United Kingdom – Stuck in Customs

The Telescope

If you haven’t seen the amazing images from the James Webb Space Telescope (how????), check them out here… and definitely take the time to grab the full resolution versions to explore.

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The Result

For those of you following along with the Sotheby’s auction project, the event was yesterday, and I’m pleased to say that the lot sold for a little over $1m after fees. The good news on top of that is that a chunk of that goes to charity. πŸ™‚
It’s been an awesome project to work on and the teams at Brora/Diageo and Sotheby’s have been great partners. Now it’s time to start getting into the detail on the Scottish photography adventure. Can’t wait!

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The Auction

It’s auction day over at Sotheby’s, London (and online) where you can bid on an ultra-rare cask of 40yr old whisky from Brora Distillery in Scotland… oh and with it you get one of my awesome, museum quality, large format fine art prints (taken in Scotland), a trip around the Brora area with me and we’ll base the labels for the bottles on an image we capture while out there!
Here are the full details on the Sotheby’s site.

Here is the direct link to the auction.

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Trey x Brora x Sotheby’s

The Spirit of Brora with Trey Ratcliff

Those of you who’ve followed me for a while know that it’s fairly rare for me to take on client/brand work. It really takes something special to tempt me into that arena and a few months ago an interesting email dropped into my inbox which was impossible to ignore. Today I get to talk about it…

In the Highlands on the North East Coast of Scotland, Brora sits where the land meets the sea. A landscape of rolling hills, golden sand beaches and remnants of settlements pre-dating the Iron Age, its distillery is the stuff of legends.

Now 202-years-old, Brora distillery which closed in 1983, was reawakened in May 2021 following a meticulous three-year restoration. Whilst the distillery has reopened, there is limited whisky that remains from before its closure. One of these casks, from 1982, will be auctioned at Sotheby’s together with one of my fine art prints on June 14th as part of the Platinum Jubilee celebration. But there’s more…much more…

I’ll be travelling to Scotland in 2023, for the very first time, accompanied by the new cask owner. Together we will capture images that bring to life the landscape that helped shape this whisky. The cask owner’s selected photograph will become a large format edition print, just like those from my museum quality fine art collection at TreyRatcliff.com, and will also be used to create a set of bespoke labels for the bottles to be drawn from the cask.

We’ve an exceptional adventure planned and the successful bidder of the auction for this ultra-rare cask will also have the option to work together with Diageo’s experts to further age their Scotch for up to five years. It’s a unique opportunity to play a role in the final part of this unprecedented whisky story. Below is a little teaser about the project and you can register for the auction here.

Before I leave you with a few images from the project so far, down at the bottom of this post, it’s also worthy of note that a second cask will be auctioned on the same day. From another Diageo distillery, the Port Ellen distillery on Islay, this second rare cask (a 42-year-old) will be auctioned with a one-off artefact, crafted following the sale, in collaboration with the designer and artist Ini Archibong. Ini will create a unique piece of art capturing the light of Port Ellen and its spirit in coloured glass. The one-off sculpture will be a physical expression of the “Dram and the Water” – representing both the precious nature of the liquid inside the cask and the distillery’s most precious resource. Crafted from Murano Glass and finished in the colours of Islay, the unique sculptural piece will be presented to the cask owner in Port Ellen once the distillery has reopened. Ini will also develop and create a bespoke colour gradient that will be used to design a set of labels for the bottles drawn from the cask.

The casks, both Brora and Port Ellen, have been hand-picked from Diageo’s prestigious VIP programme Casks of Distinction. This offers exclusive access to purchase individual casks of rare and exceptional Single Malt Scotch Whisky from Diageo’s unrivalled stocks, with only a very small number of fully mature casks selected each year from the choice of millions of resting in Scotland and an even tinier number selected from the ghost casks from the fabled Brora and Port Ellen distilleries.

Jonny Fowle, Head of Whisky at Sotheby’s said, “This partnership between Sotheby’s and Diageo showcases an unrivalled offering of rare whisky casks at auction. On trying the 1982 Brora I was astounded by its quality – the rich cooked fruit flavours elevating its signature lightly peated character. The Port Ellen is a masterclass in 1970s Islay smoke with significant cask influence, which, especially when from a closed distillery, is precisely the style that the world’s top whisky collectors seek out.”

If you find yourself in London, be sure to drop by Sotheby’s and check out the cask and print in person. And here’s that auction link again. πŸ™‚

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London After the Rain

Daily Photo – London After the Rain

There are several ways to enhance your chances of a city-based image looking good. Night (lights) is one… movement is another… sometimes you get really lucky and it has rained. Here I got lucky and the universe aligned to give me them all. πŸ™‚

London After the Rain

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-02-14 03:30:45
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time0.3
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length18.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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50 Beautiful Cities

Hey awesome blog reader… you’ll probably be aware that I’ve been delving into the world of NFTs in the past few months. So far, it’s been both a success and an interesting adventure. That continues today with my 2nd drop on OpenSea. This set of NFTs is based around 50 of my favorite cities spanning all seven continents. There are a wide range of configurations (and prices) available and I’d love it if you’d check them out. If you thought an NFT mixed with physical art was odd last time then how about several NFTs, wrapped in an NFT… mixed with some Aave tokens which should appreciate over time??!

The first drop on OpenSea did better than expected and broke $100,000USD in the first three days. This second one already has a lot of interest as more and more collectors are getting into the NFT world. Jump on in! I’ll make a detailed video soon that talks more about what I’ve learned, mistakes I’ve made, some new ideas, and other interesting stuff from this wild wild west of cryptofun.

Also, if you’re an NFT curious artist, be sure to sign up for Passport where I’ve been sharing videos about my NFT experience so far. If you’re thinking about listing your own, you may find those helpful. Speaking of your own NFTs, I’m now starting to invest back into other projects so if you launch something cool tag me on Twitter and I’ll be sure to take a look. πŸ™‚



Trey Ratcliff Cities NFT OpenSea Preview

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The 50 Cities Drop

OpenSea Preview for Passport Members

If you’re a Passport Member then you’ll see a fun sneak peek of an upcoming drop over there. I have a new strategy that will either be awesome or crash and burn. We’ll see! πŸ™‚

The 50 Cities Drop

Here’s a sneak preview of the drop and a little bit about the pricing strategy. I don’t really know if it will work or not. I have very low expectations… so I guess we will see!

Exclusive content for Passport members

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Over 7 Dials in London

A Short Film

Here’s something a friend sent me…It’s called “IN SHADOW – A Modern Odyssey.” It’s really well done… maybe a bit disturbing for the faint of heart out there but still awesome.

Daily Photo – Over 7 Dials in London

I’m pretty sure this shot was 100% illegal, but I didn’t really ask first. That’s kind of my style, which only occasionally gets me in trouble. I took this one with that really big DJI drone… it was honestly too big and clunky to carry around, to get out of the box, to launch, etc. These newer smaller ones take just as good photos and they are much more convenient.

Over 7 Dials in London

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-02-18 03:45:16
  • CameraFC350
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length3.6 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramUnknown (58655)
  • Exposure Bias+0.656

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Entering the Underground

Daily Photo – Entering the Underground

I think because I grew up without a subway system that I get overly excited in cities that have them. People that grow up in London probably kinda hate the subways. I sort of like the confusion and the challenge of figuring out what the hell is going on down there and how am I supposed to get to where I need to go? Thank god Google Maps helps you out with this stuff… otherwise I would probably take 5x as long to get to the wrong place.

Entering the Underground

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-05-15 06:12:19
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1
  • Aperture
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Cool Hotel in London

Daily Photo – Cool Hotel in London

I can’t remember the name of this hotel, as I didn’t stay here. I don’t think I did, at least. It is probably the kind of thing I saw from the street and invited myself in to take photos. When you see these sorts of cool textures, they are kind of screaming out for a photo. It makes me question free will itself.

Cool Hotel in London

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2015-02-16 07:02:31
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time2.5
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length20.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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