Incredible London at Sunset

When I took this photo

Towards the end of this video I’m in the Shard with Stu and you can find out more about when I took this photo.

Daily Photo – Incredible London at Sunset

This particular location in The Shard doesn’t really have a very easy way to take this photo. The direction the sun was facing required some rather difficult window-maneuvering. They don’t really have any windows that face this direction except for one little bit that juts out.

Incredible London at Sunset

Photo Information

  • Date Taken
  • CameraILCE-7R
  • Camera MakeSony
  • Exposure Time1/320
  • Aperture4
  • ISO200
  • Focal Length32.0 mm
  • FlashOff, Did not fire
  • Exposure ProgramAperture-priority AE
  • Exposure Bias

London PhotoWalk! Feb 14, 3 PM

Join Me in London for a fun and free photowalk!

The last one we did 5 years ago in 2010 was Absolutely Amazing, and I want to do it again with y’all! I am SO Excited for this event. It will be quite strange to come back from the remote bits of sensory-deprived Antarctica to the opposite-world of sensory-overload London!

If you’ve never been to a photowalk before, no worries. Come, bring a friend or your family, get a camera in everyone’s hands, and yes, mobile phones and things like this are perfectly fine! :) We’ll combine this one with a really fun photo contest, and there are more details on that below.

TWO Grand Prizes! Stuck in Customs Shopping Spree and a DJI Inspire 1 Quadcopter!

At first, we were just giving away a bunch of Shopping Sprees inside the Stuck In Customs Store, but now we are also giving away a DJI Inspire 1 Quadcopter too!

I absolutely LOVE taking photos with this amazing machine… it’s so cool to use that XBox controller thing to finely control the camera and get compositions that have otherwise always been impossible. Finally, all these years of playing video games has paid off! Anyway, I’m MEGA excited to give it to one of you in London during the PhotoWalk. More details on how to win below! :)

The deets

Google+ Event Page

Facebook Event Page

Hashtag: #TRLondon2015

Time Start: Saturday, February 14, 3 PM

Time End: Probably around 6 PM at a pub where we can all buy drinks, hang out, etc. We can keep on taking pictures in the bar! haha :)

Location: South Bank right outside the National Theatre (Google Map and How to get to the National Theatre)

Location End: Slug and Lettuce Bar – http://goo.gl/djxIMK

Route: http://goo.gl/SwJMRm

Plan: I’ll say hello to everyone and give everyone some artistic and technical goals for the day. I’ll talk through my camera setup and discuss the whole plan for the evening. Then we’ll all walk around like a huge centipede to find our photographic muses for the day! I’ll stop 5 or so times and we’ll all congeal into a slime-mold at which point I’ll set up for a formal shot and talk about my settings, framings, what I’m trying to communicate with the shot, etc. You are ALWAYS welcome to ask me questions any time… Please don’t hesitate! :)

GRAND Prize – 5 Unlimited SIC Shopping Sprees!

Everything in the new Stuck In Customs store that is downloadable can be yours! (A total value of $3,000 USD)

How to Win the Shopping Spree? Take an interesting photo of one or more fellow PhotoWalkers and then post it to any social media channel with the #TRLondon2015 hashtag. Be creative and try new things! Get close, get far, get low, get high (hehe), get interesting subject matter in the background, etc. Have fun with it — you can take and post and share as many photos as you like! Of course, all the time we’ll be taking photos of other things too, the amazing buildings, landscapes, bridges, and the like, but only the photos of fellow PhotoWalkers will be eligible for the prize. I know photographers often really enjoy taking “street photos” of other people but sometimes can be a bit shy or afraid to ask. Well not here, you all have permission…it’s open season! :)

How will I choose the 5 winners for the Shopping Spree? I’ll scan all social media about a week after the event for that #TRLondon2015 tag and choose 5 of the photos that I think are the most interesting! Each winner will get an Unlimited Shopping Spree in the new Stuck In Customs store.

GRAND, Grand Prize – DJI Inspire 1 Quadcopter!!!

We are giving away a brand new DJI Inspire 1 Quadcopter. This thing is amaze-maze! Imagine 4K video, 12mp camera, real-time pilot app, vision positioning system and so much more! ($2,900 USD value)

How will I choose the winner for the DJI Inspire 1 Quadcopter? I’ll look for the same #TRLondon2015 hashtag on social media (see above) and I’ll choose the image that SURPRISES me most! So, a bit tricky there, yes? What will surprise me? I don’t know — that is the very nature of surprises. But I know for sure that one of you will really surprise me with a photo I did not expect… it’s really anyone’s game. And, often times, it is total beginners that surprise me with something I would have never considered… it can be a mobile phone shot, or, well anything!

Photos from the first London Photowalk!

Images from the Trey Ratcliff HDR Walk

Photowalk London

HDR Photo

Some of my favorite photos from London – I can’t wait to get back!

Grey London in ColorIt's so hard to carry a tripod with a big camera AND an umbrella.  The number of ways you can severely pinch yourself must be in the thousands.There is the right-hand-hold-the-umbrella-and-camera-together method.  This keeps the left hand free to zoom, but there is no hand left to secure the ballhead.  So, that only kinda works, but you have to do the strange reach-around.  It's about as much fun as using your left hand to get exactly 45 cents out of your right pocket.Another method is using your neck to secure the umbrella, but that gets out of control very very quickly in the wind.  The last method is usually the one I do -- and that is just to let myself get soaked.  I feel only a tiny bit miserable, but I can sometimes be so focused that I can push that discomfort away while I'm focused on the photography bit.- Trey RatcliffRead the rest here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Approaching London The afternoon yesterday had a typical London rainshower.  But it cleared up just before sunset to reveal magnificent clouds.  I crisscrossed the Thames River many times to find the right light.  After the sun dipped below the horizon, the light finally fell behind Westminster with a delicate palette.- Trey RatcliffRead the rest here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Old London From Above It's a long walk to the top of St. Paul's.  And by long walk, I should throw in that there are a lot of stairs.  But, after you finally arrive, you're greeted by a wonderful view of the city.  As long as you don't have too much of an issue with heights, you'll be in for a treat.Even though I saw all sorts of stuff while I was up there, I enjoyed working on this photo too.  I was able to zoom into 100% and look at all the details and little buildings/bridges/shops once again.  It reminded me of walking around many of them at ground level.- Trey RatcliffRead more here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

The London Underground - Piccadilly Piccadilly Circus is one of the most popular places in London for tourists.  I don't like to always hit all the obvious places, but, then again, I kind of have to hit the obvious places, yes?  So, when I went to this famous spot, I tried my best to find some interesting angles and compositions.This was a standard HDR shot - five exposures from -2 to +2.  To fix the ghosting problem with the people, I did the same thing I always do!  I think that's on page 2 or 3 of the HDR Tutorial...  (maybe that is the #1 Question about HDR!)- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Rainbow over the London Eye Today's shot is of the newly famous London Eye.  It's more than just a ferris wheel.  I can understand why it was so controversial when it was being built.  What proper city would want a carnival-esque attraction right in the middle of it all?  Well, this is no regular ferris wheel.  It's at least four times bigger than most, and each capsule is like a tiny plane.  Sadly, I didn't have a chance to go inside for a ride...   - Trey Ratcliff Find out why here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Sunday Brunch in London I don't know London very well at all.  I can't ever decide if it's a good thing or a bad thing.   It's just a thing, I suppose.  And it's neither nor.While walking through the streets you come across places that you should probably know what they are.  Or maybe you see a charming old pub and you just assume that it's quite famous.  But I don't know.  I can't tell one thing from the next...But I did see this little restaurant one morning.  The outside was covered in ivy and flowers, and this old couple was sitting outside on the bench.  I don't know why I set up for a picture...  it was both mundane and not.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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.- Trey RatcliffClick here to read the rest of this post at the Stuck in Customs blog.

Wicked London So, I just got finished watching Wicked in London.  It was a very cool experience.  I would have enjoyed getting a few more shots of the environs and actors/actresses -- maybe next time!  The stage was wonderfully elaborate and fantasy-steampunk.  I didn't expect so much steampunk stuff in my life lately...  - Trey Ratcliff Read the rest of this entry here at the Stuck in Customs blog.

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

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