Stuck In Customs

My daily travel blog to inspire and get you motivated!

Read the Blog Photo Tips

Little Pretty Bird

Book Suggestion

Speaking of the importance (or non-) of knowing the names of things, I recommend a great book from Richard Feynman called “Surely you’re joking, Mr. Feynman!” It’s a great read and very fun while insights abound every page.

Daily Photo – Little Pretty Bird

You could add up everything I know about birds and put it into a one-page encyclopedia. When I was in Botswana, I was with a group that knew a lot about these birds and could name every one of them. I think bird-people are much more patient than I am. I got a few decent bird shots, but mostly I was unlucky and impatient. I do know a lot about bird-law, however.

Little Pretty Bird

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-10-01 09:00:37
  • CameraILCE-6000
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length200.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

A Starry Morning atop the Remarkables

Live from later this morning

You can see from the video below I actually did have a pretty good time, despite an embarrassing fall down the mountain.

Daily Photo – A Starry Morning atop the Remarkables

Was it cold here? Yes oh yes. I was up here for something called “World Social Media Day” which sounds like a fairly self-congratulatory idea. I don't know who thought up this day, but probably a bunch of Social Media people who got together and said, “Hey, we're pretty awesome, let's have a day all about US!” haha… honestly that is probably the way it narcissistically went down. Anyway, they contacted me in Queenstown and asked if I wanted to go participate and freeze my ass off up here, and I said, “Hey sure sounds like fun I don't like sleeping in any way.” But, I actually did have a good time, as you can see from the video above.

A Starry Morning atop the Remarkables

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-06-30 03:24:51
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time6
  • Aperture
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Day of the Dead in Arrowtown

Lightroom Presets

Today’s photo is brought to you courtesy of… drumrolll…. Trey’s Lightroom Presets. This is the package from last year that contains heaps of presets. I hope you have a great time with them! 🙂

Daily Photo – Day of the Dead in Arrowtown

Here are two of my friends in full regalia at Halloween. They really did it up, eh? I was going to go to this party dressed as a unicorn, but my wife told me that would be stupid because no one else would be in costume. I finally agreed, since I try not to make her mad. But then we got there and almost everyone was in costume. Oh well. Unicorn next year.

Day of the Dead in Arrowtown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-10-29 13:50:12
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2500
  • Aperture
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Bleached Tree in Milford Sound

More passport Goodness

For just the price of a few cups of coffee a month, you can be a passport member and see a new 360 video today where I’m talking about my goals at Milford Sound. I was able to accomplish a few of them, and I failed at others. I have some fun photos from this trip coming up! 🙂

Passport Exclusive – My goals at Milford Sound

I often arrive at a location with amorphous goals. I’m sure this happens to you too. I get to a cool place, even one I’ve been to before, and then I have a sudden worry: “What the heck am I going to shoot here that is interesting?” Here’s another video for you, gentle Passport Member (thx again!) – where I talk about some goals… It’s good to have some goals and then vary from your main course… as is the case with today’s photo that was taken during this outing.

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Daily Photo – Bleached Tree in Milford Sound

This was taken early in the morning at low tide. The tide here goes dramatically up and down. At hightide, you can just see a few branches sticking out of the water, but at low tide, you can walk about half a kilometer out into the bay and get shots like this. I shot this at f/1.4 with the Leica 21mm on the Sony A7r Mark II.

Bleached Tree in Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-02-19 02:25:33
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Monks taking Mobile photos on a cruise

Wanna come?

Join me for an all-expenses paid trip here to New Zealand to take photos for a week and join my photo adventure workshop! Yes, flights and all. This contest is available all around the world and anyone can win. I’ll give you three steps here and tell you how it works. And if you don’t win that one, maybe you’ll win a chance to come see Hans Zimmer in concert with me in the best seats in the house amidst 40,000 fans in Frankfurt, Germany’s Commerzbank-Arena. Two great prizes there, both celebrating these 10 Photo Walks I’m doing across Europe in 10 great cities. Join me for these free events!

What do you do to enter?
First, if you think any of this sounds cool, tell your friends! We have more about the photo contest at 80stays.treyratcliff.com

Second, on that site, you can see links to all the contests and more along the top! I said two great prizes… not quite accurate as there are actually more!

Third, and this is not a requirement, but a fun thing – if you’re in the area, RSVP to one of our free photo walks coming up in Europe. You’ll also see links to all 10 events at the site above.

Good luck, and I hope you win! You’ll be on a shiny new Air New Zealand bird, heading here to Queenstown for a week of some of the most insanely beautiful scenery in the world. I’ll show you all my secret spots and you’ll have a great time at our workshop… stay in a beautiful hotel, have great food and wine, take photo walks all through the southern alps, and meet my dog Blueberry (a real highlight hehe!). Anyway, I’m packing my bags now to come to Europe for 40 days for these photo walks (spending 4 days in each city as our bus of merry traveling artists weave our way from Lisbon to Barcelona to Milan to Paris to London to Amsterdam to Berlin to Vienna to Budapest, then jumping on a plane to end the tour in Moscow) – sound exhausting eh? Okay gonna take a nap now while my camera batteries charge.

See you all soon, and best of luck again on the contest. We thought it would be a fun way to get the whole world involved even if you can join me in Europe.

Oculus Rift Recommendation

Also, completely unrelated but if you have a Rift, be sure to get the game Robo Recall. It’s incredible! I need to make a list of my favorite VR games and get them up on the site… keep reminding me! 🙂

Daily Photo – Monks taking Mobile photos on a cruise

I feel like I don't even need a description for this photo, as I can't say anything more than the title. Well, maybe some background. I was on this TED-like cruise called Summit at Sea. I kept running into these monks over and over again, mostly on the elevator. We would always have very deep conversations that would only last 3 minutes. Then, one evening as the sun was setting, I saw my two friends taking photos of one another like a couple of schoolgirls – I thought it was great!

Monks taking Mobile photos on a cruise

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-11-11 06:29:05
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

The Golden Fields in the morning

A Special Passport Day!

Today’s photo was a lot of (fun) work, and this time, I happened to capture everything on video. You get to see me running out from my studio from the backyard, taking the photo, AND the final screen casting as I work on the photo. And if you haven’t joined yet, please become a Passport Member to see all the goodies today!

Passport Exclusive – Epic Sunrise With the X1D

Today, not one but TWO videos… the first showing me getting the photo and the second showing the editing. Enjoy!

Exclusive content for Passport members

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Exclusive content for Passport members

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Daily Photo – The Golden Fields in the morning

Of the two videos you saw above, you may recall that I was having A LOT OF TROUBLE trying to choose which one was my favorite. In the end, it was THIS one because I really like the warmth of the flowing grass fields here. Well, I kind of make up my mind then go back to other one, once again filled with self-doubt! 🙂

The Golden Fields in the morning

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-30 19:51:47
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time0.5
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Above Puerto Rico

Pano Tip

This is made from a Phantom 4 Pro and about 5 different photos. I stitched them all together in Lightroom and then ran them through sweet sweet Aurora HDR to give it a little HDR love! 🙂

Daily Photo – Above Puerto Rico

Here's the fortress in San Juan, which I never realized was practically an island. Or actually, it MIGHT be an island where you have to take a bridge. I should know these things. But I seem to remember being on a bridge… wait let me look at a map because now I am very curious. Oh yes, it is an island, as you can plainly see from this map. I took this photo just off the northern edge looking back to the southwest as the sun was setting. So what you're seeing here is the very tip of the island.

Above Puerto Rico

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-25 17:48:58
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Lights in the Mosque

Tips on Taking women into mosques

I get a lot of questions about the local ethics and cultural requirements for bringing women into mosques. As you know, I often travel with my wife and two daughters. All I can say for sure is it varies from country to country. Some are very relaxed. Some are not-so-much. But, it’s usually never a problem and I just suggest getting a local guide on TripAdvisor or through your hotel concierge. In some places, like Egypt, the women did not even need to wear headscarves. Others, they need to wear the habib and make sure none of the hair is visible. Anyway, it’s nothing to worry about and once properly dressed, you can go see anything! I certainly don’t get upset by any cultural/religious differences… I just try to think of it as being respectful, like when you put on nice clothes of a certain type for an event like a wedding or funeral. It just is respectful, which isn’t so bad! 🙂

Daily Photo – The Lights in the Mosque

I was at the main mosque in Abu Dhabi for about four hours before I eventually came to the Very-Obvious-In-Retrospect idea, hey I can actually go INSIDE. As with most mosques, there is a tremendous number of shots from the outside and the courtyards. But you can go inside most of them anytime (as long as it's not during the call to prayer). Just slip off your shoes and go inside for a wander! I've never had any issues at all… very friendly people!

The Lights in the Mosque

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-02-12 15:19:10
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time2.5
  • Aperture16
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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