The Mysteries and Adventures of the New Year

I look forward to many more adventures with you this year and in coming years. We have a lot of things to do, don’t we? Mais oui!

Change and tumult and highs and lows will come and go with the winds, but I will always be here, ready to take you on fun new adventures with unexpected discoveries. This year has had a lot of unexpected things happen in all corners of life, and I don’t expect the next to be any different. In the end, I’ll do my best to keep pushing forward and exploring the world and the world of ideas with you.

If life gets kind of confusing or you get down, come visit to take your mind where it would rather be anyway. At best, it will be a deep experience, and at worst, it will be a pleasant distraction. I’ll take the worst if that’s the best I can get!

For the last photo of the year, I hope I have selected a great one to set the tone for the next year. I’ve been in artful concert with this one for what seems like ages. This happenstance scene is from a remote Hindu temple in the Indonesian jungle. It was a horribly stormy day and I could have easily found myself quite miserable… but I had seen this before, seen these patterns, and I knew I’d have the chance to see the sun again. Just for a few moments, the sun appeared there, and it was timeless. I didn’t think about the future, I just sat there, unconsciously moving around the temple and capturing the moment forever.

Okay, so… moving into left-brain mode now (getting practical logistical things done…), there have been a number of changes to the site!

1) I updated my HDR Tutorial ! It has become almost completely revamped… I have a few minor things to fix – let me know if you see any typos, because, as you know, I am horrible at catching my own… (anyone want to be my editor out there?)

2) A new Header Photo and CSS Background! Hit Refresh on your browser in case you don’t see it

3) A new “Reviews” section. You can see that over on the right.

4) A new “Popular Articles” section to catch some of the cool stuff that is now buried deep in the blog

5) Minor fixes: Comment font sizes, Comment entry box streamlining, Safari problem where the fonts were huge for single posts…

6) Enabled comments on “Pages” – things like the “About Me” and “Camera Equipment” pages did not allow comments before

The Mysteries and Adventures of the New Year

The castle on the dark hill that the locals don’t discuss

Here is a shot from a crisp cool night in Lyon, France, taken from the bridge, pointing towards the old part of the city.

There are not enough places like this in the world! I wish I could look out a window every day and see a remote castle sitting on a hilltop, taunting me with a panoply of possible adventures… but I don’t see that out my window, so I just have to look at these little things I collect over time to remind me…

(and I am working on the new HDR Tutorial and some slight blog changes today and this week… so keep an eye out!)

The castle on the dark hill that the locals don't discuss (by Stuck in Customs)

The Zen Peace in Your Mind

This is the innermost temple in Angkor Wat. I was happy to be there on a brilliant morning when no one was around except for the occasional avout or two, making their rounds through the wat. The top of the temple is shaped like a Lotus flower and can be seen from everywhere around the temple complex. The robed ones tended to ignore me, as they usually do with the extramuros.

Inside, it was especially peaceful, especially while zoning out on my iPod. I was so zoned out, in fact, that I almost forgot to take a photo!

And for those of you waiting for the FIRST D3X shot… It should be in about 24 hours… posting around Midnight CST on The Night Before D3Xmas. Hey that is a clever title… get ready for it.

The Zen Peace in Your Mind

The Dynasty’s Royal Retreat amidst the Lilypads

Ahhh… Chinese royalty. Of all the royalty in the world, I don’t think anyone lived quite as well as the Chinese. Maybe that’s open for debate? I suppose luxury is a state of mind, but they certainly had all the component parts.

Here in Hangzhou, the royals would summer, languishing about these gardens and lakes, staring out across these lily ponds.

In other news, I have a new article that is a short version of my HDR Tutorial up over at Abduzeedo, which is one of the world’s top design blogs. I keep that site in my RSS news reader and can usually find some good design inspiration there!

The Dynasty's Royal Retreat amidst the Lilypads (by Stuck in Customs)

The Surf in LA as Night Passes

There’s this moment in California when the sun hits the horizon that I am quite sure most of the natives take for granted. The gradation of sky from the burning sun to the deep blues can only be really appreciated if you swing your head around and purge your short-term memory. The effect is not dissimilar to the optical illusion of the giant full moon on some evenings, seemingly magnified by our inability to establish a frame of reference. I think something along those lines happens with color as the sun dips. You can see this from space, as the sudden band from light to dark rips around the earth — that same viewing cone can be seen from anywhere on the surface, and it can be best noticed in places like LA, with the nearly infinite horizon.

The Surf in LA as Night Passes (by Stuck in Customs)

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