Halloween Every Day in Tokyo – Harajuku on Parade

Like any big city, Tokyo has many huge neighborhoods, each with their own personality. One of the quirkiest is an area called “Harajuku”. I don’t know if I can accurately describe it, but I’ll try!

It’s a place where the most outrageous of the outrageous congregate. You’ve probably seen those Japanese people that like to dress up like anime characters and the like. Well that’s kind of the starting point. It goes onward from there, with everything from girls covered in pink frills to goth men wearing gas masks. In fact, in that little video I made, you can see a pair of legs/shoes in differing colors that I shot in Harajuku. This guy below was with a group of extreme rockers that were parading around the streets. They all seemed to love having their photo taken… which was cool. I could have gone to that place every day to take photos… I’ve got some other crazy ones in the hopper too for the future!

Halloween Every Day in Tokyo - Harajuku on Parade

The Two Glacial Lakes of the Southern Andes (and our experiment with a Real-Time Community continues…)

This was a hard spot to reach!

It was quite a hike to get up here early in the morning, just as the sky was still in a dawn of deep blue. The two lakes on either side are those pure glacial blue lakes that you sometimes see from airplanes and wonder, “What’s it like to be down there?” I’ll tell ya – AWESOME! I went down there and drank from the lakes like a guanaco on holiday. It was incredible.

Now, a few days ago I started to “Connect the Community“. There are so many clever and interesting people in the community, and I thought you should meet on another! Anyway, it’s really taken off and people from the community are taking it in nice new directions – thanks!

It seems a great many of you are on Twitter, and many of us have created a “Stuck In Customs” group in Tweetdeck or Lists in Twitter. This enables me to sit there and watch/engage in a real-time stream of community activity. It’s cool! I updated that post with a 4-step guide on the creation of this real-time community. It’s very loosey-goosey… as any fun community is! Come in, engage, stay a while… drift off… create… come back and share… drift off… comon back… it’s good and natural!

(and our experiment with a Real-Time Community continues…)

The Two Glacial Lakes of the Southern Andes  (and our experiment with a Real-Time Community continues...)

Connecting the community, my Twitter strategy, and American Airlines at DFW

I thought, to commemorate this entry on connecting people, that I’d include a photo of an airplane from one of the busiest airports in the world – DFW in Dallas. This is the same plane that I flew to Tokyo on just recently. It was shot from high above in the Admiral’s Club. It was an awfully stormy day, and I was worried that maybe the flight wouldn’t go off on time! We were delayed a few hours… but that gave me plenty of time to set up all my equipment in there like dork!

You guys should meet! Put your info below!

We have a great community here, so I wanted to extend this optional invitation for you all to meet one another!

So, what’s your Twitter or Facebook or both? Put it in the comments below! I know many of you have friended or followed me — that’s great — but I think you should all connect with one other too! There are many people from various backgrounds and I think you all would find some unexpected connections! On FB, some people are open about friending (like me), but on Twitter, you can follow anyone without their consent.

When you put your Twitter or Facebook below in the comments, kindly put it in the web format so people can easily follow or find you (like http://www.twitter.com/TreyRatcliff or http://www.facebook.com/TreyRatcliff). I put an example below in the comments.

Edit:  A lot of names below, see here on how to follow them!

First, here is a Twitter list of the Stuck In Customs Community. I suggest you go through there and follow people!

Second, soon, Tweetdeck will release the ability for you to auto-import a list and make it a column. Don’t know what I mean? Go ahead and download Tweetdeck and start gettin’ the hang of it. I’ll update this post as soon as you can add a “List” as a column along with instructions.

What’s my Twitter strategy?

First, I use Twitter the “right” way. That is, I have taken time to carefully build, re-build, cull, and personalize a list of several hundred people to follow. These are people I have discovered that are interesting, inspirational, or just guilty pleasures. I look at Twitter several times a day to get new ideas, unexpected finds, and news from people that have similar tastes to mine.

Second, and less importantly, I use Twitter to filter the world for anyone curious enough to follow me. I try to keep a balance of: 33% inspirational and/or artistic finds that I share, 33% sharing of my own work with everyone, and 33% connecting people who should know one another! Oh, and 1% WILDCARD. At least, this is my goal! I may not always hit those ratios, but I do my best.

Last, here are 10 Things You Need to Stop Tweeting About ! It’s really funny… those of you that don’t like Twitter probably are:

1) Following people that are full of BS that do many things on that list
2) Or you don’t want to tell the world what you are doing (THAT is okay — but… you don’t have to tell people! You can still follow people you find interesting without even sending out a tweet.)
3) You have yet to realize Trey’s Twitter Truth: “Twitter is cool because it’s a nonstop party you don’t have to hang out in a small group of mostly annoying people.”

Connecting the community, my Twitter strategy, and American Airlines at DFW

The Restaurant in Tokyo that Inspired that crazy scene from Kill Bill

When I was in Tokyo, I had a great time out with Altus! He stayed with me here in Austin, and we were able to meet up for a fun time of photography out in Tokyo. That’s one of the BEST things about having a blog, I must say! It gives me the chance to meet all kinds of nice people like YOU that extend gracious invitations for photography!

After dark, Altus took me to this cool restaurant (btw, the original sized version has nice details on Flickr!) The manager was very nice and let us sit where we wanted and then a carte-blanche for taking photos. He asked if I would send him photos and if I charge… and I told him no… I do this stuff for fun! So, we have a smart and well-movied community here – who can tell me the name of this restaurant?

Peachpit definitely has the sample from my book up on their website now. Just click on “Sample Content” and you’ll be in good shape. There are some very good tips just in that 20 pages! 🙂

The Restaurant in Tokyo that Inspired that crazy scene from Kill Bill

The Lone Cypress – a drive down Highway 1 from San Francisco to San Diego

I had a great long weekend recently. It started in the San Francisco area where I attended the ReadWriteWeb conference on the “Real Time Web”. It was very cool to be sitting in rooms with engineers from Google and other major companies that are in the middle of evolving the web itself. There was lots of good food for thought. I was looking at it from the perspective of how to use the future web to increase attention to good content. I think we are moving into an area where attention can be created, just like wealth in capitalism.

Insofar as I believe attention can be created, I think we are certainly on to something with www.HDRspotting.com. It’s purpose is to drive more attention and traffic to other HDR photographers. I understand from some people that they are getting 5x the number of views there than on Flickr! Great! It was started with the intention that attention can be created, spread, and shared in a more intelligent way. I also get a lot of emails of people asking me for invite codes. I don’t handle that! Sorry! 🙂 But, I do understand that new codes are going out all the time… new features are being added every few days.

This shot below is from 17-mile drive off the famous Pacific Coast Highway in California, a little trip that produced a lot of good shots I will sprinkle in over the coming weeks and months! Hwy 1 runs down a winding coastline, and there are great sites all over the place. This spot is just north of Carmel and a stone’s throw from Pebble Beach. When I was there, I also took this shot with my iPhone. The iPhone is good… but… comon! This one is a bit better… hehe. Am I wrong?

The Lone Cypress - a drive down Highway 1 from San Francisco to San Diego

Steam from the Earth, an upcoming video, and a book preview!

The photo below was shot in the Norris Geysir Basin of Yellowstone. I put together another “Walking Around Yellowstone” video with some HDR how-to activity. I think you will like it! I go through three shots and show three finished products. This is one of them. I should release it sometime in the next week or so.

Also, I got good news on A World in HDR, the new book that’s shipping before the holidays! Our publisher, Peachpit, is going to put about 20 pages from Chapter 2 online for viewing on Friday! So, come back around 1 AM CST or so on Friday morning and I’ll put up a sneak preview! Very exciting! I know you guys and gals have really been anticipating it, so I’m happy for you to see it!

Steam from the Earth, an upcoming video, and a book prev

The Perfect Tree on the Perfect Night

One evening after dinner in Kyoto, I visited a unique garden that was maintained by a sect of monks in Kyoto. I understood that the best time to go was at night because they had painstakingly decorated the entire expanse with lights and unique effects. It sounded perfect for photography, so of course I had to go!

When I arrived, I had to take off my shoes at the entrance. The inside was a traditional Japanese structure, raised off the floor, covered with mats and separated by rice paper walls. The monks lived and worked inside. This was plain as I moved from room to room via darkly lit hallways. I took this photo while barefoot. Little blue lights covered the grass and shone like stars. The whole place was quite unbelievable, fun, and unexpected.

The Perfect Tree on the Perfect Night

The Rocket Bar in Austin, and a visit from RC Concepcion

This is a photo of a strange place on South Congress. I was down at a restaurant in the area and I saw this when I was walking back to my car. As usual, I had my tripod and camera ready, so I set up for a shot. It was actually a store that sold all kinds of pop art and a lot of neon. I thought it looked cool through the frosted glass. Any of you Austinites know the name of this place?

Also, recently I had the pleasure of hanging out with RC Concepcion when he came down to Austin to host a photo-editing seminar along with Dave Cross in Austin. Here is RC’s HDR he shot here in Austin. I found out he was coming to Austin on Twitter, so we tweeted up a little get-together in a well-orchestrated 140-character tennis match. We went out to shoot the SRV statue in the rain, ate a leisurely dinner full of philosophical thoughts, and then I had him over to show him the “Stuck in Motion” video over at my home before it was released. I was happy that this guy, the know-it-all (in a good way) host of Layers TV could not even figure it out! BTW, if you are looking to bone up on all your Adobe products, be sure to watch some Layers TV or subscribe to the free video podcast in iTunes.

The Rocket Bar in Austin, and a visit from RC Concepcion

Cutting Through the Park

Here is another shot from the little video I did with Scott Kublin. He followed me around with a video camera for a while and asked me questions. It wasn’t planned or anything, but it came out pretty good! I helped him and Rick a bit with their HDR photography while we moved around Olympic Park. That link above takes you to the short version of the video. The longer one is avail in Newsletter #3 — you get a link there when you subscribe.

There is a curvy street that cuts through the middle of Olympic Park in Atlanta. It wasn’t too far from here where that bomb went off in 1996 Atlanta. I was actually there with my friend Scott Sadowski when it went off! I was not too close to the blast, so I was not in any danger… but we did hear it and see the commotion. So I was there for that bombing AND I was in NYC during 9/11 and saw the 2nd plane hit the WTC. I had meetings in the financial district that day, and we ended up getting stuck in NYC for many days while the airports were shut down. Again, I was not close enough to be in danger… But… I have a knack for being in sketchy situations, I guess!

Cutting Through the Park

Tokyo at Dusk – Blade Runner Extreme

This is a beautiful scene from Tokyo at dusk one evening. The city is a crazy Blade-Runneresque techno-fest that is alive, foreign, and crazy-wonderful. I had a great time there and took an absolute swath of photos. I’m so excited to post all of them… but only one photo per day….! You know the rules! Hehe.

I shot this from the top of Bunkyo Towers. I took photos here during sunset before meeting up with Alfie Goodrich. He’s a great guy – an Englishman that lives in Tokyo and gives photography lessons (click on that link to see more info). Tell him I sent you! He knows all the best spots all over Tokyo, so a really recommend that you hook up with him!

Tokyo at Dusk

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