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!


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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!


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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.


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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!


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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.


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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.

Shopping in Osaka

Reminder on Wired Artice

If you missed my interview in Wired, here is another chance to see it! Remember to try out the web version. It’s got a very slick interface!

Daily Photo – Shopping in Osaka

Wow, look at all those Chickens! This was my second time to Osaka, but my first time to see this. This scene is in the Dotombori area just after crossing one of the main bridges. It's a bit elevated here, so you can see down into this covered mall shopping area. There were so many people bustling this way and that. I zoomed all the way in to 240mm to get a bit of compression and give it this cool effect.

Shopping in Osaka

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-11 14:20:02
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/20
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length240.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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

Amsterdam at Night

@80Stays Instagram

You can see one of the Mushroom Menus in Instagram on my side-account at @80Stays if you dig down a bit. By now, we are deeper into Japan, and you’ll start to see more #80Stays photos appearing there. Follow along with the adventure if you choose! 🙂

Daily Photo – Amsterdam at Night

I don't remember a lot of Amsterdam, except for the photo walk. Luckily, that was on the first day. After that, I went a bit mushroom-nutty. Wow it was fun and I saw some amazing things, but none of them were easy to capture with my camera. Probably none of that makes sense if you have not tried mushrooms. But, yeah, well. One night crossing one of the canals, I saw this beautiful scene at dusk.

Amsterdam at Night

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-17 20:07:58
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time10
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length105.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

A Blue, Blue Night in Tokyo

Lens Skirt

Over in my Kit.com I recommend getting this thing called a Lens Skirt because it allows you to take photos out of windows with no reflection. I use it almost all the time when shooting in cities. It’s a strange looking thing, and it sounds weird to put a skirt on your lens, but hey, my camera is in touch with its feminine side.

Daily Photo – A Blue, Blue Night in Tokyo

I got back to my hotel room at the Ritz-Carlton there in Tokyo, which happens to be in the highest building in the city. Every night, I would turn out all the lights in the room and sit on the window sill to take photos like this. They all came out great, and they look even better full-screen.

A Blue, Blue Night in Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-07-14 14:45:03
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time24
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Relaxing Monkey

Back to the Snow Monkeys!

I’m excited to go see my snow monkey friends again in late October. This time, we’ll bring the video crew and everything and make some cool content. It’s gonna be great. I wonder if the snow monkeys will remember me fondly. Let’s hope so.

Daily Photo – Relaxing Monkey

Man, these snow monkeys really know how to relax. You can just tell they're not worrying about anything. Whenever I take a nap, even on a Sunday afternoon, I feel guilty as shit. Probably just because I work too hard and am kind of obsessive… but I do like hanging out with these monkeys. They make me feel a little less guilty about taking a nap!

Relaxing Monkey

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-07-17 07:27:26
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/90
  • Aperture3.4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length90.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Izzy’s Bar in Golden Gai

Updating my Kit

I’m always making tiny adjustments here and there in my carry bag. I also keep updating my Kit page as I go. I really like that site because I can categorize things a bit differently.

Daily Photo – Izzy's Bar in Golden Gai

Here's another photo from my favorite little drinking area of Tokyo. I didn't take a photo inside any of this places… maybe I will next time. But even this angle shows you how quaint and intimate each little bar is, only seating less than 10 people. They all have tiny little doors too. I've bumped my head on them many times (even before drinking!).

Izzy's Bar in Golden Gai

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-07-16 16:13:26
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time8
  • Aperture11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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