California – Stuck in Customs

Best Of: San Francisco

Continuing with the best-of situation, here are some of my favorite photos of San Francisco!

Exploring San Francisco from Above From on top of Twin Peaks in San Francisco, a good zoom lens when the fog rolls in can get a little crazy! The fog glows orange-red with all the lights and it feels a bit… apocalyptic. I took about 20 shots of this, and the fog would creep around this way and that. They all looked interesting, but in the end, I liked this one the best.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

A Dishonest Image of San Francisco And with this image, I am once again launching full-out-assault on the hallowed traditions of photography. You know what I did with this image? I post-processed it! Oh yes, I really did. And I had so much fun doing it… at least as much fun as Dexter in his kill room.I guess if I was to be really “honest” and take a photo of San Francisco and keep with the tradition of the greats of photography, it would have to be black and white photo, right? I mean, the world really is black and white, isn’t it? Oh wait, no… it’s in color. Wait, now I’m confused.Oh no, look what I’ve done now. I’ve gone and upset people that think one form of artistic expression is superior to another form of artistic expression. How could I be so callous and open with my thoughts and techniques?- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

A Great Day at the Google HQ! Wow that was a cool experience.  Those guys and gals over there are super-nice.  You never know...  I guess maybe Google seems somewhat intimidating from the outside, but after I met guys like Cliff, Brian, and Chip -- I felt right at home.I gave an hour-long talk in one of their theaters there.  It was super-packed and people were standing all around because seats were gone.  We were graced with the presence of one Sara Jane Todd from @Peachpit to help out selling books - and we sold out!  Also, my Brazilian friend Fabio, the editor of Abduzeedo was there too, so it was great to see him.The Authors@Google (video link) program has a neat deal where they subsidize books, so Googlers don't have to pay full price.  I saw all kinds of cool stuff and took a lot of pics.  I have to get most cleared with Google Corp Comms before I can release... but I nabbed shots of a spaceship, a new pseudo-holodeck, and more mysteries await!  We even got to eat lunch there in the Google cafeteria, which had some of the most excellent food I've ever had in such a setting... they even have a small organic farm on the campus... well, I could go on and on...  but I was very impressed and happy to meet so many enthusiastic people!The video should be done in the next 2-3 weeks or so.  We've got good-man Brian at Google slaving away on editing the whole thing together!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Beautiful San Francisco I just got back from a crazy three days in San Francisco. The trip included everything from visits to Google, YouTube, Facebook, breakfast with Scoble, Smugmug, Microsoft at a Calacanis event (where the upcoming app WON Audience Choice!), then finally a PhotoWalk in SF with Thomas Hawk. It was completely exhausting, but very fun. After the Facebook talk, I headed to downtown San Francisco with Tom Anderson to get this photo. It was a great night!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Inner Sanctum Here is a cool and relatively unknown place in San Francisco.  Can anyone figure out where this mysterious location is?I went in here with my dad while we were looking for cool photo-ops.  We weren't so sure we were allowed in this place, but we just busted in quickly for a shot before anybody said anything.- Trey Ratcliff Read more here at stuckincustoms.com.

...and the SF Giants!I was down on the field with the SF Giants before a recent game. I got down there because Tom Anderson sent out a tweet, and the marketing manager for the SF Giants responded and got us in! So, we were able to go anywhere and do anything before and during the game. It was great! I made full use of it.I had my giant D800 Camera out there (see the Nikon D800 Review for more baseball photos from that evening).After I left the field, I went to the very very very top part of the nosebleeds to take this shot...- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this entry at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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Best Of: California!

And here are some favorite photos from California! Enjoy!

Moonrise Kingdom

Girl Running in Santa MonicaThis is the first photo I got during the LA PhotoWalk. After I was on the steps and gave my little speech-thing, I went down right to the water's edge to see what I could find. This little girl was running up the beach to her dad, so I grabbed a quick one while I talked through the shot for the crowd. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out, since everything was unplanned.- Trey RatcliffRead the entire post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Burning Through the Deserts of Death Valley This was my first real experience in a proper desert. The thing that surprised me most was the blast of hot air that kept rushing into my face. I was only here in Death Valley for a few days, so I’m not exactly an expert in deserts. But, while I was there, a nonstop wind full of hot, wet, heat that was pounding into me. The “wet” part was the most interesting… it did not feel as dry as I expected.The other thing I noticed is that walking up these sand dunes is not as easy as it is in video games.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Fog You Can Only See Through From Above

The Rock Moved So Slowly That I Did Not Notice

The Fog You Can Only See Through From Above

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Rejected Pictures for the Vanity Fair show at the Oscars

Here are some of my favorite photos that I submitted. Note that all of these were rejected! But that’s okay, because they selected nine other ones I really loved too!

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from the blog www.stuckincustoms.com

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Machine Elf 34 and a Fun Day at Pinterest

Machine Elf 34

Sam and I are excited to release our newest creation: Machine Elf 34: Master Owl.

The owl knows everything and is often the one who allows you to see it. Graced by the owls presence, Machine Elf 34 takes us on an unpredictable adventure that delves inside the alien mind to see what hides within. This is our most mathematically complex fractal so far and is a combination of the Xenodreambuie in a hybrid with Atan2Power 2. As with all the others, watch in full screen with the volume up and allow yourself to fall away into the world.

These are also available 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

For more Machine Elf creations, including physical installations, check out the website: https://the-machine-elf.com/

Made in the Mountains of Queenstown, New Zealand.

Fun Day at Pinterest

Here’s a fun trip down memory lane when I spent an entire day at the Pinterest HQ in San Francisco. This is just when they are getting started so everyone looks a bit younger! 🙂


Ben Silbermann, CEO of Pinterest, is just as nice of a guy as that smile would indicate...

One of the Pinterest employees works away, after seemingly emerging from a shampoo commercial.

This is what you see upon entrance to the Pinterest offices in the trendy SOMA area of San Francisco.

Ben Silberman is not only the CEO of Pinterest, but he's also a serious photographer.  Before we got down to the meat of our meeting, we spent about half an hour geeking out about photography equipment!

Chinese globes decorate the skyspace in the upper atmosphere of Pinterest...

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Morning Sunrise in California

Daily Photo – Morning Sunrise in California

I got up early with the quadcopter in hopes of a good sunrise and I was lucky! I was staying here at the Ritz-Carlton in Half Moon Bay with my family and they are used to me trudging out of the room in the dark trying not to wake everyone up. That doesn’t always work usually because I have to get my stuff together from all over the room. Anyway, after I got outside I was able to get the quad way out over the Pacific Ocean. Flying it over the water always gives me a little extra anxiety… I don’t know why. It’s just as likely to crash and break over land too!

Morning Sunrise in California

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-12-11 07:33:33
  • CameraFC6310
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length8.8 mm
  • FlashNo flash function
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Carnival Row at Disney

Matt Ridley on putting everything in perspective

I love this guy… he always has a fresh perspective on things.

Daily Photo – Carnival Row at Disney

When I was at Disneyland in Anaheim, I thought this would make excellent subject-matter for an HDR shot. This mix of lights and textures usually comes out pretty cool. There was a lack of symmetry in this one, so I did a bit of reflection in the top part. If you look closely, you’ll see the top half is pretty much an exact inverted copy from right to left.

Carnival Row at Disney

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2010-07-20 23:56:46
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1
  • Aperture6.7
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Passport Sunday Vanity Fair Partay!

As many of you know, I was invited by Vanity Fair and the Ritz-Carlton to do a solo show during the Oscars. A lot of work went into it, and today, if you’re a Passport Member, then you get to see some of the details behind the layout. Enjoy!

Photos from the Exhibit

Here’s a smattering of some of the photos from the big show! You’ll hear more about them in the Passport Sunday video below.


Creative Commons Noncommercial - Contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com for more info
Creative Commons Noncommercial - Contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com for more info
Copyright Trey Ratcliff www.StuckInCustoms.com

Vanity Fair Show Layout

While I was going through this process, I thought it would be interesting to record a video so you could see some of the work that went into it. Enjoy!

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Popping Disney

Passport Disney Sunday

As with every Sunday, you get a chance to see me edit today’s photo. Not a member yet? Sign up here! You’ll love it!

Edit of the Disney Shot

Today’s is another quick hit video and you can see how I use some features of Aurora to really make it pop!

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Daily Photo – Popping Disney

I haven’t been to Disney in years and I’m not sure if they still let you use tripods, but I’m sure glad they did while I was there! It was kind of weird carrying it all over the park, especially when I got on rides. The operators would just let me collapse it and put it under my legs. Seems like that might be kind of a hazard but they didn’t seem to mind, so neither did I!

Popping Disney

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2010-07-21 02:52:08
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/20
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length22.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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San Francisco in the Fog

Deep Fakes

This is a really good deep fake. It’s really to the point now where you can’t believe anything you see! This is Robert Downey Jr and Tom Holland in Back to the Future.

Daily Photo – San Francisco in the Fog

This is an older photo that I recently re-worked for a show I am doing in LA. There were a few cities they wanted to be represented, and this was one of my favorites from San Francisco. I think a lot of people think you get fog every day there, but you definitely do not, so it requires quite a bit of patience.

San Francisco in the Fog

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2012-04-20 06:33:07
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time15
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length300.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

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Oscars Party!

Vanity Fair Special for Passport Members

Today, for you cool Passport Members, you can see how I put together the proposal for this Vanity Fair / Ritz-Carlton / Conde Nast show during Oscars week. It was a lot of hard work, but I think you’ll be happy just seeing the process. I’ll make a follow-up video soon that talks more about their final shot selections, the hanging process, and other behind-the-scenes stuff!

Proposal for the Vanity Fair Exhibition

I was approached a few months before the Oscars with this opportunity. It was pretty much 100% sure they wanted to hang about ten of my photos, but which ones? There was a BIG group of people deciding, which made things quite complex and time consuming. I decided that a wide variety of choices was better than just a few. I am never quite sure what people will like… anyway, enjoy!

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