Google Science Fair !

Gather the kids and join me online soon!

I’ll be broadcasting live on YouTube for the Google Science Fair! You can watch online on the Event Page Here. This is a free educational event, aimed especially at kids. It’s all about science and photography.

It’s on May 7 (May 8 in some parts of the world) – check The Event Page for your local time. I’ll be joined by schoolkids from all around the world. It should be great fun!

Here is info from the event:

The Science of Photography

Digital photography offers amazing flexibility to capture and modify images. But how does the science of photography actually work? What are the basic principles of light, and how do they affect how photographers shoot? How do different cameras and lenses capture images differently? And how do software tools change the way those images are ultimately viewed?

Come to this Hangout On Air with Trey Ratcliff, the world-class photographer whose work is displayed at StuckInCustoms.com. He will be interviewed by well-known blogger, technology analyst, and amateur photographer Robert Scoble, as well as by Google Student Ambassadors. Here’s your chance to learn about the science behind those amazing images.

Tuesday, May 7, 2:00PM PT / 4:00PM CT / 5:00PM ET / 2200 GMT / 2300 CE / 900 NZDT (8 May)

Daily Photo – Close Encounters over Big Sur

I went out to take photos of the shooting stars in Big Sur last week, but I only saw a few. I took a few shots of the night skies, but I think the most interesting one was this. It reminded me of that opening scene from Close Encounters! This is what it looks like in the middle of a long exposure when a car comes up over a hill towards you…

The Shooting Stars

Close Encounters over Big Sur

Photo Information

  • Date TakenApril 22, 2013 at 3:34pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time25
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO2000
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

View from the Google Offices in Downtown Tokyo

Do you know about Stocksy?

Here is our friend Kate Russell talking about Stocksy, a new stock agency that now reps a selection of my photos. You can read more about it too on Kate’s new venture “Working The Cloud”!

Daily Photo – View from the Google Offices in Downtown Tokyo

It was a great event at Google that day and night! After my tech talk, we stayed up in their skyscraper till dark, drinking and eating and taking photos. Luckily, the office windows aim in directly the right direction out of the Roppongi Towers.

The windows were all crowded with photographers, and it was a great time. Between shots, I got the chance to talk to a lot of enthusiastic Japanese photographers. I even set up a future-photo-date with the great Takahiro-san… and he would take me to one of his secret bridge locations in Tokyo! That photo will be coming up soon…

Google Offices Tokyo Japan

View from the Google Offices in Downtown Tokyo

Photo Information

  • Date TakenApril 12, 2013 at 12:32pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/80
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Lonely Chair

Reminder on The Stuck in Customs Community on Google+

Last week I mentioned the Private Clubhouse that people can access when they purchase one of the tutorial products. But, also, there is a public Stuck In Customs community where you are welcome to join, share your photos, and see a bunch of other work from fellow community members! It is a fun way to get to know more people from around here!

Daily Photo – The Lonely Chair

This is a nice little object here, yes? I think it’s hard to find things that stand by themselves in the middle of an area that is normally cluttered.

The chair was found in one of the many decrepit and ghostly rooms inside that chateau I mentioned a few days ago. I tried to squeeze my way into every possible room, but some were too full of junk to get around. This one was well lit and ideal!

The Lonely Chair

The Lonely Chair

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMarch 16, 2012 at 5:36pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/15
  • Aperture11
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length21.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-3

Moonrise Kingdom and new story from the BBC

Did you miss the latest newsletter?

I hope not! It’s always free and we promise to never spam you! We send out one a month (or so!). Anyway, here’s a link to the April newsletter and be sure to sign up at StuckInCustoms.com/news if you have not already! :)

Our Austin PhotoWalk on the BBC

You’ll see a short interview with me in the middle of the first bit from the Austin Photowalk. You may see a lot of other familiar faces in here too! Thanks to LJ Rich from the BBC for putting together this piece – that was fun!

Daily Photo – Moonrise Kingdom

This is one of my favorite new pieces from this year! I just shot it a few days ago.

It was shot waaaay after the sun went down in Big Sur, California. This is a crazy waterfall that pours off onto the beach. You can’t see it from the road, and it requires a short walk. I found it thanks to Stuck On Earth, although I am sure other locals have known about this semi-secret place forever! You can go here too… it’s not terribly difficult. It’s called “McWay Falls” and it’s beautiful any time of the day.

Also, btw, I’d like to thank those of you that have been ordering more prints recently — I am honored! :) You can always click just below the photo to check sizes and prices to find something to fit your budget. Thanks again!

McKay Falls in Big Sur

Moonrise Kingdom

Photo Information

  • Date TakenApril 22, 2013 at 7:16am
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time25
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length70.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

Snow over the Creek

Snow in HDR

This is a common question I get. Basically, I think it is a bad idea to HDR the snow and ice part. It just looks dirty. You want it looking nice and pristine, and the HDR will add a little too much texture and grit for me. This seems to happen to an alarming degree with human skin and snow (and a few other things). Anyway, using layers and masking in Photoshop is an easy way to slice-n-dice your way out of that problem!

Daily Photo – Snow over the Creek

There is a place called Pyramid Lake just past Glenorchy that is perfectly wonderful in the winter as long as you have the traction. This shot is from the end of last winter when I caught a little bit of snow. You’ll notice I don’t have a ton of snowy shots from NZ yet, but I think I’ll get a lot more this winter. I’m really looking forward to some good snowfalls, in fact! I’m sure if you’re in the northern hemisphere that you are sick of the cold and ready for the warm… but I really am looking forward to the change!

Snow over the Creek

Snow over the Creek

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJuly 7, 2012 at 10:47pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/30
  • Aperture22
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length32.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+1

Another Road Through an Endless Valley

Steam Games

I’ve been playing Left 4 Dead 2 a lot with my son. It’s good times. I’m playing Borderlands 2 on the XBox with Ethan, but it’s splitscreen and kinda crazy (but fun in co-op). But I was thinking of also getting it on Steam to play single player a bit. Other good games I’ve been playing are FTL and Civ 5 – always winners… You guys and gals playing anything lately?

Daily Photo – Another Road Through an Endless Valley

I rode down this one with Karen Hutton, Scott Kublin, and Curtis Simmons. Every five minutes they wanted to get out of the car and take a photo. I know the feeling! You see, I already have done this hundreds and hundreds of times… now I only get out on new roads or of the clouds/light is just different “enough”. It doesn’t take much, because there is a lot of variation. And, as most of you know, I’m not one to take a bunch of photos in the middle of a blue sunny day. But, on this day I was!

Road to Mount Cook

Another Road Through an Endless Valley

Photo Information

  • Date TakenJanuary 18, 2013 at 10:24am
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/1000
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Kayaks Along Lake Wakatipu

Your Irrational Fear?

Do you share my strange fear below? Do you have an equally strange one of your own you just can’t shake? Hehe… strange question, I know… I was just wondering if I was alone in this… !

Daily Photo – Kayaks Along Lake Wakatipu

I’ve never taken a kayak out onto that lake. I’m not much of a kayaker, but also, I’m not a big fan of deep bodies of water. Actually, I will just go all the way from “not a big fan” to “outright afraid”. You never know what kind of nonsense is happening underneath you, you know? I don’t like swimming to being in a little boat on top of deep water. I don’t mind being in a big, sea-worthy boat. That’s fine. But swimming and being in a little boat… that’s not for me. This is strange, because I know it’s irrational. And I don’t really have any other irrational fears… but I can’t figure out a way to get around this one (nor do I see the need to do so, which is probably part of the problem itself).

Kayaks along Lake Wakatipu

Kayaks Along Lake Wakatipu

Photo Information

  • Date TakenFebruary 6, 2013 at 9:59pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/60
  • Aperture8
  • ISO320
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

Road to the Woolshed

True Origin of “Taken to the Woodshed?”

Well, this photo is a woolshed reminded me of that saying about being taken to the woodshed. I actually thought it was woolshed till I Googled it and felt dumb. Anyway, I started poking around to try to find the origin… I could not find it. I thought maybe it came from Dickens or Shakespeare, but I did not see anything definitive…. smart readers here can probably figure it out I bet! :)

Daily Photo – Road to the Woolshed

After shooting the sunset, the entire class and I walked down this road together to have dinner at the Wool Shed. It was a fun, catered event, and a great way to wrap up the week. We didn’t end up walking down the road at the same time. In fact, I’m surprised everyone found their way here. We were spread out all over creation (although I invited people to stay near me if they wished!). A few people stayed with me, but others went off to seek their fortune on other faraway hills around Bendemeer. I had trouble finding the spot, so maybe they did too!

Road to the Wool Shed

Road to the Woolshed

Photo Information

  • Date TakenFebruary 10, 2013 at 12:11pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time0.8
  • Aperture8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length23.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias-1

The New Garden Path Along the Great Wall of China

Video from the Great Wall

Here’s a video I took while up here!

Daily Photo – The New Garden Path Along the Great Wall of China

Just to get to this point required a long walk through a rocky forest. It wasn’t like the super-pristine part of the Great Wall (which is actually quite fake and Disney-like) — where you can drive up in a huge tour bus and park in huge parking lot. No, it wasn’t like that at all. Instead, there was a “path” that was barely discernible (much less so when I walked back in the dark alone!) that wove up through a forest along an old creekbed. I’m not sure I could find it again if I had to!

Great Wall of China

The New Garden Path Along the Great Wall of China

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D3X
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/20
  • Aperture6.7
  • ISO160
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashNo Flash
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+3

The Skies of Sydney and Photomatix Presets

Photomatix Presets

Do you have (my!) Trey’s Photomatix Presets? I still use Photomatix all the time, as many of you noticed from my recent tutorial video. I think my presets are much more interesting than the ones that come with Photomatix, but you can be the judge! If you don’t agree, you can have all your money back… no problemo!

Here’s a screenshot for ya!

Daily Photo – The Skies of Sydney

Sydney? Check. Sunset? Check. Easy photo? Check!

Man, this was such a lay up… I can’t claim much credit for it. I just kinda walked up and it was like this. Good sunset shots are not always easy, but this one was… I admit it! :) Now, it was made a bit easier with post-processing through Photomatix, but I kind of take that for granted now.

Sydney Opera House

The Skies of Sydney

Photo Information

  • Date TakenSeptember 25, 2012 at 4:43pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/125
  • Aperture8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length90.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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