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Ginzan Onsen

Ginzan Onsen How-To on Passport Sunday

If you’re a passport member, then today you get my newest video I just made in Japan about the creation of photos from this location:

Ginzan Onsen

Bridge Crossing in Ginzan Onsen

Ginzan Onsen How-To

Here’s some of the behind the scenes and my thoughts on composition and story-telling around these shots. And, thanks again for being a Passport member! Btw, hint hint… it’s a good gift to get for a friend! 🙂

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Interview about How to Stay Zen on Social Media at Google

The new book is still doing great on Amazon so thanks for that! If you don’t have your copy yet, now is a great time to grab it! Or even get one for a friend!

When I was out in San Francisco a few weeks ago, I was invited to do an interview about the topics in the book with Bradley Horowitz. It was a really fun conversation, and I bring it to you thusly!

Behind the Scenes of my New Book – Part 2

Here’s a behind-the-scenes video about the making of the book. As with most projects, they are way more involved than I can anticipate. I always KNOW this going into a project… that it will be a lot more work than I think, but it never ceases to surprise me when I think I am 90% done, but I’m only 50% done!

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Kyoto Travel and Tip Video

Hi Passport Members!

If you’re a Stuck In Customs Passport Member, today you get a super-cool travel tip video from Kyoto!

Here’s a few of my favorite photos from that area for you! 🙂


Two Women In Kyoto

The Golden Pavilion (or Kinkaku-ji for my new Japanese friends)This is one of the most famous temples in Kyoto, so of course I had to go.  It's sort of like going to the Eiffel Tower in Paris or Rudy's BBQ in Austin.It was originally built back in 1397 and has been destroyed and rebuilt several times.  The building itself is as meticulous as the gardens around it.  The Japanese really know how to tend a garden!  There was a fleet of workers all over the grounds, sweeping up and rearranging little bits here and there.  It was all very quaint and wonderful.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

A Monk In Kyoto

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.

Kyoto Travel and Tip Video

I hope you’ve been enjoying these RATHER high-quality videos we’ve been making recently. I really wanted to thank the team for making it all happen. Here are more tips, tricks, and mind-vitamins from Japan… this time, Kyoto!

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The Owl Cafe

I don’t actually like this place, so I am not sure why I am posting a photo. Well, I guess it is to honor how awesome this owl looks! When Ethan and I were in Tokyo, we decided to go to an “Owl Cafe.” There are all sorts of cafes all over the city where you can dine with all sorts of animals. It took us forever to find this place, and we had to walk up about six flights of some pretty sketchy stairs. We were instructed to wait outside until our “seating time.” We stood out there looking at a bunch of other Japanese owl-seekers, whom all seemed pretty excited.

Finally, the door opened and we were ushered in. It wasn’t a cafe at all unless you consider humans feeding owls the goopy entrails of mice to be a cafe. We each got a little apple juice carton like we were in kindergarten. There was a small green circle sticker on it. They instructed us to take the green circle sticker and put it on the wall to signify our favorite owl. I voted for this one, which already had about 500 stickers… but there was this one really ugly owl that was not even close to symmetrical. It had only three stickers. It was both super sad, and I was wondering what three crazy people would vote for that owl.

Anyway, I don’t recommend going to an owl cafe… I thought the owls would be happier or get to fly around some big awesome owl Disneyland or something, but I was wrong.

Trey Ratcliff - StuckInCustoms.com - Creative Commons Noncommercial contact licensing@stuckincustoms.com

What the F-Stop? In Okinawa

In the spirit of today’s post about Japan, here’s a video I made about F-Stop when I was in Okinawa. BTW, Okinawa is ALMOST like a different country than Japan… many different customs, food, drinks, and even weather. Also, people in Okinawa are some of the longest-lived people in the world.

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Behind the Scenes of my New Book

Inside info in the new book… The Making Of…

Now, this may have NO interest to you at all… because it’s not even about photography… it’s about the creation process of a book. My new book, actually… so, today, for you Passport members, you get to see my towards the end-cycle of a random creative endeavor!

Passport – Book Behind the Scenes Part 1

And now for something COMPLETELY different. I’m always trying new things… I think this is very important to keep the brain plastic and always learning. I’ve never written a book of this nature before, so here is some of the behind-the-scenes stuff of the things I was working through with the book. Enjoy!

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The Chaos of Tokyo

For Passport Members, as special Tokyo Travel Vid Full of Tips!

If you’re a Passport member then today you get one of the coolest videos I’ve ever made! It took about a week to make this, shooting all over Tokyo, and I hope you enjoy it!

Awesome Tokyo Video!

Here’s a special treat for you! You get to follow me around Tokyo for a while and find out more about my mission there, creating order from the chaos!

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Daily Photo – The Chaos of Tokyo

Here’s one of the photos we’ll be releasing in Series 2 of the fine art collection. It’s one of my favorites of Tokyo because you can’t really tell it’s Tokyo!

The Chaos of Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-11-03 01:10:21
  • CameraX1D
  • Camera MakeHasselblad
  • Exposure Time6
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length45.0 mm
  • Flash
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias-4/3

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My Favorite Image from Shirakawa-go

Fun Passport Sunday Behind the Scenes

If you’re a Passport Member then today you get to see about a 10 minute video of my time here in Shirakawa-go, Japan. I talk about the shots I’m trying to get, my travel pains, my travel pleasures, and other various tips and tricks. I hope you enjoy!

A Walk Around Shirakawa-go

This was a last-second idea to make this video in Shirakawa-go, Japan. I was having so much fun… I was totally alone, and then I thought, hey, why not bring the Passport members along with me on this little adventure! Anyway, here ya go… a lot of stream of consciousness in here, but I hope you like it! 🙂

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Daily Photo – My Favorite Image from Shirakawa-go

Here’s my overall favorite photo from this area! If you watched the Passport video, then you’ll have a bit of perspective on what went into the shot.

My Favorite Image from Shirakawa-go

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-02-14 21:26:17
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/6
  • Aperture7.1
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length24.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias+2

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Afternoon Walk in Moscow

Russia Highlight Video

Below is the highlight video from our photo walk in Moscow… it was a great way to end the event. If you look closely, there were two undercover marines following me for protection.

A Week in Dusky Sound

Here’s a fun video that shows a boat I was living on for about a week with some friends down in the fjordlands of New Zealand. What a great time we all had! I also recommend this a fun guy trip to anyone. I think everyone pitched in around $800 bucks or so. You get a captain and a chef and basically an unlimited week of freedom!

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Daily Photo – Afternoon Walk in Moscow

We were all pretty tired by the time we made it to the last stop in our 10-country tour of Europe a few years ago. But there’s something about being a new city that gives me a little boost of energy! So I tried to use every possible calorie left in my body to see as much as I could… this is the view from one of the bridges as you approach the Red Square.

Afternoon Walk in Moscow

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-06-03 11:56:44
  • CameraILCE-7RM2
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/1250
  • Aperture4.5
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length44.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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In Sir Michael Hill’s Home

Passport Sunday Fun

If you’re a Passport Member, you’ll see a little video on how I make these photos below. It’s a simple trick. Well, kinda simple. And, this trick doesn’t always work, so I show a good workaround!

By the way, if you want to know more about the Fine Art series, visit www.TreyRatcliff.com.

Some of these photos below are newly printed and on display in downtown Queenstown at SLOW. Stop by and have a look!


Copyright Trey Ratcliff www.StuckInCustoms.com

Copyright Trey Ratcliff www.StuckInCustoms.com

Copyright Trey Ratcliff www.StuckInCustoms.com

Copyright Trey Ratcliff www.StuckInCustoms.com

Copyright Trey Ratcliff www.StuckInCustoms.com

Copyright Trey Ratcliff www.StuckInCustoms.com

Taking photos of photos

I don’t get a chance to see all my art hangings, but whenever I do, I often set up to take a photo of the photo. I think it’s interesting to share how people place these in their living or working areas. They read much differently when they are huge in large format. For some reason, even though I think I am above a mediocre photographer, I can never quite capture a photo of the photo, so I need to do a little photoshop action to recreate the scene!

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Daily Photo – In Sir Michael Hill’s Home

And here’s one of my favorite photos (now sold out) hanging in Sir Michael Hill’s home.

In Sir Michael Hill’s Home

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2018-08-18 11:44:18
  • CameraILCE-7RM3
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length12.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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Over Tokyo

Book Re-Recommendation

Be sure to check out my Kit.com and see the section on books! I wanted to recommend, once again, “How to Change Your Mind” by Michael Pollan. Of all the people I recommend it to, 100% of people come back to me with very interesting thoughts!

Experimenting with a new Photoshop feature…

The 2019 Version of Photoshop has a few new features. I like to play with all this stuff just to keep my brain a bit “plastic” and always trying new things. Most of the features in Photoshop are not that useful to me, but these new content-aware options are pretty slick! Check ’em out!

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Daily Photo – Over Tokyo

Here’s one of my new favorite kind of drone photos: a photo of a city where you can’t see the skyline. I like this because you can’t quite work out what city it is. I notice when people look at my portfolio, they are always quite ready to guess (or know) what city it is. Actually, I’d probably be the same way… but now I find it interesting to purposefully confuse people.

Over Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2019-01-26 19:27:46
  • CameraFC2204
  • Camera MakeDJI
  • Exposure Time1/8
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO400
  • Focal Length4.4 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramProgram AE
  • Exposure Bias+0.3

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