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

New SmugMug Porfolios – People!

I cannot emphasize how much I think you should put your favorite photos on Smugmug! It’s just the greatest… and even if you don’t consider yourself a professional, it’s still a great way to organize your favorite 10 or 100 or 100+ photos! Hopefully, every few months you update it and have some favorite new ones. Even better, you can turn on the shopping cart and maybe someone will buy your goodies!

Anyway, I now have four, count them 1-2-3-4 portfolios on there. One of the new ones is the People & Portraits portfolio. I’m adding the 7 photos below to it and will re-rank soon!


Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com
1/7 – I thought I’d share 7 kind of random people-photos I just took in the last three weeks in Japan. They are just fun shots of interesting people I saw here and there. Most of these are taken with the Sony A7RII with a manual 35mm f/1.4 lens. For this first one, these are just a few nutty new friends I made in the Shinsekai area of Osaka!


Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com
2/7 – While we were out by the river in Kyoto taking photos, lots of people were on their evening walks and enjoying nature. A lot of people ride around on bikes and put adorable dogs in the baskets. I mean, a lot. This nice lady stopped by when she saw we were quite taken with her doggie. She was giggling forever while we took photos of her dog and patted it.


Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com
3/7 – This was taken on “7-5-3 Day,” on November 15, a very special day in Japan. It’s called Shichi-Go-San (七五三) and is a right of passage for 3/5/7-year-olds. To celebrate the growth and well-being of children, parents dress them up and visit Shinto temples and go through the rituals. And they usually get a few snacks afterward, like any good kid-celebration!


Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com
4/7. Right before the photo walk in Kyoto (thanks again for coming out for that great walk around the secretive geisha-district!), we started at an old temple. Every now and then, we would see monks scurrying about on their business here and there. The sun was going down fast and making some nice shadows here and there.


Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com
5/7 – In each city in Japan, we met up with local Instagram photographers. It’s Autumn season there, and everything is burning red. This one from Kyoto, shows Hikari taking a photo of more red stuff, while wearing the local koyo colors. If you want to see more, just Google “Koyo Japan” and get ready for mind blowage!


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6/7 – While in Osaka, we took a series of tubes to get to Sakai, an older part along the coast where they still make traditional samurai swords and knives in old blacksmithies. We watching this guy make a special knife specifically for cutting sashimi. He looks young doesn’t he? We asked him how old he was, and he said, “41”!


Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com
7/7 – We met this awesome guy while waiting for a train just outside of Osaka. He was standing on the corner and just generally being awesome. I don’t know why, but we all were drawn to his awesomeness, so we went over and started talking and taking photos. He was quite the showman, so we asked what he did (remember, hardly anyone outside of the service industry in Japan speaks English, and neither did he… but like in The Alchemist, there is really one language and you can communicate most anything to most anyone.) – Anyway, he said he plays the guitar and sings at the local zoo! He then opened up his phone and showed us a video of him rocking out to a bunch of kids. Then he started playing the air-guitar and ripping it… he was so funny. Then he got on the train from us. He sat across the way from me and I took this photo just as we pulled away from the station.

The Whale Shark in Okinawa

Some goodies coming up for our awesome Passport Members!

I’m back from Japan and ready to share a whale-load of videos, photos, and special behind-the-scenes stuff. If you are a Passport Member then you’ll get to see a whole new video here about my crazy workflow, juggling different photos, HDRing, Lightroom, and more. It is a bit of a frenzied process, as I am trying to crank out as many photos as possible in a compressed time. Anyway, that’s today’s Passport video below that will be automatically unlocked if you are a member!

Here’s a video of my somewhat crazy (but amazingly efficient) workflow now that I am back in the saddle of my studio. Apologies for the sound getting strange around the 10-minute mark! I think my mic is broken… or something. I just can’t figure it out. I’m using a pro Samson mic. Anyway, I’ll try to figure it out or get a new one!

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Daily Photo – The Whale Shark in Okinawa

As much as I don't think any creatures should be in captivity, this was still pretty awe-inspiring. On the northern tip of Okinawa is a popular aquarium. I was asked to go take photos there even though I didn't really want to. Sometimes in life, you gotta do stuff you don't wanna do, right? Well, anyway, I showed up and tried to get the best photo I could. I wasn't going to half-ass it just because I didn't want to be there. So I put Tane and Olya up there right in front of the tank as the mighty beast swam past.

The Whale Shark in Okinawa

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-17 16:06:05
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/45
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-1

Autumn Colors at Night in Tokyo

A bit from the Tokyo Photo Walk!

What a great crowd we had out during the photo walk! I took this photo about 30 minutes after the photo walk after-party. My friends went ahead to dinner so I could wander for about an hour and take photos… I found myself here almost right away, having thought about this shot for a few days prior.

Daily Photo – Autumn Colors at Night in Tokyo

People look at you a bit strange in Tokyo when you walk down the middle of the street, but the wonderful Japanese people are so polite, they would never protest! But this was just a small street without much traffic. I find Japanese drivers to be extremely careful, anyway. These trees are beautiful in the daytime, but even better when properly lit at night.

Autumn Colors at Night in Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-04 04:48:53
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time16
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-1/3

A Day at Mount Fuji

Yours Truly Featured in a new Wired Article

I was honored to be interviewed about the “The Mystery of Memory” by Wired Magazine. The web interface is really cool… I’ve never seen an article displayed like that before. It’s fine on mobile, of course, but if you have a chance to see it on the web, please do! And I hope you enjoy the article.

Daily Photo – A Day at Mount Fuji

After our whirlwind Japanese photo walk and art talk tour, I decided to have some downtime at Mt. Fuji. It was a beautiful, clear autumn day. I walked here from my ryokan, and it took about 45 minutes around Lake Kawaguchiko. It was a beautiful morning… I took a few photos. Not many. But then I arrived at this strange place called the Musical Forest. I thought, I gotta go in there! After I was in and exploring a bit, I saw this charming scene with Mt. Fuji in the background.

A Day at Mount Fuji

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-19 23:07:08
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/1500
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length45.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-1

The Flow of Tokyo at Night

45 Minutes in Shibuya

Speaking of this amazing intersection, here is a 45-minute video of a random walk around this area.

Daily Photo – The Flow of Tokyo at Night

On our last night in Tokyo, we started roaming around Shibuya to see what we could find. I ended up on one of the busiest streets then set up for a long exposure. Luckily, my family was more than patient enough to wait around for me to get these photos… but everyone was getting a bit hungry, so we headed off to find some burgers!

The Flow of Tokyo at Night

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-07-16 14:06:55
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time2
  • Aperture11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Inside the Sagrada Familia

Ritz-Carlton Article

Here’s an article entitled Traveling in a Blue State of Mind where they used all my photos to tell some nice stories. The Ritz-Carlton recently re-did their “color” to a special type of blue that happened to coincide with a lot of my photos!

Daily Photo – Inside the Sagrada Familia

Here's a view of the light streaming through the stained glass windows. And just think, it was a rainy day! Imagine how amazing the light would be if it was sunny outside. I think this place will be under construction for the next 20 years or so… I look forward to coming back after that on a sunny day to take more photos. Lord only knows what kind of camera I'll be using then!

Inside the Sagrada Familia

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-04-30 08:38:35
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Beaches of Omaha

More about Les Braves

I was interested in the origins of this sculpture, so here is some data that I got from this article at Les Braves Memorial of Omaha Beach.

Les Braves is a war memorial that is located on the shores of Omaha Beach in the village of St. Laurent-sur-Mer in Normandy, France and commemorates the fallen American soldiers, of World War ll who have lost their lives on the beaches of Normandy, June 6th 1944.

The memorial represents three elements: The Wings of Hope, Rise Freedom, and the Wings Of Fraternity. French sculptor Anilore Banon, created the monument in 2004, commissioned by the French government to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion Of Normandy. In the center, there are seven stainless steel columns and a group of five columns that curve upwards, two columns stand upright, with the tallest reaching 30 feet. Stainless steel wings gracefully stand on both sides.

Intended only as a temporary art piece, the sculpture still stands on the shores of Omaha Beach widely due to public interest and petition. The sculpture has been described as a blend of art and nature and has been able to withstand the forces of nature surprisingly well.

Daily Photo – The Beaches of Omaha

I woke up with quite a hangover here in Omaha beach. We had spent the previous evening at Mont Saint Michel doing a rather significant amount of wine-drinking and taking photos. I still can't believe my photos there turned out so well. Anyway, we drove overnight to Omaha beach. The bus just kind of rocked me to sleep… and then when it finally stops, I know we are at a new location! So I dusted myself off and jumped outside with my camera to see this amazing sculpture.

The Beaches of Omaha

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-11 08:45:04
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Bridge of Locks in Paris

Collective Consciousness

I’m a big believer in the super-organism of humans coming together with tech and AI. Here’s an interview with Dan Brown about Collective Consciousness

Turning to the future, Brown said technological change and the development of artificial intelligence would transform the concept of the divine.

“We will start to find our spiritual experiences through our interconnections with each other,” he said, forecasting the emergence of “some form of global consciousness that we perceive and that becomes our divine”.

Daily Photo – The Bridge of Locks in Paris

This is Marin, the daughter of my friend Serge Ramelli with an umbrella, looking forlorn and sad during our photo walk in Paris. She's not, of course, she's just acting. But, if you were feeling forlorn and sad on a rainy day, this would definitely be the best place to be. You can come here and see all the locks that represent people's love, half of which has deteriorated into a bitter romance that would make for a great reality show. That's what she's thinking about here: a very low-quality reality show about one of those locks that did not turn out so well. Maybe a bit cynical, but, well, you know.

The Bridge of Locks in Paris

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-07 19:26:24
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Bvlgari in Milan

Upcoming Videos

We made three videos in Milan. One was the photo walk video, which is below. The others are an inspirational one, and one about the city itself. Those are in the process of being edited together as we package them together for release! Anyway, here is the first:

Daily Photo – The Bvlgari in Milan

Well, it goes without saying that the Bvlgari in Milan is next level. Wow. I absolutely loved this place. Every tiny detail was something out of a small dream of perfection. It wasn't ostentatious in the least. The people there were extremely accommodating and welcoming, especially to our worn and rugged crew. The pool and spa were amazing also. I can't wait to get back to this place once again. Also, the location was perfect for exploring the city.

The Bvlgari in Milan

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-05 10:00:48
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/4
  • Aperture11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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