Ski Day in 360!

Some fun behind-the-scenes

Today on Passport Sunday, if you’re a Passport Member, then you get to see a pretty cool 360 video I made when I joined my little girls on Coronet Peak in Queenstown, New Zealand to take some photos. I even gave my daughter Isabella the camera to hold on one of her runs… wow since they put the new firmware into the Insta360, it’s super smooth! As an added bonus, I’ve also added the image review session covering the images I took while at the base of the run.

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

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

And now for some 360 Fun!

Taking action photos in the snow can be kind of tough. All the lessons I talk about in here go for pretty much any sporting event. Most of it is about making sure your shutter speed is high enough… Probably one of the smartest things to take a bunch of sample photos and zoom into 100%. They might look sharp zoomed out, but 100% always tells the tale. If you’re a bit blurry, speed up the shutter speed a bit. if that makes it too dark, then drop down your Aperture or increase your ISO.

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Before my Morning Interview

Aurora HDR Tip

In today’s tip video for Aurora HDR, you can see how I take water that’s already reflective and make it SUPER reflective and extra dreamy.

Daily Photo – Before my Morning Interview

The morning after I got back from that month-long trip in China and Thailand I was scheduled for a TV interview. They set up a studio right here along the wharf in Queenstown. The exact time of my interview was the same time as this perfect sunrise. So, I quickly grabbed shots then jumped into the studio at the last possible second to have the interview! I think I might have been a little bit out of breath, but the photo was worth it. Actually, the photo was much better than the actual interview… Morning TV anchors often ask kind of silly questions.

Before my Morning Interview

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-07-04 08:10:32
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO1000
  • Focal Length19.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Chinese Wedding Photos in Queenstown

Maybe a Gallery in Queenstown?

I’m cooking up some plans to have a photography gallery somewhere in downtown Queenstown. We’ve got all sorts of plans we’re currently working on… who knows how it will go? I’ve got my fingers crossed!

Daily Photo – Chinese Wedding Photos in Queenstown

I see more and more of this all over Queenstown and Arrowtown. It always cracks me up for some reason. Chinese couples pose for some of the hokeyist photos I've ever seen. This one isn't as bad as others, but you can see the photographer there with the hoodie on. His hoodie is over his head to show you how artsy he is. All the photographers are all pieces of work too… often dressed extravagantly and carrying on like some kind of a rock star.

Chinese Wedding Photos in Queenstown

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-12-30 20:16:16
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture4
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length44.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Happy Hobbits

Walter Productions

Hey, I thought I would mention Walter Productions, which is the production company behind our Burning Man camp. They do events all over the USA, so if you ever want to have a major blowout event, be sure to contact them!

Pyramid thoughts

Here’s a short 1-minute video that I made while at the pyramids in Egypt.

Daily Photo – Happy Hobbits

Hey for today's photo, I decided to go a little HDR crazy. I hope that's okay. I still do that on occasion, and it seems to suit the magical place where the hobbits live here in New Zealand. It's now a very very touristy place, but I still recommend going there. You get enough time to snap photos and then head down to the hobbit's pub and have some grog. I remember when we were here making the Lightroom tutorial and we stayed in that pub almost all night long. I think by the end, we each had a gallon of grog and the productivity spiraled down to about zero.

Happy Hobbits

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-05-25 06:26:41
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length11.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Sunset Reflections in Tekapo

Another Sunday, another Passport Sunday!

I’ve released about 100 videos for Passport Members, and more are on the way! Today’s video shows the how-to edit of this pretty sunset photo in New Zealand.

Getting Rid of Ugly Bits

Today’s photo that you see below has had quite a few modifications. Wait till you see the original in this video. This photo was already 90% pretty, but there was 10% of very ugly stuff right in the middle that I had to eventually get rid of. And then, in the end, you see my little mountain stretch trick!

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Daily Photo – Sunset Reflections in Tekapo

I took this photo during an overnight journey with my friend Cliff. We actually slept right here in my pickup truck, which was kinda fun. I had heard about these pools, so we went up here for sunset then decided just to stay until the sunrise. One not-so-awesome thing about this water is it is some kind of water treatment facility. So there was some trash and junk in there. I can't imagine how it all got there since this is about 20 kilometers from the city of Tekapo itself.

Sunset Reflections in Tekapo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-08-19 08:11:56
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Update on Workshops

New Goodies for Workshop attendees

For our upcoming Photography Workshops in New Zealand and Africa, I’ve decided to throw in a Peak Design Goodie Kit! It will include a Peak Design bag and lots of other goodies. I think you’ll have a great time on the workshop anyway, but even better if you’re sporting some flash new gear!

Daily Photo – Beautiful Arrowtown in the Autumn

And this is one of the things you'll definitely see on the Autumn New Zealand workshop. We always spend at least a day here in Arrowtown to see the incredible colors while receiving photography instruction. One of my favorite parts after a long day of shooting and post-processing is ending up at one of my favorite restaurants for a group dinner. Everything is included with the price, and we always want to over-deliver, so I take you to the best places… the best foods, best wines, best photography… what else could you ask for!?!

Beautiful Arrowtown in the Autumn

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-05-01 13:43:02
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/4000
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO6400
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Love Heart Island

New Luminar Tip Video

Grab the new Luminar here and get cracking with some of these hot tips! In today’s video, I show how to use “LUTs” which stands for “Look Up Tables” – I find this to be a very geeky acronym that mostly just confuses people. Despite its geekiness, it’s quite fun and powerful!

Daily Photo – Love Heart Island

Here's that little island that sits in the middle of Lake Wanaka. From the shore, it looks like a little perfect fairy island… a perfect little secret island to go have some adventures on. It also looks like you could swim out to it, except you'd defo die from hypothermia in transit. I think people are always surprised when they visit the South Island at how cold the water actually is. Some people are really into swimming in cold water, but I think those people might be kinda crazy.

There's another quirky thing about New Zealand (this might be the case in Aussie as well). Anyway, you know that “heart” shape that we use to describe the shape that is, well, a heart? Well the Kiwis call it a “love heart” shape. I think that's kind of a nice quirky thing about it… now my little girls say that, and sometimes even with a Kiwi accent!

Love Heart Island

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-05-12 14:11:30
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

My Two Girls, Horsin’ Around

Horse Riding Tours

If you like riding horses and are coming to New Zealand, you should definitely schedule a few horse rides through the countryside. They are offered in almost every area. I’d recommend doing one in Glenorchy or Paradise, which is just about an hour away from Queenstown. That is the beautiful area where they shot Lord of the Rings and a lot of other movies. You can see many of my Glenorchy photos here.

My Two Girls, Horsin’ Around

My girls absolutely love horses. Below are two photos of them at their horse-riding school. It’s not just horse-riding, but all the stuff around it too. They do everything from brush and clean the horses to pick up the horse poop. They appear to love all aspects of this horse-care bit, which boggles my mind. They have been trying to talk me into buying a horse and keeping it here on our property. I have told them this is a preposterous idea and I will never do such a thing.

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

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

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