Stuck in Customs – Trey Ratcliff's Travel Photography blog with daily inspiration to motivate you!

Stuck In Customs

My daily travel blog to inspire and get you motivated!

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Istanbul at Sunset

Daily Photo – Istanbul at Sunset

What a great city this is! 🙂 I was only here a few nights, so I tried to make the most of it. A lot of people warned me that it was quite dangerous and there are terrorists running around all over the place. Of course, most of those people were Westerners that listen to a little too much fear-based news. I found it perfectly safe walking around for a few days… I didn’t even have one tiny moment of trepidation.

Istanbul at Sunset

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-10-03 23:05:13
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length96.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Gondolas in Dock

Daily Photo – Goldolas in Dock

Here’s a favorite photo from my time in Venice… I think it’s almost impossible to take a bad photo of a gondola. In fact, even people that are brand new to photography can’t even take a bad photo of one. I still have a ton I haven’t gotten through yet, but I’ll be processing even more soon!

Goldolas in Dock

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-05-08 21:29:03
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8000
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2.7

Hiking the Routeburn

Daily Photo – Hiking the Routeburn

On day 1 of the hike, this is one of the first stops along the way. Pretty nice eh? These mountaintop lakes are called tarns. They are formed when a small cirque is excavated by a glacier. These tarns are refilled through the year via rain and snow…

Hiking the Routeburn

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2020-01-24 12:14:33
  • CameraPixel 4
  • Camera MakeGoogle
  • Exposure Time1/6000
  • Aperture1.7
  • ISO62
  • Focal Length4.4 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Monni on the Pier

Another Passport Sunday – Another How-to video!

Every Sunday, there is a fresh how-to video for Passport Members. I hope you enjoy this one as much as the others! Today’s shot was made out of 9 different photos in a 3×3 panorama.

The Making off…

Today’s video shows more about the creation of this photo – enjoy!

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Daily Photo – Monni on the Pier

I don’t usually put people in my photos, but this shot called for it. There’s this strange thing in landscapes (especially in New Zealand) where you can’t quite tell the scale of things. By putting a human in the shot, it gives the whole thing a sense of scale. My friend Monni spent a few weeks with me here and she was often wandering around with my second camera, and I happened to catch her right at the end of the pier in the middle of this estuary near Gisborne.

Monni on the Pier

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2020-11-27 16:26:04
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture3.8
  • ISO
  • Focal Length8.6 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure Program
  • Exposure Bias+1.3

Entering the lobby in Bali

Machine Elf 37 – String Theory 4K

Oooookay… welcome to my favorite Machine Elf fractal animation so far! This one explores an infinite poly-helix of DNA as it transforms from one form to the next. You’ll see many patterns in here that remind you of things… I won’t tell you what they are, as they are your own memory patterns. Enjoy! And be sure to check out our new Machine Elf website below. There are many more Machine Elf creations in the works!

Daily Photo – Entering the lobby in Bali

There are a few of these Ritz-Carltons where you walk into the lobby and you are completely blown away. This is probably one of my favorites in Bali. There are actually two different RCs in Bali. One is a “Reserve” which means it’s “extra special” where you get a butler and stuff. But, both of them have a stunning entrance lobby like this!

Entering the lobby in Bali

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-11-12 18:23:20
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time2.5
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Lockdown Walk

Daily Photo – Lockdown Walk

Every day during the lockdown in New Zealand, which I think only lasted about four weeks, I would go on an afternoon hike. I found myself drawn to this area again and again… these tiny little perfect pools of water… I actually took these with my mobile phone, although I don’t think most people would guess that in 100 years.

Lockdown Walk

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2020-04-15 12:06:44
  • CameraPixel 4
  • Camera MakeGoogle
  • Exposure Time1/5900
  • Aperture1.7
  • ISO92
  • Focal Length4.4 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Midnight in Venice

Daily Photo – Midnight in Venice

Here’s one of my favorite photos just outside my hotel in Venice. I stayed here for about three weeks, so it was quite a long time to be returning to the same place every night. After about two weeks, I finally memorized most of the streets and would no longer get lost. This was the view that awaited me every night upon my return home… I took this one with the Hasselblad.

Midnight in Venice

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-02-10 23:04:13
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time32
  • Aperture4
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Heading out for a Snorkel Near the James Bond Island

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Daily Photo – Heading out for a Snorkel Near the James Bond Island

When I was staying at the Ritz-Carlton at Phulay Bay, one day we jumped into a boat and headed over to the archipelago in search of that cool island from one of the early James Bond movies. It turns out there are lots of islands that have that same look with the undercut limestone. The snorkeling is great around here and the water is always perfectly clear. Sometimes, however, when you get out into the ocean, you can see a big floating pile of trash, and that is really kind of depressing…

Heading out for a Snorkel Near the James Bond Island

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-12-29 04:16:04
  • CameraH5D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/400
  • Aperture4.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Lonely Clouds and Trees at the Hills

Daily Photo – Lonely Clouds and Trees at the Hills

I think maybe photographers have a particularly fun life because perhaps we notice things more than other people. I mean, I see non-photographers notice interesting things too, but I am usually thinking, “Yeah, I saw that ages ago.” Haha… not in a dismissive way, but I think once you start taking photos you just notice a little bit more of everything.

Lonely Clouds and Trees at the Hills

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-01-03 20:01:46
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Beautiful Braided Rivers from the Glaciers

Machine Elf 39 – The Hive 4K

As soon as I moved to New Zealand, I got about 250,000 bees. I’ve always wanted to be a beekeeper, so I thought it was a great opportunity to give back to the planet a little bit. It’d be kinda awesome if everyone did that, eh? We have a little farm with that’s about 10 acres big and it’s had all sorts of ups and downs. We’ve had sheep born and die (even buried one but not deep enough so its legs sticking out of the ground…) We’ve had chickens that have been killed by dogs and birds of prey… but the only thing that keeps on going without fail is the beehives. It’s not that I’m a great beekeeper; I’m actually terrible! But I’m learning all the time.

The reason that I got into bees is because I’ve always been fascinated by superorganisms. I first got interested in ants then got into bees. From the early days of the internet, I kind of got the idea that humans were going to someday form a superorganism and we would use the internet the same way ants use scent trails or bees perform the waggle dance. I’ve learned so much from my bees about nature and the fundamental inter-workings of the world… I’ve also learned that I’m a pretty crappy beekeeper and I still have a lot to learn!

Daily Photo – Beautiful Braided Rivers from the Glaciers

Here’s the Dart River that flows down from the Southern Alps then fills up Lake Wakatipu. I took this from a helicopter with Choppy and Over the Top while we were on the way to one of our first glacier landings. You can get a quadcopter up over this as well, but you can’t get nearly this high to get this perspective… to me, the more braided rivers, the better!

Beautiful Braided Rivers from the Glaciers

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2020-03-04 16:25:47
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1600
  • Aperture4
  • ISO80
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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