She watches…

The Greatness of Screenflow Pro

Screenflow Pro is not a sponsor anything, but I just wanted to say that it kicks ass! We’re using it a lot now for video editing… more than iMovie or Final Cut Pro. We still use those bigger programs like Premiere for some of our very high-end stuff, but for quick demos and everything, Screenflow seems to do the job! :)

Daily Photo – She watches…

At this point, I chose not to run around the outside of the tree and start calling the leopard names. This was one of my better decisions… We had tracked this gal for about a week and then she was finally spotted (no pun intended).

She watches…

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-6000
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length200.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

People of Papua New Guinea Part 10

Sheep

I live in New Zealand now, but I am not an expert on sheep. I only know a little and the little I know came in handy.

We have a big yard here —about 10 acres, and it cost a small fortune to mow it! So then we had the Bright Idea to get some sheep! They eat the grass for free and they look cute doing it… like little white clouds on a green sky…

Daily Photo – People of Papua New Guinea Part 10

Almost all the tribes there are pretty much addicted to this drug called betel nut. You chew it and it turns your mouth a deep blood red… so it's pretty easy to tell who is on it. It's pretty accepted everywhere and not illegal. Even some policemen and judges use it quite a bit (we had dinner with a judge and got the full scoop!). It's a green nut and you can buy it on any street corner for just a few cents. You also need to have a bag of lime powder and a bean-like green called mustard (daka). You mix all of them together in your mouth and have a full-on party in there.

People of Papua New Guinea Part 10

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Rice Paddies at Night at the Mandapa Reserve at the Ritz-Carlton in Bali

Amazing Bali

I just got back from just over a week in Bali and I stayed at the most amazing places… Not only is Bali itself great, but these two Ritz-Carlton resorts where I stayed were beyond my wildest expectations. It was like a waking dream. I went photo-crazy there and I’ll be sure to sprinkle in a bunch of the new Bali photos over coming days and weeks.

Daily Photo – Rice Paddies at Night at the Mandapa Reserve at the Ritz-Carlton in Bali

How beautiful is this place at night? I absolutely love all those lights reflecting through the rice grasses while that farmer's hut relaxes above in the night. This reserve is so massive that they even have their own functional stair-steppe rice paddies. I found myself out there most every day… taking photos at all times of night. Towering behind it, you can see the bulk of the Ritz-Carlton Mandapa Reserve. What a place, and I can't wait to go back! :)

Rice Paddies at Night at the Mandapa Reserve at the Ritz-Carlton in Bali

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time25
  • Aperture8
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length34.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Sedona Storm

More Videos Coming

We’re getting into a groove a little bit when it comes to creating and editing videos… be sure to subscribe to the Stuck In Customs YouTube Channel to see all the latest ones!

Daily Photo – Sedona Storm

Wow I almost got stuck in a torrential downpour here! You don't want to be hiking around when these things hit… the clay on these mountains in Sedona gets super-slippery and it's a great recipe for going ass-over-teakettle. There's a little house up there on top of that mountain —don't know if you can see it or not, but it looks like the universe is about to suck up the house!

Sedona Storm

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

People of Papua New Guinea Part 9

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Daily Photo – People of Papua New Guinea Part 9

Who said smoking isn't cool if you're a kid? Hey, this pygmy has had a hard day, you know… just takin' it easy now. As you can tell from this comment and the previous People of Papua New Guinea post, I'm not a Photo Journalist or anything. But I do love to take photos of these kinds of scenes and I absolutely loved the people of Papua New Guinea… I'm already having thoughts of going back! :)

People of Papua New Guinea Part 9

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture
  • ISO640
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Photo Walk on Antarctica

New eBook getting in people’s hands!

I’m glad people are enjoying the new eBook “Light Falls Like Bits” It has over 200 pages of goodness and was an absolute joy to develop. It’s a bit of a different kind of a book, as there are four essays written by various people in the art field. There’s also an interview at the end you’ll enjoy! Anyway, it’s available now for you to go grab!

Daily Photo – Photo Walk on Antarctica

I announced this Photo Walk and hardly anyone showed up! It hurt my feelings a little hehe… but we did have a few people come… and we went out and had a ball! It was my first midnight Photo Walk in fact… you can see us all here in the beginning of it, trudging through the snow and ice on the main continent of Antarctica. Awesome!

Photo Walk on Antarctica

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture9.5
  • ISO1000
  • Focal Length23.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Bejana at the Ritz-Carlton in Bali

Trey’s Tips: Adding Glow!

How to add “Fairy Tale Glow” to your photos Tip Video!

This is a short tutorial on how I add Glow to my photos now, using the new Aurora HDR Pro – Enjoy! :)

Daily Photo – Bejana at the Ritz-Carlton in Bali

Wow what a restaurant! You can see me edit this photo above if you like… Not only did I love eating here, but I also loved editing the photo…haha yeah I'm weird like that, but it takes me right back there. Get this, I even took a cooking class with the head chef, who was an amazing dude. We spent a few hours driving all over Bali to visit local markets, get spices and food, then we came back right THERE in the middle of the kitchen to cook it all up together… wow the meal was so good I'll never forget it!

Bejana at the Ritz-Carlton in Bali

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time13
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

People of Papua New Guinea Part 8

One of my favorite Spotify Playlists

Here’s one of my favorite playlists from Spotify. This is the one I listen to while taking photos and editing photos… hope you enjoy it!

Daily Photo – People of Papua New Guinea Part 8

This guy is really giving someone the side-eye. I wouldn't want this guy to give me the side-eye if I made a lie that belies his two eyes. I also would not want to get into a rhyming contest with him in his native language. But I would like to get into a def poetry slam with him. I went up to him to propose my amazing idea of a def poetry slam, and he gave me the side-eye.

People of Papua New Guinea Part 8

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

A Notable Burning Man

This was my sixth Burning Man in a row, and each one is special in its own way. Every one of them leaves you completely physically, spiritually, and emotionally spent. I think if you don’t come out of it with barely any wits holding you together, then you haven’t done it right!

What made me go in the first place?

I started my photography blog at StuckInCustoms.com about eight years ago, and I had more and more people stop by the blog and tell me that I MUST go to Burning Man. I was like, “Why would I want to go there? A bunch of hedonistic self-absorbed hippies getting dirty!” Finally, after enough trustworthy people told me it’s not like that, and, well, you just kinda gotta go to see what it’s like. And they were right! It wasn’t like that at all… and then it made me feel a little silly for being so judgmental.

What I thought was just pure hedonism or self-absorbed people were really people that were simply comfortable with their own sense of self-expression (or in the middle of creating and experimenting with different selves). There’s a big difference! Since I’m an artist myself, I’m really comfy with this idea of not finding yourself but creating yourself. It’s a scary but awesome thing… and this is the safest place in the world to dip your toe into those waters.

It’s a great place for me to experiment with my camera too. I get weird ideas and try different styles. There are so many amazing things to see every year, and you never know what you’ll see next! There are basically 50,000 people there in amazing costumes all week long, and 99.9% of them are cool with their photo being taken. The only ones that say no are people like school teachers and stuff that want to stay super-off-the-grid, which is cool too. Anyway, I could talk about it forever…

Favorite Photos and Burning Man Blog?

First, I’ll share some photos from this year’s burn in 2015, then I’ll share some favorites from previous burns. :) I’ve thought about starting up a “Burning Man only” blog, actually… let me know if you’d like to see one!

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

Here’s one of my favorite places from Burning Man 2015 called the Totem of Confessions. Susan Sarandon helped with this art project and it held Timothy Leary’s ashes inside. After it burned, there was a little ceremony where she drank the ashes! Stuff like this happens all the time out in the playa.

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

Another amazing art piece here. Okay I’m gonna stop saying that. This is R-Evolution by the great Marco Cochrane who always delivers! One of the most amazing things about this giant statue is that when you get up close, you can see that she’s slowly breathing… her chest moves in and out in the smallest way.

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

This year had crazy sandstorms. It was almost two days straight and it really sucked the life out of me and my camera. Of course I had to go out and shoot in the sandstorm! Here, you can see The Man on the left and in the middle is a huge articulating monkey-thing with ropes that anyone can pull to make it have a ghastly dance.

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

Sometimes the sandstorms get so bad you can’t even see your front bike tire. Here, the storm let up just enough so I could launch my DJI Phantom up to get a shot of the man from above.

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

On Saturday night, the man burns, and all 50,000+ people come out for big show. At one point, these HUGE gas bombs blow up (you can see them up high) and the force of the blasts shakes all our skeletons.

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

Here’s another aerial quad shot of the line to get in… this is the point when you’re wondering if it’s really worth it… and then, once you’re there, you promise yourself you’ll come again next year no matter what.

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

There’s usually about 50 people on stilts around the playa. There’s even a special place called the Stilt Bar that’s super tall and you can only drink there if you have on stilts. Everything is free once you get into Burning Man, btw. It’s a wonderful gift-based week of happiness!

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

One of countless pieces out in the desert… they look different in the day, night, and in the storms… it’s worth visiting all of them multiple times to see how the light changes.

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

Every day features 500+ events, all wonderfully random and inclusive. In this one, about 3,000 people dressed up as bunnies and did a march to protest humanity. They are very upset because humans are much too tall and don’t hop enough.

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

Ahhh, off in the distance there on the right, you can see one of my favorite vehicles… I was riding through another storm, and it cleared suddenly and I saw this scene.

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

And here it is up close. El Pulpo Mechanico. It’s a huge vehicle in the form of a steampunk octopus that shoots fire from it’s eight excitable arms! Awesome.

This year, they dramatically reduced the number of drones you could fly. I think they only allowed 30 licenses or something. I can’t figure out if that is a good or bad thing… I love getting up there and taking photos in new and interesting ways. Well, I hope they ease up the restrictions a little… I felt very lucky to get one!

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

On the final night, the temple burns and all the art car vehicles light up and surround the temple.

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

And here is the beautiful temple from this year. People walk inside and leave notes on the walls, add pictures of loved ones who are sick or dying, write down stuff they want to forget or remember, and all sorts of meditations. It’s hard to believe they burn the whole thing down, but it’s a very peaceful time as opposed to the Bacchanalia of the Man burning.

Some of my favorite photos from previous Burning Mans!

Here’s “Bliss” another amazing statue from Marco Cochrane. One of the most amazing things is there are no “wires” or anything to hold it up. It’s massive and never blows down in the storms.

Coming Soon...

Here’s one of the temples from a previous year in the background. Every year they look different. In the foreground is Eden Muse, who I happened to find randomly walking around the temple one morning.

There in the gypsy’s creation.  It pulsed around us like a thick red vein; a timeless conduit that promised to hold a time machine between worlds.  And, I’d have it no other way, as every time machine should come appointed with the comforts of the sultans as they slowly wind throughout the edges of the Orient.  The colored lights cast new tones and shadows upon the rich, supple textures.  Small windows around the edges gave outward portal-glances to worlds and times that whizzed by, each one inviting a new pause to the story.  The light, I noticed, did something unexpected as it tumbled and flowed and rolled across the skin, drifting over small sinuous shapes as the crimson rays slid up and over the flowing curves of a dune in the middle of a faraway desert.  The lines would only stay a moment before the wind blew them into a new form.  The light tore time away from the shapes, and I could not figure out what was happening until much later in the story.

This is one of my favorite smaller vehicles — a little gypsy train. You can get on any art car any time… it rolls around the playa randomly and then you can get off, stumble around, then get on another art car and see where you go next!

Another random scene… I was riding my bike and happened to catch her shadow on the umbrella. I forgot her name but I asked her what she did in real life. She said she ran an online dating website! I was like okay whoa!

Embrace 2014

This is a favorite sculpture from last year. It’s called Embrace. It cost over $250,000 to build and stood for four days before it was burned (on purpose). Some people think this is crazy… that’s okay. I think it’s all part of the art, in that it shows how ephemeral everything is. There on the right are two of the people that made it, embracing.

Another one of Black Rock City’s 50,000 inhabitants, just hanging out in the deep playa.

Most everyone on the playa has bikes to get from place to place. If you look at the ground, you’ll see it’s like a hard-packed white powder, so it’s not really like beach sand. This white color also gives everything a nice glow from the bottom… we photographers like to call it the perfect reflector, because it just lights up people in unusual and surprising ways.

Japanese Tea in a Sandstorm

A Japanese tea ceremony in a sandstorm… I came upon this totally randomly. After I took the photo, I was invited to sit down and partake. It was beautiful. There was a five-minute ceremony, and he even put some gold leaf into my tea. Also, I’m pretty sure the tea had some vodka in it.

And, to bring this photo party to a close, here’s what Burning Man looks like from above. I took this from a small plane when a friend gave me a ride. About this time, I looked up above the window and saw the sign, “This plane is not approved by the FAA. It was built by a hobbiest.” I got a little nervous at that stage and thought this might be my last photo ever!
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