Stuck In Customs

My daily travel blog to inspire and get you motivated!

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Bridge Views in Tianjin

Christmas idea – Invite your friends and family to Passport Sunday!

Hey guys, this is a little self-serving for sure, but it is also you-serving! I find that finding good Christmas presents is Very Difficult! I want to give something unique, and never sure what to give. Anyway, why not give the weekly present of the Stuck In Customs Passport?? It’s a fun thing for anyone who is either creative, into photography, or maybe just curious. Today is Passport Sunday, where I release a new video every week… It’s a fun gift because every week, your family member or friend will be reminded of how much you love them! 🙂

Eliminating Window Glare

Here’s a rather tough edit from an older photo from Chicago where I had quite a bit of glare on the window. That’s perhaps the best part of the lesson, and I clean that up pretty quickly. Most of the end of the video is about me trying to correct the buildings to make them look more upright. That was sort of a bear!

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Daily Photo – Bridge Views in Tianjin

Tianjin is kind of an interesting city and kind of a strange city, like most Chinese cities. All cities there remind me like some kind of parallel universe where people use some of the same rules as Western cities and also do some incredibly random stuff. It’s clear the Chinese have a different aesthetic to city living than Westerners. I’m not saying it’s good or bad; it’s just different. Anyway, Tianjin is one of the first cities I’ve visited that has a ton of bridges crisscrossing the river. Here’s one of the best views from the most centrally located bridge.

Bridge Views in Tianjin

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-14 00:16:10
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1.6
  • Aperture9
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length73.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Tunnel Under Shanghai

EXIF Info

Don’t forget you can hover over the daily image (or click on it) to get all the EXIF info you need… like today you might be wondering about how many seconds the exposure was. Well, I’ll save you the time here: 1.3 seconds.

Daily Photo – The Tunnel Under Shanghai

What a cool tunnel eh? I first visited here about eight years ago and got a similar photo. I didn’t end up going back to this tunnel until my final night in Shanghai. I was thinking, oh, why bother… I already have that shot. I wasn’t too enthusiastic, but then I got back in and forgot how fun it was to get these sorts of shots. I like them because you really are not in too much control over how the long exposure will finally look

The Tunnel Under Shanghai

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-23 02:01:31
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1.3
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

An Autumn Wander

Aurora HDR 2019

I used the new Aurora (that is available for PC and Mac) to make today’s image. If you haven’t picked it up yet, then be sure to pop on over to the store and make it happen!

Daily Photo – An Autumn Wander

Last Autumn, I took the time to have some random walks around the countryside here between Queenstown and Arrowtown. There are hundreds and hundreds of little scenes like this everywhere. Most are on private property, but it seems to kind of okay to wander around anyway. No one has ever stopped me. In fact, I’ve met a lot of nice people. They see me with a camera and are a little suspicious, but then they chill out after we talk for a while and see I am just one of their friendly neighbors!

An Autumn Wander

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-04-30 11:59:04
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture5
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Beautiful Hallway in Hong Kong

Fun Creative Gadget for Kids

Here’s a cool music maker I recently got for my 13-year-old daughter. I wasn’t sure if she would want it or not, but we watched a few videos and she got super excited.

Daily Photo – Beautiful Hallway in Hong Kong

Check out this hallway in the Ritz-Carlton in Hong Kong. This hallway leads to some absolutely amazing restaurants where I ended up eating way too much food! Also, this hallway seemed to be very popular among Instagrammers. I had to be pretty patient to wait for all of them to get out of their egoic selfie zones so I could set up with my tripod.

Beautiful Hallway in Hong Kong

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-03-15 04:20:37
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time2.5
  • Aperture10
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

The Incredible Disappearing Waterfall

What’s In Trey’s Bag?

Here’s a new What’s in Trey’s Bag video! I haven’t updated this in YEARS, so it’s time for some fun! I have all of this stuff listed at www.Kit.com/TreyRatcliff – you’ll actually see in there I have it separated into different sort of kits for beginners or experts. I also have other mini-kits in there for gadgets, books, and all other sorts of goodies. Enjoy!

The Fiordlands

Here’s a Google map that shows the fjords I was exploring. What a crazy place, eh? I’ve never been to the fjords of Norway, but that is next on my list! If you haven’t tried it, be sure to click the 3D button there on Google maps and you can use the Command/Ctrl key on your keyboard to spin the map around in any direction.

Daily Photo – The Incredible Disappearing Waterfall

A few weeks ago, I went and lived on a boat for several days down in Dusky Sound in the far southern fjords of New Zealand. It was so beautiful! I remember looking at that map above before I moved to New Zealand and thinking… wow, wouldn’t it be cool to explore all those little nooks and crannies in the fjords! Anyway, while floating around, we saw this incredible waterfall that seemingly came out of a cave in part of the mountain and disappeared into another cave.

The Incredible Disappearing Waterfall

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-10-28 17:45:27
  • CameraFC220
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/450
  • Aperture2.2
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length4.7 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Pena Palace from the Sky

Russian Wedding Photos

I never get tired of looking at the latest crop of what happens in these Russian Wedding Photos. I was doing some research for this book about Instagram, and it ended up sending me down this rabbit hole once again.

Daily Photo – Pena Palace from the Sky

This was one of my more frightening drone flights! I’m not used to doing a lot of quad excursions that take the unit a few miles away from me, but I decided to go for it here because I might not ever have another chance. Also, there was not really a “perfect” angle to take a photo from the ground. There is lots of space all around it, but it’s covered in trees so you really can’t get a clear view. Getting a shot from the air seemed like the best solution!

Pena Palace from the Sky

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-04-17 19:32:21
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Derek Sivers in a Field

Sam Harris Meditation App

I have many meditation apps… this is a new one from Sam Harris that I really like. I think it’s perfect for people just getting into it for the first time. I’ve been meditating for a while, but it’s still fun to “start over” with a new set of techniques. That Sam Harris, he’s a cool cat.

Daily Photo – Derek Sivers in a Field

I think I really nailed it with the title of this photo. It came to me instantly. I don’t know what force brings about these amazing photo titles, but I am very thankful for it.

Man, I miss this guy! We were gonna do a big road trip across New Zealand, but we were both too busy to make it happen. He’s in Portugal now. Maybe I should make a trip over thataway and we’ll do a road trip there!

Derek Sivers in a Field

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-21 04:50:19
  • CameraX1D-50c
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Tina Guo Ripping Up String Instruments

Hans Zimmer Live on Netflix

Don’t forget to jump on Netflix, turn up the volume, and check out this amazing concert. You’ll definitely be seeing Tina Guo slay a cello during some of the scenes.

Editing the photo of the abandoned yacht in Hong Kong

This is one of my favorite photos I took this year. Today, you awesome Passport people get to see me do a full edit of this one from the RAW file all the way through completion.

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Daily Photo – Tina Guo Ripping Up String Instruments

What do you get when you cross an out of control BDSM scene with a cello? You get Tina Guo.

Anyway, what’s so cool about this gal (where do I start?) is that she’s a total badass on stage. She looks angry and she’s about to rip the face off the first man she sees. Anyway, that’s what I see. Maybe you see something different. But then, off stage, she might be the nicest and sweetest person on the planet.

Tina Guo Ripping Up String Instruments

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-06-09 22:27:59
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length240.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The 16th Avenue Tiled Stairs in San Francisco

The Mavic 2 Pro Zoom

I got the Mavic 2 Pro Zoom (see it on my Kit.com) for one main reason: It has a cool feature where it zooms into 48mm and then takes 9 photos in a grid so you can stitch them together later as a panorama. In my first test, which you’ll see below:

1) I did a regular photo, which came out to about 4,000 pixels across (3992 to be exact)

2) Then I did the zoom-pano, stitched it together in Lightroom, and ended up with a photo that was about 9,500 pixels (9486 to be exact).

I find this to be incredibly exciting!

Compare it to my Sony A7r Mark III. It takes 42-megapixel photos, which translates to about 8,000 pixels across (7952 to be exact). This means that, effectively, the Mavic 2 Pro Zoom takes higher-rez photos than the Sony A7r Mark III.

Here is a single photo (24mm) taken from the same spot as today’s Daily Photo in the bottom of this post. I haven’t made any enhancements to it or anything…

Daily Photo – The 16th Avenue Tiled Stairs in San Francisco

I’m not 100% sure this is the stairway, as I ended up here by accident! If I am wrong, feel free to correct me.

This was my first test of the new 9-photo panorama. I have done a bit of touch-up to it using Aurora HDR and some other tools. Also, I did some fixes to the horizon. If you look at the first image above, you’ll see the horizon seems off. I think it’s actually correct, but the way the land slopes to the left makes it look like the camera was askew a bit. Anyway, I made an adjustment using the perspective cropping tool in Photoshop.

The 16th Avenue Tiled Stairs in San Francisco

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-11-18 17:24:22
  • CameraFC2204
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time0.5
  • Aperture3.8
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length8.6 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Pre-Interview Sunrise

Aurora HDR 2019

Hey guys, don’t forget to pop over to our store and get the new Aurora HDR 2019. Today’s photo is a good example of what it can make out of a single RAW file (handheld shot).

Daily Photo – Pre-Interview Sunrise

One of the New Zealand TV Morning Shows invited me down for an interview early one morning here in Queenstown. They were set up down by the lake, and it was freezing cold. I don’t know why they decided to do it at the coldest time of year, but, hey, I’m not in TV production. Anyway, I went down there to give a little interview about my fine art and some of my collectors. About 30 seconds before I ran onto the set, I took this photo!

Pre-Interview Sunrise

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-07-04 08:08:31
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length23.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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