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:

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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!


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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!


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.

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

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

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

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

Amazing Tokyo

Smugmug Portfolio

I’m always updating my SmugMug Portfolio so be sure to pop over there to see the latest!

Live on The New Screen Savers!

I had a fun time talking about Plotagraph on The New Screensavers with Leo and Scott. You can see the episode here. I splash onto the scene at the 17:50 mark. Enjoy!

Daily Photo – Amazing Tokyo

I know I've been posting a bunch of photos of downtown Tokyo! But I took so many and a lot of them turned out pretty cool. They've all been a thrill to edit in the new Aurora HDR 2018 as well. The tool gets better and faster each year, so it saves me a ton of time during the editing phase. And now, I'm pretty sure I can get results that are different than I used to be able to create.

Amazing Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-07-14 10:35:12
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time11
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length45.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Shinjuku!

Before Photo

Here’s the “Before” photo for today’s Daily Picture:

Daily Photo – Shinjuku!

…and here's the after photo! Thanks again Aurora HDR and the team at Macphun for helping to create such fun software! I've been using it a ton, and I'm really excited about going back to Japan to make more photos like this. I need to go out and shoot more at night around the city. It's so much fun… I always feel like I leave something on the table there. This next trip, I don't want to feel like that! 🙂

Shinjuku!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-07-16 15:56:46
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time2
  • Aperture11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

1 AM in Golden Gai

Tough Shot!

Well this one took a while to make. I was able to do every thing in Aurora HDR (P.S. You know we announced it’s coming for Windows soon right?!? – stay tuned for pre-orders!). I basically made an HDR out of my three favorite photos, then I found some shots where these two were still, loaded it as a texture, then painted in the people. I’m working on a tutorial for this now! 🙂

Daily Photo – 1 AM in Golden Gai

I think this is my new favorite area of Tokyo! It's close to Shinjuku and it's composed of about 3 small streets (almost alleys), and each one has about 30 bars jammed into it. But most of the bars only seat like 7-9 people. It's so cool! Some disappear up into dark stairs and the great unknown. Some bars are quite old, and you can go there if you're a regular, and buy a big bottle of sake and they will just label it and leave it there for you, every time you come back. I've only visited two bars here, but I'm about to up those numbers when I go back.

1 AM in Golden Gai

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-07-16 16:50:17
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/10
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Beautiful Tokyo Skyline from the Ritz-Carlton

Visiting the Fish Market

No trip to Tokyo is complete without visiting the Tsujiki fish market. It’s getting harder and harder to get in there as a random photographer. We got a guide from our hotel at the Ritz-Carlton. It’s also definitely not a place for kids – not because of the fish-violence but because of the danger levels of these little trucks that whiz around right and left.

If you’re a Passport Member then you get a little extra special bonus video!

Here’s a bit of what I was dealing with there!

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Daily Photo – Beautiful Tokyo Skyline from the Ritz-Carlton

Speaking of this amazing hotel that set up our fish market visit, this is the view from the restaurant called Hinokizaka. We had a fabulous meal there while taking photos out the window all the time. Note that the hotel bar is on the same level and looks out in the same direction. It's the tallest building in Tokyo, so the views are pretty incredible!

Beautiful Tokyo Skyline from the Ritz-Carlton

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-07-14 11:31:26
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time3
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length90.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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