Stuck In Customs

The place your mind can go before you travel there

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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.

Istanbul Wedding Crasher

Crossing into Asia

Here’s the first time I’m not going to recommend you watch a video. It’s maybe the most boring one I’ve ever made! But, you know, a lot of getting to-and-fro from one photography location to another can be rather banal. The most notable thing is what it was like to go from the Ritz-Carlton over on the European continent in Turkey across a cool bridge over to the Asian side with a lot of traffic. Sound exciting eh? Well, it’s not really… but here it is anyway! 🙂



Daily Photo – Istanbul Wedding Crasher

After I got over to the hilltop right before sunset, I decided the spot was actually rubbish and I had wasted my time. It's another one of those times when locals tell you about “amazing” places to go for photos, and then you get there are realized they are not photographers at all. It's way too far away from the city, and it's hard to get a decent sunset shot here. I figured this out after 5 minutes, barely found a taxi, and then in Extremely Broken Turkish + Google Maps, explained that I wanted to go down to the seaside on the Asian side. I walked along the shore for about 2 km during sunset. It was great! Right when it started to get quite dark, I came across this scene… That's the “Maiden's Tower” on the island in the background on the left there. A beautiful spot!

Istanbul Wedding Crasher

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-10-04 00:22:35
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1.3
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

More Color Change in Arrowtown

Spring or Autumn in New Zealand

Well, any season is great, really. It’s a true 3-month cycle here where each season is quite different. My wife prefers the Spring, but I think I like Autumn a bit better because of the slightly more pronounced colors. But, you really can’t complain because Spring is great too. That’s what we’re in right now and everything is blossoming and alive.

Daily Photo – More Color Change in Arrowtown

This was taken during our Autumn workshop. Our group spread out here along the lakeside to try to find different compositions. It was one of those difficult situations where there really wasn't always a great place to stand because of bushes and marhsy areas. The challenge was trying to get a clean shot without a big bush or some reeds dominating the front part of your photo. It's okay, we like a bit of a challenge!

More Color Change in Arrowtown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-04-22 05:26:38
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/45
  • Aperture11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length40.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Ponte dell’Accademia at Sunrise

Alan Watts Video

Here’s one of my favorite videos I made last year… you’ll recognize the photo below from the first scene of the movie!

Daily Photo – Ponte dell'Accademia at Sunrise

I was in Venice for about a month, out taking photos every morning at sunrise all the way through the sunset. Then there was always lots of heavy Italian food and bridge-wine on the way home with my friends. I'm not quite sure how I survived it or how I got up at every sunrise. I'm a trooper! But I guess we don't want to miss any sunrises like this, do we?

Ponte dell'Accademia at Sunrise

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-02-05 07:44:13
  • CameraFC300X
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length3.6 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramUnknown (58655)
  • Exposure Bias

Burning Man Freshness

Here’s some warm cookies for you 🙂


Here’s good old El Pulpo Mechanico lighting up the night!

Trey Ratcliff

Another scene from the BIllion Bunny March. I think I took 500 photos that day!

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Here’s another one of those people at Burning Man that just climbs everything they see!

This photo was taken on accident… but I love the way it turned out.

Bali Fun

I was thinking about hosting a photo adventure in Bali. Would anyone be into that? If so, be sure to sign up for our newsletter — and we’ll announce something if I get around to planning it!

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Daily Photo – The Entry to Paradise

Here's a side-view of the entrance to the Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Bali. The architecture here was so beautiful that there were almost no bad photos of it. I returned here again and again to take photos in different angles and different light. The weather was always perfect. It was all open air and gentle breezes would swirl about… taking photos here (and everything else!) was always calming and relaxing.

The Entry to Paradise

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-11-12 18:30:46
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time5
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Scaffolding 1500 years ago

I can’t imagine the kind of scaffolding they had in place so long ago when this was originally built. The amount of engineering in the scaffolding alone just so artists could get up high must have been a tremendous challenge.

Daily Photo – Repairs to the Hagia Sophia

At first when I walked into the Hagia Sophia, besides being blown away, I was a bit disappointed to see all the scaffolding. It didn't seem “right” to have all that in there, but I certainly understand why repairs and cleaning needs to be done. It also kind of depressed me from a photographic standpoint because I couldn't get a “clean” photo. But then, when I looked at this final image in the viewfinder, I was strangely happy with it. Not only is that scaffolding a sign of the present, but it's also a bit of a strange and delightful interloper. You don't expect to see it, and it breaks up the basic patterns you see everywhere else in the photo. So, in other words, now I like it!

Repairs to the Hagia Sophia

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-10-03 19:07:42
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.6
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length11.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Oktoberfest Fun!

This was my first Oktoberfest in Munich and it was something else. It coincided with a really fun conference called Bits & Pretzels, which is a conference all about Entrepreneurs and Tech, mostly based in Europe. It was interesting to see all the different startups and see what’s going on over there. There were also two speakers at the event I really wanted to see: Kevin Spacey and Sir Richard Branson. They were great! 🙂

Here’s a BUNCH of photos from Oktoberfest. We shot a live show while there, so there’s a bunch of behind-the-scenes photos there too! 🙂 Some random stuff in here, so enjoy 🙂

 


Trey Ratcliff

Here’s my friend Alex Piuitti, who was responsible for us coming to Germany. He’s a great guy! In the middle there is Sascha from Plotagraph Pro. This is one of the only times she wasn’t wearing All Black like a ninja.


 
Trey Ratcliff

Here’s one of the behind-the-scenes shot during our Live FB Oktoberfest show. Everyone here was an entrepreneur or a venture capitalist. This gal was a VC with big funds to invest.


 
It was also a big tech conference. You can virtually see this gal is reality.

It was also a big tech conference. You can virtually see this gal is reality.


 
Here’s Felix, one of the organizers of Bits & Pretzels along with the major of Bavaria. I was honored to be invited up on the stage with these two as we all sang the mayor Happy Birthday! 🙂

Here’s Felix, one of the organizers of Bits & Pretzels along with the major of Bavaria. I was honored to be invited up on the stage with these two as we all sang the mayor Happy Birthday! 🙂


 
This was about 3 minutes into the live show.

This was about 3 minutes into the live show.


 
Another fun behind-the-scenes shot.

Another fun behind-the-scenes shot.


 
Two revelers at Oktoberfest. Apparently, there seems to be no age limit there!

Two revelers at Oktoberfest. Apparently, there seems to be no age limit there!


 
Here I am during the live show asking Sascha more about Plotagraph as she sends a shout-out back to her partner Troy in LA.

Here I am during the live show asking Sascha more about Plotagraph Pro as she sends a shout-out back to her partner Troy in LA.


 
Trey Ratcliff

Here’s Alex and Raphael Fellmer and Martin — these are the founders of Sharecy.org — a new company to combat the wasting of food.


 
Trey Ratcliff

Here’s one of the guys that was at our table… they all had their own startups as well. Great dudes. This guy happened to be a longtime fan from Cairo.


 
Another one of the revelers… everyone looks good in these German outfits. The female one is called a “Dirndl.”

Another one of the revelers… everyone looks good in these German outfits. The female one is called a “Dirndl.”

Daily Photo – This is how I really dress when at home…

This is my new standard Bavarian pose in lederhosen. When I was not engaged in active conversation, I would assume this pose until someone walked up to me.

This is how I really dress when at home…

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-09-27 17:03:03
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Making friends on Papua New Guinea

PNG

I’ve always seen this acronym when referring to a travel destination, and it wasn’t until I got there did I realize that it stands for Papua New Guinea! I’ve posted a lot of photos from here before, but here’s a few new ones from some of the amazing tribes there.


from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

from Trey Ratcliff at http://www.StuckInCustoms.com

Daily Photo – Making friends on Papua New Guinea

And here's another one of my favorites. Whenever I re-visit and work on these photos, it reminds me I need to take more people photos, eh?

I love how the mudman here has a little statue of himself. He really pulls it off too.

Making friends on Papua New Guinea

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-09-13 08:52:12
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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