Stuck In Customs

My daily travel blog to inspire and get you motivated!

Read the Blog Photo Tips

Egypt Remix!

Just for Passport Members

I did a little behind-the-scenes while here at the pyramids in Cairo. If you’re not a Passport member, then why not?!? 🙂

A Remix

Here are some of my favorite photos from Egypt!

Exploring Around The Pyramids

Looking up at the Mosque

The Pretzel Man Cometh!

Camels across Egypt

Tips from the Pyramids

Exclusive content for Passport members

Unlock Now

Monte Carlo from the Hill

Contact me directly through Messenger

Hi friends! Today I’m announcing a novel way of connecting and hearing from me. It’s over messaging. You’ll receive messages from me every now and then, and you can send me your thoughts and questions whenever you like. It’s free, private, and just like adding me to your chat list. Best of all, I’m actually behind it all, so no robots. To get started simply click on this link.

New Studio!

Hey it’s my birthday and I gave myself a present! I re-decorated my entire studio/cottage. It was a huge project and it took about 6 weeks to finish. I’ll be sure to take some photos of it and share… and I’ll make a little video for Passport members as well!

Daily Photo – Monte Carlo from the Hill

There's a big hill/mountain thing that seperates Monte Carlo into two parts. Both sides have a harbor with billionaire's yachts and are very beautiful. Our uber dropped us off down there at the bottom. I looked up to the top of this hill (where I stood to take this photo), and I was thinking, “Hell, I don't want to walk all the way up there.” So I tried to call an uber, but there were none in the area. And no taxis either. It's a very residential area, so I ended up having to walk all the way up! But that's okay… it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought.

Monte Carlo from the Hill

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-01 19:45:52
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Guess what they are selling in this store in Lisbon?

Sensitive Horizon Controls

Man, I do love that Hasselblad X1D (today’s photos is one of my favorites with it), but one thing that is a bit strange is the electronic horizon. When I take a photo like this, of course I try to use it to make sure everything is level. I can’t tell if it’s tooooo sensitive or if my hands are too unsteady. I don’t think the latter because I’m using the tripod. Even the slightest movement seems to send it over the edge.

It would be cool of there was some kind of way for the camera to auto-horizon itself. I have no idea how that would work… but it’s a cool idea.

Daily Photo – Guess what they are selling in this store in Lisbon?

Chocolates? No, definitely not. Candy? Not even close. Flavored condoms? No, but that's a strange guess you made. They're actually selling sardines! It's like the most beautiful sardine store in the world. It's worth a zoom-in on Smugmug to see all the details. Each column is a different year. The gimmick is you go buy the sardines with your birth year on it. It gives you “fun facts” about your birthday on the back of the sardine can. Stuff depressing stuff like, “same year that Pope was shot” or things that are hard to prove like, “same year as beavers were discovered.”

Guess what they are selling in this store in Lisbon?

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-04-22 21:24:03
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1
  • Aperture16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Papal Area of La Sagrada Familia

More Hasselblad Stuff

Here’s yet another one (did you miss the new Hasselblad X1D Review?) from the new camera. Like the shot yesterday, this is a vertirama made from two different vertically stacked photos. Because the widest lens I have is 30mm, whenever I want a wider shot, I have to make a little panorama then crop it later.

Daily Photo – The Papal Area of La Sagrada Familia

Somehow we got access up to where the Pope sits when he comes to services at this amazing cathedral in Barcelona. You know the Pope always gets good seats, and they don't get much better than this.

At this level, there's actually a passageway that goes around the entire church. Sometimes you have to go up some stairs and twist around some narrow corridors, but the views are amazing. I was up there with the crew and we had a handler. I didn't realize she didn't want us to go through all these passageways, but we all took off in different directions. The lady started running after me first and shut me down 30% of the way around. But my dastardly friend Rene went the other way and made it all the way around, taking pictures all the way… lucky guy!

The Papal Area of La Sagrada Familia

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-04-30 09:12:30
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time2
  • Aperture11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Harry Potter Bookstore in Porto

Hot Tip for this spot

Now in this legendary bookstore below, they don’t let you use tripods. This was a real buzzkill for me, so I tried my best with handheld (but not bad, eh?) – anyway after I was there I got a hot tip from a friend. If you get here in the morning, an hour before opening, the cleaning crew will let you in with a tripod so you can take your time and get the shot you want!

Daily Photo – The Harry Potter Bookstore in Porto

My friend Cliff from Google tipped me off on this place. He sent me his own photo and I go, “I gotta get in there!” Even though it's a real bookstore, you actually have to buy a ticket around the corner to get inside. I thought that was a bit strange, but they do subtract the cost of your ticket if you buy a book, so that's pretty cool.

This is a vertirama made from two handheld photos.

The Harry Potter Bookstore in Porto

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-04-25 18:42:10
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Red Square in Moscow

Embarassing Video Appearance

I like how I keep hitting new rock-bottoms. Here’s one I did in Russia… hope you love the sweater. I got to keep it… when I wear it at home, it makes the kids laugh.

Maybe a little more back-story is needed. There’s some below… basically, I was pulled into a room and told to say a phrase completely out of context.

Daily Photo – The Red Square in Moscow

Here's a photo I took on my first night in Moscow from the roof of the Ritz-Carlton. It was a crazy day, I'll tell ya. We arrived just as the sun was setting and the director of marketing met me immediately after getting out of the car and said I needed to do all this stuff. First, the team went to the club to start having champagne and drinking immediately, in true Russian style. Then she took me to the basement and implored me to wear a crazy sweater (see video above) to take part in some video where I had to say a phrase (I had no idea the context or the reason). Then we went to the top floor for some raging party with DJs and fancy people. It was completely chaotic, and at some point, I realized I had not taken a single photo! So I ran to my room to grab my camera to get this shot outside on the balcony, taking a break from the chaos inside.

The Red Square in Moscow

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-06-02 21:11:57
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1.3
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length89.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Pena National Palace in Sintra, Portugal

Textures!

You may notice today’s photo has a fun series of textures on it. I do this a lot whenever the sky is a bit dull or I just want to give it a nice effect. Be sure to go Grab my textures and texture tutorial from the store if you want to try it too.

Daily Photo – Pena National Palace in Sintra, Portugal

This is probably the most beautiful castle/palace thing I've ever visited in my life. I think it's officially called a palace, but I think of it more like a Disney castle. The colors are all real that you see here! (Well, I added some texture in the sky for fun, but the colors are all true-to-life). It's set in the middle of a sprawling 200-acre forest park. There are paths all over the place, but it's actually quite hard to find a place to take a photo like this. You definitely can't get this view from any of the standard lookout spots. It takes just a little bit of rock-climbing and clambering around to get this view.

Pena National Palace in Sintra, Portugal

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-04-17 07:48:01
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length90.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Beautiful Lisbon, Portugal

The Hasselblad X1D

You’ll start to see me get more and more X1D shots onto the blog. I absolutely love that machine! Here is one of them on today’s daily photo. It’s actually the first time I put that 90mm lens on there… what a beast!

Daily Photo – Beautiful Lisbon, Portugal

This was my favorite spot to shoot the city from above. I was surprised how hilly Lisbon was; I had no idea. It reminded me a lot of San Francisco in that way. One way it wasn't like San Francisco was the food prices! Everything cost just a mere fraction of most big cities. Now that I think about it, I both wish I would have eaten more, and I'm also glad I didn't eat more! 🙂

Beautiful Lisbon, Portugal

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-04-17 21:12:03
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1
  • Aperture3.2
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length90.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

One night in Prague

New Plotagraph Pro

In case you don’t know, Plotagraph Pro has all new pricing options. Also, as a measure of disclosure, I’m part owner in the software because I love it so much! Be sure to check out my Plotagraph Social page to see all my creations! 🙂

Daily Photo – One night in Prague

On the bus ride from Berlin to Budapest, we stopped for one night in Prague. This was not nearly enough time to explore the ancient city, but I did my best. I abandoned the team and decided to listen to music and roam around to see what I could find. This was my favorite bridge and I walked across it probably a dozen times, back and forth across the river, taking hundreds of photos.

One night in Prague

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-25 01:17:59
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time20
  • Aperture11
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length52.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Burning Man Photo Walk Announced!

Come join the event here at the Facebook Event!

Do you like taking photos or perhaps do you like people taking photos of you in all your fabuloso Burner gear? Well come on out and join this fun event – this is my 8th annual photo walk in Black Rock City and all are welcome! 🙂 It’s great for beginner photographers all the way to advanced – bring anything from a mobile phone to a DSLR! We’ll roam the streets of BRC and capture some of the magic of Burning Man together.

I’ll be giving lots of tips and tricks to help you on your own creative journey. We also talk a lot about the creative process and how it can be quite an active meditation bringing more consciousness, presence, and awesomeness into your life. So, come, bring a friend or three, and let’s have a ball. Word has it that we’ll get a bunch of Burner Girls (and guys!) too that just dance around and have thousands of photos taken of them.

And after, we’ll share all the photos here in the Facebook event. Check the comments in the event to make some new Instagram friends with fellow photo walkers too! 🙂

We’ll meet outside of Center Camp at TUESDAY at 6:30 PM and start the crawl from there!

Here’s a few of my favorite Burning Man photos from the past 7 years! 🙂 You can always see more in my Burning Man Album on Smugmug.


Embrace 2014

The ground shook and the air crackled as the metal bent and strained around my body.  The screams went animal and blood fell folded back into the sand.

Here’s my bestie Rene Smith up atop Lord Snort! He was spinning quite fast, so it was a fun photo to take. We had early entry this year, so we were able to visit a lot of the art before it was covered with too many people. This is actually the site of a small tragedy, as one guy lost all of his fingers while trying to jump onto the head as it was spinning around.

Trey Ratcliff

There in the gypsy’s creation.  It pulsed around us like a thick red vein; a timeless conduit that promised to hold a time machine between worlds.  And, I’d have it no other way, as every time machine should come appointed with the comforts of the sultans as they slowly wind throughout the edges of the Orient.  The colored lights cast new tones and shadows upon the rich, supple textures.  Small windows around the edges gave outward portal-glances to worlds and times that whizzed by, each one inviting a new pause to the story.  The light, I noticed, did something unexpected as it tumbled and flowed and rolled across the skin, drifting over small sinuous shapes as the crimson rays slid up and over the flowing curves of a dune in the middle of a faraway desert.  The lines would only stay a moment before the wind blew them into a new form.  The light tore time away from the shapes, and I could not figure out what was happening until much later in the story.

Newsletter Sign Up

The most beautiful newsletter ever!