Trey’s Crazy Trip Around The World – Part 1

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In the middle of the 60-day around the world trip with my family! Here’s highlights from the first 30 days – enjoy!

Deep in the Chinese Opera

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I have an Amazon List you may enjoy if you’re doing some last-minute holiday shopping!

Flashback

And here’s another photo from this amazing opera at the Peony Pavilion in Beijing.

The Peony Pavilion at The Imperial Granary I was invited to go see a very special event here in Beijing.  There is an old area that has the ancient Imperial Granaries that date back hundreds and hundreds of years.  One of these has been converted to an intimate opera house.  They bring in some of the best opera actors from all over China to perform here.If you haven't seen a Chinese opera, you are in store for something totally original!This particular performance was called The Peony Pavillion, which was written during the Ming dynasty and is a love story about all kinds of crazy mythical stuff that I don't want to spoil for you.  But it's really a must-see if you are into unique forms of entertainment.  And you do feel a bit like a time-traveller, watching a scene from hundreds of years ago.Even more interesting, there is a trendy and delicious restaurant next door.  Everyone eats together and has a wonderful leisurely meal before meandering over next door to enjoy the opera.  It's a great experience!- Trey RatcliffRead the rest of this entry here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Daily Photo – Deep in the Chinese Opera

What a beautiful experience being inside an authentic Chinese opera! The sights and sounds were all so unusual. Especially the sounds. They were completely foreign to my Western ears, and I hear a lot of different things. Some of the instruments sounded quite shrill to me, but none of the Chinese people seemed to mind, so I figured the problem was with me! ๐Ÿ™‚ At one point, I started moving around to take photos, and new opera characters came out of every nook and cranny, including this guy who emerged from the shadows holding all these flickering candles.

Deep in the Chinese Opera

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2010-10-02 13:00:19
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture1.4
  • ISO2500
  • Focal Length85.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Ming’s Tomb

Thanks for the 1.5 million views!

This video from Beijing ended up being one of my most viewed videos!

Daily Photo – Ming's Tomb

I spent a day here several hours north of the city at Ming's Tomb. Everything lies along the “Central Axis” in Beijing. That is, if you walk in a straight line out of Ming's Tomb, you'll end up going through the entrance to the Forbidden City. Actually, these tombs are a series of tombs, all oriented along the same axis โ€” you can get a sense of this in the video above.

Ming's Tomb

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-05-29 15:20:19
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

The less populated bits of China

Did you know?

That there is a special audio commentary along with this photo? You can see it over at http://www.treyratcliff.com/ โ€” hunt and espy this photo to hear it!

Daily Photo – The less populated bits of China

The city grew without changing its core growth algorithm. I don't even feel that old, but in my few visits to China, I can actually see the logarithmic growth. From shrubbery and farmland to concrete and stacking, there seems to be a pre-programmed mushroom-time-lapse strangeness to the shaping. It is all supposed to make sense with perspective and from above, and I suppose it sort of does, but in moments of doubt, it makes no sense at all.

The less populated bits of China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-02-05 14:13:11
  • CameraILCE-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

The Landing Pad in Hong Kong

On Digital Rev

If you haven’t seen this, it’s pretty funny! ๐Ÿ™‚ I was reminded of this because, during the filming of this show, I took the photo below… you can see Kai and I standing in that circle.

Daily Photo – The Landing Pad in Hong Kong

I don't actually know the purpose of this circle. I don't think it's a helipad, but as you can see above, Kai and I definitely used it for one! ๐Ÿ™‚

The Landing Pad in Hong Kong

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-08-12 05:35:16
  • CameraFC350
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO114
  • Focal Length3.6 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Adi with Umbrella

Facebook LIVE!

Here’s yet another installment of Facebook Live ๐Ÿ™‚ We did this one right BEFORE the one you saw in yesterday’s blog post with Sir Michael Hill.

The Boilerplate:

We’re doing several of these per week. They’re fun and interactive and you can ask me questions live. Be sure to come to my Facebook Page and up at the top where it says “Like” click the down arrow choose “See First” โ€” Also if you like these videos, share with your FB friends! ๐Ÿ™‚

More from this scene

You might remember this scene from the video below! That’s my assistant there, Adi, carrying the umbrella. Many Chinese girls carry around umbrellas to keep their skin as white as possible.

Oh, and here’s another picture when her umbrella suddenly got inverted on a windy day!

A windy day at the Forbidden City

Daily Photo – Adi with Umbrella

Here we are exploring the ming tombs… In many ways, actually, in MOST ways, she was a terrible assistant. She was super duper skinny and had virtually zero arm strength. She couldn't carry my quadcopter or camera or bag or anything! She said that just carrying the umbrella exhausted her. It was the strangest thing… it was almost comical in its strangeness. It wasn't like she was malnourished or anything. She simply preferred not to carry anything because she found it tiring.

Adi with Umbrella

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-05-29 16:15:35
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture9
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length29.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

Happy Guy in China

A reference to China

One of my favorite parts of this video below is when Alan Watts talks about China.

Daily Photo – Happy Guy in China

This was the happiest guy in the monastery! I had never been to this one before in Beijing, and I arrived on the day that all the monks we re-supplying with fresh groceries and drinks. This guy was taking all the groceries in, load after load after load. He was so happy the whole time. And then I looked what he was carrying on the last load, and it was a huge crate of Red Bull!

Happy Guy in China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-05-31 15:15:38
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/6400
  • Aperture
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramShutter speed priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.7

This guy doesn’t seem so confident in his proposal

I think I’m blocked in China?

A few people have told me that they can’t access Stuck In Customs from mainland China. Can anyone confirm this?

Daily Photo – This guy doesn't seem so confident in his proposal

I come across so many strange wedding-photography scenes in Beijing. Each one is so quirky and funny… strange outfits, signs, props, everything you can imagine! Since I tend to visit some of the most photogenic places, so do the wedding photographers, but they're always clogging up all the scenes with these strange setups. It's not so bad, I guess… always entertaining to watch. Here's one of those in-betweener shots!

This guy doesn't seem so confident in his proposal

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2011-09-17 03:39:47
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/8000
  • Aperture1.4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length85.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-4/3

Walking through Ming’s Tombs

The Tips Page

Don’t forget to check out the Aurora HDR Tips page that I created here on the site. I’ll keep adding more videos in the future! ๐Ÿ™‚

Daily Photo – Walking through Ming's Tombs

One day in Beijing, I drove about an hour north of the city to visit Ming's Tomb. It was really a nice trip… and more like a walk in a 5km park than visiting a mausoleum or something. I expected crypts or catacombs or something with a name in “Ming's Tomb” but it was nothing like that… There were beautiful garden paths and many of these sorts of structures, all aligned along the central axis that connects everything from The Forbidden City to the Summer Palace and countless other Chinese monuments around Beijing.

Walking through Ming's Tombs

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-05-29 15:19:12
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1.3

Pai Zoomy

Screenflow Pro

I now use Screenflow Pro almost exclusively for editing videos. It’s really great! It took me a while to get my head around using it for editing all video and not just screen capture. I used to use iMovie/Final Cut X/Premiere for editing video, but those are so clunky for the basic edit. Anyway, I really recommend it if you wanna quickly edit video. It’s easy, fast, and fun!

Daily Photo – Pai Zoomy

I spent an evening in Hong Kong with my friends Pai and Lee. We walked randomly around the city doing some bar-hopping. It's very hilly there, so there are countless public escalators from point to point. I started a new technique where I set up the tripod on the escalator to do a long exposure to achieve this effect. It looks cool, but it's actually really hard to set up a tripod on steps that are moving… but I did achieve Level 4 Tripod Ninja when I got this photo.

Pai Zoomy

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-02-05 20:35:11
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time6
  • Aperture8
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

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