Similar to Around the World in Eighty Days, an iconic French novel that charts the adventures of protagonist Phileas Fogg, photographer Trey Ratcliff set out to circle the globe—stopping at 80 of our top properties along the way. Here, he shares his most epic images from Asia, America, and beyond.
One of Ratcliff’s many talents is his ability to make people stop and stare at the world from a new point of view, which is exemplified by this photo of towering apartment buildings in Hong Kong. “I like to purposely confuse people,” he says. “I leave enough clues so that people can figure out what it is they’re seeing, but I think that the mind actually likes a mystery.” While Ratcliff did hours of research to find the unique location captured here, he says some of the best views can be seen from The Ritz-Carlton, Hong Kong. Enjoy the twinkling lights of this bustling metropolis from Ozone, a rooftop bar that takes cocktail hour to new heights.
“Photography has taught me to be very mindful, present, and Zen,” says Ratcliff. He waited an hour and a half to capture this misty and magical shot of the Arashiyama Bamboo Grove in Kyoto, Japan. “You have to be patient, especially in nature, and just watch things go by without judgment.” After spending the day snapping photos, Ratcliff says there’s nothing like retiring to The Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto. “It has all the hallmarks of home, but you still feel like you’re in Japan,” he adds. “That feeling of security makes you a bit more adventurous when you’re out in the wild.”
“It occurred to me when I was walking around Manhattan that New Yorkers rarely look up,” says Ratcliff. “They typically look straight ahead or down at their phones.” Using his assistant as a guide to ensure he didn’t bump into bustling crowds or “step into a manhole,” Ratcliff spotted this mesmerizing shot. “A lot of people think that this photo is fake, but it’s 100% real,” he explains. After running around the Big Apple, Ratcliff likes to unwind at the bar at The Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park with his laptop and glass of pinot noir. “At the end of the day, it’s important for me to have some closure,” he explains. “This daily routine brings me a bit of solace in the storm.”
“Trust your gut and trust your eye. Don’t upload pictures just to get a lot of likes—that’s nonsense. Share your own lens on the world.”