Get The Bamboo Forest print for a great cause!

A special print offering

Get the print here.

100% of the money is going to a special charity set up for Eliza O’Neill. If you’re not familiar with the story about her, check out this link. It’s a great effort by the wonderful photographer Benjamin Von Wong.

Daily Photo – The Bamboo Forest

This is one my favorite photos, still, after all these years. I'm happy to offer this special print for the cause above! If you don't know the story of it, here it is. :)

While exploring Kyoto, I eventually found my way to this fanciful bamboo forest. There had been a light rain most of the morning and everything was quite lovely. The rain does strange things as it moves its way through these sorts of trees. I waited and waited, and that was nice too. In the early afternoon, the rain stopped while the sun peeked through the top. It shone down while the earlier rain misted down from the tops of the trees.

Bamboo Forest in Kyoto Japan

The Bamboo Forest

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture11
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

Sandals of the Monks

An Old Video

Here’s the very first video I released… many years ago… on an early trip to Japan. You can see a few scenes from the same monastery below from today’s image.

Daily Photo – Sandals of the Monks

I walked around the monastery complex for ages, taking photos here and there. When I came around a corner on one of the more remote areas, I saw all these sandals lined up like a swirling cloud outside of one of the meditation rooms.

Sandals

Sandals of the Monks

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time0.5
  • Aperture11
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length20.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

What Prints Hang in My Home?

9.7 Million Minutes Watched on Video!

Well this one is kind of crazy. I checked my YouTube stats for the first time ever. I don’t add a lot of videos, but the ones I add are quite long. Anyway, this stat shows almost 10 million minutes of my videos have been watched – that is crazy! I don’t think I’m THAT entertaining on video… honestly… I’m not like, say, Flavor Flav or anything…

What Prints Hang in My Home?

I got this question the other day, so I thought I’d list them out here. I’m always changing them out… but here are some of my favorites, including the new one from Paris below, which I just had printed here in Queenstown at WePrint.

Our Prints page has more details. But you can order the Artist Proof series on metal. Each of those is in a limited quantity of 50, and each one is individually signed by me. There is another more affordable series, which you can access by ordering via the SmugMug portfolio.

Anyway, here are a few of the prints that I have chosen to hang in my home:

Mountains Forever During the Yosemite PhotoWalk, the sky was beyond belief for the first few nights.  The second half of the trip had fairly mundane skies.  So, I was happy I went out there and got a lot of shots in the beginning!I’m often optimistic about the “future” of the trip, assuming that the sunsets will always get better and better.  This rarely is the case, so I don’t know why I’m consistently optimistic about the prospects.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

 

HDR Photo

 

The Bamboo Forest While exploring Kyoto, I eventually found my way to this fanciful bamboo forest.  There had been a light rain most of the morning and everything was quite lovely.  The rain does strange things as it moves its way through these sorts of trees.  I waited and waited, and that was nice too.  In the early afternoon, the rain stopped while the sun peeked through the top.  It shone down while the earlier rain misted down from the tops of the trees.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

 

-The Gentle Path to the Beyond-The little train that carried me into Hakone started winding through misty mountains.  The trees were thick and a fog was rolling in.  I had a feeling that it would stay wet, moody, and fairly perfect.  It had that heaviness that made you feel like it would remain like that for a few days, and it did.Before I get on train rides, I have a wonderful but dangerous habit of loading up with pastries.  Train stations seem to have nice little selections of all sorts of foreign twists on the usual subjects.  And, since I consider myself an explorer, I thought it would be good to get a TON of pastries and try them all.  It's very nice... sitting there... looking out the train window at a new land... rain falling... eating pastries...  (and I'm only a little ashamed to say that, upon arrival, my pastry bag was empty.)

 

The Secret Passageway to the Treasure After the crowds of Angkor Wat, it was nice to go find a remote temple in the jungle and be alone. This temple laid under the jungle, completely undiscovered for centuries.  The hallway and mysterious chambers seemed to go on forever.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Daily Photo – The Amazing Eiffel Tower in Romantic Paris

I shot this just recently with Tom Anderson. We almost didn’t leave the hotel because it was so stormy, but we had been watching the clouds all day. We started out with Miss Aniela at the Paris Opera before exploring the rest of the city. Sunset comes early here around this time of the year (about 5 PM or so), and it always sneaks up on us.

Some of the best sunsets come right after storms… so it’s always worth a little adventure if you don’t mind getting a little wet…

Paris France Romantic City Eiffel Tower

The Amazing Eiffel Tower in Romantic Paris

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/4.5
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length55mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure Program
  • Exposure Bias

The Japanese Cemetery

Of a Feather

I didn’t really intend this, but I find today’s photo very similar to yesterday’s. I guess it is just a coincidence.

Daily Photo – The Japanese Cemetery

I do love Kyoto and the quaintness of Japanese design. Of course, cemeteries all over the world are different, and each one is kind of like you expect. I don’t really know what I mean by that, since you don’t know what you will see. But it is never surprising when you finally lay eyes on it. Of course, you don’t know what any of it means, or the traditions involved, but you can sort of intuit the inner meaning of it all. And that is kind of nice.

The Japanese Cemetery I do love Kyoto and the quaintness of Japanese design. Of course, cemeteries all over the world are different, and each one is kind of like you expect. I don’t really know what I mean by that, since you don’t know what you will see. But it is never surprising when you finally lay eyes on it. Of course, you don’t know what any of it means, or the traditions involved, but you can sort of intuit the inner meaning of it all. And that is kind of nice.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Last Day to Register for Austin Trip!

Last Day To Register!

Remember that all-expenses paid trip to Austin to go shoot an abandoned power plant with me? Entering for the prize (and registering for webinar) ends in 24 hours.

To enter, just leave a comment here. We’re up to over 250, so be sure to get your name in the hat! Don’t forget it also comes with a free new copy of Photoshop CS5.

Daily Photo – The Midnight Wonder Garden

Whenever I am in a place like this, I try to linger as late as possible so I am the last one remaining. There are occasionally other people around, but I really prefer to be by myself. I enjoy listening to music, relaxing, and walking around to find the interesting angles.

These are the lower gardens of Kiyomizu-dera in one of the older parts of Kyoto. I’ve been to this area multiple times, and I try to go at different times of the day and different seasons. I’d love to be lucky once and catch it in the snow… I suppose that would mean I need to go in the winter or something.

The Midnight Wonder Garden

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/4.8
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length16mm (16mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Webinar Registrations Fully Open

Live Webinar Class Registrations Open!

Okay, it’s now official! All the information and registration info you need is on Trey Ratcliff’s Photography Webinar page. Great name eh? Hehe… I actually struggled with a name. Like, for example, I didn’t want to just call it an “HDR Webinar”, because what I teach is so much more than just HDR. Anyway, it’s a 3 week course — 9 hours and 9 different classes. It’s gonna be awesome.

HDR Photo

Here we are with the biggest conference badges of all time. They are actually super-big because they have the whole schedule on there. Matt is the awesome one on the left.

I Met Matt Groening!

While at the EG Conference, I met all sorts of interesting people, and I hate to say one was any more interesting than the next, but this one is a little special. I don’t have many creative people in the world that I really get giddy about, but Matt Greoning (creator of The Simpsons and Futurama) is one of them.

After I finished my talk (which should be available online soon), I was able to spend a bit of time talking to him… we talked about creativity, how to work with a team, about robots, about robots taking over the world, about how I was hoping that his strangest contribution to society would be that we would fill our lives with ridiculous and funny robots rather than the ones who simply want to kill us, and this sort of thing. Matt was SUPER NICE and engaging. Really… that guy is awesome.

I also met another guy I really admired artistically, but that did not go very well.  He treated me very strangely, and I felt foolish.  I can’t put my finger on it… I was really kind of crestfallen.  It sucked away a lot of my mojo…  anyway, I’m still trying to come to terms with that.

Daily Photo – Hidden Temple in Bamboo at Night

This place was pretty far off the usual beaten path but I was glad to find it!

In Kyoto, there is a wonderful and unexpected temple that weaves through an old bamboo forest. It weaves up, down, and around hills with warm, calming bamboo swaying about. Here and there, little temples, urns, and benches are placed. Everything is delicately lit to add to the mood. And just beyond where the lights are, the bamboo forest is pitch black and full of wonderful mystery.

HDR Photo

Daily Photo – Hidden Temple in Bamboo at Night

This place was pretty far off the usual beaten path but I was glad to find it!

In Kyoto, there is a wonderful and unexpected temple that weaves through an old bamboo forest. It weaves up, down, and around hills with warm, calming bamboo swaying about. Here and there, little temples, urns, and benches are placed. Everything is delicately lit to add to the mood. And just beyond where the lights are, the bamboo forest is pitch black and full of wonderful mystery.

Hidden Temple in Bamboo at Night

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length14mm (14mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Charity Print Auction for Japan

For Japan!

Bid on this print of The Bamboo Forest now. It is numbered 9 out of 50 in the Limited Edition series on high-white gloss aluminum. This print is 36″ across and, well, it’s impossible to describe how incredible this new printing technique is. These come out looking literally like giant high-def monitor displays.

Even better, shipping is free, and they arrive ready to hang on the wall.

We will have the auction run for a week, and I’ll take all the proceeds and donate them to Red Cross for Japan. Stay tuned for the latest price on the eBay page!

The Print – The Bamboo Forest

I took this photo on one of my many trips to Japan. Regular readers know how much I love that country and the people inside. I’ve spent time all over, taking trains far and wide, and there is something universal and timeless about bamboo across the land. On this particular day in Kyoto, there had been a morning rain. The sun came out, but the tops of the bamboo forest still held the water. It misted down through the forest as the sunlight shone through.

HDR Image

Signed / Numbered

Down in the lower right hand corner, everything is signed and numbered in the series

High Dynamic Range Photo

Is my new Japanese Video racist?

Is my new Japanese Video racist?

I love YouTube commenters. You see a little bit of everything on there. And it’s wide open for every idiot to spout their nonsense. I had not checked the comments on my latest video for a while, so you can imagine my laughing reaction to some of the flotsam that has collected. See the comments here.

How to make these videos

If you want to see more of these sorts of videos, how I do it, more from Japan, and this sort of thing, come visit the Stuck In Motion page here on the site for a full how-to.

Daily Photo – Kimono Under the Cherry Trees

It was my second time to Kyoto, but my fourth time to Japan. I started to become more accustomed to the times of day and the comings and goings of the ladies in kimonos. You can see them most any time of the day or not, but they flood out of every crevice around this time of night.

The pink cherry blossoms made everything seem like it was right out the days of the shogun. I shot this with my second camera – the D3S that I had across my chest. My main camera is always the D3X on a tripod, and I was getting a lot of night photography shots. But I had my D3S with a 50 prime ready to capture things like this. Another nice advantage is that it seems to make the trees feel a bit more soft. There is another soft aspect to the colors – these prime lenses capture the tones in a very soft way.

Kimono Under the Cherry Trees

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/1.4
  • ISO2000
  • Focal Length50mm (50mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

The Creepy Green Stairs

LA Times Article on HDR Photography

Thanks to Robert Lachman over at the LA Times who wrote this article on HDR Photography. As you can see, Robert is also a photographer that has the HDR bug! You can see that first image in there is his… not too shabby eh?

Daily Photo – The Creepy Green Stairs

Why are the stairs green in this? Anyone, Anyone? Bueller? Voodoo economics is the answer.

Instead of answering directly, I’ll let you clever readers figure out the answer and put it down in the comments… I have faith in you guys to figure it out!

This was taken in Kyoto, Japan on a rainy evening. This is one of the main temples that stay open late into the night. It’s one of my favorite times to come, because the crowds are gone and everything is extra-eerie. It makes it even more special while I’m listening to my special playlists on my iPod. It really gets me in the mood to make these sorts of shots.

The Creepy Green Stairs

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length16mm (16mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Pretty Girl in Cherry Blossoms

Charity Update

Team Stuck In Customs has put just over $8,000 into Kiva… thanks everyone! To see more and join in the fun, visit our Charity page. Here’s a snippit from the page…. some of the stuff I have personally put money into:

I have lent money to a small potato farm in Peru started by a 25-year-old mom named Elizabeth, a bicycle repair shop in Vietnam managed by a gal named Nguyen Thi Huong, a car mechanic’s shop in Lebanon run by a gentleman named Ali, an 18-year-old girl named Iris in El Salvador that sells pretty flowers, a small livestock operation in Tajikistan run by a 47 year old gentleman named Tochidin, a family of 7 in Cambodia that does wooden house construction, a 39-year-old photographer in Mongolia named Batnairamdal who took a bad photo of himself, a small meat market in Ghana run by a 70 year old woman named Ama, a mom named Essi in Togo who sells dried fish, a 24-year-old gal in Ecuador named Cristina who sells rice, sugar, and tuna, and last, a 41-year-old woman in Nicaragua named Gladis who sells cosmetics and jewelry so her children can have a better quality of life.

Daily Photo – Pretty Girl in Cherry Blossoms

I started riding the wave of the cherry blossom bloom in Osaka before ending up here in Kyoto. All the news stations in Japan have a long nightly report that shows a fluttering line of pink cherry blossoms that flow across the map from the west to the east.

It’s a huge national celebration — and it’s really fun to be part of the sensation. There are hundreds of tiny and large parks all over the country that have cultivated gardens of these special trees. I visited a few dozen, and I enjoyed wandering around taking photos while the blossoms fell down like gentle pink snow. Millions of Japanese people also go out to enjoy the event. This girl was standing alone under a tree, taking photos and just sort of smiling, enjoying everything. I gave her the international sign for “mind if I take a photo???” She gave me a little bow along with a mouth-covering giggle before relaxing into a smile.

Pretty Girl in Cherry Blossoms

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/1.4
  • ISO220
  • Focal Length50mm (50mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

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