Lonely River in Iceland

The Histogram eBook

HistoWe have a new eBook over at Flatbooks.com about Histograms! Go grab it — it’s filled with great information and I think you’ll really enjoy it!

Favorite Fish?

While posting this photo, I was thinking of my favorite fish restaurant in the world about 20 km from this spot below.  They didn’t have my favorite kind of fish, which is black cod, but they did have a delicious selection.  What’s your favorite?

Daily Photo - Lonely River in Iceland

I wonder sometimes if I project my own emotions onto the landscape around me.  I’m really not all that dramatic, but sometimes this does seem to be the case, especially in Iceland.  Since I spend so much time there alone, I end up thinking that parts of the environs seem kind of lonely too.  And I think there is probably a lot of truth in it because I hardly ever see any other humans, so everything is very lonely!

Lonely River in Iceland I wonder sometimes if I project my own emotions onto the landscape around me.  I’m really not all that dramatic, but sometimes this does seem to be the case, especially in Iceland.  Since I spend so much time there alone, I end up thinking that parts of the environs seem kind of lonely too.  And I think there is probably a lot of truth in it because I hardly ever see any other humans, so everything is very lonely!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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France in Epcot

The new Photoshop CS6 – what is your “line”?

Like you, I’ve been watching the videos of CS6 and playing with it myself. (notice the important “it” in that sentence)

Things are gettin’ a little crazy with post-processing eh? What are your limits for what you’ll do with your photos? It’s a very personal thing… I won’t judge you… I’m just interested! Here’s my post-processing line (which I reserve the right to change at any time):

I will:

  • I will remove things like lightposts or ugly animals or tourists wearing Spice Girls T-shirts
  • I will use HDR to bring out the colors in the shadows and dial back bright areas
  • I will sharpen to bring emphasis to one area or another
  • I’ll take multiple exposures on a tripod and fix one area of a photo with another exposure

I will not:

  • I will not take a foreign object from one photo and put it into another (like pasting a moon over a mountain)
  • I will not take a sky from one photo and paste it into the landscape of another

I might:

  • Use the new Content-Aware-Move in CS6. I can’t decide! It’s a slippery slope. For example, in the photo below, I had to work so hard to find and frame these boulders in this EXACT way. Man, it would have been so easy just to go to an easier location and then re-arrange the boulders using CS6 Content-Aware-Move. But maybe that doesn’t even matter! I can’t decide… And it is soooooo slippery… If I will allow myself to “Move a Boulder 10 feet” — then maybe I would also also “Move a Moon Behind THAT Mountain” — then maybe I would also…. well… where does it stop? It’s almost like I am 6-years-old and moving stickers around a sticker book! Hehe… I’m confused… my “line” is constantly being challenged… like the border between two countries in a good game of Civ!

Daily Photo – France in Epcot

These little fabrications of countries around Epcot try really hard at being authentic, and they are often quite successful!  Sometimes bits and pieces here are a little cheesy, but I get the sense that the people that build, model, and landscape these things put a lot of time and effort (and love) into it.  I’m sure it gets down to the detail of trying to choose the right kind of fonts for the clock.

This evening was a particularly lucky one because of the clouds and the light in the sky.  This situation is so rare that I went photo-crazy for about 15 minutes while it lasted!

HDR Photo

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He Watches

Museum Photography

Do you like to take photos in museums?  It’s very challenging…  To me, I like to try to take a photo of the actual museum or a photo of some art and its relation to the museum.  I find taking photos just of the art itself to be a little boring. It seems so obvious… and it seems like kind of a disservice to the art itself, unless you are adding something new or seeing it in a new light. It depends on the art, of course. A photo of a painting always falls flat, but a photo of a statue can be interesting.

Daily Photo – He Watches

And so it was with the emperor here in the Capital Museum in Beijing.

Do you know how hard it was to get permission to use a tripod in here? It was very very hard. And, the permission part had to be in Chinese, which adds a whole new layer of complexity to the permission-gaining-process. But, luckily I had a little team there helping me out with this stuff, and that made life a lot easier. After all the paperwork was squared away and three redundant layers of government officials were satisfied, the light was perfect for this shot. I rushed over to take it before the ink was dry!

He Watches And so it was with the emperor here in the Capital Museum in Beijing.Do you know how hard it was to get permission to use a tripod in here? It was very very hard. And, the permission part had to be in Chinese, which adds a whole new layer of complexity to the permission-gaining-process. But, luckily I had a little team there helping me out with this stuff, and that made life a lot easier. After all the paperwork was squared away and three redundant layers of government officials were satisfied, the light was perfect for this shot. I rushed over to take it before the ink was dry!- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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Cart Racing in Queenstown

Zorbing on the South Island

Do any of my NZ experts know if there is any zorbing on the south island anywhere?  I know there is a lot around Rotorua and stuff… where there are green hills the multiply like rabbits… but surely there must be a few options in the south, yes?

Daily Photo - Cart Racing in Queenstown

This may be my son’s favorite thing about Queenstown!  In the summer, they open up this area at the top of the mountain where you can luge all day long.  He never gets tired of it – and neither do I!  When we go back, we’ll have to see if we can get some kind of a season pass or something.

He gets a little rough, and he’s a little bit ruthless.  But I have a good 100 pounds on him, which helps everywhere except for the curves.  He spins around the corners like Yoshi, and I’m a little more like Bowser…

Cart Racing in Queenstown This may be my son’s favorite thing about Queenstown!  In the summer, they open up this area at the top of the mountain where you can luge all day long.  He never gets tired of it – and neither do I!  When we go back, we’ll have to see if we can get some kind of a season pass or something.He gets a little rough, and he’s a little bit ruthless.  But I have a good 100 pounds on him, which helps everywhere except for the curves.  He spins around the corners like Yoshi, and I’m a little more like Bowser…- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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San Francisco before Sunrise

My D3X on eBay – Ends Soon!

If you want to get my Nikon D3X on eBay, you better bid soon… time is running out! :)

Sunrise vs. Sunset Panic

Even though I love a good sunset or sunrise, now most of mine have an element of “panic” built into them.  No matter how  much I prepare, there are always last-minute adjustments in my camera settings, location, composition, and other miscellaneous things that are happening.  I rarely go to a “special lookout” where a bunch of other photographers go.  Those can be kind of easy… because you just kind of chill out and wait around like everyone else.  There are SOME locations like that, but for the most part, I’m trying to squeeze out as many photos, compositions, and scenarios as possible within a highly compressed time.

And, if I am going to panic, I’d rather run around and panic at sunset rather than sunrise.  Mostly because the sunrise has me a little groggy and out-of-sorts from putting on my socks inside out in the dark…

Daily Photo - San Francisco Before Sunrise

Before I started going to the main location, Tom and I pulled over to the side of the road in Sausalito to get this picture.  The water was too blue and the colors were too interesting to drive on by!  We wanted to be quick though… so we didn’t miss the sun peaking over the horizon at the main location.

San Francisco Before Sunrise Before I started going to the main location, Tom and I pulled over to the side of the road in Sausalito to get this picture.  The water was too blue and the colors were too interesting to drive on by!  We wanted to be quick though… so we didn’t miss the sun peaking over the horizon at the main location.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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