Stuck In Customs

My daily travel blog to inspire and get you motivated!

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Subway Stations of Moscow

Updated Switching Website

Many of you know that I recently Switched from Mac to Windows. I’ve recently updated the article because I’ve added the Microsoft Surface Studio to the mix… what a mean machine! Here’s a little video that shows it off:

Daily Photo – Subway Stations of Moscow

The subway stations of Moscow are legendary. And it's not just this one, but there are at least a dozen stunners. I only had about 2.5 days in Moscow, so not nearly enough time to see them all, but it's certainly on the list when I go back… it's a fun challenge, actually, if you go to Moscow. It's a good idea to set aside two entire days to visit 20 subway stations… seems like a really fun photography scavenger hunt!

Subway Stations of Moscow

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-06-04 14:54:40
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.6
  • Aperture10
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Mont Saint Michel in the Dark

Karma Story

I’m a big believer in Karma, and when it doesn’t work out at all, I always find it humorous. Some of you may know I’m a beekeeper… I have about five hives and occasionally there are bees around the house or even in the house. One morning, I was making my coffee in the dark kitchen and I saw a bee slowly crawling across our countertop. Usually bees do this when they are exhausted and about to die. It was a pitiful thing, so I went to go get some honey and I put a bit on the end of a knife, and slid the knife close to the bee’s head. The bee was excited and crawled up to start getting some much-needed calories so it could fly back. I was holding my coffee, watching this whole thing happen, and thinking about what great karma I have, and then I spilled my coffee down my stomach and crotch! haha… just goes to show you to have good karma but not give yourself credit for it! 🙂

Daily Photo – Mont Saint Michel in the Dark

We had an amazing day in Mont Saint Michel. It was much too short, and I want to go back again to explore more… but I was happy to escape with a few shots! Here's one that I took right before I was about to give up and walk back to our bus. I was about to pack up my tripod but then turned around to see a bus coming toward Mont Saint Michel. I quickly set everything up to get a long exposure right as soon as the bus passed, hoping it would give some dreamy light streaks towards the old monastery.

Mont Saint Michel in the Dark

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-10 22:02:27
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time64
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Beautiful Budapest

Some of Rene’s Behind-the-Scenes photos

My friend Rene Smith joined us on the bus for most of the trip. He put together a little Facebook Album with a few fun photos and some commentary!

Daily Photo – Beautiful Budapest

Okay, I've already repeated Budapest as a location 2 out of the last 3 days. Maybe it's because it was one of my favorite new places! We stayed right here in the middle at the Ritz-Carlton (who partnered with us on the tour), and this is a view from when I flew a quadcopter off the roof. This was shot with the Phantom 4 Pro and is a panorama made from 4 different photos. I'm impressed at the low-light capabilities of this beast!

Beautiful Budapest

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-30 20:57:22
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/20
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Cinque Terre as Evening Falls

Restaurant Recommendation for this spot

I recommend getting an outside table at Nessun Dorma here in Manirola. This is basically the view from the restaurant! Well, it’s a little bit higher, but more or less… go there and order a bunch of food a spritzer drinks and enjoy several hours of one of the most beautiful views in the world.

Daily Photo – Cinque Terre as Evening Falls

It's hard to say where my favorite stop was during our 55-day photo tour in Europe. This area of Italy is easily in the top 10, though. I've always wanted to visit this place, so we decided to make it happen! There are 5 small towns here embedded into the coastline of Italy. You can hike between all 5 or take a little train that connects all of them. We decided to take the train to cover as much ground as possible. I have a lot more photos to share from the area, but wanted to get the Cinque Terre party started early with this one!

Cinque Terre as Evening Falls

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-02 19:35:25
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time16
  • Aperture16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Turkish Baths of Budapest

Good Science video on the effects of LSD on the brain

You guys may know I’m a fan of all kinds of experimentation; especially with mind-altering drugs. There’s a lot of misinformation out there… I’ve never had a bad experience, and it’s always been mind-expanding and very inspirational. It’s good to see there’s some more hard science behind it too. Here’s an article from Reason Magazine where they interview David Nutt.

Daily Photo – The Turkish Baths of Budapest

I'm going to start sharing some of my favorite photos from this mammoth 55 day tour across Europe! I hardly know where to start… how about here, in one of the most relaxing places of all! Budapest is filled with many different Turkish baths, all of which are worth visiting. This one might be my favorite – it's called Gallert. It was not crowded at all, and there were seven different thermal baths, both inside and outside. We also did some filming in here… people wondered what the heck we were doing running around half nude carrying cameras!

The Turkish Baths of Budapest

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-31 12:07:06
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length11.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Recap of Paris from another perspective and mini-Luminar Review

Trey and Photo Serge in Paris!

Just by chance, my friend Serge Ramelli was in Paris while we were there on tour. Here’s a video he made while there… always good to see Serge, and even better to hang out with his extended family a bit! You’ll see his daughter Marin in the video below as well.

More about Luminar

Go grab the new Luminar now at the Macphun website. It’s a great improvement over the last one. I’ll talk about one feature in particular here: the “AI Slider”.

When Dima (the head programmer) told me about this in Amsterdam, he was so excited… this idea that ONE slider can make your photo look better, with AI! I was skeptical, of course… but after playing with it, I get it! 🙂

I’m working on a full review of Luminar, but, in the meantime, here are two quick screenshots with caption descriptions:

Day_25_-_Monet_Det_-___233_of_344__jpg

After you load an image into Luminar, go up to that drop down on the top right and select “Quick & Awesome” – inside there is that ONE slider you need “Accent – AI Filter.” You can see the split screen here… that is literally the only slider I moved! This was taken in Monet’s garden in Giverny, a place I had always wanted to visit. I bet Monet wishes he had this slider himself.

Day_25_-_Monet_Det_-___2313_of_344__jpg

Here’s a slightly more complex screenshot to show you just a few of the other things you can do in Luminar. Here, I tried a different workspace – the “Landscape” workspace. When I selected this, it opened up a ton of filters on the right side. It still has that “Accent – AI Filter”, but it also has a whole host of the other filters that can really give your landscape a bit more attitude. You can’t see it all in this screenshot, but you can scroll down quite a ways and make all sorts of adjustments.

Getting through border security at LAX

This was one of my most popular and controversial Facebook Lives of recent past. I didn’t mean for it to be so nutty, but, well, have a watch/listen and maybe you’ll see!

Hans Zimmer in Frankfurt with our competition winner Martin!

Here’s the Facebook LIVE from at the soundcheck for the Hans Zimmer in Frankfurt at the Commerzbank-Arena with our big contest winner Martin Ronsenkratz and his wife who came with him to see the concert! While we were filming Lisa Gerrard was belting out one of my favorites from Gladiator while the sound crew gets the levels right. A night spent taking photos while listening to incredible music, couldn’t ask for anything better. Below are some of my favorite photos from both the Budapest and Frankfurt concerts, check them out!



Here’s the first concert we visited in Budapest… the lighting here was just incredible, so I decided to do my own take as a tribute to Inception.



During sound check in Frankfurt, Hans jumped on stage to play “Video Killed the Radio Star,” a song that came out of his very first band (a rarely known fact!).



Lisa Gerrard belts out one of her heart-wrenching songs from Gladiator (Now We are Free).



Everyone in the band seems to do multiple things. Here’s some of the great violinists jump in to do some backup singing.



In the middle of the Frankfurt concert (this is Hans’ home town in Germany), a golden sunset started streaming through the stadium.



Behind the scenes were 10x as many people making sure the show went well. There was so much lighting and control mechanisms – I thought it was all quite overwhelming to even conceive of, much less control.



Tina Guo, one of the featured cellists, tears apart more strings from her bow. I told her it looks kind of like she’s playing a quadcopter, eh?



Here’s the old piano that Hans plays throughout the concert. He told me he gets really nervous before the show, so worried he’s going to hit the wrong note… so that’s why he puts little stars on the keys.



Hans conducts his band during Interstellar, one of the final numbers.

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