Fractal Art – Stuck in Customs

Cool Kids Hanging in Madagascar

Machine Elf 83 – Clockwork Zimmer | Trey Ratcliff & Hans Zimmer Music

In my journeys into the DMT spirit world of impossible unfolding geometries where I encounter everything from machine elf entities to understanding the slippery veil of life, I’ve seen and felt all sorts of things. This is one of my new favorite creations that will take you on your own journey. The music I selected for this one is definitely more intense than the others, which tend to be more meditative. You’re about to go on a little tour of Hans Zimmer with Bladerunner 2049. It will start and end softly with a bit of intensity in the middle, like any good journey. Enjoy!

Daily Photo – Cool Kids Hanging in Madagascar

What a cool group of kids eh? You can almost find any group of kids sitting around and it’s like you are on some kind of a shoot for Benneton or something. It’s like I styled each kid and found the perfect background for a cool shot… but this is just how they hang out all the time. I wish I was that cool when I was a kid.

Cool Kids Hanging in Madagascar

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-09-30 17:26:46
  • CameraPixel 3 XL
  • Camera MakeGoogle
  • Exposure Time1/90
  • Aperture1.8
  • ISO129
  • Focal Length4.4 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Machine Elf 57 – Underskin | Trey Ratcliff & Jon Hopkins Music

Orders of magnitude are always a bit elusive for the human mind to comprehend, so I thought to start at the size of a single cell and then zoom out to a slightly larger organism. The entire experience is still inside of a small microcosm of life where entire hidden ecosystems can flourish. The music is a compilation of some of my favorite relaxing tunes from Jon Hopkins. Enjoy!

To see all the Machine Elf videos on YouTube, check out the Machine Elf playlist.

We’ve put a few of these Machine Elf creations in 360 for a cool VR app called TRIPP. If you have an Oculus Quest, Go, Rift or Playstation VR you can download TRIPP which features guiding experiences to make you happier, calmer and more focused. Grab that here.

For more Machine Elf creations, including physical installations, check out the website.

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Perfect Water in Aruba

Machine Elf 44 – Floral Quartz – 4K | Trey Ratcliff & Sam Wave

Ready for a juicy new organic Machine Elf? Sure you are! This one is another creation that includes custom music from ‘Sam Wave’ which you are sure to enjoy. The idea for this one came to me from a colourful meditation where I did a deep dive into an oil painting with infinite recursion that folds, unfolds, paints, and unpaints its way into a visual meditation. When Sam started making the soundtrack he mentioned that “it feels like a flower internalising its underwater getaway… a floral quartz. We hope you enjoy.

Daily Photo – Perfect Water in Aruba

Of all the Caribbean places I’ve been to, I think Aruba may have some of the best water of the lot. I don’t think it’s any more “clear” than the water from most islands, but it’s the pure white sand that really gives it that soft, milky feel. Also, feeling all that white sandy powder under your feet is also incredibly soothing and calming.

Perfect Water in Aruba

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-01-18 00:54:47
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length63.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

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Passport Sunday Funday!

Well, today Passport Sunday Members are in for a real treat because I give a little behind-the-scenes and how-to of my latest fractal.

The Making Of

Today’s video is a little bit long, but there is a lot of good information in there about the creative process and a little bit about starting up a new business. I don’t know if anyone else will like using this tool as much as I do, but I wanted to share it nonetheless! Oh, and it’s a free tool, so if you grab it and create something please do share. 🙂 Enjoy!

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Daily Photo – A Still Frame from Machine Elf 83

Creating these animations almost has nothing to do with Photography other than the desire to create a really cool frame. It reminds me a lot of taking photos of complex architecture… except you get to build your own. As long as I know I have a good frame, I’m sure the rest of it is gonna be amazing.

A Still Frame from Machine Elf 83

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2021-01-22 15:02:43
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperture
  • ISO
  • Focal Length
  • Flash
  • Exposure Program
  • Exposure Bias

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Midnight Loop around Singapore

Machine Elf 48 – Clinging

Welcome to the latest Machine Elf creation! This one was very fun to create and I decided to try something a bit different with the audio soundscape by starting with some words from Mooji. I listen to his meditations and talks quite a bit. He’s got a rather nice way about him and a pleasant and contemplative gait to his voice. This is a remix I did where most of the heavy lifting is done by Nils Frahm & Monolink combined with “Don’t Forget The Moon! 01” from Anton Tumas.

This creation mostly explores the constantly unfolding geometry of a bifurcated symmetry which breaks and rebuilds itself in a steady flow between order and entropy.

Daily Photo – Midnight Loop around Singapore

Right in the middle of Singapore is a pretty big lake that is surrounded with all different sorts of art. It makes more sense to go there at night for two reasons. For one, that’s when all the lights come on and it makes for much better photography. For two, it’s about 50 degrees cooler so you are not melting in the Singaporean sun!

Midnight Loop around Singapore

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-03-28 00:25:28
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/80
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length17.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Entering the lobby in Bali

Machine Elf 37 – String Theory 4K

Oooookay… welcome to my favorite Machine Elf fractal animation so far! This one explores an infinite poly-helix of DNA as it transforms from one form to the next. You’ll see many patterns in here that remind you of things… I won’t tell you what they are, as they are your own memory patterns. Enjoy! And be sure to check out our new Machine Elf website below. There are many more Machine Elf creations in the works!

Daily Photo – Entering the lobby in Bali

There are a few of these Ritz-Carltons where you walk into the lobby and you are completely blown away. This is probably one of my favorites in Bali. There are actually two different RCs in Bali. One is a “Reserve” which means it’s “extra special” where you get a butler and stuff. But, both of them have a stunning entrance lobby like this!

Entering the lobby in Bali

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-11-12 18:23:20
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time2.5
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-0.7

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Beautiful Braided Rivers from the Glaciers

Machine Elf 39 – The Hive 4K

As soon as I moved to New Zealand, I got about 250,000 bees. I’ve always wanted to be a beekeeper, so I thought it was a great opportunity to give back to the planet a little bit. It’d be kinda awesome if everyone did that, eh? We have a little farm with that’s about 10 acres big and it’s had all sorts of ups and downs. We’ve had sheep born and die (even buried one but not deep enough so its legs sticking out of the ground…) We’ve had chickens that have been killed by dogs and birds of prey… but the only thing that keeps on going without fail is the beehives. It’s not that I’m a great beekeeper; I’m actually terrible! But I’m learning all the time.

The reason that I got into bees is because I’ve always been fascinated by superorganisms. I first got interested in ants then got into bees. From the early days of the internet, I kind of got the idea that humans were going to someday form a superorganism and we would use the internet the same way ants use scent trails or bees perform the waggle dance. I’ve learned so much from my bees about nature and the fundamental inter-workings of the world… I’ve also learned that I’m a pretty crappy beekeeper and I still have a lot to learn!

Daily Photo – Beautiful Braided Rivers from the Glaciers

Here’s the Dart River that flows down from the Southern Alps then fills up Lake Wakatipu. I took this from a helicopter with Choppy and Over the Top while we were on the way to one of our first glacier landings. You can get a quadcopter up over this as well, but you can’t get nearly this high to get this perspective… to me, the more braided rivers, the better!

Beautiful Braided Rivers from the Glaciers

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2020-03-04 16:25:47
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1600
  • Aperture4
  • ISO80
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Machine Elf 41 – Inside the Coronavirus Molecule

This is gonna sound crazy, but right as Covid-19 was kicking into full gear (thanks to that scoundrel, Randy Marsh), I had a super intense vision in a dreamstate while at a meditation retreat called Aro-Ha here in New Zealand. Ever since I had the poison of the Sonoran Desert Toad in the form of 5MEO-DMT, I’ve been having more and more natural psychedelic experiences while meditating + astral projections + all kinds of wild stuff. Each one is worth its own story… But, as for this one, I had my eyes closed and there was a wrap-around movie screen in front of me where I saw the coronavirus at the molecular level. And I could zoom in and out… I could see two, then more and more. Then I zoomed way out and saw evergreen trees with little particles flowing between them… then zoomed back in and saw the virus spreading and multiplying (I know this sounds crazy btw, but it’s totally true) – then I had this really cool understanding that the virus is just doing what it does with no malicious intent. Its only purpose is to multiply. In that, it’s not good or evil, as it’s just doing what it’s doing like a heart beats or a tree grows. It’s just a natural expression of nature (even if maybe it was created by humans) – and everything is exactly the way it’s supposed to be. This is a continual message I get from DMT, meditation, and other psychedelic spiritual experiences. And all this energy flows from one state to another as described in all sorts of texts like the Bhagavad Gita. Anyway, this is why I chose one of my favorite “Indian” flavored songs to show this natural energy flow from one state to another.

The music for this one is from Midival Punditz.

We’ve put a few of our fully customized Machine Elf creations in 360 for a cool VR app called TRIPP. If you have an Oculus Quest, Go or Rift, you can download TRIPP which features guiding experiences to make you happier, calmer, and more focused. Grab that here: https://the-machine-elf.com/TRIPP

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Machine Elf 36 – Open Heart

Here’s the latest! Machine Elf 36 – Open Heart. I remember laying out in the white sands of the desert at Burning Man on my back in the middle of the afternoon, looking at the sun and blue sky. I was thinking about 1,000 different things and not thinking of them at the same time. Yes, I might have been on acid, but that’s beside the point. Well, not really, because, soon enough, I heard this song “Burning Sun” by Monolink playing about half a mile away from an art car… the sounds vibrated out the desert where I was hearing them… I remember what I saw and I’ve tried to recreate it here.

For more Machine Elf creations and to find out how to watch them in 360 VR, check out the website!

Best of: Austin!

And next up is the Best of Austin shots! Well, I’m not sure these are the absolute best, but there are few winners in here I haven’t thought about in a while.

trey-ratcliff-austin-photowalk (117 of 624)

The Wolfman Violinith Here’s my favorite photo from the Austin Photowalk … one of the many street performers howls into the streetlight moon… - Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

A Sunset on a Texas Farm This photo was shot about two hours outside of Austin in a little town called Brady.  You'd like it.  They have a Sonic there.  This was a 5-exposure HDR shot at f/16.  This kept everything in focus and kept the shutter open long enough to let the clouds drag across the sensor.  In these conditions, you don’t have a lot of time to fool around because the sun is bookin’ it towards the horizon.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The State Capitol of Texas at Dusk I went down on Saturday evening to do some shooting around Austin and caught the capitol around sunset.  There are all kinds of interesting things about the Texas capitol, like this cool underground Illuminati chamber you can see here, but the one thing that all Texans seem to know is that our capitol is 14 feet taller than the one in D.C.  This is a source of pride for Texans, along with the cool and trivial fact that we maintain, in our state constitution, the right to secede from the Union.The capitol is made out of this pink granite, and it gets a little pinker at night at soon as they turn on the lights, especially against the blue sky.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Pennybacker Bridge This place is right by my house…. I really have no excuse for not going up here almost every night! It takes less than 10 minutes to drive and hike up here… sometimes I actually feel bad about my laziness in this area.It’s usually not too crowded up here. Maybe a couple or two will sit and watch the sunset. It’s a bit dangerous – a sharp cliff that drops off into the freeway on one side and the water on the other.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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Welcome to Passport Sunday!

Today if you’re a Passport Member you’ll get to see a new behind-the-scenes video from one of my latest creations – enjoy!

Machine Elf 36 – Open Heart creation

Well, the whole creation is not finished yet, but you can at least see some of the important steps along the way! Oh, by the way, here is a link to the new Zach Bush video.

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