Stuck In Customs

My daily travel blog to inspire and get you motivated!

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New Highlight Video From Grand Cayman Island!

I spent a crazy five days taking photos and hanging out with some of the world’s top chefs including Anthony Bourdain, Éric Ripert, José Andrés, and Emeril Legasse in the Grand Cayman Islands for the famous Cayman Cookout! Here’s a highlight video!

You can also see my personal challenge to lose a little weight in my nonstop up-and-down struggles. How did I fare? Well, you’ll see…

Playing on the Beach in Fort Lauderdale

Thanks again Pascha!

So Pasha brought his gal (pictured below) over to the Ritz-Carlton in Fort Lauderdale for a fun day of photography. Pascha is also the guy running our big charity event for my wife’s cancer situation. You can Download the Android version or the iOS version right now. After you get it, find me there in the app and join in! 🙂 The winner gets a 30 minute facetime with me to talk about whatever you like! 🙂

Daily Photo – Playing on the Beach in Fort Lauderdale

Here's one of my favorite shots from my 2-3 hours shooting with Katie Ann, and there were a lot of good ones to choose from. She was really embarrassed and thought should would look stupid jumping because she hadn't done gymnastics since high school. I asked her if that was last week.

Playing on the Beach in Fort Lauderdale

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-11 02:16:58
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4000
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Surfing in San Juan

Surfing Lessons

I have this great idea to go do surfing lessons with my son Ethan. I have lots of very bad ideas, but this one may be a good one. I’ll let you know how it goes. If it helps, my wife thinks it’s a good idea – and we don’t commonly agree on ideas! 🙂

Daily Photo – Surfing in San Juan

Surfing at sunset here off the coast of San Juan, Puerto Rico. That's not me by the way… that's Matt Martinez there – super nice guy. He saw I was taking photos as he leaving. He came up to my wife and I and said something radical then asked if we wanted to take photos of him. We said Sure! So he headed back into the waves as the sun was setting.

Surfing in San Juan

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-23 06:12:08
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO1000
  • Focal Length144.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Simple Shapes of Aruba

New Challenges in New Spots

You know these videos I’ve been making in each location? Well in each one I try to come up with a personal challenge and then kind of check in on that challenge throughout the video. For this challenge, see below.

Also, note over the next 7 blog posts, I’m gonna bounce around to all the Ritz-Carltons we stayed at in Florida and the Carribean! We have a good partnership with this company – they let us stay for free and they make great home bases for taking photos! I’m not required to share anything… but I do usually end up getting interesting photos, like in today’s blog post 🙂

Daily Photo – The Simple Shapes of Aruba

The challenge here was to use this amazing Aruba water to create a simple canvas upon which to position object. I got a ton of photos I liked, but this one exemplified it the most. Watch over the next year as I explore this idea more.

The Simple Shapes of Aruba

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-18 00:53:12
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length26.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

Moonlight Clouds – Queenstown at 7:30 AM

Favorite Timelapse

Timelapses are SO time consuming. I guess that is inherent in the name itself, but I really get so busy I don’t have time to do these too much. But I thought I’d share with you my favorite timelapse… I made this after my first 30 days living in Queenstown… I decided to make a time lapse every day!

Failed Time-lapse Story!

So I thought I’d talk about a little failure… maybe it will save you time in case you’ve had a similar idea!

When you watch this video below, you’ll see a rather failed attempt at a timelapse. I had this bright idea to try hovering the quadcopter (DJI Phantom 4 Pro) in the air for about ten minutes and then have it automatically take a photo every 3 seconds. This is one of the many photo options. Anyway, I did it, but I could tell the quad was moving a bit in the wind (up, down, right, left, forward and back). It was basically like the worst tripod in the world.

Now, the quad will TRY to stay as still as possible. It uses a lot of tech to do this, including over 15 GPS satellites to try to keep it still.

So, I copied all the pictures to a directory then used LRTimelapse to do a bit of tweaking before rendering it. Then, it looked like this:

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Then I figured I needed to stabilize it. I found two ways to do it. One would be to auto-align all the images in Photoshop (put them in layers then run a script to export each layer). But that was kind of a Rambo mission for 468 photos. The other way to do it was to use After Effects and “Warp Stabilizer VFX.”

As you can see in the 2nd video below, it still looks pretty ropey. Unusable for me. It’s kind of a cool effect but to me. it just doesn’t feel quite right. Anyway, that’s three hours of my life I’ll never get back… but thought you might enjoy the failed journey anyway! 🙂

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Daily Photo – Moonlight Clouds – Queenstown at 7:30 AM

I took this around the same time I made the 30 Days and 30 Nights time-lapse above. The winter in these southern places make the sunrise rather late! I took this about 7:30 AM in the morning while the moon was still out over the sparkling Queenstown. I set up the tripod on the balcony, and this was our amazing view!

Moonlight Clouds – Queenstown at 7:30 AM

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-29 07:29:59
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length28mm (28mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Stu and Claire and the Rose

Claire in Antarctica

On day 1, we were sent off to survival training… Claire was part of our small troupe of survivors! Here’s a close-up of her…. (related to the photo below).

She Shivers as the Blizzard Hits

Daily Photo – Stu and Claire and the Rose

We took a break during survival training in Antarctica to have a bit of fun. Here's my friend Stu taking a photo of Claire holding the white rose for Peace in 10,000 Hands. We got a lot of unique rose photos down there for sure! After this bit of fun, we went back to digging out ice caves to make it through the night.

Stu and Claire and the Rose

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-05 02:46:11
  • CameraILCE-7S
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1600
  • Aperture
  • ISO64
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Soaring over Bali

Over the Tree Line

Looking at today’s photo just reminds me that I really need to do even more quadcopter flights where I get up over the tree line to see what is out there. Since we’re kind of stuck on the ground as humans, it’s really easy to kind of block out everything beyond the trees… I’m trying to think more like a bird nowadays, knowing my camera can go up and in pretty much any direction… still getting my head around this concept! 🙂

Daily Photo – Soaring over Bali

How beautiful is Bali? I took a drive out one day to visit some rice fields and other amazing spots. Halfway in the middle, I asked to pull over so I could do a random drone flight. I could not see any of the volcanoes from the road, but I had a feeling they were out there. You can imagine how surprised I was when I got up and saw these beautiful features on the horizon. I should have done more flights, looking back!

Soaring over Bali

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-11-14 08:52:02
  • CameraFC350
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/1328
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length3.6 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramUnknown (58655)
  • Exposure Bias

Another Pilgrimage in India

Snapchat Spectacles

I have some of these now… be sure to tune into “Treyratcliff” on Snapchat to see some ridiculous things. My plan is to have my 8-year-old daughter Scarlett use them to record me whenever she wants and then just send the silly video to my account automagically. This might be a terrible plan.

Daily Photo – Another Pilgrimage in India

This is one of many beautiful temples we visited as a family in the south of India. Because we were at so many remote places, there were hardly any (and often zero) white people there. Many Indians that would travel to these places would come from very far away. They usually traveled in packs of 15-40 and they all had the same outfits… almost like uniforms, representing their home village. It was so cool to see how colorful they were. I could just sit here with my camera and see group after group after group coming through the temple, each completely unique in their own way.

Another Pilgrimage in India

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-12-25 13:23:04
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

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