Shinjuku from the Movie Theater

How-to Video

Here is a video that shows how I used a little-known feature in Aurora HDR 2018 to produce this image. Enjoy!

Remember, if you are a Passport Member I release at least one new video like this a week! 🙂

Daily Photo – Shinjuku from the Movie Theater

Here's the final photo from the video above. If you want to get to this location, it's really easy! When you are in Shinjuku, go to the big movie theater there with the Godzilla on top. You can't miss it! When you go in, head up to the third floor with the elevator or escalator. There are huge windows here (clean windows) that give you this cool view right down one of the craziest streets in Tokyo. I shot this at about 70mm to give more of a compressed feel.

Shinjuku from the Movie Theater

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-01-30 02:43:03
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture4
  • ISO500
  • Focal Length59.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Little Girl in Okinawa

A Quick Edit of a Drone Photo

Here’s a video I made showing an edit of a drone photo from Waiheke. I edited it using Aurora HDR 2018 and you can see a few little tricks in the video below!

Daily Photo – Little Girl in Okinawa

We didn't get much beach time on Okinawa, even though the place is packed with beaches! Most of our time was spent in the inside parts of the island. Most Japanese think of the mountains and hills for vacation and not-so-much the beach. Anyway, as soon as we made it out here, I saw this cute little girl playing in the sand.

Little Girl in Okinawa

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-15 18:57:12
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture13
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length45.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Jack’s Point Clubhouse

Time for a Passport Freebie! Panorama Processing Tip

Last year I made over 50 videos for Passport Members to see first or exclusively. I wanted to share this one publicly as sort of a promotion for the kinds of things you might see inside.

There are a lot of ways to skin the panorama cat. 90% of the time, this is the way I do it in the video below. To me, it just looks better than when the computer tries to auto-stitch it and remove the stitch lines.

Daily Photo – Jack's Point Clubhouse

And here's the final result. Pretty cool eh? And it didn't take much time at all. If you ever get out to the Queenstown area, be sure to pop over to Jack's Point and visit the clubhouse here. Anyone can go and there's a really good restaurant inside. Just outside is this perfect little pond. If you get there early enough (or on a windless day), the reflection is perfect!

Jack's Point Clubhouse

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-07-03 01:04:00
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length45.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Another Amazing Hut on Antarctica

A creative way for getting rid of noise

Today, I thought I’d share something special. We released this to Passport Members first last year. I wanted to share it with everyone now as sort of a promotion for the passport! Last year I released about 50 videos like these in the membership area.

So this video shows a creative way I came up with for getting rid of noise. It’s beautiful and not very time-consuming. It’s always quite a bit of fun!

And here is the final photo:

A Panorama Of The Valley

Today’s photo is from Antarctica (you’ll see it below). We released 3 videos from Antarctica last month for Passport Members so be sure to go check those out!

Daily Photo – Another Amazing Hut on Antarctica

These shots are definitely worth a zoom-in if you have the time. Click through to go to the Smugmug site. When there, down in the lower right-hand corner you can see there are little piled up rectangles. If you click on those, you can go see the original and scroll around the see all the nifty details!

Another Amazing Hut on Antarctica

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-09 12:40:13
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture9.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Bonus Blog Post for Today!

Hey, guess what? I brought back Trey’s Variety Hour! This was a fun one where we talk about some camera gear and share some recent photos. Show notes are below the video!

Show Notes:

Come watch as we sit around and talk a LITTLE bit about Photography, maybe! I’ll talk a bit about this new Sony A7r III and some cool new lenses… we’ll all share photos and stuff.

Links:

The Arcanum (to learn photography): www.TheArcanum.com

Plotagrapho Pro (Animated Photos): http://www.stuckincustoms.com/links/plotagraph

Trey’s Kit: www.Kit.com/TreyRatcliff

Trey’s Blog:www.StuckInCustoms.com

Thomas Hawk: www.ThomasHawk.com

Frederick Van Johnson: www.ThisWeekinPhoto.com

Jim Pollard: www.JimPollardGoesClick.com

Ron Clifford: www.RonClifford.com

And to sign up for KelbyOne and view Trey’s Aurora tutorial now (and the Plotagraph class soon: https://www.stuckincustoms.com/links/kelbyone )

Two for Today for Tokyo!

Behind-the-Scenes for this shot

I give a handful of tips and settings info for this particular shot of Tokyo for Passport Members. Thanks again Passport Members! And don’t forget, this makes for a fabulous Christmas present for your photo friend!

The daily photo below is a detail from very close to this shot at:

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

I could have broken this into three different videos, but decided to cram a bunch of tips and ideas into one. Enjoy!

I have MORE photos coming from this experience as well in coming weeks, so stay tuned!

Exclusive content for Passport members

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Daily Photo – Two for Today for Tokyo!

I was inside an office-area of Mori Tower (not the observation deck) to get this shot. In the observation tower, they have a bar or restaurant or something that covers up this view! I never understood why observation towers, 100% as far as I can tell, occlude part of the view with such pedantic services. Put those in the MIDDLE PART people, the MIDDLE PART. We are not going to the observation deck to get a wine or a croissant, we are going to get a 360 view. I'm sure this was designed by a committee, and that is why you never see a statue of a committee

Two for Today for Tokyo!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-03 01:10:21
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time6
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length45.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-4/3

Under the Bridge in Osaka

Upcoming Photo Adventure!

Join me in New Zealand for our next workshop in April. Remmber, it’s opposite-land down here, so that is our Autumn. The colors are amazing. Jump over to our workshop page to sign up!

Daily Photo – Under the Bridge in Osaka

I got a hot tip to take this photo from my friend Rene. There is this one bridge in Osaka that has this cool circle light. I wish the water would have been smoother, but the reflection still turned out pretty well. This whole area is perfect for a night of photography with a tripod… what a fun evening!

Under the Bridge in Osaka

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-09 12:53:55
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.3
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Whale Shark in Okinawa

Some goodies coming up for our awesome Passport Members!

I’m back from Japan and ready to share a whale-load of videos, photos, and special behind-the-scenes stuff. If you are a Passport Member then you’ll get to see a whole new video here about my crazy workflow, juggling different photos, HDRing, Lightroom, and more. It is a bit of a frenzied process, as I am trying to crank out as many photos as possible in a compressed time. Anyway, that’s today’s Passport video below that will be automatically unlocked if you are a member!

Here’s a video of my somewhat crazy (but amazingly efficient) workflow now that I am back in the saddle of my studio. Apologies for the sound getting strange around the 10-minute mark! I think my mic is broken… or something. I just can’t figure it out. I’m using a pro Samson mic. Anyway, I’ll try to figure it out or get a new one!

Exclusive content for Passport members

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Daily Photo – The Whale Shark in Okinawa

As much as I don't think any creatures should be in captivity, this was still pretty awe-inspiring. On the northern tip of Okinawa is a popular aquarium. I was asked to go take photos there even though I didn't really want to. Sometimes in life, you gotta do stuff you don't wanna do, right? Well, anyway, I showed up and tried to get the best photo I could. I wasn't going to half-ass it just because I didn't want to be there. So I put Tane and Olya up there right in front of the tank as the mighty beast swam past.

The Whale Shark in Okinawa

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-17 16:06:05
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/45
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-1

Beautiful Puerto Rico and San Juan

Extended answers from Wired Interview

How do I preface this? Hmmm, well I did a phone interview with Wired magazine, and then they followed up with some more questions, which I answered via email. I’m sure that 90% will be cut, but a friend asked me to share the full answers here! So, here they are…

Each question was related to the photo above it:

Here's another photo from one of the many beautiful thermal Turkish bath houses from Budapest. This one was kept at a balmy 36C - as you walk from bath to bath through this underground labyrinth, you can tell the temperature of the water by seeing the numbers in the tiled mosaics on the wall. We know it was balmy because we made a lot of videos in here... probably one of our corniest videos yet where Rene Smith does a bit of synchronized swimming with us. Of course, he was the star!

Budapest

Question:
“When you’re relaxed and your guard is down, beautiful moments spring upon you.”

We’ve got the story of the Ritz-Carlton concierge who insightfully referred you to the spa, which worked great in the last text. For this, can you tell me a bit — just one paragraph is fine — about the specific incident of being relaxed, your guard down, and a beautiful moment you can recall springs on you, as it relates to the photo?

Answer:

I have a feeling that everyone feels a bit awkward in a bathing suit. I mean, unless you’re one of those Instagram hoochie girls, which 99.9% of us are not. Anyway, once you decide to rock around a Turkish bath with whatever body you happen to inhabit, then an acceptance sets in, and you just kinda let it all hang out, then you are quite vulnerable. But vulnerability is a great chance to really absorb the moment and it forces your guard to be down. Letting go of worry creates a presence. This presence allows you to be alert and see things you might not have seen before, when the mind was clouded by a fiction it created for itself.

Welcome to the biggest Volkswagen robot in the world! Wow, what a cool place. This is in Wolfsburg, Germany. There are countless floors in this cylindrical robot of fresh Volkswagens here waiting to be delivered to their new owners. Cars are always coming in and out of here on an average of every two days. A huge robot slides up and down the center picking up a car here, delivering a car there, all with perfect German precision. I actually drive a Volkswagen pickup truck in New Zealand (an Amarok) - yeah, who knew they made pickups? BTW, Volkswagen is not a sponsor or anything... just think this is a cool idea. I like it when companies do crazy stuff like this!

Wolfsburg

Question:
“If you open yourself up to the universe, cool stuff happens.”
“Comfortable with being uncomfortable.”

Can you expand on how those attitudes specifically played out for you in Wolfsburg?

Answer:
Rolling along the train tracks into Wolfsburg, I had no idea what I would find. No matter how old you get, there are always firsts. The notion of “first” indicates a unique experience; there is no way to have an expectation of what will happen. This then leads to the idea that you should have no expectations at all. It doesn’t mean low expectations, but, theoretically, one should have no expectations of what will be a unique experience.

Once you make this intellectual decision to have no expectations, you embrace the universe itself and whatever comes at you. It’s not just that you have no expectations of what will happen with the universe, but you have no expectations about how you will react to it. Together, by releasing expectations of yourself and the universe, you may come to see these two seemingly discrete things as the same. This makes me feel very connected to any place I happen to be, and if you happen to be in a place, it might as well be around Wolfsburg taking photos of the auto mecca, because it’s pretty freaking awesome.

Moscow

Question:
“I used to worry that because I travel so much, I would run out of places to go. But the more I travel, the more I discover.”

We had a section about London, but The Ritz-Carlton asked that we stick to cities where they operate a hotel. For one of the others (my personal pick is Moscow, because the photo itself is surprising when one reads that it’s Moscow, but whatever feels best for you) is it possible that you had been there before, leading to new feelings there compared to a previous visit? The idea that traveling somewhere more than once leads to very different experiences is powerful.

Answer:

I think we all know how imperfect memory is. Even though I am now kind of a travel photographer, my degree is in Computer Science and Math. Our memory doesn’t work like a computer, and it is wonderfully imperfect. There are theories that we “chunk” the big bullet points of memory so that we can use those bits to simulate future scenarios.

So, when I got into Moscow for the first time, it was fun to “predict” what might happen. Whatever happens, happens, right? Well, it’s still fun to simulate a few possible futures. I was able to pull chunks from my first time to “strange” places (strange, meaning foreign/scary/challenging to me at various stages of my life). I thought about my the time I made my first trip to go to the subway in Tokyo, the time when I got stranded on Antarctica during a blizzard, the time I was arrested in Beijing for flying a drone over the Forbidden City, etc. These are all unusual things that happened to me, and everything turned out just fine.

Now, arriving in Moscow, I thought about all these edge-cases, and I simulated a hundred nutty things that might happen. After all, most of what I knew about Russia came from Reddit, so I was open to literally anything happening. And I wasn’t disappointed. Moscow itself is an amazing place, but what makes Russia so interesting to me is the people there, and the interesting Russian minds inside of them.

Project Loon in Puerto Rico

Here’s an interesting article about how Google is using its balloons to restore communications across the island. Pretty cool eh? I spent a few days with them here in New Zealand when they began testing the balloons… really cool tech!

Daily Photo – Beautiful Puerto Rico and San Juan

It's hard to believe I got this photo not too long before that bad hurricane hit. The whole island is so naturally beautiful that I'm sure it'll bounce back pretty fast… I guess the first step is to get their infrastructure back together… they are all so industrious down there that I bet it will be back faster than anyone thinks.

Beautiful Puerto Rico and San Juan

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-25 18:05:02
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Super Plastic Man

Fun Interview

This is a rather in-depth interview I did about a particular shot from Paris. Enjoy!

Photo Walk Fun!

I hope you’re enjoying the photo walks across Japan! We’ve got about 15 more coming up all over China and the rest of Asia. Exciting stuff! 🙂

Daily Photo – Super Plastic Man

I saw this guy on the Summit cruise. He was sitting on this couch extremely still. In fact, he was SO still that I thought he was a waxen statue. So I got up to go take his photo and he started to move! It freaked me out… I told him I thought he was a fake person… that made him laugh and then I asked him to re-assume his pose from before then I took this photo.

Super Plastic Man

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-11-11 07:36:17
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture
  • ISO1250
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

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