Walking Across the Old Bridge

 

Your Favorite Cultural Clothes

What country/culture has your favorite clothes? Is it something exotic like ancient China, or modern like stylish India? Or maybe it’s something more tribal or more formal… I think most people tend to like stuff that is quite far away from where they live… and the further, the better and more exotic! But, I wondered what your favorite was…

Daily Photo – Walking Across the Old Bridge

While in China, one of the small towns I visited had several little low walking-bridges across the river. It was the sort of river that was too shallow for boats, but good for fishing and washing clothes.

This one was in a residential and commercial area. Many of the women wore colorful dresses and walked back and forth across… it all seemed very nice and peaceful so I grabbed an image.

Walking Across the Old BridgeWhile in China, one of the small towns I visited had several little low walking-bridges across the river.  It was the sort of river that was too shallow for boats, but good for fishing and washing clothes.  This one was in a residential and commercial area.  Many of the women wore colorful dresses and walked back and forth across... it all seemed very nice and peaceful so I grabbed an image.- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Night Settles In Feung Huang

 

Google + Invites

I’d love to invite the whole community here into Google+, and think I have a way. But, please, follow these rules otherwise things get messy.

Now, I handed out 10 invites yesterday, and I asked those 10 people to make a post on our StuckInCustoms Facebook Page once they were in. Then others could post below that and perhaps the first 10 or so (discretion and time of the inviter) can get in.

It was supposed to be simple, but it ended up in a bit of a cluster because everyone just wrote their own email address right on the wall, asking for an invite.

So, please follow these rules for an orderly pyramid invitation system for inviters and invitees.

1) Come to StuckInCustoms Facebook Page and see if you can find a thread that has remaining invitations. Put your email in that thread (not on the wall).

2) Accept your invite when it arrives, then return to the StuckInCustoms Facebook Page and pay it forward by saying, “I have 10-15 (whatever) invites for Google+ so leave your email below and I’ll get you in!”

3) To invite people in, create a new circle and fill it with email addresses that need access.

4) Share a post or photo with that circle, and it will ask you if you want to email people not in Google+. Say yes, and they will get an email invite!

And, if you are looking for me in Google+, here is My Google Profile.

Where do you keep your passport?

When you travel, where do you secure your passport? Now, I’ve taken to keeping it in my front pocket of my jeans or cargo shorts. I’ve stopped leaving it in the room after it was stolen in China (from a very respectable hotel). I used to sometimes keep it in a safe, but that is kind of a pain… so, front pocket for me. The back pocket is too dangerous because it can easily be picked. And I can’t bring myself to wear one of those things around my neck like I’m a 6 year old traveling alone on an airplane.

Daily Photo – Night Settles In Feung Huang

There is a general poetic peace when it begins to go dark outside and the town comes alight with shopkeepers and villagers come out to turn on the lights. If you look around, you can see them popping on, one at a time, like little fireflies coming out to play for the evening.

This area is no different, and it’s made even more magical by the little river that flows through the middle of it all. And then you are faced with all these nice decisions… where to eat? where to drink? where to find an inn for the night?

Night Settles In Feung HuangThere is a general poetic peace when it begins to go dark outside and the town comes alight with shopkeepers and villagers come out to turn on the lights.  If you look around, you can see them popping on, one at a time, like little fireflies coming out to play for the evening.This area is no different, and it's made even more magical by the little river that flows through the middle of it all.  And then you are faced with all these nice decisions... where to eat?  where to drink?  where to find an inn for the night?  - Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Old Waterwheel

Part 3 of the Student Interview

And the African Queen of never-ending-turns-interview ends with this segment…

Daily Photo – The Old Waterwheel

Right after I arrived in Feng Huang, I went down by the river to walk up and down both sides… and I was drawn to this old waterwheel right away. It was all so quaint… here were old Chinese women washing clothes in the river, and it was all right out of a movie. I only got to spend a few days here… after seeing how wonderful everything was, it’s on my list to revisit some day…. I hope it stays like this.

HDR Photo

Fingers Above River

Student Interview Part 2

And here is part 2 for you…

Daily Photo – Fingers Above River

This was one of those Tour-de-France days when I burned about 10,000 calories. I carried my equipment all up and down this valley in Zhangjiajie… up and down each side, traversing the entire length several times, took very few breaks, and ended up sleeping like a baby. That wasn’t a complete sentence… I know this.

This is just about the same area where I encountered a snake later that night. It was black and gnarly and did nothing to lift my spirits. I’ll finish that snake story next time I post a photo from this region… I don’t really want to think about it until then!

HDR Photo

Entering the Neo-Opera

The Student Interview

Remember these? I never ran all three parts, so I will start that now.

See the rest of part 1 on Vimeo… At the time I uploaded that YouTube video, I was not yet a YouTube partner so I had to make it short… so you may want to fast-forward a bit through that Vimeo one there…

Daily Photo – Entering the Neo-Opera

This is a truly beautiful building. I sometimes feel like I am cheating… when the colors and textures and lines are already there, it just makes for such a pleasant shooting experience. But, when times are easy like this, it reminds me of when the situation is a non-stop struggle to get a good shot. I guess, like everything, it comes in waves…

HDR Photo

Shopkeeper in Beijing on Steps

Category Reminder

I’m usually pretty good about tagging the daily entries with categories.  If you see one that interests you, just click on the tag at the bottom.  For example, this one is in China, so clicking that will take you to all the China photos.  I only put up about 15 per page, so if you click “Previous” at the bottom, you’ll get another set of 15, and so on.

Daily Photo – Shopkeeper in Beijing on Steps

I carry around two cameras so I can get things like this.  I keep my main body affixed to my tripod with whatever lens fits the bill.  This is either a the 14-24 or the 28-300.  I keep my second camera with a prime — either the 50 or 85 prime.

I was taking photos of the festive street at dusk, and I noticed this shopkeeper out taking a rest.  I’ve always admired how people can rest in this position.  I can only sit in that position for about 15 seconds before I scream in agony and my patellas pop off at a hyperspeed tangent.

http://stuckincustoms.smugmug.com/Portfolio-The-Best/your-favorites/10668747_AuyBk#1329655537_bnBH

Evening at the Summer Palace

TWIT Photo – New Video

The new video from TWIT is up now. I hope you enjoy it!  Among many other things we discussed:

  • My friend Lisa Bettany is not doing the show any more on a regular basis
  • The future of digital photography
  • Instagram integration (BTW “100 Cameras in 1” made #1 in Photography for iPad!) (iTunes link)
  • Lens correction in photoshop and lightroom
  • And, in general, you can get to know a bit about Mikkel Aaland

Daily Photo – Evening at the Summer Palace

I didn’t make it to the Summer Palace until my final evening in Beijing, and I was graced with a delicate sunset.

This place is also called the “Gardens of Nurtured Harmony” and it rests on top of “Longevity Hill”, a very Chinese-folk-sounding name. What is kind of interesting is that this entire area was manmade, and the huge hill was built out of dirt when they excavated the man-made lake!

It is a truly beautiful place, as you can plainly see. I could not have asked for a better place to explore on my last night in China.

Evening at the Summer PalaceI didn't make it to the Summer Palace until my final evening in Beijing, and I was graced with a delicate sunset.This place is also called the "Gardens of Nurtured Harmony" and it rests on top of "Longevity Hill", a very Chinese-folk-sounding name.  What is kind of interesting is that this entire area was manmade, and the huge hill was built out of dirt when they excavated the man-made lake!It is a truly beautiful place, as you can plainly see.  I could not have asked for a better place to explore on my last night in China.- Trey RatcliffRead more (and check out a new TWIT Photo Webcast) here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

HDR Photo

The Original Photo

Now, you guys know I don’t normally do this… and don’t get used to it, but I thought you might like to see the original photo. Sometimes the colors come out so wild that people just surely assume I am “painting” in some wonderful color… but as you can see this is not the case. By the way, the reason I don’t do this very often is not be elusive — just I am incredibly, insanely busy and this all takes extra time…

Now, of course the HDR helped here a lot to bring out better color and all the detail in the palace, as well as bringing back the evening “haze” that was really there… Beijing does have a bit of a constant haze problem, to say the least… and the fast exposure there to the right (I believe it was the -1) did not pick it up… but the color of the sky is just about right.

The Deep Indigo Night

HDR Photo

Join me Live on Video on Mostly Photo Today!

Come to Live.TWIT.tv today at 1 PM PT (4 PM ET). We’ll be talking about photography and stuff, and more stuff like that.

Previous Videos

On the Videos page here on the site, I try to remember to link or embed previous videos, interviews, and all that sort of thing. Pop on over there, and you can see the previous episode of Mostly Photo that I was on where we talked about the following:

  • How to share your photos online (I give some philosophical advice in addition to logistical, practical advise)
  • Pricing your images and selling prints
  • Getting inspiration from other online photographers
  • SmugMug and how I use them  (see my full SmugMug Review here)

Thanks Om Malik and Mashable!

The new 100 Cameras in 1 with export-to-Instagram got some good press yesterday. Thank you to GigaOm and Mashable (and many others!) for the coverage.

Daily Photo – The Deep Indigo Night

Usually once it gets dark outside, I give it another half hour or so before I go restaurant-hunting. I like experimenting with new food while processing a few photos… It’s one of the greatest things… I usually have a table all by myself, and I get quite a large one so I can lay out all my stuff. I order all sorts of quirky foods, and I have a diet that would make Walter from Fringe happy.

But this night, there was so much strange ambient light that I decided to shoot for a few more hours. I worked my way up and down the waterside to find interesting sights. In these situations, I usually try to have at least one of my exposures be 30 seconds. That means the other four exposures are 15s, 8s, 4s, and 2s. That makes a good 59 seconds per session. I usually have my earphones on and I keep one finger on the tripod so I can feel the shutter click. I can tell immediately if my settings are off by the vibrations.

The Deep Indigo NightUsually once it gets dark outside, I give it another half hour or so before I go restaurant-hunting.  I like experimenting with new food while processing a few photos...  It's one of the greatest things... I usually have a table all by myself, and I get quite a large one so I can lay out all my stuff.  I order all sorts of quirky foods, and I have a diet that would make Walter from Fringe happy.But this night, there was so much strange ambient light that I decided to shoot for a few more hours.  I worked my way up and down the waterside to find interesting sights.  In these situations, I usually try to have at least one of my exposures be 30 seconds.  That means the other four exposures are 15s, 8s, 4s, and 2s.  That makes a good 59 seconds per session.  I usually have my earphones on and I keep one finger on the tripod so I can feel the shutter click.  I can tell immediately if my settings are off by the vibrations.- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Austin Airport Not Supporting Artists

Austin Airport Not Supporting Artists

This one angers me… especially since I am supposed to live in a city that respects and supports artists. Anyway, you won’t believe this story…

So, I was coming through the Austin airport many weeks ago, and in the PRIME spot at the bottom of the escalators is a huge light-up photo display. Inside, I saw a photo that looked HDRish and so I went over to investigate. Down in the corner, it said simply “photo by mapaolini.” So, I recognized that “name” because Mike had taken one of my workshops back in a 2010.

About a month later I saw Mike at the Austin photowalk during SXSW and congratulated him on getting his art up in the airport. He said, “What?”

HDR PhotoAnd so then I got very very interested. After my most recent trip to Florida, I took this photo with my iPad while waiting for my baggage and sent it to Mike so he could see! We then got into a big email conversation while I was trying to figure out what happened… it was pretty much immediately obvious to me, but I wanted to see if my suspicions were correct.

So, get this:

  1. Mike was never informed that his photo was in the airport
  2. Mike was never paid a dime (placement like this should be worth several thousand dollars to the artist, especially if they are going to use it for many months)
  3. Mike’s name is not even correct in the corner of the photo.  His name is not “mapaolini” – that is his Flickr codename!
  4. They made the WORST CROP EVER.  See his original Flickr photo!

Any one of those things is annoying — but all of them together are just embarrassing for the airport and the city of Austin.

Mike did some detective work and called the airport, who said they got it from the Austin Tourism Bureau.  They said this is considered Non Commercial.  HORSE MANURE.  Is all art in the airport non-commercial?  Does no one get paid?  How much did they pay for that huge bronze of Barbara Jordan (who looks like she is waiting on her baggage)? How much did they pay for those gut-wrenchingly awful paintings above the checkin counter for American Airlines?

It’s an insult to Mike, and, by extension, to all photographers and artists in Austin. They know what they did, and I think it’s pretty lousy…

Daily Photo – High-Tech Dining in Beijing

Beijing has some of the funkiest restaurants in the world! I think that some of the interior designers and architects really take some risks to do all sorts of things with lighting, textures, and styles. It doesn’t always work, but I  think it works pretty well here.

This restaurant was right next to the opera (see my blog post on “Amazing Opera Discovery in Beijing“). This was also built inside one of the old imperial bans in this old sector of Beijing.

High-Tech Dining in Beijing Beijing has some of the funkiest restaurants in the world!  I think that some of the interior designers and architects really take some risks to do all sorts of things with lighting, textures, and styles.  It doesn't always work, but I  think it works pretty well here.This restaurant was right next to the opera (see my blog post on "Amazing Opera Discovery in Beijing").  This was also built inside one of the old imperial bans in this old sector of Beijing.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

And, below is the photo that was taken next door at the opera just after the amazing dinner.

The Peony Pavilion at The Imperial Granary I was invited to go see a very special event here in Beijing.  There is an old area that has the ancient Imperial Granaries that date back hundreds and hundreds of years.  One of these has been converted to an intimate opera house.  They bring in some of the best opera actors from all over China to perform here.If you haven't seen a Chinese opera, you are in store for something totally original!This particular performance was called The Peony Pavillion, which was written during the Ming dynasty and is a love story about all kinds of crazy mythical stuff that I don't want to spoil for you.  But it's really a must-see if you are into unique forms of entertainment.  And you do feel a bit like a time-traveller, watching a scene from hundreds of years ago.Even more interesting, there is a trendy and delicious restaurant next door.  Everyone eats together and has a wonderful leisurely meal before meandering over next door to enjoy the opera.  It's a great experience!- Trey RatcliffRead the rest of this entry here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Unknown Land

New YouTube Channel – What do you want to see live?

Come subscribe to my YouTube Channel! We’ve just been upgraded to a full YouTube partner, which is pretty exciting. It means we can do live shows and stuff… so let me know what you’d like to see live, and maybe we can plan something for the future. I don’t have a lot of time, but I’m always up for experimentation.

Daily Photo – The Unknown Land

After a while, my boat driver thought I was insane. We started before the sunrise and kept going, and going, and going, and going… he kept giving me the international head movement for “we really should be returning for a spot of tea,” but I kept motioning him further up the river.

To me, the river got most interesting when we saw no more people, except for the occasional fisherman that still had remote hut for his family along the river. I had plenty of battery power, amazing music on my iPod, a full array of snacks, a ton of drinks, and nothing to do for the rest of the day and night… so I was perfectly content just going until our gas tank reached 50%. And that took a long time… and who would want to stop with views like this around every other turn?

[And yes, this was made with effects from my textures tutorial, in case you were wonderin’]

The Unknown Land

Photo Information

  • Date Taken2017-03-29 16:26:13
  • Camera
  • Camera Make
  • Exposure Time
  • Aperturef/5.6
  • ISO125
  • Focal Length15mm (15mm in 35mm)
  • Flashflash did not fire
  • Exposure Programaperture priority
  • Exposure Bias

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