“I think people can uncover this secret virtual world underneath everything simply by engaging more creatively with the photos they take.”

Today we sit down with Trey Ratcliff, a futurist, photographer, filmmaker, and the man behind the world’s number one travel photography site, StuckInCustoms.com, where Trey focuses on not only the imaginatively realistic travel photos he takes and shares daily, but the stories behind them.

He’s overcome blindness in one eye to become an astoundingly talented photographer, and a pioneer in High Dynamic Range, or HDR, photography, and whose works now hang at the Smithsonian Institute.

Among a number of other projects, sites, and apps, Trey also founded The Arcanum, a private institution to teach artists in the digital age using technology to exist in a sort of augmented reality / mega-multiplayer online game / measured creative community hybrid-thing. And even though it’s not completely travel related, we get into his plans for the platform.

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What We Cover:

  • How travel inspired Trey into a creative life of travel, photography, and creativity.
  • How taking a creative approach towards your travel photography can help you get more from your travel experience, enhance your memories of the places you’ve been, better share the “feeling” of the places you’ve been, and expose and connect others to the world.
  • HDR photography, what it is and why Trey went looking for it before it went mainstream.
  • How the human race is becoming more and  more connected, like a super organism and how travel relates to this.

Words from an Explorer:

“If you can communicate the sense of a place to a people who aren’t there, this is a wonderful thing.”

“I would just get lost and time would slip away like mist in the morning and I think when you’re losing track of time, you’re really living.”

Explore Further:


Featured photo by Trey Ratcliff

Music Credit: Intrepid Journey, by Aaron Static

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I’m a lifelong international traveler, the host of The Travelers podcast, and founder of Holocene, a framework and community for writing the story of your life using travel and creativity.