Stuck in Customs – Page 4 – Trey Ratcliff's Travel Photography blog with daily inspiration to motivate you!

Stuck In Customs

My daily travel blog to inspire and get you motivated!

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Gaia Again

Daily Photo – Gaia Again

Here is Marco Cochrane’s amazing “Gaia” – I wonder where it is now! I know some famous artists like Michael end up selling their pieces to private collectors or to cities to put on display…

Gaia Again

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2022-09-03 10:38:04
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2000
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO64
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

34 Crazy Photos From Burning Man That Don’t Exist – AKA How Artists Can Embrace AI

I have a NEW post with 31 Much Improved photos using a new AI. You won’t believe the difference!

I have an interesting theory on AI – I believe a very interesting future for all artists is to “team up” with AIs to form an UberArtist.

Chess Grandmasters who routinely get destroyed by AIs sometimes team up with an AI in competitions against other teams. Anyway, with photography and pretty much all other forms of art (and soon video), it’s clear to me that AI will be able to make some extremely interesting creations, often surpassing what the most creative humans can produce. And it’s only going to get better. So, rather than “fight” the system, it only makes sense to join forces as artists curate and coax their AI into creating things they think are interesting.

I’ve been deep into the AI world for about the last year trying all sorts of things. Before I became a full-time artist, I was all IT with my nerdy degree in Computer Science and Math, so I’m deep into all the facets of AI. It gets pretty esoteric, but I’m leaning more toward the art side, naturally.

I decided to take 34 of my favorite Burning Man photos of art, vehicles, and structures and create something that doesn’t actually exist. You can see the source of all my photos there in my portfolio from the last 11 years in a row at the burn. I hope you also have fun finding some of the originals in my Burning Man portfolio.

Naturally, these took a very long time to capture and create. It’s challenging to get the composition I want along with the light, background, and all the other factors that make for an interesting photo. And I love how the AI “respected” (if I can use that word) my original color treatment and composition to create something entirely new that pays homage to the original.

After you do a little mind-flip on the benefits of AI, it’s like having a very creative assistant around you all the time, making wild suggestions that you may never think of. It’s like having a coach in a way… or the way Tiger Woods has a caddy to make suggestions… Many great people out there have coaches and listen to ideas and thoughts that may never have occurred to them.

In many cases, to be honest, the AI made things that are even more interesting! There are still little problems if you zoom in close, but these niggling things will only get better over time. It’s quite bad still at creating new tiny humans in the image, but when zoomed out, the surrealistic effect still works. I think it especially works on my style which is already pretty surrealistic to begin with.


































Wild, eh?!
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In the Dust

Daily Photo – In the Dust

It was a tough year at Burning Man for many people, and not just including the weather. There’s a good article by Buck Down that kind of breaks it down on Medium entitled, “What the Fuck Just Happened at Burning Man?”
Here is another of Michael Benisty’s in the middle of the beautiful storm.

In the Dust

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2022-09-05 12:27:53
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/800
  • Aperture5
  • ISO50
  • Focal Length105.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Alone In the Desert

Daily Photo – Alone In the Desert

One great thing about a zoom lens like this 70-200mm for landscape photography is it allows this nice effect called “compression,” where you can do effects like this. The technique brings in the two layers of sand dunes from beyond and make them look more dramatic. I kept a little bit of light on the back sand dune to give a clue that I didn’t just Photoshop in a darker background. I don’t do that sort of thing, even though I could.

Deadvlei, Namibia

Alone In the Desert

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2014-09-25 19:07:16
  • CameraILCE-6000
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length138.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Infinity of Tokyo

Daily Photo – The Infinity of Tokyo

After Google hosted me for a huge PhotoWalk, we ended at this Italian restaurant atop a building in Harajuku. There were over a hundred people inside at the party. I gave a speech about the effects of Japanese ukiyo-e woodblock prints on the Impressionist movement and how this tradition now continues as we all influence one another.

Right after that, I discovered there was a huge balcony out the side door with an amazing view of the city! I went out there with Vic Gundotra, Bradley Horowitz and a few others to grab a shot of the view.

Harajuku, Tokyo, Japan

The Infinity of Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2013-10-03 11:17:16
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture4
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length15.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1.7

Shanghai in the Rain

Weird bug today … so if you see this text twice, sorry! 😀
Here’s a photo of Shanghai on a rainy evening that I recently re-processed with Luminar Neo (this is not a paid post – I don’t do those). I’ve been using it a ton lately and trying to wean my way off of Lightroom. I still keep my master library of 800,000 photos in there, so I kind of have a foot in both camps. If you are confused by this, then you should be in my brain where confusion also abounds.

Daily Photo – Shanghai in the Rain

Shanghai in the Rain

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-06-23 01:38:23
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/20
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO800
  • Focal Length17.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Gaia

Daily Photo – Gaia

Marco Cochrane’s “Gaia” on another 100+ degree day… He’s one of my fave artists out there for sure.

Gaia

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2022-09-03 09:51:16
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/2500
  • Aperture6.3
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length32.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The New Machine Elf

I previewed it the other day and here is the final version! Machine Elf 100 – The Pineal… in 360/VR so you can grab the video and look all around or just sit, ideally with headphones on, in full screen and just let it take you on the journey!

Robot Heart at Sunset

Daily Photo – Robot Heart at Sunset

Robot Heart at sunset as I was rolling around taking photos. I spent most of the sunsets out there by myself, zipping from art piece to art piece and getting as many photos as I could. It’s easy to get distracted out there by things like Robot Heart though!

Robot Heart at Sunset

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2022-09-02 13:37:25
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/200
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Monolink – Live

This year at the Mayan Warrior I got to see my fave Monolink play… now the whole set is up… maybe you’ll like it too – Check it out on YouTube: