Chicago – Stuck in Customs

Chicago from the Archives

Daily Photo – Chicago from the Archives

Because it’s very much on my mind at the moment, here’s another from Chicago. It goes on for what seems like forever… quite symmetrical too once you get out of the centre it seems.

Chicago from the Archives

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2010-01-05 23:56:08
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias



Daily Photo – Chicago

Wrapping up my short stay in Chicago shortly where I’ve been seeing family and friends for the first time in years which has been awesome. I thought about staying out in the hotel on this pier while here where they’ve been wise to point all the rooms away from the water purification plant. Definitely wouldn’t have been the most scenic hotel room view in the world!


Photo Information

  • Date Taken2023-12-05 12:35:02
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias


Ending the Chicago Photo Walk!

Chicago Recap!

Here’s a few videos from the photowalks. The first one is what happened in Chicago, and the second one is the overall highlight video! Check out the Trey’s Photo Walk Across the USA page for more! 🙂

Daily Photo – Ending the Chicago Photo Walk!

Wow… I’ve been to Chicago many times, but never even seen this amazing fountain! How is that possible? I don’t know… but I was really happy to be here this evening… what a perfect day and night in Chicago. And so many passionate photographers! We gotta do that again!

Ending the Chicago Photo Walk!

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-09-10 13:33:22
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.6
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length41.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias


Chicago Forever

Uptick in Prints

We’ve added a new Limited Annum series of prints, and they have really picked up for the holiday season – so, thanks! You can buy most any photo here and have it customized to your desire. Just click on the photo and it will take you to SmugMug. Along the top, you buy the print and get all the info you need.

Daily Photo – Chicago Forever

I took this from on top of one of the highest buildings in Chicago. Everyone else was shooting in the other direction – towards all the big buildings. Well, I did too to be honest… but, then I came over here… looking out this way was strangely compelling, so I decided to give it a go! 🙂

Chicago ForeverI took this from on top of one of the highest buildings in Chicago.  Everyone else was shooting in the other direction - towards all the big buildings.  Well, I did too to be honest... but, then I came over here... looking out this way was strangely compelling, so I decided to give it a go! :)- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.


Photo Mystery – The Private Room

Four Hours in Helsinki

So, I am connecting from Ibiza to China through Helsinki, Finland.  Does anyone have any suggestions on what to see and photograph in that time?  Keep in mind that I’ll have to jump in a taxi (or train?) and get to-and-from these locations and get back in time to go through security again.

The Private Room

It was a dark and mysterious set of serpentine stairs that brought us to this room. Where could it be? Who can identify it? You all are so hard to trick… None of these has ever stayed mysterious for more than 24 hours… but maybe, just maybe, we can have this one stay a mystery!

And I know people zoom into 100% on these to look for clues… this one is a little messy at 100%, so I am a little embarrassed by that… I do figure that 98% of people look at it in the default “blog size”, where it looks okay.

HDR Photo


The Secret Church

Thinking Like Da Vinci

Have you all ever heard of a book called ‘How to think like Da Vinci’, authored by Michael Gelb?  I came across some info on the web and wanted to share it.  There are a few principles in the book that boil down to:

1) Curiosità – Quest for Curiosity, both in life and learning.

2) Dimostrazione – Commitment to Test knowledge through Experience and the willingness to learn from mistakes.

3) Sensazione – Continual Refinement of your senses.

4) Sfumato – Willingness to embrace ambiguity and uncertainty.

5) Arte/scienza – Maintenance of balance between science, art, logic and imagination.

6) Corporalità – Cultivation of ambidexterity, symmetry and to be fresh and alive.

7) Connessione – Recognition and appreciation of the interconnectedness in everything you see, hear, feel and touch.

I won’t re-analyze each of them, but I think they speak for themselves…  and they are quite nice.

Daily Photo – The Secret Church

Who would have ever guessed that this immense, classically architected church is in the middle of Chicago, Il? It’s quite amazing, isn’t it?

My friend Fiona took me here around the time of the Chicago book launch party. It is a great place place for all kinds of HDR photography. It’s a fun challenge to move around these environments and see how many interesting compositions you can make out of a structure like this.

HDR Photo


The Metal Moose & New eBooks from Friends

My Friends Have eBooks Too!

We’ve got a thriving community of photographers out there writing eBooks. I can’t possibly give everyone a link that asks, so I will do so randomly from time to time. A bit like a lottery!

Joseph’s Aperture eBook – Do you guys know of Joseph Linaschke? He’s a good friend that I first met when we co-hosted This Week in Photography. Anyway, he’s quite the Aperture expert. With Aperture 3 out, he’s got a nice eBook there that can help you get the most out of the software.

SAFARI, A Monograph – I’ve talked about David here on the site before. He’s a great guy and a hardcore photographer. This is the 2nd book in his “Print & Process” series (I think!). He fills the book with beautiful photos and then gives exact specifics about equipment, tools, and techniques. His eBooks get raving reviews, and there are several there to choose from!

The Metal Moose

After the book party in Chicago (thanks again for all of you that showed up!), we had a little photowalk the next day. Along the way, we stopped outside an office building near Michigan Avenue that had this enormous metal moose. I’m not a big fan of taking photos of art, but this was an exception.

As usual, I enjoyed meeting everyone on that photowalk and sharing stories and tricks. I think the next one we do will be at Burning Man, followed by London. Those will be great fun too! 🙂


The Red Room, Revisited


For slow responses in comments and stuff.  I have very little internet connection time here in Iceland.  I’m out shooting constantly… seeing amazing things… just amazing.

Anyway, please accept my apologies… I still read all comments and will get to them soon.

Daily Photo – The Red Room, Revisited

Frequent visitors will recognize this amazing place in Chicago.

It is the Crimson Lounge, and this is where we had the big book party in Chicago.  Before the party, I brought my rig down here to take a few photos of this place when it was nice and empty.  I like it for many reasons…  a big part of me remembers it from David Lynch’s mind and those macabre scenes from Twin Peaks with the midget.  A midget that walks backwards and talks backwards and then is played back forwards is enough to unnerve the hardest man.



The Olde Organ, Guessing Game, and my Secret Music List

My Music Playlist – What are some of your favorites?

As I travel around the world, I’ve picked up an amazing collection of unique music. It’s not for everyone, but if you like eclectic stuff that gets you in a right-brain mode, I think it’s great.

This first list I am releasing is my “World Lounge Mix” – I made an iTunes iMix of it and added the mix to Trey’s Music List!

Coming soon are some of my favorite songs from other categories, like Ambient New Age, Spanish Guitar, World Music, and more.

What are some of your favorite songs? Share them with me – I’d like to know!

Daily photo – The Olde Organ

Okay, if you were in one of my workshops, you are not allowed to guess, because you heard the unexpected answer.

But, of the rest of you, who can guess where this photo of this ornate organ was taken?  Those in my workshop know because I worked on it during the festivities.  It’s so funny whenever I zoom into 100% and people ooh and ahh at the details.  It’s funny because I do the same thing!  I know a lot of people say that 24 megapixel is overkill, but… well… it’s just cool.

I plan for the future when many people have 70 inch wall displays at 10,000 pixels across.  I want to make sure my images are ready for them!

The Olde Organ


Belly Up to the Bar with me in Chicago!

Special Advance Notice for Special Communities

I know you all are BUSY. Also, I know you like to come here and hang out with the community since we enjoy finding some of the best stuff, sharing tricks, techniques, and art with you. However, some people go the extra mile. For each little sub-community within Stuck In Customs, I try to do something extra special:

  • Newsletter Subscribers – I gave out a $50 off coupon on something cool just to subscribers, and many acted on it!  Cool!   The Newsletter is free, so why not join?  Besides that, I try to give advance notice on all sorts of things.
  • Facebook Fans – I gave these fine people an advance link to a new review I am doing, so they can see it before anyone else.  The Fan page was started by a Dutch fan, and we are starting to do all sorts of things on it, including a fun discussion on Which Lens do you Want?
  • Twitter Followers – Many times throughout the week, I open it up for questions on the new book or anything in between.  I think it is cool that I can have direct contact with so many people — I really try my best to answer most everyone!  In addition, I sprinkle in all sorts of inspirational art finds and do my best to keep things fun and light – the way the internet should be!

If you are a member of one or more of these special sub-communities – let me know any other ideas you might have!

Chicago Party in a Few Days!

Woo!  This will be fun!  The New York and Austin parties were exciting and fun – I really enjoyed getting to meet people and the like.  Chicago is next.  You can either RSVP on the Facebook Event Page or see more info here on the site!

Chicago Party

Daily Photo – Belly up to the Bar

Here is another shot from the ultra-cook Hotel Sax, where we are having the party mentioned above. The Hotel Sax has tons of these really swanky rooms that have a very nice feeling about them. Now, I don’t drink alcohol at all… which makes awesome bars like this a little disappointing… but not so disappointing if there is someone interesting to talk to!

I actually, on occasion, end up with people who spend half the time talking about previous drinking experiences while having a drinking experience. I suppose this becomes a recursive function at some point… and I guess it’s no different than going out with photographers and talking about other photography outings!

Belly Up to the Bar