Farming in Deep Southern China

What is The Arcanum to Trey and Pete?

Here’s a new video we just released!

Textures Tutorial

If you pop over to the Stuck In Customs Store you’ll see the Textures Tutorial. This is how I accomplished today’s photo. Actually, that Textures Tutorial is the FIRST video tutorial I ever made here for the site. I was thinking about re-doing it early next year and include all-new textures. Let me know if you’d have an interest in this!

Daily Photo – Farming in Deep Southern China

We found this amazing area by accident! We were having some strange weather situations and this made us change our schedule about. After coming down from a mountain that resembles one of those spires you see in the distance, we took a side-road (a dirt road) down through some farms to work our way down to the river, as we were to take a bamboo raft back to the little town of Yangshao.

Farming in Deep Southern China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture9
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Happy Girls in Guangxi and more great feedback on The Arcanum

More Great Feedback on The Arcanum!

First, The Arcanum hit #8 of the Top 51 Websites for Learning Online. Amazing! That’s a great tribute the the team, the Masters, and the Apprentices! Thanks everyone!

And here are two wonderful Apprentices who made some lovely posts about their thoughts and experiences! The first is from Rose Fredriksen and the second is from Marjorie McDonald.

Daily Photo – Happy Girls in Guangxi!

One night I went out in the rain to take photos while staying in the little town of Yangshao. It was great fun! I was using my Sony A7r and my Leica 35mm f/1.4 which requires manual focus. Naturally, this means I need both hands to take photos. Luckily I had my guide Andy with me to help hold the umbrella!

Happy Girls in Guangxi!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture
  • ISO4000
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Dragons Coming

In Game of Thrones

Who is your favorite character? For me, I’d have to say Tyrion… I liked him ever since I started reading the books about 10 years ago!

Daily Photo – Dragons Coming

Here's a photo from a wicked place in China.

It was a very cloudy and moody sunrise and I thought not much would happen, but then I had the idea for this. Sometimes when things don't work out, you can work extra hard to try to make some lemonade out of the lemons.

I think I also named it this because I've been watching lots of Game of Thrones!

Dragons Coming

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/4
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

A Red Foggy Night in Northern China

See any typos?

You know what? I’m terrible with typos… just terrible. I make them all the time. I re-read my blog posts and I can never catch my mistakes. So, if YOU ever see one, just leave a comment! Don’t worry… it won’t hurt my feelings. Then I can just fix it right up! :)

Lake of Dreams

I just got back from another amazing Burning Man. I thought you might like to see this video called “Lake of Dreams” – it was made during last year’s burn!

Daily Photo – A Red Foggy Night in Northern China

Here, at the Great Wall of China, you get a very epic sense of the world. I've now been here four times, and every time I'm totally impressed. This is by far the most impressive section I've ever been to. I'd like to go back here, maybe even in the middle of winter when there is snow. How awesome would it be to camp out up here? It should be amazing!

A Red Foggy Night in Northern China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/8
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length46.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Fishing Near the Summer Palace

Another China Scene

This is a video I made when I was north of the Palace here up near an abandoned part of the Great Wall of China.

Daily Photo – Fishing Near the Summer Palace

This is a peaceful Chinese scene, don't you think? It's nice to see these kind of quaint things happening in beautiful spots like this, I think. I see a lot of people fishing all over China. Not all the scenes are quite this idyllic, believe me. But I do like to try to capture it when I can. This was shot in one of the many lakes that surround the Summer Palace.

Fishing Near the Summer Palace

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture8
  • ISO640
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Daemon Bird

The Lightroom Tutorial

I’m glad so many people are enjoying the Lightroom Tutorial! This photo below is one of the shots that is processed during the tutorial!

Daily Photo – The Daemon Bird

This fisherman and his bird were incredible. Whichever direction his head went, so did the bird's! It was really incredible to watch. If you have the Lightroom Tutorial I mention above, be sure to watch that part where I show all the various head positions! I've never seen anything like it in my life.

For this photo, because it was so dark, I opened up my aperture all the way to f/1.4 – that really helped the light to come in and give it this feeling.

The Daemon Bird

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Smiling Over the Top

The African Photo Adventure

I’m really getting excited about the African Photo Adventure. It’s happening very soon! We’re thinking about a few other big trips for 2015… be sure to check our newsletter for the latest!

Daily Photo – Smiling Over the Top

While walking down one of the busier streets in China one night, I saw this girl smiling from behind all these cups. I thought it was super funny and cute because she would just watch me as I went by. I could tell she was smiling, but I just saw her head rotating. I was cracking up and decided to turn around and take a photo!

Smiling Over the Top

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture
  • ISO1250
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramShutter speed priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.7

Beijing PhotoWalk Recap!

Update from the Sony A7r Winner!

I received a nice note from Jack Soltysik, the winner of the Grand Prize at the Beijing PhotoWalk, a Sony A7r. (Here’s my Sony A7r Review in case you missed it!)

Got the camera! Thanks so much for the lens! I literally had the 35 arriving the same day but was able to switch It w the 55 when I saw you’d sent the 35. Thank you! That was a really nice surprise. I’ve been too busy to go shooting recently because I’m in an intensive Chinese course at Tsinghua for the rest of the summer. I wanted to say that I got a full scholarship to this course thanks to getting this camera.

The shots I take now are mostly sneaky street shots w my iphone and I wrote an essay about how, w an actual camera, I should probably be able to speak to my subjects – the essay got me into this summer semester long program w a full ride. Your photo walk really ended up having a pretty big impact for me. I can’t wait to go out shooting once I can interact w people.

I’m waiting for the release of a wider lens before I go out and try hdr work but already have travel ideas planned out for that. The camera feels great and I love the low profile. Thanks for all the extras. My friend got your HDR course which I watched recently and I especially found valuable the part about adjusting the black point in photomatix.

Anyway I can’t stress enough how much this has inspired and motivated my own work so I wanted to say thanks again for hosting the walk and for all the things that’s led to, not the least of which is friends I’ve made from hanging out w people at 798.

For those of you that are on Weibo, mine is here… my name in Chinese translates to “Special Thunder!” haha.

Trey Beijing Photowalk CN3

Some Other Favorite Photos from Beijing

Here’s a collection of some of my favorite photos from Beijing. If you want to see more from China, check out the SmugMug China Search of my photos! :)

Lijiang at Night This is the old town of Lijiang, China, where I spent the week with Tom Anderson (the MySpace guy).  I think I mentioned him before.  Anyway, we got to be friends over the past several months, and we ended up spending a week together here in the south of China.Tom had first been here many years ago when he was setting up the MySpace office in Beijing.  He had great memories, and he thought it would be great for a big return now that he is getting more into photography.  So, it was definitely a week full of non-stop photography action.One late night after the sun had set, we weaved through the old streets until we found this place.  Looking up, I knew it would be a wonderful place to take a photo, so I set up for this one.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Temple of Heaven One too-early morning brought me to this very important place for the Chinese called The Temple of Heaven.  It's the most important Taoist structure in all of China and millions flock to it every year, especially during the National Holiday.  It was built in the early 1400's during the reign of the Yongle Emperor.  I was lucky to get private access in the morning during the sunrise.  After waking up in the dark at the hotel, my driver took me out to the location, where I met one of the directors while members of the military let me inside the giant doors.  Since it was a special celebration week, there were throngs of people waiting to get inside.  I'm sure they were wondering what in the heck some white dude was doing busting through the doors with a giant tripod!  I nodded to them all in a mysterious way before I went through the doors.(btw, a few questions as to whether or not I photoshopped the moon there.  The answer is no... I'm not one of those guys that will "photoshop in" something major like a moon.)- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Mysterious UFO Device What do you think this structure is? There are almost an infinite number of possibilities.I was being driven around by a very nice driver with Tom and he took me through this technology park. Most of it was rather banal, but this one structure was so unusual, I had to get out and examine it. I walked around and underneath the structure to try to figure it out. I never did, so I just set up to take a photo.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

On Gossamer Wings I had spent most of the day inside the Forbidden City, trying my best to find little bits here and there.  Tiny discoveries, you know.  I was pretty tired after a day of searching, but I still had barely enough energy to keep exploring into the night.  At that point, I decided to go to another, older area of the city.There were hundreds of quaint shops, the smell of fresh food, families walking to and fro... it was all very nice.  I came to cross a little raised bridge, and I saw this woman standing there.  She was dressed in vintage Chinese grab and holding a delicate umbrella.  While talking with her friends, the light caught her umbrella just right, so I snapped a quick photo.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Birds in the Nest This is the famous “Bird’s Nest” building from the Olympics in Beijing. After the Olympics are over, these special buildings all seem a bit lonely. I know they still hold events in them from time to time, but that seems more like the exception than the rule. Also, this location is so far away from the center of the city that it is extremely inconvenient. Once you arrive to have a look, you are interested, but always thinking of getting back to the main part of the city… this gives it even more of a forlorn feeling… but maybe that is just me.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Chinese Mothership Look at this magical place in Beijing... it's on the edge of belief.I could hardly fathom the nature of this place.  I expected the lights to appear on the grid with melodic tones a mystical, alien language, like in Close Encounters.  But none of that happened...  So I just stood there for a long time, thinking about how incredible this place was... and took my time, setting up my system for a fitting photograph.Remember when we were kids, and we never finished our food, even under the threat of starving children in China?  Now, I say to my kids, you better eat your food, or else Chinese children will grow up and create an economic powerhouse.  Well too late for that!This is the amazing National Centre for the Performing Arts, or as I like to say, the 国家大剧院 -- I find that rolls of the tongue a bit easier.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Birds in the Nest This is the famous “Bird’s Nest” building from the Olympics in Beijing. After the Olympics are over, these special buildings all seem a bit lonely. I know they still hold events in them from time to time, but that seems more like the exception than the rule. Also, this location is so far away from the center of the city that it is extremely inconvenient. Once you arrive to have a look, you are interested, but always thinking of getting back to the main part of the city… this gives it even more of a forlorn feeling… but maybe that is just me.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Red Prayers

A Red Votive

I think it’s interesting how Asian cultures do the sort of thing you see below and Western cultures use votives. I think it’s also interesting how both are red. It seems to be a fairly convenient way for the masses to contribute and be part of the movement.

Daily Photo – Red Prayers

Many temples throughout China have these hanging just outside the main entrance. People that go visit buy them and write little thoughts or hopes or prayers on them and let them hang in the breeze outside.

Red Prayers

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramShutter speed priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Dining on the slow river

Back to Venice?

When I was on this boat, I was thinking of Venice a bit! I went there a long time ago, before I was into photography. Now I want to go back… maybe we should do a big workshop event there next year? That would be fun!

Daily Photo – Dining on the slow river

I took this photo behind our boat driver/captain/guy-with-long-stick. I actually don't even know what you call these guys? Anyway, while walking around this little town in Guilin, Tom and I and our two guides found this amazing raft by a restaurant. It was a big square raft with a little roof. Everything was made of bamboo. There was a table in the middle, so we found the nearby building and asked if we could eat on the boat while someone pushed us around the river. And then it was done! 15 minutes later, I was having a delicious omelette while taking high bokeh photos of the driver/captain/guy-with-long-stick!

Dining on the slow river

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramShutter speed priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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