Insta360 One X – Stuck in Customs

Two Photos from Jack’s Point

Here are two photos from pretty much the exact same spot. I did two wildy different edits on them. I’m 100% sure I like the first one in the sequence better. It’s a good reminder of how much variance there can be in post-processing sessions.

Jack’s Point in Queenstown I went out with Eden Brackstone the other night to take some photos. After he decided to wade callously into this crystal clear water and ruin the placid reflection, I had about five minutes to contemplate life while the ripples settled down. And then I took this one!Man, I do love this Sony NEX-7. And no, Sony didn’t pay me to say that or give me my camera…- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

And here’s another bonus photo from very close by…

Failed Supermoon Shot at Jack’s Point I made a big mistake when I decided to come here to get a photo of the super moon about a week ago! I had it all planned out, but then nothing went as planned. My Big Awesome Plan was to take a photo of the super moon and the mountains and get a reflection off the lake. Well, I was so close to the Remarkables here that the moon took about four hours after moonrise to get over them! It was pitch black by then… oh well. But, while waiting, the water calmed down nicely and I took this photo. This is an area called “Jack’s Point” — sort of a private home community and golf course. That’s the clubhouse there where you can get some great food too if you are in the area! - Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Such an awesome area!

Jack’s Point 360 Behind the Scenes!

Here’s a fun video that shows a bit about my journey over to Jack’s Point here in Queenstown. You can see a little bit about what I was thinking and doing with my shots that evening. It’s NOT related to the photos above, however. Remember if this is your first 360 video, then you can grab the screen and look anywhere.

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Trey Ratcliff’s 360 Podcast – Kevin Kelly and his 10,000 Year Library Project – Part 2

Season 33, Episode 8 of “Walk n’ Talk with Trey” This Episode: ” Kevin Kelly and his 10,000 Year Library Project Part 2″

In this episode, while walking on the El Camino in Spain, I talk with Kevin Kelly about one of his many projects, the 10,000 Year Library. We also talk about what to do with all the existing libraries in the world… access to information… the future of libraries and knowledge curation… and more!

If you missed previously, here is part one…

Also, if this is your first time seeing a 360 Video, note you can grab the screen and look anywhere!

Find out more about Kevin Kelly on his site at https://kk.org/!

This other charmer we are walking with is Aaron Lammer. I talk to him on another 360 walk n’ talk you find below. More about Aaron at http://www.aaronlammer.com/

And finally, see all the Episodes in our Playlist here.

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Walking with Doug

Trey Ratcliff’s 360 Podcast – Doug Moores on consciousness & psychedelics – a journey through life!

You can hear me on Doug’s podcast at http://dougit.nz/podcast/trey-ratcliff where you can also find links to iTunes or Stitcher or whatever!

As for the above video, in this episode, Doug and I are walking along the coast on the North Island of New Zealand near Te Arai. He works there at the Te Arai Lodge where we stayed for a few nights. It’s a really cool family-run operation and I don’t think I’ve ever eaten so well (or healthily!) in my life. Doug does many things… podcaster, healer, yogi, builder, and well, you name it! Our talk spans from everything consciousness to psychedelics! Big surprise there, eh? Anyway, enjoy!

If this is your first time seeing a 360 Video, note you can grab the screen and look anywhere!

See all the Episodes in our Playlist at…

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Walking with Kevin and Aaron

Season 24, Episode 15 of “Walk n’ Talk with Trey” This Episode: ” Kevin Kelly and his 10,000 Year Library Project Part 1″

In this episode, while walking on the El Camino in Spain, I talk with Kevin Kelly about one of his many projects, the 10,000 Year Library. And yes, you can participate! It’s a really fun concept… I won’t spoil it! By the way, I could listen to Kevin Kelly (one of my intellectual heroes) talk about anything! Sometimes I sneak into his home and just stand in the closet and listen to him talk about things like laundry, doing the dishes, and strange people in his closet.

If this is your first time seeing a 360 Video, note you can grab the screen and look anywhere!

Find out more about Kevin Kelly on his site at https://kk.org/ !

This other charmer we are walking with is Aaron Lammer. I talk to him on another 360 walk and talk you find below. More about Aaron at http://www.aaronlammer.com/

See all the Episodes in our Playlist at

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Chinese Lanterns in Kuala Lumpur

New Podcast Playlist!

I now have five 360 Podcasts I’ve created and another four that are being edited. I’m figuring out this new format as I’m going along. Check out the new Playlist on YouTube and subscribe/hit the bell to get the newest when they come out!

Daily Photo – Chinese Lanterns in Kuala Lumpur

KL in Malaysia is one of those cool cities in the middle of worlds where they have most of the world’s main religions represented. It’s predominantly Muslim, so there are more mosques than anything, but you’ll also see Christian churches, Hindu temples, and Chinese temples like this one. I asked my driver if there was a temple for Atheists, and he said he could not think of one.

Chinese Lanterns in Kuala Lumpur

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-04-01 01:22:19
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Another Beautiful Forest

Trey’s 360 Podcast, “Walking with Clever People”

Welcome to Season 4, Episode 11! In this moody episode, I wander with Kevin Rose through a beautiful forest in Portland, Oregon. Before I tell you what we talk about, let me tell you more about Kevin!

Kevin is one of the fun success stories of Silicon Valley entrepreneurs. I first came across him while watching Diggnation, which was the regular show in the orbit of the site he founded, Digg.com. Besides that, he was a founder with Revisiion3, Pownce, and Milk. After all that, he was a partner at Google Ventures. Now he lives in Portland with his awesome brainy wife Daria and his daughter Zelda. There’s another daughter on the way any day now, judging by Daria’s ponderous belly.

Kevin has a great podcast that I’ve recommended a few times and I’ll do it now again: Go check out The Kevin Rose Show. I’m going to be on an upcoming episode but I can’t say what we talk about!

Note you can control the camera by grabbing the screen and moving it around. It’s a little wonky because the gyro was not calibrated, but think of it like a game. If you have enough bandwidth, click the gear and choose the maximum resolution!

As for this walk n’ talk, we discuss a myriad of subjects:
Vulnerability, Kevin’s dad and approval of strangers
Why we love Japan
Psychedelics and counseled sessions using psilocybin
Kids
Hug in the Secret Whisky Bar

Here are links to stuff we mentioned:
Book – Geek in Japan
Book – How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence
Podcast – Michael Pollan interviewed by Kevin Rose
Trey’s Gear and Kit Page

Daily Photo – Another Beautiful Forest

I thought it would be fun to include a foresty photo in here from Series 1 of the fine art over at www.TreyRatcliff.com. I recently did a re-master of this photo, and you can see the complete how-to if you are a Passport Member. Jump on in there, and if you want an exact link to that re-edit, follow this link.

Another Beautiful Forest

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-06-18 13:48:12
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture11
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

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Season 2, Episode 3 of Walking with Matt

Wanna see the other Walk n’ Talks? Here they are!

1) Discussing Rituals and Death with Kevin Kelly and Hugh Howey
2) Hugh Howey on World Building
3) Crypto with Aaron Lammer

Matt Mullenweg is not just the founder of WordPress and now Automattic, but he was also my lucky roommate on this week-long 200km hike through Spain. Not only is he warm at night, but he really knows how to work that loofa in the shower.

We share many commonalities including the love of writing, Burning Man, hiking, and experimental and self-exploration use mind-expanding substances. You can see the poor guy has a bit of a limp here, as he had a knee problem that got worse and worse as the days went on. We should have brought more drugs. Anyway…

First time seeing a 360 video? You can grab the screen and move it any way you want! Tired of seeing me and Matt? Spin it around and see where we are going.

What do we talk about?

1:30 His inspiration for WordPress and his mindset
3:30 Comments on Blogs
4:00 What is his main gig now, Automattic?
5:15 Texas boys say hi to their moms
5:55 What did Matt learn that he didn’t expect to learn?
7:20 Meditation and the Stoic philosophers
7:50 Why do we blog?

Matt’s Blog
Matt’s photos, stuff and things
Trey’s Kit + Books

Below, I’ll share some photos of Matt while we walked along the Camino and some quick thoughts and stories.


Very few people know this, but this is exactly how Matt came out of the womb, beard and all. His mom was like, “Well I’ll be darned!”

One awesome thing about Matt is that when you are talking to him, you’re the only person in the world. Here he is talking with Gia-Miin Fuh, Kevin Kelly’s genius wife that works at 23-And-Me.

No one can rock a scallop shell like Matt. I told him that with those sunglasses that he could be a hardcore pornography director.

A lot like everyone on the trek, Matt seemed to know either a little bit or a lot about everything. On the very first night, we walked across the bridge from Portugal to Spain in the dark. It was quite romantic. We talked all about the different sort of hallucinogens we’ve imbibed and how they have shaped and expanded our minds (for the better).

Here’s Matt Hackett, Hugh Howey, and Matt somewhere in one of the more forested areas of our walk. We would often pair-off or triple-up and have all kinds of interesting discussions, solving all the world’s problems!

Here’s Matt talking to Kevin Kelly at a rest break. By this time, Matt’s knee was really bothering him, and none of us minded having a break. We were in no hurry to get anywhere in particular.

And last, here is Craig Mod giving life to Matt with his noodly appendage.

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Over Bangkok

New Insta360 One X Camera

I’m loving this thing! It’s so much better than the previous one… shooting at 5.7K! Be sure to check out my updated Kit.com to see it my gadgets list!

Daily Photo – Over Bangkok

I only had one night in Bangkok, but it wasn’t nearly as exciting as that song would indicate. I was pretty exhausted, but I did find this cool rooftop restaurant to have a great dinner with amazing views. Right after this, a huge thunderstorm started, and I was out without an umbrella. It was at least a 15-minute walk back to my place (I stayed at the St. Regis – super nice!), and I could not decide if I wanted to get soaked or wait it out. Eventually, the universe delivered me a perfect umbrella that already had the St. Regis logo on it! I was like… hey, that’s kinda weird. But I took it as a sign… a sign to use an umbrella.

Over Bangkok

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-27 00:11:35
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO1000
  • Focal Length22.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Part 2 of my 150km hike in Spain… this time, with Hugh Howey!

I was pretty intimidated to meet this guy!

I knew he was coming on the trip and, of course, I had heard about him previously since I’m kind of a sci-fi and fantasy geek. I had never read his books though! Hugh is most famous for “Wool” the sequel book from his the Silo series. My wife had read them and was begging me for years to do the same. My daughter, Isabella, was also reading the entire Silo series. And then, when Kevin Kelly told me Hugh Howey was going on this trip, I decided it was the perfect time to read them!

Wanna see the other Walk n’ Talks? Here they are!

1) Kevin Kelly on Death
2) Aaron Lammer on Crypto
3) Matt Mullenweg on WordPress and more

So yeah, I was quite intimidated by Hugh Howey before I met him. I have this idea that authors are like these demigod intellectuals who have the motivational superpower to write an actual novel. I can hardly motivate myself to do a single blog post.

I was also intimidated because I met another sci-fi author I really admire, Neal Stephenson, and he made me cry! And not cry in a good way! But that’s a longer story that ends well, because now we are friends. But I was kinda thinking, “Oh god – I hope Hugh Howey doesn’t make me cry.”

And then, after I met him, I could immediately tell he was my kinda guy, the whole notion of being intimidated felt utterly ridiculous! He was one of the warmest and most gentle people I’ve ever met. I noticed his easy way and silky-smooth mannerisms with everyone he encountered.

Here’s a 360 video I took with Hugh one day during the hike where I asked him about World Building, which is the process fiction writers go through to create the fundamentals of the situation in which the story takes place. Unfortunately, this video takes place on a busy neighborhood road. Most of the trail was actually in forested areas on dirt paths. If you haven’t seen a 360 video before, you can grab the screen and look in whatever direction you want.

I can’t figure out exactly why Hugh and I got along so well. I mean, I get along with pretty much everyone, maybe because my mom and dad raised me to be an amiable and affable guy. Who knows? Hehe. Anyway, every now and then you meet a dude you REALLY hit it off with. And I don’t mean like those guys that are instant friends like in gay internet porn, but more like in the Bert and Ernie way.

Hugh has quite an interesting story that is not completely dissimilar to mine. He struggled with his craft forever until he finally found surprising success in an unexpected way. You’ll see in the video above more about how his books struck a nerve with people and he ended up backing into an enormously successful series of books. Now, at 43, he has stopped all writing, bought a yacht, and is sailing around the world by himself! He’s a modern day Nietzsche’s Übermensch!

I noticed how when we talked he would describe all this really manly stuff about building things. He even went into detail about how he built his own outdoor shower on his yacht. Like, he got really detailed. I was thinking, now this is a real manly dude that knows how to use all the tools and stuff. I can barely change a lightbulb, so I’m always impressed by these arts that have completely passed me by, mostly because of my extreme laziness. But then I started thinking about all the detail in his book “Wool,” especially, the craftiness of his female protagonist. And then it all started to make more sense! I’m not saying that Hugh is a female in a man’s body that’s really handy with tools, but maybe there’s a little element of that. He certainly knows how to write cool female characters, and it’s no surprise that a huge portion of his readership is females. He’s in touch with that stuff, you know? Very empathetic.

Also, I found out that most of his books (he has a lot!) have been optioned for TV shows. That’s exciting! One of them, Beacon 23, I think is going to be the first one out of the gate. I hope they don’t mess it up… It’s always a disappointment when an interesting sci-fi book turns into a dull movie or TV series. That happens a lot, for some reason. And that sucks for me, being a giant sci-fi fan. Why are there so many bad sci-fi movies and TV shows and so MANY good sci-fi novels? It doesn’t make sense! I suppose the real reason is that our imaginations are better than most cinematographers + directors + actors + scriptwriters can create.

And hey, Hugh and I have a mutual love of two shows: Rick & Morty and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. One night at the hotel, we drank a bunch of beers, stayed up extra late in Hugh’s room, and watched the latest episode of Sunny. We were laughing like two extremely immature people, which, of course, we are.

Let’s get a little dark.

On one of our morning walks, Hugh told me about how, as a young man in his 20’s, he decided to commit suicide at 40. Whoa. And he was totally serious. This ended up with him cranking out a ton of creative work in his thirties because he was running out of time. It was an incredible strategy to Do Something Meaningful before you die. I think almost everyone gets to this stage, especially when they are quite old and they only have a few years left. But, often, it’s sometimes too late then to create a lot of stuff because people are older and have less energy. Hugh was in his prime then, in his thirties. And, thank goodness he didn’t go through with the suicide, because he’s even more in his prime now in his 40’s!

I made another 360 video with Hugh about this suicide-thing. That’s being edited together right now so subscribe to my Youtube channel. That will complete that story.

So, you know, this was a deep conversation, obviously. And that led to other deep conversations. Naturally, this is another thing we have in common as neither of us can stand small talk. This has always angered my wife, who wonders why I can’t stand by the BBQ and talk to people about small matters of zero import. If I get stuck in dull conversations, I usually just go into the bathroom and read reddit or play on my Switch.

Let’s get to my Dog Trial of the Camino. The long hike is a spiritual journey and everyone has little challenges that crop up, unexpected. One of mine was the Dog Trial of the Camino, a challenge created by Hugh. Let me explain.

Along the way, I was reading another book by Paulo Coelho, whom you may know as the author of one of my favorite books, “The Alchemist” Anyway, Paulo also walked the Camino and he wrote a book called “The Pilgrimage” all about it. It seemed perfect for this trip! The book turned out to be pretty average and I would not necessarily recommend it. But, I did enjoy reading it because I was in the same setting and doing the same hike as Paulo. Anyway, the book has one thing in there that kind of happened to me: Paulo’s Trial of the Dog.

Okay, where am I going with this, and how does it relate to another well-known author, Hugh Howey?

In the book, Paulo is attacked by a dog that is possessed by a demon spirit or some shit. I didn’t really understand. Paulo goes off on these mystical flights of fancy. I think he had (honestly) just read Carlos Castaneda’s “The Teachings of Don Juan” (I do recommend those, but man, what a wild ride – they only make sense if you have experimented with psychedelics) and he was really trying to horseshoe in some similarly apocryphal fantastical stories into his Pilgrimage book. ANYHOO, this dog continued to make surprise appearances in the book in a menacing manner until the protagonist finally dealt with the situation.

One day, Hugh and I were talking about our dogs when we were younger. Let me tell you: when two dudes are talking about dogs they had when they were younger, the shit is gonna get real.

And this was only like day two of our hike! Guys don’t talk about previous dogs until many many years into a relationship. It’s kind of like asking a girl if she’s into extreme bondage on your first date right after the salad arrives. I mean, you can ask her that, and, depending on her answer, you may be skipping the next dish.

In this analogy, Hugh was the one asking me if I was into extreme bondage.

This is because he brought up the “dog topic” first. After he told me about his life-suicide plans, our conversation jumped this way and that. He mentioned his previous girlfriend, who was obviously not a fan of his upcoming death-plans. Relationships have enough tension anyway without the added complexity of a ticking time bomb. Anyway, Hugh and his girlfriend had a dog. Hugh is a very affectionate guy and a helpless romantic. These are often the best dog people.

Hugh named his dog Jolie.

He told me about how he would cuddle with Jolie. It was a perfect little cuddle puddle with two soft puzzle pieces that fit together like held hands. He would slowly pet Jolie and, slightly above a whisper, tell her how much he loved her. Then Hugh would tell her how much he would miss her when she was gone. He would say these things over and over again. His girlfriend found this quite sad and didn’t think it was appropriate to speak of such things.

A few years later, the dog suddenly had some serious trouble. Hugh and his girlfriend jumped in the car to rush to the vet. The dog was slowly dying in Hugh’s arms. He was doing everything he could, but everything was not enough as Jolie passed away.

After a little time passed, Hugh said his girlfriend eventually said she understood why he said those things to Jolie. She wished she had said the same things.

I was not really able to respond for quite a bit, as one might understand.

What happened to his girlfriend, many of you are wondering? Actually, I don’t know because this was a story about the dog. But I know she’s not his girlfriend anymore. Anyway, none of that matters as this is a dog story.

Now, Hugh and I are walking along in a brooding forest in a dark mood. There is a good amount of silence, and, of course, I’m thinking about my own sad dog story. Her name was Maty.

So I brought her up. But I brought her up in the right sort of manner, not in a, “Hey you think YOUR dog story was sad, wait till you hear this one!” Some people compare stories like that, and there is a subtle way to share stories where there is no competition. Most guys that tell stories to one another are dickheads and they are trying to kinda make themselves sound better by outdoing others. But this wasn’t like that if you know what I mean.

Yeah, so I tell Hugh that my wife and I had Maty before we had kids. And then we had Ethan and Isabella, so they were able to grow up with Maty. Maty loved everyone in the family so much. She was adorable. Black and white and soft and silly. Cuddles, lays on your feet so she knows when you get up, made our little kids giggle, all that good stuff. By the time my son Ethan was about 9 years old and Isabella was about 3, our dog Maty was approaching 12 and started having trouble.

She lived a full, spunky life but suddenly, she was having great difficulty breathing. We took her to the vet. I was in there while they were scanning her, trying to figure out the problem. There was a fluid buildup in her heart, and it was growing so big, she could not breathe anymore. There was nothing they could do and Maty passed away. I’d like to think her heart was so big because she loved us so much.

So then, I continued telling Hugh, I figured that I should bury Maty in our backyard. We lived in Austin in a somewhat remote area of the hill country. Our backyard was full of tall trees and shaped in a downward sloping hill that ended in a creek. There were many roots visible above the ground as rain would slowly wash the dirt away down into the creek.

I had Maty in a little cardboard box in one hand and a shovel in the other. I carried her down there with my wife and little kids. I was telling Hugh, after a strange pause, that I had never dug a grave before. And then I couldn’t say anything else and I started to cry. Hugh gave me a sweet hug.

And with that, Hugh Howey did indeed make me cry, but in the best way possible.

Myself and Hugh Howey

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