Kyoto – Stuck in Customs

Kyoto Swimparty

Daily Photo – Kyoto Swimparty

I’m usually too busy in these cities to go for a swim, since I’m running around with my hair on fire taking photos. I often think, gee willickers, I should really have a swim and a relax. But I almost never do! If I have a little extra time, I try to hit the gym, which I enjoy more than swimming. Now that I think about it, I don’t really like swimming much at all. But I do like playing in the pool with my kids!

Kyoto Swimparty

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-07 01:45:38
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time64
  • Aperture13
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-2/3

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Midnight Through 1,000 Gates

Machine Elves… Machine Elves Everywhere!

Here’s a clip from the recent Joe Rogan podcast with Michael Pollan about his new book called “The is Your Brain on Plants.” Back when I named the new company “Machine Elf” it was a super niche word only known to a few that have ever seen them or at least heard about them. Anyone out there know Rogan or Pollan? I’d love for them to see some of our Machine Elf creations at https://the-machine-elf.com/ Oh, and be sure to check out the full podcast on Spotify, it’s always a good watch/listen.

Daily Photo – Midnight Through 1,000 Gates

If you’re ever in Kyoto, be sure to come adventure around this gate area at night. It’s pretty busy during the day, but at night it’s almost empty. It’s also a great time to pick up Japanese girls, if you are into that. I’m not into that at all. They can be very distracting while you are trying to take photos.

Midnight Through 1,000 Gates

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-07-21 13:36:41
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture6.8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length45.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Red Gates in Kyoto in the Evening

Great video on psychedics with Jordan Peterson

The words below are from the YouTube description:

Dr. Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., is a professor of neuroscience, psychiatry, and behavioral science and director of the Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He is the author of over 400 scientific research publications and has trained more than 50 postdoctoral research fellows. He has been a consultant to the National Institutes of Health and numerous pharmaceutical companies in the development of new psychotropic drugs.

Dr. Roland Griffiths and I discuss the research with John Hopkins University. We spoke about how he got into psychedelics and convinced ethic committees to approve such research, why he chose the scientific path, specifics about his studies with psilocybin, transformations of cancer patients with family members, the impact of psilocybin in existing institutions, the ongoing studies he is performing with long-time meditators and religious leaders, how the integration of psilocybin into society may look and more.

Daily Photo – Red Gates in Kyoto in the Evening

The best time (for me) to visit these red gates is around sunset and into the evening. It’s open all the time, but there are hardly any tourists there at night. It’s great to walk around the 1,000+ gates and find different compositions and different sorts of lights… It makes me think of all the Japanese anime shows I’ve ever seen for some reason.

Red Gates in Kyoto in the Evening

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-09 07:00:10
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture10
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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New Peak Design Goodies on Kickstarter – I bet you didn’t think they would make this!


That clever team has come up with something I’ll probably use even more than all their cool camera and bag gear – this slick case and mounting system for your phone and a bunch of accessories to go with it! I’m actually pretty good when it comes to using my phone… I’m not on it all the time, but I’m still on it quite a bit. I’ve tried a few mounting systems, but they all seem a bit janky as if they were designed by someone that might possibly be a bit insane. Well, when you watch this video, you’ll see how they have thought about this system in the same kind of 360, detailed manner as they did their bags, camera straps, and everything else they make. I know you’re wondering if it will work on YOUR phone and the case will if you have the iPhone 11 or 12 or a Samsung S20. For everyone else, or at least most of you, there is a Universal Mount… that’s one of the cool things about joining the Kickstarter community there because you can get into all the design discussions to see what models will be officially supported. The community there is incredible because you can ask any question (and they will answer), and you can provide any sort of feedback or ideas they have. This is probably one of the reasons that Peak Design makes such incredible products… they really listen! Go see now at Kickstarter.



Check out the Kickstarter here.

Daily Photo – After the Photo Walk in Kyoto

Just after we finished the big photo walk, I decided to take a few photos of this cool temple at dusk before sunset. It’s always a bit awkward after photo walks because a few people end up hanging around as long as they can. I don’t mind it, really, because I’m a super-nice guy! But I don’t always know what to say after the official thing is over… I am just kind of taking photos by myself, and I kind of feel the need to explain to them what I am doing… so it is kind of hard to turn off that mode, you know?

After the Photo Walk in Kyoto

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-06 01:33:46
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time45
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length45.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-1

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Exploring Kyoto with the Hasselblad

Daily Photo – Exploring Kyoto with the Hasselblad

This was my 7th trip to Kyoto, but my first one with the Hasselblad. Something about having a new toy changes the texture of a photo adventure, I think! Also, because that thing was so slow and had a slightly different aspect ratio, it made me re-envision shots in a new way.

Exploring Kyoto with the Hasselblad

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-07 16:46:48
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time3
  • Aperture13
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length30.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-8/3

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Rainy Day at the Red Gates in Kyoto

Daily Photo – Rainy Day at the Red Gates in Kyoto

We came back a second day to do some more shooting at one of my favorite areas of Kyoto. I had never been there in the rain before, so it made the whole place extra romantic. Also, I love seeing Japanese people walking around with umbrellas… that always makes me smile for some reason!

Rainy Day at the Red Gates in Kyoto

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-08 04:32:14
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture3.5
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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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

Comments