The randomly selected winner is Iain, who I hope doesn’t mind if I plug his website at Emptiful, which was embedded in his comment registration. I though this byline was kind of nice – it reads “photoblog of Iain Simmons: amateur husband, amateur photographer…”
Mostly Photo – Going Commando
I recorded this a few weeks ago, but I never posted it… I don’t know why! So, here it is… On this episode, Leo Laporte, Lisa Bettany and I talked about what kind of camera to get for entry-level DSLRs, the advantages/concerns of upgrading, and other general photography talk.
Daily Photo – Sad and Alone at Night
On one of my first evenings in Beijing, I walked around some of the older parts of the city to get a feel for it. Whenever I have extra time in a city, I usually don’t go too hardcore with the photography initially – choosing instead to explore on foot and get a sense of the place. But, you know, I do have my camera with me to get a few things here and there…just can’t help it. Between a few streets, I came across this little guy sitting on the seat of a small motorcycle.
What’s your favorite way to make online Slideshows? There are so many tools available. I was just thinking about this with my China photos — I used Animoto to make one of a few of my favorite portfolio pieces — that one is up on the Animoto Review page. I’m going to do one in a few months with all my China photos too.
Daily Photo – Cart Runners in Old Beijing
There are many old pockets scattered all over Beijing. I haven’t become totally familiar with all the names of these quadrants yet, but I should get another chance to re-visit all these places. This is actually kind of a weakness in the whole “travel blog” thing. See, a REAL travel blogger would memorize the names of all these places and spout them back to you. But, here is my excuse… and maybe it is not really that bad… but, to me, this kind of photo could be taken in many different places. The exact neighborhood does not matter. In fact, by NOT telling you the spot, you may be more likely to find it just by wandering about.
These uniformed guys sat together in between jobs and had a rest. I don’t know what struck me about it, but it just seemed like a nice little moment.
This guy is awesome! He presented at EG with me, and he was in my little grouping of artists. It’s hard to explain the kind of art he does… but here is a little video and you can learn more about him and his work.
Daily Photo – Young Girl in Basket
The main river that runs through Feng Huang and is criss-crossed by many bridges and walkways. To get up to them, there are long stone stairways that switchback up the sides.
In the mornings, women go down to the river with their children to wash clothes. As they go back and forth to get more loads, sometimes they put the babies into the baskets on the way up again.
Normally, I do one new photo a day, but today I wanted to do ten of them! Something a bit different to keep things fresh, perhaps!
So, when I was in Iceland, I went to visit my friend Helga Kvam who lives on a fjord in the far north near a town called Akureyri. She lives in a farmhouse right up against the water. Helga was with her long-time boyfriend Völundur Jónsson, who is also a photographer. Even though they live in a beautiful place, I don’t think they ever take it for granted… this is a nice side-benefit of being a photographer. You can read more about them on their About page on their website.
I slept in their basement one day, and woke up in time for dinner time (I stay awake all night to take photos and sleep during the day). Völundur and Helga were hard at work making a fantastic meal! I pulled out my camera and took some photos of the evening, so I can share it with here below.
If you’d like to see some other photos I took in and around this area, check the Iceland category!
Völundur is outside getting the grill ready. The weather was perfect and Helga opened the windows so we could smell everything. You can see the fjord behind Völundur...
Helga, for being a photographer, is very shy about having her photo taken! So I took this one of her sitting with her nephew in the window sill, as they watched the food cook outside.
While dinner is cooking, Helga's nephew goes outside to play and shows me where he built his tree house earlier in the day.
He prepared a ton of amazing and fresh food. I think the only time they get to cook outside is the summer, and they take full advantage of it.
Helga was telling me about what things have been like after the economic crisis in Iceland recently. She said people have gotten back to the basics, and she knitted these gloves for herself. I tried to convince her to make finger-flapped knit gloves for photographers and I would help her promote on the website! But I don't think I convinced her...
Her house has all sorts of nice details and colors. Even before I met her, I knew she was very into rich textures and colors.
Helga and Völundur go into her kitchen to make last-minute preparations for dinner.
This meat was incredibly tasty and tender. I won't tell you what it was... since people often seem overly judgmental (or stuck in customs, the second meaning of the blog that few people ever get).
Fresh vegetables on skewers. They tasted as good as they look.
And for dessert, we had these insane bacon-wrapped dates. These things are amazing. I did find them one other place -- at a tapas restaurant in San Antonio. But anyway, stay on the lookout for these things!
This month on HDRSpotting.com, we are giving away a free Drobo! We are still in beta as we add features, and I do not give out invite codes (by design – to save me some sanity…not that it helps, everyone asks anyway). But, there are many codes out there form existing members. There are also some floating around inside the HDR groups on Flickr and Facebook, I believe. Good luck to you all, and I hope you win a Drobo!
Can anyone help me fix the new “Like” problem on Stuck In Customs? Right now, when you “Iike” one of the daily posts here on the blog, it automatically puts a thumbnail on your Facebook wall. BUT, that thumbnail is always that green “FREE VIDEOS” (or perhaps another one) thumbnail, which is not right. And it looks lame, like a spammy-advertising thing, which it certainly is not. Anyway, how do we fix this?
Daily Photo – The Shaft
Casa Batlló on Passeig de Gracia is one of the most awesome places in the world. My camera was very happy (and me, by extension).
This is one of Antoni Gaudi’s masterpieces. That guy is amazing… It was certainly on my list to visit before the trip, and I did not really have enough time to spend there. And, I couldn’t use the tripod, but I don’t want to get into that discussion…just too frustrating.
“The Shaft” runs up the center of the casa. It reminds me of how each floor was a completely different visual experience. Taking photos in here was a challenge… I wanted to do the place justice.
Coming up this Sunday is the PhotoWalk here in Austin! It’s a family-friendly event, so feel free to bring your kids and this sort of thing. We’re just walking together in one big group through the streets of Austin, having a good old time.
So, today’s photo is Jack Horner, the famous paleontologist (dinosaur-guy). He’s also speaking at the EG Conference in Monterey with me. The tickets are a little pricey (about $4,000 per person), and I think there are some remaining on the conference website.
Daily Photo – Jack Horner De-choppering
This is another picture from that mysterious ranch in Montana that I hint at from time to time. The only way to get there is a 3 to 4 hour horse ride or to take a private helicopter over the Rockies… it descends into a secret green valley… something right out of Galt’s Gulch.
Every few days, new guests arrive and depart. And, on this day, the chopper brought in the great Jack Horner. He’s one of those guys that’s awesome and doesn’t even try to be. He just is. Later that night, he gave a talk in front of everyone about some of his new discoveries in the world of dinosaurs. It turns out that Triceratops and Torosaurus are the same dinosaur! Cool. He had shown me research a year earlier at his underground (literally) lab in Montana that rests underneath the dinosaur museum. He had huge computer screens showing the bone histology, and how it changes as the dinosaurs age. Very interesting stuff.
What do you think? Any feedback? It actually might be best to leave them on the YouTube page.
Free Photowalk Reminder
Want to join us in Austin for the PhotoWalk? It’s coming up during SXSW, and it’s gonna be great. Join the invite here.
The week of HDR Tips continues!
Today I’m talking about reflections, and new ways of planning for them in HDR situations. Rick Sammon has his new tip as well. For more, go see HDR Tip #2, along with links over to Rick’s blog.
I’ve always said there is no “right” way to make art, and I enjoy seeing other perspectives on it too — and I’m sure you’ll agree. Sometimes when I watch other people do things, I get a little confused and mistakenly see things. But I find that those mistakes make me think about things in a new way, so you never quite know where learning will take you.
Daily Photo – Tableau Vivant of California Dudes
I’ve had a nice ten days or so here in California. I started in LA, went up to San Francisco, then came back down here just before the Oscars. My agent invited me to some fancy-schmancy party in Hollywood. It was quite a problem to figure out what to wear to something like that. I felt like a girl. I mean, with the confused-about-what-to-wear thing… this is not something I usually think that much about.
It was interesting and fun. I didn’t even really fit in… here’s the basic conversation: “Are you a director?” No. “Are you an actor?” No. “Oh, you must be a producer!?” No.
But that night, I ended up staying at the Hotel California. I put a little photo there to the right… I found out I could check out any time I liked but…
And for our California photo below, here’s a bunch of guys that I guess have nothing better to do than walk around the beach all day with incredible bodies. Since I don’t have this, I can only rely on my personality, which frankly runs out after about five minutes.
This brand new 100+ page eBook from Joseph Linaschke (get it on Flatbooks) is amazing. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. It is just now available, and if you have a Canon camera, this has to be part of your world.
Joseph has really raised the bar on these eBooks. He’s making me look bad! Besides the length of the book, it’s full of great tips and ideas whether you just got your Canon or if you’ve had it for a while. Trust me – you’ll love it.
Daily Photo – The Love Locks in Paris
There is a little bridge in Paris – maybe you have heard of it – where starcrossed lovers visit. They bring tiny padlocks with them. Sometimes they are decorated, and sometimes they are just fanciful. They affix them to the bridge that overlooks the Seine. Now, the bridge has thousands of these little love locks… It’s all very nice, and perfect for some low f-stop photography, of course!
Justin Arthur invited me downtown to be on the Beyond 6th podcast
Beyond 6th Podcast
The crew at a local podcast here in Austin called “Beyond 6th” invited me down a few weeks ago to sit in. It was a laid back discussion… cool people — happy to know them! It was strange because they had me read the “intro” — it was unexpected but I did my best! hehe… Click on the link there to have a listen.
Young Schoolgirl Returning Home in Tokyo
One thing I recommend to travelers as they go from point A to point B in an unpredictable manner. Whenever I want to hit an exact location, I tell the taxi to drop me off a few kilometers from the destination. Either that, or I exit the subway early. I then meander my way from street to street and feel my way to the final location. Usually, by taking these unpredictable paths, I end up seeing a lot of things that would have been left unseen.
That is how I found this little schoolgirl in Tokyo. I ended up on a busy street in the late afternoon, just as kids were running back to their homes.
? Control each effect with a granular slider! (See Screenshot Right)
? Moving the slider will change the effect of the texture using overlay, hardlight, luminosity, the texture itself, or other methods depending on the nature of each unique effect
? Add and layer multiple effects with new “Add Effect” button!
? Add favorites right from the My Creation screen (see upper right of the My Creation screen)
? Hi-res cropping after you take a photo
? Also hi-res cropping after you select an existing photo from your library
? iOS 4.2 – Now you can Print! Via Share to AirPrint
? Optimizations to share to Facebook, Twitter, and Flickr
? B&W effect moved into first 10 effects
? Re-organized interface so that “Back” is always in the upper left
? Updated scoring feedback indicators
? Added new text to Effect #1 after you begin to “Add Effects” – now it says, “Original image with new effects”
? Removed “extra” pre-populated words when sharing to Facebook, Flickr, or Twitter. Now it just says, “My latest creation”
? Opt out of GameCenter whenever you click “Cancel” three times when it asks you to log in
? Increased rate with which the effect text fades from the My Creation screen
? “Saving” popup has been properly centered on the My Creation screen
? Adjusted GUI on Options screen
? Added user feedback when “Crop Image” is selected on Options screen
New Promo Video
I made a new version of the video that shows off the slider, multiple effects, and more. If you saw the previous video, then it’s not all that different except for those bits!
Daily Photo – The Orsay
One of my favorite museums! I’m a huge fan of Impressionism, and this museum has an amazing collection. It also houses one of the most famous paintings by Manet – Le dejeuner sur l’herbe (Wikipedia). I’ve always heard about and studied this painting, so it was of particular interest to me. When I saw it in person, it was absolutely striking… I did not expect to have a reaction like that.
Well, you aren’t supposed to take photos in here, but I just can’t help it. I think the rule is silly and somewhat insulting to he artist in me. I remember studying the Impressionists… Manet himself would come into museums and paint… so what is the difference? Nothing… I think my Impressionist heroes are looking down on me and smiling for defying such a silly rule. In this case, I did not use a tripod (would have been a bit obvious). So I cranked up the ISO on my camera to keep everything sharp. Also, I set my F stop at 2.8, which keeps a scene like this in focus when you’re using a wide angle lens, since everything is effectively at infinity.