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#1 on Amazon! Thank you!

i-8zPc57m-S.jpg My new book is doing great and now it's officially available for download or old-school printing. It's #1 in a few categories like Popular Culture and various Web and Internet areas, so thank you!

It kind of reads like a thriller ... we start out talking about what's really happening on Instagram (and all social networks). Then we have some fun showing how people fake their way into creating a false narrative, swindling big companies out of millions of $$, and then we end on a zen note, talking about ego, selfies, anxiety, and a new digital sociological phenomenon I like to call "Mass Delusional Behavior."

Now, can I ask a FAVOR?

Man, I hate to ask... but it would be a huge boost. No big surprise here, but I have a lot of HATERS out there... hehe. They think my photography is shit, that my zen/balanced approach to life is rubbish, and that I'm basically Satan's gift to the world. NONE of that bothers me, BUT, these people pile in early to the Amazon reviews and give low ratings. This makes the "Average" rating go down, when really these are not Average people! Strangely, many reviews came in even before the book was published (while in pre-release... how did they do that? ...need to ask Amazon). Anyway, can you see where I am going with this? I would be honored if you could take 45 seconds and write a little review on Amazon. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

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This Week in Photo with Frederick Van Johnson

Here's a video interview I did about the new book about how to stay Zen and calm on social media on This Week in Photo with Frederick Van Johnson. This was a fun talk... and you'll get some inside scoop about what's happening on Instagram!

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Trey Ratcliff's 360 Podcast - Hugh Howey on World Building

Speaking of writing ... here’s a 360 video I took with prolific author Hugh Howey 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.

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StuckInCustoms.com is a personal blog where Trey puts up a new unique photo every day and writes about the art, the technology, and the story of the adventures. Actually, this is Trey writing about this in third person. Both Trey and I appreciate your support very much! If you think your family or friends might like this Newsletter (subscribe for free), please forward this to them. It'll make a fun email chain!

Join me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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Reminder: The Text HDR Tutorial is Always Free!

I keep a completely FREE HDR Tutorial on my website. It is a living document that continues to evolve over the years. It goes over everything you need to get started and is a great introduction to the basics of HDR photography and post processing.

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Some recent photos from StuckInCustoms.com

The Pantheon
Here's the Pantheon in Rome. It's hard to believe this building is 2,000 years old! I edited this single RAW photo using Aurora HDR 2019. This is an old photo, from probably over eight years ago. I still have SO MANY unprocessed photos, and it's fun to go back to them now and process them using new tools.

Lupin Party!
These are my favorite sort of pest. Kiwis definitely call anything not from New Zealand a "pest," probably including even me. There's an area between Lindis Pass and Tekapo where you see millions of these off the side of the road. This looks like a "normal" landscape but it is actually a quadcopter panorama!

Singapore Dinner
People in Singapore love food. If you've been to Singapore, then you know what I mean. It's almost all they talk about. They don't mention the weather, because, why bother? It's always the same. Hot and humid (at least to me... to them, it is normal). But they spend so many hours eating food and talking about food... it's absolutely incredible. Don't get me wrong. I love a good meal, but then I'm off onto other subjects! Anyway, since they are so food-centric, there are countless amazing eateries with views of the city like this one. I wish I remembered where I was... it was sort of a random rooftop-restaurant search.

Colorful Courts
Drone photography is so fun! In some ways, almost anything is interesting from a top-down perspective. One of my challenges with this is to choose the MOST interesting things. I like to try to find simple patterns or interesting colors that are a bit confusing. Like, what kind of court is that on the top of the photo? I'm really not sure... is it badminton? I always thought that was such a silly sport, but what do I know? I mean, why not play Tennis or Ping Pong, each of which seems to be a lot more fun to me.

Tokyo at Night
This is the view out of my window at the top of the Ritz-Carlton in Tokyo. Almost every night, I would go sit by the window with a blanket, my camera, and a glass of wine and take photos while listening to music. I know a lot of people like to read before bed to allow the day to wind down a bit, but this was my Tokyo routine and it worked like a charm.

Autumn in Kyoto
Japanese people tend to be very close to nature. That's part of their Shintoism, which basically equates nature with being closer to the eternal. I certainly don't disagree with that! And this is why you see so many Japanese people out in nature, spending times with trees. During the cherry blossom season, whole families will stake out a Sakura and sit under it all day long.

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul
As far as religious buildings go, I tend to enjoy taking photos in mosques rather than churches or cathedrals. This is not a blanket rule, of course, because a few cathedrals can be rather stunning. They all get a little boring after a while, though… kind of predictable. But as you can see here, inside the Blue Mosque, the level of design and color blows away most of the rather dreary cathedrals in the world.

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