Stuck In Customs

The place your mind can go before you travel there

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Hoping I Don’t Fall Through the Melt Pool

Life Threatening Situations

I don’t get involved with many of these, but I had more than my fair share down in Antarctica. When I would go out alone, they would give me a radio so I could call in if there was trouble. I don’t know what would happen if I fell through the sea ice though… I’m not sure my final radio message would get through!

Daily Photo – Hoping I Don’t Fall Through the Melt Pool

Every night I would go out on a little photowalk around Antarctica. It was just a few miles but it felt like ten with all my gear on. This photo was taken around 3 AM… since it never gets dark there in the summer, things get a little wacky. The sea ice here is melting and you can always hear it cracking under foot. I’m not gonna lie… it’s pretty scary!

Hoping I Don’t Fall Through the Melt Pool

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture8
  • ISO80
  • Focal Length19.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Vertical Venice

June’s Lightroom Presets are Live!

Jump over to the Trey’s Lightroom Presets Page to see what’s happening this month! Remember, they are half price for you on day one of each new month!

Staying up Late

I’m considering staying up all night during our upcoming Venice Photography Adventure on the final night. I absolutely love staying out late and taking photos. It could be an absolute blast… we’ll see if we have the energy at that stage in the adventure, but I like the idea of it.

Night is often a great time to shoot there because all the streets clear out and it’s very dark and romantic… just don’t fall into any canals!

Daily Photo – Vertical Venice

One of the best times to take photos in Venice is in the early morning. The light plays with the buildings in surprising ways. Also, since most of the city is not a grid-pattern, you never know what you’ll see as you look down one canal or cross the next bridge. It’s like a fabulous Venice-randomizer! Here's one of my favorite angles from one of the morning walks…

Vertical Venice

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length85.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

My Favorite Part of TEDx Queenstown

Recap: SPEAKING AT TEDX

There’s a grouping of questions about me that come up pretty often. How did I become a photographer? What’s the backstory? What are some of the counter-intuitive things that I figured out along the way via series of embarrassing stories? Well, here’s all that and more!

Daily Photo – My Favorite Part of TEDx Queenstown

I loved this bit at the end when my son Ethan came up on stage with me. He’s getting big, eh? I’m very proud of him… made me cry more than just a little up there!

Thank you Dan Childs for taking this photo!

My Favorite Part of TEDx Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraEOS 5D Mark II
  • Camera MakeCanon
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length115.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Leaving Saint Mark’s Square in Venice

Venice Carnival Photo Adventure February 4-10, 2016 – €15,000 Euros – Sold Out

See the Venice Carnival Photo Adventure page! This is a very special trip to perhaps the most romantic and beautiful cities in all the world, Venice. This sold out in 48 hours after we first announced it in our Newsletter, so be sure to sign up for that to hear about this stuff first!

Even though we’re sold out, you can Contact Curtis to jump on Standby List in case of cancellation.

A Secret Entrance in Venice

Not far from this exit I found a really cool old bookstore that reminded me of something from Diagon Alley in Harry Potter. It’s full of all sorts of crazy old books, some in fabulous shapes. There is a sign that is chained across the door that says, “Please Wait for Attendance,” but no one ever comes. There’s a secret button you can push in the upper left just outside that will grant you entrance. So cool! I went in there and got a few gifts to bring home.

A few recent photos from Venice to get you excited…

Daily Photo – Leaving Saint Mark’s Square in Venice

Venice has thousands of tiny alleys that twist this way and that, and before you know it, you end up in another square. This is the biggest square, Ca San Marco, and there are about 7 exits to this square (as with most). Here’s my favorite of them all… as evening falls, this way is the most beautifully lit for another adventure in getting lost on purpose!

Leaving Saint Mark’s Square in Venice

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time30
  • Aperture20
  • ISO64
  • Focal Length240.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach

Best Rooftop Bars in the World?

I was wondering if there was a good list somewhere. These typically tend to be the best places to take photos because most are open-air, which means you don’t have to shoot through a window. When I visit new cities, I’ve started looking these up more and more, rather than observation decks. Those are often too full of people and too brightly lit, which can cause very annoying reflections!

Daily Photo – Atop the Bar at the Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach

What an amazing place this is! Dubai can be unbearably hot for several months out of the year, so there are many rooftop bars where you can go cool off at night. I reckon this one atop the Four Seasons there is one of the best. On one side is a view of the sea and on the other is a view of downtown Dubai. I brought my laptop up here almost every night to work on photos while having drinks… so fun!

Atop the Bar at the Four Seasons Resort Dubai at Jumeirah Beach

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture10
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length11.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Visiting the Japanese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale

Snapchat Article

Here’s a new article entitled 8 Travel Bloggers You Should be Following on Snapchat.

The Venice Biennale

This was my first time to visit and it was not at all what I expected. Honestly, I had no expectations at all, but I knew a bit about it. For those that don’t know, this is like the Olympics of the art world, or like the Grammys, Tonys, or Academy Awards. It happens every two years in Venice. Many countries have their own permanent buildings that sit dormant for most of the time except for these occasional grand exhibitions.

Daily Photo – Japanese Pavilion 2015 – Key in Hand

This was one of my favorite exhibitions at the Biennale this year. I’m into visually striking things that slightly confuse and massively inspire you.

This is the Japanese Pavilion at the Giardini and it was made by artist Chiharu Shiota. It features thousands of keys, all individually hung by red yarn, connecting boats across the room. Here’s more about the exhibition from the Curator, Hitoshi Nakano:

Chiharu Shiota: “The Key in the Hand”

Hitoshi Nakano Curator, Kanagawa Arts Foundation

Berlin-resident artist Chiharu Shiota creates large-scale installations by stretching yarn across the exhibition space, and produces works out of materials that are filled with memories and traces of everyday life such as dresses, beds, shoes, and suitcases. She is notable for her skilled approach to the large installation format, which has become a special feature of the biennale in recent years. But Shiota’s choice of materials and the spatial structure of her installations maintains a sense of preeminent beauty without losing any freshness or power, quietly permeating our minds and bodies. Shiota’s work, which transcends linguistic, cultural, and historical contexts as well as political and social circumstances, and deeply affects viewers from all over the world, has been presented and esteemed in approximately 200 exhibitions in Japan and other countries throughout the West, Middle East, Oceania, and Asia.

After being confronted with the deaths of several intimate friends and family in recent years, Shiota has converted these experiences into the lingua franca of pure and sublime art without averting her eyes from the reality that all human beings must face “life” and “death” but that each of us must do so individually. At times, Shiota’s work conveys a sense of the “darkness” that is inevitably contained in the “unknown world” associated with death and uncertainty. Even today, four years after the Great East Japan Earthquake, it is conceivable that viewers from various countries visiting a large international exhibition like the Venice Biennale will be overwhelmed by the “dark” parts of her work due to its associations with a country that has suffered deep physical and spiritual wounds. In Shiota’s work, however, there is a powerful “light” of hope and spiritual brightness that dwells deep within the darkness. This is a light that is inherent not only in the tremendous anxiety that plagues Japanese people but in the precarious state of things all over the world.

In this exhibition, Shiota will integrate the gallery, located on what is essentially the second floor, and the outdoor pilotis on the first floor of the Japanese Pavilion. Upon entering the gallery, viewers will find a space filled with red yarn. Attached to the end of each piece of yarn, suspended from the ceiling, will be a key. In our daily lives, keys protect valuable things like our houses, assets, and personal safety, and we use them while embracing them in the warmth of our hands. By coming into contact with people’s warmth on a daily basis, the keys accumulate countless, multilayered memories that dwell within us. Then at a certain point we entrust the keys, packed with memories, to others who we trust to look after the things that are important to us. In this work, Shiota will incorporate keys as a medium that conveys our true feelings. Moreover, she will place two boats on the floor beneath the yarn and the hanging keys. The boats symbolize two hands catching a rain of memories (i.e., countless keys) pouring down from the ceiling. While struggling and working with the hands, the two boats will move forward through a huge sea of memory as they collect individual memories. Along with a large box located outside among the pilotis that will be used to display a photograph of a child holding a key in the palms of her hands, four monitors will show videos of small children talking about memories from before and immediately after they were born. By listening to them recounting memories from the time of their birth and looking at keys containing an accumulation of memories, we will experience two different phases of memory in the spaces. Prompted by the exhibition, we will discover memories contained within us, some of which will unfold and stay with us, and help us to form links with other people.

I look forward to watching as The Key in the Hand, an installation that forges a link between a space made up of keys, yarn, and two boats, and photographs and videos of children, transcends national, cultural, linguistic, and political contexts, and emotionally arouses countless visitors from all over the world.

Japanese Pavilion 2015 – Key in Hand

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraDSC-RX100M3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture1.8
  • ISO500
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-1

Robot Trey in Vietnam and Critiquepocalypse!

Follow Robot Trey on Snapchat: “TreyRatcliff”

Okay, this is probably one of the dumbest things I’ve ever done. But I keep doing it, so that probably says something about me. I’ve recently been cracking myself up by using Robot Voice to analyze the world around me. It’s kind of addictive and I have several of my friends doing it now too! Haha… Anyway, I’m just now leaving Vietnam, and here are a few 24-hour highlights that I uploaded to YouTube.

The way Snapchat works is that I think it stores the latest stuff for 24 hours and then it goes away. You have to hold down your finger to watch it, and then it goes away forever! I won’t always upload to YouTube, in fact, I rarely will… just thought you might want a sneak peek.

Critiquepocalypse! 24 hours of Critiques from Masters of The Arcanum

For www.TheArcanum.com — on Friday, May 29th we’ll be doing 24 hours of critiques for anyone for photos of any type: Landscape, Portrait/Model, Street, Aerial, Wedding, Macro, whateva!
We’ll be live on video critiquing photos all day long, starting with me and several other Masters at midnight, New York time. The Schedule of critiques is at the bottom!
So….
1) You can post your images to be critiqued over in THIS thread at: https://goo.gl/l9RvFZ
2) Join the Thunderclap for this event at: https://goo.gl/4DYd9U (This is a new social thing)
3) See the Event at https://goo.gl/X5rGQK
We are currently at over 800 Apprentices and we’ve had applications from over 100 countries! Be sure to pop over and enter your own application at www.TheArcanum.com – join this amazing new movement and new style of learning!

Here’s the Schedule (we’ll be critiquing photos on video, live, and these will be uploaded to YouTube afterwards):
All times EST (New York Time) on Friday, May 29:
Midnight: Landscape, Travel, Aerial Critiques
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/c6segfse7mqbkeng8g79fa23tb8
Masters so far to critique: Trey Ratcliff, Ollie Dale, Glenn Guy, Wes Hardaker, George Krieger, Angela B. Pan, Special Guests
9 AM: Portrait, Wedding, Model Critiques
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/cuhgpcj34h87gdtvvsnuoaeutfg
Masters so far to critique: Trey Ratcliff, Stephan Bollinger, Ron Clifford, Jessica Lark, Alastair Arthur, Special Guests
1 PM: Street, Urbex Critiques
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/c4h88u6rikm4aucp5m7dllgpkng
Masters so far to critique: Trey Ratcliff, Mason Marsh, Special Guests
3 PM: Nature, Macro Critiques
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/cp4mo24kqhdu7gduojdjfealhm0
Masters so far to critique: Trey Ratcliff, Laurie Rubin, Les Imgrund, Ollie Dale, Angela B. Pan, Mason Marsh, Special Guests
7 PM: General, Fine Art Critiques
Watch Live: https://plus.google.com/events/c8tuaorhiuc68dg9bdj6cn4cico
Masters so far to critique: Trey Ratcliff, Ellen Anon, Ron Clifford, Ibarionex Perello, Bob Coates, Trace Aiken, Special Guests

Daily Photo – Walking Along the Beaches of Phu Quoc

Honestly, I had never heard of the little island of Pho Quoc in Vietnam before we decided to go there on a lark. It’s a small island, about the size of Singapore, that is just below Cambodia but still owned by Vietnam. It’s very nice, not too crowded, and the beaches are among the best in Vietnam. This is way down south on the island where things are even more peaceful!

Walking Along the Beaches of Phu Quoc

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Hendricks in the Four Seasons Dubai

Interview on Epic Mirrorless

I recently did an interview over at Epic Mirrorless all about my switch to mirrorless. Enjoy!

Daily Photo – Hendricks in the Four Seasons Dubai

This place made me the most epic gin & tonic ever! First, they only use Hendricks, and second, they infuse it with all sorts of things… they have all kinds of condensers, flames, tubes, hoses, and, well, it all looks like a huge chemistry experiment. It was quite an enjoyable night of taking photos, editing photos, and exploring G&Ts!

Hendricks in the Four Seasons Dubai

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time2
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Bee Harvest Family Time!

Thanks again Jim Pollard!

Thank you, my friend Jim, for taking these photos. Everyone be sure to go out and check JimPollardGoesClick.com to see more of what he does! He says he never really takes family photos like he did with us for the day (his wife Vicky does though). He does weddings, and he’s amazing at them!

Bee Harvest Day with the Ratcliffs

Here we are on one of the harvest days… I don’t share a lot of family photos, but thought you might like to see! 🙂

All in all, I think we got about 100 jars of honey! Thanks little bee friends! 🙂

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Approaching the Burj Al Arab on the Beach

The Four Seasons in Dubai

I’m VERY excited to stay at the Four Seasons in Dubai. I’m not sure when I’m gonna have time to work on any photos, but I’ll do it as soon as I can… I’ve seen some amazing photos, but I hope I can make a few unique ones of my own!

Daily Photo – Approaching the Burj Al Arab on the Beach

This hotel is so massive that it’s hard to describe. Do you know it’s actually the third tallest hotel in the world? I know, hard to believe! And the top 5 are all in Dubai. Here’s a list of the tallest hotels in the world.

Approaching the Burj Al Arab on the Beach

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.3
  • Aperture4
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Fishing with Cormorant Birds in China

Speaking of Birds

These birds below, the cormorants, are used to fish in an unusual way. They dive into the water to catch a fish, but they have a ring around their neck to prevent them from swallowing the big fish. The fisherman then yanks the fish out of their mouth and throw it into that basket there. Seems kinda cruel but clever, I suppose.

Daily Photo – Fishing with Cormorant Birds in China

Here in the Guilin area of southern China, you can see this sort of fishing activity. It gets a little touristy, because whenever one of these guys is about, there can be many photos taken! But I thought this guy looked like a real badass — like he could fish at the same time he was kicking your ass, which is a super duper combo!

Fishing with Cormorant Birds in China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

A Rainy Photowalk in Yangshuo

Preset Fun

This is one of my favorite presets from Trey’s Lightroom Presets. This one was included with the 2014 pack!

Daily Photo – A Rainy Photowalk in Yangshuo

It’s really fun to walk around in these places that are a bit out of the way and see what everyone is wearing. I find the Chinese seem to be all over the place with fashion. I can’t make heads or tails of it. I’d say that maybe 5% of the people I see have a decent, inborn fashion sense. The others just seem to throw together any sort of mismatched stuff. This is the complete opposite of Japan, where I’d say that 95% of people are always dressed quite sharp. It’s usually easy to identify Japanese travelers overseas too, because they typically are some of the best-dressed!

A Rainy Photowalk in Yangshuo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture
  • ISO5000
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Little Boxes in a temple in Hong Kong

Stay tuned to the PhotoWalks page!

Be sure to watch the PhotoWalks page to keep track of upcoming events or simply see some of the past events!

Daily Photo – Little Boxes in a temple in Hong Kong

Does anyone know the purpose of these boxes? I found them in a little Buddhist temple along a hillside somewhere in the middle of Hong Kong when I was stumbling about. I tried to guess what they meant… but I'd like to hear what you think!

Little Boxes in a temple in Hong Kong

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7M2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture
  • ISO6400
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Getting Ready for Sunset

Floating Over Bora Bora

Here’s a fun video I did while there at the Four Seasons in Bora Bora in case you have not seen it! 🙂

Daily Photo – Getting Ready for Sunset

Now this doesn’t always happen, but it certainly did this time. I was lucky enough to be in Bora Bora for a week straight and got to see a week’s worth of sunsets across this view. Amazing! But usually I am taking photos before the sunset, and when the sunset comes, I immediately “upgrade” all the pre-sunset shots! You know, I thought it was pretty before, but when the sunset actually hits, all bets are off and the photo is actually 10x better. But this one was an exception… the build-up to the sunset was pretty dang awesome too.

Getting Ready for Sunset

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/13
  • Aperture18
  • ISO64
  • Focal Length33.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Most Beautiful Temple in the World?

Sneaking down in the dark

The temple was closed at night, but I snuck down through the jungle anyway to get some photos. It’s pretty much being worked on 24/7, so a lot of the workers did not notice me or pay any bother. I did have to dodge a few security guards, but they were largely very nice!

Daily Photo – The Most Beautiful Temple in the World?

There is a very nearby town of scum and villainy called Pattaya in Thailand, and you’d never expect something so beautiful to be so near! But just a short drive away is this rather amazing temple called “The Sanctuary of Truth.” It’s covered with sculptures with both Buddhist and Hindu motifs. Believe it or not, this was begun in 1981 and is scheduled to be completed in 2050.

According to the website, this temple is (and note the nice use of the word “swaggy”!):

“a reflection of the Ancient Vision of Earth, Ancient Knowledge, and Eastern Philosophy. Within this complex, visitors will understand Ancient Life, Swaggy important Human Responsibility, Basic Thought, Cycle of living, Life Relationship with Universe and Common Goal of Life toward Utopia”

The Most Beautiful Temple in the World?

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time2.5
  • Aperture4
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Trey Ratcliff at TEDx – The Search for What is Out There

The Search for What is Out There

I recently gave a talk in New Zealand about how I got into photography and, well, how everything has come to pass. Some people will have no idea what the heck I am talking about, but it’s my hope that some of the things in here resonate with you.

Exploring the Modern Ruins of Namibia

New Linky Links

Hey guys, now inside some blog posts, I may occasionally mention the name of the place in the photo and link it up to other photos of that place along with stories here on the blog. Before, we’ve just kind of had the headers up there, but I wanted to try something new and have it be easier for you! 🙂

Daily Photo – Exploring the Modern Ruins of Namibia

Whenever I go explore some of these abandoned places, like this one in Kolmanskop, Namibia, I have a strange creepy feeling like I’m not supposed to be there. I don’t know if its because I have a guilty conscience, or if because there’s just sort of a strange vibe about the place. I still spend plenty of time there for sure, but there is always a gentle sort of relief whenever I finally leave.

Exploring the Modern Ruins of Namibia

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/20
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length12.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1.7

Incredible London at Sunset

When I took this photo

Towards the end of this video I’m in the Shard with Stu and you can find out more about when I took this photo.

Daily Photo – Incredible London at Sunset

This particular location in The Shard doesn’t really have a very easy way to take this photo. The direction the sun was facing required some rather difficult window-maneuvering. They don’t really have any windows that face this direction except for one little bit that juts out.

Incredible London at Sunset

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length32.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Mind if I Plug In?

Speaking of plugs and adapters

This is still a constant problem for me when I travel. Carrying around adapters and everything is just a big mess. I’d say that often whenever I get everything hooked up in the hotel room, from battery chargers to laptops to phones, that the outlet looks a bit like today’s photo!

Daily Photo – Mind if I Plug In?

How insane is this wiring job? You see this kind of scene in a lot of Southeast Asian countries. I can’t make heads or tails of it, and it seems incredibly dangerous and confusing! Can you imagine if one of these poles fell over? Not only would it cause a terrible mess, but re-wiring everything would just about drive you insane.

Mind if I Plug In?

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture4
  • ISO80
  • Focal Length49.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Exploring Hobbiton at Night

A Trip to the North Island

Are you coming to New Zealand some day? People always ask me where to go! I should put together some kind of guide or something… but who has the time? Anyway, if you’re only gonna be here for less than 2 weeks, I advise spending the whole time on the South Island. If you’re here longer, definitely pop up to the North Island to check out places like Hobbiton in Mata Mata below!

Daily Photo – Exploring Hobbiton at Night

I want to walk around this place every night and take photos! I don’t think I’d ever get tired of it… how awesome would it be to live inside that Hobbit hole and have all your friends and family in all the other holes all around you. It would be a mega photo party every night I think!

Exploring Hobbiton at Night

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time30
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length11.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Super Massive China Dot Com

35mm F/1.4

I was able to get this focus trick working with the Leica 35mm F/1.4. Be sure to check out the Leica Lens Buying Guide here on the site!

Daily Photo – Super Massive China Dot Com

Okay this is a really stupid title for this photo but I still like it! Haha! Yeah here we are back in the Beijing Planning Museum. All the big cities in China have these museums that are open and free. They are always totally empty too, allow tripods, and have limitless photos inside… one of my best possible hot tips for China.

Super Massive China Dot Com

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture
  • ISO640
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Bamboo Rafts Coming in Before the Storm

Shooting in the Rain

It’s always great to go out and shoot in the rain, except for the me-getting-wet part! I wish I had a little friend with me all the time that would hold an umbrella over both of us… that would be so awesome. I know it’s a strange thing to want, but you gotta admit, it would be mega awesome.

Daily Photo – Bamboo Rafts Coming in Before the Storm

I was crossing a bridge in a little town not too far from Yangshuo and trying to stay out of the rain. It was coming down pretty hard, but there was a sunset happening too. So, at great risk to camera and limb, I set up to take this shot. All these little bamboo rafts that would take people to and fro were coming in to hunker down for the big storm…

Bamboo Rafts Coming in Before the Storm

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture4
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Hiking in Namibia

Tips on Navigating Stuck In Customs

We’re always making little improvements here and there on the site… I don’t really mention them too much. But, be sure to check out all the links along the lefthand side. There’s some gold in them thar links! Also, don’t forget that you can click on the category up at the top to see more photos from, well, Namibia in this case!

Daily Photo – Hiking in Namibia

What a place this is! I did my best to try to give a scale of the dune by showing a small group making the ascent. And, honestly, they are only halfway up that beast. I walked up the same dune with our group, but a different direction. The direction we chose was steeper, faster, and it made me want to curl in a ball and cry until the world was better again.

Hiking in Namibia

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture6.7
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length59.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Reflections on Reflections

Reflection Shots

One good idea for reflection shots is to make sure there is some kind of randomness or lack of symmetry in the bottom half of the photo. Otherwise, it will look like a straight up Photoshop fake-reflection!

Daily Photo – Reflections on Reflections

This place near Mount Cook looks like the perfect idyllic clean lake, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t! A bit more artifice here I suppose… but Stu and I spent the night in our truck right by the waste-water treatment facility! The water was actually quite disgusting, but it was a small enough waste-pond so that the water was nice and still. And, luckily, there was no wind!

Reflections on Reflections

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length38.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Alone in the Vast Expanse of Antarctica

Black and White Photos

I used Macphun Tonality to get this look. Be sure to check it out!

Daily Photo – Alone in the Vast Expanse of Antarctica

This photo was taken at about 2 AM out on the main continent of Antarctica. This is a massive frozen lake that backs up against a mountain and glacier network. You can see that it was just barely warm enough to melt the middle of the lake… I was thinking it might be fun to walk out there until it started to crack… and then I started thinking that would not be fun at all!

You can see my friend Stu over there on the other side of the lake.

Alone in the Vast Expanse of Antarctica

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1500
  • Aperture4
  • ISO80
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.7

Stormchasing in Guilin, China

Fake Lightning Shots

Getting a good lightning shot often involves a bit of artifice. I’m certainly not above that! But I believe a lot of the truly amazing lightning photos you see are QUITE fake. First, a lot of compositing is often done, which is fine, just letting you know. If you see a ton of lightning bolts in a photo, chances are they are all combined with many different strikes. Also, if you don’t have one of those light-sensors to automatically trigger, you have to just keep taking photos until you get lucky. It’s like a lightning slot machine, so sometimes it doesn’t feel like that much skill is involved!

Daily Photo – Stormchasing in Guilin, China

I love this area of China and right upon arrival there was a huge storm hitting. So exciting! I love a good storm. It was probably ill-advised, but Tom and I climbed up a mountain to get some photos. We were underneath the shade of an old pagoda, which kept us from getting wet… it was perfect conditions for storm shooting, really!

Stormchasing in Guilin, China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1.3
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length61.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Getting a little attitude in South Africa

More photos and video of this girl

You’ll see more in an upcoming video we’ll release at some secret point in the future! Sign up for our Newsletter to find out first! 🙂

Daily Photo – Getting a little attitude in South Africa

Man, the kids in Soweto were amazing. They were so full of life! This little girl was a real piece of work. How do girls get so much attitude at such an early age? I see it in my own girls… the crazy starts young…the crazy starts young.

Getting a little attitude in South Africa

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7S
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2500
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Watching the Dancers in Beijing

Another place I got in trouble

This is the first place I got in trouble for flying the quadcopter. But it was worth it because I got some amazing photos and videos from the air. There are really no laws about them in this area because nobody owns one. So, since it’s impossible to get permission for something they don’t understand, I just went for it. It’s such a new “category” that many remote places don’t have any rules about them at all…

Daily Photo – Watching the Dancers in Beijing

I was invited to a special event in the Summer Palace where we got to see a traditional Chinese theater show. These girls would dance around and do all sorts of things. I was wondering a pole would come out at some point, but then it occurred to me this would probably not happen. But if it did, boy my camera was ready for action!

Watching the Dancers in Beijing

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/6000
  • Aperture
  • ISO500
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Around a warm fire in Freezing Namibia

A bunch of photos of me in action

I just checked this link and saw an absolute ton of photos of me. I am not very photogenic and I always cringe a little bit when I look through these… but, anyway, there ya go!

Daily Photo – Around a warm fire in Freezing Namibia

Who knew Namibia was so cold at night? It wasn't just a little bit cold, it was a lotta bit cold! I really didn't bring enough warm clothes and I found myself wearing way more layers than I anticipated. Almost every night found us circling around the fire to stay warm. This is one of the many resorts we stayed at with our Africa Photo Adventure group… what an amazing property.

Around a warm fire in Freezing Namibia

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time20
  • Aperture4
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Stop Signs in Antarctica

The First Stop Sign

There isn’t exactly a lot of traffic in Antarctica, but over at the US Macmurdo Base, there is one four-way stop. I’ve never seen more than one vehicle there, but I found the stop signs themselves quite funny.

The First Stop Sign

Daily Photo – Stop Signs in Antarctica

And here's the other one, just across the way…

Stop Signs in Antarctica

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Getting Up Close and Personal with the Elephants

The Botswana Random Animal Generator

The way the Okavango Delta is oriented, when it’s not completely flooded, is large areas of grasslands interspersed with groupings of trees. As we’d drive around all these groups of trees and emerge into another grassland, we’d see a different set of animals every time. We’d pop out of the trees and see maybe 5 giraffes, 30 wildebeests, and 6 elephants out there. The next time, 10 minutes later, we’d turn a corner and see 10 baboons, 8 giraffes, and 40 cape buffalo. We got to calling Botswana a “Random Animal Generator”!

Daily Photo – Getting Up Close and Personal with the Elephants

We were looking so hard to find elephants in Namibia. It must have taken us two hours to finally find some of them. But in Botswana, they were everywhere! The official count is around 100,000 elephants there… that goes to show what I know — I thought they were endangered! They're absolutely everywhere… you turn around a group of trees and, well, there's another herd stomping about! We got very close to many, including this bad boy.

Getting Up Close and Personal with the Elephants

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-6000
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO500
  • Focal Length113.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

When I saw this, I knew I was in London!

Another funny London story

So I was in a cab in London with my British friend Lee as we were going from Heathrow Airport to our hotel. I’ve been to London a few times but I always get excited every time. Anyway, I was listening to the way the cab driver spoke and he sounded so awesome. I told Lee, “Wow, that guy has the exact same type of accent as the bad guy in the very first episode of Sherlock Holmes!” Lee looked at me very calmly and said, “Yes, Trey. That’s called a London accent.”

Daily Photo – When I saw this, I knew I was in London!

What a cool car! He seemed pleased that I stopped in the middle of the street to take the photo too… I think people with awesome cars generally are fans of people taking photos of them. I think the same thing about people with tattoos — they don't mind you staring a bit! I shot this with my 2nd camera I have slung around my body which I use for street photography. If I would have wrestled around with my other camera to get the shot, then I never would have had time.

When I saw this, I knew I was in London!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7M2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture
  • ISO500
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Pausing for the Reflection

Some of the creation process

I went out to go get a bunch of reflection shots and made a few videos! I did a fun deal with WD to help promote it too, which was a pretty fun thing… anyway, you can see more below!

Daily Photo – Pausing for the Reflection

Here's one of the many reflection shots I got that day… that was fun! It's not like I need an excuse to run around and shoot, but I thought putting together some tips on getting a reflection shot would be a good idea and mission!

Pausing for the Reflection

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture13
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

New May Presets and the Breaking Sea Ice on the way to Antarctica

The May Preset Pack is out! (half-price today only)

This has been a very fun experiment and gets bigger every month! See the Lightroom Presets page for more. This month features a fresh 10 presets, just as new and idea-provoking as the previous months. The special deal we do to reward the hardest core of the fans of these is to do half-off just on the first day of the month. So, for 24 hours, it’s only $2.50 instead of $5.

And here’s a little video more about them!

Daily Photo – The Breaking Sea Ice on the way to Antarctica

Every pack comes with at least one Black & White preset, and this is a pretty good example of one. I took this photo out of the window of the CL-130 as I was still about 2 hours (after 8 hours already in the air) from Antarctica. I started to get excited as I looked down to see the sea ice melting apart in the middle of summer. I particularly liked all the layers of clouds floating on top…

The Breaking Sea Ice on the way to Antarctica

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length103.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

A cloaked woman in Hong Kong

Great news about The Arcanum and our new Passion Meter – so cool!

See more at www.TheArcanum.com !

How to get a shot like this?

This was a crazy idea I had and it worked out just fine. I suppose the first step is to be on an escalator that has a rich or interesting set of lights around it. Set up the tripod legs on the steps (which you have to do quickly because you are moving… it’s sort of a Level 6 tripod maneuver!) and then let it fly with a shutter speed of at least 2 seconds. This one was a 4 second exposure.

Daily Photo – A cloaked woman in Hong Kong

I was riding up a series of colorful outdoor escalators in Hong Kong and this mysterious cloaked women went flying by me. She made it up to a group of people where she got stuck for a bit, right when I took this shot.

A cloaked woman in Hong Kong

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length17.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

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