Stuck In Customs

My daily travel blog to inspire and get you motivated!

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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 image. 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

Relaxing Monkey

Back to the Snow Monkeys!

I’m excited to go see my snow monkey friends again in late October. This time, we’ll bring the video crew and everything and make some cool content. It’s gonna be great. I wonder if the snow monkeys will remember me fondly. Let’s hope so.

Daily Photo – Relaxing Monkey

Man, these snow monkeys really know how to relax. You can just tell they're not worrying about anything. Whenever I take a nap, even on a Sunday afternoon, I feel guilty as shit. Probably just because I work too hard and am kind of obsessive… but I do like hanging out with these monkeys. They make me feel a little less guilty about taking a nap!

Relaxing Monkey

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-07-17 07:27:26
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/90
  • Aperture3.4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length90.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Flying Over the Entrance to Milford Sound

Aurora HDR 2018 Avaiable Now for Mac/Windows!

Aurora HDR 2018 is now available for both Mac AND Windows! That’s right, the world’s leading HDR photography software has been entirely redesigned with exciting new features, improved user interface, speed improvements, Windows support and more. I’ve been using it a ton and I think you’ll be blown away!

Current users of Aurora HDR should check this link to see if you qualify for the upgrade price. New users can purchase Aurora HDR 2018 and my new Aurora HDR tutorial in my online store.

 

Buy NowTry for Free
Already own Aurora HDR Pro and want to upgrade? Click here to find out if you qualify.

Sneak Peek Inside Aurora HDR 2018

Below is a sneak peek video I made that shows off just SOME of the new features!

In other news… Art of Tidying

I just finished listening to a good podcast by Tim Ferris about the Art of Tidying with Japanese-neatness-guru Marie Kondo. Here’s a link!

Daily Photo – Flying Over the Entrance to Milford Sound

This is a panorama I took right after coming out of the tunnel through the mountain to Milford Sound. It's such a long drive from Queenstown to Milford Sound (about 4 hours), and seeing this after the tunnel is always extremely rewarding. Don't get me wrong… the whole drive itself is beautiful (it's New Zealand!) but after getting through this tunnel, it's like you enter a different world. It's basically the only way to get into the fjords unless you fly, which I haven't tried yet. I do have it on my bucket list to take Over the Top and Choppy on a joy-ride over there to take photos like crazy!

Flying Over the Entrance to Milford Sound

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-02-19 10:44:14
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

A Painted, Moody day in Feng Huang

Billions

Here’s another show recommendation: Billions! It’s a drama based on Wall Street. Sounds kind of boring, I know… but still very entertaining! It’s one of the only shows I watch not on Netflix… it’s on Showtime and maybe a few other places?

Image Radiance

Let’s talk about one of my favourite features in Aurora HDR 2018, Image Radiance.

The latest version of Aurora 2018 (for Mac and Windows) is here! I’ve been using it a ton and I think you’ll be blown away by all the new features, especially combined with all the features that you’ve come to know and love with previous versions. If you Pre-Order you’ll get a bunch of goodies as extras and a discount!

Daily Photo – A Painted, Moody day in Feng Huang

I remember at the time I took this that I almost DIDN'T take it. The colors seemed muted, it was quite steamy/foggy/moody, and also, I was quite tired. Maybe I was feeling a bit melancholy or something. Anyway, for whatever reason, I took it. And then, when processing, I recalled the melancholy mood and decided to give it a nudge in that direction.

A Painted, Moody day in Feng Huang

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2010-10-07 15:23:51
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture1.4
  • ISO2500
  • Focal Length50.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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