Two Traditional Japanese Women in the Rain

Umbrella Man

If you want to find out more about this photo below, and all the photos from this particular day, go read this blog entry from Matthias Lambrecht. He was my assistant for the day after winning a contest! :) We had great fun together.

Picking the Best

Typically, for a shot like this one below, I will shamelessly rattle off 5-10 photos in a row. I really enjoy the process of going back into Lightroom to pick out the best one. Only on a vary rare occasion will I just take one shot and have that one be a keeper! For this one below, there were many interesting versions, but I liked this one the best because of the expression of the woman on the right.

Daily Photo – Two Traditional Japanese Women in the Rain

It was just about the perfect kind of rain in Tokyo this day. It wasn't a total downpour, but there was just enough so that almost everyone had an umbrella. This is the kind of rain I prefer to shoot in because I'm not constantly getting soaked myself. But since I had a manual-focus lens on, I really needed both hands. I was thankful for Matthias to hold an umbrella over my while I did my thing! :)

Two Traditional Japanese Women in the Rain

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMarch 20, 2014 at 7:51pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1500
  • Aperture
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Tanneries in Fez

A sprig of mint

If you ever visit one of these tanneries, be sure to take a little branch of mint with you. It may just keep you from retching… I don’t know how those guys work in there all day long!

Daily Photo – Tanneries in Fez

I had an amazing time watching everything in these leather tanneries. This is the first time I've ever seen anything like this, and it was mesmerizing. The men would work these areas and move leather from one area to the next to be dried, cured, died, and every other stage in between. The smell was rather noxious (quite a bit of fermenting urine), but it was great for photography! I took a ton of photos… this is one of them for you!

Tanneries in Fez

Tanneries in Fez

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMarch 16, 2014 at 12:50am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture8
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Google Glass in the Middle East

Another cool use of Google Glass

I used Glass a lot this trip to record how-to videos and this sort of thing. Right after this, I went to Japan and used it to make this video of what it is like in Shibuya. Pop over to that link to check it out if you haven’t seen it yet!

Daily Photo – Exploring the World with Google Glass

Just recently, I met this gentleman in the wilds beyond the desert. He was so curious and interested in Glass. Absolutely transfixed, he asked me everything about it, then tried it on and played and played and played! He loved it!

First I had him go through the same demo I give everyone. I have them say, “Okay Glass, Take a picture” — it understands pretty much every accent around the world as far as I can tell. This always makes people freak out with excitement when they see the photo they just took floating as a hologram in front of their eyes.

Then he started using it more and more, going through all my emails, watching videos, seeing my text messages, asking Google questions, checking weather… I mean it just went on and on and on… and then he started showing all his friends and telling them about it — he was so excited. Naturally, he was happy for me to take his photo while he was playing!

We ended up talking about a bunch of different things. I even bought an old used knife from him, and he showed me how to stick the curved end of it into a camel's hump to get water in an emergency. There's another part of the knife you use to seal up the little puncture wound. Then we talked about meditation, the sealing of the four cardinal spiritual doors in the night before entering the tent, different cultures around the world, and well, about a dozen other things. Anyway, it was great…

Google Glass  Middle East

Exploring the World with Google Glass

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMarch 17, 2014 at 8:50am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Autumn in Queenstown, Speargrass Flats Road

First on the blog – What does the fall look like here?

I wanted to release this video here first to you all… just a little segment of my day — what I saw yesterday. So I’ve been going out every day here to take photos. I’ve gotten some great ones, but then I realized one of the best things about the Autumn here is the soft movement of everything. So I set my Sony A7r to video mode to get a few scenes from the day. There’s no instruction or anything —- and you might even find it rather boring! Also the audio is not so great because of the wind. Sorry about that! Haha… anyway, you can at least see a bit of what I saw yesterday.

Daily Photo – Autumn in Queenstown, Speargrass Flats Road

This is a lovely road here in my neighborhood called Speargrass Flats. I was just here yesterday when I took this photo. It's where I go on my jog, and very close to my turnaround point. What a great place! I love the feeling of running through here while listening to music. And just now, everything has started to change colors… and it is so beautiful!

Autumn in Queenstown, Speargrass Flats Road

Photo Information

  • Date TakenApril 21, 2014 at 12:44pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3000
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Marrakech, Morocco at Sunset

A Limited Opening of The Arcanum!

We are excited to announce this very first public stage of The Arcanum! This is an early beta, but we are rolling with Masters and Apprentices to test out the system. The video below shows what is happening behind the scenes as well as some bonus info. Enjoy, and thanks again for your enthusiasm! :)

Daily Photo – Marrakech, Morocco at Sunset

What a dream come true it was to get to this place! Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to go to Morocco to see what it was like. Actually, I was kind of confused by all the Indiana Jones movies and I thought that all the Africa scenes were here in Morocco, but that wasn't entirely the case! Anyway, I was not disappointed. On this particular night, I found a good high spot over the market area and felt lucky to have an amazing sunset falling over the old city…

Marrakech, Morocco at Sunset

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMarch 13, 2014 at 7:22am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Happy Easter from the Ratcliff Family!

Have a great Easter!

Have a good Easter, or, at least have a lot of chocolate! :) Here’s some super-fresh photos from our Easter egg hunt here today. We go up to The Hills and Sebastian dresses up as this huge bunny. The kids chase him all over the place, over the hills, through the forest, and beyond… he throws out eggs and the kids go crazy for it!

Easter-in-queenstown (37 of 180)

Daily Photo – My Daughters in the Autumn Forest

Here's my two girls, Isabella and Scarlett. They are walking through the forest here looking for any hidden Easter eggs! The colors have just started to change down here in New Zealand, and it looks like it's going to be a beautiful Autumn.

My Daughters in the Autumn Forest

My Daughters in the Autumn Forest

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/350
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO1000
  • Focal Length300.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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An Awesome Place in Morocco

Strange cultural treatments?

Below, I describe my first two hamams… Have you ever had some strange cultural experience like this? Let us know! :)

Daily Photo – An awesome place in Morocco

This is a truly beautiful place right in the middle of Chefchaouen, Morocco. I also had a hamam in here, and it was a rough one. Do you know what a hamam is? I didn't! But I had two of them in Morocco. I didn't know beforehand if it was some kind of drug or hallucinogenic thing or whatever, but I decided to go for it! It turned out not to be either of them, unfortunately. Instead, it turned out to be more of an hour-long skin-based torture session.

Have you have been exfoliated by another human for an hour, rubbed with mud, then re-exfoliated when no skin remains? Well, that's a hamam. My first one was in Marrakesh by a small, hairless Moroccan man. He was nice, and I was nude except for a smallish g-string bathing suit that was absolutely shredded by the end of the session. But I was as smooth as him, I'll tell you that for sure. The second one was by a woman in a habib. She was very nice, but she was as rough as a German meat butcher with a nervous tick. I was bleeding like a royal inbred by the end of the session… but a few days later, I was healed and smooth as an android… oh yeah.

An awesome place in Morocco

An awesome place in Morocco

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMarch 5, 2014 at 12:05pm
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length13.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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An Amazing City of Blue

Unique Places around the World

Below, you’ll see a secret place I found… any other places you know of that are amazing for photography but you never see other photographers? Let us all know first! We’ll buy some plane tickets straight away! :)

Daily Photo – An Amazing City of Blue

What an amazing place this is. Chefchaouen. It's a secret place. But I don't think it will be so secret after this post.

Now, naturally, there are other photographers that have been there, but it is pretty niche. Very niche. The whole time I was there, I didn't see another photographer, which makes it almost wholly unique in the world.

The entire place is painted blue. The walls, the roads, the… everything! I'll have make more photos of this place in the near future… hang on and you will see more!

An Amazing City of Blue

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMarch 6, 2014 at 12:26am
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture11
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length12.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Arriving at the Louvre in the Late Evening

Updated the Sony A7r Review

I’ve just added more photos and info to the Sony A7r Review here on the site – check it out! :)

Does anyone know the history here?

So, I do like the photo I posted today, but there is ONE thing that REALLY bothers me. When you see it, you can’t unsee it. Go ahead… take a moment to look.

Did you see it? You see how there is not real symmetry here? The triangle is right in the middle, but if you follow that hallway straight, then it is way off to the side. It’s not even close, really, even though everything else around the Louvre is symmetrical and perfectly placed. I can’t figure out why this one particular (and major north/south corridor) is so off-center, and I was wondering if there is a reason for it. It must have been some major problem in the construction that no one realized until later. And I’m sure it bothered everyone that was involved with the process… anyway, probably going down a rat hole here…

Daily Photo – Arriving at the Louvre in the Late Evening

No matter how you approach the Louvre it is impressive. The entire building is the Louvre — that pyramid bit is just the entrance. I remember when I was a kid and they built that pyramid bit and how controversial it was. Now I can't imagine this place without it! It would be even better if there was total symmetry with all the interdependent hallways (*ahem*!)

Arriving at the Louvre in the Late Evening

Photo Information

  • Date TakenNovember 7, 2012 at 8:30pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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