Beautiful Shapes in Beijing

Galaxy Soho Complex, Beijing, China

This is an 18-story building (3 are underground) that only took about 30 months to finish, in typical Chinese style. It was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects in London. Ever since I first saw photos of it on the internet, I wanted to visit!

Daily Photo – Beautiful Shapes in Beijing

There’s something interesting about some of the buildings throughout China and here in Beijing, especially. They have some of the craziest and most interesting architecture in the world, and the vast majority of it comes from Western architects. The Chinese educational system has lacked an emphasis (in the past) on the creative arts, so there was a dearth of innovative architects for many generations. But some city planners decided to make statements by bringing in Western architects that were really able to experiment.

Beautiful Shapes in Beijing

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-11 21:55:48
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

Waiting for the Bus in Beijing

Hot a7R Mark 3 Tip

I should not have gotten extra batteries for this a7R Mark 3! I was worried, I think because the batteries on the Mark 2 were so bad! The other thing I did not realize is that you can charge them in-camera using USB-C. That is perfect since I use USB-C on almost all my devices now. So, I haven’t taken the battery out of my camera in like 2 months! ๐Ÿ™‚

Sony a7R Mark 3 Review

Don’t forget to check out my Sony A7R Mark 3 Review!

Daily Photo – Waiting for the Bus in Beijing

On my walk-around day in Beijing before I visited the Great Wall, I randomly walked around the city to visit areas I had never seen before. Beijing can honestly get a bit monotonous after a while, especially in the hot sun. But I still forced myself to move around with my camera because I knew I would eventually find something interesting.

Waiting for the Bus in Beijing

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-05 16:11:44
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length69.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

More Selfies in China

A New Interview

Here’s a new article from Lightfoot Travel called “Around the World with Photographer Trey Ratcliff” that you might enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚

Getting A Little Deeper Into the Festival Presets…

… which are not just for festivals!

Daily Photo – More Selfies in China

Wow, they are selfie crazay there! They do it so often, I started to make a little sport of taking photos of Chinese girls taking selfies. No one ever seemed to mind. One of the best things about their selfie-taking is that they are very very slow and they stay in the same position for like five minutes. This gives me more than enough time to move around and try to get interesting shots like this one! Again, this isn't a portfolio shot or anything… I think it's just these little fun composition games that photographers play.

More Selfies in China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-11 17:19:05
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1250
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

Night time in Beijing at Olympic Park

First Video form Beijing

Here’s one of my first quadcopter videos I ever made. I don’t really like the way I edited it, but, it’s okay. Anyway, it has over 1.6 million views, which isn’t so bad!

Daily Photo – Night time in Beijing at Olympic Park

I was really impressed by how there were thousands of people walking around at night at the Olympic Park in Beijing. The Olympics were there in 2008, right? Usually, Olympic areas are pretty much abandoned after. I think I heard the ones in Brazil are being taken over by drug gangs or something. Anyway, that's not the case here. Everyone was walking around and very happy. I can't figure out WHAT they were actually doing. They seemed to be in a random amble.

Night time in Beijing at Olympic Park

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-11 00:14:11
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/50
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO1250
  • Focal Length35.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

Spending the Night Under the Stars on the Great Wall

Updated Gear Page

Pop over to my Kit page at Kit.com/TreyRatcliff to see all the latest goodies. I try to keep that refreshed every month or so with new stuff.

Wild Great Wall

Just right by where we slept, I got the quadcopter up nice and high so you can see how wild some parts of the Great Wall have become!

Copyright Trey Ratcliff www.StuckInCustoms.com

Daily Photo – Spending the Night Under the Stars on the Great Wall

This is the last picture I took of our little cozy tents before we drifted off to sleep. I didn't end up getting a great night of sleep that night, but I technically slept, I think. That was especially tiring after an entire day of hiking in blazing heat. Even worse, Tane and Curtis were with me and they had just gotten off a plane the same morning!

Spending the Night Under the Stars on the Great Wall

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-07 01:40:58
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time30
  • Aperture
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

Outside Armani

Discover Weekly on Spotify

I’m sometimes a big fan of this, and sometimes not. I can’t figure out how the algorithm works. It probably has no grip on my music tastes at all, because I listen to everything from EDM to Oldies. There’s plenty of music I don’t actually like to listen to, and that seems to be the type of music it suggests! It used to do a great job of recommendation, but now it’s kind of all over the place.

Daily Photo – Outside Armani

Here's an example of one of the hundreds of photos I take every day and usually don't publish. In this one, there are a bunch of low-paid Chinese laborers repairing bricks outside of an Armani store in Beijing. It's actually one of the biggest Armani stores that I've ever seen. It was enormous. I shared this photo on social media, and absolutely nobody liked it. Hey that's okay. If you're passport member, then maybe you saw the video where I talk about taking photos that are interesting to yourself, not necessarily to other people.

Outside Armani

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-11 17:10:55
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length31.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

Clowning Around in Beijing

God of War

Time for another game suggestion! I recently started playing God of War on the PS4 and it’s pretty crazy-awesome. I don’t do a lot of action-y games like that, but it’s still worth it. The story is good, I guess… maybe a bit harsh because this kid’s mom dies, he burns her, and then his dad makes him go out and hunt while her body is burning and yells at him the whole time because he’s not killing deer the right way. I’m like jeez, give the kid a break!

Daily Photo – Clowning Around in Beijing

My very first day in Beijing I dedicated to 100% street photos. I had a lot of energy (I often do after getting to a new place), and I decided just to randomly walk all around the city. Well, not around the whole city, but mostly around the Drum Tower area. There's always a lot of action and stuff to see there as well as many hutongs to get lost inside. Anyway, just before I was going to stop for lunch, I saw this interesting scene unfold right in front of me.

Clowning Around in Beijing

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-05 18:03:00
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

Photo Friendsies at the Song Museum

What’s a Friendsie?

A Friendsie is when you would gladly take a selfie, but you have your friend do it because they can get better angles. I noticed this in spades all over China. While I did see a lot of selfies, I saw an equal number, or greater, of Friendsies. They would go out in groups of two or three and just take photos of one another all day long. Note that the word Friendsie doesn’t exactly exist yet, but I’m kinda inventing a new “name” for it. Elodin would be proud.

Daily Photo – Photo Friendsies at the Song Museum

We visited the Song Museum north of Beijing one day. It's a very contemporary and modern museum with clean white lines and elegant shapes. Inside the museum was the usual fair, but the outside of the museum was teeming with a hoard of girls taking photos of one another. Groups of two or three would all spend hours just taking photos outside the museum of one another in different poses. They were all stylishly dressed and quite avant-garde. Of course, I got into the fun and started taking photos of the whole scene as well, then sharing the photos back with them on WeChat (the most popular social network there).

Photo Friendsies at the Song Museum

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-10 20:11:50
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length70.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

Fantastic Way to Illegally Camp Out on the Great Wall

Camping Out

Just north of Beijing is the Great Wall, and if you want to camp out, I kinda recommend this sketchy outfit. My friend Cliff from Google is about to head over there. So, if I recommended it to a friend, I recommend it to you too.

I found this place on my own and then took my friends Curtis and Tane on this very strange adventure. Here’s the short version.

But it’s all super-sketch. I should have gotten a clue from that terrible website. They offer like 30 different options, all heavily worded and confusing. Basically, I think it’s this one guy that does everything. He’s nice enough, but he’s kinda goofy and you have trouble understanding anything he says. He’s actually really really goofy and his way of speaking English was quite hilarious and kept us laughing. I’m not being mean… he just had a crazy way of speaking. It’s hard to explain but God we thought it was funny.

Even more sketchy is when we were about to go up on the Great Wall to prepare for a camp out. We were down at his “farm” that he kept talking about all day. He was like, “My farm this” and “My farm that”… The farm was basically about the size of a picnic blanket and was growing nuts or something. He kept trying to give us nuts but we didn’t want any.

All around this mini-farm were piles of bricks, rubble, and dirt, but this is very common all over China. There’s an amazing number of rubble-piles everywhere. Now I wish I had taken a photo or two, but it wasn’t very photogenic so it didn’t cross my mind.

It was getting close to sunset and we wanted to go up on the wall to take photos. Our guide really wanted us to come into his place to take a shower. We told him that we didn’t want to take a shower. But he was begging us to take a shower, which we thought was very strange.

We finally insisted that we need to get up there stat because the sun was about to set. He finally admitted he was trying to delay until the ticket office was closed because what we were doing was illegal. And this was after spending the whole day with them. He finally said, “If the military or police come by, just ignore them because they won’t speak English anyway.” I can’t say this was very good advice, but we went for it anyway. It was still worth it in the end, although it did cause a mild amount of anxiety that I didn’t need.

Daily Photo – Abstract or Quad Shot?

It's kinda hard to guess, except for the fact that you'll notice a lot of blue around the outside. This is the famous “Bird's Nest” in Beijing. I was really impressed when I got close to it. I remember when it was originally built, a lot of people thought it was ugly, but I've seen this reaction to a lot of innovative architecture. It's a matter of taste, of course… but I personally love the building. It's even better at night! If you go to Beijing, I recommend visiting this whole area of Olympic Park around sunset… there's lot of activity. Over my three hours there, I never even saw another white (or Western) person at all. I guess Beijing is not anywhere near the top of people's must-visit locations… which is too bad because there's some cool stuff there.

Abstract or Quad Shot?

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-11 00:12:06
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.4
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

Friends in Beijing

Follow me on WeChat

My friend Ken Hong is gonna get my WeChat up to the next level! You can follow me there at “TreyRatcliffChina” if you wish! ๐Ÿ™‚

Daily Photo – Friends in Beijing

We went out to visit the Song Museum in Beijing, but some of the best things to shoot were on the outside. There were a few dozen ladies outside wearing all kinds of outfits, all taking photos of one another. I've never seen anything quite like it. I get the feeling this happens most every day there. Most of the ladies didn't even seem interesting into actually entering the museum… instead spending hours outside posing this way and that. I saw these two taking photos of one another and asked if I could jump in the fun. After I took photos with their mobile phone, I took a few of my own and sent them along via WeChat (that's the most popular sharing app in China). As you can see, they were very friendly.

Friends in Beijing

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-10 20:37:33
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/3200
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length43.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Comments

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