The Red Castle in Okinawa

Robot Toilets

Every time I go to Japan I forget about how fun Robot Toilets are. You never know what you’re gonna get. Each robot is just a little bit different. My favorites are the ones with no English. You can just push buttons and see what happens. One thing is universal, though: They all have warm toilet seats, and you can’t go wrong with that.

Daily Photo – The Red Castle in Okinawa

Okinawa was quite hot in July! I don't know why this surprised me so much, but it did. It must have been over 95 degrees and extremely humid. Okinawa is a big island that is quite far south, a 2-hour flight from Tokyo. About an hour away from the Ritz-Carlton is the downtown area of Naha. There's a large hill there and on top is this impressive castle complex.

The Red Castle in Okinawa

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-07-13 06:09:39
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture4.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Carting Home in Sintra, Portugal

Staying at a golf resort

Or, if you’re staying at any resort that has a golf course, try securing a golf cart the night before and have it ready for a morning photo shoot. A lot of people in the club house are confused by this request. I usually just take in my iPad, show the golf pro my portfolio, and say I’ll be glad to share all the photos I get back with them. 95% of the time, they say yes! 🙂

Daily Photo – Carting Home in Sintra, Portugal

It was one of those perfectly still mornings with no breeze on the golf course here in Penha Longa, Portugal. Since these still mornings can be kind of rare, I tried to visit as many little lakes and ponds as possible. One great thing about golf courses, is most of them have a bunch of these ponds; sometimes a lot more, depending on its location. So, having a golf cart is handy because you can just whizz around from one pond to the next taking photos until the breeze picks up (or until you get hit by a golf ball).

Carting Home in Sintra, Portugal

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-04-16 08:03:27
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Sunset in Naples

Highlight video from Naples

This next new year, we are repeating our family trip across Florida and the Caribbean to all new places. Where will we end up? Only the shadow knows… meanwhile, here’s the highlight reel from our time in Naples!

Daily Photo – Sunset in Naples

This was the view from our room every sunset while in Naples, Florida. It was a family trip, and I always try to balance that with taking photos. I'm always stuck with two decisions: 1) Where do I take the photo? 2) Do I make the family wait till like 8:30 PM to eat after I'm done taking photos?

There are no bad answers for number 1 and all bad answers for number 2.

Sunset in Naples

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-02 06:36:27
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1250
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1.3

Olya and I in the Art Museum of Vienna

Plotagraph Social

Have you tried Plotagraph Pro yet? There was just a good price reduction too that would probably get you excited. Also, they launched Plotagraph Social as well, which is mega cool.

Daily Photo – Olya and I in the Art Museum of Vienna

You may notice I have Olya in a lot of my photos from Europe! One big reason is that we made three videos per city, so she was basically around me all the time. She was often fumbling around with audio, checking the video, setting up a 2nd camera, etc… so I was often just waiting around… while waiting around, why not take a photo like this? Actually, she's like in 100% of my shots… just been photoshopping her out! 🙂

Olya and I in the Art Museum of Vienna

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-28 10:42:48
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length12.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

4 Tips for Taking Surprising Mobile Photos

It doesn’t matter if you use an iPhone or an Android there are a few things you can do to get your mobile photography to the next level. All of the photos included with the tips were taken with my Google Pixel phone. I normally shoot with a big Hasselblad camera, but sometimes all I have with me is my phone. I’ve come up with some great tricks to make them look as surprising and incredible as possible.

1) Don’t hit that big circle on the screen to take the photo. Use the Vol Up button on the side! One, when you jab the screen with your finger, you’re causing camera-shake and it will make your photo more blurry. Two, using the volume up button allows you to hold the camera much more steady with one or two hands.

Image 1

This was taken an underground Turkish bath in Budapest, Hungary. This is Olya, my crazy Russian videographer, who traveled through Europe with us to make some inspirational and tutorial videos.

2) Experiment with the mobile app Snapseed! It’s free and available for Android and iOS. This is, by far, the best app for editing your photos on your phone. There are many tools in there and many different filters. One great thing about Snapseed is you can layer many different filters together to really give your photo a unique look. People will wonder how you did it!

Image 2

Here’s a fun family photo from a few months ago when we rode camels near the pyramids in Egypt. I used Snapseed filters to give it this “look.”

3) Take some cheeky street photos. If you’re like me, as you walk around the streets, you often see interesting people, crazy outfits, or just kooky things you find interesting. It can sometimes be embarrassing to blatantly aim your phone at these things, so get used to using the Volume Up button to take the photos. On the Pixel phone, for example, I can turn on the camera by double-clicking the power button. Then I move my finger to volume-up to take the photo. Your horizon will probably be off, but you can fix that later.

Image 3

Here’s a cheeky street photo I took in Budapest, Hungary. This is my assistant Tane. He’s not posing; this is literally how he looks all the time.

4) Try combining your phone with an iPad or tablet to edit your photos to the next level. Professional photographers know that a photo reads differently on a larger screen. Next time you’re at a coffee shop, why not zap your photo over to your tablet (via Google Photos or Airdrop), then use Snapseed to edit it there. A good photo always looks better bigger on a tablet, so don’t feel like you’re forced to use that tiny little screen.

Image 4

This a photo I took in Aruba. I was jogging on the beach, and of course I had my mobile phone with me. I was able to cover a lot of ground quickly, and there’s no way I would go on a jog and carry a Hasselblad! But it’s nice to always have the phone with me and take a ton of photos, picking out the best after I sit down to relax.

Image 5

Near my home on the south island of New Zealand, there is this amazing place to watch the sunset called Lake Hayes. I forgot my big Hasselblad camera, so all I had was my phone. There’s a saying that the Best Camera is the one you have with you!

Image 6

Here’s a panorama of three different photos I took while on a walk here near my home in New Zealand. Since I have an Android, I use Google photos. One great thing about Google Photos is there’s a little AI assistant that will “gift” you a panorama if it senses you took a lot of photos close together.

A little more from the Italian Coast

More from Cinque Terre

I wonder what it would be like to live in a place like this? Would you get tired of it, or would you get tired of it after a few months or years? I don’t know how you could get tired of it (well,me, not being a city-guy)! Plus, every day italian food? I mean, it’s all they have, so that really takes away the guilt factor.

Daily Photo – A little more from the Italian Coast

How much fun are quadcopters in places like this? Too much fun! It's almost like you can't take a bad shot. I was wishing I had those new goggles from DJI you can wear so I could do everything from a first-person perspective. I normally fly with a spotter beside me while I stare at the screen. It works great except daytime flying often has a massive glare on the screen. I think those goggles are going to be radical!

A little more from the Italian Coast

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-02 18:30:40
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan

New Interview from the Ritz-Carlton

Here’s a link in the Ritz-Carlton Journeys magazine that talks more about the nature of the tour we just did in Europe. I hope you enjoy the photos, if nothing else! 🙂

Today’s photo of Milan doesn’t really match up with the top article because there is no Ritz-Carlton here, but there is an amazing Bvlgari hotel where we stayed. I’ll have to attach a photo of the pool soon!

Daily Photo – The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan

I took this one on our photo walk. It's funny because a lot of times on the photo walk, I am too rushed to get a decent shot. But it worked out well in this situation! This is actually two different shots, stacked vertically in a vertirama. I have a new video coming up for Passport Members that shows a new technique for stacking photos! 🙂

The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-05 19:29:48
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1
  • Aperture11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Volkswagen Plant in Wolfsburg, Germany

More from Wolfsburg

In case you missed this photo from last week, this is the huge car-delivery robot right by the pool below!

The Giant Car Robot

Daily Photo – The Volkswagen Plant in Wolfsburg, Germany

This is a crazy little scene, eh? Yeah, this is the view from the pool at the Ritz-Carlton in Wolfsburg, Germany. I didn't have enough time to stay at the hotel, but I did run around this whole area and take a bunch of photos. For true Volkswagen aficionado, this is kind of a mecca. New owners come here from all over the world to pick up their new cars (from the photo above) and drive them back home.

The Volkswagen Plant in Wolfsburg, Germany

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-22 11:49:09
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length12.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

Moscow Like You’ve Never Seen It

Back to Moscow

I was only here for a rocket-ship ride of four days. It’s not nearly enough… there’s so much going on in Moscow, so many places to see, much less the rest of Russia. It’s way high on my list to return here… and it was great to have Olya be our translator!

Daily Photo – Moscow Like You've Never Seen It

I would have never recognized this in a million years as Moscow. It was a really hard shot to get and I almost killed myself. There's a famous restaurant called The White Rabbit that you may remember from Season 3 of Chef's Table. Anyway, we were eating here and had a great meal. After we ordered, I jumped up to take my tripod outside to see the scene. This was behind the restaurant and there was no easy way to get the shot… so it required a wee bit of camera parkour!

Moscow Like You've Never Seen It

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-06-04 21:40:11
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture5
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length57.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Snapchat Spectacles

Follow me on Snapchat

My name on there is simply “treyratcliff”!

Daily Photo – Snapchat Spectacles

Down on Grand Cayman Island, I was using these Snapchat Spectacles all the time. Everyone under 25 seemed to know exactly what they were and wanted to play with them. If you don't know, there is a little camera up there that records 10 seconds of video then sends it out to all your snapchat followers. It's kind of a fun thing! Anyway, this gal was over by the pool having a Moscow Mule and she asked to try them on!

Snapchat Spectacles

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-16 07:06:25
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/80
  • Aperture4
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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