Exploring Caves in the Valley of Fire

Careful Composition

Some of these spots are Extremely Difficult to get into. I’m not kidding. I have to get my body in positions that are not only downright awkward, but seem patently inhuman. The instinct is just to get the shot and get out of there. It’s not a game of inches — it’s a game of millimeters. When I am in these delicate spots, I try really hard to make sure that the tripod is exactly right and the framing is exactly right. If things aren’t perfect when you take the shot, sometimes you just can’t save it in post!

Daily Photo – Exploring Caves in the Valley of Fire

Is this place hot?

Yes.

Did I dump a bottle of water on my head every 15 minutes?

Yes.

Was I completely dry for 14 minutes between each dumping?

Yes.

Exploring Caves in the Valley of Fire

Exploring Caves in the Valley of Fire

Photo Information

  • Date TakenAugust 18, 2013 at 2:37am
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time4
  • Aperture22
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Aliens over Big Sur

Reposting the smugmug Review show

This was such a fun show that I wanted to repost it! I also added it to the full SmugMug Review here on the site.

Daily Photo – Aliens over Big Sur

I went out one night to see the meteors go crazy, but it turned out to be a little bit weak on the meteor part. And then the most interesting thing would be when cars would crest over the hill to come towards me.

I was wondering… if someone from a few thousand years ago were to be transported in time to be standing there with me — would they have any concept of the car being driven by a human, or would they just think it is an alien ship? I mean, if they could not see inside (it was dark) — would people have any idea that the car was a human-created and powered-device, or would that notion not even enter their heads?

Big Sur

Aliens over Big Sur

Photo Information

  • Date TakenApril 22, 2013 at 3:24pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time25
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO2000
  • Focal Length16.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

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A strange night in the Rocks

Africa?

If you were to to Africa, what country would you suggest? What areas? I’m interested in your opinion… I may be planning something for 2014! :)

Daily Photo – A strange night in the Rocks

Curtis and I went around to the other side of Virgin Gorda one night to explore. While there, we found a very cool outcropping of rocks that held some still water inside. It turned out to be a place to get a nice clean reflection of a most unusual dusk set of clouds. How lucky we were! But some people say that luck is the residue of design…

A strange night in the Rocks

A strange night in the Rocks

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1
  • Aperture22
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length20.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

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Dark Street with Lanterns in China & Optometrists and Google Glass

Optometrists and Google Glass

I asked my Optometrist, Danielle Pretty, of Eyes on Ardmore ( http://eyesonardmore.co.nz/ ) in Wanaka, New Zealand, about Google Glass when I went in for a checkup. She was very excited about them – so I flipped on my android phone to make a quick video because I thought you would find her observations interesting. That strange jello-effect in the video is bc of the YouTube stabilization… I couldn’t decide if you wanted to see a shaky video or one with funky-jello. Maybe it will look cooler if you do some shrooms while watching it…

I was glad she was so excited about it… I was kind of thinking that optometrists might be a little skittish about the whole thing. Obviously, she does not represent all optometrists, but her opinion seems pretty valid and measured to me. This “Above the Horizon” thing we talk about is something that you won’t really understand until you wear them for a while. This means a lot for driving and stuff. I think people are afraid they get in the way of driving, but they don’t. I even find that maps, for example, are less distracting than looking over at your center console (or worse, what I fear most people do, looking down at your mobile phone). In fact, after a while you just stop looking at the screen as you get used to the map data hitting your retina. It’s a strange effect, but quite awesome!

New Stuck On Earth for the Mac – Wanna Test?

Wow – look at that… over 2500 pixels across or however much your Mac monitors can muster! This is the ultimate way to use the app… we’re looking for a few good testers before it is released. Hit it hard and give us your feedback!

And yes, it is already available for free on the Android and the iPad – check StuckOnEarthApp.com! :)

StuckOnEarthMac_and_Techmeme-2

Daily Photo – Dark Street with Lanterns in China

Here’s another night scene from China a few weeks ago. I’m always a sucker for these Chinese lanterns. They just always seem so authentic, even though I am sure that most of the time they are just strange anachronisms and no longer the most efficient way to light up the area. But, as far as anachronisms go, it’s one of my favorites!

Dark Street with Lanterns in China

Dark Street with Lanterns in China

Photo Information

  • Date TakenMay 27, 2013 at 1:05pm
  • CameraNEX-7
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time25
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length10.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias+2

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The Long Path to the Temple of Heaven

Announcement! A Photography Workshop at Google Giveaway!

Are you in LA and want to join me for a great day at Google for a photography workshop? Watch my Google+ Stream today for instructions on how to win the giveaway. It will be an amazing time!

Textures

This photo below, like others you see on occasion, use a texture method that I get a lot of questions about. We have a popular Textures Tutorial here on the site that comes with a ton of different textures in case you are curious to learn more…

Daily Photo – The Long Path to the Temple of Heaven

It was a beautiful morning in Beijing. It was cool and crisp, and I walked around this historic area while locals were doing yoga and various other exercises. There are many ancient, repeating structures that cover the grounds in a very orderly manner. This is one of the many long structures that helps to connect various areas of the complex.

The Long Path to the Temple of HeavenIt was a beautiful morning in Beijing. It was cool and crisp, and I walked around this historic area while locals were doing yoga and various other exercises. There are many ancient, repeating structures that cover the grounds in a very orderly manner. This is one of the many long structures that helps to connect various areas of the complex.- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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Horses on an Evening Meadow

Topaz with Photoshop CS5

I am still using Topaz Adjust quite a bit to do some final sharpening on my images. Topaz Adjust 4 does work on Photoshop CS5 now, but it still feels a little slow. Actually, I find Topaz Adjust 3 is faster. What is your experience with it?

They tell me (when I complained) that the algorithm is exactly the same. This is probably true, but it does launch a new UI in a new window. The process of launching that new window seems to take a while longer than before. I’m on a Mac… maybe it’s just a Mac problem… but wondering if I am alone with this!

If you want to see other images from Topaz, see my Topaz Adjust Review here on the site… I try to pop new images in there from time to time.

Daily Photo – Horses on an Evening Meadow

Every night before sunset, the horses would be let out of the corral for a bit of “personal” time.  They spent almost no time at all on the Internet, and, instead, just meandered around this grassy meadow at the ranch.

The grass looks nice eh?  And there was no lawn-mowing necessary.  All you need is a bunch of beautiful and hungry horses, and your lawn can look just like this.  Don’t worry about your neighbors.  You don’t like them that much, anyway, do you?  No, of course not, all your real friends (like me) are on the Internet.

This evening turned out really well.  After spending some time taking photos, I went into the lodge to have a wonderful dinner before going into the great room.  There, one of my friends named Annie sang some opera while we enjoy apres-dinner espressos.  It was really great.  It’s the second time I have heard her sing, and it was just as good the second time around.  Should I put her last name here?  I don’t know… let me ask her first to see if she is too shy!

HDR Photo

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About to Jump Out of a Plane with the Army’s Golden Knights!

Out of a Plane, onto the blog…

In a few weeks at Openca.mp (you guys are coming to hear my speech, yes?), I’ll be jumping out of a plane with the famous Golden Knights from the US Army! These guys are basically like the Blue Angels, but way more insane because they actually jump out of the planes.

If you jump over to the blog of Cali Lewis at CaliLewis.Me, you can read even more about it. I think she was a little freaked out by the idea of jumping, but she seems all for it now.

If you want to know more about the Golden Knights, you can visit them at http://armygk.com/.

And yes, I’ll have my camera and will be taking photos and video of the whole thing! :)

Daily Photo – The Inner Sanctum

Here is a cool and relatively unknown place in San Francisco. Can anyone figure out where this mysterious location is?

I went in here with my dad while we were looking for cool photo-ops. We weren’t so sure we were allowed in this place, but we just busted in quickly for a shot before anybody said anything.

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The Metal Moose & New eBooks from Friends

My Friends Have eBooks Too!

We’ve got a thriving community of photographers out there writing eBooks. I can’t possibly give everyone a link that asks, so I will do so randomly from time to time. A bit like a lottery!

Joseph’s Aperture eBook – Do you guys know of Joseph Linaschke? He’s a good friend that I first met when we co-hosted This Week in Photography. Anyway, he’s quite the Aperture expert. With Aperture 3 out, he’s got a nice eBook there that can help you get the most out of the software.

SAFARI, A Monograph – I’ve talked about David here on the site before. He’s a great guy and a hardcore photographer. This is the 2nd book in his “Print & Process” series (I think!). He fills the book with beautiful photos and then gives exact specifics about equipment, tools, and techniques. His eBooks get raving reviews, and there are several there to choose from!

The Metal Moose

After the book party in Chicago (thanks again for all of you that showed up!), we had a little photowalk the next day. Along the way, we stopped outside an office building near Michigan Avenue that had this enormous metal moose. I’m not a big fan of taking photos of art, but this was an exception.

As usual, I enjoyed meeting everyone on that photowalk and sharing stories and tricks. I think the next one we do will be at Burning Man, followed by London. Those will be great fun too! :)

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Pasture Sentinel

Daily Photo – Pasture Sentinel

After I drove through Nelson, I was ripping along the highway and noticed an old farmhouse. I’m not sure how I noticed it, but the area was so different, I just had to stop. I spent 90% of my time taking photos of the farmhouse, and on the way back, I saw this tree. It stood solitary and wonderful; I had to grab a shot.

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The Edge of Chile

Abduzeedo Gets the Exclusive!

I have released a new video today that you just gotta see.  The Exclusive rights to show it were nabbed up by Abduzeedo.com and the amazing team of Fabio, Gisele, and all the other from that Brazilian Design Powerhouse!  Fabio actually came to my Google Talk on HDR Photography in Mountain View, so it was really cool to meet him in person.

We will be showing the video here on StuckInCustoms tomorrow, but you should head over to Abduzeedo in the meantime.  That site is a constant source of artistic inspiration for me…  I think you will dig it too.

New Shot from the Textures Tutorial

Today’s photo below was made with a few of my 150 Textures from the popular Textures Tutorial.  The downloads on this thing have been crazy…  There is even an illegal site out there that shows over 30,000 downloads.  Pirates!  Anyway, I know none of you nice people would do such a thing… so I appreciate the support you give your friendly internet artists! :)

William Beem recently put up a review on the aptly named WilliamBeem.com – I can tell from that photo that he is really getting the hang of it – cool!

Daily Photo – The Edge of Chile

Today’s photo comes from the from the very southern tip of the Americas. It is a bitterly cold place, even in the summer. I believe that the glaciation period is relatively recent, so the peaks are extra jagged and everything feels fresh and raw.

I can’t believe there are actually people that climb this thing! It was hard enough getting myself up high enough on a distant peak to take this shot. Then again, I’m not exactly in mountain-climbing shape. I’ve heard the old answer to the question, “Why do you climb the mountain?” The answer is always, “Because it’s there”. Funny — that is my same answer when people ask my why I don’t want to climb the mountain.

HDR-Photo

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