New Lightroom Presets for the Holidays!

New Bonus Pack for the Holidays!

I just released this new set of Lightroom Presets for the Holidays! This pack has 10 of my new favorites… it’s been about half a year since I have released anything, and this stuff has been building up in my Lightroom, so, anyway, here’s a great pack for you!

Which presets come in this 2014 Holiday Preset pack?

“Abs Underneath”
“Candy-Coloured Fishnets”
“Game of Stones”
“Morning Without Chaos”
“Red Planetlight”
“Samurai Kiss”
“Sandstorm Beyond”
“Something Borrowed”
“Warmer Fruitpop”
“Zenith Noir”

Daily Photo – A Tomb Guard in Rabat

It's hard to believe that this photo was only edited in Lightroom! You should have seen the “Before” version. The entire interior was pretty much black and in shadow. Even though I know the power of Lightroom and RAW files, I'm constantly amazed and surprised with what you can do!

I was actually inside the tomb of Mausoleum of Mohammed V at the time I took this. It was dark inside compared the outside, but I had to expose for the guard himself, otherwise he would be hopelessly (and probably un-recoverably) overexposed!

A Tomb Guard in Rabat

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Happy Elephant Family

Part 3 of 3 – Tips for getting the Perfect Reflection Shot

And here is the final part; here you actually get to see me edit the final photo! :)

Thinking about Elephants

I did not expect the elephants to be my favorite animal while in Africa. But they were! Sometimes I would get close to them and see strange wildness in their eyes. I don’t anthropomorphize animals (read in human emotions), but I do see something else going on in there… something around a different time-sense. I wonder if they are a lot like whales like that. I’ve never swam with whales, but maybe some day I will and I can compare the two, insofar as I am able.

Daily Photo – Happy Elephant Family

We were actually out looking for a pride of lions in Botswana when we came across this perfect little family of elephants. It's quite a life for these guys! They basically get to hang out with their family all day and just eat, eat, eat! Can you imagine going to a 14 hour buffet every day with your family where no one ever gets full? What a world that would be!

Happy Elephant Family

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-6000
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1250
  • Aperture4
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length146.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

The Tanning Vats and I get Electrocuted

Part 2, now with bonus electrocution!

Here’s Part 2 of the video series from yesterday about 3 tips for getting a good reflection shot! I went on a fun hike here in New Zealand to find some cool “reflictions”… you can come along, see a new on-the-road backup solution I am using, see some nervous sheep, see me get electrocuted by a fence – heck it’s got it all haha! :)

Daily Photo – The Tanning Vats

This is one of my favorite areas in Fes, Morocco. The whole area is known for their various vats for tanning and curing leather. There are several tanneries around the town, some big, some small. This is one of the medium-sized ones that I got into because of a family connection. It was actually a tremendous amount of fun just roaming through this area. I walked all around down inside, stepped over vats, almost fell in a few times, etc.

The smell was supposed to be pretty bad, but it wasn't as bad as I suspected. Just in case, while walking through one of the nearby food markets, I bought a sprig of mint the keep with me just in case I was overpowered!

The Tanning Vats

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture13
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

A Mirage in the Desert and 3 Tips for the Perfect Refliction shot

3 Tips for the Perfect Refliction shot and my new backup solution! Part 1 of 3

I was just out here in New Zealand taking some pretty “refliction” shots (that’s how they say it here!) and using my new WD My Passport Wireless to do backups while in the field. I made a few short videos that shows how I did it all! Enjoy!

Daily Photo – A Mirage in the Desert

Isn't this a strange and confusing photo? That's why I like it so much! I climbed to the top of this godforsaken dune called “Big Daddy.” It's the biggest dune in the Sossusvlei area and is 325 meters high. Down below, you can see the lighter colored desert where the dead acacia trees roam.

A Mirage in the Desert

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO64
  • Focal Length70.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

Rene Doing a Photo Job on the Rim

Thanks Everyone for the 1 million+ views on this video! – I’ll be sure to get incarcerated again!

Look, I blame Rene (in the photo below) for the bad advice he gave me in flying the quad over The Forbidden City. I mentioned him during my interrogation, but they just gave me a blank stare. I saw RIGHT THROUGH IT.

Daily Photo – Rene Doing a Photo Job on the Rim

Here's the awesome Rene Smith, who you can see right there, riding the sweet rim of the canyon. Renesmith don't care. He's just right there on the edge even though I told him not to get too close. Now, I don't know if he actually got the shot or not, but I can guarantee you he spent approximately 10 hours in Photoshop in some kind of an altered-mind-state, which I think is all kinds of awesome. Stay awesome Rene; oh, and pass the G&T!

By the way, be sure to check out Rene's amazing site, Science Kids!

Rene Doing a Photo Job on the Rim

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/45
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length43.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Pig Island and Pigeon Island

A New Perspective

Believe it or not, the same islands from below are seen here, from ground level! It kind of reminds you of how completely mind-blowing things are from above!

Daily Photo – Pig Island and Pigeon Island

We flew with Choppy over these amazing tiny islands in the middle of Lake Wakatipu on the way to a really cool ranch. They say that these islands are so named because they look like those animals from above. Well, here I am, and I can't say that I see it! Can you? I'm not even sure which is which. I assume “pig” is the bigger one, but, well, it doesn't look so piggy.

Pig Island and Pigeon Island

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Transcending Lindy

The Story of Transcending Lindy

I wanted to announce it to you here first… I just learned I’ll be heading off to Venice Biennale in May to photograph one of my favorite choreographers, Lindy Nsingo, who I shot last year in Tokyo. It was an amazing day! Let me tell you story behind this photo, which is my favorite from the series.

Perhaps the whole amazing thing about the whole experience is when Lindy was in the crossing, surrounded by all of these people, we were about to conduct this incredible performance without anyone noticing or stopping to watch. It was as if it never happened.

Earlier in 2014, I was asked by my friend David to photograph Lindy while we were in Tokyo. I had one day to put my idea for the photo together and was inspired by the first video that David showed me of Lindy dancing under a streetlight in the middle of the night. Because Lindy is a dancer, I wanted the photo to be about stillness and the chaos at the same time. I find dancing to be a parallel art form to my own in that I don’t understand the mind of a dancer and vice versa, but I do know we both find stillness in our craft. And since all of us on this planet are, of course, constantly surrounded by chaos, we still need to find stillness in our lives. There is no place with more chaos than the busiest intersection in the world, the Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo. I chose this specific crossing because I knew it was one of the busiest places in the world, with the most light, action, and humans. So, in essence, my idea was to capture Lindy in stillness while in the middle of human chaos.

Here’s how Lindy described it:

“Working with Trey Ratcliff was completely serendipitous as we happened to be in the same city at the same time and I attended his amazing Google+ talk. Trey set a date and time. We met and looked at the Shibuya Crossing and at the timing of people going in and out. From this moment the adrenaline kicked in and my main focus was to make Trey’s job easy and hold whichever position I found as long as possible so he could have the best chance of getting a great shot. Running out in front of the crowd was exhilarating and I think added to the intensity of the photograph because there was a limited amount of time. I had no idea how the photograph would turn out and I’m so happy with it!”

So, I’m off to Venice in April and May 2015 to attend the biennale, and where I will photograph Lindy again. She’ll be there collaborating on a work with artist Lena Liv, whose pastel drawing of Lindy is below. Can you believe that is a drawing? Lena is so amazing — be sure to check that link above to see more of her work!

Art critic Maura Reilly is preparing the catalogue for the exhibition and is working on a story about the collaboration. My image will be included in those various upcoming publications. It’s going to be awesome!

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In Dust We Trust

Landscape Video Tutorial Review

Here’s an amazing review over on PhotoTraces by Viktor Elizarov. He really goes in depth and gets all kinds of screenshots and stuff – wow! Thanks Viktor! :)

Daily Photo – In Dust We Trust

Here's a redonk photo of me after emerging from a sandstorm at Burning Man this year! My good friend and camp mate Eric Cheng took this one! This year was the worst one ever for sandstorms. I think I must have been caught in at least four of them during the week. I did not really have the right protection, and I ended up with quite a bad cough for the next several weeks. In fact, it lasted all the way until I went to Africa about a month later… Now it's finally out of my system! :)

In Dust We Trust

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperture
  • ISO
  • Focal Length
  • Flash
  • Exposure Program
  • Exposure Bias

Little Streets in by the Li River in China

Street Shooting Tip

It’s very hard to shoot on the street when things are moving at f/1.4 if you are doing manual focus. So, one thing I try to do is stay up at f/2 or f/2.8 because you have a bit more margin for error on the focus. But, if you are a fixed distance away from your subject (like when I was following the gentleman below), you can go ahead and open it up as high as it wide as it will go and take your time. Not all street photography has to be rushed.

Daily Photo – Little Streets in by the Li River in China

I was mostly down in this area to try to find good vantage points on the river. But when you go along the river, you pass through tiny town after tiny town. I was on foot most of the time, so I would just try to feel my way from one side of the town over to the other side. I felt like a rat going through a maze trying to find some cheese! Anyway, while getting all turned around and going through the tiny streets, I got behind this old-timer here… I set my focus manually and just walked behind him at f/1.4.

Little Streets in by the Li River in China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1500
  • Aperture
  • ISO500
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramShutter speed priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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