Entering the Chunnel

Art.com Feature

Pop over to Art.com and check out the front page – does that guy look familiar?

SOPA / PIPA – Why I’m Against It

I think that we, the architects of the internet, are able to create bottom-up solutions for current and future problems. A good example of this is Creative Commons, and here I am at Google talking about how it affects “piracy” in my world of digital photography.  Jump ahead to the 11 min mark, when I start talking about this subject in particular.

Daily Photo – Entering the Chunnel

I remember the day as a kid I first heard about the Chunnel (the famous tunnel that connects England and France).  I wanted to go through it as soon as I could!  Well, it took a long time but eventually it happened.

I bought the tickets ahead of time and was sure to get to the station in London to take photos ahead of time.  I love all train stations – old and new.  Even the new train stations in London have sort of an old feel… it’s hard to explain.

When I was on the train and we left the station, I decided to turn on the GPS on my Android.  I’ll never forget it.  I saw my little dot ripping across the English countryside.   It was so awesome.  And then it disappeared when we hit the water.

Entering the Chunnel I remember the day as a kid I first heard about the Chunnel (the famous tunnel that connects England and France).  I wanted to go through it as soon as I could!  Well, it took a long time but eventually it happened.I bought the tickets ahead of time and was sure to get to the station in London to take photos ahead of time.  I love all train stations – old and new.  Even the new train stations in London have sort of an old feel… it’s hard to explain.When I was on the train and we left the station, I decided to turn on the GPS on my Android.  I’ll never forget it.  I saw my little dot ripping across the English countryside.   It was so awesome.  And then it disappeared when we hit the water.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The Vaults

Tiny Website Tweaks

A few little things to note…

1) I added the Google +1 to the top of every post, page, and the main site.
2) I removed the slow-leading Tweetboard widget that used to be on the left
3) I fixed several typos in the new HDR Tutorial

Live Video Hangout Today

Come join live (it will be streamed and recorded too) – on Google+ at 12 PM PT (3 EST) today. I’ll have on Cali Lewis and John P, and we’ll be talking photography and stuff… it’ll be fun!

Great Structures

I know I take a lot of photos of churches… I have no kind of agenda or anything — I just simply like big, beautiful structures. It seems like in the last 500 years, churches have consistently been able to amass the huge sums of money necessary to build these “great structures.” The only other entities that amass a lot of money to make “great structures” are governments, corporations, and sports teams. But, really, governments often build extremely boring things with the money. Corporations sometimes build awesome buildings, but only a very small percentage of them are truly inspired. The third group, sports teams, do build amazing structures, but they are all fairly consistent in their look and utility. Any other groups I am missing that amass a ton of capital to build amazing things?

Daily Photo – The Vaults

I find that every time I take a photo of a huge cathedral, like the granddaddy here in London, that I take a landscape and a portrait shot. You just can’t get it all in! And then, I think, well if I could, why wouldn’t I just go ahead and do a full 360 shot? Where do you stop? Hehe this is a problem in a way…

But, seriously, I always have trouble enjoying panoramas and 360 degree photos on the web. Do you all agree?

HDR Photo

A Fun Night in London and a new video…

Animoto Review

So I made the video below with Animoto. To see the “Making Of”, visit my Animoto Review to see all the behind-the-scenes stuff and find out more about the music and the process.

Mad World

I have a new video for you today… enjoy!

Like that song? It’s “Mad World” by Antonis Karalis. He covered this and did all the instruments, singing, remixing, and everything… and he did it just for this purpose, so go support your local internet artist and buy the song so he gets a sweet sweet 99 cents! (actually Apple gets about 30 cents I think).

RC’s New Book

My friend RC Concepcion has a new book called “The HDR Book” now avail at Amazon. He’s a great guy and a good teacher, so I do indeed recommend the book. I hope you enjoy it.

Daily Photo – A Fun Night in London

OMG… making 365 new photos a year is very difficult! I’ve been doing it for the past few years, and I hope I haven’t made it look to easy… I promise I’m not pulling a “Scotty in Engineering”, where I’m complaining about something that is actually pretty easy. But sometimes, I yell, “The ship’s breaking apart captain!” — and I really mean it! hehe…

My next task with all these London photos is to go back and geotag the dang things. It’s never-ending… the to-do list, you know. I wish we were about 3+ years down the road when there was some smart-web-service that could look at the composition and then auto-geotag. BTW, if you’re into digital imaging and computer science, there is a million dollar business for you… extrapolate the location information and auto-geo-tag. People like me would love you and pay decent money for the service! :)

A Fun Night in LondonOMG... making 365 new photos a year is very difficult!  I've been doing it for the past few years, and I hope I haven't made it look to easy...  I promise I'm not pulling a "Scotty in Engineering", where I'm complaining about something that is actually pretty easy.  But sometimes, I yell, "The ship's breaking apart captain!" -- and I really mean it!  hehe...My next task with all these London photos is to go back and geotag the dang things.  It's never-ending... the to-do list, you know.  I wish we were about 3+ years down the road when there was some smart-web-service that could look at the composition and then auto-geotag.  BTW, if you're into digital imaging and computer science, there is a million dollar business for you...  extrapolate the location information and auto-geo-tag.  People like me would love you and pay decent money for the service! :)- Trey RatcliffRead more and see a new video here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Mad World

The Wheel

Silver Efex Pro 2

I’ve been very slow in trying out the new Sliver Efex Pro 2. I have my old Silver Efex Pro Review up on the site still, which is still pretty awesome. I just downloaded the new one yesterday and have been playing with it. It seems slick so far, and I’ll try to get some new screenshots and update that thing.

Daily Photo – The Wheel

Remember that great London PhotoWalk? I’m still processing photos from that event! There was one point where I climbed up on a low wall to get a shot of the ferris wheel. Getting up on the wall wasn’t too tough — the tough part was setting up the three legs of my tripod so they were pretty stable.

It’s been great fun (and kind of strange) to have hundreds of people also processing these images and posting them in the forums. I get to see many of interpretations of this same scene. There are so many different versions of the colors, the composition, the sharpness, and even more. This is very interesting to see how people take the same source files and make something that is interesting to them.

HDR Photo

The Chocolate Shoppe

New Video for 100 Cameras in 1

I put together a new video that shows off some fun ways to use “100 Cameras in 1” for the iPad. There’s a lot to it, and many tricks you might enjoy seeing. We recently put out a 1.1 version, and we included this video inside the app itself to help give people some fresh ideas for using the app.

Over there on the right, you can see my human finger on top of one of the images I’m working on…

David Pogue from the New York Times recently had great things to say about the iPhone version, but he’s never tried this iPad version… When I met him at NASA, I told him to give it a run, but I haven’t heard back… and when I think about the warm chocolate we ate slowly… it makes me sad. …and speaking of chocolate…

Daily Photo – The Chocolate Shoppe

Some regulars know that I’m into gourmet chocolate. This is both good and bad because sometimes when I show up to events, people bring me chocolate from all over the world! And then, I get back to my hotel room, and I’m heavily laden with chocolate… and then the post-midnight haze sets in while I’m editing photos, and I start thinking, “Hmmm, I wonder what that 37% cocoa from Liberia tastes like…” And then it’s a very slippery slope.

Here’s another that I processed the other evening while people looked on… This is a chocolate shop in London that I found by accident called the Rabot Estate. I bought a lot of stuff here, and it didn’t last very long. I also had a very nice cup of drinking chocolate while flipping through some chocolate books in the back. I found out there is a chocolate resort somewhere in the Caribbean.. it’s like a regular Caribbean resort that also happens to be on a cocoa plantation. SIGN ME UP.

(EDIT – Thanks to M in TX in the comments below, you can see details on the Hotel Chocolat in St. Lucia here)

The Chocolate Shoppe Some regulars know that I'm into gourmet chocolate.  This is both good and bad because sometimes when I show up to events, people bring me chocolate from all over the world!  And then, I get back to my hotel room, and I'm heavily laden with chocolate... and then the post-midnight haze sets in while I'm editing photos, and I start thinking, "Hmmm, I wonder what that 37% cocoa from Liberia tastes like..."  And then it's a very slippery slope.Here's another that I processed the other evening while people looked on...  This is a chocolate shop in London that I found by accident called the Rabot Estate.  I bought a lot of stuff here, and it didn't last very long.  I also had a very nice cup of drinking chocolate while flipping through some chocolate books in the back.  I found out there is a chocolate resort somewhere in the Caribbean.. it's like a regular Caribbean resort that also happens to be on a cocoa plantation.  SIGN ME UP. - Trey Ratcliff Read more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Ghost from the Dungeon

New Tutorial Wednesday!

On Wednesday, I’ll post a new tutorial video I did… I worked on it during the weekend, and I hope it gives you some good ideas to mimic or modify as you see fit!

Don’t forget about the free ebook!

Remember to pop over to Flatbooks.com and fill out that email newsletter thing for a free eBook.  I say this so that you will know later this week when I release a little upgrade to an older eBook.  I’ve been working on this too… it’s pretty cool.

Daily Photo – Ghost from the Dungeon

I was walking along the Thames river in London, following up on a lead that a reader told me about. There was supposed to be some cool hidden underground area that you can access from underneath one of the bridges that crosses the river. I never found it, but I did come across this place. Maybe you have seen it before if you are a local? If so, maybe you shouldn’t ruin it for the other readers… let them uncover it on their own. Also, if you say what it is, it may ruin the nice mystery of it all, yes? Yes I’m sure since we both know what it is…

High Dynamic Range Photo

Photography Webinar Announcement!

Photoshop CS5 Giveaway – Leave Comment to Win

I have an extra copy of CS5 Extended (still wrapped in box) I’m giving away. Who wants it? Just leave a comment to win – I’ll pick a random person in 72 hours! Tell your friends, tweet it out, tell your mates on Facebook… this will be fun!

What’s in the Webinar? And Prizes Announced!

It starts in just a few weeks, so I made this quick video to talk more about it. Visit the Webinar page to get all the details.

Join the Early Signup Group (limited time)
Visit the Webinar page to sign up and grab one of these early spots.

Also come and see some cool before & after photos by one of the previous students… you’ll get a good idea of the progress you can make.

If you want to give me your opinion and feedback on what you want to learn in the webinar take my little three-question survey.

Amazing prizes announced

Over the 9 classes, we’ll be giving away thousands of dollars in prizes… this will be great fun too. Here is a selection:

  • A Drobo every class!  (that’s a lot of Drobos)
  • Multiple Animoto one-year pro accounts
  • Multiple copies Nik products and HDR Efex Pro
  • Multiple copies of onOne Software
  • Multiple copies of Topaz Adjust and the Full Bundle
  • and other super-secret surprises… I can’t show all the cards now!

Daily Photo – Spiralstorm

This beautiful staircase was found in a small cloister while I was about to exit St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. I took some extra time while I was over there for the workshop to explore places like this. There were only a few days extra, but I tried to make the most of it.

I got shut down a few times while in the proper part of the cathedral, but I did manage to get a few shots in. As for this area, it was wide open and no one said anything. I always feel more comfy when I am not rushed and have time to set everything up! In this case, I used a 14-24 lens. I get asked a lot if I use filters on my lens — but I do not. I don’t even know if you can get a filter that fits this bulbous wide angle.

High Dynamic Range Photo

The Art Hangar

The Tobolowsky Files

So, while at EG, the very first speaker was Stephen Tobolowsky. He was hilarious, and, to my surprise, he told a long story that centered around Icelandic Horses. I talked to him later when we ran into one another at coffee, and he was super-nice. And no, he wasn’t the one I referred to early in the Matt Groening post. They are both nice in an unassuming Hollywood-way, and that is cool in my book.

I just found out that he has a podcast called “The Tobolowsky Files” that you might enjoy if you have a giant gap in your life and you have no idea how to fill it.

Icelandic Horse Photos

Speaking of Icelandic Horses, here are my favorite Icelandic Horse Photos:

Daily Photo – The Art Hangar

The Millennium Bridge crosses the Thames and terminates here, at the Tate Museum. They don’t like you to take photos in here. Heaven forbid someone should make art in a museum.

I mean really… isn’t it insulting? Who runs the committee at the Tate that decides, “Oh, we mustn’t let people take photos in this part of the museum. They might be making art! What possible reason would they have? Quite nefarious, no doubt!”

Anyway, I find it insulting how these museums treat me like a child. I hope they secretly have somewhat empty lives… and perhaps when they are in some ultra-modern part of the museum and prattling on about the hidden meaning of clump of steel and fluff… that they secretly know they are just spouting a bunch of nonsense in a grandiose effort to placate other fakers around them.

HDR Photo

The London Eye

Don’t Forget the Free eBook!

If you go over to Flatbooks.com and sign up on the right hand side, you get a free eBook called “10 Principles of Beautiful Photography.” I added a little bit more to the end of this book… as a bit of a bonus.

Share your Austin PhotoWalk Photos!

Be sure to put your favorite shots in the Austin SXSW PhotoWalk group! I’ll post mine as soon as I get a chance to process ‘em ! Amazing prizes — will list them out soon. The judges (not me) will be picking out about 20 or so of the most interesting to win prizes.

Daily Photo – The London Eye

I took this on the last PhotoWalk in London, so it’s about time I post it! I won’t be able to process the Austin ones for a bit… this is a busy time for me… you’ll have to forgive me!

Half of the fun of the PhotoWalk is people posting and sharing photos after the event. Even though everyone is taking photos of the same stuff, it is cool to see so many different perspectives. I’m pretty sure we all took photos of the London Eye on that evening, and this is the one that I made.

London Eye High Dynamic Range Photo

Crossing Tower Bridge in the Rain

Now Starring You

When I was out in California recently, I met Om Malik, the guy behind GigaOm.com. I didn’t really know what to expect. I got the vibe that he was either a long-time fan or a new one…either way, he could not have been nicer. And, of course, I was a fan of his too, since I’m a tech-news junkie. Anyhoo, we talked about all sorts of things, and he ended up writing a story called “Now Starring You in a Movie About You“.
High Dynamic Range Photo
While I was there in SF, I ended up stringing a bunch of little meetings together. A few hours later, I was still at Om’s secret hideout coffee-shop, and Frederick Van from This Week in Photo came over to get me on video (will be posted soon). While we were recording the video out in the little garden area, Om came right back out with another one of his tech paramours and sat at the table beside us. He has a knowing nod and wry smile that kind of sets you at ease…

HDR Tip #7 – the Last One

Today’s final one is Tips from the Clubhouse in my contribution to the week of HDR Tips with Rick Sammon. We have a private area here of StuckInCustoms that people get access too when they get the HDR Tutorial on Video. I asked them for some of their thoughts, and got some good ones back!

Did you miss the other tips?  Here they are, listed out:

Daily Photo – Crossing Tower Bridge in the Rain

My bulbous 14-24 lens is a problem in the rain! If you haven’t seen the Nikon 14-24 (see my Nikon 14-24 Review) before, then most people think it is a fish-eye lens, but it isn’t. The apex of the glass juts out almost just beyond the tiny bayonet, and it seems to suck rain drops into it! I’m always wiping down that dang thing.

But… here’s another little hint. That lens can shoot at F/2.8. That means you can focus on infinity for most of your landscape shots, and you’ll only see a few, if any, raindrops that form on the lens. It’s a very nifty trick! And, with a wide-angle lens, infinity ain’t that far away.

High Dynamic Range Photo

Welcome to STUCK IN CUSTOMS Welcome to my travel photography blog!
Enjoy the daily photos, tips, tutorials & more!
Newsletter Sign Up
The Most Beautiful Newsletter Ever!


x