in London.  It was a very cool experience.  I would have enjoyed getting a few more shots of the environs and actors/actresses -- maybe next time!  The stage was wonderfully elaborate and fantasy-steampunk.  I didn't expect so much steampunk stuff in my life lately...  - Trey Ratcliff Read the rest of this entry here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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