Stuck In Customs

The place your mind can go before you travel there

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Heading to the Burgermeister in Berlin

A little embedded action

Here’s a Vimeo of one of the sets at the Mayan Warrior I mentioned yesterday!

DJ Three – Mayan Warrior – Thursday Night – Burning Man – 2016 from Mayan Warrior on Vimeo.

Daily Photo – Heading to the Burgermeister in Berlin

We asked our concierge for a unique restaurant in Berlin, and they recommended we visit this burger place that used to be a public toilet under the train tracks. Sign us up! And that's where we headed, to the famous Burgermeister. It was a TASTY Burger for sure… while waiting on said burger in said former public toilet, I went across the street to take this photo… you can see the train tracks up above to the right.

Heading to the Burgermeister in Berlin

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-09-29 01:24:40
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time2.5
  • Aperture5
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length26.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Luminar is Now Avail!

Just announced (Mac Only)

Here’s a link to grab Luminar.

What is Luminar?

It’s a new program that is a very powerful photo editor. It’s from the same team that brought you Aurora HDR (I collaborated with them on this), so you know it’s gonna be good.
Luminar is an extremely powerful and fast photo editor that can do not only the most basic adjustments, but literally millions of “looks” for your photo. It’s extremely easy and fun to use and designed for all skill levels.

Better than Lightroom?

That’s the big question you’re wondering, right? Well, YES, it is better in many ways. Remember, this currently is only a way to edit your photos — not to organize them. As of the time of writing this, I’m still using Lightroom to organize my photos.
You’ll find the controls in Luminar are much more powerful than the ones in Lightroom. I’d also wager to say that Luminar has 5-7x as many control options as Lightroom.

Screenshots and commentary

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Here’s a great example of some of the power you can’t get in Lightroom alone. You can see I’ve chosen the “Orton Effect” filter. It’s extremely fast and this is a “look” you just can’t get in Lightroom because it involves a blending of layers (all of which is automatic in Luminar).

 

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Yes, Luminar has layers, but you can see how much you can do with a single layer. Here, I’ve made use of a really cool filter called “Foliage Enhancer.”

 

https://stuckincustoms.smugmug.com/Misc/Reviews-1/n-t5LQ7/i-pC76TbB/A

You may notice that each screenshot has different controls over on the left. This is because you can organize your workspace however you wish, with whatever filters you wish. In this case, I wanted more details, so I pulled up the appropriate filters. You can even save your workspaces to your liking.

 

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Naturally, there are many vintage-feels to the filters as well. There are a ton of presets if you’re feeling lazy or just in a hurry!

 

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I was also impressed how it is quite easy to get an “HDR Look” by using many of the filters.

 

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I’m a big fan of cross-processing, and Luminar comes with a variety of tools that help you to give these a more special look. Here I’ve used both Cross-Processing and Bi-Color Toning.

A Nap in the Window Sill of the Blue Mosque

The Mayan Warrior!

What am I listening to lately? I’ve been digging all the Burning Man sets from one of my favorite art cars, the Mayan Warrior. Here’s a link to their Soundcloud page!

Daily Photo – A Nap in the Window Sill of the Blue Mosque

I've taken a nap in a mosque once, and I must say, it's a great place to sleep! This is obviously not me in the photo taking a nap, I should be clear. When I was walking around inside the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, I saw this guy and it reminded me of a nap I took in another one. Sometimes I'm out shooting for 12+ hours in a day… and when it gets hot and I need a break, it's a great place to curl up and recharge. It's always perfectly safe and no one seems to mind.

A Nap in the Window Sill of the Blue Mosque

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-10-02 15:47:41
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/13
  • Aperture4
  • ISO640
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1.3

Miami Skyline

Summit at Sea!

Heading to Miami soon to get on a cruise for the Summit at Sea — I’m quite excited! We’ll be heading into International waters with a guest list that is MIND BOGGLING. Just to name a few people on the boat: Quentin Tarantino, Eric Schmidt, Herbie Hancock, Erin Brockovich, will.i.am, Norman Lear, Thievery Corp, John Scully, Tony Hawk, Bob Pittman, Princess Lucaj, Gary V, Geordi LaForge, Steve Jurvetson, and Bob Roth (who I can’t wait to meditate with!) — and that is just a few; I can’t wait for the epic sea voyage! 🙂

Here’s the highlight video from our photo walk there. Let’s do it again some time!

Daily Photo – Miami Skyline

Here's a quick photo I took in Miami when we were there for the photo walk. What a great crowd that was — I can't wait to get back there. After the cruise, I'll be staying again at the amazing south beach location of the Ritz-Carlton. This time I'll be able to spend a bit more quality time there relaxing.

Miami Skyline

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-08-14 20:41:59
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Berlin Wall

Mini Wall

I’m not sure what that small wall there on the left is. Do any of you? My guess is that is was from another wall in another country that was partially brought here after it also fell. But that’s just a theory.

Daily Photo – The Berlin Wall

This was my fourth trip to Germany, but my first one to Berlin. What an amazing city! I could really see myself living there for a while. It reminded me a lot of New York City, except even more bohemian and artsy. Within 12 hours of getting there, I made the pilgrimage here to the Berlin Wall. This is a continuous stretch of about 1.5km that is still standing, now fully decorated by artists.

The Berlin Wall

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-09-29 00:33:30
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

More Fresh Cookies

Here’s four more goodies for you 🙂


Trey Ratcliff

Here’s Lord Snort enjoying his afternoon with the humans.

On the third day, the Da Vinci tank was completed and here’s what it looks like in all its glory.

Paris Sinclair, clothes designer extraordinaire.

Trey Ratcliff

A girl and her fire-breathing swan dragon!

An Ancient Hamam

Try it in Istanbul

Here’s the Link to the amazing Baths below. I highly recommend it!

Daily Photo – An Ancient Hamam

I'm not exactly an expert on these, but now I've had five or six hamams. They're alwyas a bit different, but I always emerge like a smooth dolphin in the water. I probably lose about a pound each time from having my outer layer of skin completely removed… It's like a forced moulting or something. But it is always a great time to be pampered like that for so long! 🙂

An Ancient Hamam

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-10-02 21:38:18
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.6
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length12.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Paddleboard Yoga

Floating over Bora Bora

Here’s one of the first quadcopter videos I ever made here in Bora Bora… a little throwback video time! 🙂

Daily Photo – Paddleboard Yoga

Here's one of my favorite yoga instructors in the world. She was Spanish and always had the funniest little sayings. I would always laugh while she was teaching yoga… something I don't usually do. One day I was flying the quad and she took the paddleboard out and started goofing around on it so I could get some fun photos like this one! 🙂

Paddleboard Yoga

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-06-25 07:51:30
  • CameraHero3-Black Edition
  • Camera MakeGoPro
  • Exposure Time1/950
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length2.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Universe in Cologne

Speaking of Macphun

Don’t forget to grab the new Aurora HDR 2017 that we co-developed with Macphun and these two ladies in the photo below!

Daily Photo – The Universe in Cologne

While we were in Cologne for Photokina, we went out with Macphun almost every night. It was Alex and these two gals, Oksana and Julianna. On the last night there, we all wandered over to the amazing Cologne cathedral. When we walked in, we were totally shocked to see a mostly darkened room along with a huge screen playing an animated slideshow of Hubble Telescope images. There were ethereal, surreal sounds of space playing all through the stone walls. All around the outside were priests that you could talk to about the infinity of space and the universe… it was completely eclectic and amazing!

I didn't have my tripod, so I borrowed one from a random Chinese tourist. Also, I didn't have my wide-angle – just my 35 prime! So I made a panorama. When I took the tripod back, it turns out that the gentleman subscribes to my newsletter of all things — crazy universe!

The Universe in Cologne

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-09-24 04:38:50
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1.6
  • Aperture
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Last 7 Years of Burning Man, Some Highlights

Here’s a photo from above. I took this while flying in an experimental plane in which I should not have been experimenting.

And here’s a closeup of the same place.

Teastorm

This was taken during the worst year of sandstorms ever at Burning Man. I was in a rather severe one and completely lost, but I kept walking in a random direction, because it was as good as any. Out of the sand came this Japanese tea ceremony. Right after I took this photo, I sat down and was served tea with floating gold leaf. When I was done, he folded up a small piece of origami and gave it to me. Upon it, the message read, “You are a God.” Finally! The thing I’ve always wanted my wife to say was confirmed by this sand-swept Japanese gentleman.

Almost anywhere on the playa you can see all kinds of acroyoga. I don’t ever pose my shots by the way, I just look for organic happenings.

Everyone is in costume or fanciness all week long. And many of the women really take it to some impressive extremes.

Why is anything There?There are many things that happen here and there and everywhere and happen without reason or forethought.  Terrible things fall around us and into us, random events of trauma, and worse, doubt.  Not everything in this world is there for a useful purpose.  So why not have huge white flowers in a desert?  If you ask why about everything, then you're probably not always asking the right questions, I tell myself.

There are many things that happen here and there and everywhere and happen without reason or forethought. Terrible things fall around us and into us, random events of trauma, and worse, doubt. Not everything in this world is there for a useful purpose. So why not have huge white flowers in a desert? If you ask why about everything, then you’re probably not always asking the right questions, I tell myself.

Charon crosses the river Styx, ferrying a lost soul into the beyond, forever.  This is where the souls go that have no hope, the endless void.  Travelers come and pull and twist and spin and see the strobes alight upon the skeleton bones.  The neck tilts and the head bows in a deathly pose, a skinless grimace pulls back a macabre grin of hate; the hate of a man who dies alone, between worlds of understanding.

Charon crosses the river Styx, ferrying a lost soul into the beyond, forever. This is where the souls go that have no hope, the endless void. Travelers come and pull and twist and spin and see the strobes alight upon the skeleton bones. The neck tilts and the head bows in a deathly pose, a skinless grimace pulls back a macabre grin of hate; the hate of a man who dies alone, between worlds of understanding.

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