Little Girl in China

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Daily Photo – Little Girl in China

Chinese kids can be awfully cute. I don’t know why this is… maybe because they are just kinda different… I can’t put my finger on it. They kind of remind me of really cute pets… that is a strange thing to say, but maybe you know what I mean. Anyhoo, I’ve been processing with a few new techniques, and this is one of the results…

HDR Photo

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Painted Face in China

A raging Android and iPad/iPhone Discussion!

The new app Stuck On Earth accidentally set off a firestorm on Google+ the other day! See the article here. Here is a snippet of the beginning below:

Are Android people easier to anger than iOS people? (Or is it just me?)

So, yesterday, we announced +Stuck On Earth, and the first version is only iPad. Yes, we have plans to build Android, web, iPhone, etc in the future, but the kind of comments I got were often downright angry. !! It was so surprising.

I got comments like, “NO Android App available? Marketing Fail.” and “Android!!!!”

Now, maybe I am just too sensitive about this because it is my baby… and I’ve worked so hard on it and put so much love into it… I can barely stand the slightest critical comment. It eats right into my soul. I dunno… maybe some of you know what I mean.

Now, I can tell you with ontological certainty that making a quality app is HARD. It takes a long time and is expensive. Remember, by the way, this app is free. Ask +Kevin Rose about building apps. I’ve never met that guy, but I know he puts as much love into his work as I do…

When I gave a sneak peak a few weeks ago at the +Jason Calacanis LAUNCH event (where we were awarded Audience Winner! thx!), I was up there on stage by the eHarmony guy. Their app is equal in quality and polish to ours, and Jason speculated that it could have cost over $1 million, and I don’t doubt it!

Daily Photo – Painted Face in China

I was walking along outside the Forbidden City trying to find a special entrance, and I saw these guys sitting on a bench. It was so interesting and amusing… I dropped down on a knee to take a quick photo while things were perfectly strange. What do you think is going on in this photo?

Painted Face in China I was walking along outside the Forbidden City trying to find a special entrance, and I saw these guys sitting on a bench. It was so interesting and amusing… I dropped down on a knee to take a quick photo while things were perfectly strange. What do you think is going on in this photo?- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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New eBook on Printing for you!

New eBook on Printing!

Want to know more about printing? We have a new ebook from Ron Martinsen that I am happy to announce. Not only is this eBook helpful and full of practical tips, but it’s also very beautiful. It’ll look great on your computer or iPad. Pop over to www.Flatbooks.com and you can see it there on the front page!

Daily Photo – Sunflowers

So is it a weed or is it a flower? I am sure people in the plant-community get as exercised discussing these categorizations as I do about talking about categorizing photography. You would not believe the millions of words and sentences wasted discussing photography and how to categorize one type of photo. I can only assume the same thing happens in the flower/botany community!

I got this one with my friend Scott Kublin one day in the south of France. We had Fabien (the website designer) pull over on a tiny little road so we could pop out and get some sunflower photos. I think he almost got rear-ended while waiting on us, so he had to pull away then circle back to get us! On the second drive-by, he started honking so we had to run and dive into the car like it was an action movie.

Sunflowers So is it a weed or is it a flower? I am sure people in the plant-community get as exercised discussing these categorizations as I do about talking about categorizing photography. You would not believe the millions of words and sentences wasted discussing photography and how to categorize one type of photo. I can only assume the same thing happens in the flower/botany community!I got this one with my friend Scott Kublin one day in the south of France. We had Fabien (the website designer) pull over on a tiny little road so we could pop out and get some sunflower photos. I think he almost got rear-ended while waiting on us, so he had to pull away then circle back to get us! On the second drive-by, he started honking so we had to run and dive into the car like it was an action movie.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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Stuck in Taxi in Beijing

Stuck in a Taxi

Here is a little video I made in the back of a taxi in Beijing so you can see a fairly typical situation!

Daily Photo – The CNCC

Here is the convention center in Beijing at Dusk. They call it the CNCC. I don’t know what that stands for, but I can guess what two of the C’s mean.

This is a strange thing I have noticed about Beijing. Many people speak in abbreviations. I had many people tell me of the CNCC like it was something I knew perfectly well. I would just end up nodding because when I would ask for what it stood for, they were confused.

“You should go to the CNCC!” they say.

“What’s that?” I ask.

“Oh, you know! It’s the CNCC!” they respond.

The CNCCHere is the convention center in Beijing at Dusk. They call it the CNCC. I don't know what that stands for, but I can guess what two of the C's mean.This is a strange thing I have noticed about Beijing. Many people speak in abbreviations. I had many people tell me of the CNCC like it was something I knew perfectly well. I would just end up nodding because when I would ask for what it stood for, they were confused."You should go to the CNCC!" they say."What's that?" I ask."Oh, you know! It's the CNCC!" they respond.- Trey RatcliffRead the rest and see a video of a fairly typical situation in a Chinese cab here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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5 More Tips for Photographing People

Always Refining

I went back and read my previous Top 5 Tips here, and I realized a few of them could be improved… and I also rewrote everything… This is one of the good things about having a blog — I can always change my mind like a woman. (I see the benefits, now).

5 More Tips for Photographing People

I hope they help!

1) If you prefer to take photos of people as they are acting naturally, go ahead and take the photo before they notice you. You are a photographer, and this is you. You capture life… if you see something interesting whether it is a landscape, a pile of peaches, or a person that strikes your fancy, go ahead and do it. If you like and it is convenient, you can always go show them the photo after you are done. I do this whenever it makes sense, and I have a nice little interchange with the person.

2) Keep an extra camera ready for people shots. When walking the streets, I normally have my “big” camera ready to go for city landscape shots. My tripod is on. My wide-angle is on. It’s in that “mode.” If I am going to have to switch lenses, it will take forever, and the moment will be lost. So, I carry a second camera on a sling around my shoulder for people shots. On that camera, I have an 85mm or 50mm prime lens. Now, you don’t have to have this exact setup by any means, but having ANY kind of second camera for people shots is recommended.

2b) I find that the 85mm prime keeps me outside something I call the radius of intimacy. That is, when you use a 50mm, you are so close that people often stop acting naturally, unless they are a professional model or a natural thespian.

3) If they ARE likely to notice you, be confident and deliberate, softly asking permission with your eyes. This is a very subtle and hard thing to explain. I usually raise my eyebrows while I raise my camera, clearly indicating, “I’m about to take a photo. Everything is okay.” If they don’t want you to, they will make it clear. Usually, they say it’s just fine. People like to be thought of as interesting.

4) If they are very close, I ask permission out loud. Often times, I don’t want them to pose… so I say something (smiling!) like, “You look very interesting — can I take a photo?” Once they say yes (98% of the time they do), I usually ask them not to pose and carry on about their business. Then I start taking a bunch of photos and enjoy the pressure of capturing the moment.

5) Don’t be shy! If you feel overly shy, it may be a larger indication that you are letting fear motivate you rather than the opportunities that life provides. So, if you feel doubt or fear, just try to channel me and be brave and forthright.

Daily Photo – Old Woman in Beijing

I spotted this old woman walking along the outside of the Forbidden City. Just like above, I took photos without any hesitation before she noticed what was going on. I shared the photo with her after, and we had a nice little moment.

HDR Photo

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