Stuck In Customs

My daily travel blog to inspire and get you motivated!

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Getting Lost in Iceland

Walter Mitty

Speaking of Iceland, there were lots of dumb scenes from Walter Mitty on these roads. I meet a lot of non-photographers, and, god love em, they often bring up Walter Mitty. They say, oh you’re like Walter Mitty, yes? Ummm no! And that movie DRIVES ME CRAZY. There are so many things that are just completely silly. But people love it, and that drives me even more crazy. You mean, he’s NOT gonna take that photo of that snow leopard or whatever? Comon… yeah he’s so awesome he doesn’t even have to take the photo… and that really important secret thing he hides in the worst spot ever. It’s a terrible idea! And he’s like up in the alps talking on his mobile phone to a dating website and then the dating website customer service guy comes to see him in the airport? I mean that is like 1% of the problems with that movie. Having said that, I did hang out a bit with Sean Penn at a google event and he and my wife had a funny moment where they were sharing a chair. Anyway, random.

Daily Photo – Getting Lost in Iceland

Roads and sunsets! Sometimes I feel like I would be content JUST shooting roads and sunsets for the rest of my life. I mean, it’s such a layup, right? I go through SUCH trouble to get all kinds of cooky shots that are cool. But these shots are just so easy! I mean, you just get out of the car and set up the tripod for a photo. It’s like cheating… then I think about all the hiking I do and all the work to get other shots that are sometimes not as interesting. The Effort-to-Result ratio is way off! But then I forgive myself and stop trying to be so analytical and “efficient” while making art. It’s more than okay to be inefficient!

Getting Lost in Iceland

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-08-29 22:37:07
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.3
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Child in Goroka

Europe Photo Walks!

We’re soon to announce 10 Photo Walks across Europe! Note these are all free events with great prizes… very family friendly and all cameras are welcome, from mobile phones to DSLRs. We have great prizes, all kinds of tips and tricks, and more! Want to find out first where we are going? Sign up for our Newsletter at www.StuckInCustoms.com/news

The only 1 of 10 cities we have announced is Lisbon, Portugal. That’s where we’re getting started with our tour bus for our trek across Europe! I’ll be there with the whole crew and it’s gonna be amazing. We’re actually doing that Lisbon photo walk right after our workshop there in Portugal at the Portugal Photo Adventure Page.

Anyhoo, here is the highlight video for our photo walks across the USA. Thanks again to everyone that came out for that one. This time, we’ll be doing even more Facebook Live and other online events so people can join us from all around the world even if you can’t join us in Europe.

Advice in Goroka

If you head to Papua New Guinea, you should REALLY go with a tour group or professional tour operator. I don’t usually like doing official “tours,” but it’s such a wild place that you really need some local expertise.

Daily Photo – Child in Goroka

It’s great shooting all the grownups, but the kids are even more awesome! After seeing this, it made me think I really should have done more of this.

I’ll tell you a quick story about Goroka. This is a ROUGH place… no hotels… I ended up staying in a pseudo-military compound with a bunch of rough old diamond miners. There was this one guy that ran the biggest coal mine – he was from South Africa – we would drink every night at the bar together. He had this GIANT brass pipe he would carry around. I finally asked him what is the purpose of the pipe, and he said it was so that he could hit natives in the chest if they didn’t do what he said. I was like HOLY SHIT DUDE.

Child in Goroka

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-10-13 13:16:50
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/5000
  • Aperture
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-1

Bali Rice Fields

More angles on Rice Fields

Oh, trivia first! Do you know why there’s all that water in rice fields? I only just found this out! I thought, before, it was obviously because the rice needs lots of water! But then, when you think about it, the rice grains are actually pretty small, and there’s really no need for THAT much water. Well, here comes the reason: the water keeps the weeds from growing! Mind-blowing, eh?

If you click on the “Bali” category, you’ll see I have a few different rice field shots – I think some of the from the drone are my favorite.

Daily Photo – Bali Rice Fields

This was my first time ever to shoot these terraced rice fields. I saw a few in China, I guess, but they weren’t nearly this pretty. I thought shooting these would be easier than it was… I found a bit of difficulty in finding the best angles and compositions! I’ve heard some of the best rice fields and in the Philippines, so that’s definitely on my list!

Bali Rice Fields

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-11-14 07:44:52
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Bali at Sunset

A Yoga Idea

I’ve got this crazy idea where I’m gonna go to Bali and learn how to become a yoga teacher. I don’t actually plan on teaching yoga, but I want to go through the multiple-week training. It sounds quite fun, actually. Plus, it’d be a great reason to get in shape… Anyway, I don’t know if I’ll actually do it, but I do fantasize about it a lot… seems awfully self-indulgent, but I’m not beyond that.

Daily Photo – Bali at Sunset

This photo still causes me a lot of heartache! It’s a “good” problem, technically, I suppose. The sunset was killer, as you can tell. I ended up taking about 200 photos. They were all just SLIGHTLY different from one another. Then when it came time to start processing them, I just couldn’t pick one. They all were really decent, and I was quite paralyzed. So then, I decided to edit like 10 of them. And they all came out a little different, but none stood out. I don’t know why this caused me so much angst, but I’m still feeling it now writing about it!

Bali at Sunset

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-11-15 18:02:45
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture16
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length38.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

The Lamp Market in Cairo

Photo Tip – Vertirama

When I tell you today’s photo is a vertirama made by stacking three vertical shots, you may see it! The bottom lamps are a little warped, but I quite like the effect. I had to do it because I had a 28mm lens and could not fit in the whole thing. I really wanted to get the top of the structure that I think is so beautiful. Even though a vertirama takes more time, you are rewarded with a much higher-rez photo than usual.

Hot Passport Tip! Often in the new HDR Tutorial (which you get with Passport) I process different images when you compare the Mac/Windows videos. So even if you’ve seen one version, skip the live action from the other OS and you never know what you might find!

Daily Photo – The Lamp Market in Cairo

When I was walking through the Bazaar with my family, we saw all sorts, shapes, and colors of lamps. Regular readers know that I love these things and I want all of them. Of all the places we visited, this was my favorite display… sort of dueling merchants on either side of the walkway. The placement is interesting too, inside an old ruined vestibule.

The Lamp Market in Cairo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-02-03 21:58:29
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO500
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Apple may be dead to me but Aurora still has my heart!

OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM THE OFFICIAL JURISDICTION OF TREY RATCLIFF IN REGARDS TO THE SEEMINGLY UNRESOLVED MATTER OF AURORA HDR, SUCH OFFICIAL JURISDICTION NEITHER BEING OFFICIAL NOR A JURISDICTION.

IN REGARDS to ARTICLE (also known in common world wide web language as a BLOG POST) that MAY contain the words: “Apple is Dead To Me”

DATELINE: SAN FRANCISCO. I, Trey Ratcliff, hereby being of sound mind and body, understanding that these two aspects of the aforementioned are held in dispute by many authorities and experts, he, himself, speaking in the third person, furthermore hereby declares his unfettered support of Aurora HDR for the Computer In Question (Hereby toafter referred to APPLE MACINTOSH or derivatives thereof, including the latest manifestation of the APPLE MACINTOSH line of computers, albeit slower and sillier and donglier) and forthrightly denies moving back to Previous HDR Program in Question (hereforafterknown as PHOTOMATIX, which is a program that Windows users must tirelessly suffer, until said AURORA HDR is completed for MICROSOFT WINDOWS PROGRAM).

Furthermore, Trey Ratcliff (TR) does not claim any knowledge of an exact date for which AURORA HDR will be made for MICROSOFT WINDOWS computers. But he welcomes that day. TR has weekly conference calls with MACPHUN SOFTWARE (MS, not to be confused with MICROSOFT which often uses the acronym MS, but that is not recognized by this textual body), with which he partners on AURORA HDR. Even though the aforementioned may have written an article-post (Known in AOL Browser-device as a BLOG POST) entitled “Apple is Dead To Me,” it does not indicate that TR does not use MS for HDR on APPLE MACINTOSH or its various un-MAGsafed derivatives. The following paragraph will no doubt clarify.

Many INTERNET denizens, including such entities as 4CHAN and REDDIT and COMPUSERVE ALT-DATING GROUPS have made reference to the controversial BLOG-article entitled “Apple is Dead to Me.” The “Me” in this case is indeed TR (In the future to be referred to a “Trey Ratcliff”). Many Denizens may have indeed read the headline, but failed to read the actual article written by “Trey Ratcliff”, in which he details a rather convoluted DROPBOX (like “Microsoft Briefcase” that actually works for those familiar with PRODIGY) system that includes using MICROSOFT WINDOWS MS OS to do all of his photography work, however carving out DROPBOX (“MSDOS Briefcase”) as a means for transporting (over world-wide-web) certain files to his MACINTOSH system, upon delivery when he utilized AURORA HDR to process said photos, and then putting them back in the MS Briefcase (DROPBOX) to be transported across the internet (INTERNET) back to his MSDOS Windows COMPUTER, where he may or may not put them into ADOBE LIGHTROOM (to be known SLOW ADOBE PROGRAM or SAP). He then uses this SAP to receive into its digital innards the final photo which was beautifully adorned using AURORA HDR (High Dynamic Range), a program that was created by MACPHUN MS in partnership with “TR”.

Let it also be known that there are absolutely no discussions to port AURORA HDR to LINUX (LX), which has caused a great tumult amongst 0.1% of the INTERNET, which causes TR and MS and MSDOS no short amount of Linux-bitterness. TR apologizes for any inconvenience caused by operating systems he doesn’t understand.

Let it be known that TR recently visited the HQ of Apple in Cupertino. Upon entry, he had a sudden thought that he should have published the internet-log-article entitled “Apple is Dead to Me” after his visit to said Apple HQ. Many executives withheld a quiet rage and asked TR if he would consider waiting for WWDC (What Would Diablo Create) to see if perhaps something might change his mind. TR contended he maintained a small flicker of hope, as it is the only thing that springs eternal. “Trey Ratcliff” has not completely given up this hope that perhaps Apple will come back. After all, Microsoft did. He also gave an executive of APPLE (A) a Jar of Honey from his bee hives in New Zealand (NZ), where he farms as an amateur beekeeper, as a peace offering. TR harvested it by hand a week prior after a rigorous AURORA HDR session on his A Computer. In return TR received a VISITOR’S STICKER upon his hoodie. A facsimile (FAX) of said sticker is attached in ADDENDUM Q (Addendums A-P hereby being occupied by all the places TR has misplaced his DONGLES).

In case any of the above is unclear, let it forhitherwither be known that “TR” (TR) uses Aurora HDR on MAC (intosh) computers via a modern-day MICROSOFT BRIEFCASE also known to Internet Citizens as DropBox. For Further Explanation, please see magazine-online-article known in TCP (IP) language at http://www.stuckincustoms.com/2017/02/10/switching-from-mac-to-windows/

/EOL


As a gesture of goodwill to Apple users worldwide… for a limited time you can save $30 off the Aurora HDR (for Macs) Bundle. It contains Aurora HDR 2017 and my newest (and arguably best) HDR tutorial. Grab it now!

Sunrise in Fort Lauderdale

EXIF Info

Don’t forget you can see the EXIF info by 1) on the web, mouse over the photo or 2) on mobile, you can click through to the Smugmug version and click the “i” to get all the camera/exposure info! 🙂

Daily Photo – Sunrise in Fort Lauderdale

Two Ft. Lauderdale shots in a row! This is one of the amazing sunrises there. I don't like setting alarms (the only time I do is when I plan a wake-up call to catch a flight), so I would sleep with the curtains open so the morning light would wake me up. It works 80% of the time. Anyway, it worked this day, and I was able to zoom in tight and get the sun rising up through stormy clouds.

Sunrise in Fort Lauderdale

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-09 20:26:32
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length115.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1.3

Katie Ann headed to the hot tub

Funny Story

Look, I’m really not the kind of guy that says bad things about other people or teases them, so this is not really a story about that, just noting a WEIRD situation. It’s related to today’s photo. So, across the hall from me was these newlyweds. They saw I had a camera, and they asked if I would take a picture of their beautiful baby. I was like, well, I don’t really do that sort of thing. And then he said, well let me get your email and I’ll keep asking. Every few hours, I got another email, offering me money and everything, telling me how amazing his baby is and how I simply must take pictures of the baby. They would find me in the lobby, restaurant, everywhere, asking me to take photos of their baby and showing me other photos of how amazing this baby was. It looked like a regular wrinkled up baby to me. Anyway, I kept saying no, I don’t really take portraits of people or anything. WELL, fast forward a few days later, and I’m taking photos of my friend Katie Ann at the pool below. Well, wouldn’t you know it, the newlyweds were at the pool. The wife came over to me and said, “I thought you didn’t take photos of people!” I was like….uhhhhhhh….

Daily Photo – Katie Ann headed to the hot tub

When I was in Ft. Lauderdale, I called my friend Pascha (who helped me with the cancer charity event) and his model girlfriend Katie Ann. They came over for a few hours for a fun photo shoot. I wanted to get a little “gal in Ft. Lauderdale” feel for my shots. I don't do a lot of this sort of thing, but it's fun to experiment and try other things. We were shooting this at the Ritz-Carlton pool and everyone was watching us like it was some kind of an official shoot or something… If I explained how casual and organic the shoot was, they probably would have been disappointed.

Katie Ann headed to the hot tub

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-11 02:47:44
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8000
  • Aperture
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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