The Tree Alone Against the World

Two textured shots in a row! Sorry, I usually don’t do this (put two very similar things back to back on subsequent days) but I’ve been spending my weekend evenings here recording these videos. I just finished this one and was happy with the way it turned out.

There was this interesting tree sitting alone after a morning snow. The snow had melted, but the skies still had these white-out conditions. Those skies normally make for very dull visuals, so I thought this would be a good candidate for textures. I think, by now, you guys know I can’t stand a boring sky in my photos… and since you can’t always have a four-star sunset, maybe it drove me to use the world around me to find textures to re-purpose inside these photos. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll figure out that bit in a while.

The Tree Alone Against the World (by Stuck in Customs)

The Glassy Lake Near Antarctica

I’m in the middle of working on a full upgrade for the Stuck In Customs Textures Tutorial. I think it’s already very good (only had ONE return in over a year!), but I can do even better. I’ve learned a lot in the past 18 months about this stuff and the technique continues to evolve. As I am working through some new shots for the tutorial, I thought I would go ahead and post this one. It was taken late one afternoon near a glacial lake on the southern edge of Argentina.

We have put together a fair upgrade plan if you have purchased the current Textures Tutorial and you want to a new set of 50 Textures taken from secret locations along with the new video. I’m excited to get it out there… not sure how much longer it will take. I want to give it a professional touch. In the meantime, I wanted to share this one with you!

The Glassy Lake Near Antarctica

Circumnavigating the Lake

This is yet another glacier-filled lake in the mountains between Chile & Argentina. I got up pretty high on a short hike to get this shot. I had seen this bright tuft of red leaves and wanted to work it into the final product. We were on the edge of autumn and a few leaves were starting to change colors. Most of the leaves were not in any interesting compositional angles or were impossible to get near! So this one took a bit of a hike to find and set up…

Also, thanks to everyone on Twitter and Facebook that became agitated when the cop threatened to arrest me because I looked like a professional photographer with my tripod in front of the Coke museum. Anyway, Coke saw the message on Twitter and via several emails that were sent in – so thank you Gail and all the others that helped! Props to Coke Social Media (see down in comment 55) for the response.

And last, I’ll be on FOX here in Austin this (Tuesday) morning for the morning news… A little interview at sunrise. It’s midnight and I should be asleep right now… okay here I go.

Circumnavigating the Lake

The Worst Way to Cross the River

After we set up camp in a little wooded area, we headed off to see if we could get to one of the glaciers by sunset.  This is near Cerro Torre, a region that is disputed between Argentina and Chile.  I didn’t see much of a dispute while I was there — no armies or anything.  I did see some wayward Guanacas, but I was not sure which side they were on.

I walked along the river until I got to a stopping point, where I got stuck.  I couldn’t cross because it was too sketchy, even for me.  So I set up here to prepare for the sunset.  This was shot about two hours prior to the sunset while I was exploring the area.  I’ll be sure to edit the other photos soon (ish) and get them up!

The Worst Way to Cross the River

Adventuring in the Andes (and a new NBC TV Interview)

Argentina is gorgeous. Have I said that before? Doesn’t it go without saying by now?

You really get to know a set of mountains when you have to hike around them. Fortunately, in the middle of these death marches, I was able to stop and drink in some of the scenery. It took a lot longer than necessary to get to the destination, but at least I arrived with a camera full of photos.  That beautiful peak in the distance is Fitz Roy.  I was very lucky to see it, because 90% of the time it’s covered with clouds.

So, last night something else lucky happened! Here are the high points:

  • I did an interview that aired on NBC at 10 PM here in Austin.  The segment was all about HDR and turned out really well.   Jim Swift interviewed me and he did a great job editing together a nice little story.  You can see the full video by pressing play in the upper left hand area of the TV Station’s KXAN site. There is a second video down on the left with some extra interview stuff…
    • You guys should contact your local NBC affiliates and ask them to get the segment from KXAN – that would be cool!
    • The story also mentioned the HDR Tutorial, which you can get to via that link.
  • The news segment mentioned an upcoming PhotoWalk in Austin on August 6 that I am organizing.  You can find out more inside the Facebook Event!

Adventuring in the Valley (and a new NBC TV Interview) (by Stuck in Customs)

Unique type of photography hits Austin | KXAN.com (by Stuck in Customs)

You can click that picture just above to visit the NBC KXAN site to see the whole segment with Jim Swift.

This is gonna be a long hike (and an announcement soon!)

The 40km hike in Argentina (which my legs still feel and probably always will), it started out by ascending a small mountain in the Andes. A small mountain in the Andes, by the way, is a mountain of incomprehensible proportions in any other part of the world. After a harrowing trip, I was greeted with this view of the rest of the hike. Luckily, I was tired enough to grant myself an excuse to take off my pack and put together my Inspector Gadget camera setup to grab this shot.

In other news… wait just a few hours… we have a big announcement coming! :)

This is gonna be a long hike (and an announcement coming soon!)

The Autumn Tree After the Snow Storm

On one of the mornings when we woke up in Patagonia, I came out of the tent to find everything covered in a soft blanket of snow. It was the middle of the autumn there, so the rich deep colors on the trees stood out in sharp contrast to white snow.

I grabbed this shot as quickly as I could before the snow started to cover everything up too much, which can tend make for a somewhat washed-out shot. I believe this photo was at f/2.8 with the 24-70 lens. That aperture helped the most interesting tree in the foreground to stay sharp while everything else stayed foggy and snowy (which it kinda was anyway).

A Tree in the Snow (by Stuck in Customs)

It’s a hot summer in the states but a cool winter in Argentina

I know some of you remember Natalia from El Chalten on the southern tip of Argentina, so I thought I would add another photo of her.

When we were walking back from the shoot, it got a little chilly, so she covered up a bit. I don’t know if you’ve experienced this or not… but she’s one of those gals that always seems to be posin’. Kinda like Angelina, I suppose, where you get the sense that she is always aware of the presence of a camera. So, since I had on the 50mm 1.4, I took a few quick ones like this while walking down the trail.

It's a hot summer in the states but a cool winter in Argentina (by Stuck in Customs)

Grave Robber

Here is another location from within that amazing city of crypts in Argentina. I took so many shots in there that my shutter almost joined the derelict remains of this rather haunting locale.

I probably could have stayed here another few hours. I wanted to peek inside every crypt and root around inside for all sorts of treasure or +1 daggers. Even though my time there was too short, I still managed to grab a wild variety of shots that I am still enjoying and reviewing many weeks later. I simply can’t wait to get back to this spot some day!

Grave Robber

A Snowy Angelic Pose in the Forest

Here are two of my Russian friends frolicking in the snowy forest one morning. When you have a group of photographers tromping about the edge of the world, you end up taking photos of one another quite a bit.

This is the very deep-thinking Vova (I mistakenly called him Vulva) taking a photo of Irina, who is looking quite elf-like and innocent in the snow. Irina was responsible for making me borscht every single day and night of the hike. I ate more borscht than all the czars combined, although I can’t complain because a nice hot meal was always a welcome treat.

You can see Vova is using a Canon there. I didn’t hold that against him. These guys are currently on another photo expedition. I was invited, but I’m too covered up right now to join them… and it saddens me… Maybe I will have some borscht tomorrow in photographic mourning.

A Snowy Forest Photoshoot

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