Stuck In Customs

My daily travel blog to inspire and get you motivated!

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See you soon, dad, in the next simulation!

This was a good one!
Ahhh, sorry to see my dad go. But he had a good one, you know? Loved his kids, raced cars, built golf courses, made people laugh, and generally tried to make things better 😃
I’m back in the USA to attend his ceremony at Sparkman/Hillcrest Funeral Home. As with my dad, all are welcome. I suppose I’ll get up and say some words to celebrate his life and tell some funny stories? That’s how he would have wanted it, I think. A bit of a party and celebration for all that loved him.
It’s all good, you don’t have to say you’re sorry in the comments, I have another idea if you want to comment in the last para. But, first, here’s why you don’t have to say you’re sorry: I’m good with my dad! You all know I’m a zen guy. But, besides that, I had no unresolved issues with him. I knew he loved me. I knew he was proud. And vice-versa on all issues. What else could ya want with your pops?
If you want to leave a comment, why not say some little thing you like about your dad?

More Burning Man Fun!

Maybe I’ll release a batch of these every week… I did one 7 days ago and here’s the next set for you 🙂


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Men Who Stare at Goats Part 2

Go to Zion!

I didn’t go to Zion National Park until way too late in my life. It’s just amazing, and I really need to get back to Utah! I think Utah may be one of the most underrated states in the US, at least as far as photography goes. It’s pretty highly rated as far as Mormonism goes. It’s gotta be in the top 10 there.

Daily Photo – The Men Who Stare at Goats Part 2

It's actually about the Goats that Stare at Men. This is exactly where I was when I fell asleep. It was one of those loooooong days where I was just exhausted in the mid-afternoon. I was sitting down, taking a photo, and a wave of fatigue came over me. Since I was sitting down, I thought, hey it's not too far from here to lay down. So I did… zonked out and woke up with a goat over my face.

The Men Who Stare at Goats Part 2

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-08-19 02:29:54
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.4
  • Aperture9
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Overnight in the Middle of Nowhere

Burning Man Photo Walk Photos

I posted a lot of my Burning Man Photo Walk Photos are inside the special FB event we made there. Feel free to go check it out. And, if you joined us, come post some of yours too! 🙂

Daily Photo – Overnight in the Middle of Nowhere

There in the distance, you can see a small camp. Even though it looks remote, this photo does not capture the absolute remoteness of it all! Wow I was really in the middle of the Sahara desert. After riding on a camel for hours and hours, I was exhausted. Riding on a camel is much harder than it sounds, by the way. I used muscles in my torso I didn't know existed. You might think it sounds like riding a horse, but it's not. It's kind of like riding one of those electric broncos in a honky-tonk bar. Even if you've never done that, you can imagine it.

Overnight in the Middle of Nowhere

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-03-08 06:44:10
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length120.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

A sunset in Iceland

Back in the USA!

Well I’m back in the USA for about a week for unforeseen circumstances. That’s okay! I do love New Zealand and everything, but I’m pretty much happy anyway. I think this is an important thing… to not be thinking, I’d be happier THERE. You can be chill pretty much anywhere. Sure, you have preferences, but it doesn’t really matter.

Daily Photo – A sunset in Iceland

I have not been to Iceland in about four years, but I've had many photographers tell me it's gotten very touristy. I kind of believe that and I kind of don't. The thing is that Iceland is so big, and most of the best places are not even places tourists would know. Go out around the fjords and get lost. There is so much coastline and water and mountains! If you go off on some nice hikes and walks by yourself, you won't see another human in ages.

A sunset in Iceland

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2010-06-13 00:59:55
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Olya in the Turkish Bathhouse

Taking a JPG into Aurora?

During a recent Q&A, I got a question about Aurora HDR 2018 and bringing in a single JPG rather than a RAW. My short answer is that a RAW is always better, but I still bring in a lot of JPGs from my phone to process with Aurora, like today’s photo!

Daily Photo – Olya in the Turkish Bathhouse

This was taken with a Google Pixel phone, by the way. And no, Google and Pixel are not a sponsor or anything! We actually asked them to help sponsor our European tour, but they never emailed us back. They seemed quite interested, and I asked twice, but I can't send a third email… that's just too embarrassing. Oh well, whether or not they are an official sponsor, I still think it is an amazing phone and camera, as you can see. These were fairly dark conditions… that is Olya there, our videographer, getting some B-Roll for our Budapest videos.

Olya in the Turkish Bathhouse

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-31 12:46:19
  • CameraPixel
  • Camera MakeGoogle
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture2
  • ISO127
  • Focal Length4.7 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramNot Defined
  • Exposure Bias

Best of Morocco

I loved my three weeks in Morocco. It was Time Well Spent! I got lost, got found, ate amazing street food (way too much), traveled the desert with locals, and stayed in amazing riads. Wow, everything happened there. I’ll start with a video I made with SmugMug while I was there, then share a few favorite photos.


Conjuring Thoughts Deep in the Desert Berber Camp

An Amazing City Of Blue

Crossing the Sahara

Exploring a Strange Land with Curious Shadows in the Night

Berber Man In Morocco

Chefchaouen From Above

XOXO Jump

New Portfolio Updates

Like me, my Photography Portfolio is a work in progress. But I made a lot of progress with both lately. So click on that link and check it out! 🙂

Daily Photo – XOXO Jump

I'm always impressed at how people climb and jump and do all sorts of athletic things around Burning Man. I'm a bit of a wussy, I guess. I'm always thinking that these are the sorts of things to do if you don't mind being hurt. And, you see, I mind that. Plus, I have a lot of people that depend on me, so I can't be doing silly things like jumping on an X.

XOXO Jump

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-08-29 14:28:35
  • CameraX-T2
  • Camera MakeFuji
  • Exposure Time1/6400
  • Aperture3.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Burning Man 2017

Wow what a great year! I got around 18,000 photos and had a very inspirational time. After eight years in a row now, I’m always surprised how every time is like the first time, in so many ways. Sometimes awesome, sometimes uncomfortable, it’s sort of like a microcosm of a whole year of life squeezed into one week because you are doing and seeing So Many Things.

Here’s a few photos for you to get the party started!

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com
This was many people’s favorite art pieces on the playa. In the day time, it was a pure green tree in the middle of the night desert. At night, the LEDs came on and flowed through the tree like the wind

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com
It was another great year out there… it was very exhausting out in the sun all afternoon, though. But still glad I got out there as much as possible to take photos. I still have tons more to process, but enjoying going through

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com
Birds of a feather…

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com
You may remember the photo of the embracing Israeli couple that was doing Acro-Yoga from a few days ago. Here’s the pre-acro-yoga stretching period. They say it’s good to stretch before exercising. I don’t know who this “they” is, but they are probably right about these things. The sun caught her jewels in a surprising way.

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com
Around 5:30 PM the sun begins to get low enough to cast great angles everywhere. It’s still a little warm, so many people still have their fans out to stay cool. I suppose a native American headdress also helps! 🙂

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com
I don’t know if this enormous statue got enough attention, but she certainly did for me. She glowed from the inside and outside. I made a small pilgrimage there every day; this time I came with my camera.

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com
By meandering-chance, I found a camp along the Esplanade that had a tremendous steel wool vortex spinning away. People would come stand in front and let the winds spray the burning metal around them. I’m not into being burned and stuff, so I sat down in the desert to take some photos. It was great fun to watch… I could have stayed here all night, but forced myself to get up and go see what else I could find.

Me with my Snow Dog Friends

Video Recap

You may remember this video below for the announcement of Aurora HDR 2018! While I was shooting the video, Curtis was busy taking photos, so I edited this photo that he took.

Daily Photo – Me with my Snow Dog Friends

I think this is kind of a funny video. It's like I'm staring off over the horizon, perhaps thinking about pruning a bonsai tree. I don't know, I suppose you can imagine me thinking about a great number of things. This was my first time driving a snow-dog sled there at the Snow Farm. It was both hard and easy. While they are running, it's actually pretty easy. You just stand there like a sack of potatoes. But this is often interrupted by bouts of wild panic when you start to go up on a ledge, slide sideways around a corner, or start going down hill and you have to brake for fear of the sled running into the snow dogs!

Me with my Snow Dog Friends

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-08-04 10:54:37
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8000
  • Aperture8
  • ISO2000
  • Focal Length73.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

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