Friends in Beijing

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My friend Ken Hong is gonna get my WeChat up to the next level! You can follow me there at “TreyRatcliffChina” if you wish! 🙂

Daily Photo – Friends in Beijing

We went out to visit the Song Museum in Beijing, but some of the best things to shoot were on the outside. There were a few dozen ladies outside wearing all kinds of outfits, all taking photos of one another. I've never seen anything quite like it. I get the feeling this happens most every day there. Most of the ladies didn't even seem interesting into actually entering the museum… instead spending hours outside posing this way and that. I saw these two taking photos of one another and asked if I could jump in the fun. After I took photos with their mobile phone, I took a few of my own and sent them along via WeChat (that's the most popular sharing app in China). As you can see, they were very friendly.

Friends in Beijing

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-10 20:37:33
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length43.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Two Girls Wander Through a Bamboo Forest in China

Editing Fireworks Quick Tip

Two days in a row for a Luminar Tip! Don’t forget you can download it here. This is a quick n’ dirty video that shows you how to edit fireworks and give them a bit more pop!

Daily Photo – Two Girls Wander Through a Bamboo Forest in China

This was my first trip to Chengdu, China, and I was surprised to find they had this giant bamboo forest near a temple complex. There are these cool red-walled tunnels that weave all around and through the forest. This area is also known for their giant pandas. I was kind of hoping to see one swinging around the trees, but no such luck. But there were a lot of festive people out walking around, like these two girls.

Two Girls Wander Through a Bamboo Forest in China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-15 19:01:02
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO1000
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Shanghai, The Bund, and Beyond

Working on a new China Video

While in China over the past year, I’ve done quite a few drone flights. I used the Mavic Pro almost exclusively, and it held up perfectly. I’m currently in the middle of a longer project where I’m putting together my favorite aerial footage into an all-China from the air video. I hope to have it ready within a week or so! I’m having my friend Stephan Bollinger put some finishing touches on the titling and credits area.

Daily Photo – Shanghai, The Bund, and Beyond

This might be one of my favorite new photos! I took this from the Sky Lounge around the 50th floor of the Ritz-Carlton on the Pudong side of Shanghai. These cool ships sail up and down the river and right in front of the warmly-lit Bund area. Those old colonial buildings have hardly changed in over 100 years while the rest of the city has built up behind it. Along the riverfront there, you can see a bunch of people walking around – that is the same place we had our awesome photo walk a few weeks ago. Thanks again everyone for coming out for the event!

Shanghai, The Bund, and Beyond

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-20 23:04:10
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/10
  • Aperture4
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length91.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Burning Man Photo Editing

This Week on Passport

Today’s how-to video for Passport Members is a bit longer than usual. I usually try to keep them under 5 minutes, but this one clocks in at over 15 minutes to edit a single photo. You’ll see everything from alpha to omega. I do a lot of detailed work on this one… probably a bit overkill, but I hope you enjoy!

Some favorite Burning Man Photos

Speaking of Burning Man, I thought I’d add a few from my //Burning Man Portfolio// over on SmugMug!


Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com


Here’s how I edited a photo of the Black Rock Lighthouse. You’ll see me begin with Aurora HDR to make adjustments then end up in Photoshop to align and create some margins for artistic purposes. You’ll also see a lot of content-aware + clone-stamp action to clean up some of the mess!

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The Remarkables Across from Lake Johnson

New Luminar Tip – AI slider and Removing Color Cast

If you don’t have Luminar, grab it here! Today’s tip shows how to remove that color cast you may not know is there and how to use the AI-Accent slider.

Daily Photo – The Remarkables Across from Lake Johnson

Here's a photo I took on my three-hour hike around the lake. I think it only takes half that time, but I was really going slow and getting distracted. I didn't see another human soul the entire time, so it was sort of surreal. A lot of the Queenstown and Arrowtown area is overrun with tourists, so it's rare to spend times like this alone. I have a rough plan to come back here after a fresh snow, because I think it will look incredible!

The Remarkables Across from Lake Johnson

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-05-05 11:45:55
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length36.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Kuala Lumpur from KL Tower

A Birthday Message from Trey!

Hey it’s my birthday and all that stuff. No big deal; just an arbitrary radian around the sun, but I can come to you, my 48th, with a nice birthday message. When I turned 35 is when I initially got into photography… so it’s never too late! The best time to start trying something you think might be a calling for you is Right Now! Speaking of that, here’s a promo of our new Beginning Photography Tutorial.

Daily Photo – Kuala Lumpur from KL Tower

I know I'm getting old and everything, but when I was at KL Tower seven years ago, I don't remember an “outside” area. I remember shooting through a window and having a terrible time with the glare. Now, of course, I use a Lens Skirt, but I didn't know about it back then. Anyway, this time I went to a new level that had an outside area where you could get unobscured shots of the city.

Kuala Lumpur from KL Tower

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-03-31 00:39:44
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.5
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

What I saw when taking out the trash

Want to see my favorite new trick?

Check out this very quick way to quickly add sunrays to any photo. Note this is only with the latest version of Luminar (get it via this link).

Daily Photo – What I saw when taking out the trash

Thursday mornings are trash days here in our neighborhood. I have given this job to Ethan, but he usually needs a bit of help because it's about a 5-minute walk with multiple trash bins out to the main road. Anyway, I was getting the whole routine going when I saw this hot air balloon lifting up right behind my house. So I quickly abandoned trash duty to go grab my camera!

What I saw when taking out the trash

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-05-17 08:22:20
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length240.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Flying Into Auckland

Luminar Tip – Dehaze

Here’s another tip for one of my favorite editing programs, Luminar. This one has to do with De-haze!

Daily Photo – Flying Into Auckland

I've made the flight back and forth to Auckland probably 20 times now. It's a beautiful 1.5 hour flight where you get to sail across the top of New Zealand. About half of the way, you only see ocean, but it can make for some amazing clouds as they form on the coast. We get a warm wet wind that blows in from Australia across the Tasman Sea. When it collides with the NZ coastline, you get all kinds of fancy clouds like this.

Flying Into Auckland

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2012-08-13 03:01:09
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture5.3
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length98.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

Young Adventuress in Kuala Lumpur

Aurora HDR Tip – Reflections

This is a video that shows how I enhance reflections using Aurora HDR 2018. I took this photo at a cool outdoor shopping area in Singapore. Believe it or not, they air-condition the OUTSIDE, which seems like a ridiculous waste of money… but hey, Singapore is a pretty wealthy spot!

Daily Photo – Young Adventuress in Kuala Lumpur

It was fun to spend some time with Liz out of New Zealand! She joined me as part of the #80Stays tour in Kuala Lumpur. Boy, was it hot while we were there! It was probably over 90 degrees when we went into this mosque where we had to put on these heavy robes. Outside, there was a little bit of a breeze, at least. It had recently rained and left a thin layer of water on the marble… so it made for a nice reflection shot. Find out more about Liz's story from her visit on her blog.

Young Adventuress in Kuala Lumpur

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-03-31 23:16:39
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length26.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Complexity of Hong Kong

New, Stabilized 360 video!

We recently upgraded the firmware on the Insta360 camera so it is more stabilized. This is the first test of it today for Passport Members! I take you on a tour of my studio and the new art that I have just hung. I swap out the art every three months for each season. I’m a little behind now… as you’ll be seeing the “red” theme for Autumn. I gotta get ready for Winter colors now… as you’ll see the snow outside of the studio too!

Enjoy today’s newly stabilized video of my art hangings in the studio. I’ll stop briefly and tell little stories about each photo. Note that these photos aren’t for sale… just small informal prints to brighten up the mood of the studio.

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Daily Photo – The Complexity of Hong Kong

How beautiful is Hong Kong? I took this from the bar atop the Ritz-Carlton there on the other side of the bay. I tried to not just get the obvious wide-angle shots, but instead to zoom in and get some interesting details here and there. Naturally, there are all sorts of different apartments for different income levels. These are some of the nicer ones over on the Hong Kong side.

The Complexity of Hong Kong

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-03-13 00:01:59
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time2.5
  • Aperture4
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length105.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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