Another Smithsonian Winner, some upcoming appearances, and a new photo of Rockefeller center

Why are my blog titles getting so long? Sorry about that… I guess with one post per day, sometimes there is a lot to squeeze in!

So, a few days ago I received a letter from the Smithsonian saying that I have another one in the running for the 6th Annual Photo Contest!  Cool!  Two years ago, I had 2 winners in the 4th Annual Photo Contest , and one of those ended up hanging in the Smithsonian castle in DC.  I know a few of you out there got to see it on road trips – maybe we can make another pilgrimage this year!.  I didn’t win anything last year in the 5th annual contest…  It was a bad year for me, what can I say?

The one that is in the finalist pool this year is the Times Square one that I have placed below.  Just below that, I have placed a NEW photo of Rockefeller Center that I have been working on over the weekend.  I hope you like it.

I will be speaking in Austin, Texas next week at the Digital Photography SIG on Thursday night, Feb 26 (next week).  It’s free to come – please do – I’d be happy to meet you in person!  I’ll be talking about photography and going through a tutorial.  If you are in Central Texas, be sure to stop by — it should be a good time!

Also, over the weekend, I was interviewed at the Pro Photography Show, which is a podcast that should be made available in the next few weeks.  I will be sure to put a link to it here whenever it goes live.

_Photo Contest Letter.qxp:Layout 1 - Google Viewer

Times Square at Dusk

Another Smithsonian Winner, some upcoming appearances, and a new photo of Rockafeller center (by Stuck in Customs)

Top 10 Twitter to follow for February, and a new photo of Dallas

I have this promise here to upload one new unique photo per day.  This has turned out to be a bad promise, because I mess it up about 10 times a year.  Before you get to my daily shot (this one from a little-known flower market from the backside of Dallas), I wanted to do something a little different for those of you that are just getting on Twitter for the first time.

I’ll give you all a list of interesting photographers to follow.  If you guys have more suggestions, send me a message at @treyratcliff. Note this is not my list of top 10 photographers in the world… just cool people that make interesting Twitter updates.  I’ll try to make a new list every month or so…since it’s hard to get to know 50 people at once, I’ll roll them out slowly!

#1 – @stevesimon – This guy cracks me up.  I first heard him on the TWIP (This Week in Photography) Podcast.  He has a wonderful sense of humor, and I generally agree with everything he says.  I’m putting him first on my list because I wish more photographers were like him.

#2 – @thomashawk – Who doesn’t know this guy?  He’s nice as heck, and his Type A personality keeps his overachievement in high-gear.  We’re also in agreement about many of the bad things about Flickr…  it’s so close to being an even better service!

#3 – @kk – Kris Krug is a great photographer.  There is something creative and nice about his work.

#4 – @scottbourne – I like Scott even though he made a snide comment about me on TWIP.  I was mentioned on their site of the week and he’s not much of a fan of Creative Commons, I can tell.  But he’s still a pretty nice guy and he takes great pics of birds.

#5 – @dcjill – The great Jill Greenberg!  She’s protected her updates… but maybe if we all request, she will give in and show us behind the wizard’s curtain.

#6 – @scottkelby – This is another guy everyone probably knows, especially if they watch Photoshop User TV.  I was looking for his sidekicks Matt and Dave on Twitter — anyone know their @’s?

#7 – @chasejarvis – An amazingly cool photographer.  You can tell he is cool just from his portfolio.

#8 – @mostlylisa – She’s a humble photographer that has a really nice net presence.  She also gave me the name of the guy that did her portfolio website, so I owe her one!

#9 – @jessicaclaire – Hey a wedding photographer!  She’s a cool gal with a nice sense of style about her photography.

#10 – @alexlindsay – He is smart as a whip and is very active on Twitter.  He’s one of those cool people to follow because you find out something that’s useful in real time!

Remember, if you have suggestions for next month’s list, be sure to leave them below or send me a twitter message!

Daily Photo: Downtown Dallas from the Flower Market

And finally… here is that photo of Dallas I promised.

Downtown Dallas from the Flower Market (by Stuck in Customs)

Welcome to the Ghost Town (and some things that inspire me)

The locals from the nearby settlements don’t like to call it a ghost town, but I hardly know what else to called the damned place.

I have a variety of photos from this eerie locale.  It turns out it was a failed development between Houston and Austin that is slowly crumbling into the ground.  There seemed to be a few Madmaxesque squatters in the distance muttering about, but they seemed kinda scary so I kept my distance.  Maybe it all felt a bit extra eerie because of the inclement weather as night fell.  I put on appropriately moody music on my iPod as I drifted around like a ghost to snap some photos.

I also added a new section here called “Things I’ve Found That Inspire Me“.  If you didn’t think I was weird before, you will after you see this page.  Sorry if some things on there are kinda strange… I don’t know how or where I found all these things, but I collect them like a digital antique shop.  It occurred to me on a whim that you guys might enjoy taking a gander at my bizarre menagerie.

The Town Was Never the Same (by Stuck in Customs)

Time for a little touch up?

Hey everyone knows that models that we see in magazines and the like get a little bit of touch up.  That’s no shocker…

A few days ago I was invited to this exclusive party full of models and photographers.  I was picturing a scene like in that episode of Seinfeld when George Costanza went to that secret party.  Well it was nothing like that.

It started with a little road trip with some photographer friends… and, well… more after the link… but we ended up talking a lot about Portraiture.  I decided to give it a whirl, and so I whipped up a little Portraiture Review for you.  I think it’s great, and I am shocked it took me so long to give it a run.

In the review, you can read more about the process and the software. You can also see the original photo, since people always seem to see the “Before” and “After” of these portrait shots! And, if you like modeling kinda shots, I have them mixed in this set here on Flickr, some of which are the product of my Textures Tutorial.

The PortraiturePortraiture

Grabbing some sushi in Vegas

This place is cool!

They have this huge video wall with a plexiglass 3D sculpture covering the surface, which causes all sorts of interesting angular distortion. It’s really tough to describe, but cool.

I’m reminded of one time in Korea when I went to eat sushi and something bad happened. I should have put this in my 25 Things from yesterday! Anyway… I went back to this special sushi place because I remembered the unagi (eel) at the buffet. They had none when I went back, so I asked the manager what happened. He was very apologetic and said he would have some specially made for me.

He asked how many eel I wanted, and I didn’t know what quantity to say, since I never really knew what percentage of an unagi a typical serving of sushi was.

So I told him 3. It turns out that 3 eels is a lot of food. (is there an s on the end of eel for a multitude of eel(s)?)

He brought me a heaping serving plate full of sushi. I felt so bad for making them do so much work, that I ate as much as I could. I consumed waaaay too much and passed out later that night in my bathroom, cutting my face open on the sink and waking up the next day in a small pool of sticky blood.

But I still love eating eel.

Below is a pic of Shibuya, the sushi restaurant in Vegas. Under that is an older shot from Seoul, taken during full consciousness.

Grabbing some sushi in Vegas (by Stuck in Customs)

Rush Hour went

Beautiful Austin at Sunset

I went downtown on Sunday night to work on some new drawings, and I was pretty sure that the gray clouds would not be conducive to shooting. But then, just as the sun dipped below the horizon, it tore through the city with bright pinks for about 10 minutes. I sped over to the other side of the Colorado River and jumped out for a quick shot. Luckily, I always keep the D3X in my car with me in case of a photo emergency like this.

In other news, I finally did that 25 Things thing that has been bouncing around Facebook. If you don’t have a Facebook account, I copied the 25 Things here to the site…

Beautiful Austin at Sunset (by Stuck in Customs)

A Church in the Snow

I was reminded of my time in Iceland because my friend Helga just tagged me in that 25 Things deal that is going around Facebook. I guess I have to do it now, eh? Helga, you have something to do for me too… a surprise for the readers here on the blog! So get on it…

In honor of that, I’ll post a photo from her home town, up in one of the northernmost fjords of Iceland in a small village called Akureyri. This is a little church that was sitting alone in the morning snow, after I woke up early to go out and do some exploration…

I’ll post that 25 things later today if I get around to it! :)

A Church in the Snow (by Stuck in Customs)

The Art Museum

Ahhh I love these places.  (and I know you do too!)

I tend to always gravitate to the western areas, and by that, I don’t mean the Cowboy & Indian paintings…  I’m on a hunt to see how many original Impressionist works I can see in my life.

My percentage is slowly increasing every year… not sure I will ever break 90% because there are a few in private collections, so I will need to befriend those collectors ASAP.  If any of you pal around with collectors, hook me up!

The Art Museum (by Stuck in Customs)

Contest Winner Announced, and Isabella chases a baby goat to celebrate!

Hey everyone! The crew over at HDR Max has decided on winners for their photography contest. The winner receives a brand new 15″ MacBook Pro! 2nd and 3rd place get full copies of the software.

  • 1st place – Justin Kern – Hall of the Mountain King
  • 2nd place - Tamara Bauer – Life Is All About Choices
  • 3rd place – John McCormack – Three Brothers

I was not the judge, but I know it was a hard choice because I did get to see all the finalists. Really amazing work out there! You can see the three photos on here on my site with the original post or at the HDR Max site.  The contest is over, but you can still get a free trial.  If you decide to order, use the HDR Max coupon code “Stuckincustoms” to get $20 off.

Also, if Justin, Tamara, and John contact me, I want to make sure it’s okay if I post their pics here on StuckInCustoms.com – thanks!

And to celebrate, I have chosen for today’s photo a fun shot of Isabella chasing a baby goat out near Horseshoe Bay, Texas.

Isabella chases a baby goat (by Stuck in Customs)

There’s a Pool Party at Sunset – Everyone Mark Your Chair With a Towel

Daily Photo – There’s a Pool Party at Sunset – Everyone Mark Your Chair With a Towel

I have the pool reserved for us all. Be sure to mark down what you’ll be bringing along (and if you are on Flickr mark your chair with a note!

I think pretty much all kinds of food and drink are welcome. I’ll bring a BBQ pit and an ambulance in case there are any problems. And I hope someone brings a boom box. Are they still called that? I don’t know. Maybe that means it will be a lame party because I don’t even know if they are called boom boxes any more, but I’m sure I’m not the only one that will bring a bit of 80’s music.

Swimming Pool in West Palm Beach Florida

There’s a Pool Party at Sunset – Everyone Mark Your Chair With a Towel

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/4.8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14mm (21mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

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