Stopping for Lunch at the Emerald Lake in the Andes (and a new photo-sharing thing)

We started the hike before the sun came up. It was really cold, so I was dressed in layers. People always give you very silly advice. Actually, whenever anyone tells me to “dress in layers”, I always find it very condescending! Why is that? I don’t know why that bothers me. I mean, OF COURSE dress in layers. Oh, you mean, if I get too hot, I can just take off a layer? Oh, brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that? Well… This is a concept everyone is already familiar with, so whenever anyone tells you to “dress in layers”, try not to let it annoy you as much as it does me.

Anyway, after removing many layers, since I was burning hot after the first five minutes from carrying 50 lbs of camera equipment over the Andes, we stopped at this mountain lake to relax and have a quick lunch. It was a good chance to drop off the bag, put together my camera and tripod, then break it all down again, repack, and get back on the hike.

Also, we have a fun new features opening today on the site. It’s a great and simple way for you to share photos on Facebook, Twitter, Email, or IM. You can probably see it when you mouseover a photo… I think it will be a good way for regular viewers to easily share the photos with their friends and family! Below is a short video showing how to use it (even though it’s pretty dang simple!). Again, the more you share, the better it is for the site… so thanks again, very much!

Stopping for Lunch at the Emerald Lake in the Andes (and a new photo-sharing thing)

The Abandoned Harrods in Buenos Aires

There are parts of Buenos Aires that are not too safe to walk around by yourself.  This part was not so bad, but there were several abandoned stores around, including this Harrods.  I was surprised to see such a nice store in a state of disrepair, especially after visiting its Valhalla-like anchor in London.

Out front, there was a man playing the violin alone.  It echoed around in a strange way through the acoustics of the tile, the roof, and the lonely streets.  There was a Argentine rhythm he mixed into his playing that really made me feel like I was in a different place.

The Abandoned Harrods in Buenos Aires

Industrial Storage in Houston

On the drive back from Houston to Austin, I pulled over to a small town just outside the sprawl. One of them had a bunch of old industrial tanks, pipelines, towers, chutes, and other mysterious bits and pieces. The light was getting just about right, so I started walking around to explore it with my tripod. I set up here and fired away.

Industrial Storage in Houston

The Blue Storm Over Denver International Airport

The TSA never liked me and I didn’t expect them to start on this day.

I have a general distaste for their attitude, their silly policies where they search grannies for show, and their little uniforms meant to quell the suspicions of a doting public who will succumb to authority with nary a question.

So, I was surprised when I was able to charm a new female TSA employee into letting me onto the tarmac to take a photo of the storm. I was down at the end of one of the terminals catching a little plane to fly over the Rockies. A major storm was brewing in the middle of the sunset, and there was no good shot from inside the terminal. Anyway, I went out there, with the permission of that one gal… then started shooting until another TSA guy came over with a much more important uniform, scowling away. That was a short conversation. No worries everyone, your government is protecting you from people like me.

The Blue Storm Over Denver International Airport

The Park in Buenos Aires

I didn’t get enough sunsets in BA, but I tried to make the most of what I had!  This picturesque park was enormous.  And I mean enormous.  We walked for miles before finding our final destination, which we made it to just in the nick of time.  The parks of Buenos Aires were pretty much what I imagined… the Argentineans stroll around parks with a certain sense of style.  It’s hard to explain…but kinda cool.

Also, Jim Austin has written a nice article about HDR for Apogee Photo Magazine entitled “Symphony in a Moment: HDR Nature Photography from Eight Maestros”. Very nice of him to call me a maestro – not sure I deserve that! The photo he included (“A Razor to the Sky”) I have put below… of that amazing mountain range called Fitz Roy. The way to catch that orange-pink morning light was to hike up another mountain in pitch-black conditions. It was certainly worth it, traversing the icy crest, catching that glimpse of the sun coming over the horizon of the Andes.

The Park in Buenos Aires

A Razor to the Sky

The NORAD of ABC in Austin

When I went up to have an interview in the ABC Newsroom here in Austin, a gentleman there named Ed Sparks was nice enough to take me back to the inner sanctum.  Ed is a frequent here in the community (hi Ed!) and quite the camera enthusiast.  Before and after my live appearance (from a few weeks ago), he took me back into this control room so I could set up for a shot.  As usual, I’ve uploaded the full-res version so you can see all the little details in the room. To see the full-res version, just click on the photo to go to the Flickr site. Click on “All Sizes” at the top of the photo. Last, click on “Original”.

They explained to me how the room worked and how everything was customizable.  The crew can pull in whatever feeds they need and position them on the screen accordingly.  They even can save templates, since each producer that comes in and out during the day can have their own setup.  It was quite fascinating to watch these guys operate in precision…   I had to catch myself and remember to take photos, since I would sorta stare at the screens at get mesmerized for a bit!

The NORAD of ABC in Austin

The Massive Glacier at Dusk

This is the Perito Moreno Glacier that empties into Lago Argentina. It was simply awesome to be there, as you can plainly see.

I was there with a bunch of Russians who had brought an insane amount of cognac. Between shots, they would all drink cognac, yell, and try to bring down the next ice wall. We were the only ones there, and we stayed until the last moments of dark to eek out every last bit of light from the sky.

Also, I wanted to point you to an article over at Abduzeedo yesterday about the new book. It was written by good man Paulo Canabarro (his Twitter account here). You can also follow @Abduzeedo if you are looking for another good set of Tweets. I notice that people that complain about Twitter always have the same sort of complaints: “I don’t want to know when everyone is standing in line at Starbucks!” Well, then, I say, you are following the wrong people! Once you get 50-100+ people to follow, it becomes a nice source for information, fun, and inspiration. It might take a while to build your personalized list, but then you will be hooked. (I am @TreyRatcliff, in case ya didn’t know).

The Massive Glacier at Dusk

Pulling into the Austin Motel after dark

This is a classic motel here in Austin.  It’s on South Congress, and one of many examples of unique neon in the city.  It looks positively phallic (if that wasn’t in your head, it was now, excuse the pun) and you just can’t miss it when you’re driving down the street.

There is a long and rich history, starting even before when it became a hotel in 1938.  One thing I remember as a kid (and still hear now from the backseat), is that my primary feature in any Texas motel was a swimming pool.  I understand they still have a kidney-shaped one out back.

As you can tell, I’ve been working my way around Austin, doing my best to grab some of the classic spots.  It takes a lot of time, because the conditions aren’t always perfect.  I like the sky and everything to be just about right…  but, sometime by the end of the year, I should have the major spots of interest captured!

The Austin Motel

The Attack of the Triceratops

The triceratops definitely falls into one of those “Top 5” dinosaurs of my youth. Now there are so many, I hardly know where to begin. I go through my son’s dinosaur books and I am shocked at how many different names there are. I can’t keep track of all that. Plus, the names are kinda rough. Each one seems to have over seven syllables.

This was shot at the Museum of the Rockies in Bozeman. It’s one of the top dinosaur museums in the world and the curator is Jack Horner. I was lucky enough to get a personal tour through it with Jack… he showed me all kinda of secret stuff throughout. Awesome! I have another friend up there named Dr. David Sands who actually found one of the triceratops that is in the museum. I can’t imagine finding something that big… If I did, I think I’d tell everyone I know the first time I met them. Hi, I’m Trey, I found a Triceratops!

I also made a new page here on the site in tribute of my favorite photographer, Edward Curtis. I mentioned him in a recent interview and it occurred to me people may not know who he is! So, I put together a grouping of some of my favorite photos of his. Be sure you read the bit about his ex-wife.

Triceratops Attack

Exploring South America, a river from the Andes

This is probably one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I knew it was going to be pretty beforehand, but I wasn’t really prepared for the non-stop grandeur of the landscapes. We chose the perfect time to go, right in the middle of Autumn. The backpacking took about twice as long as expected. I couldn’t stop myself from holding up every few minutes to set up for another photo. It was irresistible!

In other news, I’ve cleaned up and updated the “About Me” page here on the site. That thing gets longer and longer… I’m sure it looks like I’m some kind of egomaniac! Hehe… but people keep asking me the same sorts of questions over and over, so it’s kind of grown organically over time. Plus, my publisher was asking for a photo for the back cover of the book. We’re leaning towards that first one… they kind of like the little story that was related to it (which, in turn, is related to this photo!).

Exploring South America

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