Stuck in Customs – Page 2 – 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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Incredible Moscow

Paul Stamets on Joe Rogan

One of my psychonaut friends sent me this video! If you are interested in mushrooms… well, this is the dude!

Daily Photo – Incredible Moscow

During our New Zealand workshop, I got a request about how I achieved the “streaky” effect you see in this photo. I decided to re-create it with this photo from Moscow! And then, after I was done, I decided I like this photo even more than the original, unstreaky one!

Incredible Moscow

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-06-04 21:40:11
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture5
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length57.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Hanging out in Donkey Bay



How cool is this hotel?!? This place is up in the Bay of Islands on the North Island of New Zealand, very close to Russell. Our friend David Maxwell from Eighth Wonder Travel hooked us up here for a few nights. It’s an incredibly beautiful and quirky place with amazing views of the Bay of Islands. Also, I believe there are only 4 rooms in the entire hotel… each one is beautiful and unique! Here are a couple more photos below for you.



The Milky Way over Kinross

Speaking of Space…

Here’s a cool video a guy shot of the 60 new satellites SpaceX just launched into orbit.

Daily Photo – The Milky Way over Kinross

At our workshop, we had a fabulous dinner here inside Kinross. It was one of my first nights drinking after about a two-week stint of not drinking after my 5MEO-DMT experience. That’s a longer story, but a great one! Anyway, I’m impressed I was able to get this clean photo and help instruct other people to do the same thing!

The Milky Way over Kinross

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-04-24 21:48:05
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time30
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO3200
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Check out Episode 2 of My Audio Podcast

Trey Ratcliff’s 360 Podcast – Discussing World Building with Author Hugh Howey

In this podcast I’m walking on the Camino de Santiago with author of the popular Silo series, Hugh Howey. We discuss World Building, which is the process fiction writers go through to create the fundamentals of the situation in which the story takes place.

You can also subscribe via your favorite platforms here… iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify or in some regions Google Play.

Myself and Hugh Howey

And so you can put a face to the voice, here’s Hugh and some other guy on the Camino…

Behind the Scenes from the Vessel in NYC

Here is a little behind the scenes action from NYC. The awesome Professor Hines was kind enough to arrange access to The Vessel at sunset and he brought along his fashion designer friend DrissFit96 for some portrait action too…

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Stu Robertson in Antarctica

David Spade Ripping on GoT

This is hilarious.

Daily Photo – Stu Robertson in Antarctica

What a cool dude he is, eh? You know how some people don’t have to try to be cool and just ARE? Yep, that’s Stu all right! We spent a lot of time taking photos of one another… almost like two girls on Spring Break. Maybe we even took more photos than that.

This is out in the Dry Valleys where we camped out for about a week. One night, we were laughing so much in our tent that the other scientists thought we were on drugs. When we got up the next morning, many of them pulled me aside and asked if we had any extra drugs for them…hehe. (Uhhh we were not and did not… just two happy dudes.)

Stu Robertson in Antarctica

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-01-17 10:46:11
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture11
  • ISO64
  • Focal Length19.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Queenstown Gardens in the Autumn

This guy is funny

Check out this vid on FB…

Daily Photo – Queenstown Gardens in the Autumn

When I look at these photos I took in Queenstown Gardens, it makes me wonder why I don’t walk around there every day, especially in the Autumn! It’s not actually that far from me… maybe 15 minutes. I guess one problem is parking. Parking in Queenstown is such a huge problem that I barely approach the CBD anymore… If I were in charge of counsel, I would subsidize Uber so that people could Uber around instead of leaving empty cars all over the city. There is nothing more inefficient than an empty car!

Queenstown Gardens in the Autumn

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-04-23 09:55:41
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.5
  • Aperture20
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

Amazing Kuala Lumpur

Porto Perspective

Here’s a little video I made for my friend Jose in Porto, Portugal! You can find his //photo tours here/..

Daily Photo – Amazing Kuala Lumpur

It was fun to go back to Kuala Lumpur after being gone for over seven years. You still can’t go wrong with a photo of the amazing Petronas Towers and the KLCC area. This one I tried shifting the temperature over into the Incandescent area. This is a good trick to try for a few of your cityscape shots. When you go into that area (called Tungsten in some white balance settings), you get this cool Blade Runner kind of feel.

Amazing Kuala Lumpur

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-03-30 02:04:27
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

Angkor Wat in the Morning

Practicing Calligraphy

I decided to record a video of me practicing Chinese calligraphy in reverse. I’m finally getting a LITTLE bit better! (Open the link to see the full-size video.)

Calligraphy level 1 trillion from Damnthatsinteresting

Daily Photo – Angkor Wat in the Morning

I used a new technique to process this old photo. I took it about ten years ago at Angkor Wat, and it was a very steamy morning. My lens was fogged up for about half an hour as I waited for it to reach temperature equilibrium. Anyway, a lot of my photos came out a bit foggy/blurry. So now that Lightroom has the Dehaze feature, I ran that on all the photos before importing into Aurora HDR 2019… that made all the difference in the world for a clean photo!

Angkor Wat in the Morning

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2007-06-02 22:43:40
  • CameraNIKON D2Xs
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length20.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Tsuruga-jō Castle in Aizuwakamatsu-shi, Fukushima

Behind the Shot

Steve Brazill (@SteveBrazill) asked me to join him on his Behind the Shot podcast (@BehindTheShotTV) to take a look at how I made this image from Burning Man. We also have a little contest to win a “How to Build Real Influence” class I did with @laurenepbath. Check it out here!

The Boshin War

I BET you don’t know much about this war… neither did I until researching this spot in Japan featured in today’s photo. Below is from Wikipedia:

The Boshin War (戊辰戦争 Boshin Sensō, “War of the Year of the Yang Earth Dragon”), also known as the Japanese Revolution, was a civil war fought in Japan between the ruling Tokugawa Shogunate and supporters of the Imperial Court from 27 January 1868 to 27 June 1869.

The Tokugawa Shogunate’s handling of foreigners following the Opening of Japan during the 1850s and decline from increasing Western influence in the economy disillusioned many kazoku nobles and young samurai warriors, who sought to return power to the Emperor’s Imperial Court in Kyoto after 683 years of Shogunate rule. An alliance of court officials and western samurai, particularly from the domains of Chōshū, Satsuma and Tosa, supported by the United Kingdom secured control of the Imperial Court. Tokugawa Yoshinobu, the sitting shōgun, abdicated political power to the young Emperor Meiji hoping that the House of Tokugawa could be preserved and participate in the future government. Military movements by Imperial forces, French support, partisan violence in Edo, and an imperial decree abolishing the Tokugawa promoted by Satsuma and Chōshū led Yoshinobu to launch a military campaign to seize the Emperor’s court in Kyoto. The conflict rapidly turned against the Shogunate, and Yoshinobu personally surrendered after a series of battles culminating in the surrender of Edo. Tokugawa loyalists retreated to northern Honshū where they joined the Northern Alliance against the Imperial faction, but were defeated several months later and fled to Hokkaidō. In January 1869, the Shogunate established the Republic of Ezo on Hokkaidō to continue their rule as a separate state and sued for peace. The Imperial faction invaded Hokkaidō and defeated the Shogunate at the Battle of Hakodate in June, ending the war.

The Boshin War made imperial rule supreme throughout the whole of Japan, completing the military phase of the Meiji Restoration and establishing the Empire of Japan. The victorious Imperial faction abandoned its objective to expel foreigners from Japan, and instead adopted a policy of continued modernization and industrialization to eventual renegotiation of the unequal treaties with the Western powers. Tokugawa loyalists were shown clemency due to the persistence of Saigō Takamori, a prominent leader of the Imperial faction, and many former Shogunate leaders and samurai were later given positions of responsibility under the new government. Around 120,000 men were mobilized during the conflict and of these about 3,500 were killed, and over time the war has been romanticized as a “bloodless revolution” because of the small number of casualties.

Daily Photo – Tsuruga-jō Castle in Aizuwakamatsu-shi, Fukushima

Believe it or not, I got really good at saying all these super-long Japanese names while I was there! I pretty much had to, since hardly anyone spoke English and I had to navigate the serpentine rail and bus system. I didn’t have much time in Aizuwakamatsu-shi, but I wanted to make sure this classic old castle was on the list… It took me down a whole interesting history lesson in one of the many Japanese civil wars.

Tsuruga-jō Castle in Aizuwakamatsu-shi, Fukushima

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-07-21 02:06:06
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperture
  • ISO
  • Focal Length
  • Flash
  • Exposure Program
  • Exposure Bias

Beautiful Queenstown During the Workshop

Autumn 2020!

2020 seems like a long way away, eh? Remember the seasons are reversed down here in New Zealand, so now is a great time to schedule some time for yourself down here! Check out our workshops page for more info!

Daily Photo – Beautiful Queenstown During the Workshop

We had a great workshop week a few weeks ago in the Autumn season. This is one of my favorite places to take people. It’s sort of a lay-up really. Everyone comes away with amazing photos… you have to be absolutely terrible to get a bad photo of this scene. It’s great fun to help people along and they get so excited by their photos!

Beautiful Queenstown During the Workshop

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-04-25 08:58:44
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture4
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length39.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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