Kyoto – Stuck in Customs

Best of… Japan!

Maybe at the end of this, if I’m still in Lockdown, I’ll do an ALL JAPAN week! But we’ll get started with these five…

How fun is this little display? This was a piece of art in the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo. After you look at it for a while, maybe you can figure out how it is done. These are all real people in these shots. It was great fun to park here for a little while and see fun stuff like this happening… chaos!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Getting Candy in Tokyo

The Infinity of Tokyo

Finding Dinner in the Alleys of Kyoto After exploring an area (and era!) of ancient temples in Kyoto, I was absolutely starving.  I tend to get in a "shooting mode" where I do not undertake basic human necessities like eating, sleeping, and making regular bathroom breaks.  In fact, Nikon makes this great set of diapers you should try.  They're Japanese so there are little buttons that dispose of everything and leave you fresh as a daisy.  Anyway, after shooting, I headed down into the old part of Kyoto to find a traditional Japanese dinner.  I sat there for a long time, enjoying myself thoroughly.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

In the Rain in Tokyo Most of my walks around the city streets had me carrying two cameras.  I keep the D3X on my tripod, and have that ready to go for serious HDR work.  But over my right shoulder, I carry the D3S with a fast lens.  In this case, I was using the 50mm prime (see my Nikon 50mm Review) to capture quick scenes in the streets.I carry two cameras because it takes much too long to change lenses.  Also, it's a real pain to do that sort of thing in the rain. There are often questions about how I go about taking photos of strangers.  I have a post coming up in the future with five great tips for this sort of thing... I'll try to get everything into one spot for you, since I know we all want to be able to better capture interesting people here and there as they pass through our worlds.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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Midnight in Kyoto

Daily Photo – Midnight in Kyoto

Late one night, I jumped into a taxi and headed to one of my favorite areas of Kyoto to the Fushimi Inari Shrine. It was absolutely beautiful. The best thing about being there at night is that absolutely no one is around. You have the rule of the whole place to yourself… you can walk anywhere. It’s nice and safe and there is an infinity of places to explore.

Midnight in Kyoto

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-07 05:25:57
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time45
  • Aperture6.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-2/3

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Temples in Kyoto

Check out this Amazing Kid

I wonder how much practice this required…

That balance from nextfuckinglevel

Daily Photo – Temples in Kyoto

Kyoto has about 100 temples within a short trip from the city center. You can visit a different one every day and go for a walk. In fact, that’s a pretty good idea if you’re going to spend time there. I like to go on morning walks, so this is a great excuse to explore new areas and get the exercise done early in the day!

Temples in Kyoto

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-07 17:34:21
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/1500
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-5/3

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Happy Woman in Kyoto

Daily Photo – Happy Woman in Kyoto

Every night I try to make it a point to roam up and down the streets of Japanese towns to take photos. I’m never disappointed. A lot of restaurants have a woman that stands out front to greet new customers. They are not pushy at all and are simply full of smiles and awesomeness. It’s one of the hundreds of things I love about Japan. I don’t have to do anything at all for women to smile at me.

Happy Woman in Kyoto

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-11 13:54:29
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1.6
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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A Miniature Kyoto

Daily Photo – A Miniature Kyoto

I forgot where exactly I saw this intricate little model, but I’m pretty sure it was in Singapore, judging by the windows way in the back. The attention to detail is crazy. It reminds me a little of what Steve Carrell’s character would do in that movie Dinner with Schmucks, which is a fun movie I’d highly recommend!

A Miniature Kyoto

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-03-26 23:21:01
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/10
  • Aperture9
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length27.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Torii Gate in Kyoto

Daily Photo – Torii Gate in Kyoto

If you go to Kyoto, I recommend you visit this area with thousands of red gates at night. It’s open all night and there are absolutely no tourists. It can get a little creepy because you’re totally alone and there are no other humans around, but I like the creepy factor of the place. To add to the creepiness, there are lots of cemeteries sprinkled all around.

Torii Gate in Kyoto

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-07 05:20:17
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time32
  • Aperture6.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-5/3

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Kyoto closing up shop at night…

Daily Photo – Kyoto closing up shop at night…

I was walking up and down the tiny streets one night, getting snacks and sake in different places while taking photos. Most of the places there are quite tiny, as you can see here in this one. Everyone is super friendly and it’s easy to make friends, especially because the Japanese people are some of the nicest people in the world!

Kyoto closing up shop at night…

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-01-30 03:21:07
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/40
  • Aperture4
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length27.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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COVID-19 Conspiracy Theories + Bad Idea Memes and Why You Should Not Believe Them

Here’s a new Video from my cabin about why your should doubt and question all conspiracy theories!

Before I piss off MOST people that will watch this, let me say one thing… When people feel like they are “out of control” of their own lives (which many people do now), they may seek to believe in outlandish ideas that confirm their navel-gazing victimhood. If you don’t believe in yourself, you’ll believe in anything. This video, while fun, will give you another perspective. Many people will be insulted by this video (especially those of you that believe in scientific properties of Essential Oils). If you can, try not to let your ego be affronted; instead, use it as an opportunity to do more critical thinking on your own rather than adopting the ideas of other people because they sound good.

The world and the universe are not out to get you. It’s not happening against you; it’s happening for you. A positive frame of reference is important. Don’t adopt other people’s ideas because they confirm your own nascent notions of self-doubt and that you are a victim of some globalized or localized plot against you. All of these self-fictional instantiations are creations that spring from an over-active ego and self-identity which will make you think you are the center of the universe. You’re not. You’re here to help, love, and take care of other people, yeah! 🙂 I hope this video helps you to put yourself in a more positive place, rather than many other videos out there that will take you down a spiraling rabbit hole of your own demise.

Below are some great resources for you to keep you in the right frame of mind! 🙂


Humans can be tricked into the belief of fictional realities via Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari.

Reliable information on misinformation here and here.

Best Covid-19 News fact site without opinions.

The Dream Podcast

World Dashboard Tracking the Spread of Covid-19.

An interesting opinion piece on conspiracy theorists.

Daily Photo – An Autumn Walk in Kyoto

I believe that Kyoto has hundreds of temples, and at almost every one, you can see scenes like this. I don’t know a lot about trees, but I’m pretty sure those red ones are Japanese maples. Well, now I’m not so sure because the Japanese maples in my yard turn red in the Spring. Maybe they turn red in the Autumn too? Well, I guess I had should pay better attention!

An Autumn Walk in Kyoto

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-06 16:45:35
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/250
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length45.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-10/3

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Thousands of Red Gates in Kyoto

Kyoto Color

Kyoto is such an awesome place in autumn, amazing colors absolutely everywhere. Here’s another of my favorites from there.
Autumn Gardens in Kyoto

Daily Photo – Thousands of Red Gates in Kyoto

Here’s one of my best travel tips when visiting Fushimi Inari-Taisha in Kyoto. Go after dinner and stay late into the night. There is no ticket-entrance fee or anything, and you can wander around it all night long! There is pretty good lighting, and where there is not good-lighting, it’s kind of spooky. Most importantly there are almost no humans around to get in the way of your shots!

Thousands of Red Gates in Kyoto

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-07 05:46:44
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time32
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-1

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Beautiful Waterfall in Kyoto

Fun article about the Americas Tour

I gave a ton of interviews on the road, and here is one of my favorites that I did in Canada.

Daily Photo – Beautiful Waterfall in Kyoto

Kyoto must have at least 100 different perfect little parks with temples. Each morning, we would visit a different one… Since I’m the kind of guy that is already into meditation, I found them to be perfect little places to explore. Japanese people are largely Shinto, which means basically they find “god” in nature… the more time they spend in nature, the closer to god they feel.

Beautiful Waterfall in Kyoto

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-07 17:31:31
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time1/20
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-3/2

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