Marrakech, Morocco at Sunset

A Limited Opening of The Arcanum!

We are excited to announce this very first public stage of The Arcanum! This is an early beta, but we are rolling with Masters and Apprentices to test out the system. The video below shows what is happening behind the scenes as well as some bonus info. Enjoy, and thanks again for your enthusiasm! :)

Daily Photo – Marrakech, Morocco at Sunset

What a dream come true it was to get to this place! Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to go to Morocco to see what it was like. Actually, I was kind of confused by all the Indiana Jones movies and I thought that all the Africa scenes were here in Morocco, but that wasn't entirely the case! Anyway, I was not disappointed. On this particular night, I found a good high spot over the market area and felt lucky to have an amazing sunset falling over the old city…

Marrakech, Morocco at Sunset

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMarch 13, 2014 at 7:22am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Happy Easter from the Ratcliff Family!

Have a great Easter!

Have a good Easter, or, at least have a lot of chocolate! :) Here’s some super-fresh photos from our Easter egg hunt here today. We go up to The Hills and Sebastian dresses up as this huge bunny. The kids chase him all over the place, over the hills, through the forest, and beyond… he throws out eggs and the kids go crazy for it!

Easter-in-queenstown (37 of 180)

Daily Photo – My Daughters in the Autumn Forest

Here's my two girls, Isabella and Scarlett. They are walking through the forest here looking for any hidden Easter eggs! The colors have just started to change down here in New Zealand, and it looks like it's going to be a beautiful Autumn.

My Daughters in the Autumn Forest

My Daughters in the Autumn Forest

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO1000
  • Focal Length300.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

An Awesome Place in Morocco

Strange cultural treatments?

Below, I describe my first two hamams… Have you ever had some strange cultural experience like this? Let us know! :)

Daily Photo – An awesome place in Morocco

This is a truly beautiful place right in the middle of Chefchaouen, Morocco. I also had a hamam in here, and it was a rough one. Do you know what a hamam is? I didn't! But I had two of them in Morocco. I didn't know beforehand if it was some kind of drug or hallucinogenic thing or whatever, but I decided to go for it! It turned out not to be either of them, unfortunately. Instead, it turned out to be more of an hour-long skin-based torture session.

Have you have been exfoliated by another human for an hour, rubbed with mud, then re-exfoliated when no skin remains? Well, that's a hamam. My first one was in Marrakesh by a small, hairless Moroccan man. He was nice, and I was nude except for a smallish g-string bathing suit that was absolutely shredded by the end of the session. But I was as smooth as him, I'll tell you that for sure. The second one was by a woman in a habib. She was very nice, but she was as rough as a German meat butcher with a nervous tick. I was bleeding like a royal inbred by the end of the session… but a few days later, I was healed and smooth as an android… oh yeah.

An awesome place in Morocco

An awesome place in Morocco

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMarch 5, 2014 at 12:05pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

An Amazing City of Blue

Unique Places around the World

Below, you’ll see a secret place I found… any other places you know of that are amazing for photography but you never see other photographers? Let us all know first! We’ll buy some plane tickets straight away! :)

Daily Photo – An Amazing City of Blue

What an amazing place this is. Chefchaouen. It's a secret place. But I don't think it will be so secret after this post.

Now, naturally, there are other photographers that have been there, but it is pretty niche. Very niche. The whole time I was there, I didn't see another photographer, which makes it almost wholly unique in the world.

The entire place is painted blue. The walls, the roads, the… everything! I'll have make more photos of this place in the near future… hang on and you will see more!

An Amazing City of Blue

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMarch 6, 2014 at 12:26am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture11
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length12.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Arriving at the Louvre in the Late Evening

Updated the Sony A7r Review

I’ve just added more photos and info to the Sony A7r Review here on the site – check it out! :)

Does anyone know the history here?

So, I do like the photo I posted today, but there is ONE thing that REALLY bothers me. When you see it, you can’t unsee it. Go ahead… take a moment to look.

Did you see it? You see how there is not real symmetry here? The triangle is right in the middle, but if you follow that hallway straight, then it is way off to the side. It’s not even close, really, even though everything else around the Louvre is symmetrical and perfectly placed. I can’t figure out why this one particular (and major north/south corridor) is so off-center, and I was wondering if there is a reason for it. It must have been some major problem in the construction that no one realized until later. And I’m sure it bothered everyone that was involved with the process… anyway, probably going down a rat hole here…

Daily Photo – Arriving at the Louvre in the Late Evening

No matter how you approach the Louvre it is impressive. The entire building is the Louvre — that pyramid bit is just the entrance. I remember when I was a kid and they built that pyramid bit and how controversial it was. Now I can't imagine this place without it! It would be even better if there was total symmetry with all the interdependent hallways (*ahem*!)

Arriving at the Louvre in the Late Evening

Photo Information

  • Date TakenNovember 7, 2012 at 8:30pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Pacific Sea Mist

My ever-changing bags, a new problem!

My camera bags keep getting smaller thanks to my smaller mirrorless cameras, but I have a new problem! I guess it’s a good problem to have because it is my quadcopter! I want to take it with me all the time when I travel now, and even though they are compact, they still require a lot of space. Thank goodness it’s not heavy, but there is still a commitment of another bag! Well… this is how it goes I guess!

Daily Photo – The Pacific Sea Mist

Flying along the PCH south of San Francisco, the road gets extremely curvy. I remember when I was a kid driving along here with my sister. She got really sick and threw up all over my grammie's face, which was super hilarious. I was dying laughing… everyone was except for Bianca. Haha jeez… anyway, now that I drive up and down it, I'm reminded of how curvy it is! On this particular evening, there was one of those super-wet air layers that was sweeping in from the sea… somewhere between cool fog and wet mist.

The Pacific Sea Mist

Photo Information

  • Date TakenApril 22, 2013 at 5:26am
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length210.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Chateau at the End of the Lane

From the Midnight in Paris Tutorial

We did a great event last year in Paris. Most of you may already know about it, but here’s a video about it in case this is new to you! Today’s photo was taken from the event as well…

Daily Photo – The Chateau at the End of the Lane

You'd be amazed how inexpensive it is to rent a whole chateau for the day! There are SO MANY of them all over France, and a ton of them just sit there empty. It's so crazy-expensive to run them and maintain them that they just kind of sit there collecting dust. I was afraid that when we rented this place it would be like $10,000 for a few days or something, but it was all less than $1,000 I believe. What a deal! And, when we were inside on the first day, it was so strange… it was kind of like we had the whole place to ourselves and we didn't know what to do with all the space and all the power! It was kind of dizzying — but at least it was dizzying in a beautiful place.

The Chateau at the End of the Lane

Photo Information

  • Date TakenNovember 8, 2012 at 3:39pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length160.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Exploring a strange land with curious shadows in the night

More experiments with the NEX 10-18mm lens on the Sony A7r

Today’s photo is another shot taken with this setup above. I used it all over Morocco and it worked out great! If you end up trying this combo, be sure to take off the lens hood as well (otherwise you’ll still see that black around the outside at all zoom levels). This is something I forgot to mention in the video below, which you may have already seen. Don’t forget to subscribe to my YouTube channel and you can see these kind of videos immediately as soon as they are released.

Daily Photo – Exploring a strange land with curious shadows in the night

This is a wonderful place. It's one of the first and most mysterious places I went in Morocco.

You'll see more about this amazing place in upcoming days, particularly in the “City of Blue” post that is upcoming. There are so many things to say about it, but I'll start with this one. When night falls, the shadows get particularly intense and full of wonder. Almost everyone in the town wears fabulous costumes like this, and they float around the streets like characters from a fantasy novel. I would walk around these streets at night and be continually amazed at the figures and shapes that would drift around through tiny corridors.

Exploring a strange land with curious shadows in the night

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMarch 5, 2014 at 8:41am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture8
  • ISO3200
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2

The Busiest Sheep in Iceland

The Winners of the All-Expenses Trip to New Zealand and the Sony A7!

We recently had a live video hangout to announce the winners! It was part of the release of the new HDR Tutorial on Video. To see the winners, and all the runners-up, check out the video. Enjoy! :)

Daily Photo – The Busiest Sheep in Iceland

See that little sheepy there on the left? I think he must eat the tall parts of all the grass in that entire field to keep it looking perfect.

In fact, I'm often amazed at these huge fields of perfect grass. No one ever mows them, and usually there is almost no sheep. I have no idea how the grass is so perfect all the time. It's really mind-bending and I stop thinking about it too much after a while because it begins to hurt. It's that same kind of brain-hurt that you think about when you wonder what things would be like if there was no universe. I put it up there on that scale.

The Busiest Sheep in Iceland

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture11
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length45.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+3

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