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.
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.
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.
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!
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).
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 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.
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!).
I’ve always thought the Dale Chihuly glass sculptures are some of the coolest things in the world. I’d love to learn how to blow glass. It always looks dangerous and exotic. I remember when I got my HDTV a few years ago, one of the first shows I saw was when Chihuly was doing this exhibit in Venice. He spent some time in Murano, which is near Venice and a famous place for glass blowing. They made these amazing sculptures then hung them all over Venice. I wish I could have gone there to take photographs of the event!
In other news, I was interviewed yesterday by an extremely nice guy named Victor Cajiao who hosts a podcast called “Typical Shutterbug“. Click there and you can hear my interview. We talk a little about the upcoming book, HDR, do’s and don’t, and this sort of thing. If you enjoyed the show, leave him a comment there — I’m sure he’d appreciate it!
We are getting ever-closer to the release of the new Stuck In Customs Textures tutorial. The video is now over 90-minutes long and it’s full of all sorts of examples and new techniques that I’ve figured out over the past few years. I’ll go ahead and post the results of one of the finished products. I recorded video live of all these things… didn’t know how they would turn out before I started. I kept it live and voiced aloud my “thinking process” around accomplishing these images.
Everyone who has bought a previous Textures Tutorial will get a coupon for either the same level of product or an upgrade to a new “Ultimate Package”. The coupons will be very fair because we want to take care of all previous buyers.
This shot below is another from the outdoor crypt area of Buenos Aires called La Ricoleta. The airlines lost my bags, so I did not have my tripod! I had to walk around this awesome place without a tripod. So I had to do everything I could to wedge myself against statues and scary-spikey-gargoyles to try to stay stable.