Darkness in the City

Stuck On Earth hangout

We had a great hangout to talk about Stuck On Earth (iTunes Link), the community, and more.  Here is a recording.  Enjoy!


Daily Photo – Darkness in the City

Sometimes the art gets a little bit dark, yes?  These moods are kind of good and kind of fun… and productive in a few different ways.

I found this location through Stuck on Earth.  We have a Top 50 Secret Spots list in the app from my friend Thomas Hawk.  It got me a great shot looking in the other direction.  But then, I very simply turned around and saw this out the other window!

HDR Photo

Mark Zuckerberg

Final Prints for 2011

[UPDATE – Sold Out] – Speaking of today’s photo… I should let you know there are only a few Prints left for this Limited Annum series 2011. There are 12 days remaining!

Daily Photo – Zuck In Customs

I was able to have a bit of personal time with Mark Zuckerberg, who turns out to be a fan! I could not believe it when I saw a kind email from him… I had to look a few different times to see if one of my friends was playing a practical joke on me… Anyway, we meet this week here in California at the FB HQ and had a bit of personal time. I won’t go into the nature of the conversation because it was, well, personal — but I really had a nice time.

Obviously, I’m a fan of Facebook too, and these things tend to be a digital manifestation of somebody’s spirit. So, from that aspect before we met, I had attempted to reverse-engineer the man behind the product as sort of a mental exercise. And then when I met him, it was interesting to see all the various aspects of a person and how they differ from their magnum opus.

Here is Mark holding his rare print…

HDR Photo

As for this photo below, I grabbed it when we left his office to go down to join in the fun of the Hackathon.

HDR Photo

Big Live Hangout Tonight

Live Hangout Tonight!

Join us on Thursday!

Time: Thursday 7 PM PT (Your World Time)

Where to watch: www.Vidcastnetwork.com

Topic: Gear Talk! The new Nikon Mirrorless and beyond…  There’s a new breed of cameras out there, and we’ll talk about what they can do…

Want to see more? See other hangouts on my YouTube Channel.

Who’s coming to the partay? +Gordon Laing, ? +Frederick Van Johnson, ?+Al Ebnereza,?+Eden Brackstone, and maybe even the great +RC Concepcion will do a sweet Latino-slide to join us at the last minute…

Newsletter Away!

We sent off a new newsletter this morning… did you miss it?  Come sign up here for free!

Daily Photo – Alcatraz in the Dusk

Today’s photo was taken recently in San Francisco.  That tower you see there in the mid-distance is Coit Tower.  Just beyond that, in the middle of the bay, you can see Alcatraz.

I’ve never made it out to Alcatraz to take photos, but it is on my list.  I wonder how much freedom (!) I would have out there to roam around with my tripod.  Have any of you gotten out there?

HDR Photo

The Tattoo Shop

Google Ripples

The analysis side of my brain loves this thing. Yesterday, I decided to share the work of a photographer named Jaime Ibarra. And then, this visualization of the information spread was created. Very cool!

With that chart, you can drag the timeline along the bottom to watch how things grow and spread over time. Cool! Also, you can zoom in and click on various bubbles.

Google+ Hangout Live Tonight!

It’s a late one, starting at 11 PM ET, 8 PM PT (Your World Time)
Where: Tune in Live on my Google+ Stream for a live link, so you can watch the video even if you are not one of the 10 that gets in.

Daily Photo – The Tattoo Shop

Speaking of Google, I did a Google+ hangout last night where I worked on this photo. I took it just recently at the San Francisco PhotoWalk with Thomas Hawk. It was a great night… so many sights to be seen there.

As usual, I had two cameras with me. One was for quick street shots with a 50mm prime. The other had my 14-24mm (see Nikon 14-24mm Review) on for these sorts of shots. I find that if I want to be on the sidewalk and take a photo of the store in front of me, I really need this kind of lens to squeeze it all in!

The Tattoo ShopI did a Google+ hangout last night where I worked on this photo. I took it just recently at the San Francisco PhotoWalk with Thomas Hawk. It was a great night... so many sights to be seen there.As usual, I had two cameras with me. One was for quick street shots with a 50mm prime. The other had my 14-24mm (see Nikon 14-24mm Review) on for these sorts of shots. I find that if I want to be on the sidewalk and take a photo of the store in front of me, I really need this kind of lens to squeeze it all in!- Trey RatcliffRead the rest, including some neat stuff about Google Ripples, here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Beautiful San Francisco

Sorry about the Apple Talk Broadcast

We tried to do a live Google+ hangout from the Apple event, but there were problems. It kinda worked, but didn’t really have all the ooomph that I was hoping for. Oh well, at least we tried. And I know what went wrong… I’m still figuring this stuff out, and we’ll get it better next time.

Daily Photo – Beautiful San Francisco

I just got back from a crazy three days in San Francisco. The trip included everything from visits to Google, YouTube, Facebook, breakfast with Scoble, Smugmug, Microsoft at a Calacanis event (where the upcoming app WON Audience Choice!), then finally a PhotoWalk in SF with Thomas Hawk. It was completely exhausting, but very fun. After the Facebook talk, I headed to downtown San Francisco with Tom Anderson to get this photo. It was a great night!

Beautiful San Francisco

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2016-08-12 06:06:28
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/8
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length28mm (28mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

The Bay Beyond the Golden Gate

London Workshop Announced!

Newsletter subscribers got this news a little early, and here it is for everyone else!

Many details of the London event are now on the HDR Workshop page. Registration is in exactly 6 days (next Monday) at 10 AM London Time. You may remember the last one sold out in 11 minutes, so be ready. That page will have the order form “switched on” at 10 AM sharp. This time, we are on Rackspace servers, so we should be able to handle the surge without crashing!

Daily Photo – The Bay Beyond the Golden Gate

This spot up on the mountain, just north of San Francisco, is a very windy spot! Even when you have a sturdy tripod, the wind can knock it around quite a bit. In this one, I had to set up to shoot and then stand in front of the tripod, curling my body around the lens to try to block the wind.

It was a 5-exposure HDR, and I affixed a wide-angle lens so I could get the Golden Gate bridge on the left and the setting sun on the right. The skies were nice enough to cooperate with a nice palette of colorful clouds to trail across the sky. I’m not a big fan of shooting in the wind… it puts me on-edge a little bit. I do quite enjoy that feeling of popping back into my car after the event. The clunk of the car door shutting and the lack of the sound of the wind… that is a nice feeling.

As far as HDR settings go, I wanted to juxtapose it with this other sunset photo below. In this one, I took 7 exposures from +3 to -3, mostly because I was shooting into the sun. It also left me with more possible frames to correct the “ghosting” problem from the waves. Does this make sense?

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.

The Golden Gate Bridge at Dusk

New Free Video Coming Soon

Tonight I edited together another video about how I took a photo in New Zealand. I’ll get it uploaded soon to share with everyone!  In the meantime, you can check out others in the Video section of the website.

Daily Photo – The Golden Gate Bridge at Dusk

I had spent the previous night up in Napa, visiting my mom and grandmother. This was a long day with a stop in Petaluma to see Leo’s operation, a fast hike through the Muir Woods, and then a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge to catch its majesty at sunset.

I’m sure locals know this spot very well, but I found it thanks to Google Earth. I knew it would be a cool spot, but driving to these spots is always a bit sketchy when you have never been there before. It appeared to be a simple jog off Highway 1, and it actually was. It’s nice when something that looks easy ends up actually being easy! This isn’t usually the case. Even better, the wind wasn’t howling a mile a minute, which I think can happen around here if you don’t watch out!

After I took this, I could hardly wait to get back home to process the final image. I don’t know about y’all, but I find the post-processing just as fun as the actual shooting… I really get a kick out of it!

The Giants in the Muir Woods

The Auckland Photowalk

I knew a Type A personality would come along and create a Flickr Group for the Auckland Photowalk. Thanks for that – there is the link for everyone else that has yet to discover it. I am so lame and slow – it takes me a long time to process photos, but I will ! Thanks again everyone for the walk, the talk, and the pizza! I’d also like to thank Vivian Ho and Virginia Mui for helping me out with the whole event!

Christchurch Event Soon!

On the heels of the north island, the photowalk is moving to the south island and Christchurch on March 4. This talk will be a high-class event, complete with Wine and Cheese… but of course! 🙂

Daily Photo – The Giants in the Muir Woods

When I was in California recently, I left Leo Laporte’s cottage to take some photos of the Muir Woods. If you have never been here, it’s a must!

Did you know this is where they filmed that speeder scene from Return of the Jedi? Very cool. I did not see any Ewoks in the forest, nor did they try to trip me by making me roll my robo-angle on strategically-placed logs. Those Ewoks… so small, crafty, and flammable.

5 Great Twitter Contests

The Best of Breed

If you have some more ideas, Tweet me at @TreyRatcliff!

I’ve been asking all my social media pals, photographer-friends, and others about some of the most successful and fun Twitter contests that have been run.  I was sitting down with my publisher at @Peachpit, because we need to Give Away a few copies of “A World in HDR“.  While we thought of a few ideas, I thought we would open it up the Internet to see what we can find!

Frankly, and this might offend some people, I think that straight give-aways are crass and obvious.  I think it can get you followers, but I can argue those are ill-gotten followers.  You may disagree.

I think there are more fun, engaging, and productive ways to run Twitter contests.  So, to that end, I’ve assembled some of the best below.  If you have MORE, drop me a note in the comments, and I’ll do a redux soon! 🙂  Also, please, tell me your favorite contest idea and we can try to do something similar for the new book!  I’ll probably have @Peachpit run the contests, since I don’t want to Tweet about give-aways once an hour on my personal Twitter account (@TreyRatcliff). Besides, you guys should follow Peachpit anyway, since they are a good company that publishes fantastic books.

1)  The Michelle

  • So named, because it is the idea of Michelle Greer, a clever Twitter user and social media smarty-pants at Rackspace.
  • We pick a non-photography related blogger who frequently uses pictures in their posts to act as a judge (who’s interested??)
  • Judge announces a theme for the day (Landscape, architecture, etc) and announces via Twitter.  We’ll get that Retweeted widely and repeatedly.
  • Contestant picks a photo that fits the theme, “Hey @TreyRatcliff and @Peachpit, this #hdr is inspiring (link).”  Note this does not have to be MY photo…it can be yours, or anyone’s!
  • Judge picks the winner and uses it on their blog with attribution.  Winner gets a the prize!

Why I like this idea:

  • People get to find and share great art online
  • People get to discover new photographers and new sites that feature them
  • I’m a big fan of Creative Commons (all my work is CC, no Commercial Use allowed without contacting us first).  I think bloggers out there should know about all the beautiful photos from photographers that are available.  And photographers who believe in creative commons LOVE to be featured on blogs.
  • Everyone likes eye-candy on Twitter!

2)  The Trivial

  • Thanks to Eugene, a frequent guest on this site!
  • Send people on a scavenger hunt through a particular website to find something hidden
    • For example, we could ask, “How many nights in a row was Trey forced to eat borscht cooked by three Russian women in Argentina?”
  • The contest judge accepts tweets with real, creative, or funny answers.
  • The winner is selected randomly amongst those that got the right answer in 24 hours.

Why I like this idea

  • It’s fun and game-like
  • People get even more engaged in a website and might find some hidden gems
  • You have 24 hours to play, and you don’t have to be “quick on the draw”

3)  The Macleod

  • A frequent guest of the site, Barbara Youngleson, brought this one up.  Thanks Barbara!
  • This idea appears to have come from Hugh Macleod, the clever cartoonist and consummate cooligan
  • It works like this (more or less):
    • Purchase a book by any means, and send the PO over Twitter
    • A limited number of winners are chosen
    • Receive a second book, signed, for free.  Give one to a friend!

Why I like it:

  • It is non-pushy
  • It rewards people that are real-enough fans to buy the book in the first place!  Hehe.
  • Hugh did it, so it must have some coefficient of cool

4)  The Threadless

  • This idea is being successfully executed at Threadless.com
  • If you see a Tweet you like, you can submit it to the contest
  • It is then voted on by the Threadless community
  • The best Tweets end up on T-Shirts and the Tweet author gets sweet cash.

Why I like it:

  • It’s incredibly fun and engaging.
  • It’s super-viral.  I found out about it because someone nominated one of my Tweets: “If I get another dog, I shall name him ‘ROFL’.”
  • Threadless is cool, and it is fun to be associated with a cool brand.

5)  The Moonfruit

  • Moonfruit (a website buildin’ company) ran a good promotion where you can use the hashtag #moonfruit in any kind of Tweet
  • They selected a random person every day and gave away a MacBook Pro
  • It resulted in the #moonfruit hashtag being a trending topic and gaining over 30,000 followers

Why I like it:

  • It was very easy to enter
  • It was viral because you wonder why your friends are all talking about Moonfruit!

Today’s Photo – The Bar at Dosa in San Francisco

The photo today was taken at an awesome Indian restaurant in San Francisco called “Dosa”.  The manager was nice enough to allow me to move around and take a few photos after dinner.  I was dining with the marketing and PR team from Peachpit (@Peachpit), who is publishing the book.  Taking roll-call, we had Scott Cowlin (@ScottPeachpit), Sara Jane Todd (@SaraJaneTodd), and Laura Pexton (@Laura7).  We sat around all night talking about having some fun Twitter contests for people to give away books… so here we are, and you get to vote on your favorites!

5 Great Twitter Contests

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