Night Settles In Feung Huang


Google + Invites

I’d love to invite the whole community here into Google+, and think I have a way. But, please, follow these rules otherwise things get messy.

Now, I handed out 10 invites yesterday, and I asked those 10 people to make a post on our StuckInCustoms Facebook Page once they were in. Then others could post below that and perhaps the first 10 or so (discretion and time of the inviter) can get in.

It was supposed to be simple, but it ended up in a bit of a cluster because everyone just wrote their own email address right on the wall, asking for an invite.

So, please follow these rules for an orderly pyramid invitation system for inviters and invitees.

1) Come to StuckInCustoms Facebook Page and see if you can find a thread that has remaining invitations. Put your email in that thread (not on the wall).

2) Accept your invite when it arrives, then return to the StuckInCustoms Facebook Page and pay it forward by saying, “I have 10-15 (whatever) invites for Google+ so leave your email below and I’ll get you in!”

3) To invite people in, create a new circle and fill it with email addresses that need access.

4) Share a post or photo with that circle, and it will ask you if you want to email people not in Google+. Say yes, and they will get an email invite!

And, if you are looking for me in Google+, here is My Google Profile.

Where do you keep your passport?

When you travel, where do you secure your passport? Now, I’ve taken to keeping it in my front pocket of my jeans or cargo shorts. I’ve stopped leaving it in the room after it was stolen in China (from a very respectable hotel). I used to sometimes keep it in a safe, but that is kind of a pain… so, front pocket for me. The back pocket is too dangerous because it can easily be picked. And I can’t bring myself to wear one of those things around my neck like I’m a 6 year old traveling alone on an airplane.

Daily Photo – Night Settles In Feung Huang

There is a general poetic peace when it begins to go dark outside and the town comes alight with shopkeepers and villagers come out to turn on the lights. If you look around, you can see them popping on, one at a time, like little fireflies coming out to play for the evening.

This area is no different, and it’s made even more magical by the little river that flows through the middle of it all. And then you are faced with all these nice decisions… where to eat? where to drink? where to find an inn for the night?

Night Settles In Feung HuangThere is a general poetic peace when it begins to go dark outside and the town comes alight with shopkeepers and villagers come out to turn on the lights.  If you look around, you can see them popping on, one at a time, like little fireflies coming out to play for the evening.This area is no different, and it's made even more magical by the little river that flows through the middle of it all.  And then you are faced with all these nice decisions... where to eat?  where to drink?  where to find an inn for the night?  - Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

  • Susan

    Ahh this is beautiful – love the softly glowing lights,the reflections and sky – knowing you I’d say you made some good choices on where to spend the evening!

  • What a perfect balance of light and dark. So beautiful.

  • The absolute best place to keep a passport, as well as cash and extras, is in a moneybelt around your waist.

  • I agree with Mari on the storage of passport etc. preferably keeping that money belt inside your pants. Knock on wood, I have yet to lose anything after 40 years of traveling. This image proves the power of HDR. Absolutely fantastic, Trey.

  • Patrick Ahles

    Great shot, Trey! The reflection is wonderful, and the way they built the houses right next to the river, beautiful! Now, off to Facebook ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Another great one. The really nice color contrast of the red in foreground and blue in background makes it special. And the reflection just makes it excellent ๐Ÿ™‚

    Btw. about Google+, I already have an Invite and can’t get in. There is a message “Already invited? We’ve temporarily exceeded our capacity. Please try again soon.” So will just have to wait ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Trey, this is the perfect situation for HDR and you make the most of it.

  • I usually keep that stuff in a money belt. The kind that slips under you pants. The one that I have has a comfy back and I don’t notice its there half the time. I wear baggy cargo pants/short when traveling and thus I feel that they can be picked from the front too. The money belt keeps my cash and passport safe and it is hidden from site so I don’t look like a douche ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love the red and blue in this shot! Great work as always.

  • Simon Morris

    Stunning shot Trey – I like the subtle reflections on the river and gentle glow from the surrounding properties… certainly comes across as being an idyllic place to eat and drink for the evening!
    Google+ sounds interesting – time to have a look at the SIC Facebook page… ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • They say this is the most beautiful part of China,would like one day if possible to see it. Just a short hehe!! With all you’re travelling you got to be a healthy man with all your free medical checks. Every airport stop you have an ex-ray then a chest examination and if you mention Al Qauda you’ll get a free colonoscopy Sorry hehe!!!

  • Michele

    Our passports go in the hotel safe in our room, or in our front pockets. When I’m travelling through airports and on planes, I wear a lightweight sleeveless vest that keeps me warm on colder flights. This has zip pockets, and I keep my pp in one of those. Otherwise, it’s definitely the front pocket.

    Bob Arno recommends keeping stuff in the tightest front pocket that you have, and to never carry a wallet – only loose cash and cards. We have learned a lot from reading the advice on his website – so much that we now bait the pickpockets in Barcelona, so when they’re following us, they’re leaving alone the less aware tourists for a while! We’re also warn many tourists in Barcelona about the “tails” that they have following them.

  • Nice image Trey!
    I travel a LOT (to say the least!! I just came back from Dublin, and next week will be in London, Holland, and rural Wales!) and I have never lost my passport (thank goodness). I never, ever, ever, leave it in my room, but I keep it in my top pocket. If I don’t have a top pocket, then it is in the right hand pocket of my trousers, and I am aware of it there (usually with my wallet) often with my hand in the pocket with it.

    When I don’t need it, it is in my computer bag, which also carries my camera, and it is always with me.

    If I need to leave the camera in my room, it goes in the safe, with the laptop, (My passport comes with me!) I turn the TV on (loudish), stick something in the slot to keep the power on (so the TV doesn’t go off!) and put the “Do not disturb” sign on the door – The theory is that the bad guys will not be sure that there is not someone in there , and maybe go to another room!

    BTW I had security in the airport yesterday ask me if the image on the machine was an umbrella in my computer bag (with all the camera stuff) – I always carry it there too – I told him, ” of course, this is Dublin isn’t it?” He asked me to take it out, and hand it to him.. He put it up , and I had to resist the urge to tell him it was bad luck to put a brolly up indoors! LOL! That was a real first for me!

  • I really like this photo so peaceful …

  • Great shot! Looks very relaxing at this spot. Love the reflection. My passport always stay either in my pocket or in a pocket on my camera bag (since it never leaves my shoulder). I’ve never left it in the hotel room for the sole reason that I tend to get shaken down by police. Something about a grown man in shorts and with a tripod I guess. ;-P

  • Vicki Wilson

    Magical, I love the lights in the twilight, awesome image! I put my passport in a waist money belt when I travel overseas. I also travel with a xerox paper copy of main passport page that i keep locked in the hotel room safe as an emergency backup document.

  • JIm

    I want to thank Trey for his help with my HDR. I was fortunate for R.C. to include my work in his new ” The HDR Book “. ALong with Trey’s it is one of the best I have seen. Thanks again Trey. My latest post.

  • Matt

    I most often keep my passport in my front pocket, to the point that it’s a habitual, unconscious exercise. This backfired on me during a trip to Tioman Island, however, as I spent several hours swimming in the ocean . . . with my passport turning into oatmeal in the pocket of my swimming trunks. It was a royal pain getting back into Singapore and, later, back home in the US, with a heavily wrinkled passport. No matter the nationality, customs agents everywhere these days become very perturbed when the passport can’t be read by their scanners.

  • Great shot as usual! The contrast between the blue-ish outside and the red building is great. As for passports, it’s always a pain…you leave it in the hotel and it might get swiped. You take it with you and if you keep it in a bag…that might get swiped. Keeping it on you is the best but…that can be a pain sometimes too. In Japan, the hotels are relatively safe. I keep my passport and my green card in a small leather case that looks like…well…a “man purse” and that is buried in my backpack so unless they steal everything in my room, it’s not obvious so I’ll probably be ok. Elsewhere if a safe is not in the room, I usually travel with a few Eddie Bauer travel shirts that has special pockets that fits a passport perfectly. I don’t see it on their web site…got it at their outlet. I should really travel with a photocopy of it too I suppose…

  • I’ve never done that much travel with my passport, but I was never comfortable leaving it anywhere. It was always in one of my front pockets.

  • Cliff

    Hey Trey,

    I used one of these to good effect in Japan last week: .

    It was a little more comfortable than a money belt, providing you wear a normal belt.

  • I once had to put my passport and other important documents in a pouch with a string. Tied the string to one of the hoops for my pants belt and then tossed the pouch on the inside of my jeans and secured it with a little tape.
    Yes, I was traveling through Karachi, Pakistan.

  • Lisa

    I keep my passport in the inside pocket of my ScottEVest zipped closed. I wish it had a double zip pocket but I prefer it to a money belt. When going through airports I will often use a neck pouch if I have to take it out and show it often.

  • Big Matty

    Awesoeme shot Trey. As usual the photo is so dang good that I want to see what’s to the right and left of the pic border. You get the feeling there is so much more in that neat little area you couldn’t fit in the frame. If only we could peek around the edge of the image;)

  • Pat

    Now you have to keep your passport in an RFID protection folder too. The lights in three points of this photo made for a good balance and the colors, also, were in the same “zone.” As usual, an always enjoyable daily treat.

  • Hello Trey,

    Yes, I wear one of those things around my neck ๐Ÿ˜ฎ I actually had Hungarian border/customs guards question me on why my passport smelled funny. I told them it was because of sweat. They weren’t too impressed with that answer. Since then, I’ve been using the thin plastic of a sandwich bag to keep the sweat/moisture away from my passport.

    I’ve never had a passport lost or stolen in 10 years of traveling.. But I haven’t had a girlfriend during that time either! So Maybe I should get rid of that accessory. he he.

    I used to do the money belt thing. But I stopped doing that when I stopped having enough money to worry about it getting stolen. But I’m a “front pocket guy” for all the important stuff. Sometimes I’ve put stuff in back pockets as decoys, but I’ve never had any takers.

    Thanks for sharing your art with us,

  • Despite being 58 years older than that 6 years old. I still wear that thing around my neck in airports and stations. At other times I use Fjallraven (SE) pants with that magical “inside the front zipped at the bottom pocket that you flip up when needed”. Feels super safe: fingers crossed, to Indonesia next week!

  • Thanks everyone… very good feedback!

  • Lisa Griffis

    Just started HDR and used your web site discount-I am looking at every scene with a different viewpoint now. I make a photocopy of my passport and email to myself along with my e-ticket and the front and back of my cc’s. That way if the whole mess gets stolen I can just access that email. I keep my original in either the front desk safe or the hotel room safe along with my plane tickets and any credit cards I have other than one which I carry. No purse but I do use the annoying string around my neck-just make sure it doesn’t show or you will create a target. Thanks for turning me on to HDR photography!

  • Wow, I am surprised at how many people keep their money and passports in a pocket. Even your front pocket isn’t safe, especially in places like Italy where the pickpockets are incredibly skilled and could practically take something straight out of your hand without you noticing.

    A moneybelt worn under pants is absolutely the safest option – especially when you are out with a camera and have your hands on the tripod and lens and aren’t as visually aware of the people around you because you have one eye closed and the other up to a camera.

  • I have a couple pairs of REI’s Sahara convertible pants which have a front pocket that has a zipper. This pocket works great for securing my passport. It’s also a good idea to carry a photo copy of your passport with you in a safe place when you travel.

  • Great shot! I love the contrast of the blue and the red…also the reflection.

  • Edward Vetalice

    I keep my passport in a pouch around my neck. So I’m six, but its never been lost or stolen.

  • Beautiful atmosphere and capture.
    What does Google+ do? Sounds quite a complex procedure to get in. Not sure if I want to refer other’s email.

  • Hi,

    could I get a Google + invite please?


  • The only place to keep your passport is in a hidden belt wallet you keep hidden under your underwear and other clothes. Given I’m a woman my pants pockets, if I have them, are not anywhere large enough and if I wear a skirt well…so hidden belt wallet all the way. If I leave it at a hotel it only goes in a safe period. Google+ looks interesting but what good is it until everyone can use it?!?!

  • Passport: I really tried to love my money belt but they just get hot & sweaty – uncomfortable, and eventually unused. So pockets it is. If I’m in non-public areas I’ll stow it in the back for comfort, but I will switch it to front pocket when in public. I feel like items out of sight and/or not on my person are much more at risk of theft than something I physically have control over.

    Google+: I heard they were suspending new invites today because they were too slammed. If that changes I’m interested… will check back here I guess.

  • I really need to visit this town!

  • I keep my passport in the front pocket of my jeans, or in my cargo pocket if I have one. However, my wife recently put my passport through the wash so I’m not sure this is the best place to keep it either.

    Absolutely fantastic photo – it makes me want to sit with my feet in the water outside that shop.

  • Roger

    If I had to use one photo as a example of what a HDR picture can do this would be the photo out of the hundreds that I have looked at.

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