Russian in the Woods

Join me on Twit.TV today!

4 PM Pacific Time today (Friday), join me live on video at live.twit.tv! I’ll be on with Lisa Bettany and Leo Laporte for a new photography show. If you can join live in the chat room, I’ll hand out a free gift for all of you in there!

@Photoshop Tweets from Adobe Speech

During my talk yesterday at Adobe, the team there sent out a bunch of tweets… quoting me during the talk. I grabbed a bunch of them to put here below for you, in advance of the video that I think they are workin’ on:

@Photoshop @TreyRatcliff “Art on the Internet is just getting started, its not a saturated market.”

@Photoshop @TreyRatcliff “You have to have saturated and not saturated parts of the image to give eyes a break and keep viewers on the image”

@Photoshop @TreyRatcliff “We picture ourselves as stars of our own movie…and we like to capture it for ourselves in a more meaningful, rich way.”

@Photoshop @TreyRatcliff “Next time you go out to shoot, try wearing some ear phones..What happens is unexpected.”

@Photoshop @TreyRatcliff “If you can separate yourself from what is going on, everything can become dreamlike and you can see things in a new light.”

@Photoshop @TreyRatcliff “I challenge you to be awesome. We’re at an unprecented time in history to be awesome together rather than alone.”

Daily Photo – Russian in the Woods

Russians often just look cool. I don’t know how they do it. They don’t even have to try, but they just kind of have this “edge” that I can’t put my finger on.

I took this shot of Vulva (pronounce the “V” like Chekov did with nuclear wessuls) when we were walking in the woods in Patagonia. I had gotten up ahead of him about a quarter mile, and I stopped to take of my bag to get a snack. I like snacks when hiking. Snacks are so good. Anyway, I heard Vulva coming up behind me, so I spun around my camera to take this quick photo of him walking at me. I told him that I thought he looked really cool, but I think he thought I was just being a cheeky American.

High Dynamic Range Photography

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Natalia on the Farm

Daily Photo – Natalia on the Farm

After getting back from one of those long hikes in Patagonia, I stayed with my Russian friends at a small hotel in El Chalten. It was a little family-run operation and the daughter Natalia helped out by running errands and these sorts of things. I took her around with me to take some photos in the little town, and she was happy to pose! It was plenty easy to find all kinds of interesting backgrounds, since El Chalten is a picturesque little town with old buildings, horses in fields, and mountainous backdrops.

HDR Photo

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The Valley To Forever

HDR Workshop

Update:  SOLD OUT Registration opened this morning on the HDR Workshop page! Thanks, and I look forward to that upcoming weekend!

(I know some people had issues with website / foreign currency problems & paypal. Just email support at stuckincustoms.com if there are worries – they will take good care of you – thanks!)

Daily Photo – The Valley To Forever

The first part of one of my hikes in the Andes included a pretty serious jaunt up a mountain. This was jarring in many ways — mostly because I simply wasn’t expecting it. But, once I got to the top, and emerged to the other side, I was afforded this view.

My lackluster food rations and absolute lack of Internet was not really an issue with this sort of view. It was nice to be able to spend hours and hours hiking without having to worry about checking my email. Maybe this is partly why I like adventuring in remote places so much… I have really good excuses for being slow on emailing people back! When I am on the Internet, and people see me on Twitter all the time… they know I am there… they know they know… and ignored emails and tweets have no excuse!

The Valley to Forever

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My Nymph in the River

Newsletter Growing Like Crazy!


We send out a newsletter about once a month or so… I make sure that newsletter subscribers get early looks at things, sneak previews, and the best of the month, all wrapped into a pretty little package.

Daily Photo – My Nymph in the River

Nestled deep inside this landscape is Irina. She is getting some fresh water for our camp. Irina took care of me night and day, making me all sorts of food, snacks, and drinks along the way. Over the entire trek, we went about 40km through the Andes, so I’m quite sure she helped keep me alive!

This beautiful location was near one of the many glacial rivers that flows out of the mountains. The air was cool and crisp, but not frigidly cold. You can see Irina has a little hoodie up to keep her nymph-ears warm. The air was just about perfect for the strenuous hike, because I ended up generating quite a bit of heat while carrying so much photography equipment.

HDR-Photo

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10 Amazing, Incredible, and Remarkable Adjectives

10 Amazing, Incredible, and Remarkable Adjectives

1. Amazing

2. Incredible

3. Remarkable

[Insert Annoying Ad here.]

4. Mind-Blowing

5.  Obamariffic

6.  Redonkulous

7.  Jaw Shattering

8.  H1n1ilicious

9.  Pants-Smelling

10.  Adjectival

Daily Photo – My Adventure Buddy in Argentina

I’m relatively picky when it comes to travel partners.  #1 rule:  Don’t annoy me.  Is that too much to ask?

So, I choose my travel partners with care… and I did not make any mistakes with my Russian friends in Argentina.  They were perfectly affable and enjoyable travel-buddies.  There when you needed them and gone when you didn’t…  it’s hard to explain, but maybe some of you know what I mean.

Below is Vulva, a wonderful guy with a gentle spirit.  He’s tall, somewhat severe-looking, and has a booming Russian voice, but he has a tiny Buddha inside of him… a really great guy.  One morning, we woke up and went out to shoot in fresh snow.  I grabbed this one of him in the woods before taking a little hike to the glacier below.

The Textures Tutorial video, which is always a popular thing, shows how I edited the second photo below… I recorded a screencast and talked through my steps in its creation.

HDR-Photo

HDR-Photo

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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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A Rocky Morning

Bonus Stuff For You

I have several sections of the website with miscellaneous stuff that has built up over the years. I give out recommendations all the time on books, music, apps, etc etc. Some of this stuff needs an update, but some stuff is pretty fresh!

  • Best TED Talks – I just added a great one by Stephen Wolfram…  I studied Computer Science and Math in college… so I like that guy
  • Trey’s Book List – A list of some really cool books that I recommend!
  • Twitter Lists – Looking for interesting people to follow?  See these!
  • Photography Gadgets – Some cool gadgets I use, including the wonderful Green Cube that everyone loves!

Daily Photo – A Rocky Morning

One morning when I crawled out of my tent in Argentina, a dense cloud was just rolling through. I got out to explore a bit, and the cloud quickly blew away to reveal an amazing landscape.

I had planned just to take a few shots and then go back to the camp and make some breakfast.  But then, I saw something interesting just around the other side of the rocks.  And then, I got over there and saw something else that might be interesting.  And it was.  And then I saw something even further away…

HDR-Photo

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Riverfall

Little Update to the Noiseware Review

You guys know I love Noiseware and use it all the time. I added another screenshot to the Noiseware Review so you can see it in action under normal settings.

I have used many different noise-reduction software packages. Many are very good! In fact, it’s almost a push. To me, it comes down to the best UI — and, for me, personally, Noiseware is the easiest to use.

What is your experience? Do you have Noise Reduction software you prefer?

Daily Photo – Riverfall

Even though I know the science inside out, the idea that one hemisphere swings into Autumn while the other turns into Spring always is a very cool concept to me! It’s so strange to go from the southern hemisphere where the colors are just starting to change to the deep oranges and reds — and then arrive in the northern hemisphere where everything is just starting to bloom!

This is a perfect little river down in Argentina. It emptied from a big glacial lake, so there is always a bit of a strange color and tinge to the water… but it is very nice and other-worldly, in a way.

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The Floods of Lago Argentina

Google Talk – Now with Subtitles (Did the Google Engine do it Automatically?)

This  talk seems to be pretty popular – we recently broke 10,000 views, second to Al Gore and Joe MacNally – not bad – thanks again for all your support!  I am glad you find this stuff informative.

Also, I know some of the people in the audience here are hearing-impaired, and so now we have some good news for you! Some nice person there at Google went through my entire talk and added subtitles! I can’t imagine how long that took… or…

Maybe they used one of those automated Google speech recognition engines? It’s a good question — what do you think? I’ve only watched a few bits and pieces and saw some minor mistakes, but nothing major yet. I know I use Google Voice and it does a pretty good job of interpreting English into text. Maybe one of those clever people over at Google can shed some light on this question!

You can see the full Authors@Google YouTube Video here.

Daily Photo – The Floods of Lago Argentina

Towards the end of my trip in Argentina, we started exploring around the edges of some of the other towns.  One of them had started growing towards the lake before it started to flood.  There was a whole house community over here that had to be abandoned because of the lake.  It seemed like a great and unusual place for photography.

What you can’t see in this photo is how HARD it was to get to this spot!  I knew it would be a good angle, and the path looked just a little muddy.  But, it was one of those muddy steps where you immediately sink in knee-deep.  You know the kind I mean.  It’s the kind of step when you immediately feel soft dutch-chocolate-mud seep up and over and into your hiking boots.  And then there was, of course, the horrible mud-sucking sound as I tried to yank one leg out while another was quickly sinking.  It was a bad scene, but, priority #1 was keeping the camera safe and tidy!

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An Icy Cold Evening not too far from Antarctica

Facebook Fan Page

We have a nice and active Facebook Fan Page — I invite people to freely share their photos, comments, and the like.  I also occasionally pop in there to answer special questions and give sneak previews on cool things — so be sure to join up!

I added a little widget over there in the right column — you might just see your bright and shiny Facebook-smile appear over there on day! :)

Daily Photo – An Icy Cold Evening

I’m always amazed at all the little living things in the most extreme conditions. I’m a big fan of all those science shows that talk about various organisms and extremophiles that barely cling to life in the most bare of circumstances. I was reminded of this while at this icy cold lake in Argentina.

I’m used to moss and lichen and this sort of thing growing in more temperate climates, so I was surprised to see whole rocks covered in it, especially with little icebergs floating nearby. It did give some nice color to an otherwise blue-cold-stark scene.

The only thing more stark than this scene was the cooking waiting for me back at the camp. I don’t mean to say anything bad at all about the two Russian women that were cooking for me — but over a week’s worth of in-the-bush Russian food is enough to harden any soft man. My main mate on the trip was ex-Soviet military, so he was used to these sorts of rations and seemed to enjoy it — or, at least tolerate it with less of a grimace.

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