Stuck In Customs

The place your mind can go before you travel there

Read the Blog Photo Tips

Central Park, Made with Aurora HDR 2017


Burning Man Fun!

Today’s the day I arrive at Burning Man! To see pics from the last six years, see my Burning Man Portfolio here.

What’s in Trey’s bag – Burning Man Edition

Which bags do I use in which situation? Here’s a quick video I made! Thanks again to the amazing team at Peak Design for making me so extra-bag-happy! πŸ™‚ More on the Kickstarter over here

Daily Photo – Central Park, Made with Aurora HDR 2017

I've been making HUNDREDS of photos, testing out the new software and getting everything ready for the new release. This looks pretty good, eh? I went back and got some of my still unprocessed frames from over 5 years ago when I was in Central Park. It's great fun to “drudge” up these old memories and re-process them with new software!

Central Park, Made with Aurora HDR 2017

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2009-11-22 22:50:00
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length48.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Bel doing yoga in Venice

Aerial Highlights from USA Tour

Here’s a really cool video! These are all the aerial highlights from our Tour Across the USA last year, set to the music of Shpongle (a head-trippy band I discovered at Burning Man one year!). Enjoy! πŸ™‚

Daily Photo – Bel doing yoga in Venice

There's one big difference between Bel and me, even though we both like yoga. One of us will do it nearly nude out in the cold rain and one of us won't.

Bel doing yoga in Venice

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-08-15 02:11:07
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/25
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO6400
  • Focal Length90.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Soft Sands of Namibia

Close Up Sand Crystals

Here’re some really beautiful photos of what sand looks like when you get really really close! Follow this link!

Daily Photo – The Soft Sands of Namibia

It's hard to believe that the myriad of colors above, en masse, results in this. I wonder why the resulting color is often light yellow/tan. I suppose, putting on my color-mixing hat, that when you mix together a lot of red/green/blue and clear/shiny/white that you end up with this color. When you mix all those paints together you get black, and when you mix all that light together you get white.

But sand has properties of both paint and light because it both absorbs, reflects, and refracts light. So, then, my color-mixing-hat says sand should be somewhere between black and white, so a gray. But sand isn't gray… then, peering deep into the hat, it makes sense that there are not many Blue crystals, since that's the least common rock color, giving the Red and Green a higher relative count, whose reflective light mixes into a Yellow color. And then mixing a Yellow with Grey results in the typical “sand” color.

The Soft Sands of Namibia

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-09-24 23:03:32
  • CameraILCE-6000
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length84.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Burning Heads

New Plotagraph Portfolio

Pop over and check out the newly updated Plotagraph Portfolio. Remember it takes a while to load each “Plotagraph,” but I think it will be worth it once they do! πŸ™‚

Daily Photo – Burning Heads

It’s that time of the season! Remember, this was made out of a single photo! πŸ™‚

Purple Feathers

The New Hasselblad Mirrorless System

The new X1D looks ridiculously awesome! The only trouble is I can’t get my hands on one as they are in very short supply. The other bad thing is that there are only two lenses… both prime. The 45mm and the 90mm. I really need something a bit wider, so I hope they announce something cool at PhotoKina!

Daily Photo – Purple Feathers

This one was taken with the Hasselblad 100mm prime lens. It's the perfect lens for this kind of photo. That bokeh is so smooth, eh? Yeah, I had a great time with this lens, out there, hunting subject after subject. When you have a dedicated lens like that on there, it really limits your shooting options, which, counterintuitively, is a freeing! I was able to lurk around and find the most interesting subjects for a fun few hours of portrait work.

Purple Feathers

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-02-01 15:19:29
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture2.2
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length100.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Night Bridge in Venice

Fitbit Fun

This is the only city where I got in my 10,000 steps for three weeks in a row. It also helped me to walk off all that Italian food! πŸ™‚

Daily Photo – Night Bridge in Venice

This is the underside of the controversial Calatrava bridge in Venice. It's beautiful to photograph even though it's perilous to walk on it! The locals say that people are always slipping and falling over the railing. I don't really see how you could fall over the railing, as it seemed pretty high to me. I certainly see how you can slip in the rain on the glass… but you'd have to “leap” a bit upwards to get over the rail, which seems unlikely in a slipping situation! Well, what do I know?

Night Bridge in Venice

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-02-10 18:43:44
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time40
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

A Curtis for Scale and the Sling Bag!

The New Sling Bag Deep Dive!

Here’s the other bag that we launched alongside the geniuses at Peak Design. It’s the most inexpensive bag, and maybe the handiest if you’re not carrying a lot of stuff! I use this bag when I’m going out on minor photo missions… love it! See more on the Kickstarter page!

Where’s Waldo?

10 points to the first person to find Curtis in this photo! πŸ™‚

Daily Photo – A Curtis for Scale

Here's an amazing new area up in Earnslaw Burn where I had never been before. The only way to get up here is via helicopter. It looked strange from the air and even stranger after we landed. That's a glacier up there on the left. Want to know how big this is? See if you can find Curtis standing in the photo.

A Curtis for Scale

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-05-05 00:31:32
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/25
  • Aperture32
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Night Shooting in Oman

New Tote Bag Deep Dive!

I’m glad everyone is still excited about our new bags on Kickstarter! Here’s a new video – the deep dive on the Tote bag.

Daily Photo – Night Shooting in Oman

Two days in a row, two mosques in a row! This is in Muscat. I spent the day here with my family, but at night I went back alone with my driver to really explore this place. What I found most interesting, other than how beautiful it was, was how there was no security at all. Or, there was none as far as I could see. Maybe there were infrared cameras or something and a huge underground bunker of guys ready to jump out if I did something strange… But luckily that never happened! I was on my best mosquey behavior! πŸ™‚

Night Shooting in Oman

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-01-02 03:29:19
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time6
  • Aperture10
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Sunset at the Mosque

Plotagraph Tips

Over on my Plotagraph Portfolio I’ve added some more tips. Here they are in Q&A form:

Q: How do you get the GIF on Facebook?

A: First, I export the GIF at about 750 pixels across. That seems to be just about right for Facebook. Then, go to Giphy.com and upload it there. Then go to the Advanced tab and get the URL for the GIF. Paste that into Facebook.

Q: How do you get the Plotagraph on Instagram?

You have to take the video and get it on your mobile device where you have Instagram. Inside Plotagraph Pro, I currently export an MP4 with a loop of 20. This results in a video file that is 40-70 seconds long and loops the ~3 second animation multiple times. Make sense? Then, I download that then use Airplay to get the video to my iPad and then upload that with Instagram.

Q: How do you get the GIF on Twitter?

Oh that’s an easy one. You can upload the GIF right to Twitter like a JPG… no issues!

Q: How do you say “GIF” out loud when talking to other humans?

Hard G. The G in GIF is short for Graphics, which is a hard G, unlike, say, Giraffe or Gacking off to webcam jirls.

Q: Any other Social Media sharing tips?

Yes! Funny you should ask!

1) I’ve learned that Plotagraphs look “different” when smallish on Facebook/Insta/Twitter versus full-screen on your computer. Because they are smaller, the more subtle animations you create may not even be noticeable. So, to combat that, I go to the animation settings and speed up the animation (by dropping the default “3” to “2” or lower) so that it looks silly-fast full screen. But, when seen smaller, it looks good.

2) Export the social media GIF at 25 FPS. It looks the same and makes the file size smaller.

3) Hashtag #Plotagraph to help other plotagraphers discover you!

4) When I post on my WordPress blog at StuckInCustoms.com (example page), I upload a GIF that us under 15MB right into WP. I’ve found that hosting the GIF other places doesn’t really work.

Daily Photo – Sunset at the Mosque

I rarely stay in one location for so long, but I might not ever get back to Abu Dhabi and I knew the mosque there was the big hit. I must have stayed here for well over six hours. I certainly wasn't going to leave before sunset! πŸ™‚

Sunset at the Mosque

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-02-12 14:56:31
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/10
  • Aperture16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

New Plotagraph

TV ONE News Segment

Thanks to the team at TV ONE and Mark Hathaway for converting this from a hit-piece to a puff-piece! πŸ™‚

DAILY PHOTO – New Plotagraph

Here’s a Plotagraph I took from the quadcopter during the live filming of the show. It was nerve-wracking to be interviewed while trying to take photos and do so many things at once! πŸ™‚

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