Stuck In Customs

My daily travel blog to inspire and get you motivated!

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Entering the Japanese cemetery

Meanwhile in Kyoto…

We had a film crew from Japan Daily with us at the Kyoto Photo Walk. Here is a link to their video and some photos for you.

Getting Permission to fly the quadcopter

I was really bummed out that I didn’t take the time to get permission to fly the quadcopter here. It’s probably completely impossible, but I should have given it a try, at least. Getting permission to get around the rules in Japan is almost impossible.

Daily Photo – Entering the Japanese cemetery

In this area that has these thousands of red gates in Kyoto, there are a few side-paths that go in mysterious directions. Personally, I love to be here at night because it makes everything even more mysterious. This is one of those side-paths that meanders down and eventually up into a remote bamboo forest filled with graves.

Entering the Japanese cemetery

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-07 06:21:20
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time11
  • Aperture6.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-2

Whisky Room!

Sony in Osaka

Even though I shoot quite a bit with the Hasselblad, I decided to exclusively use the Sony while in Osaka. For one thing, it has a much wider angle lens which I found very handy for the many wide-angle situations I encountered there. It’s also much faster for shooting street scenes… That Hasselblad seems to only do one frame every second or so!

Daily Photo – Whiskey Room!

Here's another shot from the Yamazuki Suntory Whiskey Distillery. This is the entrance to the whiskey tasting room and the sort of place that is impossible NOT to take a photo at. I shot this with the Sony and the new wide-angle 12-24mm (at 12mm) lens at F/10. The barrelling on the edges wasn't so bad, but you can see there is a little bit of distortion. It doesn't bother me too much though… and you may not even see it if you're not looking for it. Photographers see these sorts of things, but hardly anyone else notices.

Whiskey Room!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-09 06:27:26
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1
  • Aperture13
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length12.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Jogging in Millbrook with my Pixel Phone

The Pixel 2 XL

I love this new Pixel phone from Google. I’m thinking about writing a longer form article about what it means for photography going forward… I just need a bit more time to write and think about it!

Daily Photo – Jogging in Millbrook with my Pixel Phone

This is a shot made from two different photos from my Pixel 1 phone. Now I'm actually using the Pixel 2, but I took this a few months ago. One great thing about Google photos (they are not a sponsor or anything), but whenever you take multiple photos and overlap them, the Google server will automatically build a panorama for you. So, after this, I just downloaded the new photo then made some adjustments in Aurora HDR.

Jogging in Millbrook with my Pixel Phone

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-29 17:45:37
  • CameraPixel
  • Camera MakeGoogle
  • Exposure Time1/1700
  • Aperture2
  • ISO52
  • Focal Length4.7 mm
  • FlashAuto, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

For Relaxing Time it’s Suntory Time

Facebook Live Edit

Below is an embedded video of a live show I did on Facebook recently using Aurora HDR 2018. Enjoy! 🙂

Mac App of the Year!

Apple just named Aurora as Mac App of the Year! Join me for a live demo as I edit a single RAW photo and show off some of the new features of Aurora HDR 2018! Where are you watching from? Let us know in the comments… and let me know if you have any questions in the comments too! Grab Aurora now at https://store.stuckincustoms.com/collections/software

Posted by Trey Ratcliff on Sunday, December 10, 2017

Getting a place in Japan

My son is close to graduating high school, and he has a real interest in going to Tokyo to teach English. I think this sounds like a really fun first job, so I’ve been looking into what it takes to move there and make it happen. I have a few friends that have moved there and done the same sort of thing. We’ll probably make another exploratory trip soon to see everything that is involved!

Daily Photo – For Relaxing Time it's Suntory Time

This was taken in the amazing Yamazaki Suntory Distillery just outside of Osaka. We were invited there for a tasting and a tour. It's my second time here, and this time they let me use a tripod! Little things like this get me excited because it's really tough to get a photo like this with a handheld shot. It looks bright in here, but it's actually quite dark.

For Relaxing Time it's Suntory Time

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-09 06:46:52
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time15
  • Aperture10
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Antarctica Videos!

We’re about to launch several videos that I made while in Antarctica to Passport Members. I think you’ll really enjoy them. I’m getting started with kind of a fun one today, getting outfitted by Antarctica New Zealand in all our Emergency Conditions Weather Gear. It is NOT EASY to wear all this stuff and take photos at the same time, I assure you! I felt a bit like a space-man or something! You’ll see me up in the cockpit of the C-130 on the way in, trying to get a few decent photos!

First, here’s the new “Promo” video we made for potential Passport Members

Some favorites from Antarctica!

To celebrate some of this fun Antarctica news, here’s a few photos from the several weeks I spent there!

Approaching the Glacier

Day 1 – Survive in Antarctica

Digging In For The Winter

Mount Erebus from the Air

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Dining in Naples

About a year ago

Here’s a video I made about a year ago here in Naples of when I took my family on a trip here.

Daily Photo – Dining in Naples

This is a photo of one of the restaurants in Naples at the Ritz-Carlton. I really enjoy taking photos of cool interiors like this. None of these photos are “required” or anything as part of my relationship with the hotel. But I often end up finding cool interiors here and there. Sometimes the team there sees me setting up with a tripod, going slow, taking my time, etc, and they assume I'm on some kind of a commercial shoot. I end up explaining that I am not on a commercial shoot; I just think it looks awesome.

Dining in Naples

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-02 11:10:22
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time6
  • Aperture10
  • ISO64
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-2

Waterfall in Iceland

Jim & Andy

If you have Netflix, I’ll recommend the new Jim Carrey documentary called Jim & Andy. I thought it was really great… I’m a big Carrey fan, and I think all of his recent musings on consciousness are right on.

Daily Photo – Waterfall in Iceland

There are so many waterfalls in Iceland that I could not hope to see them all. It's a great goal… I remember going into the fjords area in the North East and thinking, “I'm going to see every waterfall!” It turns out I had the enthusiasm, but then after I realized there were thousands, I pretty much wrote off that promise. But, I did see a few pretty ones for sure, like this one.

Waterfall in Iceland

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2010-06-13 08:21:05
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture22
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length60.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The SnowFarm

Updated Playlist

I make a lot of playlists on Spotify, but one of my new favorites is called Feelin’ Burny Afterny, which is a very strange name. It’s meant to be some of the sorts of songs you hear in the middle of the afternoon at Burning Man. That probably makes absolutely no sense, but I hope you hear a few things in there you like!

Daily Photo –

It kind of looks like a salt mine, doesn't it? That's what I was thinking as we helicoptered into this awesome spot between Queenstown and Wanaka.
It's actually a massive cross-country skiing route. I'm not much of a cross-country skier, but I know some people absolutely love it. This would be some sort of panacea for them I suppose. They also have a cabin that you can stay in overnight… x-country ski in, stay the night, the ski out the next day. That sounds fun; I haven't had the chance to try it yet.

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-08-03 22:50:43
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length36.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Swimmin’ Hole in Aruba

New “People” Portfolio

One of the new Portfolios I have over on Smugmug is all my favorite people and portrait photos. Jump in there and enjoy!

Daily Photo – The Swimmin' Hole in Aruba

Aruba is one of my favorite islands I've ever visited. It has all these secret little spots like this. Well, it's not that secret, but I guess it's kinda secret because we were pretty much the only ones there! Here is a Map Link to the location in case you go on an Aruban adventure!

The Swimmin' Hole in Aruba

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-20 15:38:32
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/160
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

Two for Today for Tokyo!

Behind-the-Scenes for this shot

I give a handful of tips and settings info for this particular shot of Tokyo for Passport Members. Thanks again Passport Members! And don’t forget, this makes for a fabulous Christmas present for your photo friend!

The daily photo below is a detail from very close to this shot at:

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com

I could have broken this into three different videos, but decided to cram a bunch of tips and ideas into one. Enjoy!

I have MORE photos coming from this experience as well in coming weeks, so stay tuned!

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Daily Photo – Two for Today for Tokyo!

I was inside an office-area of Mori Tower (not the observation deck) to get this shot. In the observation tower, they have a bar or restaurant or something that covers up this view! I never understood why observation towers, 100% as far as I can tell, occlude part of the view with such pedantic services. Put those in the MIDDLE PART people, the MIDDLE PART. We are not going to the observation deck to get a wine or a croissant, we are going to get a 360 view. I'm sure this was designed by a committee, and that is why you never see a statue of a committee

Two for Today for Tokyo!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-03 01:10:21
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time6
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length45.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-4/3

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