The Colors of Death Valley, New Portfolio, Kim Dotcom, and a giveaway!

Win a free Capture Camera Clip V2!

We’re giving away a whole amazing kit (Capture Pro, Leash & Cuff) in honor of their Kickstarter campaign for the Capture Camera Clip V2! Just comment below if you want one – We’ll pick a random winner in one week… so jump on in – Good luck!


And the winner is … !

The randomly selected winner from over 1,500 comments is Tyler Kirkland! Congratulations Tyler! You’re going to love this great product from Peak Design.


 

Kim Dotcom in Queenstown and on today’s show!

Kim is down from the North Island and he’s popping over to be on the show today! It’ll be fun… We’ll kind of get the show started talking about the New Mega — I’ve started securely uploading some photos and important stuff up there. The encryption is really amazing… I had no idea till he started telling me more about it. I also dig it intellectually as it seems like an important piece in an evolving and free Libertarian ethersphere. But that’s another subject… ! [Edit: Here's the show below!]

Kim Dotcom

New Bag

I feel like such a girl… I think about bags so much.

But now that my whole system is lighter, I think I need a smaller bag. No, I KNOW I need a smaller bag. This actually took my a while to get my head around. You know, this NEX is 6x smaller than the D800. (I guess you saw the new Sony NEX-7 Review here on the site since I switched from Nikon.) The lenses too! It’s like I have room for 6 NEXs and 6x lenses in my bag… so… well I guess I should do some bag shopping and have a girl’s day out! :)

Updated my Portfolio Site

I made a few more tweaks to my portfolio site below… hope you enjoy! What to know more about the portfolio manager I use? See the new SmugMug Review here on the site! :)

Daily Photo – The Colors of Death Valley

It took me a long time to get to Death Valley in life. It’s one of those places you hear about a lot but never really get to. For some reason, I decided to make my first visit in the middle of the summer. I’ll never forget the feeling of standing out here at night and having hot (and, surprisingly, wet-feeling) air just blasting me in the face. It was like nothing else. It was actually totally awesome, even though I was looking forward to getting back into my air-conditioned RV! :)

Death Valley Colors

The Colors of Death Valley

Photo Information

  • Date TakenAugust 26, 2012 at 12:32pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length48.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

The Crazy Colors of Death Valley

Rock Guides on Road Trips

If you’re planning on taking a road trip through a state or area, you should try to get these Rock Guides for each State. I have forgotten the exact name, but it tells you what you are driving past. Like it would say, on Highway 5, just before you get to So-and-So, you’ll pass a rock-cliff wall full of the a special kind of granite that was used to build the Texas State Capitol or whatever whatever. Okay that was a stupid example, but these guides are actually really cool… I recommend them!

Daily Photo – The Crazy Colors of Death Valley

I had no idea Death Valley would be so full of colors! Of course, the HDR process takes the existing colors and really helps them to stand out… and, as everyone knows, that’s perfectly cool with me!

I was close to this area back in college when I used to have a double-major in geophysics and computer-science. I ended up dropping the geo bit of it because of a fight with the professor, but I’ve always kept my fascination with rocks. I don’t know enough about everything I see… like, when I see this below, I have a few ideas on what probably made it like this, but I don’t know for sure. Either way, it’s awesome… I’m glad for all the sulfur and iron in the area and its apparent randomness!

The Crazy Colors of Death Valley

The Crazy Colors of Death Valley

Photo Information

  • Date TakenAugust 26, 2012 at 12:44pm
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time1/500
  • Aperture5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length190.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

Genie Time Lapse Photography Camera Device

New Timelapse Device Now Available!

See the full “Time Lapse Photography Syrp Genie Review” here on the site.

I bought one during the Kickstarter phase, but now they are generally available. These guys happened to be here in Queenstown, New Zealand, and they wanted to give you a few coupon code options. If you go to the Genie SYRP Shop you have a choice. You can either get a $110 ballhead for free or save $70 off the purchase of a Genie with that coupon code! Once you get to final checkout, if the ballhead is in your cart, that will be free when you enter the code.

Here are the codew:
STUCKINCUSTOMS110 – Free ballhead
STUCKINCUSTOMS70 – $70 off the Genie

Here is a new video made by the creators of the Genie.

Daily Photo – The Milky Way over the Burning Bush

I took this photo in Death Valley one evening. The bush is red and mysterious because of a bit or light-painting with my headlamp. My neck got a bit tired from multiple tries. That glow around it? I don’t really know… maybe a bit of the dust from the desert caught the red light. Either way, I like how everything looks all funky and zen.

Bush Desert Milky Way

The Milky Way over the Burning Bush

Photo Information

  • Date TakenAugust 25, 2012 at 3:30am
  • CameraNIKON D800
  • Camera MakeNikon
  • Exposure Time30
  • Aperture2.8
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length14.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramManual
  • Exposure Bias

The Ancient Muds of Death Valley

Some Cool eBooks for you

We are always getting new stuff over at Flatbooks.com — here are a few relatively new ones you might have missed!

Daily Photo – The Ancient Muds of Death Valley

Death Valley is a pretty harsh place. It’s especially harsh if you happen to live your life as mud.

I saw these kinds of cracked mudflats in many places, but this was one of my favorites. It was very close to some giant sand dunes. I’m hardly an expert on deserts and sand dunes and whatnot, but I was surprised that these were so close to endless miles of dunes…

The Ancient Muds of Death Valley

The Ancient Muds of Death Valley

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length14mm (14mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

Burning Through the Deserts of Death Valley

Keep Sharing Your Photos in the Community!

The Stuck In Customs Community on G+ is a GREAT way for you to share your own photos and get to know other people in the community too! So, thanks for all the activity over there – I hope you are enjoying yourself! :)

Daily Photo – Burning Through the Deserts of Death Valley

This was my first real experience in a proper desert. The thing that surprised me most was the blast of hot air that kept rushing into my face. I was only here in Death Valley for a few days, so I’m not exactly an expert in deserts. But, while I was there, a nonstop wind full of hot, wet, heat that was pounding into me. The “wet” part was the most interesting… it did not feel as dry as I expected.

The other thing I noticed is that walking up these sand dunes is not as easy as it is in video games.

Mojave Desert

Burning Through the Deserts of Death Valley

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length92mm (92mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

An Endless Desert

Huge Live Show tonight!

I’ll be going live on the air tonight at 7 PM PT to talk about a new, upcoming event somewhere…in Europe! See the Google+ Event Details here. You’ll also be able to watch live here on the blog!

Trey’s LightRoom Presets

Today’s photo (and many others) has been made possible by Trey’s Lightroom Presets! Here’s one of those fun slider-things that we have on the page so you can see the before and after.

before
after

Daily Photo – An Endless Desert

This was my first trip to a proper desert. It’s the kind of desert that I imagined after watching Lawrence of Arabia countless times (it’s one of my favorite movies). Getting up and down these dunes in the middle of a hot summer day is enough to make you collapse. I think I lost one liter of water per dune.

After a while, I started to find it a little easier to walk around once I could better predict the hard parts and soft parts of the sand. But, by then, I had already made all my mistakes and my shoes were completely full of sand. Trudging around with 15 lb feet makes the effort across the dunes extra-special.

Mojave Desert Dune

An Endless Desert

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/8
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length50mm (50mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

The Polar Opposite

Photos from the Sydney PhotoWalk

Here is a very nice collection over on the Demotix website (thank you Richard Milnes) — you can get an idea of what it was like! Thanks again everyone for coming!

Summer in Death Valley

It is hot. Super hot. We’re talking around 120 degrees Fahrenheit (48 degrees Celsius). I thought I’d see a few other photographers and stuff around Death Valley, but I saw hardly any. I guess they all are smarter than me and go in the colder season! Anyway, it was kind of nice to be there totally alone… As you can see from my other shots from this racetrack area, I stayed here throughout the day and night… it was a wonderful time (even though it was a tad warm)!

Daily Photo – The Polar Opposite

Here is another photo from this mysterious part of Death Valley, where the rocks appear to move on their own accord. If you’d like to see the other photo I took of this place at midnight under the moon, just click on the “Death Valley” category under this post.

In the distance there, you can see that tremendous, heavy black rock. It remains in the middle of the lakebed in that pronounced manner, like a giant iron ship that is using ancient magnets to direct rocks around the lakebed.

Racetrack Death Valley

The Polar Opposite

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/16
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length300mm (300mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

The Painted Mountains of Death Valley

Interview with Astrum People Part 2

Yesterday was Part 1 and here is Part 2! :)

Daily Photo – The Painted Mountains of Death Valley

I woke up on the final morning to go find this special area of Death Valley. I tried to get to things as early as possible before the heat came along. The middle of August is about the worst time to be in Death Valley, but it did do an excellent job of getting rid of the crowds for me!

The Painted Mountains of Death Valley

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5.6
  • ISO100
  • Focal Length122mm (122mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

The Racetrack in Death Valley – Mysterious Moving Rocks

Mysterious Moving Rocks – Your Theory?

I took this photo last night in a remote part of Death Valley. I’d love to read your thoughts and theories as to why and how these rocks move across the desert on their own! Now, let’s all be sporting about this and NOT use the Google to figure it out… use your mind.

The day in Death Valley was about 115 F (46 C). It wasn’t a dry heat either… there has been a lot of humidity here and there is flash lightning in the day and night. This location here took a lot of time, effort, and 4×4 to find. I took five gallons of water, a map, and some warnings from the place that rented the jeep that this area was inaccessible because of recent road wash-outs from rivers. Well, they were right! So getting the 4×4 over and through the washed out rivers took many more hours than expected. I only suffered one minor injury when my head slammed into the rollbar during a clumsy maneuver. But after I finally found this place I’ve always wanted to visit, it was late afternoon with plenty of time to hike around before night fell.

Here are a few things I noticed which will either be a help or a hindrance in your quest to figure it out:
• When I rapped upon the rock with my knuckle, I felt a faint metallic ting.
• Many rocks were jet-black and heavy with time
• The mud was dry as an old bone, and as I walked across it, I left no footprints behind.
• I walked around without my shoes for a bit, and my feet barely picked up any sand or dirt.  There was a fine white-alkaline powder on my soles, however.
• I never saw the rock move, but I did try something.  In the still of the night, if you put your ear to the ground near the rock, you can hear a distant echo – a trembling sound from deep underground, like heavy chains dragged through the maw of hell.

So what do YOU think causes the rocks to move? Give me your best AND most ludicrous theories!

In the meantime, I’m leaving Death Valley to go to Burning Man, so my internet will be quite limited. The team at StuckInCustoms.com will still be around if you need anything, however. Thanks!

Daily Photo – The Mysterious Rock of Wonder

I look forward to your theories (from the boring to the surreal) of what makes these rocks move across the playa on their own!

The Mysterious Rock of Wonder

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/4
  • ISO1600
  • Focal Length14mm (14mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire, compulsory flash mode
  • Exposure Programmanual
  • Exposure Bias

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