Stuck In Customs

The place your mind can go before you travel there

Read the Blog Photo Tips

I’m doing a series of free, fun, family friendly, photo walks across Europe… plus a few unique day-long workshops. Wanna see the list of places? Come check out the new site at 80stays.treyratcliff.com!

Yosemite in the Morning

Another How-To Video

A HUGE thanks again to those of you that signed up for Passport! Today, I have another video where I show a breakdown of how today’s photo came to be. Enjoy!

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Daily Photo – Yosemite in the Morning

I took this on New Year's Morning, several years ago when we had a fun photo walk in Yosemite. You all know I hate waking up early, but I was more than happy to arrive at this beautiful spot. All in all, I still recommend Yellowstone over Yosemite, but there are a few amazing spots in Yosemite you gotta hit! 🙂

Yosemite in the Morning

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2012-01-01 10:01:04
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1.5
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

Child in Goroka

Europe Photo Walks!

We’re soon to announce 10 Photo Walks across Europe! Note these are all free events with great prizes… very family friendly and all cameras are welcome, from mobile phones to DSLRs. We have great prizes, all kinds of tips and tricks, and more! Want to find out first where we are going? Sign up for our Newsletter at www.StuckInCustoms.com/news

The only 1 of 10 cities we have announced is Lisbon, Portugal. That’s where we’re getting started with our tour bus for our trek across Europe! I’ll be there with the whole crew and it’s gonna be amazing. We’re actually doing that Lisbon photo walk right after our workshop there in Portugal at the Portugal Photo Adventure Page.

Anyhoo, here is the highlight video for our photo walks across the USA. Thanks again to everyone that came out for that one. This time, we’ll be doing even more Facebook Live and other online events so people can join us from all around the world even if you can’t join us in Europe.

Advice in Goroka

If you head to Papua New Guinea, you should REALLY go with a tour group or professional tour operator. I don’t usually like doing official “tours,” but it’s such a wild place that you really need some local expertise.

Daily Photo – Child in Goroka

It’s great shooting all the grownups, but the kids are even more awesome! After seeing this, it made me think I really should have done more of this.

I’ll tell you a quick story about Goroka. This is a ROUGH place… no hotels… I ended up staying in a pseudo-military compound with a bunch of rough old diamond miners. There was this one guy that ran the biggest coal mine – he was from South Africa – we would drink every night at the bar together. He had this GIANT brass pipe he would carry around. I finally asked him what is the purpose of the pipe, and he said it was so that he could hit natives in the chest if they didn’t do what he said. I was like HOLY SHIT DUDE.

Child in Goroka

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-10-13 13:16:50
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/5000
  • Aperture
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-1

Bali Rice Fields

More angles on Rice Fields

Oh, trivia first! Do you know why there’s all that water in rice fields? I only just found this out! I thought, before, it was obviously because the rice needs lots of water! But then, when you think about it, the rice grains are actually pretty small, and there’s really no need for THAT much water. Well, here comes the reason: the water keeps the weeds from growing! Mind-blowing, eh?

If you click on the “Bali” category, you’ll see I have a few different rice field shots – I think some of the from the drone are my favorite.

Daily Photo – Bali Rice Fields

This was my first time ever to shoot these terraced rice fields. I saw a few in China, I guess, but they weren’t nearly this pretty. I thought shooting these would be easier than it was… I found a bit of difficulty in finding the best angles and compositions! I’ve heard some of the best rice fields and in the Philippines, so that’s definitely on my list!

Bali Rice Fields

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-11-14 07:44:52
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Bali at Sunset

A Yoga Idea

I’ve got this crazy idea where I’m gonna go to Bali and learn how to become a yoga teacher. I don’t actually plan on teaching yoga, but I want to go through the multiple-week training. It sounds quite fun, actually. Plus, it’d be a great reason to get in shape… Anyway, I don’t know if I’ll actually do it, but I do fantasize about it a lot… seems awfully self-indulgent, but I’m not beyond that.

Daily Photo – Bali at Sunset

This photo still causes me a lot of heartache! It’s a “good” problem, technically, I suppose. The sunset was killer, as you can tell. I ended up taking about 200 photos. They were all just SLIGHTLY different from one another. Then when it came time to start processing them, I just couldn’t pick one. They all were really decent, and I was quite paralyzed. So then, I decided to edit like 10 of them. And they all came out a little different, but none stood out. I don’t know why this caused me so much angst, but I’m still feeling it now writing about it!

Bali at Sunset

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-11-15 18:02:45
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture16
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length38.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

The Lamp Market in Cairo

Photo Tip – Vertirama

When I tell you today’s photo is a vertirama made by stacking three vertical shots, you may see it! The bottom lamps are a little warped, but I quite like the effect. I had to do it because I had a 28mm lens and could not fit in the whole thing. I really wanted to get the top of the structure that I think is so beautiful. Even though a vertirama takes more time, you are rewarded with a much higher-rez photo than usual.

Hot Passport Tip! Often in the new HDR Tutorial (which you get with Passport) I process different images when you compare the Mac/Windows videos. So even if you’ve seen one version, skip the live action from the other OS and you never know what you might find!

Daily Photo – The Lamp Market in Cairo

When I was walking through the Bazaar with my family, we saw all sorts, shapes, and colors of lamps. Regular readers know that I love these things and I want all of them. Of all the places we visited, this was my favorite display… sort of dueling merchants on either side of the walkway. The placement is interesting too, inside an old ruined vestibule.

The Lamp Market in Cairo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-02-03 21:58:29
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO500
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Sunrise in Fort Lauderdale

EXIF Info

Don’t forget you can see the EXIF info by 1) on the web, mouse over the photo or 2) on mobile, you can click through to the Smugmug version and click the “i” to get all the camera/exposure info! 🙂

Daily Photo – Sunrise in Fort Lauderdale

Two Ft. Lauderdale shots in a row! This is one of the amazing sunrises there. I don't like setting alarms (the only time I do is when I plan a wake-up call to catch a flight), so I would sleep with the curtains open so the morning light would wake me up. It works 80% of the time. Anyway, it worked this day, and I was able to zoom in tight and get the sun rising up through stormy clouds.

Sunrise in Fort Lauderdale

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-09 20:26:32
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length115.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1.3

Katie Ann headed to the hot tub

Funny Story

Look, I’m really not the kind of guy that says bad things about other people or teases them, so this is not really a story about that, just noting a WEIRD situation. It’s related to today’s photo. So, across the hall from me was these newlyweds. They saw I had a camera, and they asked if I would take a picture of their beautiful baby. I was like, well, I don’t really do that sort of thing. And then he said, well let me get your email and I’ll keep asking. Every few hours, I got another email, offering me money and everything, telling me how amazing his baby is and how I simply must take pictures of the baby. They would find me in the lobby, restaurant, everywhere, asking me to take photos of their baby and showing me other photos of how amazing this baby was. It looked like a regular wrinkled up baby to me. Anyway, I kept saying no, I don’t really take portraits of people or anything. WELL, fast forward a few days later, and I’m taking photos of my friend Katie Ann at the pool below. Well, wouldn’t you know it, the newlyweds were at the pool. The wife came over to me and said, “I thought you didn’t take photos of people!” I was like….uhhhhhhh….

Daily Photo – Katie Ann headed to the hot tub

When I was in Ft. Lauderdale, I called my friend Pascha (who helped me with the cancer charity event) and his model girlfriend Katie Ann. They came over for a few hours for a fun photo shoot. I wanted to get a little “gal in Ft. Lauderdale” feel for my shots. I don't do a lot of this sort of thing, but it's fun to experiment and try other things. We were shooting this at the Ritz-Carlton pool and everyone was watching us like it was some kind of an official shoot or something… If I explained how casual and organic the shoot was, they probably would have been disappointed.

Katie Ann headed to the hot tub

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-11 02:47:44
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8000
  • Aperture
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Lupins in Spring

A special day in Tekapo (more for Passport members)

Want to see how today’s photo was processed? I do the whole thing from beginning to end… it was kind of a challenging photo, I’ll be honest. Anyway, you’ll see the bonus material at the bottom of this blog post if you’re a Passport Member and THANKS again for all your support! 🙂

Passport Member-Only Content
Click here to learn how to unlock this content plus many other amazing member benefits.

Daily Photo – The Lupins in Spring

This is a new favorite photo of Tekapo! I had a lot of trouble figuring out what composition to use and how to process it (you'll see in the how-to video below), but I'm very happy with the result. Can you believe a lot of locals in New Zealand find this lupin flower to be a pest and a nuisance? I've been trying to collect more and more and plant them at our home! I think they are very pretty! 🙂

The Lupins in Spring

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2012-12-05 11:17:16
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture16
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Strange Formations in Antarctica Ice

Special Critiques for our Facebook Group

First, haven’t you joined our Facebook Group? You gotta… it’s so fun! I did a critique the other day of some images people posted on Facebook Live – here is the video below!

Daily Photo – Strange Formations in Antarctica Ice

We took a lot of helicopter flights across the ice in Antarctica… it was so unusual to see these square shapes. You may notice another one off in the distance to the right too. I asked our helicopter pilot Hef about them. He said he has no idea, but he's been seeing them forever… I'd like to know myself… because in my whole life whenever I see ice crack, it always seems to crack in a random pattern!

Strange Formations in Antarctica Ice

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-14 12:31:41
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/5000
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length113.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Last Ones Out of the Ocean in Naples

Fasting Time

I ate and drank so much on my 60-day trip around the world that I added a few LBs! You may remember one point in Grand Cayman where I gained Many Pounds in just a few days. Yes, that was an all-time low. Rock bottom. Anyway, now that I am home I just finished a 3-day fast and am going 0-carb for a few weeks to reset the system. In general, I’m enjoying being a human except for that bit! 🙂

Special Bonus Passport Stuff

Oh, today has more behind-the-scenes stuff for Passport Members at the bottom of this post!

Passport Member-Only Content
Click here to learn how to unlock this content plus many other amazing member benefits.

Daily Photo – Last Ones Out of the Ocean in Naples

Here are my two lovely daughters (not screaming at one another for once!) coming out of the water at the end of the day. This was their saddest time, when the mean parents made them come out of the ocean to go inside and get ready for dinner. Two little water-bugs, I tell ya! 🙂

Last Ones Out of the Ocean in Naples

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-04 06:46:09
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/40
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO640
  • Focal Length42.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.7

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