Solar Flower – The Giant Robot of Buenos Aires – (and 24 hours until the unveiling of something really cool)

This thing is enormous. In grinds and churns as it follows the sun. The metallic petals flex and bend with the light as the sun sweeps across the sky. I had never seen anything like it in my life.

It sits in a park and public walking area of Buenos Aires, Argentina. I walked around it for a while to get a good angle of the monster. My tripod was stuck in customs, so I had to do this one handheld… and do my best to keep the camera as stead as a T-1000.

In less than 24 hours, I will endeavor to introduce a new type of photography to you guys. I don’t have a name for it. It’s experimental. You’ll have to help me come up with a good name for the technique. People that get the Newsletter (it’s free!) will get a sneak peak tomorrow a little early.

Solar Flower - The Giant Robot of Buenos Aires - (and 24 hours until the unveiling of something really cool)

Just Another Street in Argentina

While in Argentina, I wish I had more days in Buenos Aires, but I made the most of what i could. This usually involves waking up very early and going to sleep very late. It gets a little hard after a few days, but I get into “content acquisition mode”, and I try not to make excuses for sleep!

Many parts of Buenos Aires are very colorful and fun. I’m not sure how all these individual tenants get together to decide on colors, but they end up looking kinda cool, even with minimal coordination. I guess the guy on the left there just thought, “I’ll paint my wall orange”, and then he did it, and it just looks cool. It kind of reminds me of how rappers can put on the craziest hat in the world and it still looks pretty cool on them. I don’t get it. I only look cool in one kind of hat – a baseball cap (with a mild tone).

Just another street in Buenos Aires

The Safehouse

Sorry about the long gap in posting! You know my promise to you is a photo every day, 365 days a year. This is a promise I break several times a year, so it’s hardly a promise. But, yesterday just happened to be one of those days.

Whenever I don’t post, it usually means I am traveling somewhere EXTREMELY remote that has no hint of internet. Those places are fewer and farther between nowadays! …but at least I’m getting some good stuff for y’all!

Today’s photo is from a forgotten field in the south of Argentina, not too far from Ushuaia. There was a housing community near here that was built then abandoned when the lake level started to rise. It was full of old husks of structures that were still beautiful in their own way (and doubly so at sunset).

The Safehouse

One of the Ruskies in my D&D Party

There were 6 of us, which is more or less the optimum number for a good campaign. I was the only Reaganite-capitalist among the five Soviet interlopers. I think, if we broke down people by personality and skillsets, we had a warrior, a shaman, a monk, a bard, and two clerics.

This guy, Vulva, would have been the monk. I’m not sure how to spell his name for sure, but he did respond to the word “Vulva”, if you put a little “w” sound with the “v”. Remember how Chekov was looking for the nuclear wessels? It was something like that. I say that Vulva was the monk of the group because his fingers and wrists were richly festooned with all sorts of Buddhist paraphernalia that he had picked up while in Tibet. He’s the sort of guy that would be really intimidating if it wasn’t for his kindness and zen peace.

Behind him are the Andes on the southern tip of Argentina.

One of the Ruskies in my D&D Party

Stopping for Lunch at the Emerald Lake in the Andes (and a new photo-sharing thing)

We started the hike before the sun came up. It was really cold, so I was dressed in layers. People always give you very silly advice. Actually, whenever anyone tells me to “dress in layers”, I always find it very condescending! Why is that? I don’t know why that bothers me. I mean, OF COURSE dress in layers. Oh, you mean, if I get too hot, I can just take off a layer? Oh, brilliant! Why didn’t I think of that? Well… This is a concept everyone is already familiar with, so whenever anyone tells you to “dress in layers”, try not to let it annoy you as much as it does me.

Anyway, after removing many layers, since I was burning hot after the first five minutes from carrying 50 lbs of camera equipment over the Andes, we stopped at this mountain lake to relax and have a quick lunch. It was a good chance to drop off the bag, put together my camera and tripod, then break it all down again, repack, and get back on the hike.

Also, we have a fun new features opening today on the site. It’s a great and simple way for you to share photos on Facebook, Twitter, Email, or IM. You can probably see it when you mouseover a photo… I think it will be a good way for regular viewers to easily share the photos with their friends and family! Below is a short video showing how to use it (even though it’s pretty dang simple!). Again, the more you share, the better it is for the site… so thanks again, very much!

Stopping for Lunch at the Emerald Lake in the Andes (and a new photo-sharing thing)

The Abandoned Harrods in Buenos Aires

There are parts of Buenos Aires that are not too safe to walk around by yourself.  This part was not so bad, but there were several abandoned stores around, including this Harrods.  I was surprised to see such a nice store in a state of disrepair, especially after visiting its Valhalla-like anchor in London.

Out front, there was a man playing the violin alone.  It echoed around in a strange way through the acoustics of the tile, the roof, and the lonely streets.  There was a Argentine rhythm he mixed into his playing that really made me feel like I was in a different place.

The Abandoned Harrods in Buenos Aires

The Park in Buenos Aires

I didn’t get enough sunsets in BA, but I tried to make the most of what I had!  This picturesque park was enormous.  And I mean enormous.  We walked for miles before finding our final destination, which we made it to just in the nick of time.  The parks of Buenos Aires were pretty much what I imagined… the Argentineans stroll around parks with a certain sense of style.  It’s hard to explain…but kinda cool.

Also, Jim Austin has written a nice article about HDR for Apogee Photo Magazine entitled “Symphony in a Moment: HDR Nature Photography from Eight Maestros”. Very nice of him to call me a maestro – not sure I deserve that! The photo he included (“A Razor to the Sky”) I have put below… of that amazing mountain range called Fitz Roy. The way to catch that orange-pink morning light was to hike up another mountain in pitch-black conditions. It was certainly worth it, traversing the icy crest, catching that glimpse of the sun coming over the horizon of the Andes.

The Park in Buenos Aires

A Razor to the Sky

The Massive Glacier at Dusk

This is the Perito Moreno Glacier that empties into Lago Argentina. It was simply awesome to be there, as you can plainly see.

I was there with a bunch of Russians who had brought an insane amount of cognac. Between shots, they would all drink cognac, yell, and try to bring down the next ice wall. We were the only ones there, and we stayed until the last moments of dark to eek out every last bit of light from the sky.

Also, I wanted to point you to an article over at Abduzeedo yesterday about the new book. It was written by good man Paulo Canabarro (his Twitter account here). You can also follow @Abduzeedo if you are looking for another good set of Tweets. I notice that people that complain about Twitter always have the same sort of complaints: “I don’t want to know when everyone is standing in line at Starbucks!” Well, then, I say, you are following the wrong people! Once you get 50-100+ people to follow, it becomes a nice source for information, fun, and inspiration. It might take a while to build your personalized list, but then you will be hooked. (I am @TreyRatcliff, in case ya didn’t know).

The Massive Glacier at Dusk

Exploring South America, a river from the Andes

This is probably one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. I knew it was going to be pretty beforehand, but I wasn’t really prepared for the non-stop grandeur of the landscapes. We chose the perfect time to go, right in the middle of Autumn. The backpacking took about twice as long as expected. I couldn’t stop myself from holding up every few minutes to set up for another photo. It was irresistible!

In other news, I’ve cleaned up and updated the “About Me” page here on the site. That thing gets longer and longer… I’m sure it looks like I’m some kind of egomaniac! Hehe… but people keep asking me the same sorts of questions over and over, so it’s kind of grown organically over time. Plus, my publisher was asking for a photo for the back cover of the book. We’re leaning towards that first one… they kind of like the little story that was related to it (which, in turn, is related to this photo!).

Exploring South America

La Recoleta – The Crypts of Buenos Aires

We are getting ever-closer to the release of the new Stuck In Customs Textures tutorial. The video is now over 90-minutes long and it’s full of all sorts of examples and new techniques that I’ve figured out over the past few years. I’ll go ahead and post the results of one of the finished products. I recorded video live of all these things… didn’t know how they would turn out before I started. I kept it live and voiced aloud my “thinking process” around accomplishing these images.

Everyone who has bought a previous Textures Tutorial will get a coupon for either the same level of product or an upgrade to a new “Ultimate Package”. The coupons will be very fair because we want to take care of all previous buyers.

This shot below is another from the outdoor crypt area of Buenos Aires called La Ricoleta. The airlines lost my bags, so I did not have my tripod! I had to walk around this awesome place without a tripod. So I had to do everything I could to wedge myself against statues and scary-spikey-gargoyles to try to stay stable.

La Ricoleta - The Crypts of Buenos Aires

Welcome to STUCK IN CUSTOMS Welcome to my travel photography blog!
Enjoy the daily photos, tips, tutorials & more!
Newsletter Sign Up
The Most Beautiful Newsletter Ever!


x