Stuck In Customs

The place your mind can go before you travel there

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The Soft Sands of Namibia

Close Up Sand Crystals

Here’re some really beautiful photos of what sand looks like when you get really really close! Follow this link!

Daily Photo – The Soft Sands of Namibia

It's hard to believe that the myriad of colors above, en masse, results in this. I wonder why the resulting color is often light yellow/tan. I suppose, putting on my color-mixing hat, that when you mix together a lot of red/green/blue and clear/shiny/white that you end up with this color. When you mix all those paints together you get black, and when you mix all that light together you get white.

But sand has properties of both paint and light because it both absorbs, reflects, and refracts light. So, then, my color-mixing-hat says sand should be somewhere between black and white, so a gray. But sand isn't gray… then, peering deep into the hat, it makes sense that there are not many Blue crystals, since that's the least common rock color, giving the Red and Green a higher relative count, whose reflective light mixes into a Yellow color. And then mixing a Yellow with Grey results in the typical “sand” color.

The Soft Sands of Namibia

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-6000
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length84.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Purple Feathers

The New Hasselblad Mirrorless System

The new X1D looks ridiculously awesome! The only trouble is I can’t get my hands on one as they are in very short supply. The other bad thing is that there are only two lenses… both prime. The 45mm and the 90mm. I really need something a bit wider, so I hope they announce something cool at PhotoKina!

Daily Photo – Purple Feathers

This one was taken with the Hasselblad 100mm prime lens. It's the perfect lens for this kind of photo. That bokeh is so smooth, eh? Yeah, I had a great time with this lens, out there, hunting subject after subject. When you have a dedicated lens like that on there, it really limits your shooting options, which, counterintuitively, is a freeing! I was able to lurk around and find the most interesting subjects for a fun few hours of portrait work.

Purple Feathers

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture2.2
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length100.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

A Curtis for Scale and the Sling Bag!

The New Sling Bag Deep Dive!

Here’s the other bag that we launched alongside the geniuses at Peak Design. It’s the most inexpensive bag, and maybe the handiest if you’re not carrying a lot of stuff! I use this bag when I’m going out on minor photo missions… love it! See more on the Kickstarter page!

Where’s Waldo?

10 points to the first person to find Curtis in this photo! ๐Ÿ™‚

Daily Photo – A Curtis for Scale

Here's an amazing new area up in Earnslaw Burn where I had never been before. The only way to get up here is via helicopter. It looked strange from the air and even stranger after we landed. That's a glacier up there on the left. Want to know how big this is? See if you can find Curtis standing in the photo.

A Curtis for Scale

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/25
  • Aperture32
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Night Shooting in Oman

New Tote Bag Deep Dive!

I’m glad everyone is still excited about our new bags on Kickstarter! Here’s a new video – the deep dive on the Tote bag.

Daily Photo – Night Shooting in Oman

Two days in a row, two mosques in a row! This is in Muscat. I spent the day here with my family, but at night I went back alone with my driver to really explore this place. What I found most interesting, other than how beautiful it was, was how there was no security at all. Or, there was none as far as I could see. Maybe there were infrared cameras or something and a huge underground bunker of guys ready to jump out if I did something strange… But luckily that never happened! I was on my best mosquey behavior! ๐Ÿ™‚

Night Shooting in Oman

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time6
  • Aperture10
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Sunset at the Mosque

Plotagraph Tips

Over on my Plotagraph Portfolio I’ve added some more tips. Here they are in Q&A form:

Q: How do you get the GIF on Facebook?

A: First, I export the GIF at about 750 pixels across. That seems to be just about right for Facebook. Then, go to Giphy.com and upload it there. Then go to the Advanced tab and get the URL for the GIF. Paste that into Facebook.

Q: How do you get the Plotagraph on Instagram?

You have to take the video and get it on your mobile device where you have Instagram. Inside Plotagraph Pro, I currently export an MP4 with a loop of 20. This results in a video file that is 40-70 seconds long and loops the ~3 second animation multiple times. Make sense? Then, I download that then use Airplay to get the video to my iPad and then upload that with Instagram.

Q: How do you get the GIF on Twitter?

Oh that’s an easy one. You can upload the GIF right to Twitter like a JPG… no issues!

Q: How do you say “GIF” out loud when talking to other humans?

Hard G. The G in GIF is short for Graphics, which is a hard G, unlike, say, Giraffe or Gacking off to webcam jirls.

Q: Any other Social Media sharing tips?

Yes! Funny you should ask!

1) I’ve learned that Plotagraphs look “different” when smallish on Facebook/Insta/Twitter versus full-screen on your computer. Because they are smaller, the more subtle animations you create may not even be noticeable. So, to combat that, I go to the animation settings and speed up the animation (by dropping the default “3” to “2” or lower) so that it looks silly-fast full screen. But, when seen smaller, it looks good.

2) Export the social media GIF at 25 FPS. It looks the same and makes the file size smaller.

3) Hashtag #Plotagraph to help other plotagraphers discover you!

4) When I post on my WordPress blog at StuckInCustoms.com (example page), I upload a GIF that us under 15MB right into WP. I’ve found that hosting the GIF other places doesn’t really work.

Daily Photo – Sunset at the Mosque

I rarely stay in one location for so long, but I might not ever get back to Abu Dhabi and I knew the mosque there was the big hit. I must have stayed here for well over six hours. I certainly wasn't going to leave before sunset! ๐Ÿ™‚

Sunset at the Mosque

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/10
  • Aperture16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Icebreaker

Burning Man Photo Walk Announced!

Join me for the big photo walk on Wednesday the 31st at 6 PM! We’ll meet right outside of Center Camp. Here’s the FB Event for RSVP! ๐Ÿ™‚

Almost Hit by a whale in a helicopter

We’ve got some crazy footage I haven’t edited together yet… but we were with Hef in the chopper and chasing the icebreaker. All of the sudden, a whale jumped/breached hardcore out of the water right in front of us and almost hit the helicopter! Can you imagine? Holy cow it freaked us out!

Daily Photo – The Icebreaker

See these strange patterns in the sea ice just off the mainland of Antarctica? This was a big moment down there because it's when the first ship arrived after a loooooong winter. This pattern was made because the icebreaker went in and made a circle so that other ships coming in could turn around and make a loop. It was fun watching the ships come in because it took many many days… and we could see the ship get a little bigger every day.

The Icebreaker

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7S
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-1

Resting under a tree in India

India Flashback

And here’s our video from when we visited Thanjavur. I got in trouble for flying a drone here, but you didn’t hear that from me.

Daily Photo – Resting under a tree in India

Thanjavur, India, is another new place I had never been before. We went there via train, and I think it's probably one of the best ways to get around the country if you want to see a lot of things. Dealing with airports is a huge pain, always, but especially so in India. Just getting to the airport, security, travel, waiting, more car transport, checking in, unpacking… that's a whole day right there! If you stay on a train, you can leave all your stuff there and just take quick car rides around to see locations.

Resting under a tree in India

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

A Massive Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Bali

Stranger Things

Have you seen this new series on Netflix? If not, I recommend it! It’s based in 1983 and is sort of a fantastical show that reminds me a lot of Twin Peaks. It’s not as quirky and surreal as that, but it has many of the same elements. Anyway, yet another great Netflix show!

Daily Photo – A Massive Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Bali

There are two Ritz-Carlton hotels in Bali and I was lucky enough to stay in both. If you're gonna spend a week there, I also recommend trying both! This one is from “Phulay Bay,” which is one of their reserve properties. This massive structure you see here is where the “lobby” is. It's all open air, as the weather is always warm and temperate. I can't imagine how long this must have taken to build. I met the architect one day at tea and he probably got sick of me gushing over not only the overall design but also all the little details.

A Massive Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Bali

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Boat Adventures In Thailand

Boat Video

Here’s the “Home Family Video” from the day we went out on the boat in Krabi!

Daily Photo – Boat Adventures in Thailand

I'm not really a big boat guy. Well, I like being on a boat and cruising around at slow speeds, but I'm not a fan of going across choppy seas at high speeds. That sound of the boat smashing into waves is very unsettling, I think. Maybe I can stand it for 30 mins or so if we're on the way someplace cool, like in this photo! Our concierge at the Ritz-Carlton Phulay Bay set us up for the boat, so we left Krabi to head out to some of the smaller islands and ended up here. It was so pretty that it was definitely worth that 30 minutes of chop.

Boat Adventures in Thailand

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraDSC-RX100M4
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture3.2
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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