Returning to China!

Best of Beijing

I thought I would share some of my favorite photos from Beijing here. I went there several years in a row as part of a program. I ended up getting arrested, so I haven’t been invited back. These things happen. Oh, well. At least I got some good photos!

Bustling Beijing Getting this photo was not easy at all!I knew of this area of Beijing called the CBD, or Central Business District.  I notice that they have all these catchy names here, much like the building I took this photo from: "China Merchants Building."  At any rate, I had the driver circle the business district a few times so I could find a good angle.  We found one in this building, but did not know if we could take a photo from the top floor.  Woo went in first.  This might have been a mistake because during the shoot he admitted he had a dreadful fear of heights.  But he said it in such a charming British accent I thought it could have been my subconscious.We went up to the 32nd floor.  No windows no dice.  We then went to the 31st floor, but the confused secretary would not let us through.  Then we tried 30.  The secretary said yes and let us into a boardroom, but the angle was not right and the other offices were busy.  So we went to 29.The secretary on 29 was confused so I instructed Woo to tell her, firmly, "We are with the Government."- Trey RatcliffFind out what happened here at stuckincustoms.com.

The Chinese Mothership Look at this magical place in Beijing... it's on the edge of belief.I could hardly fathom the nature of this place.  I expected the lights to appear on the grid with melodic tones a mystical, alien language, like in Close Encounters.  But none of that happened...  So I just stood there for a long time, thinking about how incredible this place was... and took my time, setting up my system for a fitting photograph.Remember when we were kids, and we never finished our food, even under the threat of starving children in China?  Now, I say to my kids, you better eat your food, or else Chinese children will grow up and create an economic powerhouse.  Well too late for that!This is the amazing National Centre for the Performing Arts, or as I like to say, the 国家大剧院 -- I find that rolls of the tongue a bit easier.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Secret Treasures of Beijing These little finds are everywhere!  Sometimes, while stumbling around from alleyway to alleyway, I appear right in the middle of these perfect little scenes.It was very close to the National Day, and crews were out freshening-up the city.  There were about four Chinese painters that were busy putting a fresh red coat of paint on this perfect little bridge.  By chance, they were just finishing up as I approached.   This little boat from the painters was pulled up beside the bridge in a wonderful way, so I set up my tripod along the bank for a photo.They all looked at me in a confused way.  They had no idea why I would want to take a photo of their little boat and the bridge.  I imagine they find this so commonplace as to be hardly worthy of a photo...  and it makes me wonder about all the non-photographers (or fans of this site) out there.  Perhaps they just go through life and don't even notice anything interesting pretty and nicely composed.  What an empty visual life this must be!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Downtown Beijing After Rain

Daily Photo – Returning to China!

I'm excited to come back to China in June. I'll be in some of the major cities, but I'm also quite excited to visit a few new spots. I'm not sure where I'll go yet. I reached out to my friend Kevin Kelly, who is quite the demigod in China, to see if he has any suggestions. I'm looking forward to trying out the new bullet train system to go far afield. Whatever happens, I'll take plenty of photos and share back here on the blog with you.

Returning to China!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2010-10-10 03:27:22
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO2500
  • Focal Length28.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Returning to China!

In a Taxi in Beijing

This is kind of a funny video from a LONG time ago. It’s actually one of the first videos I ever released. I’m sorry to say that I have not improved much with my communication skills in the interim.

Daily Photo – Returning to China!

I'll be back in China for several months in June! I'll be going lots of places, but I'll start here in Beijing. Besides here, I'll be visiting the Great Wall, Chengdu, Shanghai, and Tianjin. I might also stay a few extra days and go far afield to see what I can find. I do like the big cities, but I also enjoy going way out into the hinterlands to see what I can find.

Returning to China!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2010-10-11 22:11:49
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time0.7
  • Aperture6.7
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length48.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Scarlett in China on the Great Wall

Floating Over China

By the way, this thing now has over 1.6 million views – thanks everyone! 🙂

Daily Photo – Scarlett in China on the Great Wall

“Why were the Mongols always trying to get into China?” Scarlett asked our guide. It was so cool to walk along here with my kids and have them ask all these questions. This was a very cold morning, and we were the very first people on this part of the Great Wall for the day. This is one of my favorite areas called “Mutinyu.”

Scarlett in China on the Great Wall

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-12-08 08:30:12
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Looking Down On Beijing

In Beijing whilst the Chinese police observe… I love this photo of my two little girls at the Summer Palace after we spent the early morning hiking the Great Wall at the beginning of our 6-week trip around the world 🙂

Daily Photo – Looking Down On Beijing

Here is a view of the master-planned roadway system from the top of one of Beijing’s tallest buildings in the CBD (Central Business District). I notice something funny about the way Chinese governments name areas. They are always so literal and formally translated that there is no magic in the names. One building might be called “Tower of Office” and another would have the name “Newspaper Building”.

Looking Down On Beijing

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-05-25 09:36:33
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time5
  • Aperture16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length84.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Trey’s Crazy Trip Around The World – Part 1

Special new Video for you!

In the middle of the 60-day around the world trip with my family! Here’s highlights from the first 30 days – enjoy!

Ming’s Tomb

Thanks for the 1.5 million views!

This video from Beijing ended up being one of my most viewed videos!

Daily Photo – Ming's Tomb

I spent a day here several hours north of the city at Ming's Tomb. Everything lies along the “Central Axis” in Beijing. That is, if you walk in a straight line out of Ming's Tomb, you'll end up going through the entrance to the Forbidden City. Actually, these tombs are a series of tombs, all oriented along the same axis — you can get a sense of this in the video above.

Ming's Tomb

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-05-29 15:20:19
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/640
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

Adi with Umbrella

Facebook LIVE!

Here’s yet another installment of Facebook Live 🙂 We did this one right BEFORE the one you saw in yesterday’s blog post with Sir Michael Hill.

The Boilerplate:

We’re doing several of these per week. They’re fun and interactive and you can ask me questions live. Be sure to come to my Facebook Page and up at the top where it says “Like” click the down arrow choose “See First” — Also if you like these videos, share with your FB friends! 🙂

More from this scene

You might remember this scene from the video below! That’s my assistant there, Adi, carrying the umbrella. Many Chinese girls carry around umbrellas to keep their skin as white as possible.

Oh, and here’s another picture when her umbrella suddenly got inverted on a windy day!

A windy day at the Forbidden City

Daily Photo – Adi with Umbrella

Here we are exploring the ming tombs… In many ways, actually, in MOST ways, she was a terrible assistant. She was super duper skinny and had virtually zero arm strength. She couldn't carry my quadcopter or camera or bag or anything! She said that just carrying the umbrella exhausted her. It was the strangest thing… it was almost comical in its strangeness. It wasn't like she was malnourished or anything. She simply preferred not to carry anything because she found it tiring.

Adi with Umbrella

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-05-29 16:15:35
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture9
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length29.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

Happy Guy in China

A reference to China

One of my favorite parts of this video below is when Alan Watts talks about China.

Daily Photo – Happy Guy in China

This was the happiest guy in the monastery! I had never been to this one before in Beijing, and I arrived on the day that all the monks we re-supplying with fresh groceries and drinks. This guy was taking all the groceries in, load after load after load. He was so happy the whole time. And then I looked what he was carrying on the last load, and it was a huge crate of Red Bull!

Happy Guy in China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-05-31 15:15:38
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/6400
  • Aperture
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramShutter speed priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.7

This guy doesn’t seem so confident in his proposal

I think I’m blocked in China?

A few people have told me that they can’t access Stuck In Customs from mainland China. Can anyone confirm this?

Daily Photo – This guy doesn't seem so confident in his proposal

I come across so many strange wedding-photography scenes in Beijing. Each one is so quirky and funny… strange outfits, signs, props, everything you can imagine! Since I tend to visit some of the most photogenic places, so do the wedding photographers, but they're always clogging up all the scenes with these strange setups. It's not so bad, I guess… always entertaining to watch. Here's one of those in-betweener shots!

This guy doesn't seem so confident in his proposal

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2011-09-17 03:39:47
  • CameraNIKON D3S
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/8000
  • Aperture1.4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length85.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-4/3

Walking through Ming’s Tombs

The Tips Page

Don’t forget to check out the Aurora HDR Tips page that I created here on the site. I’ll keep adding more videos in the future! 🙂

Daily Photo – Walking through Ming's Tombs

One day in Beijing, I drove about an hour north of the city to visit Ming's Tomb. It was really a nice trip… and more like a walk in a 5km park than visiting a mausoleum or something. I expected crypts or catacombs or something with a name in “Ming's Tomb” but it was nothing like that… There were beautiful garden paths and many of these sorts of structures, all aligned along the central axis that connects everything from The Forbidden City to the Summer Palace and countless other Chinese monuments around Beijing.

Walking through Ming's Tombs

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-05-29 15:19:12
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1.3

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