Stuck In Customs

My daily travel blog to inspire and get you motivated!

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The Beaches of Omaha

More about Les Braves

I was interested in the origins of this sculpture, so here is some data that I got from this article at Les Braves Memorial of Omaha Beach.

Les Braves is a war memorial that is located on the shores of Omaha Beach in the village of St. Laurent-sur-Mer in Normandy, France and commemorates the fallen American soldiers, of World War ll who have lost their lives on the beaches of Normandy, June 6th 1944.

The memorial represents three elements: The Wings of Hope, Rise Freedom, and the Wings Of Fraternity. French sculptor Anilore Banon, created the monument in 2004, commissioned by the French government to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the D-Day Invasion Of Normandy. In the center, there are seven stainless steel columns and a group of five columns that curve upwards, two columns stand upright, with the tallest reaching 30 feet. Stainless steel wings gracefully stand on both sides.

Intended only as a temporary art piece, the sculpture still stands on the shores of Omaha Beach widely due to public interest and petition. The sculpture has been described as a blend of art and nature and has been able to withstand the forces of nature surprisingly well.

Daily Photo – The Beaches of Omaha

I woke up with quite a hangover here in Omaha beach. We had spent the previous evening at Mont Saint Michel doing a rather significant amount of wine-drinking and taking photos. I still can't believe my photos there turned out so well. Anyway, we drove overnight to Omaha beach. The bus just kind of rocked me to sleep… and then when it finally stops, I know we are at a new location! So I dusted myself off and jumped outside with my camera to see this amazing sculpture.

The Beaches of Omaha

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-11 08:45:04
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture8
  • 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

The Bridge of Locks in Paris

Collective Consciousness

I’m a big believer in the super-organism of humans coming together with tech and AI. Here’s an interview with Dan Brown about Collective Consciousness

Turning to the future, Brown said technological change and the development of artificial intelligence would transform the concept of the divine.

“We will start to find our spiritual experiences through our interconnections with each other,” he said, forecasting the emergence of “some form of global consciousness that we perceive and that becomes our divine”.

Daily Photo – The Bridge of Locks in Paris

This is Marin, the daughter of my friend Serge Ramelli with an umbrella, looking forlorn and sad during our photo walk in Paris. She's not, of course, she's just acting. But, if you were feeling forlorn and sad on a rainy day, this would definitely be the best place to be. You can come here and see all the locks that represent people's love, half of which has deteriorated into a bitter romance that would make for a great reality show. That's what she's thinking about here: a very low-quality reality show about one of those locks that did not turn out so well. Maybe a bit cynical, but, well, you know.

The Bridge of Locks in Paris

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-07 19:26:24
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Bvlgari in Milan

Upcoming Videos

We made three videos in Milan. One was the photo walk video, which is below. The others are an inspirational one, and one about the city itself. Those are in the process of being edited together as we package them together for release! Anyway, here is the first:

Daily Photo – The Bvlgari in Milan

Well, it goes without saying that the Bvlgari in Milan is next level. Wow. I absolutely loved this place. Every tiny detail was something out of a small dream of perfection. It wasn't ostentatious in the least. The people there were extremely accommodating and welcoming, especially to our worn and rugged crew. The pool and spa were amazing also. I can't wait to get back to this place once again. Also, the location was perfect for exploring the city.

The Bvlgari in Milan

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-05 10:00:48
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/4
  • Aperture11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Last night in London

Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Okinawa Photo Walks Soon!

Wow I am so excited about our upcoming events in Japan! Check out this page with more information about those events and the Facebook Events at… Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Okinawa

Also, here’s the highlight video from #80Stays Europe! 🙂

Daily Photo – Last night in London

I was so busy in London that I didn't have much of a chance to shoot. I had some alone time on the last night so I went out towards the theater district. I didn't know if I would find anything that I had not shot before. I don't mind re-shooting previous things if I think I could improve. But I like the red buses there so much, I found a good spot where they made a nice pattern (or, I hoped they would), and got this one.

Last night in London

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-15 06:01:54
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.8
  • Aperture
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Next Week, More Burning Man Photos

Well, maybe you are getting tired of these by now? Here’s another set along with captions.


Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com

The tree in the middle of the desert glowed all day and all night. One evening, there was a 70-piece orchestra here and a ballet where they performed The Rites of Spring. It’s the first time I ever heard of a production like that at Burning Man.

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com
Quick visit to this secret camp!

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com
This is one of my favorite random photos. It’s one of those quick 3-second stories from Burning Man. We were biking in separate directions. He was heading home to Glamcocks (which I can only assume is an alternative-camp). About 25 meters from me, in a gust of wind, his hat went inside out and so did his umbrella. I whipped out my camera to take a picture and he stuck a playful tongue out at me.

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com
That’s one of my favorite art pieces from Burning Man in the back ground… I have photos of that coming soon. I was here at the end of the Billion Bunny March, and this lively couple was really living it up out front… posing and enjoying the moment.

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com
Here’s another photo taken with my trusty little FUJI XT-2. I’m going to update the review on my blog to add in all the favorite photos I just took with it. But, I can attest that this camera is just as rugged and weather-proof as people say. I never had a single problem with it!

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com
In the middle of the day, I rode off into the deep desert and saw someone else trying to be alone.

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com
How amazing is this mask? I saw this gentleman up on the 2nd floor around the man. Great job burner, great job. Kudos!

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com

A plane crash in the desert? No… just more fun random scatterings of art around the white sands. I WAS almost in a plane crash here one year in an experimental hand-made plane. Right after we landed, a huge gust of wind came and blew us off the runway. Whoa that was exciting… seeing this brought back those heart-stopping memories!

Exploring Vienna, Austria

Homo Deus

This is a great book! I’ve recently added it to my Kit.com list, where I have a lot of my other favorite books listed, including the prequel to this one, Sapiens.

Daily Photo – Exploring Vienna, Austria

I was super-impressed with the gardens and environs of Vienna. I clocked A LOT of steps here. It's not that spread out, but there is just simply a lot to see. It's definitely a walking city. I don't even know if they have a subway system? I never checked to see because everything was so fun to look at while walking around. This was taken very near a beautiful rose garden that had like 100 different rose varieties from around the world.

Exploring Vienna, Austria

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-26 21:29:44
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time5
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO250
  • Focal Length41.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.3

Street Scene from Milano

80 Stays photos

So, you can check out all my “extra” photos I did not publish on my main TreyRatcliff account over on the 80Stays account. You can also check out photos from all the photo walkers over at the #80Stays hashtag.

Daily Photo – Street Scene from Milano

I took a ton of street photos during the European tour. I didn't publish most of them on my main account, but instead on the @80Stays Instagram account. I really enjoy doing street photography, but I consider most of them to be little studies… little ideas. Playing with light and taking photos of interesting things here and there.

Street Scene from Milano

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-04 22:22:10
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1600
  • Aperture
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

Visiting the Summer Palace in China

Summer Palace

You’ll see another view of today’s place in my video below “Life from Above and Beyond.” Right after the scene goes black and Alan says, “very odd…” after the fade from black, you see this amazing palace.

Daily Photo – Visiting the Summer Palace in China

Here are my kids walking down one of the long hallways there. Well, that guy on the left is not my kid. He's one of the military dudes. Come to think of it, I have not seen a lot of difference between the way the police look and the way the military looks. They all seem pretty nice though; even those ones that arrested me a few years ago!

Visiting the Summer Palace in China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-12-08 13:28:11
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/100
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length44.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

A Textured Hobbit Hole

80 Stays Around the World is coming to Japan!

I’m coming to Japan for a bunch of photo events and photo walks! The main events are in Tokyo, Osaka, Kyoto, and Okinawa. If you’ve never been to a Photo Walk, then this is a great chance. They are free, family-friendly, and you can use any kind of camera (yes even a mobile!) – I give lots of tips & tricks and will do my best to inspire you as we work on this creative life together.

Japan is one of my favorite countries and I can’t wait to be back. This time we are also doing something a little different, with a local Instagram star joining us in each location. Take a look at the video below to find out more information, I hope you can make it! 🙂

Nearby Huka Falls

If you’re going to Hobbiton and have a few extra bucks to spend, I recommend the nearby Huka Lodge. It’s right by Huka Falls and is a great central location for accessing this whole central area of the North Island of New Zealand.

Daily Photo – A Textured Hobbit Hole

I think if I had a Hobbit Hole I would never repaint the thing. I can't imagine this would look any better with a fresh coat of paint. I'm impressed at all these movie people that can build something new and make it look so authentically old. They do that a lot of Disneyworld too. It's a strange skill, I suppose, because most people that build something new have customers that also want it to look new. No one says, build me a new couch, but I want it to look that ropey old couch I had in college.

A Textured Hobbit Hole

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-06-04 22:27:46
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperture
  • ISO
  • Focal Length
  • Flash
  • Exposure Program
  • Exposure Bias

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