Some Favorites from Paris!

A Special Paris video for Passport members!

You may remember I did another special Paris video a few months ago. Well, I decided to make another one, but this one is more inspirational. I hope you dig it. And if you’re not a Passport Member by now, why not?!? 🙂

Some Favorites from Paris!

So many great memories from Paris! Here are four of my favorite photos from the romantic city!


Windows in Paris – The Saint Chapelle I wish I could find a good wide-angle lens like this Nikon 14-24 for my Sony NEX-7. I think one is coming out in a month or so… and I’m thinking of trying out the Olympus 7-14mm (Adorama link). The NEX-7 has served me as a good camera while my D800 is getting repaired!(Edit, I’ve changed my mind and decided to wait on this new lens from Sony)- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Time Lasts Forever in Paris Oh Paris! Le sigh…These were not the ideal shooting conditions, as idyllic as the scene might appear. This is all handheld, btw, no tripod, and here’s the rest of the sad tripod story.To get to this spot, you have to walk to the top of the Arc de Triomphe. My first few times there, I did not even know you could get to the top! I felt quite dumb when I found out you can walk up about 20,000 stairs to get here.Once I got up there, I staked out a position with my tripod, and then Frenchy McFrenchface came over and told me I could not use my tripod. I explained that I was an arteeeest, and surely he would in the 19th century no one asked the impressionists to put their easels away. This was a losing argument, although I still think it’s a pretty good one. It will work one day, and I won’t give up this line of persuasion.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Walking about the Sorbonne in the evening

Another Summer Day in Paris I'm having an amazing time in Paris.  As usual, it's off-the-rails perfect.  The weather has been remarkable, the sunsets amazing, and the chocolate flows like mana from heaven.   I made it over to the Eiffel Tower for a big night of shooting, and arrived there just as the sun was setting.  I have a few little special spots I like to visit around the tower that are not full of tourists and the like.This shot looks much more delicate, perhaps, than I did while achieving it.  Unfortunately, this was one of those tricky ones where the tripod legs were splayed out like a flattened armadillo.  I looked beyond redonkulous while taking it...Read the rest here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Paris: The Flaneur

I hope you enjoy! 🙂 If you like these sorts of videos, let me know and I can do more.

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The Matrix

Morning Edits

I have a slightly new morning routine. After I get my coffee, I begin to edit photos right away before I do email or anything. It’s good because my head is pretty clear and not distracted by silly things that appear in my email to distract me! 🙂

Passport Bonus!

Hello awesome Passport Member! Below is an early look at a how-to video for you.

Aurora HDR Deep Dive – Beginner to Intermediate Level Editing

Here is a fairly in-depth how-to for you awesome Passport people. It covers making extremely reflective looking grounds and some panorama techniques that I’ve been using recently.

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Daily Photo – The Matrix

This is kind of a crazy photo, eh? I had an idea to find some of the most technically-crazy buildings in London and get tight photos of them. The instinct is often to try to capture the entire building, but I thought it might be fun to make something more abstract. I like the way this turned out, and I'll have to make a reminder to myself to do this to more buildings!

The Matrix

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-02-17 06:27:03
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4
  • Aperture4
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Tree in Waiheke

Looking to get away from cold USA Winters?

Why not come down here to New Zealand! It’s summertime and a great excuse to get out of all that coldness. If you need more incentive, check out the New Zealand Keyword in my SmugMug Portfolio!.

A bit of Post-Processing Love

This one was a fun little photo. I show you how to increase the sharpness and glow to selected areas of the image using layers. Thank you again for being a Passport Member and I hope you enjoy today’s edit!

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Daily Photo – Tree in Waiheke

The hilly areas of New Zealand (which is probably like 75%!) are filled with these huge trees that are just kinda hanging out alone on hilltops. Many times I see some distant tree and I think, “Hey, I should walk over there!” So, this day on Waiheke I did! You usually have to jump over a fence or four, but no one ever minds. You can walk through these hills all day long and never see another soul!

Tree in Waiheke

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-12-07 14:49:07
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/90
  • Aperture9.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-2/3

Visiting Waiheke

New Video!

Hey if you’re a lucky Passport Member, you’ll see a new how-to-edit video for today’s photo. It’s mostly a vertirama made from several quadcopter shots. I think you’ll enjoy the edit!

And here’s quick how-to video that shows you how to stitch together a four shot vertorama I shot using the DJI Phantom Pro 4 drone and then edit the vertorama in Aurora HDR 2018.

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Daily Photo – Visiting Waiheke

Thanks again to my friend Deanie for letting my family stay at her place on Waiheke! It was a great little vacation after Tina's doctor visit in Auckland. Waiheke is less than an hour away by ferry and it's like a perfect little island getaway! There are so many cool beaches and awesome places to visit. If you have an extra few days on your next trip to New Zealand, be sure to come over thisaway!

Visiting Waiheke

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-12-08 13:47:52
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Kobe, Japan

Thoughts on shooting from atop the gondola in Kobe

A few weeks ago, I shared the first Kobe, Japan video with Passport Members. Today, I’ll post the next one!

In Part 2 of 2 (view part 1 here) from Kobe, Japan, I’ll show you my camera settings and composition for a sunset photo from high atop a gondola.

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Daily Photo – Kobe, Japan

I'll give you a hot tip when going to visit Kobe. Usually, before I hit a new place, I Google the name of the place. In this case, I Googled “Kobe,” who is apparently some kind of a basketball player or something? Well, after looking at about 1,000 photos of this so-called “Kobe,” I was thinking, man, this guy REALLY likes Japan. He also appears to play a lot of basketball there. So, you can imagine my surprise when I showed up, and Kobe was actually full of Japanese people, none of whom who I saw playing basketball.

Kobe, Japan

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-12 10:19:38
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time3.2
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length98.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Mohammad’s Tomb in Rabat

Trey Ratcliff, Tomb Editor

That clever name was not created by me, but Stu up in Scotland. He’s the good lad that helps edit together all these special videos for Passport Members! Thanks Stu! Today’s special Passport Bonus section shows how I processed this image. Enjoy!

In this quick video tip I’ll show you how I post-process a 3 shot bracketed image using Aurora HDR 2018.

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Daily Photo – Mohammad's Tomb in Rabat

This is the second photo that I have edited from this tomb, and I believe I like this one better. It's amazing how much better I've come to learn Aurora HDR in just the past few years. In fact, I can't even remember if I edited the other photo from this tomb with Aurora or Photomatix. Man, my memory is the worst. THE WORST. I hope Google hurries up with their AI because my HI is really leaking like a sieve.

Mohammad's Tomb in Rabat

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-03-01 21:24:43
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/5
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length11.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Fuel Trucks in Antarctica

Today’s Passport Video – Content Aware Awesomeness

You may notice a bunch of Antarctica photos lately! Well I have about 150 I have never processed, and my love for Antarctica was re-kindled after our team started piecing together some videos from the place.

Passport Members today get a little bonus to see how I processed this on the computer. It was kind of a mess to start with, to be honest. But it came out quite interesting, I think!

In this exclusive Passport video I’ll show you how SUPER AMAZING Adobe Photoshop can remove unwanted parts of your photo using Content Aware and Clone Stamp tools.

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Daily Photo – Fuel Trucks in Antarctica

I didn't get to spend a lot of time out at the airport, mostly because it's such a long way from the base. It can take over an hour to get there on a snowmobile. That doesn't sound so bad, but riding a snowmobile for that long can be a bit “rattling” to say the least. Anyway, when I got out here, I had to make sure to avoid the runway. It was quite confusing to where the runway actually was, so I was on the hot lookout for a C-130 raining down on me!

Fuel Trucks in Antarctica

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-21 07:47:50
  • CameraILCE-7M2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture4
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

A Balloon in the Morning Fog

DJI Mavic

I’m slowly working on the Mavic review now that I have one in hand. I paid full price for this thing, and I am very excited! Getting new toys is always fun. I plan on doing a few side-by-side flights of the Mavic and the Phantom and comparing the video and photos between the two.

A message from Denver

Thank you Passport Members! Here’s a quick video to show behind-the-scenes of the charity you’re helping to fund!

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Daily Photo – A Balloon in the Morning Fog

If I was more of a morning person, I'd definitely head over here to Lake Hayes for a morning walk much more. Maybe when I get older, I'll be more of a morning person. Or maybe I should just to bed earlier and stop watching Netflix till midnight! I can only blame myself.

A Balloon in the Morning Fog

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-10-21 01:58:33
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length39.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

High above Budapest

Kobe Japan Video

I made a few special videos for passport members while I was in Kobe, Japan. I’ll put up the first video now and the second one soon, along with the final photo from Kobe!

A quick little video from Kobe, Japan. I’ll share a couple of travel planning tips and show you my camera gear for the impending sunset.

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Daily Photo – High above Budapest

On our recent trip to Europe, this was one of my top three cities. I'd love to come back here and explore even more. The sights are beautiful and the food is not only fantastic, but it's incredibly inexpensive. The Ritz-Carlton here was nice enough to let me up on the roof. We did some filming up here and then launched the Phantom 4 quad for a spin. I'm still using the same quad for almost two years now and it's great! I've never had such a long stint without crashing the quad! I hope I didn't jinx it! 🙂

High above Budapest

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-30 20:26:08
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO120
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Meanwhile, in Papua New Guinea

Going to Papua New Guinea

Sometimes I’m a fan of getting a local guide, and sometimes I am not. In the case of Papua New Guinea, you should DEFINITELY get a local guide. Otherwise, you may literally get killed.

Here’s a really cool map I found on Etsy. This is a link to Conquest Maps on Etsy.

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Daily Photo – Meanwhile, in Papua New Guinea

All kids like to dress up a bit, eh? And a bit of face painting? It comes with the territory, so to speak, down here in Papua New Guinea. All members of the tribe paint and festoon themselves in the exact same manner, from child to adult. There may be a few variations in the decorations for the adults, but I could not see them.

Meanwhile, in Papua New Guinea

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-10-13 12:02:16
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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